By Jeff O'Brien



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TALLADEGA, AL – OCTOBER 14: Ryan Blaney, Team Penske, Ford Mustang Dent Wizard (12) during the running of the 51st annual 500 on October 14, 2019 at Talladega Superspeedway in Talladega, Al. (Photo by Jeff Robinson/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Site: Talladega, Alabama

Schedule: Sunday, race, 2 p.m.

Track: Talladega Superspeedway

Race distance: 188 laps, 500 miles

Last year: Ryan Blaney won after starting 12th.

Last race: Alex Bowman grabbed the lead on a restart with 10 laps to go and outran Denny Hamlin and Joey Logano to win at Richmond Raceway.

Fast facts: Hamlin remains the points leader after notching his eighth top-five finish in nine races. Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Martin Truex Jr. is 81 points behind, followed by Logano, William Byron and Blaney. … Hamlin’s eight top fives are twice as many as any other driver. He’s led 483 laps in the last two races and a series-best 694 overall. … Bowman became the eighth different winner in nine races. His victory for Hendrick Motorsports was the first for the No. 48 since Jimmie Johnson won in June 2017.

Next race: May 2, Kansas City, Kansas.


AG-PRO 300

PHOENIX, AZ – MARCH 09: Justin Haley (11) LeafFilter Gutter Protection Chevrolet pits for tires and fuel at the NASCAR Xfinity iK9 Service Dog 200 race on March 09, 2019 at ISM Raceway in Phoenix, AZ. (Photo by Lyle Setter/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Site: Talladega, Alabama

Schedule: Saturday, race, 4 p.m.

Track: Talladega Superspeedway

Race distance: 113 laps, 300 miles

Last year: Justin Haley won after starting from the pole position.

Last race: Josh Berry won at Martinsville for his first career victory.

Fast facts: Defending series champion Austin Cindric is the only repeat winner after seven races and leads the points race by 42 over Daniel Hemric. Harrison Burton is third, followed by Haley and Jeb Burton, Harrison’s cousin. … Cindric is the only driver in the top five in the point standings to have won a race this season. … Berry’s victory came in just his 13th career start in a career that started in 2014. … Rookie Ty Gibbs, 18, has finished in the top 5 in all three of his starts.

Next race: May 8, Darlington, South Carolina.



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Last race: John Hunter Nemechek held off team owner Kyle Busch for the second time in the last four races to join Ben Rhodes as repeat winners this season.

LAS VEGAS, NV – MARCH 05: John Hunter Nemechek, driver of the #4 Kyle Busch Motorsports Mobil 1 Toyota Tundra, poses by his truck with the Sunoco checkered flag after winning the race during the Bucked Up 200 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race, on March 5, 2021, at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in Las Vegas, NV. (Photo by Chris Williams/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Next race: May 1, Kansas City, Kansas.


Last race: Max Verstappen outran seven-time champion Lewis Hamilton to win the Italian Grand Prix.

Next race: May 2, Portimao, Portugal.


Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg

Site: St. Petersburg, Florida.

Schedule: Friday, practice, 4:15 p.m.; Saturday, practice, 9:45 a.m. and qualifying, 1:45 p.m.; Sunday, race, 12:30 p.m.

Track: Streets of St. Petersburg.

Race distance: 100 laps, 180 miles.

Last year: Josef Newgarden won in the final event of a 14-race season.

Leeds, AL – APRIL 18: NTT IndyCar series driver Alex Palou (10) takes a selfie in victory lane after winning the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama on April 18, 2021 at Barber Motorsports Park in Leeds, Alabama. (Photo by Brian Spurlock/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Last race: Alex Palou earned his first career victory in his debut race with Chip Ganassi Racing, winning the series opener at Barber Motorsports Park in Alabama.

Fast facts: Palou became the second Spaniard to win in the IndyCar Series, joining Oriol Servia, who won in 2005 at Montreal. … He beat Will Power by 0.4016 seconds. Six-time champion Scott Dixon was third. … Newgarden, a three-time winner at Barber, spun on the opening lap, starting a crash that also collected Andretti Autosport championship contenders Colton Herta and Ryan Hunter-Reay. … Seven-time NASCAR Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson finished 19th is his series debut.

Next race: May 1, Fort Worth, Texas.


Last event: Steve Torrence won in Top Fuel and Bob Tasca III won in Funny Car in the Four-Wide Nationals in Las Vegas.

Next event: May 2, Commerce, Georgia.


Next event: April 22-24, Bristol, Tennessee.


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