MONSTER ENERGY NASCAR CUP SERIES: BIG MACHINE VODKA 400 (160 laps, 400 miles around a 2.5-mile quad oval), Indianapolis Motor Speedway; Indianapolis.
TV: Sunday, 2 p.m. ET (Green flag approx. 2:20 p.m. ET) - NBCSN (Radio: The Indianapolis Motor Speedway Radio Network).
THIS WEEK: One of NASCAR's signature races will run for the second time in September, and a win at The Brickyard is still one of the most coveted in the sport. ... The 2.5-mile quad oval is tailor-made for great racing with open-wheel cars, but NASCAR has been a bit of a slog there and attendance has dwindled from more than 200,000 to less than 50,000 in recent years. ... But the list of winners is largely a who's-who of NASCAR royalty, and being the final race before the playoffs begin, a win would be important to many. ... This will be the 26th of 36 races on the season, and this is the 26th running of the race at Indy. ... Brad Keselowski won the race last season. ... Erik Jones notched his first win of the season Sunday at Darlington. ... With one race to go, 14 of the 16 playoff spots have been claimed. ... Seven-time champion Jimmie Johnson is 18th in the standings and is 18 points out of the playoffs, behind Daniel Suarez and Ryan Newman, who are tied at 16th. If there's a first-time winner at Indy from outside the top 14 that is not Suarez, Newman, or 15th-place Clint Bowyer, they are all in danger of missing the playoffs. ... *Kyle Busch leads the Cup standings with 983 points, followed by *Joey Logano (919), *Denny Hamlin (877), *Kevin Harvick (864), *Martin Truex Jr. (862), *Keselowski (832), *Kurt Busch (790), *Chase Elliott (780), Kyle Larson (714) and Ryan Blaney (710) rounding out the top 10. *Alex Bowman (675), *Jones (694), William Byron (683) and Aric Almirola (674) are 11th-14th and now locked into the playoffs. Bowyer (625), Suarez (617), Newman (617) and Johnson (599) are 15th through 18th respectively and fighting it out for the final two spots.
BEST BETS: Kyle Busch is the favorite again, this time at 3/1, followed by Harvick and Hamlin at 6/1. Truex and Jones are 8/1. Keselowski and Logano are 10/1, with Larson at 12/1. Johnson has won this race four times and is 60/1. Newman won at the Brickyard in 2013 and is 8/1 on Sunday.
*Denotes race winner and playoff berth. Standings per NASCAR.com.
NASCAR XFINITY SERIES: INDIANA 250 (100 laps, 250 miles around a 2.5-mile quad oval), Indianapolis Motor Speedway; Indianapolis.
TV: Saturday, 4 p.m. ET (Green flag approx. 4:20 p.m. ET) - NBCSN (Radio: The Indianapolis Motor Speedway Radio Network).
THIS WEEK: The 25th of 33 races on the season, the series is set to run its eighth race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. ... There are two races left for the Xfinity full-timers in the regular season before the playoffs begin at Richmond on Sept. 20, with 12 drivers in the playoffs. ... Justin Allgaier won this race last year as a full-time Xfinity driver and William Byron did the same in 2017. ... Cole Custer won Saturday's race at Darlington. ... *Tyler Reddick leads the standings with 1,062 points, followed by *Christopher Bell (1,011), *Custer (926), Allgaier (890), *Austin Cindric (858), *Chase Briscoe (829), Noah Gragson (801), *Michael Annett (745), Justin Haley (735) and John Hunter Nemechek (682) rounding out the top 10. Brandon Jones is 11th (669) and Ryan Sieg is 12th (647) with Sieg's nearest pursuer 119 points back.
*Denotes race winner and playoff berth. Standings per NASCAR.com.
NASCAR GANDER OUTDOORS TRUCK SERIES
THIS WEEK: The Trucks are taking their second of two weekends off after 18 of 23 races on the season and one race to go in the Round of 8. ... Seven drivers are vying to be in the Round of 6 with Brett Moffitt already punching his ticket with wins in each of the last two races. ... The next race is at Las Vegas on Sept. 13. ... *Moffitt leads the Truck standings (2,135 points) followed by Ross Chastain (2,113), Stewart Friesen (2,091), Matt Crafton (2,090), Austin Hill (2,089), Grant Enfinger (2,087), Johnny Sauter (2,085), and Tyler Ankrum (2,073) rounding out the eight drivers vying for the championship.
*Denotes race winner in this playoff round and playoff advancement. Standings per NASCAR.com.
NTT INDYCAR SERIES
THIS WEEK: The series takes its final two weekends off before running the double-points race on the Laguna Seca road course in Monterey, Calif., on Sept. 22. ... For the 14th consecutive season, the championship will be decided in the final race. ... Will Power won Sunday in Portland, but is out of the championship picture. ... American Josef Newgarden leads the standings (593 points), followed by American Alexander Rossi (552), France's Simon Pagenaud (551), New Zealand's Scott Dixon (508) and Australia's Power (469) rounding out the top five. A maximum of 108 points is on the line at Laguna Seca.
Standings per INDYCAR.com.
FORMULA ONE: ITALIAN GRAND PRIX (53 laps, 190.8 miles around a 3.6-mile 11-turn permanent road course), Autodromo Nazionale Monza; Monza, Italy.
TV: Sunday, 9 a.m. ET (Green flag approx. 9:10 a.m. ET) - ESPN2 (Radio: SiriusXM Radio Channel 132).
THIS WEEK: With Charles Leclerc winning Sunday at Spa, the championship battle between tilted even further in Lewis Hamilton's favor after he finished second and his nearest pursuer, teammate Valtteri Bottas finished third. ... The Italian Grand Prix is the 14th of 21 races this season and the last in Europe proper, with the closest remaining race in Sochi, Russia, on Sept. 29. ... Monza is a long flowing race course with hills and four long turns broken up by seven sharp ones. Grip is low. ... This will be the 89th Italian Grand Prix at the track. ... Hamilton won this race last year. ... Great Britain's Hamilton leads the standings with 268 points in his Mercedes, with Finland's Bottas, Mercedes, second (203), followed by Belgium's Max Verstappen, Red Bull (181), Germany's Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari (169), and Monaco's Leclerc, Ferrari (157).
Standings per F1.com.
NATIONAL HOT ROD ASSOCIATION
THIS WEEK: The "Big Go" in Indianapolis settled the playoff picture and now the NHRA takes a week off before heading to Maple Grove Raceway in Mohnton, Pa., next week to start the Countdown to the Championship, which will be the 19th of 24 events on the season. ... Winners at the U.S. Nationals over Labor Day weekend were Doug Kalitta in Top Fuel, John Force in Funny Car, Alex Laughlin in Pro Stock and Jerry Savoie in Pro Stock Motorcycle. ... All four classes are in action for the remaining six events of the season. ... Steve Torrence leads the Top Fuel standings (2,100 points), followed by Kalitta (2,080), Antron Brown (2,070), Brittany Force (2,060), Mike Salinas (2,050), Clay Millican (2,040), Leah Pritchett (2,030), Austin Prock (2,020, Richie Crampton (2,010) and Billy Torrence (2,000) through to the playoffs. ... Robert Hight leads Funny Car (2,100), followed by Force (2,080), Tommy Johnson Jr. (2,070), Jack Beckman (2,060), Ron Capps (2,050), Matt Hagan (2,040), Bob Tasca III (2,030), J.R. Todd (2,020), Shawn Langdon (2,010) and Tim Wilkerson (2,000). ... Bo Butner is on top in Pro Stock (2,100), followed by Laughlin (2,080), Jason Line (2,070), Greg Anderson (2,060), Erica Enders (2,050), Deric Kramer (2,040), Matt Hartford (2,030), Jeg Coughlin Jr. (2,020), Chris McGaha (2,010) and Val Smeland (2,000). ... Andrew Hines leads Pro Stock Motorcycle (2,100), followed by Eddie Krawiec (2,080), Matt Smith (2,070), Hector Arana Jr. (2,060), Jerry Savoie (2,050), Karen Stoffer (2,040), Angie Smith (2,030), Angelle Sampey (2,020), Ryan Oehler (2,010) and Hector Arana (2,000).
Standings per NHRA.com.
--Field Level Media