There is a lot of racing action this weekend, including IndyCar's month of May kick-off, a NASCAR triple-header at Dover and Formula One in Spain. Let's get to it!
BACK HOME AGAIN IN INDIANA
This weekend sees the third running of the Angie's List Grand Prix of Indianapolis, run on the road course within Indianapolis Motor Speedway. While the race promises to be exciting, it's really just a lead-in for the rest of the month as teams will qualify for the Indianapolis 500 next weekend with the 100th running of the race held May 29.
Defending race winner Will Power is going to be looking to kick his season into high gear by claiming a second win at the track while his Penske Racing teammate Simon Pagenaud will be looking to take his third win in a row this season. Pagenaud won the inaugural running of this race in 2014 driving for Sam Schmidt Motorsports.
Scott Dixon had the fastest practice speed Thursday while Power and Pagenaud were second and third quick. Graham Rahal and Sebastien Bourdais rounded out the top five with Rahal the fastest of four Honda drivers in the top ten. Qualifying is scheduled for 2 p.m. Friday and will be streamed live on IndyCar.com.
Coverage of the Angie's List Grand Prix of Indianapolis starts at 2:30 p.m. Saturday on ABC.
INDYCAR TO RETURN TO WATKINS GLEN
With the cancellation of the Boston Grand Prix, which was to be run Labor Day weekend, the Verizon IndyCar Series is returning to an old friend in the East.
It was announced Friday that IndyCar will return to Watkins Glen International in place of the cancelled Boston race. The famed 3.4-mile road course located in Seneca Lake, New York was home to Formula One's United States Grand Prix from 1961-1980 and last hosted the IndyCar Series in 2010, a race won by Will Power. The track has also hosted a Sprint Cup race since 1986, which current IndyCar driver Juan Pablo Montoya won in 2010.
With the return to Road America this season, getting back to Watkins Glen is a double win for IndyCar fans.
BUSCH WINS AGAIN
At Kansas Speedway on Saturday, Kyle Busch won his third Sprint Cup race of the season to pull within four points of championship leader Kevin Harvick. It was the eighth NASCAR win of the season for the defending Sprint Cup champion, who has also won four Xfinity Series races and a Camping World Truck Series race. I think you could safely say that Busch on another level this season.
Busch's team, Joe Gibbs Racing, has won six of eleven races so far this season, with Kenseth being the only winless driver in the stable. Kenseth did, however, finish fourth on Saturday for his best finish of the season.
Harvick finished second while Kyle's brother Kurt rounded out the podium. Tony Stewart came home twelfth in his third race back this season (though Austin Dillon filled in for Stewart following the first caution at Talladega two races ago) and even led a few laps. If Stewart wins a race to qualify for the Chase for the Sprint Cup, he also needs to be within the top 30 in points, which he is 59 points out of at this time.
All three series race at Dover International Raceway this weekend with Janesville native Travis Kvapil competing in both the Truck Series and Xfinity Series races. Defending Sprint Cup race winner Jimmie Johnson has won three of the last four spring races at Dover and has ten wins overall at the one-mile concrete oval track. Other multiple winners at the track include Kenseth, Stewart, Kyle Busch and Ryan Newman.
Coverage of the Camping World Truck Series Dover 200 starts at 4:30 p.m. Friday on Fox Sports 1 while coverage of the Xfinity Series Ollie's Bargain Outlet 200 starts at 1:30 p.m. Saturday on Fox. Coverage of Sprint Cup's AAA Drive for Autism starts at noon Sunday on Fox Sports 1.
CAN ROSBERG WIN AGAIN?
Formula One hits Barcelona for the Spanish Grand Prix and defending race winner Nico Rosberg looks to take his fifth win in five races this season and eighth in a row. Rosberg's Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton is going to try to make up some ground at a track he's only won at once.
The Spanish Grand Prix has been part of the F1 calendar since 1968, though it wasn't held from 1982-1985. Michael Schumacher is the all-time win leader in Spain with six while Kimi Raikkonen and Fernando Alonso have both won there twice.
Keep your eye on Max Verstappen, who steps into Daniil Kvyat's seat at Red Bull Racing and is looking to become the youngest F1 winner in history. While it's not likely he'll actually win this weekend, if he can get a good start and stay out of trouble, he may get a podium finish.
Coverage of the Spanish Grand Prix starts at 6:30 a.m. Sunday on NBC Sports Network.
—UPDATE: Due to impending rain, Friday's season opener at Madison International Speedway in Oregon has been rained out. Next Thursday will be the track's first Thursday Night Street Drags on the 300-foot drag strip. Main brackets begin at 7:30 p.m. and tickets are $10. Friday night will see open competition speed trials as well as action in Late Model, Sportsman, Bandit and Vintage Racing of Illinois. Gates open at 6 p.m. with the first race and speed trials at 7 p.m. Tickets are $14 adults, $12 seniors, $8 students ages 12-17 and $5 kids ages 6-12. Click here for tickets.
—Michael Bilderback took his first Late Model win of the year Saturday at Rockford Speedway. Nick Cina Jr. took the win in the Short Tracker feature; Richie Schinderling claimed the Roadrunner feature and Cassy Frisch won the Winged Women on Wheels event. A full slate of events is scheduled for Saturday with gates opening at 5 p.m. and racing at 7:05 p.m. Tickets are $12 adults, $9 students ages 12-17 and $5 kids ages 6-11. Click here for tickets.
—Jefferson Speedway's season got underway Saturday with Dale Nottestad winning the Late Model feature. Jim Tate Jr. won in the Sportsman division; Mark English took the International feature; Chester Williams won in the Hobby Stock feature; Chris Gottschalk claimed the win in the Road Warrior feature and DJ Hill won the Bandit feature. A full program of racing is scheduled for Saturday including a 50-lap Late Model feature and the American Ethanol Super Trick Series. Gates open at 3 p.m. with time trials start at 5 p.m. and racing at 7 p.m. Tickets are $12 adults, $8 seniors and students ages 12-15 and $4 kids ages 8-11.