Auto Racing Glance

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[November 03, 2016]  The Sports Xchange

Auto Racing Glance

NASCAR SPRINT CUP SERIES: AAA TEXAS 500 (334 laps, 501 miles), Texas Motor Speedway; Fort Worth, Texas.

TV: Sunday, Nov. 6, 2 p.m. ET - NBC (Radio: Performance Racing Network/SiriusXM Channel 90).

THEN AND NOW: This will be the 32nd Sprint Cup race held at the 1.5-mile superspeedway, one of the fastest tracks on the NASCAR circuit. It will also be the eighth race of the 10-race Chase for the Sprint Cup Championship playoffs, and the middle race of the third round - otherwise known as Round of 8. Jimmie Johnson is the defending winner of this coming Sunday's race at Texas. In fact, he's won four of the last eight races there (Kyle Busch won this spring in the most recent race there). ... Johnson won this past Sunday's race at Martinsville, giving him a guaranteed berth in the four-driver Sprint Cup championship race at Homestead-Miami Speedway on Nov. 20. It was Johnson's ninth career win at the half-mile short track. ... Johnson is on a quest to earn his seventh career Sprint Cup championship, which would tie him with Richard Petty and the late Dale Earnhardt for most career Cup championships by a driver. ... The first seven race winners thus far in the Chase have been Martin Truex Jr. (Chicagoland and Dover), Kevin Harvick (New Hampshire and Kansas), Jimmie Johnson (Charlotte and Martinsville) and Joey Logano (Talladega). ... A total of 13 different drivers have won at least one race thus far in the first 33 races this season: Brad Keselowski (4 wins), Kyle Busch (4), Martin Truex Jr. (4), Kevin Harvick (4), Denny Hamlin (3), Jimmie Johnson (4), Carl Edwards (2), Matt Kenseth (2), Joey Logano (2) and one win each by Kurt Busch, Tony Stewart, Chris Buescher and Kyle Larson. ... Johnson is the points leader in the Sprint Cup standings, followed by Denny Hamlin and Matt Kenseth (tied at -5), Kyle Busch (-7), Joey Logano (-11), Kevin Harvick (-23), Kurt Busch (-25) and Carl Edwards (-39).

NASCAR XFINITY SERIES: O'REILLY AUTO PARTS CHALLENGE (200 laps, 300 miles), Texas Motor Speedway; Fort Worth, Texas.

TV: Saturday, Nov. 5, 3 p.m. ET - NBC (Radio: Performance Racing Network/SiriusXM Channel 90).

THEN AND NOW: The Xfinity Series schedule resumes after a two-week hiatus. Kyle Busch won the most recent race nearly three weeks ago at Kansas Speedway. ... Saturday's race will mark the 32nd Xfinity event at TMS. It will also be the middle race of the "Round of 8" of the inaugural Xfinity Chase for the Championship. ... Winners in the Chase thus far have been Elliott Sadler (Kentucky), Daniel Suarez (Dover), Joey Logano (Charlotte) and Kyle Busch (Kansas). ... Winners of the first 30 Xfinity Series races this season have been Chase Elliott (Daytona), Kyle Busch (Atlanta, Las Vegas, Phoenix, Texas, Kentucky, New Hampshire, Indianapolis, Richmond and Kansas), Austin Dillon (Fontana, Bristol), Erik Jones (Bristol, Dover, Iowa and Chicago), Dale Earnhardt Jr. (Richmond), Elliott Sadler (Talladega, Darlington and Kentucky), Denny Hamlin (Charlotte), Kyle Larson (Pocono), Daniel Suarez (Michigan and Dover), Sam Hornish Jr. (Iowa), Aric Almirola (Daytona), Joey Logano (Watkins Glen and Charlotte), Justin Marks (Mid-Ohio) and Michael McDowell (Road America). ... Elliott Sadler and Daniel Suarez are tied for the lead in the Xfinity point standings, followed by Blake Koch (-7), Justin Allgaier (-12), Erik Jones (-12), Ryan Reed (-14), Brendan Gaughan (-29) and Darrell Wallace Jr. (-30).


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NASCAR CAMPING WORLD TRUCK SERIES: LONGHORN 350 (147 laps, 220.5 miles), Texas Motor Speedway; Fort Worth, Texas.

TV: Friday, Nov. 4, 8:30 p.m. ET - Fox Sports 1 (Radio: Motor Racing Network/SiriusXM Channel 90).

THEN AND NOW: This will be the 38th Truck Series race at Texas. ... Erik Jones won this race last fall, while William Byron won this year's spring race there. ... With his win at Martinsville Speedway last Saturday, Johnny Sauter became the first driver to earn a berth in the inaugural Truck Series Chase for the Championship race on Nov. 18 at Homestead-Miami Speedway. ... Cody Coughlin will replace the injured John Wes Townley in Friday's race. ... Friday's race marks the middle event in the Round of 6 of the inaugural Truck Chase. ... The winners of the first four Chase races have been William Byron (New Hampshire), Tyler Reddick (Las Vegas), Grant Enfinger (Talladega) and Johnny Sauter (Martinsville). ... There have been 11 winners thus far this season: Johnny Sauter (Daytona and Martinsville), John Hunter Nemechek (Atlanta, Canada), Kyle Busch (Martinsville, Chicagoland), William Byron (Kansas, Michigan, Iowa, Kentucky, Pocono and New Hampshire), Matt Crafton (Dover, Charlotte), Christopher Bell (Gateway), Kyle Larson (Eldora), Ben Kennedy (Bristol), Brett Moffitt (Michigan), Tyler Reddick (Las Vegas) and Grant Enfinger (Talladega). ... With his win at Martinsville, Sauter takes over the Truck Series points lead. Christopher Bell is second (-7) followed by Timothy Peters (-8), William Byron (-11), two-time Truck Series champion Matt Crafton (-20) and Ben Kennedy (-21).

VERIZON INDYCAR SERIES: 2016 season has concluded.

THEN AND NOW: It was announced Tuesday that Juan Pablo Montoya will race in the 2017 Indianapolis 500 for Team Penske. That increases the likelihood that Montoya will remain with the Penske organization, which he has raced for the last two seasons, and potentially compete full-time in the IMSA Sports Car series in addition to his Indy 500 run. ... Canadian driver James Hinchcliffe continued to advance on ABC's Dancing With The Stars this past Monday, and he did it the hard way, doing so with a back-up partner (Jenna Johnson) after primary partner Sharma Burgess suffered a leg injury that will keep her sidelined for at least two weeks. Hinchcliffe and Johnson recorded a perfect score, plus five additional bonus points, to take over the lead in the series. Hinchcliffe is aiming to become the second IndyCar driver to win the championship, following Helio Castroneves' victory in 2007.

NATIONAL HOT ROD ASSOCIATION, MELLO YELLO DRAG RACING SERIES: The series is off this weekend. It resumes Nov. 10-13 with the season-ending Auto Club Finals at Auto Club Raceway in Pomona, California.

THEN AND NOW: This past weekend's race at Las Vegas saw Antron Brown clinch his second consecutive Top Fuel championship and his third dragster title in the last five seasons. Other winners included Matt Hagan (Funny Car), Shane Gray (Pro Stock) and Jerry Savoie (Pro Stock Motorcycle). ... Numerous drivers were eliminated from advancement in the Countdown to the Championship. Here are the updated standings for only those drivers remaining eligible to still win the championship in their respective classes next weekend at Pomona: TOP FUEL: 1. Antron Brown (has clinched the championship). FUNNY CAR: 1. Ron Capps; 2. Matt Hagan (-86); 3. Tommy Johnson Jr. (-113). PRO STOCK: 1. Jason Line; 2. Greg Anderson (-19); 3. Shane Gray (-94). PRO STOCK MOTORCYCLE: 1. Andrew Hines and Eddie Krawiec (tied); 3. Jerry Savoie (-3); 4. Angelle Sampey (-110).

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