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Up next races on major auto racing circuits

Sprint Cup

What: Toyota Owners 400

Where/when: Today, practice (Speed, noon), qualifying (Speed, 5:30 p.m.); Saturday, race (Ch. 13, 7:30 p.m.); Richmond, Va.

Fast facts: Sprint Cup driver Matt Kenseth ripped NASCAR a day after the governing body penalized his Joe Gibbs Race team. Kenseth's team was hit Wednesday with some of NASCAR's harshest penalties after his race-winning engine Sunday at Kansas failed a postrace inspection. The failure came because one of eight connecting rods in the engine was too light — by 2.7 grams, according to Kenseth, who said the rods collectively weighed more than necessary by about 2.5 grams each. "I think the penalties are grossly unfair," Kenseth said. "I think it's borderline shameful." Kenseth was docked 50 driver points in the standings — two more than he earned for the victory. But he says he's angrier about the penalties given to Gibbs and crew chief Jason Ratcliff. Both were suspended six weeks. Gibbs also had his owner points frozen, and Ratcliff was fined $200,000. The team is appealing. The part found to be too light was installed by Toyota Racing Development, which builds engines for JGR at a shop in Costa Mesa, Calif., Kenseth said. "They show up on a truck or an airplane, get taken out and bolted in the car," he said. TRD president Lee White said the company took full responsibility for the mistake and confirmed that JGR had nothing to do with it. He also said the lighter part gave Kenseth no advantage. … Denny Hamlin of nearby Chesterfield is sitting out his fourth straight race after fracturing a vertebra in a last-lap wreck. Hamlin, 32, wishes he didn't need medical clearance to race. "I'd rather just do it," Hamlin said about getting back in the car. "Honestly, I know everyone is trying to protect me from myself, but I would have raced at Martinsville two weeks ago." Brian Vickers is making his third start in Hamlin's No. 11 Toyota.

Standings: 1. Jimmie Johnson, 311; 2. Kasey Kahne, 274; 3. Brad Keselowski, 273; 4. Greg Biffle, 264; 5. Dale Earnhardt Jr., 263; 6. Carl Edwards, 262; 7. Kyle Busch, 257; 8. Clint Bowyer, 247; 9. Paul Menard, 240; 10. Jamie McMurray, 227

Nationwide

What: ToyotaCare 250

When/where: Today, practice, qualifying (ESPN2, 4 p.m.), race (ESPN News, 7:30 p.m.); Richmond, Va.

Fast facts: Jeffrey Earnhardt is making his first start for uncle Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s JR Motorsports, driving the No. 5 Chevrolet.

Standings: 1. Sam Hornish, 221; 2. Regan Smith, 219; 3. Austin Dillon, 213; 4. Justin Allgaier, 212; 5. Brian Scott, 212

NHRA

What: Spring Nationals

When/where: Today, qualifying; Saturday, qualifying (ESPN2, 3 p.m.); Sunday, final eliminations (ESPN2, 2 p.m.); Baytown, Texas

Standings: Top Fuel — 1. Tony Schumacher, 479; 2. Antron Brown, 405. Funny Car — 1. Matt Hagan, 399; 2. Cruz Pedregon, 349. Pro Stock — 1. Mike Edwards, 494; 2. Allen Johnson, 410. Pro Stock Motorcycle — 1. Hector Arana, 248; 2. Scotty Pollacheck, 155

Trucks

Next: North Carolina Education Lottery 200, May 17, Charlotte Motor Speedway, Concord

Standings: 1. Matt Crafton, 162; 2. Johnny Sauter, 149; 3. Jeb Burton, 149; 4. Ryan Blaney, 141; 5. Ty Dillon, 135

IndyCar

Next: Sao Paulo Indy 300, May 5, Streets of Sao Paulo, Brazil

Standings: 1. Helio Castroneves, 99; 2. Takuma Sato, 93; 3. Scott Dixon, 89; 4. Marco Andretti, 87; 5. Justin Wilson, 81

Formula One

Next: Spanish Grand Prix, May 12, Circuit de Catalunya, Barcelona

Standings: 1. Sebastian Vettel, 77; 2. Kimi Raikkonen, 67; 3. Lewis Hamilton, 50

Up next races on major auto racing circuits 04/25/13 [Last modified: Thursday, April 25, 2013 8:05pm]
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[Bill Serne | Times]
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