NASCAR CUP SERIES: AUTOTRADER ECHOPARK AUTOMOTIVE 500 (334 laps, 501 miles around a 1.5-mile D-shaped oval), Texas Motor Speedway; Fort Worth, Texas
TV: Sunday, 2 p.m. ET (Green flag approx. 2:16 p.m. ET) – NBC (Radio: Performance Racing Network, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio Channel 90).
THIS WEEK: Kyle Larson won his third road-course race of the season, a record, by taking home the checkered flag from the Charlotte Roval on Sunday. It should be noted that NASCAR traditionally raced on road courses twice a season until 2018, when the Roval was added, and this year there were a whopping six road races. … What happened behind Larson proved more interesting as early-season title favorites Chase Elliott and Kevin Harvick got tangled up, with Elliott hitting the wall but still advancing to the Round of 8 and Harvick missing the next round of the playoffs. … No love lost between the two, especially after numerous run-ins this season, how did Elliott feel after the race? “As far as Kevin goes, just want to wish them a merry offseason and a happy Christmas,” Elliott said. NASCAR officials say they hope to “de-escalate” the situation. … Next up is the 33rd of 36 races on the season and the 41st all-time at Texas Motor Speedway, this one being the only points race here of this season after the track played host to the All-Star Race earlier this year. … Kyle Busch won this race last year. … A win at Texas (or Kansas and Martinsville the following two weeks) gets one of the eight drivers in the Round of 8 into the Championship race at Phoenix on Nov. 7. … Larson leads the points with 4,065, followed by Denny Hamlin (4,030), Martin Truex Jr. (4,029), Ryan Blaney (4,024), Busch (4,023), Chase Elliott (4,022), Joey Logano (4,013) and Brad Keselowski (4,008). Harvick, Christopher Bell, William Byron and Alex Bowman were eliminated at Charlotte.
BEST BETS: Kyle Larson comes in at 17/5, with Denny Hamlin at 6/1, Kyle Busch at 7/1, Chase Elliott at 15/2 with Martin Truex Jr. and Ryan Blaney at 9/1. Playoff drivers all. The first non-playoff driver is Kevin Harvick at 14/1. Take Bubba Wallace at 130/1 if you crave a long shot.
*Standings per NASCAR.com.
NASCAR XFINITY SERIES: ANDY’S FROZEN CUSTARD 335 (200 laps, 300 miles around a 1.5-mile D-shaped oval), Texas Motor Speedway; Fort Worth, Texas
TV: Saturday, 3 p.m. ET (Green flag approx. 3:16 p.m. ET) – NBC (Radio: Performance Racing Network, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio Channel 90).
THIS WEEK: AJ Allmendinger came through on the Charlotte Roval on Saturday — his third straight win of the race — to make the Round of 8, which begins this weekend at Texas. … Why is this race listed as a 335? Well, it’s 300 miles, and the sponsor is 35 years old this year, so 335. … At any rate, eight drivers will vie for the four spots in the championship race in Phoenix, which happens over the next three weeks at Texas, Kansas and Martinsville. … Any current playoff driver with a win over the next three weeks makes the championship race. … This will be the 30th of 33 races on the season and the 42nd held at TMS, the first coming in 1997. … Kyle Busch won here in the late spring, with Harrison Burton winning last fall. … Allmendinger leads the points (3,050), followed by Austin Cindric (3,044), Justin Allgaier (3,021), Noah Gragson (3,017), Daniel Hemric (3,016), Justin Haley (3,015), Burton (3,008) and Brandon Jones (3,003). Jeb Burton, Myatt Snider, Jeremy Clements and Riley Herbst were eliminated from the payoffs after Charlotte.
*Standings per NASCAR.com.
NASCAR GANDER OUTDOORS TRUCK SERIES
THIS WEEK: Drivers still in the playoffs get one more chance to make the Championship Race, but not until Oct. 30 at Martinsville, and eight drivers are still alive in the playoffs. At least three drivers will qualify for the title race based on points, not a race win, and perhaps all four spots will be filled on points. … Any current playoff driver with a win at Martinsville makes the Championship 4. … John Hunter Nemechek (3,105) leads the standings, followed by Ben Rhodes (3,104 points), Matt Crafton (3,079), Sheldon Creed (3,074), Stewart Friesen (3,069), Chandler Smith (3,040), Carson Hocevar (3,037) and Zane Smith (3,034).
*Standings per NASCAR.com.
NTT DATA INDYCAR SERIES
THIS WEEK: Spain’s Alex Palou won this season’s championship. … The series returns on Feb. 27, 2022 at St. Petersburg, Fla., to kick off a 17-event season.
THIS WEEK: Valtteri Bottas won easily in Turkey last week as the title battle between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton continued to see-saw back and forth. Verstappen finished second and Hamilton a disappointing fifth, to give back the title lead to Verstappen. … The series takes a week off to get to Austin, Texas, for the United States Grand Prix on Oct. 24. … Belgium’s Verstappen is in the series lead for Red Bull (262.5 points), with Great Britain’s Hamilton (256.5) in second for Mercedes. Finland’s Bottas (177) in a Mercedes is third, followed by Britain’s Lando Norris (145) in a McLaren with Mexico’s Sergio Perez (135) in a Red Bull rounding out the top five.
Standings per F1.com.
NATIONAL HOT ROD ASSOCIATION: NHRA THUNDER VALLEY NATIONALS, Friday-Sunday, at Bristol Dragway; Bristol, Tenn.
TV: Eliminations, Sunday, 2-5 p.m. ET FS1
THIS WEEK: Four rounds of the playoffs are in the books and three remain, with a visit this weekend to Tennessee coming off last week’s even in Texas. There is a layoff after Texas until Halloween weekend at Las Vegas. … Winners at the Texas Motorplex last week were Justin Ashley in Top Fuel, Ron Capps in Funny Car, Greg Anderson in Pro Stock and Matt Smith in Pro Stock Motorcycle. Pro Stock has this weekend off. … Steve Torrence leads Top Fuel (2,473 points), followed by Brittany Force (2,421) and Ashley (2,352). … Matt Hagan leads Funny Car (2,449), followed by Capps (2,416) and Cruz Pedregon (2,336). … Anderson (2,520) leads Pro Stock, followed by Erica Enders (2,439) and Dallas Glenn (2,337). … Smith (2,368) leads Pro Stock Motorcycle, followed by Steve Johnson (2,360) and Angelle Sampey (2,315).
Standings per NHRA.com.