Mon, 06 Dec 2021

Auto Racing Glance

Field Level Media
20 Oct 2021, 04:40 GMT+10

NASCAR CUP SERIES: HOLLYWOOD CASINO 400 (267 laps, 400.5 miles around a 1.5-mile D-shaped oval), Kansas Speedway; Kansas City, Kan.

TV: Sunday, 3 p.m. ET (Green flag approx. 3:16 p.m. ET) -- NBCSN (Radio: Motor Racing Network, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio Channel 90).

THIS WEEK: Kyle Larson is the hottest driver in the sport and punched his ticket into the championship race with a win at Texas -- his second in as many weeks -- and he's the heavy favorite to win at Kansas, a not-quite-clone of Texas. How does Larson feel about being able to relax the next two races knowing he's already in the finale? "Yeah, it's awesome," he said. "I mean, we had a good points lead or whatever from the cutoff going into it, but still, you know, (Kevin) Harvick had his issues last year and didn't make the Final Four. That will always be on my mind. ... I wanted to play it smart and take what I could get. I got good shots from behind me every restart and allowed me to get clear into [Turn] 1 every time and then do some blocking for a few laps." ... Contenders Martin Truex Jr. and Joey Logano faltered at Texas, finishing 25th and 30th, respectively. Truex was involved in an accident and Logano's engine imploded late in the race. ... Now it's on to Kansas for the 34th race of 36 on the year and the 32nd at the track dating to 2001. Kyle Busch won the lone race here last year. ... A win at Kansas, or Martinsville the following week, gets a driver into the Championship race at Phoenix on Nov. 7. As many as three drivers will make the Phoenix final four on points. ... Larson leads the points with 4,123, followed by Ryan Blaney (4,072), Denny Hamlin (4,064), Busch (4,063), Chase Elliott (4,055), Brad Keselowski (4,048), Truex (4,041) and Logano (4,020).

BEST BETS: Kyle Larson comes in at 12/5, with Denny Hamlin at 11/2, Kyle Busch at 6/1, Chase Elliott at 8/1 and William Byron at 9/1 as the group at better than 10/1. If you want a long shot, Chase Briscoe at 100/1 is a solid choice.

Standings per

NASCAR XFINITY SERIES: KANSAS LOTTERY 300 (200 laps, 300 miles around a 1.5-mile D-shaped oval), Kansas Speedway; Kansas City, Kan.

TV: Saturday, 3 p.m. ET (Green flag approx. 3:16 p.m. ET) - NBC (Radio: Motor Racing Network, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio Channel 90).

THIS WEEK: John Hunter Nemechek came up from the Truck series and spoiled the party at Texas, dominating on his way to the win. ... That leaves eight drivers looking for a win or even a good finish at Kansas to stay in the hunt for a berth in the championship race in two weeks. ... Any current playoff driver with a win over the next two weeks makes that championship race, and that means two will have to make the final four on points. ... This will be the 31st of 33 races on the season and the 22nd held at the track, the first coming in 2001. ... Brandon Jones won here last summer, with Chase Briscoe winning last fall. ... AJ Allmendinger leads the points (3,090), followed by Austin Cindric (3,086), Justin Allgaier (3,064), Noah Gragson (3,062), Daniel Hemric (3,060), Justin Haley (3,056), Harrison Burton (3,041) and Jones (3,030).

Standings per


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), 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


NEXT: 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.

FORMULA ONE: UNITED STATES GRAND PRIX (56 laps, 190.4 miles around a 3.40-mile 20-turn permanent road course), Circuit of the Americas; Austin, Texas.

TV: Sunday, 3 p.m. ET (Green flag approx. 3:10 p.m. ET) - ABC (Radio: SiriusXM Radio Channel 132).

THIS WEEK: Valtteri Bottas won easily in Turkey two weeks ago and he won last time the U.S. Grand Prix was contested in 2019. ... Texas was once Lewis Hamilton's track, as he won five of the first six races held here, but he hasn't won since 2017. ... This will be the ninth race at the track and the 17th of 22 races on the season. ... Belgium's Max 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


THIS WEEK: The series takes a week off after the fifth of seven playoff events last week at Bristol, Tenn., before the penultimate event Halloween weekend in Las Vegas. ... Winners at Thunder Valley on Sunday were Mike Salinas in Top Fuel, Alexis DeJoria in Funny Car and Angelle Sampey in Pro Stock Motorcycle. Pro Stock had the weekend off. ... Steve Torrence leads Top Fuel (2,575 points), followed by Brittany Force (2,502) and Justin Ashley (2,428). ... Ron Capps leads Funny Car (2,490), followed by Matt Hagan (2,489) and J.R. Todd (2,407). ... Greg Anderson (2,520) leads Pro Stock, followed by Erica Enders (2,439) and Dallas Glenn (2,337). ... Matt Smith (2,451) leads Pro Stock Motorcycle, followed by Sampey (2,426) and Steve Johnson (2,395).

Standings per

--By K. Lee Davis, Field Level Media

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