Fuel & Tires: NASCAR, IndyCar, Formula One all in action this weekend

 

Bob Brodbeck

It's another full weekend of racing action with NASCAR, IndyCar and Formula One all taking to the track.

NASCAR

Both the Camping World Truck and Sprint Cup Series will be at Michigan International Speedway this weekend while the Xfinity Series returns to Road America.

Kevin Harvick won his second race of the season in the Bass Pro Shops NRA Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway which turned into a Sunday afternoon race due to a rain delay. Harvick's two closest rivals in the points chase, Brad Keselowski and Kurt Busch, finished 33rd and 38th, respectively.

Ricky Stenhouse Jr. took second to tie his best career result and Denny Hamlin, the winner of the previous race at Watkins Glen, came home third.

Joey Logano won at Michigan in June and Matt Kenseth is the defending winner of this Sunday's race. Greg Biffle has won at Michigan four times in his career while Kenseth, Hamlin and Kurt Busch have all won there twice.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. will sit out the race at Michigan and miss his sixth race in a row while he continues to recover from concussion symptoms. Alex Bowman will be subbing for Earnhardt this weekend while Jeff Gordon will be back in Earnhardt's car next weekend at Darlington.

Coverage of the Camping World Truck Series Careers for Veterans 200 starts at noon Saturday on Fox Sports One; coverage of Saturday's Xfinity Road America 180 starts at 2 p.m. Saturday on NBC Sports Network; coverage of Sprint Cup's Pure Michigan 400 starts at 1 p.m. Sunday on NBC Sports Network.

INDYCAR

The Verizon IndyCar Series also experienced a rain delay last weekend, having to run the ABC Supply 500 at Pocono Raceway on Monday. Will Power took the win with pole sitter Mikhail Aleshin finishing second and defending race winner Ryan Hunter-Reay finishing third.

Power's win, coupled with a crash by points leader and Team Penske teammate Simon Pagenaud, means Power is now only 20 points out of the lead. In the last six races, Power has four wins and has not finished worse than second. With only three races remaining in the season, you can bet things will get very interesting.

Hunter-Reay, who started last due to a practice crash Saturday, looked to be a lock for the win and was leading when his engine inexplicably shut off. After getting his engine refired, Hunter-Reay was able to get going again, but was back in last place. A spirited charge back through the field came up a bit short, but I think if he would have had a few more laps he could have caught and passed Aleshin and Power.

The series returns to Texas Motor Speedway on Saturday to complete the Firestone 600, which suffered two consecutive days of rain delays back in June. The race, which will be the last oval race of the season, will continue from lap 71 with James Hinchcliffe leading. Josef Newgarden and Conor Daly, who were involved in a crash on lap 42, will not compete.

Coverage of the Firestone 600 starts at 7 p.m. on NBC Sports Network.

FORMULA ONE

Formula One returns from its summer break for the Belgian Grand Prix, a race in which six drivers in the field have won. Defending race winner and points leader Lewis Hamilton will no doubt look to extend his points lead over Mercedes teammate Nico Rosberg. Hamilton currently leads Rosberg by 19 points and has won six of the last seven races.

However, Hamilton expects to have to serve a grid penalty after using up his allotted engine component parts earlier in the season. This will certainly make it more difficult for Hamilton to chalk up another win, but don't be surprised if he pulls one out.

The other former winners in the field include Daniel Ricciardo, Sebastian Vettel, Jenson Button, Kimi Raikkonen and Felipe Massa. It's doubtful that Button or Massa will be able to get a second win at the famed Spa-Francorchamps track, but perhaps Ricciardo can take his first win of the year to match teammate Max Verstappen's win total on the year. You can also never count out the Ferrari duo of Vettel and Raikkonen.

Coverage of the Belgian Grand Prix starts at 6:30 a.m. Sunday on NBC Sports Network.

LOCAL RACES

—NASCAR Late Models, Sportsman, Bandit and American Ethanol Truck Series features are on tap at Madison International Speedway, starting at 7:30 p.m. Friday. There will also be a post-race driver/fan party and charity corn boil.

Jefferson Speedway will feature a full racing program, starting at 7 p.m. Saturday while Rockford Speedway will have Late Model, Sportsman, Roadrunner and Short Tracker features as well as a boat race and a Double Spin to Win race. Action starts at 7 p.m. Saturday.

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