After what was quite an exciting weekend of racing, we slow down a little bit, but still have a good amount of action this weekend.
EDWARDS FLIPS FOR BRISTOL
NASCAR Sprint Cup driver Carl Edwards capitalized on the misfortune of his Joe Gibbs Racing teammates to win Sunday's Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway.
While Edwards did lead a race-high 276 laps, both Matt Kenseth and Kyle Busch fell victim to tire blowouts. Kenseth led 142 laps before his crash on lap 187 while Busch crashed on lap 52. Both were able to continue after repairs, but Kenseth finished 36th and Busch took home 38th.
Busch might not have gotten his third consecutive NASCAR weekend sweep, but he did get off to a good start by finishing second in Saturday's Xfinity Series race. Series rookie and last year's Camping World Truck Series champion Erik Jones took his first win of the season.
Both series now head to the 0.75-mile Richmond International Raceway for Xfinity's ToyotaCare 250 on Saturday and Sprint Cup's Toyota Owners 400 on Sunday.
Busch has four wins in the Sprint Cup race, more than any other active driver and Dale Earnhardt Jr. has won this race twice. Busch's brother Kurt, who finished third last weekend, is the defending race winner while Joey Logano and Kevin Harvick also have recent wins.
Earnhardt Jr. has two consecutive second-place finishes the last two weeks and it wouldn't surprise anybody if he won. Harvick and Edwards, first and second in drivers' points, are separated by a single point so watch for both of them to battle fiercely.
Janesville native Travis Kvapil will drive the No. 15 Ford Mustang in Saturday's Xfinity race, his first race in that series since 2009. The partnership is a collaboration between Rick Ware Racing and B.J. McLeod Motorsports.
Coverage for Saturday's ToyotaCare 250 starts at 11:30 a.m. on Fox Sports 1 while coverage for Sunday's Toyota Owners 400 starts at noon on Fox.
Simon Pagenaud took his fifth win of his Verizon IndyCar Series career and his first for team owner Roger Penske on Sunday in the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach, but it wasn't without controversy.
IndyCar issued Pagenaud a warning after it was deemed that he crossed the blend line as he came back on track after his final pit stop. Second-place finisher Scott Dixon thinks Pagenaud should have had a harsher penalty that would likely have given the race win to Dixon.
Regardless of whether Pagenaud should have been penalized, his first win for Team Penske comes in his second season with the team. Pagenaud failed to win a race last season, his worst ever in the IndyCar Series.
The race was also caution-free, something that hasn't happened in the series since 2013 or at Long Beach since 1989. This, of course, contributed to the lack of on-track passing which is hard to do without restarts.
For those keeping score, we've had three different winners in three races this season, though all from the two powerhouse teams of Penske and Chip Ganassi. Team Penske's Juan Pablo Montoya won the season-opener at St. Petersburg while Ganassi's Dixon won at Phoenix. Both teams have the Chevrolet package that has been superior to the Honda package so far this season.
This weekend, the series travels to Barber Motorsports Park, a 16-turn 2.3-mile road course in Birmingham, Alabama for the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama.
Last year's race saw Josef Newgarden grab his maiden series win ahead of fellow American driver Graham Rahal. Ryan Hunter-Reay and Will Power have each won this race twice and Power's teammate Helio Castroneves won the inaugural race in 2010.
Coverage for Sunday's Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama starts at 2:30 p.m. Sunday on NBC Sports Network.
ROSBERG KEEPS ROLLING
Nico Rosberg won his third race of the season and became the fourth driver ever to win sixth in a row, dating back to last season, at Sunday's Chinese Grand Prix. Rosberg now sits 36 points head of Mercedes teammate and defending world champion Lewis Hamilton.
Hamilton finished seventh after starting last in the field following a penalty for an unscheduled gearbox change prior to qualifying. Hamilton also collided with the Sauber-Ferrari of Felipe Nasr early in the race and had to pit to replace a broken front wing.
The Ferrari duo of Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen ran into trouble on the first lap as Red Bull Racing's Daniil Kvyat tried a torpedo move down the inside of Vettel. Vettel's reaction caused him to swerve into Raikkonen, who had to pit after suffering damage. All three were able to continue with Vettel finishing second, Kvyat third and Raikkonen fifth.
Fernando Alonso made a return to the cockpit after missing the Bahrain Grand Prix with broken ribs after a crash in the season-opening Australian Grand Prix. Alonso finished out of the points in twelfth, one place ahead of his McLaren-Honda teammate Jenson Button.
The series now heads to Sochi, Russia for the Russian Grand Prix on Sunday, May 1.
South Beloit's Michael Bilderback won Sunday's Sprint Classic at Rockford Motor Speedway. The reigning Big 8 Late Model Series champion became the seventh driver to win the event multiple times.
The track's season opener gets underway Saturday with Late Models, Sportsman, Short Tracker and Roadrunner divisions. Tickets are $12 adults, $9 students ages 12-17 and $5 kids ages 6-11. Gates open at 5 p.m. with racing at 7 p.m. Click here for more information.