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[October 13, 2016]  By Jerry Bonkowski, The Sports Xchange

NASCAR SPRINT CUP SERIES: HOLLYWOOD CASINO 400 (267 laps, 400.5 miles), Kansas Speedway; Kansas City, Kansas.

TV: Sunday, Oct. 16, 2:15 p.m. ET - NBC (Radio: Motor Racing Network/SiriusXM Channel 90).

THEN AND NOW: This will be the 22nd Sprint Cup race held at the 1.5-mile Kansas Speedway. It will also be the fifth race of the 10-race Chase for the Sprint Cup Championship playoffs, in addition to being the second race of the second round of the Chase (known this year as the Round of 12). ... Joey Logano is the defending winner of this race, while Kyle Busch won this year's spring race at Kansas. ... The first four race winners thus far in the Chase have been Martin Truex Jr. (Chicagoland), Kevin Harvick (New Hampshire), Martin Truex Jr. (Dover) and Jimmie Johnson (Charlotte). Johnson's win this past Sunday at Charlotte was his eighth career win there and his third win of the 2016 season, snapping a 24-race winless drought. ... A total of 13 different drivers have won at least one race thus far in the first 29 races this season: Brad Keselowski (4 wins), Kyle Busch (4), Martin Truex Jr. (4), Denny Hamlin (3), Kevin Harvick (3), Jimmie Johnson (3), Carl Edwards (2), Matt Kenseth (2) and one win each by Kurt Busch, Joey Logano, Tony Stewart, Chris Buescher and Kyle Larson. ... Ryan Newman has re-signed to remain with Richard Childress Racing through at least 2017. Ty Dillon, who was expected to take Newman's seat for his grandfather's team, will likely remain in the Xfinity Series - or could potentially still race full-time in the Cup Series for another team in 2017. ... With his win at Charlotte, Johnson has assumed the points lead in the standings. Matt Kenseth is second (-5), followed by Kyle Busch (-9), Brad Keselowski (-11), Kurt Busch (-12), Carl Edwards (-16), Martin Truex Jr. (-17), Denny Hamlin (-33), Austin Dillon (-36), Chase Elliott (-36), Joey Logano (-39) and Kevin Harvick (-41). It is imperative for the last five drivers in the standings to have a strong bounce-back finish at Kansas, lest they could potentially be eliminated from advancing to the third round of the Chase after next week's unpredictable wildcard race at Talladega.

NASCAR XFINITY SERIES: KANSAS LOTTERY 300 (200 laps, 300 miles), Kansas Speedway; Kansas City, Kansas.

TV: Saturday, Oct. 15, 3 p.m. ET - NBC (Radio: Motor Racing Network/SiriusXM Channel 90).

 

THEN AND NOW: Saturday will mark the 16th time the Xfinity Series has raced at Kansas. Kyle Busch is the defending winner of this race, having actually won the last two Xfinity events at Kansas. ... The race will mark the first race of the second round - known as the "Round of 8" - of the inaugural Xfinity Chase for the Championship. Four drivers of the original field of 12 were eliminated after last Sunday's race at Charlotte: Ty Dillon, Brennan Poole, Ryan Sieg and Brandon Jones. ... Winners in the Chase thus far have been Elliott Sadler (Kentucky), Daniel Suarez (Dover) and Joey Logano (Charlotte). ... Because this is the first race of the second round of the Chase, the points have been reset so that all eight remaining drivers are tied at 3,000 points each: Daniel Suarez, Elliott Sadler, Justin Allgaier, Erik Jones, Brendan Gaughan, Ryan Reed, Darrell Wallace Jr. and Blake Koch. ... Winners of the first 29 Xfinity Series races this season have been Chase Elliott (Daytona), Kyle Busch (Atlanta, Las Vegas, Phoenix, Texas, Kentucky, New Hampshire, Indianapolis and Richmond), 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).

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NASCAR CAMPING WORLD TRUCK SERIES: The series is off this weekend. It resumes racing Oct. 22 at Talladega Superspeedway.

THEN AND NOW: Tyler Reddick, who did not qualify for the inaugural Camping World Truck Series Chase, won the most recent Truck Series race, the DC Solar 350 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on Oct. 1. ... Reddick joined rookie William Byron (New Hampshire) as the first two race winners of the Truck Series' first-ever Chase (although Reddick is not eligible to win the championship). ... Byron has dominated this season with six wins in 18 races. ... Byron maintained the series lead in the point standings after Las Vegas. Christopher Bell is second (-18), followed by two-time series champion Matt Crafton (-19), Ben Kennedy (-25), Timothy Peters (-27), Johnny Sauter (-28), Daniel Hemric (-43) and John Hunter Nemechek (-43). ... There have been 10 winners thus far this season: Johnny Sauter (Daytona), 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) and Tyler Reddick (Las Vegas).

VERIZON INDYCAR SERIES: 2016 season has concluded.

THEN AND NOW: Josef Newgarden made his official Team Penske debut this week, practicing with the team this past Monday at Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin. Newgarden will also take part in a Firestone tire test this Thursday at Gateway Motorsports Park outside St. Louis. The test will be to work with different rubber compounds to determine the best to be used when the IndyCar Series returns to GMP next August for the first time since 2003. ... Veteran Indianapolis Star motorsports writer Curt Cavin has been named Vice President of Public Relations for the Verizon IndyCar Series. He starts Oct. 24.

NATIONAL HOT ROD ASSOCIATION, MELLO YELLO DRAG RACING SERIES: AAA TEXAS FALLNATIONALS, Texas Motorplex; Ennis, Texas (south of Dallas).

TV: Sunday, Oct. 16, 2-5 p.m. ET - Fox Sports 1.

THEN AND NOW: The NHRA's six-race Countdown to the Championship begins the homestretch this weekend. Three races are completed (Charlotte, St. Louis and Maple Grove), and races remaining are Dallas, Las Vegas and the season finale in Pomona, California. ... Winners of the most recent race at Maple Grove near were Antron Brown (Top Fuel), Tommy Johnson Jr. (Funny Car), Vincent Nobile (Pro Stock) and Eddie Krawiec (Pro Stock Motorcycle). ... Here are the updated standings after the first two Countdown races -- TOP FUEL: 1. Antron Brown; 2. Doug Kalitta (-77); 3. Brittany Force (-118); 4. Shawn Langdon (-119); 5. Tony Schumacher (-141); 6. Steve Torrence (-163); 7. Leah Pritchett (-189); 8. J.R. Todd (-194); 9. Richie Crampton (-218); 10. Clay Millican (-241). FUNNY CAR: 1. Ron Capps; 2. Tommy Johnson Jr. (-24); 3. Jack Beckman (-93); 4. Matt Hagan (-110); 5. Del Worsham (-122); 6. John Force (-138); 7. Tim Wilkerson (-172); 8. Robert Hight (-175); 9. Courtney Force (-186); 10. Alexis DeJoria (-269). PRO STOCK: 1. Jason Line; 2. Greg Anderson (-45); 3. Vincent Nobile (-83); 4. Bo Butner (-87); 5. Shane Gray (-147); 6. Chris McGaha (-200); 7. Allen Johnson (-29); 8. Drew Skillman (-232); 9. Jeg Coughlin (-274); 10. Erica Enders (-285). PRO STOCK MOTORCYCLE: 1. Andrew Hines; 2. Eddie Krawiec (-38); 3. Angelle Sampey (-52); 4. Chip Ellis (--67); 5. Jerry Savoie (-70); 6. LE Tonglet IV (-126); 7. Cory Reed (-145); 8. Hector Arana (-182); 9. Matt Smith (-191); 10. Hector Arana Jr. (-192).

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