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Starting Line for September 3

Sprint Cup

Event: Bojangles Southern 500, Darlington (S.C.) Raceway.

TV: Sunday, 7 p.m., NBC.

Then and now: After enjoying its final off-weekend of the season, the Sprint Cup Series returns this Sunday at Darlington Raceway. This marks the return of the Southern 500 to its traditional Labor Day weekend race date, which it held from 1950 through 2003. This is also the second-to-last race before the start of the 10-race Chase for the Sprint Cup. … Kevin Harvick won the last Sprint Cup race at Darlington, April 12, 2014. … Jeff Gordon leads all active drivers with five Southern 500 wins, and seven triumphs overall at Darlington. … There have been 111 Sprint Cup races at Darlington, which has two unique nicknames: The Lady In Black and The Track Too Tough To Tame. … More than two dozen Sprint Cup teams will have retro looks/paint schemes on their race cars, most from the 1970s. … Joey Logano won the most recent Sprint Cup race, two weeks ago at Bristol, his third win of the season (Daytona, Watkins Glen were the others). … Harvick remains atop the point standings, holding a 43-point lead over No. 2 Logano. Dale Earnhardt Jr. is third, 89 points behind, followed by Brad Keselowski (115 points back) and Jimmie Johnson (116 points back).


Event: VFW Sportclips Help A Hero 200, Darlington (S.C.) Raceway.

TV: Saturday, 3:30 p.m., NBC.

Then and now: Sprint Cup regular Paul Menard won the most recent Xfinity Series race last Saturday at his home track of Road America in his native Wisconsin. … Chase Elliott won this race last season, while Kyle Busch has won two of the last four Xfinity races at the 1.366-mile egg-shaped oval track. … Chris Buescher saw his points lead tighten for the third consecutive week. He leads Chase Elliott by just 16 points and Ty Dillon by 19 points.

Camping World Truck

Next event: Sept. 18, Chicagoland Speedway.

Verizon IndyCar

Last Event: Scott Dixon won the season-ending GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma Sunday, also capturing the series championship. It was Dixon’s fourth IndyCar Series championship, having previously won in 2003, 2008 and 2013.

NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing

Event: Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals, Sept. 2-7, Lucas Oil Raceway; Brownsburg, Ind.

TV: Sunday, 11 a.m.-3:30 p.m., ESPN, 11 p.m.-1:30 a.m., ESPN2; Sept. 7, 4-7 p.m., ESPN.

Then and now: After a weekend off, the NHRA convenes for its biggest race of the year, the U.S. Nationals. … Also to be contested during this weekend’s U.S. Nationals is the Traxxas Shootout, with the winner earning $100,000. … The U.S. Nationals are the final race before the six-race Countdown to the Championship. … Spencer Massey was released as a driver for Shoemacher Racing last week for undisclosed violations of team policy, according to team officials. Massey was in contention to race in the Traxxas Shootout, but will be replaced by J.R. Todd. … Tony Schumacher leads the point standings in Top Fuel with a 53-point advantage over teammate Antron Brown. … In Funny Car, Jack Beckman leads defending Funny Car champ Matt Hagan by 50 points. … In Pro Stock, defending champ Erica Edwards has a 16-point margin over former world champ Greg Anderson. … In Pro Stock Motorcycle, Eddie Krawiec holds a 166-point lead over Hector Arana Jr.

Formula One

Event: Italian Grand Prix, Autodromo Nazionale Monza, Sunday, 7:30 a.m., NBCSN. Lewis Hamilton took the Belgian Grand Prix, his sixth win of the season, on Aug. 23.

Western New York

Lancaster National: IHRA Drag Racing, Friday, 7 p.m. Stock Cars: Off Week.

Holland Speedway: NASCAR Pro Modified Yuengling 100, Saturday, 5 p.m.

Ransomville Speedway: $3,000-to-win 358 Modified 50 Point Finale, Friday, 7:15 p.m.

Freedom Motorsports Park: $1,000-to-win RUSH Late Model King of The Hill 35, Friday, 7:30 p.m.

Merrittville Speedway: 358 Modified John Spencer Memorial 50, Saturday, 7 p.m.

Humberstone Speedway: Sportsman Safe Cracker 100, Sunday, 6:30 p.m.

Raceway 5: Season Championships, Saturday, 5:30 p.m.

Wyoming County: SST Modified 100, Sunday, 1 p.m.

Empire Dragway: 22nd Annual 1/8 Mile Nationals, Friday-Sunday, consult

New Stateline Speedway: $2,000-to-win Super Late Model 30 Grand Track Reopening, Saturday, 7 p.m.