MONSTER ENERGY NASCAR CUP SERIES: BASS PRO SHOPS NRA NIGHT RACE (500 laps, 266.5 miles around a .533-mile oval), Bristol Motor Speedway; Bristol, Tenn.
TV: Saturday, 7:30 p.m. ET (Green flag approx. 7:43 p.m. ET) -- NBCSN (Radio: Performance Racing Network, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio Channel 90).
THIS WEEK: It's time for the Bristol night race, one of the more storied events in NASCAR history. ... Bristol is one of the series' toughest tracks at just a little over a half mile, and with high banking that collects crashed cars at the bottom causing some serious bent bodywork. But many of the crashed cars soldier on and a few of them even manage to win. ... This will be the 118th series race at the track dating back to 1961, with Kurt Busch winning the night race last year. Brother Kyle Busch won the Sunday day race earlier this season. ... This is the 24th of 36 races on the season, and the third to last before the playoff cutoff. ... Kevin Harvick is heating up after winning Sunday at Michigan and there are now seven drivers with multiple wins on the season. ... For drivers without a win, jockeying for the final two spots in the playoffs next month is turning into a four-driver affair, with seven-time champion Jimmie Johnson in the mix, but currently out. ... *Kyle Busch leads the Cup standings with 892 points, followed by *Joey Logano (872), *Harvick (822), *Denny Hamlin (815), *Martin Truex Jr. (805), *Brad Keselowski (754), *Chase Elliott (711), *Kurt Busch (701), Ryan Blaney (654) and *Alex Bowman (653) rounding out the top 10.
BEST BETS: Kyle Busch is again the favorite to win at 5/2, followed by Kevin Harvick and Joey Logano at 7/1 and Martin Truex Jr. and Kyle Larson at 8/1. Kurt Busch and Clint Bowyer are good choices at 20/1. Ryan Newman is a great play at 100/1.
*Denotes race winner and playoff berth. Standings per NASCAR.com.
NASCAR XFINITY SERIES: FOOD CITY 300 (300 laps, 159.9 miles around a .533-mile oval), Bristol Motor Speedway; Bristol, Tenn.
TV: Friday, 7:30 p.m. ET (Green flag approx. 7:42 p.m. ET) -- NBCSN (Radio: Performance Racing Network, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio Channel 90).
THIS WEEK: The 22nd of 33 races on the season, the series makes its second trip to Bristol. ... This will be the 75th series race at the track dating back to the inaugural season of 1982. ... While Kyle Busch has dominated the series at the track (and many others), races here have been a showcase for up-and-coming drivers in recent years, with Ryan Preece winning the race last spring and Christopher Bell, Ryan Blaney, Erik Jones and Austin Dillon among young winners back to 2014. ... Cup regular Kyle Larson won this race last season. ... Austin Cindric won from the pole at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course last week. ... *Tyler Reddick leads the Xfinity standings with 929 points, followed by *Bell (901), *Cole Custer (824), Justin Allgaier (773), *Cindric (746), *Chase Briscoe (703), Noah Gragson (702), Justin Haley (658), *Michael Annett (657) and John Hunter Nemechek (613).
*Denotes race winner and playoff berth. Standings per NASCAR.com.
NASCAR GANDER OUTDOORS TRUCK SERIES: UNOH 200 (200 laps, 106.6 miles around a .533-mile oval), Bristol Motor Speedway; Bristol, Tenn.
TV: Thursday, 8:30 p.m. ET (Green flag approx. 8:42 p.m. ET) -- Fox (Radio: Motor Racing Network, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio Channel 90).
THIS WEEK: The playoffs are starting and the Trucks are in their second week of four straight and making their only trip of the season to Bristol, where the wrecks are frequent and the bad feelings last a while. ... This will be the 22nd race at the track dating back to the series' inception in 1995. ... Johnny Sauter won this race last year. ... Austin Hill held off Sheldon Creed to win Saturday at Michigan. ... This will be the 17th of 23 races this season and the first of the seven-race playoffs, an elimination format for the eight drivers in the postseason. ... Brett Moffitt leads the Truck standings (2,022 points) followed by Grant Enfinger (2,019), Stewart Friesen (2,014), Hill (2,012), Ross Chastain (2,012), Matt Crafton (2,011), Johnny Sauter (2,009) and Tyler Ankrum rounding out the elite eight vying for the championship.
*Denotes race winner and advancement to the next round of the playoffs. Standings per NASCAR.com.
NTT INDYCAR SERIES: ABC SUPPLY 500 (200 laps, 500 miles around a 2.5-mile three-turn triangular oval), Pocono Raceway; Long Pond, Pa.
TV: Sunday, 2 p.m. ET (approx. green flag 2:05 p.m. ET) -- NBCSN (Radio: Advance Auto Parts INDYCAR Radio Network, Sirius 214, XM 209, IndyCar.com, indycarradio.com and on the INDYCAR Mobile app).
THIS WEEK: The series is back at Pocono Raceway for its 14th of 17 races on the season and first of three straight weekends on the track. ... The series has raced here since 2013 and this will be the seventh race at the track. The defunct CART open-wheel series raced at Pocono nine times with winners that included legends such as Mario Andretti, Rick Mears, Bobby Unser, Bobby Rahal, Danny Sullivan and Teo Fabi. ... Alexander Rossi won this race last season. ... Scott Dixon won the race at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course three weeks ago to help tighten up the championship race. ... American Josef Newgarden leads the standings (504 points), followed by American Rossi (488), France's Simon Pagenaud (457), New Zealand's Dixon (442) and Australia's Will Power (356) rounding out the top five.
Standings per INDYCAR.com.
THIS WEEK: The long summer break continues after 12 of 21 races this season, with F1 racing resuming at the Belgian Grand Prix on Sept. 1. ... Great Britain's Lewis Hamilton got more breathing room in the championship race with a win in Hungary two weeks ago. ... Barring an injury, the championship will be Hamilton's running away as he has already built a 62-point lead just past the halfway mark. ... Great Britain's Hamilton leads the standings with 250 points in his Mercedes, with Finland's Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes, second (188), followed by Belgium's Max Verstappen, Red Bull (181), Germany's Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari (156), and Monaco's Charles Leclerc, Ferrari (132).
Standings per F1.com.
NATIONAL HOT ROD ASSOCIATION: LUCAS OIL NHRA NATIONALS, Friday-Sunday, at Brainerd International Raceway; Brainerd, Minn.
TV: Eliminations, Sunday, 2 p.m. ET (live) FS1
THIS WEEK: The sport heads to Minnesota for the Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals for the 17th of 24 races this season. ... This is a key race as teams get ready for the "Big Go," the U.S. Nationals over Labor Day weekend in Indianapolis. With Brainerd being a track that often offers the same conditions as Indy, drivers and teams will be paying close attention to how to best dial in their cars. The Pro Stock divisions are sitting this one out, leaving all the fun to Top Fuel and Funny Car. ... Winners at Pacific Raceways outside Seattle two weeks ago were Austin Prock in Top Fuel, John Force in Funny Car and Matt Hartford in Pro Stock. Pro Stock Motorcycle had the weekend off. ... Steve Torrence leads the Top Fuel standings (1,587 points), followed by Antron Brown (966), Clay Millican (955), Brittany Force (953) and Doug Kalitta (940) rounding out the top five. ... Robert Hight leads Funny Car (1,341), followed by John Force (1,155), Tommy Johnson Jr. (1,117), Ron Capps (1,057) and Jack Beckman (1,039). ... Bo Butner is on top in Pro Stock (815), followed by Greg Anderson (769), Alex Laughlin (742), Hartford (679) and Jason Line (644). ... Andrew Hines leads Pro Stock Motorcycle (967), followed by Eddie Krawiec (770), Matt Smith (712), Hector Arana Jr. (658) and Karen Stoffer (452).
Standings per NHRA.com.
--By K. Lee Davis, Field Level Media