What: Food City 500
When/where: Today, practice (Speed, noon), qualifying (Speed, 3:30 p.m.); Saturday, practice (Speed, 9 a.m. and noon); Sunday, race (Ch. 13, 1 p.m.); Bristol, Tenn.
Fast facts: Denny Hamlin and NASCAR settled their censorship flap Thursday when he said he would not appeal the $25,000 fine levied against him for criticizing the new Gen-6 car. But Hamlin held his ground on refusing to pay the fine. NASCAR said the fine will be settled per its rule book, which allows the sanctioning body to garnish the money from a driver's race winnings. "Dragging myself, my team and NASCAR through the mud for the next 2 weeks would not be good for anyone," Hamlin posted on Twitter. "I firmly believe I am in the right on this issue and will stand behind my decision not to pay. I understand NASCAR will do what they feel is necessary based on my decision." NASCAR does have the option to suspend Hamlin until he pays the fine, but it said in its statement it considers the matter closed. … Darrell Waltrip holds the Bristol record with 12 victories, winning seven straight races from 1980-84.
Standings: 1. Jimmie Johnson, 129; 2. Brad Keselowski, 124; 3. Dale Earnhardt Jr., 119; 4. Hamlin, 102; 5. Carl Edwards, 98; 6. Mark Martin, 95; 7. Matt Kenseth, 93; 8. Greg Biffle, 93; 9. Clint Bowyer, 89; 10. Aric Almirola, 88
What: Jeff Foxworthy's Grit Chips 300
When/where: Today, practice (Speed, 10:30 a.m., 2 p.m.); Saturday, qualifying; race (ESPN2, 2 p.m.); Bristol, Tenn.
Fast facts: Kyle Busch and fellow Cup drivers Brad Keselowski and Kevin Harvick are racing. Harvick has a series-record five Bristol victories.
Standings: 1. Sam Hornish, 127; 2. Justin Allgaier, 108; 3. Elliott Sadler, 108; 4. Brian Scott, 108; 5. Regan Smith, 103
What: Australian Grand Prix
When/where: Today, practice (NBC Sports Channel, midnight); Saturday, practice, qualifying (NBC Sports Channel, 2 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.); Sunday, race (NBC Sports Channel, 2 a.m.); Melbourne
Fast facts: The season opener. … Three-time defending season champion Sebastian Vettel won five races last season. … Lewis Hamilton is driving for Mercedes after leaving McLaren. Sergio Perez left Sauber to replace Hamilton at McLaren.
American Le Mans Series
What: Twelve Hours of Sebring
When/where: 10:45 a.m. Saturday (Speed, 10:30 a.m., 1 p.m. and 10:30 p.m.); Sebring International Raceway
Fast facts: The ALMS will merge with the Grand-Am Series next year. League officials announced Thursday the new series will be called United SportsCar Racing. It will include the Sebring event, the 24 Hours of Daytona and other races. … Qualifying begins at 1:15 p.m. today. … Area drivers Ed Brown and Jan Heylen, both of Tampa, plan to participate.
Next: Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg, March 22-24, series season opener
Next: Kroger 250, April 6, Ridgeway, Va
Standings: 1. Johnny Sauter, 47; 2. Ron Hornaday, 41; 3. Justin Lofton, 41; 4. Ty Dillon, 40; 5. Jeb Burton, 39