MONSTER ENERGY NASCAR CUP SERIES: GEICO 500 (188 laps, 500.1 miles around a 2.66-mile D-shaped oval), Talladega Superspeedway; Lincoln, Ala.
TV: Sunday, 2 p.m. ET (Green flag approx. 2:20 p.m. ET) -- Fox (Radio: Motor Racing Network, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio Channel 90).
THIS WEEK: The 10th of 36 races on the season after a week off for the traditional Easter break, the Cup series enters one of its most prominent events and the second of four points-paying superspeedway races where it will use a tapered spacer (no longer a restrictor plate) to keep speeds in check. ... The spacer is used to reduce air intake into the engine and reduce power so the cars can safely navigate the high-banked track. ... Bill Elliott set the track record of 212.809 mph in qualifying in 1987 before the use of restrictor plates. NASCAR tries to keep speeds around 200 mph due to safety concerns. ... Martin Truex Jr. won his first race of the season two weeks ago at Richmond. ... Eventual champion Joey Logano won here last spring, and Aric Almirola in the fall. ... This will be the 100th race at Talladega, a track first opened in 1969. ... *Kyle Busch leads the Cup standings with 400 points, followed by *Logano (380), *Denny Hamlin (366), Kevin Harvick (349), *Brad Keselowski (313), *Truex (311), Kurt Busch (287), Clint Bowyer (280), Ryan Blaney (277) and Chase Elliott (267) rounding out the top 10.
BEST BETS: Penske Racing Ford teammates Logano and Keselowski are the co-favorites at 8/1, followed closely by Stewart-Haas Racing Ford teammates Clint Bowyer and Kevin Harvick at 10/1. At a track where anybody can realistically win, there are plenty of good long shots to be had, but look for Ford drivers, as the Mustang seems to be producing the most horsepower this season. Darrell Wallace Jr. -- who has raced well at the superspeedways -- at 80/1 may be too good to pass up.
NASCAR XFINITY SERIES: MONEYLION 300 (113 laps, 300.6 miles around a 2.66-mile D-shaped oval), Talladega Superspeedway; Lincoln, Ala.
TV: Saturday, 1 p.m. ET (Green flag approx. 1:18 p.m. ET) -- FS1 (Radio: Motor Racing Network, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio Channel 90).
THIS WEEK: The ninth of 33 races on the season, the drivers go from a short track at Richmond to the mammoth Talladega Superspeedway and the use of tapered spacers on the engines. ... This will be the 28th series race at Talladega. ... Cole Custer won at Richmond, the second win of the season for the 21-year-old Stewart-Haas Racing driver. ... Spencer Gallagher won this race last year. ... Tyler Reddick leads the Xfinity standings with 362 points, followed by *Christopher Bell (338), *Custer (333), Austin Cindric (299), Justin Allgaier (275), John Hunter Nemechek (263), *Michael Annett (262), Chase Briscoe (255), Ryan Seig (253) and Noah Gragson (246).
NASCAR GANDER OUTDOORS TRUCK SERIES
THIS WEEK: The Trucks are in the last of a five-week hiatus, returning May 3 at Dover International Speedway in Dover, Del., after running five of 23 races. ... Kyle Busch has won four of the five series races so far. ... Stewart Friesen leads the Truck standings (200 points), followed by Grant Enfinger (194), Ben Rhodes (184), Johnny Sauter (178), Brett Moffitt (174), Matt Crafton (171), *Austin Hill (151), Todd Gilliland (149), Harrison Burton (148) and Sheldon Creed (133).
NTT INDYCAR SERIES
THIS WEEK: The series is taking a break after four of 17 races this season, having last raced at Long Beach, Calif., two weeks ago. ... They are next on the track at Indianapolis Motor Speedway to run the road course for the IndyCar Grand Prix on May 11. ... American Alexander Rossi won at Long Beach, the fourth different winner in as many races this season. ... American Josef Newgarden leads the standings with 166 points, followed by Rossi (138), New Zealand's Scott Dixon (133), Japan's Takuma Sato (116) and American Ryan Hunter-Reay (96) rounding out the top five.
Standings per INDYCAR.com.
FORMULA ONE: AZERBAIJAN GRAND PRIX (51 laps, 190.23 miles around a 20-turn, 3.73-mile temporary street circuit), Baku City Circuit; Baku, Azerbaijan.
TV: Sunday, 8 a.m. ET (Green flag approx. 8:10 a.m. ET) -- ESPN2 (Radio: SiriusXM Radio Channel 132).
THIS WEEK: The fourth race of 21 this season, the Azerbaijan Grand Prix is relatively new, this being just the third time the race has been held, though the city hosted the European Grand Prix in 2016. ... A temporary street circuit, F1 star architect Hermann Tilke brought the track to Grade 1 standards. ... At 3.73 miles, Baku is the second-longest circuit on the schedule. ... Great Britain's Lewis Hamilton won two weeks ago at the Chinese Grand Prix, his second in a row, and he has won two straight at Baku. ... Hamilton leads the standings with 68 points in his Mercedes, followed by Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes (44 points), Belgium's Max Verstappen, Red Bull (39), Germany's Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari (37) and Monaco's Charles Leclerc, Ferrari (36).
Standings per F1.com.
NATIONAL HOT ROD ASSOCIATION: NGK SPARK PLUGS NHRA FOUR-WIDE NATIONALS, Friday-Sunday, at zMAX Dragway; Concord, N.C.
TV: Eliminations, Sunday, 6-9 p.m. ET (Delayed) FS1
THIS WEEK: The NHRA heads to its second four-wide event of the season, but this one outside Charlotte is the original. Drivers are coming off the NHRA Spring Nationals near Houston, won by Brittany Force in Top Fuel, Robert Hight in Funny Car and Tanner Grey in Pro Stock. Pro Stock Motorcycle is back this week. ... Winners of this event last year were Steve Torrence in Top Fuel, Cruz Pedregon in Funny Car, Erica Enders in Pro Stock and Jerry Savoie in Pro Stock Motorcycle. ... Doug Kalitta leads the Top Fuel standings (367 points), followed by Force (349), Torrence (343), Mike Salinas (320) and Leah Pritchett (303) rounding out the top five. ... Hight leads Funny Car (476), followed by Matt Hagan (366), J.R. Todd (341), John Force (339) and Jack Beckman (332). ... Bo Butner is on top in Pro Stock (425), followed by Alex Laughlin (285), Matt Hartford (284), Jason Line (261) and Enders (239). ... Andrew Hines leads Pro Stock Motorcycle (201), followed by Hector Arana Jr. (198), Eddie Krawiec (188), Matt Smith (170) and Jerry Savoie (105).
Standings per NHRA.com.
--K. Lee Davis, Field Level Media