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Starting Line for Oct. 1

Sprint Cup

Event: AAA 400, Dover International Speedway, Dover, Del.

TV: Sunday, 2:30 p.m., NBCSN.

Then and now: This is the third race in the 10-race Chase for the Sprint Cup championship. But more importantly, it’s the final race of the first round of the Chase. After the race, the four lowest-ranked drivers in the 16-driver Chase field will be eliminated, cutting the field to 12 drivers for the second round that begins next week at Charlotte, N.C. … This will mark the 92nd time that the Sprint Cup Series has raced on the banked one-mile, all-concrete oval. … Jeff Gordon is the defending champion of this race, while Jimmie Johnson won for a record 10th time in the spring race earlier this year in May. … It appears likely that defending Sprint Cup champ Kevin Harvick (65 points behind series leader Matt Kenseth) and Clint Bowyer (81 points back) will be among the four drivers eliminated after Sunday’s race. Others on the bubble include Dale Earnhardt Jr., Kyle Busch, Paul Menard, Jamie McMurray, Jeff Gordon, Martin Truex Jr., Brad Keselowski, Kurt Busch and Ryan Newman. … Denny Hamlin has finished first (Chicagoland) and second (Loudon) in the first two races, while points leader Matt Kenseth has finished fifth (Chicagoland) and first (Loudon). … Five Chase drivers remain without a win in 2015: Jamie McMurray, Jeff Gordon, Ryan Newman, Paul Menard and Clint Bowyer. … It continues to be a Joe Gibbs Racing juggernaut atop the standings. Kenseth leads all drivers with 2,099 points, followed by Hamlin (2,093) and Carl Edwards, who is tied for third with former JGR driver Joey Logano (each with 2,089 points).


Event: Hisense 200, Dover International Speedway, Dover, Del.

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

Then and now: Ryan Blaney won his fourth career Xfinity Series race last weekend at Kentucky Speedway. … Saturday will mark the 64th Xfinity Series race held at Dover. Kyle Busch won this race last year, while Chris Buescher won there last May. Busch has won five times at Dover, including two of the last three. Joey Logano has won there four times, all in a row, from June 2012 through September 2013. … Buescher remains the Xfinity Series points leader, holding a 19-point edge over Ty Dillon. Chase Elliott is third, 25 points back, Regan Smith is ranked fourth, 47 points back.

Camping World Truck

Event: Rhino Linings 350, Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Las Vegas, Nev.

TV: Saturday, 10 p.m., Fox Sports 1.

Then and now: This will be the 19th time the trucks have raced on Las Vegas’ 1.5-mile high-speed oval. It will also mark the 501st overall race in Truck Series history, having celebrated the milestone 500th race last Saturday at New Hampshire. … Erik Jones is the defending winner of last year’s race, his first win at Las Vegas. … There have been different winners in each of the last seven races there. … Austin Dillon won last Saturday’s Truck race at New Hampshire. … Erik Jones remains atop the Truck Series points standings, holding a slim seven-point lead over two-time and defending series champion Matt Crafton.

NHRA Drag Racing

Event: NHRA Keystone Nationals, Oct. 2-4, at Maple Grove Raceway, Reading, Pa.

TV: Sunday, qualifying (tape delay) 6 a.m.-7:30 a.m., ESPN2, and again at 3 p.m.-4:30 p.m., ESPN2. Eliminations (tape delay) from 8 p.m to 11 p.m., ESPN2.

Then and now: The six-race Countdown to the Championship hits the halfway point this week. Top Fuel driver Antron Brown and Funny Car counterpart Del Worsham have dominated their respective classes with back-to-back wins in each of the first two Countdown races (Charlotte and St. Louis). … Also winning last Sunday at St. Louis was rookie Drew Skillman, who earned his first career Pro Stock victory. Also, in a battle of father vs. son, Hector Arana Jr. defeated his father, Hector Arana, in the final round of Pro Stock Motorcycle at St. Louis. … Here are the points leaders in all four pro classes after the first two races of the Countdown. In Top Fuel, Brown holds a 77-point advantage over teammate Tony Schumacher, while Larry Dixon is third (-159), Brittany Force moved up to fourth (-163) and J.R. Todd fell to fifth (-171). In Funny Car, Worsham leads defending series champ Matt Hagan by 90 points, followed by Tommy Johnson Jr. (-116), Jack Beckman (-119) and John Force (-149). In Pro Stock, Erica Enders has 113-point lead on No. 2 Greg Anderson, followed by Allen Johnson (-136), Drew Skillman (160) and Larry Morgan (-164). Lastly, in Pro Stock Motorcycle, defending series champ Andrew Hines leads Hector Arana Jr. by 34 points, followed by Eddie Krawiec (-51), Jerry Savoie (-54) and Matt Smith (-92).

Formula One

Next Event: Russian Grand Prix at Sochi Autodrom, Oct. 11.

Last Week: Lewis Hamilton won his eighth race in 14 events at the Japanese Grand Prix. He leads the points standings by 48 over Nico Rosberg.