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Starting line (Sept. 1): This week’s racing

NASCAR Sprint Cup

Event: Bojangles Southern 500 (367 laps, 501.3 miles), Darlington Raceway; Darlington, South Carolina.

TV: Sunday, 6 p.m., NBC.

Then and now: This will be the 113th Sprint Cup race held at the so-called “Track Too Tough To Tame” (also known as “The Lady In Black”). Carl Edwards won last year’s race. ... This will be the second consecutive year that Darlington hosts a “Throwback Weekend,” where most Sprint Cup cars (and some Xfinity Series cars) will carry paint schemes that date back to the era of 1975-1984. ... NASCAR is mourning the death of Betty Jane France, wife of late NASCAR CEO Bill France Jr., who passed away in 2007. Mrs. France died Sunday. ... After 99 tries, Kyle Larson finally won his first career Sprint Cup race this past Sunday at Michigan. Larson becomes the 13th driver qualified for the upcoming Chase for the Sprint Cup. Larson made NASCAR history along with two other drivers last weekend: It marked the first time that there were first-time winners in all three series on the same weekend: Larson in Sprint Cup, Michael McDowell in Xfinity and Brett Moffitt in Trucks. ... Only three spots remain open, with two qualifying races left: Darlington and next Saturday at Richmond. ... Michigan International Speedway president Roger Curtis surprised many with his abrupt resignation as the track’s leader on Tuesday, just two days after the Pure Michigan 400. The track said Curtis, who had been at the helm for the past 10 years, is pursuing other opportunities. ... Dale Earnhardt Jr. will miss his seventh consecutive race with concussion-like symptoms. Jeff Gordon returns to replace Earnhardt in Sunday’s race after Alex Bowman subbed at Michigan. ... Kevin Harvick (799 points) remains atop the Sprint Cup points standings with Brad Keselowski second (774).


Event: VFW Sports Clips Help A Hero 200 147 laps, 200.8 miles), Darlington Raceway.

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

Then and now: Saturday will mark the 56th time the Xfinity Series has raced at Darlington. Denny Hamlin won this race last year, the fourth time he has done so since 2006 (a stretch of 10 races). ... Michael McDowell won last Saturday’s race at Road America, his first career NASCAR win in any series. ... Elliott Sadler (770 points) remains No. 1 in Xfinity points.

Camping World Truck

Event: Chevrolet Silverado 250 (64 laps, 157.37 miles), Canadian Tire Motorsport Park; Bowmanville, Ontario.

TV: Sunday, 2:30 p.m., Fox Sports 1.

Then and now: This will be the fourth Truck Series race held at the track nicknamed “Mosport.” ... Erik Jones won this race last season. ... Brett Moffitt won his first career Truck Series race last Saturday at Michigan. ... William Byron remains in the Truck Series points lead (379 points).

Verizon IndyCar

Event: IndyCar Grand Prix at the Glen (60 laps, 204 miles), Watkins Glen International; Watkins Glen, New York. TV: Sunday, 2 p.m., NBCSN.

Then and now: Sunday’s race marks the return of Indy cars to the Watkins Glen road course for the first time since 2010. This race replaces the originally scheduled Grand Prix of Boston, which was cancelled in June after public protest. ... The IndyCar Series has raced six previous times at WGI from 2005-2010, with Scott Dixon winning three times from 2005-2007, Ryan Hunter-Reay in 2008, the late Justin Wilson in 2009 and Will Power in 2010. ... Graham Rahal won the resumption of the Firestone 600 at Texas Motor Speedway last Saturday, his first victory of the season. The race was originally red-flagged due to rain and lightning on June 10. ... It’s all but a two-driver battle for the championship with two races remaining (Watkins Glen and the season finale at Sonoma on Sept. 18). Simon Pagenaud continues to lead the points with a 28-point edge over Will Power.

Formula One

Event: Italian Grand Prix, Autodromo Nazionale Monza.

TV: Sunday, 7:30 a.m., NBCSN.

Last Week: Nico Rosberg stopped Lewis Hamilton’s four-race winning streak with a victory at the Belgian Grand Prix. It was Rosberg’s sixth win of the year. Hamilton still leads Rosberg in the points standings, 232-223.

NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing

Event: Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals, Lucas Oil Raceway; Brownsburg, Indiana. TV: Monday, 11 a.m., 1 p.m. (Fox Sports 1).

Then and now: The biggest race of the season takes place this weekend. Not only is the U.S. Nationals the most prestigious race of the year, it’s also the last chance for drivers to qualify for the six-race Countdown to the Championship playoffs that begin Sept. 16 in Charlotte. ... This weekend’s race will also include the Traxxas Shootout, with drivers vying for the $100,000 top prize in both Top Fuel and Funny Car. John Force (Funny Car) and Clay Millican (Top Fuel) were voted in by fans for the final spot for the Shootout in their respective classes. ... Funny Car driver Alexis DeJoria, who suffered a fractured pelvis in a hard crash more than a month ago in a wreck in Sonoma, Calif., will return to compete this weekend. ... Among drivers in competition this weekend: 84-year-old Top Fuel driver Chris Karamesines, who still routinely makes runs of over 300 mph. ... The delayed final round of Pro Stock from the Seattle race will be contested this weekend pitting Vincent Nobile and Aaron Strong, who will be competing in only the ninth race of his career and first career final round appearance. Winners of the most recent race two weeks ago at Brainerd, Minnesota, were: Brittany Force (Top Fuel), Del Worsham (Funny Car), Drew Skillman (Pro Stock) and Andrew Hines (Pro Stock Motorcycle).

Western New York

Lancaster National: IHRA Drag Racing/Buffalo Street Outlaws, Friday, 7 p.m.; Off Week For Stock Cars.

Holland Speedway: NASCAR Pro Modified/Charger Twin 75’s, Saturday, 4:30 p.m.

Ransomville Speedway: 358 Modified/Sportsman Point Finale, Friday, 7:15 p.m.

Freedom Motorsports Park: ROC Sportsman Tour, Friday, 7:30 p.m.

Genesee Speedway: Season Point Finale, Saturday, 6 p.m.

Empire Dragway: Empire Nationals, Friday thru Sunday.

Merrittville Speedway: Season Point Finale, Saturday, 7 p.m.

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

Stateline Speedway: Outlaw E-Mod Special, Saturday, 7 p.m.

Wyoming County: SST Sportsman 100, Saturday, 3 p.m.; American Modified 75, Sunday, 3 p.m.

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