Dale Earnhardt Jr.
Dale Earnhardt Jr.

Lap Dawgs

Conventional wisdom holds that in sports, the four "majors" consist of football, baseball, basketball, and hockey, though hockey now toils on the Outdoor Life Network while NASCAR runs laps around the competition both on television and at the turnstiles. This weekend, more than 200,000 of the faithful, or roughly the gross attendance of an entire Arizona Cardinals home schedule, make their annual pilgrimage to the west Valley for the Checker Auto Parts 500 NASCAR Weekend, scheduled Thursday, November 10, through Sunday, November 13, at Phoenix International Raceway, 7602 South 115th Avenue in Avondale. Sunday's Checker Auto Parts 500 caps a weekend that also includes a trio of other races, Friday night's "PIR After Dark" event, and a special Saturday appearance by Dale Earnhardt Jr. For a complete schedule of events, visit www.phoenixraceway.com. For general information, call 602-252-2227. -- Craig Wallach

Dog Days of Autumn
Pup culture

The four-limbed Olympics are coming to town at the United States Dog Agility Association (USDAA) 2005 World Cynosport Games. The event, which began on November 9, continues Thursday, November 10, through Sunday, November 13, at WestWorld of Scottsdale, 16601 North Pima Road. "Every single canine sport imaginable will be in one place," says Annie DeChance of the USDAA. Activities for obedient humans and canines include an agility course and freestyle doggy dancing, but the premier event is the $10,000 Steeplechase Jumping Championships, a speed jumping and obstacle performance featuring competitors from 13 different countries. The event also includes terrier racing featuring diver and Olympic gold medalist Greg Louganis' beloved Jack Russells. Competition runs daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is $5 to $10. Call 480-312-6800 or visit www.usdaa.com/specialevents.cfm. -- Steve Jansen


Checker Auto Parts 500 NASCAR Weekend

A Little Fore Play
Is your aim true?

To twist Michael Douglas' famous line from Wall Street, green is good -- and hitting the green is even better at the Fiesta Bowl Hole-in-One competition, which starts Thursday, November 10, and continues through November 20 at the Arizona Biltmore Country Club, 24th Street and Missouri. While you won't pocket the kind of change that Tiger, Vijay, or Mickelson take home, you can pick up a cool mil if you can outwit, outplay and outswing the field. Each shot costs a measly buck. The top 10 daily finishers win prizes, with each day's top three advancing to the finals on the 20th. Visit www.tostitosfiestabowl.com/events/holeinone.html. -- Clay McNear


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