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[August 24, 2017]  The Sports Xchange

MONSTER ENERGY NASCAR CUP SERIES: The series is off this weekend. It returns to action Sept. 1-3 at Darlington Raceway for the Bojangles' Southern 500.

THIS WEEK: This will be the final weekend off of the season for the NASCAR Cup Series. Two races (Darlington and Richmond) remain in the 26-race regular season, followed by the 10-race NASCAR Cup playoffs. ... Kyle Busch swept all three races in this past week's racing action at Bristol Motor Speedway, earning wins in the Camping World Truck Series, Xfinity Series and NASCAR Cup Series events there. ... Martin Truex Jr. (951 points) continues to lead the NASCAR Cup standings after Bristol. Busch moved into second (850), followed by Kyle Larson (845), Kevin Harvick (824), Denny Hamlin (753), Brad Keselowski (728), Chase Elliott (711), Matt Kenseth (703), Jamie McMurray (700) and Clint Bowyer (642). ... As far as the playoff standings, 13 drivers have qualified for the 16-driver NASCAR Cup playoffs with three drivers above the current qualifying cut-off line: Elliott (69 points above), Kenseth (61) and McMurray (58). Below the cut-off line, Bowyer took a big hit, dropping from 31 points back to 58 back. Joey Logano dropped to 117 points below the line, while Erik Jones climbed slightly to -126.

NASCAR XFINITY SERIES: JOHNSONVILLE 180 (45 laps, 182.16 miles around a 4.048-mile road course), Road America; Elkhart Lake, Wis.

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

THIS WEEK: This will be the eighth Xfinity Series race at Road America. ... There have been no repeat winners in the first seven races: Carl Edwards (2010), Reed Sorenson (2011), Nelson Piquet Jr. (2012), A.J. Allmendinger (2013), Brendan Gaughan (2014), Paul Menard (2015) and Michael McDowell (2016). ... Busch won this past weekend's race at Bristol, one of three races he won there last week. ... Elliott Sadler (807 points) can clinch a playoff berth this weekend. He continues to lead the Xfinity standings, followed by William Byron (697), Justin Allgaier (671), Brennan Poole (621), Daniel Hemric (601), Cole Custer (533), Matt Tifft (514), Ryan Reed (458), Blake Koch (454) and Dakoda Armstrong (444).

NASCAR CAMPING WORLD TRUCK SERIES: The series is off this weekend. The next race is the Chevrolet Silverado 250, Sept. 3, at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park.

THIS WEEK: Busch won the most recent Truck race, at Bristol Motor Speedway, on Aug. 17. He would go on to sweep the entire three races at BMS, including Xfinity and NASCAR Cup. ... Christopher Bell leads the point standings (615 points), followed by Johnny Sauter (573), Matt Crafton (562), Chase Briscoe (534), Ben Rhodes (469), Ryan Truex (452), Grant Enfinger (443), John Hunter Nemechek (439), Noah Gragson (418) and Austin Cindric (397).

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VERIZON INDYCAR SERIES: BOMMARITO AUTOMOTIVE GROUP 500, (ABC SUPPLY 500 (248 laps, 310, 500 kilometers on a 1.25-mile oval), Gateway Motorsports Park; Madison, Ill.

TV: Saturday, 8:30 p.m. ET -- NBC (Radio: IndyCar Radio Network).

THIS WEEK: This will mark the return of IndyCar racing to Gateway. There were three prior races there from 2001-2003. ... Will Power won this past weekend's race at Pocono, followed by Josef Newgarden and Alexander Rossi. It was Power's second win of the season. ... After the race at Gateway, only two races remain on the schedule: Watkins Glen (Sept. 3) and the likely championship-deciding event at Sonoma (Sept. 17). ... Winners of the first 14 races have been Sebastien Bourdais (St. Petersburg), James Hinchcliffe (Long Beach), Newgarden (Alabama, Toronto, Mid-Ohio) Simon Pagenaud (Phoenix), Power (IndyCar Grand Prix), Takuma Sato (Indy 500), Graham Rahal (both Belle Isle races), Power (Texas, Pocono), Scott Dixon (Road America) and Helio Castroneves (Iowa). ... Newgarden (494 points) is No. 1 in the IndyCar standings, followed by Scott Dixon (476), Helio Castroneves (472 points), Pagenaud (468), Power (452), Rahal (418), Sato (399), Alexander Rossi (394), Tony Kanaan (351) and Hinchcliffe (327).

NATIONAL HOT ROD ASSOCIATION, MELLO YELLO DRAG RACING SERIES: The series is off this weekend. The next race is the Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals, Aug. 30-Sept. 4, at Lucas Oil Raceway; Brownsburg, Ind.

THIS WEEK: At this past weekend's Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals at Brainerd (Minnesota) International Raceway, the winners were Leah Pritchett (fourth Top Fuel win of the year), Alexis DeJoria (first Funny Car win of the year), Tanner Gray (fourth Pro Stock win of 2017) and Jerry Savoie (first Pro Stock Motorcycle triumph of 2017). ... Points leaders after Brainerd: Top Fuel -- Antron Brown (1,513), Steve Torrence (1,482), Pritchett (1,453), Tony Schumacher (1,121) and Brittany Force (1,052); Funny Car -- Ron Capps (1,383), Robert Hight (1,247), Matt Hagan (1,214), Tommy Johnson Jr. (1,180) and Jack Beckman (1,160); Pro Stock -- Bo Butner (1,526), Tanner Gray (1,300), Greg Anderson (1,263), Jason Line (1,123) and Drew Skillman (1,089); Pro Stock Motorcycle -- L.E. Tonglet (874), Eddie Krawiec (690), Jerry Savoie (655), Hector Arana Jr. (632) and Matt Smith (581).

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