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Earnhardt takes Sharpie 500

Dale Earnhardt Jr. broke out of a six-week slump last night with a convincing victory in the Sharpie 500, giving him a weekend sweep at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway and momentum for the upcoming championship chase.

Almost completely healed from burns he suffered last month in a non-NASCAR wreck, Earnhardt led 295 of the 500 laps for his first Nextel Cup win at Bristol. On Friday night, he won his first Busch series race on the 0.533-mile bullring.

He beat Ryan Newman to the finish line last night. Newman, fighting to become eligible for NASCAR's 10-race championship chase, moved into contention by jumping three spots to the cutoff position of 10th.

IRL -- Helio Castroneves put himself in the best position to win the 100th IRL race by taking the pole for the Firestone Indy 225, the final event at Nazareth (Pa.) Speedway.Castroneves posted a fast lap of 167.396 miles per hour. He will be joined in the front row by teammate Sam Hornish Jr. (167.100).

Champ Car -- Sebastien Bourdais captured the pole position for the Montreal Molson Indy, his sixth of the season and third in a row. Bourdais drove his Newman/Haas Racing Lola to a lap of 1:19.897 -- 122.062 m.p.h.

Formula One -- Jarno Trulli nipped Michael Schumacher for the pole in today's Belgian Grand Prix, in Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium. He clocked 1:56.232 seconds, Schumacher 1:56.304.

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