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NASCAR

The National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing, abbreviated to NASCAR, is currently referred as the largest sanctioning body of stock car racing in the United States and is in its 65th season. The three largest racing series sanctioned by NASCAR are the Sprint Cup, the Nationwide Series and the Camping World Truck Series. The NASCAR season consists of a series of races held on purpose-built race tracks. The results of each race are combined to determine two annual NASCAR Championships for each series, one for the drivers and one for the manufacturers. NASCAR cars race at high speeds, up to 200 mph (320 km/h). The cars are capable of pulling in excess of five G-forces in some curves. Charlotte, North Carolina is NASCAR's traditional center, where most of the teams are based. However, the sport's scope has expanded significantly in recent years with races being held all over North America.

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Alan Kulwicki

Alan Dennis Kulwicki (December 14, 1954 – April 1, 1993), nicknamed "Special K" and the "Polish Prince", was an American NASCAR Winston Cup Series (now Sprint Cup Series) racecar driver. He started racing at local short tracks in Wisconsin before moving up to regional stock car touring series. Kulwicki arrived at NASCAR, the highest and most expensive level of stock car racing in the United States, with no sponsor, a limited budget, and only a racecar and a borrowed pickup truck. Despite starting with meager equipment and finances, he earned the 1986 NASCAR Rookie of the Year award over drivers racing for well-funded teams. After Kulwicki won his first race at Phoenix International Raceway, he debuted what would become his trademark "Polish Victory Lap". Kulwicki won the 1992 Winston Cup championship by what was then the closest margin in NASCAR history. He died early in 1993 in a light aircraft accident, and was unable to defend his championship. He has been inducted into numerous racing halls of fame and was named one of NASCAR's 50 Greatest Drivers. Kulwicki was known for being a perfectionist and doing things his own way. An engineer by trade, his scientific approach to NASCAR racing inspires the way teams are now run. He was insistent on driving for his own race team, AK Racing, during most of his NASCAR career, despite lucrative offers from top car owners. Described by his publicist as "a real hard type of person to get to know", he remained a bachelor throughout his life.

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David Pearson
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Infineon Raceway, the road course where the race was held.

The 2010 Toyota/Save Mart 350 was a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series stock car race held on June 20, 2010 at Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, California. Contested over 110 laps, it was the sixteenth race of the 2010 Sprint Cup Series season and the first of two road course competitions on the schedule. The race was won by Jimmie Johnson, for the Hendrick Motorsports team. Robby Gordon finished second, and Kevin Harvick, who started fourth, clinched third. Conditions were sunny at the start of the race, making the track potentially slippery. Pole position driver Kasey Kahne maintained his lead into the first corner, but Johnson, who had started in the second position on the grid, took the lead before the first lap was over. Kahne suffered an ill-handling car during the beginning of the race, causing him to fall to seventh by the sixth lap. Seven laps before the finish, race leader Marcos Ambrose, turned his car off to try to save fuel, but he could not refire the engine and subsequently stalled. He dropped back from the lead to sixth place with seven laps remaining, allowing Kahne to finish fourth and Jeff Gordon fifth. There were eight cautions and twelve lead changes among eight different drivers throughout the course of the race, Johnson's fourth win of the season and his first ever at Infineon. The result moved him up four spots to second in the Drivers' Championship, 140 points behind of leader Kevin Harvick and one ahead of Kyle Busch. Chevrolet maintained its lead in the Manufacturers' Championship, nine points ahead of Toyota and forty-three ahead of Dodge, with twenty races remaining in the season.

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The NASCAR Hall of Fame
Credit: Charlie Cowins
The NASCAR Hall of Fame undergoing construction in June of 2008.
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