Formula 1 - United States Grand Prix
Sunday, October 24th - 3:00 p.m. EDT - ESPN
After a short COVID-related hiatus, the United States Grand Prix is back in action. It is great news for auto racing as a whole, as this has quickly become one of the most anticipated events on both the Formula 1 and the American racing calendars. It is even better news for Lewis Hamilton, who sits six points behind Max Verstappen in the championship standings and could use a friendly track in his hunt to retake the lead in the series standings and win his record-setting eighth World Driver's Championship.
Hamilton and Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas had the advantage in practice 1, an advantage so large that other teams were already asking questions about how the team gained such a straight line advantage so quickly. Red Bull struck back in practice 2, leading that session and quickly crushing the thought that this could be a runaway weekend for the Mercedes pair. Neither operation can win the race in qualifying later today, but Max Verstappen will certainly be breathing easier if he can turn that FP2 pace into a pole position and keep his title rival behind him on the grid before tomorrow's race.
NASCAR - Kansas Speedway
Sunday, October 17th - 3:00 p.m. EDT - NBC Sports Network
With Kyle Larson locked into the Championship Four, seven other contenders will see Kansas as their easiest opportunity to lock in a place next to Larson at Phoenix. While this is not the end of the Round of Eight, this is the last intermediate race of the season, and by extent the last race of the 550 horsepower package that will ever be run with this generation of car. The predictability and relative stability that comes with it will be gone when the series heads to Martinsville to conclude the round.
Hendrick Motorsports has been the fastest in the world on these tracks throughout the season, but Chase Elliott, their sole remaining contender not either eliminated or locked into the next round, has been a step behind Larson on these tracks most of the season. He can certainly win at Martinsville, but Kansas represents a chance to step up now and lock himself into a shot to defend his 2020 series title without having to worry about what comes next. After the team's third and fourth cars were eliminated in the chaos at the Charlotte Roval in the last round, a race that saw Elliott on the brink of elimination until the final stint, the team could use the security of a win.
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