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Pro Rac'in + NASCAR : )

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Old 05-11-2009, 11:41 AM
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Cool Pro Rac'in + NASCAR : )

THE BIG STORYMark Martin, who earlier in the week announced he will drive the full 2010 Sprint Cup schedule in the No. 5 Chevrolet for Hendrick Motorsports, won Saturday night's Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway. He finished 1.5 seconds ahead of teammate Jimmie Johnson. The three-time Cup champion started at the back in a backup Chevrolet after a qualifying run crash. Tony Stewart was third, followed by Ryan Newman and Jeff Gordon. A record 17 yellows consumed 73 of the 367 laps. Gordon is 29 points ahead of Stewart.
Also: Driver-owner Jeremy Mayfield, No. 34 Cup team crew member Tony Martin, and No. 16 Nationwide team crewman Ben Williams received indefinite suspensions from NASCAR for violating the sanctioning body's substance abuse policy. Mayfield issued a statement saying he believed a combination of prescription and over-the-counter medications caused the positive testů Donny Schatz won at Eldora and took the World of Outlaws championship lead.

NASCAR Sprint Cup SeriesMatt Kenseth won his first pole since Kansas 2005 in Friday qualifying at Darlington with a 179.514 mph lap. Scott Speed didn't qualify but raced Joe Nemechek's car. On lap four Saturday night, Max Papis and Speed tangled for the first yellow. By lap 17, No. 2 qualifier Jeff Gordon took the lead. Michael Waltrip spun. On lap 31, Casey Mears, A.J. Allmendinger and Denny Hamlin tangled and Carl Edwards got into the wall. Kasey Kahne took the lead on lap 72. Jimmie Johnson, who stayed out after pitting on the first yellow, was forced to make a green-flag stop on lap 74. With Johnson in the pits, Waltrip's engine erupted into a fire. On lap 100, Gordon pitted with a loose wheel and lost a lap. Martin Truex Jr. got to the front on lap 117. Two laps later, Sam Hornish Jr. spun, the first of several problems he had. Greg Biffle got out of the pits in front. On lap 163, David Ragan and Hamlin had contact. Mark Martin had to make an extra pit stop because of a loose lug nut. Ragan spun again a few laps later. On lap 207, Kahne rode the wall and had to pit under green. Kurt Busch spun off turn four and Johnson spun trying to get into his pit. Clint Bowyer crashed. About lap 295, Kyle Busch had a flat tire and hit the turn-three wall. Joey Logano came out of a pit-stop exchange with the lead. Edwards and Hornish again got into the wall in separate incidents, then Biffle spun. On a debris caution with 46 laps to go, Martin didn't pit. A series of brief yellows followed, including a Dale Earnhardt Jr. spin with 25 laps remaining. Johnson, with fresher tires, made a run on Martin but admitted to his crew in the closing laps he didn't have enough to catch his teammate. Martin led 46 laps and averaged 119.691 mph. Kenseth finished 10th; Kahne 23d; Earnhardt 27th; Edwards 32d and Kyle Busch 34th. Reed Sorenson started 41st in the Valvoline Crew Chiefs Dodge and finished 19th.
NASCAR Nationwide SeriesQualifying was rained-out Friday at Darlington, so Kyle Busch started from the pole. He led 143 of 153 laps, but his Toyota ran over debris from an accident in the closing laps, and the left-rear tire went flat. He was forced to pit and dropped to 16th. Matt Kenseth, whose Ford was closing on Busch on the last run, picked up the win in the Diamond Hill Plywood 200. In a green-white-checker finish, Kenseth won under yellow due to a spin just after the restart. Jason Leffler was second in a Toyota, followed by Carl Edwards, who drove the first part of the race with radio problems. Kenseth averaged 116.596 mph with 10 yellows for 32 laps. Edwards gained 75 points on Busch and now trails him by 37.

IndyCar SeriesHelio Castroneves won his third Indianapolis 500 pole - and record 15th for owner Roger Penske - Saturday with a four-lap average of 224.864 mph. Teammate Ryan Briscoe, at 224.083 mph, and Dario Franchitti, at 224.010 mph, complete the first row. Graham Rahal, Scott Dixon and Tony Kanaan qualified for the second row. Mario Moraes, Marco Andretti and Will Power will go from row three. Sunday, the next 11 spots were filled with Raphael Matos best. Paul Tracy qualified 13th for his first Indy since the controversial 2002 finish. The slowest qualifier is Davey Hamilton at 221.956 mph. John Andretti and Alex Tagliani crashed Sunday without injury, but Mike Conway was admitted to Methodist Hospital in good condition with bruised lungs.

Formula OneJenson Button and the Brawn-Mercedes team continued their domination in Sunday's Spanish Grand Prix in Barcelona. Button, who won the pole, completed 66 laps 13 seconds ahead of teammate Rubens Barrichello. Barrichello beat Button off the line but Jenson had two pit stops while Rubens' crew went with a three-stop strategy. Button took the lead after the last pit sequence. Mark Webber was third in a Red Bull-Renault. Button tops Barrichello by 14 points.

Valvoline Winner Last WeekendMatt Kenseth, NASCAR Nationwide Series, Darlington.

Racer of the WeekMark Martin. For the first time since 1999, he has won more than once in a Cup season, and jumped four spots - to 11th - in points.

Yes, He REALLY Said ThatKyle Busch, on his career goals. "I'd like to be able to win 200 races over all three (NASCAR national) series. I think that would be a good number. It's a pretty big number. It's not as good as Richard Petty's 200 in the Sprint Cup series."

This WeekendNASCAR offers its All-Star race Saturday night at Charlotte,
with the Trucks as a prelim Friday night.
Indy 500 qualifying wraps.
ALMS goes in Utah Sunday, with the Rolex Series at Laguna Seca Saturday. NHRA runs in Bristol.
 
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