AUTO RACING: NASCAR Heads East; F1 kicks off in the Middle East

Chase Briscoe, top, celebrates winning a NASCAR Cup Series stock car race at Phoenix Raceway on Sunday, March 13, 2022, in Avondale, Arizona.  (AP Photo/Daryl Webb)

Chase Briscoe, top, celebrates winning a NASCAR Cup Series stock car race at Phoenix Raceway on Sunday, March 13, 2022, in Avondale, Arizona. (AP Photo/Daryl Webb)

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NASCAR CUP SERIES

Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500

Site: Hampton, Ga.

Hours: Friday, practice, 5 pm; Saturday, classification, 12:30 p.m.; Sunday, race, 3 p.m. (FOX)

Track: Atlanta Motor Speedway.

Race distance: 325 laps, 500 miles.

Last year: Ryan Blaney won after starting 10th.

Last Race: Chase Briscoe held on at Phoenix through two late restarts to claim his first NASCAR premier series victory.

Fast facts: Briscoe became the 200th different race winner in series history. … he led for 101 laps, second to Blaney’s 144 out front. … Joey Logano went on to lead the points by four over Kyle Busch and five over Chase Elliott. … Busch and Aric Almirola share the series lead with three starts in the top 10 in four races.

Next race: March 27, Austin, Texas.

Online: http://www.nascar.com

NASCAR XFINITY SERIES

Cars Naley 250

Site: Hampton, Ga.

Hours: Friday, practice, 4 pm; Saturday, qualifying, 11:30 am, and race, 5:00 pm (FS1)

Track: Atlanta Motor Speedway.

Race distance: 163 laps, 251 miles.

Last year: Justin Allgaier won after starting sixth.

Last Race: Noah Gragson led 114 of 200 laps at Phoenix to claim his first win of the season.

Fast facts: Gragson has finished in the top three in all four races and leads the points standings by 39 points over Ty Gibbs. … Gibbs recovered to finish sixth after a hit by Josh Berry spun him around on Lap 56. … The last 100 laps at Phoenix were all green flags. … Allgaier and AJ Allmendinger have four top-10 finishes and Berry three top-five finishes.

Next race: March 26, Austin, Texas.

Online: http://www.nascar.com

NASCAR TRUCK SERIES

Fr8 208

Site: Hampton, Ga.

Hours: Friday, practice, 3 p.m.; Saturday, qualifying, 10:30 am, and race, 2:30 pm (FS1)

Track: Atlanta Motor Speedway.

Race distance: 135 laps, 208 miles.

Last year: Kyle Busch won after starting second.

Last race: Chandler Smith won in Las Vegas for the third win of his career.

Fast facts: Zane Smith, winner of the season opener at Daytona, is just 12th in the points after being disqualified at Las Vegas. … Tanner Gray is second in points and the only driver with top-five finishes in the first two races. Ty Majeski and Matt DiBenedetto are the only others with two top-10 finishes.

Next race: March 26, Austin, Texas.

Online: http://www.nascar.com

FORMULA ONE

Bahrain Grand Prix

Site: Sakhir, Bahrain.

Hours: Friday, practice, 8 am and 11 am; Saturday, practice, 8 am, and qualifying, 11 am; Sunday, race, 11 a.m. (ESPN)

Track: Bahrain International Circuit.

Race distance: 57 laps, 191.53 miles.

Last year: Lewis Hamilton won after starting second.

Last race: Max Verstappen passed Hamilton, the seven-time series champion, on the final lap in Abu Dhabi to win his first series championship.

Fast facts: Verstappen (10) and Hamilton (8) combined to win all but four of last season’s races, but neither led the most laps. That distinction corresponded to Carlos Sainz Jr. with 1,294. … In an effort to level the competition, F1 cut budgets from $145 million to $140 million for each team this year.

Next race: March 27, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

Online: http://www.formula1.com

INDYCAR

XPEL 375

Location: Fort Worth, Texas.

Schedule: Saturday, practice, 10:45 am, qualifying, 2:00 pm and practice, 5:00 pm; Sunday, race, 12:40 p.m. (NBC)

Track: Texas Motor Speedway.

Race distance: 248 laps, 372.8 miles.

Last year: Scott Dixon, after starting third, and Patricio O’Ward, after starting fourth, won on consecutive days under the pandemic-altered schedule.

Last Race: Scott McLaughlin scored his first career win in the season opener at St. Petersburg, Florida.

Fast facts: Seven-time NASCAR champion Jimmie Johnson, in his second single-seater season, will race on a more familiar oval for the first time. He competed only on road and street circuits last season. … Scott Dixon leads all drivers with five wins at Texas, a record for success that began in June 2008.

Next race: April 10, Long Beach, California.

Online: http://www.indycar.com

NHRA DRAG RACES

Last Event: Tripp Tatum won Top Fuel and Matt Hagan won Funny Car at the Gatornationals in Gainesville, Florida.

Next event: April 1-3, Las Vegas.

Online: http://www.nhra.com

WORLD OF RIFLES

Upcoming events: March 18, Merced, California, and March 19, Watsonville, California.

Online: http://worldofoutlaws.com/sprintcars

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