MONSTER ENERGY NASCAR CUP SERIESMONSTER ENERGY NASCAR CUP SERIES: 1000BULBS.COM 500 (188 laps, 500.08 miles around a 2.66-mile D-shaped oval), Talladega Superspeedway; Talladega, Ala.TV: Sunday, 2 p.m. ET (Green flag approx. 2:20 p.m. ET) — NBC (Radio: Motor Racing Network, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio Channel 90).THIS WEEK: Every driver knows it’s coming, but that doesn’t make a trip to Talladega any easier. The gargantuan superspeedway sees the highest speeds and biggest wrecks almost every year, and Sunday will likely be no different. … This will be the 31st of 36 races on the season and serves as the middle race of the playoffs’ second round of three, the Round of 12. … Restrictor plates are used to reduce air intake into the engine and reduce power so the cars can safely navigate the high-banked track. … This will be the 99th race at Talladega, a track first opened in 1969. … Brad Keselowski won this race last year, and teammate Joey Logano won the April race. … Chase Elliott earned his second career victory Sunday at Dover and is safely through to the next round of the playoffs, leaving the other 11 playoff drivers sweating “The Big One” at Talladega, a wreck that could gather up more than 20 cars in one fell swoop, and one that no amount of talent guarantees a driver can avoid. … Wins put a driver atop the standings, but the points are more important at this stage — as many as seven and as few as five drivers will advance to the next round based on points. … Kevin Harvick leads the points (3,101, second in the standings), followed by Kyle Busch (3,096, third), Martin Truex Jr. (3,069, fourth), Logano (3,064, fifth), *Elliott (3,056, first), Kurt Busch (3,054, sixth), Keselowski (3,054, seventh), Ryan Blaney (3,013, eighth), Aric Almirola (3,033, ninth), Clint Bowyer (3,033, 10th), Kyle Larson (3,031, 11th) and Alex Bowman (3,009, 12th).(All stats and standings per NASCAR.com)*Victory and advancement to the next round.NASCAR XFINITY SERIESTHIS WEEK: The series takes off a week before returning at Kansas on Oct. 20 to kick off its Round of 8. … Rookie Christopher Bell won at Dover, his sixth of the year and second in the playoffs. … Bell leads the points and standings after the reset for the Round of 8 (3,044), followed by Justin Allgaier (3,039), Daniel Hemric (3,013), Cole Custer (3,011), Elliott Sadler (3,011), Tyler Reddick (3,010), Matt Tifft (3,003) and Austin Cindric (3,001).(All stats and standings per NASCAR.com)NASCAR CAMPING WORLD TRUCK SERIES: FR8 AUCTIONS 250 (94 laps, 250.04 miles around a 2.66-mile D-shaped oval), Talladega Superpeedway; Talladega, Ala.TV: Saturday, 1 p.m. ET (Green flag approx. 1:20 p.m. ET) — Fox (Radio: Motor Racing Network, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio Channel 90).THIS WEEK: After three weeks off for the Trucks, the 19th of 23 races looms at Talladega, and the playoff field will be narrowed from eight to six. … This will be the 13th series race at Talladega, where the trucks have made one visit a year since 2006. … Grant Enfinger won the previous race at Las Vegas (and he won here in 2016), joining Justin Haley, a winner in August in Canada with a guaranteed spot in the Round of 6 at Martinsville on Oct. 27. … Johnny Sauter leads the Truck points (2,124 points, third in the standings), followed by Noah Gragson (2,107, fourth), Brett Moffitt (2,102, fifth), *Haley (2,101, first), Matt Crafton (2,091, sixth), *Enfinger (2,089, second), Ben Rhodes (2,084) and Stewart Friesen (2,081).*Victory and advancement to the next round.(All stats and standings per NASCAR.com)VERIZON INDYCAR SERIESTHIS WEEK: The 2019 season starts March 10 in St. Petersburg, Fla.FORMULA ONETHIS WEEK: The Japanese Grand Prix might be seen as the death knell for any challenge to Lewis Hamilton’s march to the championship, as he cruised to an easy victory Sunday. The only other title contender, Sebastian Vettel, rolled home sixth, more than a minute behind. … Next up is the U.S. Grand Prix in Austin, Texas, on Oct. 21 for the 18th of 21 races on the season. Hamilton can secure the championship in Austin if he outpoints Vettel by at least eight points, as easy as winning (which he has done five of the past six years), and seeing Vettel finish third or lower. … Great Britain’s Hamilton leads the standings in his Mercedes (331 points), followed by Germany’s Vettel, Ferrari (264), Finland’s Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes (207), Finland’s Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari (196) and Belgium’s Max Verstappen, Red Bull (173).NATIONAL HOT ROD ASSOCIATION: NHRA CAROLINA NATIONALS, Friday-Sunday, at zMax Dragway; Concord, N.C.TV: Eliminations, Sunday, 2-5 p.m. ET FS1 (Live)THIS WEEK: The series heads to Charlotte for the 22nd of 24 events on the season after a thriller in Texas last weekend gave clarity to the championship races in all four pro classes. … Winners at Texas were Steve Torrence in Top Fuel, Robert Hight in Funny Car, Tanner Gray in Pro Stock and LE Tonglet in Pro Stock Motorcycle. The PSM class will race at each event the rest of the season. … Torrence leads the Top Fuel standings (2,468 points), followed by Clay Millican (2,365), Tony Schumacher (2,303), Leah Pritchett (2,244), Antron Brown (2,221), Terry McMillen (2,189), Doug Kalitta (2,169), Mike Salinas (2,150), Brittany Force (2,140) and Scott Palmer (2,117). … Hight leads Funny Car (2,387), followed by J.R. Todd (2,337), Tim Wilkerson (2,254), Tommy Johnson Jr. (2,251), Courtney Force (2,232), Ron Capps (2,215), Matt Hagan (2,175), Jack Beckman (2,172), John Force (2,168) and Shawn Langdon (2,120). … Gray leads Pro Stock (2,409), followed by Vincent Nobile (2,320), Jeg Coughlin Jr. (2,319), Drew Skillman (2,275), Greg Anderson (2,266), Erica Enders (2,251), Jason Line (2,175), Bo Butner (2,154), Deric Kramer (2,136) and Chris McGaha (2,096). … Tonglet leads Pro Stock Motorcycle (2,356), followed Eddie Krawiec (2,309), Matt Smith (2,308), Hector Arana Jr. (2,253), Jerry Savoie (2,247), Andrew Hines (2,233), Steve Johnson (2,183), Angie Smith (2,168), Angelle Sampey (2,143) and Scotty Pollacheck (2,125).-NHRA standings are unofficial.