Auto Racing Glance

NASCAR CUP SERIES: FEDERATED AUTO PARTS SALUTE TO AMERICAN HEROES 400 (400 laps, 300 miles around a .75-mile D-shaped oval), Richmond Raceway; Richmond, Va.

TV: Saturday, 7:30 p.m. ET (Green flag approximately 7:43 p.m. ET) NBCSN; Radio: Motor Racing Network, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio Channel 90.

THIS WEEK: This is the 28th of 36 races on the season and the second race of NASCAR’s 10-race Cup playoffs, with Denny Hamlin finally getting his first win this season Sunday at Darlington, locking him into the next round of the playoffs. “… We had so many opportunities earlier this year to win races,” he said. “… It certainly is significant. I’m not going to downplay the significance of it. It’s not just another win. This one is big for us and our team and the momentum.” … There are two races left before the playoffs field is cut from 16 to 12. One of the oldest tracks on the circuit, this will be the 130th series race at Richmond. … Brad Keselowski won this race last year, with Alex Bowman winning here in the spring. … Kyle Larson leads the points with 2,106, with *Hamlin second (2,072), followed by Martin Truex Jr. (2,062), Kurt Busch (2,052), Ryan Blaney (2,048), Joey Logano (2,047), Kevin Harvick (2,046), Keselowski (2,038), Christopher Bell (2,031), Chase Elliott (2,030), Aric Almirola (2,029), Tyler Reddick (2,026), Bowman (2,026), Kyle Busch (2,024), William Byron (2,017) and Michael McDowell (2,006) marking the rest of the drivers currently in the playoffs.

BEST BETS: Martin Truex Jr. is the favorite at 4/1, with Denny Hamlin 5/1, Kyle Busch and Joey Logano 7/1 and Kyle Larson at 15/2. Ryan Blaney is a good flyer at 20/1, as is Kurt Busch at 30/1.

*Denotes playoff race winner and berth into the next playoff round. Standings per NASCAR.com.

NASCAR XFINITY SERIES: GO BOWLING 250 (250 laps, 187.5 miles around a .75-mile D-shaped oval), Richmond Raceway; Richmond, Va.

TV: Saturday, 2:30 p.m. ET (Green flag approximately 2:33 p.m. ET) NBCSN; Radio: Motor Racing Network, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio Channel 90.

THIS WEEK: The 25th of 33 races on the season has the series going to Richmond for the 75th time and the first this season. … Noah Gragson won Saturday at Darlington to a secure a spot in the playoffs, which start Sept. 25 at Las Vegas. … There are two races to go before they begin. … Justin Allgaier swept both races here last season. … *AJ Allmendinger (955 points) leads the standings, followed by *Austin Cindric (954), *Allgaier (839), Daniel Hemric (808), Harrison Burton (799), *Justin Haley (784), *Gragson (772), *Jeb Burton (748), Jeremy Clements (587), Brandon Jones (574), Riley Herbst (555) and *Myatt Snider (546) making up the 12 drivers who currently would make the playoffs.

*Denotes race winner and playoff berth. Standings per NASCAR.com.

NASCAR GANDER OUTDOORS TRUCK SERIES

THIS WEEK: The series takes a week off before wrapping up the first round of the playoffs next week at Bristol Motor Speedway. … Sheldon Creed dominated the race Sunday at Darlington and is the only winner through the first two races of the playoffs. … The series has run 17 of 22 races this season. … *Creed leads the standings (2,128 points), followed by John Hunter Nemechek (2,126), Matt Crafton (2,094), Stewart Friesen (2,092), Ben Rhodes (2,074), Todd Gilliland (2,070), Carson Hocevar (2,067), Austin Hill (2,064), Zane Smith (2,059) and Chandler Smith (2,052) round out the 10 drivers currently in the seven-race playoffs. Two drivers will be eliminated from contention at Bristol.

*Denotes playoff race winner and berth into the next playoff round. Standings per NASCAR.com.

NTT DATA INDYCAR SERIES: GRAND PRIX OF PORTLAND (110 laps, 216.04 miles around a 1.964-mile 12-turn permanent road course), Portland International Raceway; Portland, Ore.

TV: Sunday, 3 p.m. ET (green flag approximately 3:05 p.m. ET) — NBC; Radio: Advance Auto Parts INDYCAR Radio Network, Sirius 214, XM 209, IndyCar.com, indycarradio.com and on the INDYCAR Mobile app.

THIS WEEK: It’s back to Portland at what was once a signature race for the defunct Champ Car series from 1984 to 2007. Last year’s race was canceled due to the pandemic. … Will Power won this race in 2019. … This will be the 28th Indy-style race at the track. … This will be the 14th of 16 races on the season. … Mexico’s Pato O’Ward (435) has the points lead in a Chevrolet-powered Dallara, with Spain’s Alex Palou (425) in his Honda-powered Dallara second, followed by Josef Newgarden (413) in a Chevy, New Zealander Scott Dixon (392) in his Honda and Sweden’s Marcus Ericsson in a Honda (375).

Standings per INDYCAR.com.

FORMULA ONE: ITALIAN GRAND PRIX (53 laps, 190.8 miles around a 3.6-mile 11-turn permanent road course), Autodromo Nazionale Monza; Monza, Italy.

TV: Sunday, 9 a.m. ET (green flag approximately 9:10 a.m. ET — ESPN2; Radio: SiriusXM Radio Channel 132.

THIS WEEK: Max Verstappen won the Dutch Grand Prix on Sunday, and he’ll ride into Italy on a two-race winning streak for the 14th of 23 races this season. … Monza is a long flowing race course with hills and four long turns broken up by seven sharp ones. Grip is low. … This will be the 91st Italian Grand Prix at the track. … Pierre Gasly won this race last year. … Belgium’s Verstappen took back the points lead (224.5 points) for Red Bull, with Great Britain’s Lewis Hamilton in a Mercedes in second (221.5), followed by Finland’s Valtteri Bottas (123) in a Mercedes, Britain’s Lando Norris (114) in a McLaren Mercedes, with Mexico’s Sergio Perez (108) in a Red Bull rounding out the top five.

Standings per F1.com.

NATIONAL HOT ROD ASSOCIATION: MOPAR EXPRESS LANE NHRA NATIONALS, Friday-Sunday, at Maple Grove Raceway; Mohnton, Pa.

TV: Eliminations, Sunday, 2 p.m. ET (live) FS1

THIS WEEK: It’s time for the playoffs — the Countdown to the Championship in the NHRA — to begin, and that means Maple Grove Raceway in Mohnton, Pa. … All 10 drivers who qualified for the playoffs in each class will vie for the championship, with none eliminated along the way, so it’s a seven-event sprint to the title now that the points have reset. … This is the 14th of 20 events on the season. … Winners at the U.S. Nationals this weekend were Steve Torrence in Top Fuel, Tim Wilkerson in Funny Car, Erica Enders in Pro Stock and Eddie Krawiec in Pro Stock Motorcycle. … Steve Torrence leads the Top Fuel standings (2,100 points), followed by Brittany Force (2,080), Antron Brown (2,070), Leah Pruett (2,060), Shawn Langdon (2,050), Mike Salinas (2,040), Justin Ashley (2,030), Billy Torrence (2,020), Clay Millican (2,010) and Doug Kalitta (2,000). … Ron Capps (2,100) leads Funny Car, followed by John Force (2,080), Bob Tasca III (2,070), J.R. Todd (2,060), Matt Hagan (2,050), Robert Hight (2,040), Alexis Dejoria (2,030), Cruz Pedregon (2,020), Wilkerson (2,010), Blake Alexander (2,000) and Jim Campbell (1,900). … Greg Anderson (2,100) leads Pro Stock, followed by Enders (2,080), Aaron Stanfield (2,070), Kyle Koretsky (2,060), Dallas Glenn (2,050), Matt Hartford (2,045), Troy Coughlin Jr. (2,040), Mason McGaha (2,035), Deric Kramer (2,030), Chris McGaha (2,025) and Kenny Delco (2,020). … Matt Smith (2,100) leads Pro Stock Motorcycle, followed by Steve Johnson (2,080), Scotty Pollacheck (2,070), Krawiec (2,060), Angelle Sampey (2,050), Ryan Oehler (2,045), Joey Gladstone (2,040), Angie Smith (2,035), Karen Stoffer (2,030), Andrew Hines (2,025) and Cory Reed (2,020).

Standings per NHRA.com.