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: Thisis the 29th of 36 races on the season and the third race of NASCAR's 10-race Cup playoffs, with Kevin Harvick winning the opener at Darlington and Brad Keselowski winning last week at Richmond. ... The Bristol night race is one of the most 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 120th series race at the track dating back to 1961, with Denny Hamlin winning the night race last year. Keselowski won the race here earlier this season. ... 16 drivers are in the playoffs, and they have this race to join Harvick and Keselowski in the Round of 12. It's win and advance or finish inside the top 12 in points among the winless drivers. ... Harvick leads the points (2,143), followed by Hamlin (2,122), Keselowski (2,112), Joey Logano (2,109), Martin Truex Jr. (2,096), Austin Dillon (2,094), Chase Elliott (2,086), Alex Bowman (2,085), Kyle Busch (2,076), Aric Almirola (2,065), Kurt Busch (2,065), Clint Bowyer (2,061), William Byron (2,058), Cole Custer (2,053), Matt DiBenedetto (2,036) and Ryan Blaney (2,034).
Denotes playoffs race win and advancement to the next round. Standings per NASCAR.com.
BEST BETS: Denny Hamlin and Chase Elliott are coming in at 9/2, with Kyle Busch and Brad Keselowski at 6/1 and Joey Logano at 7/1. Kevin Harvick hasn't been as low as 8/1 in months, and Martin Truex Jr. is a steal at 18/1. If you have to have a long shot, Aric Almirola at 40/1 along with William Byron and Austin Dillon at 60/1 are good choices.
NASCAR XFINITY SERIES: FOOD CITY 300 (300 laps, 159.9 miles around a .533-mile oval), Bristol Motor Speedway; Bristol, Tenn.
TV: Friday, 7 p.m. ET (Green flag approx. 7:12 p.m. ET) -- NBCSN (Radio: Performance Racing Network, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio Channel 90).
THIS WEEK: The 26th of 33 races on the season, the series makes its second trip to Bristol. ... This will be the 77th series race at the track dating back to the inaugural season of 1982. ... Races here have been a showcase for up-and-coming drivers in recent years, with Noah Gragson, Ryan Preece, Christopher Bell, Ryan Blaney, Erik Jones and Austin Dillon among young winners back to 2014. ... Tyler Reddick won here last September, with Gragson winning the race earlier this year. ... This is the last race left for the Xfinity full-timers in the regular season before the playoffs begin at Las Vegas on Sept. 26. ... 12 drivers qualify for the Xfinity playoffs, and if you win you're in. No driver outside the top 12 in points has won yet this season. ... Justin Allgaier swept the two races at Richmond last weekend. ... Austin Cindric (1,085) leads the standings, followed by Chase Briscoe (1,014), Ross Chastain (1,011), Gragson (953), Justin Haley (879), Allgaier (866), Harrison Burton (855), Michael Annett (769), Brandon Jones (758), Riley Herbst (644), Ryan Seig (616) and Brandon Brown (537) comprising the top 12. Every other driver likely needs to win to get in the playoffs.
Denotes race winner and playoff berth. Standings per NASCAR.com.
NASCAR GANDER MOUNTAIN TRUCK SERIES: UNOH 200 (200 laps, 106.6 miles around a .533-mile oval), Bristol Motor Speedway; Bristol, Tenn.
TV: Thursday, 7:30 p.m. ET (Green flag approx. 7:42 p.m. ET) -- FS1 (Radio: Motor Racing Network, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio Channel 90).
THIS WEEK: The playoffs are starting with the trucks making their only trip of the season to Bristol, where the wrecks are frequent and the bad feelings last awhile. ... This will be the 23rd race at the track dating back to the series' inception in 1995. ... Brett Moffitt won this race last year. ... Grant Enfinger won last week at Richmond. ... This will be the 17th of 23 races this season and the first of the seven-race playoffs, featuring 10 drivers to start things off, with one getting eliminated each week before the final four race for the championship at Phoenix on Nov. 6. ... Sheldon Creed leads the Truck points (2,026), followed by Zane Smith (2,022), Austin Hill (2,022), Enfinger (2,019), Brett Moffitt (2,015), Ben Rhodes (2,014), Matt Crafton (2,009), Christian Eckes (2,005), Todd Gilliland (2,003) and Tyler Ankrum (2,002).
Standings per NASCAR.com.
NTT INDYCAR SERIES
THIS WEEK: The American open-wheel set takes three weeks off before returning to Indianapolis Motor Speedway's infield road course for a doubleheader on Oct. 2-3, with the season finale on the street course at St. Petersburg, Fla., on Oct. 25. ... Will Power broke a long losing streak with a win last Saturday at Mid-Ohio, with Colton Herta winning the race Sunday. ... Scott Dixon is ahead in the standings with 456 points, followed by Josef Newgarden (384), Pato O'Ward (338), Herta (327) and Power (306).
Stats and standings per IndyCar.com.
THIS WEEK: Lewis Hamilton is making the championship race all but academic with another win last week, this time at the inaugural Tuscan Grand Prix in Italy, nearly five seconds ahead of teammate and second-place finisher Valtteri Bottas. ... Next up for the series is a trip to Sochi, Russia, for the Russian Grand Prix on Sept. 17. ... Great Britain's Hamilton (190) leads the points in his Mercedes, with Bottas of Finland second (135), Belgian Max Verstappen (110) third in his Red Bull, with Britain's Lando Norris in his McLaren-Renault fourth (65) and Thai-British driver Alexander Albon fifth (63) in his Red Bull.
Stats and standings per F1.com.
NATIONAL HOT ROD ASSOCIATION
THIS WEEK: Shawn Langdon in Top Fuel, Jack Beckman in Funny Car, Erica Enders in Pro Stock and Scotty Pollacheck in Pro Stock Motorcycle's won two weeks ago at the U.S. Nationals in Indianapolis, the sixth event of the season. ... Next up is the Gatornationals in Gainesville, Fla., from Sept. 25-27. Five events remain on the schedule. ... Doug Kalitta leads the Top Fuel points with 492, followed by Leah Pruett (442) and Steve Torrence (432). ... Beckman leads Funny Car (517) with Matt Hagan (482) and Tommy Johnson Jr. (460) giving chase. ... Enders leads Pro Stock (453), followed by Jeg Coughlin Jr. (446) and Jason Line (442). ... Pollacheck leads Pro Stock Motorcycle (251), followed by Andrew Hines (226) and Eddie Krawiec (225).
Stats and standings per NHRA.com.
--K. Lee Davis, Field Level Media