With the Indianapolis 500 now in the books for another year, it’s time to put the spotlight back on the chase for season championships.

NASCAR is center stage in that regard this week with the final week of the Cup Series set for Daytona International Speedway on Saturday. Drivers and crew chiefs (and the graphics folks at NBC TV) will have plenty of numbers and scenarios to share before and during the Coke Zero Sugar 400. Of course, the drivers currently outside the 16-driver playoff window can get in with a win.

It will make for a fun Saturday night, for sure.

IndyCar is back with a doubleheader at the World Wide Technology Raceway (formerly Gateway), and F1 kicks off its latest triple-header with a race at historic Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium.

Here’s where to find the major racing action this weekend:

Table of Contents


What: NASCAR Cup Series Coke Zero Sugar 400 (Sat.), NASCAR Xfinity Series Wawa 250 (Fri.); NASCAR Gander RV and Outdoors Truck Series WWT Raceway 200 (Sun.).

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Matt DiBenedetto will be trying to hold on to one of the final NASCAR Cup Series playoff spots this weekend at Daytona International Speedway.

Hunter MartinGetty Images

Where: Cup and Xfinity at Daytona Beach, Fla., Trucks at Madison, Ill.

Why it is a Must-See: The last race of NASCAR’s regular season will determine the 16-driver field for the playoffs. William Byron leads Hendrick Motorsports teammate Jimmie Johnson by four points for that final playoff spot. Matt DiBenedetto is five points up on Byron. Johnson will be throwing everything he’s got at this one in what is his final season in the Cup Series.

What to Watch:

Split screens will be popular on race day, as there’s a good chance the top two finishers between DiBenedetto, Byron and Johnson will punch their tickets to the playoffs.

Denny Hamlin, who has six wins this season, won the Daytona 500 in February. He’ll be trying to become the first driver to sweep the two races on the big oval at Daytona International Speedway since Johnson won both the Daytona 500 and Coke Zero 400 in 2013.

• Justin Haley is giving the big boys a break this week. The Xfinity Series regular, who has started just four Cup Series races in his career, won last year’s rain-shortened Coke Zero Sugar 400 at Daytona. This year, he’s racing in the Xfinity race on Friday night. Haley is currently seventh in the Xfinity Series playoff standings.

Where to Find the Action:


NASCAR Xfinity Series Wawa 250 Powered by Coca-Cola, Daytona Beach, Fla.; 7:30 p.m., NBCSN (L)


ARCA Menards Series Dutch Boy 150, Madison, Ill.; 6 p.m., MAVTV, NBC Sports Gold TrackPass (L)

NASCAR Cup Series Coke Zero Sugar 400, Daytona Beach, Fla.; 7 p.m., NBC (L)


NASCAR Gander RV & Outoors Truck Series WWT Raceway 200 Presented by CK Power, Madison, Ill.; noon, FS1 (L)

NASCAR Gander RV & Outoors Truck Series WWT Raceway 200 Presented by CK Power, Madison, Ill.; 7:30 p.m., FS2 (S)

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Charles Leclerc is the defending race winner at Spa.

Rudy CarezzevoliGetty Images

Formula 1

What: F1 Belgian Grand Prix (Sun.)

Where: Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium

Why it is a Must-See: This week, Formula 1 and the FIA announced what they hope will be the final, final, final updated 2020 race calendar. That means, hopefully, the goal post is now in place—11 races to go. Lewis Hamilton has a healthy 37-point lead over Max Verstappen in the driver standings. Verstappen doesn’t want to see that gap get much wider.

What to Watch:

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Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc was celebrating atop the victory podium last year at Spa.

Anadolu AgencyGetty Images

• Don’t sleep in on Saturday, as qualifying at Spa means something. Since a 2007 track reconfiguration at Spa, the winner has come from the front row in all but two years. The only drivers to buck that trend were Kimi Raikkonen, who won from the sixth qualifying spot in in 2009, and Daniel Ricciardo, who won from the fifth position in 2014.

• Surprisingly, Spa has not been a winning track for Mercedes in recent years. The team’s last win there was in 2017 with Hamilton, who finished runner-up to Ferrari drivers each of the last two years. Charles Leclerc won there last year, Sebastian Vettel in 2018.

• Spa-Francorchamps is F1’s longest track with a lap distance of 7.004 kilometers (4.3 miles). This tops the second circuit on the list, Baku (3.7 miles). Because of its long lap distance, the Belgian Grand Prix has the lowest number of race laps in F1 with 44, making for a race distance of 191 miles.

Where to Find the Action:


GP3 Practice, Spa-Francorchamps; Belgium, 3:35 a.m., ESPN+

Formula 1 Welcome to the Weekend Preview, Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium; 4:30 a.m., ESPN (L)

Formula 1 Practice 1, Spa-Fancorchamps, Belgium; 4:55 a.m., ESPN (L)

GP3 Qualifying, Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium; 8 a.m., ESPN+ (L)

Formula 1 Practice 2, Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium; 8:55 a.m., ESPN2 (L)

Porsche Supercup Series Practice, Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium; 11:55 a.m., ESPN+ (L)


Formula 3 Race 1, Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium; 4:10 a.m.; ESPN+ (L)

GP3 Series, Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium; 4:25 a.m.; 4:25 a.m., ESPN+ (L)

Formula 1 Practice 3, Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium; 5:55 a.m., ESPN2 (L)

Porsche Supercup Series Qualifying, Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium; 7:45 a.m., ESPN+ (L)

Formula 1 Qualifying, Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium; 8:55 a.m., ESPN (L)


Formula 3 Race 2, Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium; 3:30 a.m., ESPN+ (L)

Porsche Supercup Series, Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium; 6:25 a.m., ESPN+ (L)

Formula 1 Grand Prix Sunday Pre-Race Show, Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium; 7:30 a.m., ESPN (L)

Formula 1 Belgian Grand Prix, Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium; 9 a.m., ESPN (L)

Formula 1 Belgian Grand Prix, Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium; 4:30 p.m, ESPNEWS (S)

Formula 1 Belgian Grand Prix, Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium; 10 p.m., ESPN2 (S)

ntt indycar series   genesys 300

Takuma Sato is hoping to ride the momentum of his second Indianapolis 500 victory into this weekend’s doubleheader.

Richard RodriguezGetty Images

NTT IndyCar Series

What: NTT IndyCar Series Bommarito Automotive Group 500 Race 1 (Sat.), NTT IndyCar Series Bommarito Automotive Group 500 Race 2 (Sun.)

Where: Madison, Ill.

Why it is a Must-See: IndyCar tries to keep the momentum going from Takuma Sato’s victory in the 104th Indianapolis 500. And the series will be doing just that with a doubleheader—the first for IndyCar at that track.

What to Watch:

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Arie Luyendyk, in 1997, is the last driver to win the Indy 500 and the following Indy car race, back to back.

Joe RobbinsGetty Images

• History says one racer who likely won’t win this week is Indy 500 winner Sato. The last winner of the 500 to come back and win the next race was Arie Luyendyk way back in 1997. That year, Luyendyk won Indy and then won the next race at Texas Motor Speedway. Tony Stewart—yes, THAT Tony Stewart—broke Luyendyk’s winning streak three weeks later. However, Sato did win at World Wide Technology Raceway last year.

• Scott Dixon left Indianapolis shaking his head and wondering what might have been had the the 500 not ended under caution. Still, the Ganassi Racing veteran has a healthy 84-point lead in the championship standings over runner-up Josef Newgarden. Dixon, with five championships, is just two titles shy of A.J. Foyt in American open-wheel racing.

• The Bommarito Automotive Group 500 will be the fifth and sixth oval races of the 2020 NTT IndyCar Series schedule. The previous oval races were won by Dixon (Texas Motor Speedway), Simon Pagenaud (Iowa Speedway Race 1), Newgarden (Iowa Speedway Race 2) and Sato (Indianapolis Motor Speedway).

• Watch out for the rookies, as three of them—Oliver Askew, Alex Palou and Rinus VeeKay—are expected to compete. All three rookies, plus Pato O’Ward and Jack Harvey, will make their first NTT IndyCar Series start at World Wide Technology Raceway. O’Ward is currently third in the season points standings.

    Where to Find the Action:

    FRIDAY, AUG. 28

    NTT IndyCar Series Practice, Madison, Ill.; 4:30 p.m., NBC Sports Gold (L)


    NTT IndyCar Series Qualifying, Madison, Ill.; noon, NBC Sports Gold (L)

    Indy Pro 2000 Race, Madison, Ill.; 1 p.m., RoadtoIndy.tv (L)

    NTT IndyCar Series Bommarito Automotive Group 500 Race 1, Madison, Ill.; 3 p.m., NBCSN (L)

    SUNDAY, AUG. 30

    NTT IndyCar Series Bommarito Automotive Group 500 Race 2, Madison, Ill.; 3 p.m., NBCSN (L)

    (L) – Live; (T) – Taped; (S) – Tape delayed

    All times ET

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