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Gordon takes shot at Darlington history

Ernie Irvan says Jeff Gordon shouldn't count on his historymaking fourth consecutive victory at Darlington Raceway. And it's not just because Irvan is still a little angry with the young superstar.

Gordon has won the past three events at the 1.366-mile Darlington oval. A victory Sunday in the TranSouth 400 would make him what no driver has been: the first to win three in a row at NASCAR's oldest superspeedway.

Irvan is among those with a good chance to prevent history. "He's not unstoppable," Irvan said Thursday. Three weeks ago, Irvan vowed revenge against Gordon, the 1995 Winston Cup champion, after the Pontiac 400 at Richmond, where Gordon sent him into the wall just seven laps from the finish. Irvan has mellowed since. The two talked at Atlanta, and Irvan chalked up his emotions to missing a Winston Cup victory.

PHOENIX 200: Rather than decide between chassis produced by two manufacturers sanctioned by the Indy Racing League, the A.J. Foyt Enterprises team chose both.

Foyt and defending IRL champion Scott Sharp went into the season expecting an Oldsmobile Aurora-powered Dallara to be their No. 1 car. Instead, the G Force-Aurora won out last month at Phoenix International Raceway.

Sharp was the fastest driver at the annual Test in the West, recording a 170.697-mph lap. He will use his former backup to practice and qualify this weekend.

NHRA: John Force, 47, should have plenty of motivation in this weekend's Slick 50 Nationals at Houston Raceway Park. He is defending champion and still smarting from a quarterfinal loss to Dean Skuza at Gainesville, Force's first loss in four races.

"I think the motivation and drive I have will keep me going longer maybe than some, but I've got to keep winning to stay on top," Force said. "The fear is still there, so I just keep fighting."

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