MONSTER ENERGY NASCAR CUP SERIES: SOUTH POINT 400 (267 laps, 400.5 miles around a 1.5-mile D-shaped oval), Las Vegas Motor Speedway; Las Vegas.
TV: Sunday, 7 p.m. ET (Green flag approx. 7:16 p.m. ET) - NBCSN (Radio: Performance Racing Network, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio Channel 90).
THIS WEEK: The series heads to Las Vegas after the playoff field of 16 was set at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. ... Kevin Harvick won Sunday at Indy, his third victory of the season and third in seven races. ... Ryan Newman squeezed into the playoffs ahead of Daniel Suarez at Indy. ... Seven-time champion Jimmie Johnson missed NASCAR's playoffs for the first time in his career, coming in 18th in the regular season. ... The playoffs start at Las Vegas, the second time the speedway has had two races in a season and this will be the 24th race there, the first coming in 1998. ... The 1.5-mile D-shaped oval is often branded as a "cookie-cutter" track, following the formula of so many of the newer tracks in NASCAR, so drivers with success this season on similar tracks should be expected to fare well here, and that includes playoff drivers Brad Keselowski, Joey Logano, Denny Hamlin, Martin Truex Jr., Alex Bowman, and Kurt Busch. ... Logano won the race at Las Vegas in March. ... This is the 27th race of 36 on the season and the first of the three-race Round of 16, where the bottom four drivers in the standings after the race at Charlotte Motor Speedway's road-course on Sept. 29 will be eliminated from contention. A win automatically propels the victor into the next round of the playoffs. ... Kyle Busch leads the Cup standings with 2,045 points, followed by Hamlin (2,030), Truex (2,029), Harvick (2,028), Logano (2,028), Keselowski (2,024), Chase Elliott (2,018), Kurt Busch (2,011), Bowman (2,005), Erik Jones (2,005), Kyle Larson (2,005), Ryan Blaney (2,004), William Byron (2,001) Aric Almirola (2,001), Clint Bowyer (2,000) and Newman (2,000) rounding out the playoff field.
BEST BETS: Kyle Busch is the favorite at 9/2, followed by Kevin Harvick and Brad Keselowski at 5/1. Joey Logano is 6/1. Martin Truex Jr. and Denny Hamlin are 8/1. Kurt Busch is a bargain at 25/1, and Ryan Newman is worth a flyer at 100/1.
Standings per NASCAR.com.
NASCAR XFINITY SERIES: RHINO PRO TRUCK OUTFITTERS 300 (200 laps, 300 miles around a 1.5-mile D-shaped oval), Las Vegas Motor Speedway; Las Vegas.
TV: Saturday, 7:30 p.m. ET (Green flag approx. 7:48 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 is ready to settle its playoff picture before the Round of 12 begins next Friday at Richmond, the question being can a surprise first-time winner vault into the playoffs? ... This will be the 25th series race at the track, and the second time a race has been held at Vegas for the second time in a season. ... Ross Chastain won this race last season and full-time Cup regular Kyle Busch won in March. ... Busch also won at Indy, but is not running at Vegas as Cup drivers are barred from participating the rest of the season. ... Cole Custer, Tyler Reddick and Christopher Bell are the Xfinity regulars to win on a 1.5-mile track such as Las Vegas this season. ... The playoffs field of 12 is all but set with Ryan Seig holding down 12th, 124 points ahead of 13th-place Gray Gaulding. But a first-time winner could get in and boot whoever is 12th in points out. ... *Reddick leads the standings with 1,078 points, followed by *Bell (1,028), *Custer (965), Justin Allgaier (940), *Austin Cindric (877), *Chase Briscoe (864), Noah Gragson (843), *Michael Annett (770), Justin Haley (770) and Brandon Jones (716) rounding out the top 10. John Hunter Nemechek (688) is 11th, with Sieg in 12th (676) holding the final playoff spot.
*Denotes race winner and playoff berth. Standings per NASCAR.com.
NASCAR GANDER OUTDOORS TRUCK SERIES: LAS VEGAS 350 (134 laps, 201 miles around a 1.5-mile D-shaped oval), Las Vegas Motor Speedway; Las Vegas.
TV: Friday, 9 p.m. ET (Green flag approx. 9:18 p.m. ET) - FS1 (Radio: Motor Racing Network, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio Channel 90).
THIS WEEK: The Trucks are back for race 19 of 23 on the season and two races to go in the Round of 8, kicking off a NASCAR triple-header weekend in Las Vegas. ... 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 at Talladega looms as the cutoff on Oct. 12. ... Grant Enfinger won this race last season, with Kyle Busch winning in March, but Busch and other full-time Cup drivers are not allowed to race in the Trucks playoffs. ... *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), 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 weekend 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 two weeks ago 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.
THIS WEEK: Charles Leclerc made it two in a row with a victory in the Italian Grand Prix on Sunday, thrilling the Ferrari faithful. ... The series takes a week off before heading to Asia for the Singapore Grand Prix for the 15th of 21 races on the season. ... Great Britain's Lewis Hamilton leads the standings with 284 points in his Mercedes, with Finland's Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes, second (221), followed by Belgium's Max Verstappen, Red Bull (185), Monaco's Leclerc, Ferrari (182) and Germany's Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari (169).
Standings per F1.com.
NATIONAL HOT ROD ASSOCIATION: MOPAR EXPRESS LANE NHRA NATIONALS, Thursday-Sunday, at Maple Grove Raceway; Mohnton, Pa.
TV: Eliminations, Sunday, 2 p.m.-5 p.m. ET (live) FS1
THIS WEEK: It's time for the playoffs - the Countdown to the Championship in the NHRA - to begin, and that means Maple Grove Raceway in Mohnton, Pa. ... All 10 drivers who qualified for the playoffs in each class will vie for the championship, with none eliminated along the way, so it's a six-event sprint to the title now that the points have reset. ... This is 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 Clay Millican (2,080), Tony Schumacher (2,070), Leah Pritchett (2,060), Doug Kalitta (2,050), Terry McMillen (2,040), Antron Brown (2,040), Brittany Force (2,020), Mike Salinas (2,010), and Scott Palmer (2,000) to start the 10-driver playoffs. ... Courtney Force leads Funny Car (2,100), followed by Matt Hagan (2,080), Robert Hight (2,070), Ron Capps (2,060), Todd (2,050), Jack Beckman (2,040), Tommy Johnson Jr. (2,030), Shawn Langdon (2,020), John Force (2,010) and Tim Wilkerson (2,000). ... Gray leads Pro Stock (2,100) followed by Greg Anderson (2,080), Erica Enders (2,070), Jeg Coughlin Jr. (2,060), Vincent Nobile (2,050), Deric Kramer (2,040), Drew Skillman (2,030), Jason Line (2,020), Bo Butner (2,010), Chris McGaha (2,000). ... Eddie Krawiec leads Pro Stock Motorcycle (2,100), followed by Andrew Hines (2,080), Tonglet (2,070), Hector Arana Jr. (2,060), Jerry Savoie (2,050), Matt Smith (2,040), Scotty Pollacheck (2,030), Steve Johnson (2,020), Angie Smith (2,010) and Angelle Sampey (2,000).
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
--K. Lee Davis