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Originally published July 12, 2008 at 12:00 AM | Page modified July 12, 2008 at 5:55 PM

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Auto Racing | Obama won't sponsor car

NASCAR's BAM Racing team has presented Barack Obama's presidential campaign with a potential sponsorship deal in the Sprint Cup Series later this year, but it doesn't look as if an Obama car will be on the track anytime soon.

JOLIET, Ill. — NASCAR's BAM Racing team has presented Barack Obama's presidential campaign with a potential sponsorship deal in the Sprint Cup Series later this year, but it doesn't look as if an Obama car will be on the track anytime soon.

BAM team spokesman Rhett Vandiver told The Associated Press on Friday the team made a sponsorship proposal to the Democratic presidential hopeful's campaign, and has made similar proposals to the campaign of Republican John McCain and at least one third-party candidate.

Late Friday, Obama campaign officials said there would be no sponsorship.

"The Obama campaign will not be sponsoring a car in the Sprint Cup Series, though we will continue to look for ways to reach out to voters and convey Senator Obama's message of change," said Bill Burton, an Obama campaign spokesman.

Sports Illustrated first reported the proposal on its Web site, saying Obama's campaign was in talks with BAM, a part-time operation that hasn't raced in recent weeks, to sponsor its No. 49 car in the Aug. 3 race at Pocono in Long Pond, Pa.

It would have been a fairly bold move within a sport whose competitors spend all year turning left on the track but tend to lean to the right politically.

Busch prevails

JOLIET, Ill. — Kyle Busch added another NASCAR Nationwide Series victory to his column, winning the Dollar General 300 at the Chicagoland Speedway.

The points leader with six victories in the Sprint Cup Series, Busch won for the fifth time in the Nationwide Series. He has won 13 races this year, spanning NASCAR's three top series.

"Happy to be here and happy to be in victory lane again. This is awesome," Busch said.

Joe Gibbs Racing drivers have dominated the Nationwide Series this year — cars owned by the organization have won 13 times.

Denny Hamlin, who started in 41st position, maneuvered his way to a runner-up finish.

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Greg Biffle of Vancouver, Wash., was sixth. Derrike Cope of Spanaway was 38th.

Notes

Helio Castroneves' drought is over.

The man who has won more poles than any driver in IndyCar Series history hadn't captured one in qualifying since winning ABC's "Dancing with the Stars" last fall. But Castroneves pushed Danica Patrick aside by averaging 204.519 mph over four laps in qualifying for the Firestone Indy 200 at the Nashville Superspeedway in Gladeville, Tenn. He did start on the pole in Japan with positions set by points.

After earning his 24th pole, Castroneves said, "I'm just so glad we're able to put all the puzzles together and able to finally figure out about this qualifying scenario."

• The McLaren team settled its legal dispute with Ferrari, agreeing to pay the Italian team's court costs from a Formula One spying scandal.

McLaren apologized last December after Ferrari data and documents were found at its chief designer's home, resulting in a $100 million fine for McLaren.

Copyright © 2008 The Seattle Times Company

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