IMAGE: Former New City Mayor Rudy Giuliani
Wilfredo Lee  /  AP
Republican Presidential hopeful, former New City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, with his wife Judith, speaks during the introduction ceremony prior to the start of the Ford 400 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup series auto race at the Homestead-Miami Speedway in Homestead, Fla., Sunday.
updated 11/19/2007 10:13:13 AM ET 2007-11-19T15:13:13

As pit crews made last-minute inspections to their cars Sunday at NASCAR's Ford 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway, Republican presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani stressed the need for America to break its dependence on foreign oil.

Giuliani likened the pursuit of energy independence and the development of alternative energy sources to the race to put a man on the moon several decades ago.

"Now it's a matter truly of national security," Giuliani said. "We have to pursue all of those alternatives that exist."

In the meantime, Giuliani said, the U.S. needs to focus on domestic sources of oil, as well as oil from friendly countries like Mexico and Canada. He said conservation also will have to play a role.

Giuliani attended the season-ending race with his wife, Judith.

"This is our third one this year, so now I feel like I really am a fan," Giuliani said to a tent full of drivers and their crews. "It really represents the very best of America. You should be very proud of where you've taken it and where it's going to go."

Just before the race, Giuliani and his wife took a lap around the track in the official pace truck.

"I've ridden in the car twice at the beginning, and now Judith is going to ride with me," Giuliani said.

Asked whether he was going to cheer for Jeff Gordon or Jimmie Johnson in the race, Giuliani said: "I'm going to pull for both of them. They're both good guys. May the better man win." Johnson won the race, as well as his second consecutive Nextel Cup championship.

Copyright 2007 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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