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This week in motor sports

Gearing Up

What's new in motor sports heading into this weekend:

July 06, 2007|Jim Peltz | Times Staff Writer

1 Sprint Nextel Corp. scheduled an announcement for Saturday amid speculation the company will change the name of NASCAR's Nextel Cup Series starting next year to more closely reflect the Sprint brand.

Nextel, which became the series sponsor in 2004, merged with Sprint the following year and it has been expected that Sprint eventually will change the name of NASCAR's top series.

2 The announcement will precede the Pepsi 400, the Cup series' second annual race at Daytona International Speedway in Florida.

And for the first time in 42 years, there won't be a Petty driving in a Daytona race. Kyle Petty, son of NASCAR's all-time winner Richard Petty, is taking a break from driving duties to be a television analyst for the race.

3 Formula One rookie sensation Lewis Hamilton heads to his home country as the series holds the British Grand Prix at the Silverstone circuit in England. The McLaren Mercedes driver has won two of the season's first eight races.

Meanwhile, McLaren Mercedes suspended one of its senior engineers amid allegations that the employee received technical information from the Ferrari team, according to Formula One.

But McLaren Mercedes said "no Ferrari intellectual property has been passed to any other members of the team or incorporated into its cars."

4 Canadian driver Paul Tracy also returns home as the Champ Car World Series holds the Grand Prix of Toronto on Sunday. Tracy, who won at Cleveland last month, also is a two-time winner of the Canadian race.

5 Four-time Nextel Cup champion Jeff Gordon is scheduled to be a co-host of the daytime television talk show "Live with Regis and Kelly" on Monday. It would be the 10th appearance on the show for Gordon, who is thought to be mulling a Hollywood career after he retires from driving.

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