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October 18, 2018

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Auto Racing Glance

By JOHN NICHOLSON

Associated Press Writer

All Times EST

NASCAR

WINSTON CUP

NAPA 500

Site: Hampton, Ga.

Schedule: Friday, first-round qualifying, 12:30 p.m. (ESPN2); Saturday, second-round qualifying, 11 a.m. (ESPN2, 4:30 p.m.); Sunday, race, 12:40 p.m. (ESPN).

Track: Atlanta Motor Speedway (oval, 1.54 miles, 24 degrees banking in corners).

Race distance: 500.5 miles, 325 laps.

Last year: Bobby Labonte won the season-ending race, beating Dale Jarrett by 3.801 seconds. Labonte, who also won the Primestar 500 in March, has taken three of the last four races at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

Last week: Jeff Gordon became the youngest three-time Winston Cup champion, capping his second straight title with a victory in the ACDelco 400 in Rockingham, N.C. Gordon, 27, has 12 victories this year and 41 in 188 career starts. Jarrett finished second, 0.520 seconds back.

Fast facts: Gordon is attempting to tie Richard Petty's 1975 modern-era record of 13 victories in a season. ... The speedway was redesigned and repaved before last year's race, with Geoff Bodine topping qualifying with a record lap of 197.478 mph. ... Dale Earnhardt has a record eight victories at AMS.

Next race: Non-points Coca-Cola 500, Nov. 22, Motegi, Japan.

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BUSCH GRAND NATIONAL

Stihl Power Tools 300

Site: Hampton, Ga.

Schedule: Thursday, first-round qualifying, 3 p.m.; Friday, second-round qualifying, 11:40 a.m.; Saturday, race, 1 p.m. (ESPN, tape 5:30 p.m.).

Track: Atlanta Motor Speedway (oval, 1.54 miles, 24 degrees banking in corners).

Race distance: 300.3 miles, 195 laps.

Last year: Mark Martin raced to his third straight BGN victory, averaging a race-record 151.750 mph. The Winston Cup star has a series-record 33 victories. Elton Sawyer finished second.

Last week: Elliott Sadler won the ACDelco 200 in Rockingham, N.C., beating Kevin Lepage by 3.263 seconds. Sadler, moving up to the Winston Cup in 1999, has two victories this year and five overall.

Fast facts: The race was postponed in March because of rain. ... Dale Earnhardt Jr. has a 146-point lead over Matt Kenseth with two races remaining. Earnhardt, a seven-time winner this year, needs only to finish 17th or better in the last two races to win the title. ... Jeff Gordon won the inaugural race in 1992 for his first NASCAR victory.

Next race: Jiffy Lube Miami 300, Nov. 15, Homestead, Fla.

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CRAFTSMAN TRUCKS

Sam's Town 250

Site: Las Vegas.

Schedule: Saturday, qualifying, 3:15 p.m.; Sunday, race, 6 p.m. (ESPN2).

Track: Las Vegas Motor Speedway (tri-oval, 1.5 miles, 12 degrees banking in corners).

Race distance: 250.5 miles, 167 laps.

Last year: Joe Ruttman raced to his fifth 1997 victory, beating 1996 winner Jack Sprague by 1.512 seconds. Rick Carelli gave up the lead with three laps to go to pit for fuel.

Last race: Mike Bliss won the GM Goodwrench/ACDelco 300 on Oct. 24 in Phoenix, beating Greg Biffle by 2.917 seconds. Ron Hornaday finished third to take a 13-point lead over Sprague in the season standings.

Fast facts: Hornaday's 13-point lead is the smallest entering the final race in series history. Hornaday, the 1996 season champion, has six victories this year to push his record total to 23. Sprague won the 1997 series title. ... The drivers are racing for a series-high $820,655 in posted awards.

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NATIONAL HOT ROD ASSOCIATION

Next event: Winston Finals, Nov. 11-14, Pomona, Calif.

Last event: Gary Scelzi won the rain-delayed Matco Tools SuperNationals on Monday in Houston to move a step closer to his second straight Top Fuel title. Scelzi, a six-time winner this year, needs only to qualify for the season-ending Winston Finals to win the title. He set a national record with a 326.44-mph run in the second round of eliminations.

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