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Chase for the Cup finale Sunday

Other than the Daytona 500 in February, Sunday's race is the most important on the NASCAR circuit.

That would be the final race on the "Chase for the Nextel Cup,'' which this year is the Ford 400, from the Homestead-Miami Speedway.

NBC and KTTC-TV has the coverage. The pre-race starts at 2 p.m. and the green flag drops at 3 o'clock.

"It's an all or nothing situation, second placae is the first loser in this deal,'' said Bill Weber, who will do the play-by-play.

"For me as a broadcaster, this is the first time in my lifetime I've ever been able to do this. I look at it as a career moment, and I'll have my eyes basically glued to three or four cars; at one time.

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"There's one goal here on Sunday and that's to win the championship, and when I get in that booth, it's going to be hard for me to turn away my eyes from those four guys that are in it.''

Those four guys are points leader Tony Stewart followed by Jimmy Johnson, Carl Edwards and Greg Biffle. They are the only drivers with a mathematical chance to win the Cup.

"he Chase has done exactly what it was designed to do,'' Weber said the other day on a conference call, "and that's to set the stage for a big day and night. And we get to do it at a fantastic place.''

Weber said the top four drivers may be in a gambling mood on Sunday.

"They might have to'' he said. "They might have to go against logical thinking to put themselves in a position to get ahead of Tony.

"As for Tony, it's important for him to win a race, to say he won a race in the Chase. Obviously, this is his last chance.''

Race director Mike Wells said three "dedicated'' cameras will be on the top three points leadaers, and will be following them at all times.

"We want to make sure we tell the wholel story, and if one of thre guys gets in a sort of incident where they're out of the racae, we'd move that camera to the next person in line.''

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If Stewart wins?

"Then you start thinking about how many championships he can win,'' said Weber. "Jeff Gordon has four, so now, is that the next goal for Tony Stewart? Granted, he'd have to get a third, but if Tony wins this Championship on Sunday I thinnk in the back of his head he starts thinking about that is two,how many more can I get

Around the tube

The Rochester Community and Technical College football team will play Central Iowa Sunday in the Graphic Edge Bowl from Cedar Falls, Iowa, a game which will be broadcast on KWEB-AM (1270).

Sunday's Vikings-Giants game on Fox drew a 35.2 rating with a 66 share in the Twin Cities market.

The 2005 PGA Grand Slam of Golf will be televised on TNT Tuesday (6 p.m. to 9 p.m.) and Wednesday (5 p.m. to 9 p.m.) from Poipu Bay Golf Course and Grand Hyatt Kauair Resort and Spa in Kauai, Hawaii. The foursome includes Masters and British Open champion Tiger Woods, U.S. Open champion Michael Campbell, PGA champion Phil Mickelson and three-time major champion Vijay Singh.

The Thanksgiving Day games are Atlanta-Detroit at 11:30 a.m. (Fox) and Denver at Dallas at 3:30 p.m. on CBS.

Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb makes his first visit to the "Late Show With David Letterman" on Tuesday.

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Paul Christian is a Post-Bulletin sports writer. He writes a weekly Friday column devoted to TV and radio sports and can be reached at pchristian@postbulletin.com

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