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[August 24, 2016]  The Sports Xchange

NASCAR SPRINT CUP SERIES: PURE MICHIGAN 400 (200 laps, 400 miles), Michigan International Speedway, Brooklyn, Mich.

TV: Sunday, Aug. 28, 2 p.m. EDT -- NBCSN (Radio: Motor Racing Network/SiriusXM Channel 90).

THEN AND NOW: This will be the 95th Sprint Cup race held at Michigan International Speedway. Matt Kenseth is the defending winner of this race, while Joey Logano won the June event at MIS. Logano has won two of the past six Sprint Cup races at the track. ... Sam Hornish Jr. will fill in for Michael McDowell on Friday and Saturday in practice sessions and qualifying in the No. 95 Circle Sport-Leavine Family Racing Ford. McDowell will be racing Saturday at Road America in Wisconsin in the Xfinity Series race but will return to Michigan to drive in the Sprint Cup race Sunday. ... After the race was pushed to Sunday due to rain, Kevin Harvick won the Bass Pro Shops NRA Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway. ... An update on the condition of Dale Earnhardt Jr., who has missed the past five races with concussion-like symptoms, is expected later this week. ... A total of 12 drivers have won at least one race thus far in the first 22 races this season: Brad Keselowski (four wins), Kyle Busch (four), Carl Edwards (two), Jimmie Johnson (two), Kenseth (two), Denny Hamlin (two), Harvick (two) and one win each by Kurt Busch, Logano, Martin Truex Jr., Tony Stewart and Chris Buescher. Only three races remain for drivers to qualify for the Chase. ... With his top-five finish at Bristol, Buescher is now qualified for the Chase, having climbed into 30th position, the cut-off to be eligible for the Chase (along with at least one win, which Buescher gained a few weeks ago at Pocono). ... With his victory at Bristol, Harvick regained the Sprint Cup points lead. Harvick now has 762 points, followed by former points leader Keselowski (735 points), Kurt Busch (692), Edwards (689), Logano (684), Kyle Busch (674), Hamlin (659), Truex (630), Johnson (612) and Kenseth (604).

NASCAR XFINITY SERIES: ROAD AMERICA 180 FIRED UP BY JOHNSONVILLE (45 laps, 182.16 miles), Road America, Elkhart Lake, Wis.

TV: Saturday, Aug. 27, 3 p.m. EDT -- NBCSN (Radio: Motor Racing Network/SiriusXM Channel 90).

THEN AND NOW: Saturday will mark the seventh time the Xfinity Series has raced at the 4.028-mile road course. Wisconsin native Paul Menard won this race last year, preceded by wins by Brendan Gaughan in 2014 and AJ Allmendinger in 2013. ... Austin Dillon won the most recent Xfinity race, last Friday at Bristol. ... Winners of the first 22 Xfinity Series races this season have been Chase Elliott (Daytona), Kyle Busch (Atlanta, Las Vegas, Phoenix, Texas, Kentucky, New Hampshire and Indianapolis), Dillon (Fontana, Bristol), Erik Jones (Bristol, Dover and Iowa), Dale Earnhardt Jr. (Richmond), Elliott Sadler (Talladega), Denny Hamlin (Charlotte), Kyle Larson (Pocono), Daniel Suarez (Michigan), Sam Hornish Jr. (Iowa), Aric Almirola (Daytona), Joey Logano (Watkins Glen) and Justin Marks (Mid-Ohio). ... Sadler (737 points) remains No. 1 in the Xfinity Series point standings. Suarez (686) is second, followed by Justin Allgaier (685), Ty Dillon (684), Gaughan (667), Erik Jones (657), Brennan Poole (631), Brandon Jones (627), Darrell Wallace Jr. (574) and Ryan Reed (532).

NASCAR CAMPING WORLD TRUCK SERIES: CAREERS FOR VETERANS 200 (100 laps, 200 miles), Michigan International Speedway, Brooklyn, Mich.

TV: Saturday, Aug. 27, 1 p.m. EDT -- Fox Sports 1 (Radio: Motor Racing Network/SiriusXM Channel 90).

THEN AND NOW: This will be the 17th Truck Series race held at Michigan. ... Kyle Busch won this race last season, his first career Truck Series win at MIS. Johnny Sauter won there in 2014, and James Buescher captured the event in 2013. ... Ben Kennedy, great-grandson of NASCAR founder Bill France Sr. and son of International Speedway Corp. CEO Lesa France Kennedy, won his first NASCAR race in last Wednesday's Truck Series race at Bristol. ... There have been seven winners thus far this season: Sauter (Daytona), John Hunter Nemechek (Atlanta), Kyle Busch (Martinsville), William Byron (Kansas, Michigan, Iowa, Kentucky and Pocono), Matt Crafton (Dover, Charlotte), Christopher Bell (Gateway), Kyle Larson (Eldora) and Kennedy (Bristol). ... Byron remains in the Truck Series points lead (349 points), followed by Daniel Hemric (312), Sauter (306), Timothy Peters (302), Bell (296), Crafton (295), Kennedy (287), Nemechek (281), Cole Custer (273) and Tyler Reddick (270).

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VERIZON INDYCAR SERIES: FIRESTONE 600 (248 laps, 360.8 miles), Texas Motor Speedway, Fort Worth, Texas.

TV: Saturday, Aug. 27, 9:15 p.m. EDT -- NBCSN (Radio: IndyCar Radio Network).

THEN AND NOW: Saturday's race is the resumption of the June 10 event that was red-flagged due to rain and lightning. The race will resume where it was initially stopped, on Lap 71, and is expected to fulfill its scheduled 248-lap distance (barring overtime). ... This will be the completion of the 28th IndyCar race to be held at TMS. ... Points leader Simon Pagenaud saw his 58-point lead in the standings cut to just 20 points in Monday's rain-delayed ABC Supply 500 at Pocono Raceway. Pagenaud wrecked in that race, finishing 19th of 22 drivers. Will Power remains the hottest driver in the series, earning his fourth win in the past six races -- and he was the runner-up in the other two events. ... There are three more races remaining on the 16-race schedule (Texas, Watkins Glen and Sonoma). ... This season's race winners thus far are: Juan Pablo Montoya (St. Petersburg), Scott Dixon (Phoenix), Pagenaud (Long Beach, Birmingham, Grand Prix of Indianapolis and Mid-Ohio), Alexander Rossi (Indianapolis 500), Sebastien Bourdais (Belle Isle 1), Power (Belle Isle 2, Road America, Toronto, Pocono) and Josef Newgarden (Iowa). ... Pagenaud (497 points) continues to lead the point standings, followed by Power (477), Newgarden (397), defending series champ Dixon (386) and Helio Castroneves (384).

NATIONAL HOT ROD ASSOCIATION, MELLO YELLO DRAG RACING SERIES: There is no event this weekend. The next event will be the Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals at Lucas Oil Raceway in suburban Indianapolis from Aug. 31-Sept. 5.

THEN AND NOW: The rain-delayed Top Fuel and Funny Car final round of eliminations from the race three weeks ago at Seattle was completed last weekend at Brainerd, Minn. Defending Top Fuel champ Antron Brown won his fourth race of the season and 58th of his career, defeating Steve Torrence. In Funny Car, Ron Capps earned his fifth win of the season and the 50th of his career, defeating Del Worsham (who came back two days later to win the regularly scheduled race at Brainerd). The delayed final round of Pro Stock from the Seattle race will be contested next weekend during the U.S. Nationals in suburban Indianapolis. It will pit Vincent Nobile and Aaron Strong, who will be competing in only the ninth race of his career and making his first career final-round appearance. ... The winners at Brainerd were: Brittany Force (Top Fuel), Worsham (Funny Car), Drew Skillman (Pro Stock) and Andrew Hines (Pro Stock Motorcycle). ... The U.S. Nationals on Labor Day weekend will be the 18th and final race of the regular season before the six-race Countdown to the Championship playoff begins. ... While Courtney Force, who crashed at Seattle, returned to race at Brainerd last weekend, there is still no word on the return of fellow Funny Car driver Alexis DeJoria, who sustained a fractured pelvis in a hard crash nearly a month ago in a wreck in Sonoma, Calif. ... Brown remains No. 1 in Top Fuel (1,414 points), followed by Doug Kalitta (1,257), Torrence (1,216), Brittany Force (1,161), Tony Schumacher (1,117), J.R. Todd (998), Shawn Langdon (968), Richie Crampton (840) and Clay Millican (822). All have clinched berths in the Countdown, leaving just one spot open. Battling it out in Indy for that place will be Leah Pritchett and Terry McMillen (both tied with 637 points). ... In Funny Car, Capps (1,413 points) remains No. 1, followed by Courtney Force (1,198), Worsham (1,192), Jack Beckman (1,146), Matt Hagan (1,115), Robert Hight (1,040), John Force (1,003), Tommy Johnson Jr. (999) and Tim Wilkerson (915). They have clinched berths in the Countdown. One spot remains with three drivers still eligible to make the playoffs: DeJoria (765), Chad Head (678) and Cruz Pedregon (650). ... In Pro Stock, only six drivers have clinched Countdown berths. Jason Line (1,761) leads the class, followed by teammates Greg Anderson (1,683 points) and Bo Butner (1,207), Allen Johnson (1,054), Nobile (1,004) and Drew Skillman (951). Still in contention for the final four Countdown spots are Shane Gray (825), Chris McGaha (802), two-time defending series champ Erica Enders (742), Jeg Coughlin (729) and Alex Laughlin (693). ... In Pro Stock Motorcycle, five riders have qualified for the Countdown. Eddie Krawiec is No. 1 in the standings (898 points), followed by teammate and 2015 series champ Hines (856), Angelle Sampey (659), Jerry Savoie (651) and LE Tonglet (522). Still in contention for the five remaining Countdown spots are Hector Arana (459), Chip Ellis (454), Matt Smith (402), Hector Arana Jr. (386), Steve Johnson (331), Michael Ray (326), Karen Stoffer (326) and Cory Reed (302).


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