AUTO RACING: Bell leads NASCAR into Nashville, Verstappen seeks F1 win in Austria (2024)

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ALLY 400

Site: Lebanon, Tennessee.

Schedule: Saturday practice, 2:05 p.m., qualifying, 2:50 p.m.; Sunday race, 3:30 p.m. (NBC).

Track: Nashville Superspeedway.

Race distance: 300 laps, 399 miles.

Last year: Ross Chastain ended a winless drought of 14 months when he held off Martin Truex Jr. to win at Nashville in giving Trackhouse Racing its first victory at its home track. Truex finished ahead of Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Denny Hamlin, both in Toyotas. Chase Elliott was fourth and Hendrick Motorsports teammate Kyle Larson was fifth.

Last race: Christopher Bell used wet weather tires to win at a New Hampshire track hit with soggy weather. The victory capped an eventful — and successful — weekend where he took the Xfinity Series race on Saturday and spilled the beans on Chase Briscoe joining Joe Gibbs Racing for the retiring Truex in 2025. JGR announced the move officially this past Tuesday.

Fast facts: Tyler Reddick was in front when the New Hampshire race was halted with 82 laps because of rain. And it was unlikely to resume if not for NASCAR’s wet-weather tires. ... Past champion Kyle Larson remains on top in the driver’s standings with Rick Hendrick teammate Chase Elliott in second. Denny Hamlin is third heading to Nashville.


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Next race: July 7, Chicago.



Tennessee Lottery 250

Site: Lebanon, Tennessee.

Schedule: Saturday practice, 12 p.m., qualifying, 12:30 p.m.; Saturday race, 5 p.m. (USA).

Track: Nashville Superspeedway.

Race distance: 188 laps, 250.4 miles.

Last year: A.J. Allendinger pulled away on the second OT restart to win. Riley Herbst finished second, with Sam Mayer third, Austin Hill fourth and Josh Berry rounding out the top five in a race with 11 different leaders and 17 lead changes.

Last race: Christopher Bell started his weekend racing sweep at New Hampshire with a victory, his fourth straight Xfinity win at the track. Bell also won there in 2018, 2019 and 2021. Bell used a three-wide, last-lap pass to take the checkered flag.

Fast facts: The No. 20 team behind crew chief Tyler Allen has won four times this season with four drivers: John Hunter Nemechek, Aric Almirola, Ryan Truex and Bell. ... Defending Xfinity Series champion Cole Custer continues leading the point standings despite going winless this season. ... Sheldon Creed finished second and Custer third after both were passed by Bell. ... Chevy drivers in Justin Algaier and Allmendinger have won the past two seasons at Nashville.

Next race: July 6, Chicago.



Rackley Roofing 200

Site: Lebanon, Tennessee.

Schedule: Friday practice, 4:30 p.m., qualifying 5 p.m.; Friday race, 8 p.m. (FS2).

Track: Nashville Superspeedway.

Race distance: 150 laps, 199.5 miles.

Last year: Carson Hocevar took the lead with 40 laps remaining and held on to win. Hocevar outdueled Zane Smith and Nick Sanchez by a slight 0.271-second margin in a tightly contested final push.

Last race: On June 1, Corey Heim gained the lead on lap 134 at Madison, Illinois, beat pole-winner Ty Majeski on a restart on Lap 138 and won for the fourth time this season, all in the last eight races.

Next race: July 12, Pocono, Pennsylvania.



Austrian Grand Prix

Site: Spielberg, Austria.

Schedule: Friday practice, 7:30 a.m., Saturday qualifying, 10 a.m.; Sunday race, 9 a.m. (ESPN).

Track: Red Bull Ring.

Race distance: 71 laps, 190.420 miles (306.452 kilometers).

Last year: Max Verstappen wasn’t challenged on his way to a fifth straight win from the pole when he defeated Charles Leclerc and Verstappen’s Red Bull teammate Sergio Perez.

Last race: Verstappen put on a dominant show to win the Spanish Grand Prix. Lando Norris had edged Verstappen for the pole in qualifying, but the three-time champion muscled past Norris and the field at the start and never looked back.

Fast facts: Verstappen has won 51 of the past 76 F1 races. He widened his points lead to 69 points over Norris and 71 over Leclerc.

Next race: July 7, Silverstone, England.



Last race: Two-time IndyCar champion Alex Palou reclaimed the lead in the points standings by winning from the pole last week at Laguna Seca Raceway. Palou has finished on the podium in all four of his career starts at the California track. Colton Herta finished second for Andretti Global and Alexander Rossi finished third to earn his first podium of the season for Arrow McLaren.

Fast facts: Palou has a 23-point lead in the standings over Will Power and 32 over third-place Scott Dixon. ... Romain Grosjean was fourth at Laguna Seca in his best finish since joining Juncos Hollinger Racing this year. ... Palou will look to increase his lead at Mid-Ohio in two weeks. Palou won there in 2023 over Power in second.

Next race: July 7, Lexington, Ohio.



Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals.

Site: Norwalk, Ohio.

Track: Summit Racing Equipment Motorsports Park.

Last event: Doug Kalitta won in Top Fuel and Austin Prock won in Funny Car at North Dinwiddie, Virginia.

Fast facts: Drag racing champion and all-time great, 75-year-old John Force, was injured in a fiery explosion at the end of his Funny Car run. He was alert and talking with safety workers before going to ICU at an area hospital.

Next event: July 19-21, Kent, Washington.



Last events: races at Brandon, South Dakota, schedule for last weekend were canceled because of heavy rain.

Next events: Friday at New Richmond, Wisconsin.



AP auto racing:

AUTO RACING: Bell leads NASCAR into Nashville, Verstappen seeks F1 win in Austria (2024)
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