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Starting line (July 7): This week’s racing

NASCAR Sprint Cup

Event: Quaker State 400 (267 laps, 400.5 miles), Kentucky Speedway; Sparta, Ky.

TV: Saturday, 7:30 p.m., NBCSN.

Then and now: The Sprint Cup Series returns to the 1.5-mile Kentucky Speedway for the sixth time. Drivers will be met with a pleasant surprise when they get on-track: the racing surface has been completely repaved. What was arguably the roughest track to drive last year is now the newest and one of the smoothest on the circuit. … Kyle Busch won this race last year. Busch (2011, 2015) and Brad Keselowski (2012, 2014) have each won two of the first five Cup races at Kentucky, with Matt Kenseth having one win (2013). … In last Saturday’s Coke Zero 400, Brad Keselowski won his fifth career restrictor plate race in the Cup series but just his first at Daytona. … Tony Stewart is now officially in contention for the Chase for the Sprint Cup. Stewart cracked the top-30 after Daytona, leaving him in 30th place. Because he won the week before at Sonoma, Stewart is now eligible for the 16-driver Chase field – provided he remains in the top-30 after the final Chase qualifying race at Richmond in early September. … Kevin Harvick continues to lead the Sprint Cup point standings with 565 points.


Event: Alsco 300 (200 laps, 300 miles), Kentucky Speedway.

TV: Friday, 8:30 p.m., NBCSN.

Then and now: Friday will mark the 20th time the Xfinity Series has raced at Kentucky, having first competed there in 2001. Brad Keselowski is the defending winner of this race, having won there last July, the third time he has won at Kentucky. Ryan Blaney won in last September’s race there. … Aric Almirola won last Friday’s race at Daytona, what he called his first official career Xfinity win. He was credited for winning an Xfinity race at Milwaukee in 2009 but competed in only part of that race before yielding to Denny Hamlin, who actually took the checkered flag. But because Almirola started the race, he was credited with the victory. By winning at Daytona, though, he ran the whole race and took the win – even though the race ended under caution. Almirola defeated Justin Allgaier in last Friday’s race by about the length of the nose on their respective race cars. Almirola has now won at least one race in each of NASCAR’s three premier series: Sprint Cup, Xfinity and Trucks. … Driver Matt Tifft is recovering after undergoing surgery to remove a brain tumor. Doctors said the operation went as expected. Tifft hopes to return to racing as soon as he is fully healed and recovered, but there is no timetable of that yet. … Daniel Suarez (490 points) remains in the lead in the Xfinity Series point standings.

Camping World Truck

Event: Buckle Up In Your Truck 225 (150 laps, 225 miles), Kentucky Speedway.

TV: Thursday, 8:30 p.m., NBCSN.

Then and now: The Truck series had last weekend off. … Christopher Bell won the last Truck race two weeks ago, the Drivin’ For Linemen 200 at Gateway Motorsports Park in suburban St. Louis. Bell held off a last-lap charge by Ben Rhodes to capture his second career Truck Series victory. … William Byron (226 points) moved into the top spot in the Truck Series point standings after Gateway.

Verizon IndyCar

Event: Iowa Corn 300, Iowa Speedway; Newton, Iowa.

TV: Sunday, 5:30 p.m., NBCSN.

Then and now: This will be the 10th time the Verizon IndyCar Series has competed at the .894-mile paved oval. … Ryan Hunter-Reay goes for his third consecutive win and fourth in the last five races (previous wins came in 2012, 2014 and 2015). … Will Power is riding a two-race winning streak, having won the most recent IndyCar race, two weeks ago at Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wis., as well as the Chevrolet Dual in Detroit Race Two on June 5. … Simon Pagenaud (375 points) continues to maintain a commanding lead in the Verizon IndyCar Series points standings.

Formula One

Event: British Grand Prix, Silverstone Circuit, Silverstone, England.

TV: Sunday, 2:30 p.m., NBCSN (Tape Delay).

Last event: Lewis Hamilton won the Austrian Grand Prix July 3 in Spielberg. Nico Rosberg has a slim 153-142 advantage over Hamilton in the points race.

NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing

Event: K&N Route 66 NHRA Nationals, Route 66 Raceway; Joliet, Ill.

TV: Sunday, 2 p.m., Fox Sports 1.

Then and now: After a weekend off, the NHRA begins the meatiest part of its summer racing schedule with a key race just outside Chicago. … Winners of this race last year were Tony Schumacher (Top Fuel), Tommy Johnson Jr. (Funny Car), Allen Johnson (Pro Stock) and Hector Arana Jr. (Pro Stock Motorcycle). … Winners of the last race two weeks ago, the Summit Racing Equipment Nationals in Norwalk, Ohio, were: Top Fuel driver Shawn Langdon (second consecutive win of 2016), Funny Car driver Ron Capps (third win in last four races), Pro Stock driver Jason Line (seventh win this season) and Pro Stock Motorcycle rider Eddie Krawiec.

Western New York

Lancaster National: IHRA Drag Racing/Buffalo Superchargers, Friday, 7 p.m.; Stock Cars, Off-Week.

Holland Speedway: Race of Champions Modified “Thunder in The Hills” 100, Saturday, 5 p.m.

Ransomville Speedway: Kid’s Rides, Friday, 7:15 p.m.

Freedom Motorsports Park: NY6A Micro-Sprints, Friday, 7:30 p.m.

Genesee Speedway: 360 Late Model Special, Saturday, 6 p.m.

Empire Dragway: IHRA Drag Racing/Empire Gassers, Saturday, 3 p.m.

Merrittville Speedway: “King of the Crates”, Saturday, 7 p.m.

Humberstone Speedway: Sportsman, Sunday, 6:30 p.m.

Stateline Speedway: Street Stock Special, Saturday, 7 p.m.

Wyoming County: Smash-n-Crash Pirate Night, Saturday, 7:30 p.m.