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The Baltimore Sun

Daytona 500

2 p.m. [chs. 45, 5]

For the nonaficionado of NASCAR, it always seemed odd the Cup season would start with the most important race. But the importance of Daytona is one of the constants in NASCAR when so much else has changed. It's a long run to the end of the season, and these days you need only to get into the "playoffs" for a shot at the title and then turn it on. However, this is the start of an attempt by Jimmie Johnson (left) to win an unprecedented fourth straight Cup championship.

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