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[June 30, 2016]  The Sports Xchange

NASCAR SPRINT CUP SERIES: COKE ZERO 400, (160 laps, 400 miles), Daytona International Speedway; Daytona Beach, Florida.

TV: Saturday, July 2, 7:45 p.m. ET - NBC (Radio: Motor Racing Network/SiriusXM Channel 90).

THEN AND NOW: The Sprint Cup Series returns for its annual July 4th weekend race at the 2.5-mile, high-banked Daytona International Speedway. This will be the 139th Sprint Cup race held there. Dale Earnhardt Jr. is the defending winner of this race. Earnhardt and Hendrick Motorsports teammate Jimmie Johnson have won four of the last seven races at Daytona. ... Denny Hamlin won this year's season-opening Daytona 500. ... Tony Stewart finally won his first win in more than three years, capturing last Sunday's Toyota/Save Mart 350 at Sonoma Raceway. By virtue of the win, Stewart now needs to just find himself ranked in the top-30 in points after September's race at Richmond to make the Chase for the Sprint Cup in his final season racing in NASCAR. Stewart enters Daytona in 32nd place, just nine points out of the top-30. ... Stewart becomes the 11th different driver to win a race thus far in the first 16 races this season. ... Sunday's race is the first telecast of the season for NBC, which along with its sister network NBC Sports Network, will televise the remaining 20 race telecasts of the season. ... Kevin Harvick continues to lead the Sprint Cup point standings with 562 points. Kurt Busch is second (527), followed by Carl Edwards (510), Brad Keselowski (506), Joey Logano (493), Chase Elliott (473), Jimmie Johnson (469), Martin Truex Jr. (469), Kyle Busch (452) and Matt Kenseth (430).

NASCAR XFINITY SERIES: SUBWAY FIRECRACKER 250 (100 laps, 250 miles), Daytona International Speedway; Daytona Beach, Fla.

TV: Friday, July 1, 7:30 p.m. ET - NBCSN (Radio: Motor Racing Network/SiriusXM Channel 90).

THEN AND NOW: After a weekend off, the Xfinity Series returns to action this weekend and for the 50th time in series history at DIS ... Austin Dillon won this race last year, while Chase Elliott won the 2016 Xfinity Series season-opening race. ... Sam Hornish Jr. won the last race, two weeks ago at Iowa. Hornish filled in for the injured Matt Tifft. It was announced Tuesday that Tifft will have surgery to remove a small brain tumor and will once again not race on Friday. David Ragan will replace Tifft in the car for Joe Gibbs Racing. It's unclear who will continue in Tifft's spot after Daytona. There's no timetable on when Tifft will return to his race car. ... Winners of the first 14 Xfinity Series races this season have been Chase Elliott (Daytona), Kyle Busch (Atlanta, Las Vegas, Phoenix and Texas), Austin Dillon (Fontana), Erik Jones (Bristol and Dover), Dale Earnhardt Jr. (Richmond), Elliott Sadler (Talladega), Denny Hamlin (Charlotte), Kyle Larson (Pocono), Daniel Suarez (Michigan) and Hornish (Iowa). ... Daniel Suarez (490 points) remains in the lead in the Xfinity Series point standings. Elliott Sadler (469) is second, followed by Ty Dillon (455), Justin Allgaier (422), Brandon Jones (417), Brendan Gaughan (412), Erik Jones (411), Brennan Poole (407), Darrell Wallace Jr. (373) and Ryan Reed (331).

NASCAR CAMPING WORLD TRUCK SERIES: The series is off this weekend, but it's a short turnaround as the Trucks resume action on July 7 at Kentucky Speedway.

THEN AND NOW: Christopher Bell won last weekend's Drivin' For Linemen 200 at Gateway Motorsports Park in suburban St. Louis. Bell held off a last-lap charge by Ben Rhodes to capture his second career Truck Series victory. Daniel Hemric finished third, followed by Johnny Sauter and Erik Jones. ... There have been six winners thus far this season: Johnny Sauter (Daytona), John Hunter Nemechek (Atlanta), Kyle Busch (Martinsville), William Byron (Kansas, Michigan and Iowa), Matt Crafton (Dover, Charlotte) and Christopher Bell (Gateway). ... Byron (226 points) moved into the top spot in the Truck Series point standings after Gateway. Crafton dipped to second, just one point behind (225), followed by Timothy Peters (221), Daniel Hemric (216) and Johnny Sauter (204).

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VERIZON INDYCAR SERIES: The series is off this weekend. It resumes July 10 with the Iowa 300 at Iowa Speedway in Newton, Iowa.

THEN AND NOW: Will Power roared to his second win of the season in this past Sunday's Kohler Grand Prix at Road America road course in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin. Power also won the Chevrolet Dual in Detroit Race 2 on June 5. It was also the first time Indy cars have raced at Road America since 2007. ... Josef Newgarden, who suffered a fractured right clavicle and small fracture in his right hand in a wicked wreck on Lap 42 of the abbreviated race at Texas on June 19, was able to return to race at Road America. ... This season's race winners thus far are: Juan Pablo Montoya (St. Petersburg), Scott Dixon (Phoenix), Simon Pagenaud (Long Beach, Birmingham and Grand Prix of Indianapolis), Alexander Rossi (Indianapolis 500), Sebastien Bourdais (Belle Isle 1) and Will Power (Belle Isle 2 and Road America). ... Simon Pagenaud (375 points) continues to maintain a commanding lead in the Verizon IndyCar Series points standings. Helio Castroneves moved into second place (301 points) after Road America, while Will Power moved up to third place (294). Defending series champion Scott Dixon dropped from second to fourth place (285 points), while Josef Newgarden is fifth (283), followed closely by Tony Kanaan (280). Of note is how Power has powered (no pun intended) his way up to rank as high as he is in the IndyCar standings, given he missed the season-opening race at St. Petersburg, Fla., due to an inner-ear issue.

NATIONAL HOT ROD ASSOCIATION MELLO YELLO DRAG RACING SERIES: The series is off this weekend. It returns to action on July 7-10 with the Route 66 Nationals at Route 66 Raceway in Joliet, Illinois (a suburb of Chicago).

THEN AND NOW: Winners in last weekend's Summit Racing Equipment Nationals in Norwalk, Ohio, were: Top Fuel driver Shawn Langdon (second consecutive win of 2016), Funny Car driver Ron Capps (third win in last four races), Pro Stock driver Jason Line (seventh win this season) and Pro Stock Motorcycle rider Eddie Krawiec. ... In the NHRA point standings, Doug Kalitta leads Top Fuel (1,009 points), followed by 2015 series champ Antron Brown (940), Steve Torrence (846), Brittany Force (832) and Tony Schumacher (729). ... In Funny Car, Ron Capps leads (966 points), followed by Courtney Force (836), Jack Beckman (823), 2015 season champ Del Worsham (762) and Tommy Johnson Jr. (750). ... In Pro Stock, Jason Line continues to dominate the standings (1,389 points), followed by teammate Greg Anderson (1,274), Bo Butner (796), Allen Johnson (719) and Drew Skillman (683). Defending two-time series champ Erica Enders (373) continues to struggle, ranked in 11th place (just 490 points, 899 behind Line). Line and Anderson are the only drivers in any of the four major pro classes to have already clinched berths to the six-race Countdown to the Championship. ... In Pro Stock Motorcycle, Eddie Krawiec leads the standings with 557 points, followed by teammate and 2015 series champ Andrew Hines (391), Jerry Savoie (391), Angelle Sampey (372) and Chip Ellis is fifth (300).


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