Auto Racing Glance

NASCAR CUP SERIES: XFINITY 500 (500 laps, 263 miles around a .526-mile paperclip oval), Martinsville Speedway; Martinsville, Va.

TV: Sunday, 2 p.m. ET (Green flag approx. 2:13 p.m. ET) – NBC (Radio: Motor Racing Network, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio Channel 90).

THIS WEEK: Kyle Larson won at Kansas for his third straight victory, the second time he’s done that season, and has the only lock on the Championship 4 next week at Phoenix. Larson has won nine races this season and no one in racing is hotter. Larson is the first driver since Dale Earnhardt in 1987 to have two three-race winning streaks in a season. “So cool to get another win,” Larson said. “I don’t really know how that happened. But our HendrickCars.com Chevy was really fast. I thought we were a third-place car really.” … Now it’s on to Martinsville for the 35th race of 36 on the year and the 146th at the track dating to 1949. Chase Elliott won here last fall and Martin Truex Jr. won here in the spring, and Truex may need that kind of performance to advance to the championship. … A win at Martinsville gets a playoff driver into the championship race at Phoenix on Nov. 7. As many as three drivers will make the final four on points. … *Larson leads the points with 4,181, followed by Chase Elliott (4,107), Denny Hamlin (4,105), Kyle Busch (4,074), Ryan Blaney (4,073), Truex (4,071), Brad Keselowski (4,068), and Joey Logano (4,048).

BEST BETS: Martin Truex Jr. comes in at 9/2, with Kyle Larson at 5/1, Chase Elliott at 6/1, Denny Hamlin at 13/2, Ryan Blaney at 7/1, Kyle Busch at 8/1, Joey Logano at 17/2 and Brad Keselowski at 9/1. Why not Kurt Busch at 50/1 as a flyer?

*Denotes race win and berth in the championship race. Standings per NASCAR.com.

NASCAR XFINITY SERIES: DEAD ON TOOLS 250 (250 laps, 131.5 miles around a .526-mile paperclip oval), Martinsville Speedway; Martinsville, Va.

TV: Saturday, 6 p.m. ET (Green flag approx. 6:13 p.m. ET) – NBCSN (Radio: Motor Racing Network, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio Channel 90).

THIS WEEK: Ty Gibbs won in Kansas, his fourth win of the year, but he didn’t run a full season schedule, so he’s not in the playoffs. That means at least three drivers of the eight still in the playoffs will make the Championship 4 next week based on points, and perhaps all four will. … Any current playoff driver with a win at Martinsville makes the final four. … This will be the 32nd of 33 races on the season and the 37th held at the track, the first coming in 1982. … Harrison Burton won here last fall, with Josh Berry winning this spring. … AJ Allmendinger and Austin Cindric are tied for the points lead (3,139), followed by Justin Allgaier (3,101), Daniel Hemric (3,099), Justin Haley (3,092), Noah Gragson (3,075), Brandon Jones (3,059) and Burton (3,048).

*Standings per NASCAR.com.

NASCAR GANDER OUTDOORS TRUCK SERIES: UNITED RENTALS 200 (200 laps, 105.2 miles around a .526-mile paperclip oval), Martinsville Speedway; Martinsville, Va.

TV: Saturday, 1 p.m. ET (Green flag approx. 1:13 p.m. ET) — FS1 (Radio: Motor Racing Network, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio Channel 90).

THIS WEEK: Drivers still in the playoffs get one more chance to make the Championship Race at Martinsville, and eight drivers are still alive to make the final four. At least three drivers will qualify for the title race based on points, not a race win, and perhaps all four spots will be filled on points. … Any current playoff driver with a win at Martinsville makes the Championship 4. … This will be the 21st of 22 races on the season and the 44th run at Martinsville, the first coming in 1995. Grant Enfinger won the lone race here last year. … John Hunter Nemechek (3,105) leads the standings, followed by Ben Rhodes (3,104 points), Matt Crafton (3,079), Sheldon Creed (3,074), Stewart Friesen (3,069), Chandler Smith (3,040), Carson Hocevar (3,037) and Zane Smith (3,034).

*Standings per NASCAR.com.

NTT DATA INDYCAR SERIES

THIS WEEK: Spain’s Alex Palou won this season’s championship. … The series returns on Feb. 27, 2022, at St, Petersburg, Fla., to kick off a 17-event season.

FORMULA ONE

THIS WEEK: Max Verstappen made a championship statement in Texas, holding off chief rival Lewis Hamilton in front of a capacity crowd in Austin at the U.S. Grand Prix. … It seems F1 has finally arrived in the United States after years of low attendance and waning interest. … The series takes a week off before the Mexican Grand Prix in Mexico City on Nov. 7. … Belgium’s Verstappen extended his series lead for Red Bull (287.5 points), with Great Britain’s Hamilton (275.5) in second for Mercedes. Finland’s Valtteri Bottas (185) in a Mercedes is third, followed by Mexico’s Sergio Perez (150) in a Red Bull, with Britain’s Lando Norris (149) in a McLaren rounding out the top five.

*Standings per F1.com.

NATIONAL HOT ROD ASSOCIATION: DODGE//SRT NHRA NATIONALS, Friday-Sunday, at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway; Las Vegas.

TV: Eliminations, Sunday, 5-8 p.m. ET FS1

THIS WEEK: The series is back for the penultimate event of the season this weekend in Las Vegas. … Winners at Thunder Valley in Bristol, Tenn., two weeks ago were Mike Salinas in Top Fuel, Alexis Dejoria in Funny Car and Angelle Sampey in Pro Stock Motorcycle. Pro Stock had the weekend off. … The Auto Club NHRA Nationals wrap up the season and the four pro class championships Nov. 11-14 in Pomona, Calif. … Steve Torrence leads Top Fuel (2,575 points), followed by Brittany Force (2,502) and Justin Ashley (2,428). … Ron Capps leads Funny Car (2,490), followed by Matt Hagan (2,489) and J.R. Todd (2,407). … Greg Anderson (2,520) leads Pro Stock, followed by Erica Enders (2,439) and Dallas Glenn (2,337). … Matt Smith (2,451) leads Pro Stock Motorcycle, followed by Sampey (2,426) and Steve Johnson (2,395).

*Standings per NHRA.com.