Blog by: George Thomas and Ron Ledgard
Site: Kansas City, Kan.
Schedule: Friday, practice (Speed, 1-2:30 p.m.), qualifying (Speed, 4:30-6 p.m.); Saturday, practice (Speed, 10-11 a.m.; 12:30-1:30 p.m.); Sunday, race, 1 p.m. (FOX, 12:30-4 p.m.).
Track: Kansas Speedway (oval, 1.5 miles).
Race distance: 400.5 miles, 267 laps.
Last year: Denny Hamlin raced to the second of his five 2012 victories, holding off Martin Truex Jr.
Last week: Kyle Busch won at Texas Motor Speedway to complete his second Cup-Nationwide weekend sweep of the season and record seventh of his career.
Fast facts: Jimmie Johnson leads the season standings, nine points ahead of defending series champion Brad Keselowski. Busch is third, 18 points back. Johnson opened the season with a victory in the Daytona 500 and added his eighth Martinsville victory two weeks ago. ... Clint Bowyer, from Emporia, Kan., won the Truck Series race at the track in 2011. ... Hamlin is sitting out his third race after fracturing a vertebra at Fontana in a last-lap wreck. Brian Vickers will again drive Hamlin’s No. 11 Toyota. ... Matt Kenseth won the October race at the track, the first event since the track with resurfaced.
Next race: Toyota Owners 400, April 27, Richmond International Raceway, Richmond, Va.
CAMPING WORLD TRUCK
Site: Kansas City, Kan.
Schedule: Friday, practice (Speed, 3-4:30 p.m.); Saturday, qualifying (Speed, 11 a.m.-noon), race 2 p.m. (Speed, 1:30-4:30 p.m.).
Track: Kansas Speedway (oval, 1.5 miles).
Race distance: 250.5 miles, 167 laps.
Last year: James Buescher won for the first time in the series, passing Sprint Cup driver Brad Keselowski with 10 laps left. Buescher finished the season with four victories and won the series championship.
Last week: Kyle Larson raced to his first NASCAR national series victory, holding off Cup driver Joey Logano on the final restart at Rockingham Speedway.
Fast facts: The race is the fourth of the season. Johnny Sauter swept the opening races at Daytona and Martinsville. He leads the standings, 16 points ahead of Jeb Burton. ... Sprint Cup star Kyle Busch is driving his own No. 51 Toyota. He has 30 series victories. ... Logano also is racing.
Next race: North Carolina Education Lottery 200, May 17, Charlotte Motor Speedway, Concord, N.C.
Next race: ToyotaCare 250, April 26, Richmond International Raceway, Richmond, Va.
Last week: Kyle Busch won at Texas Motor Speedway for the sixth time in the series, giving him four victories in six races this year and a record 55 overall. He also won the Sprint Cup race.
GRAND PRIX OF LONG BEACH
Site: Long Beach, Calif.
Schedule: Friday, practice; Saturday, practice, qualifying (NBC Sports Network, 6-7 p.m.); Sunday, race, 4:40 p.m. (NBC Sports Channel, 4-7 p.m.)
Track: Streets of Long Beach (street course, 1.968 miles).
Race distance: 157.4 miles, 80 laps.
Last year: Penske Racing’s Will Power raced to the second of his three 2012 victories.
Last race: Defending series champion Ryan Hunter-Reay won April 7 at Barber Motorsports Park to snap Penske Racing’s winning streak at the Alabama track and give Andretti Autosport its second victory of the season.
Fast facts: The race is the third of the season. James Hinchcliffe won the opener at St. Petersburg. ... Hunter-Reay won the 2010 race. ... Mike Conway, the 2011 winner, is racing for Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing on a one-event deal. ... The 11-turn circuit encircles the Long Beach Convention Center. ... The Indy Lights race also is Sunday (NBC Sports Channel, 3-4 p.m.).
Next race: Sao Paulo Indy 300, May 5, Streets of Sao Paulo, Sao Paulo.
BAHRAIN GRAND PRIX
Site: Sakhir, Bahrain.
Schedule: Friday, practice (NBC Sports Network, 7-8:30 a.m.); Saturday, practice, qualifying (NBC Sports Network, 7-8:30 a.m.); Sunday, race, 8 a.m. (NBC Sports Network, 7:30-10:30 a.m., noon-3 p.m.)
Track: Bahrain International Circuit (road course, 3.36 miles).
Race distance: 191.53 miles, 57 laps.
Last year: Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel raced to the first of his five 2012 victories en route to his third straight season championship.
Last week: Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso won the Chinese Grand Prix, pulling away for a 10-second victory over Lotus’ Kimi Raikkonen.
Fast facts: The 2011 race was canceled because of clashes between security forces and anti-government protesters that remain a threat. ... The race is the fourth of the season. Raikkonen won the opener in Australia, and Vettel topped the field in Malaysia after he ignored team orders and overtook teammate Mark Webber for the lead. ... Alonso won at the track in 2010.
Next race: Spanish Grand Prix, May 12, Circuit de Catalunya, Barcelona, Spain
NHRA MELLO YELLO DRAG RACING
NHRA FOUR-WIDE NATIONALS
Site: Concord, N.C.
Schedule: Friday, qualifying; Saturday, qualifying (ESPN2, 5-7 p.m.); Sunday, final eliminations (ESPN2, 7-10 p.m.).
Track: zMAX Dragway.
Last year: Robert Hight became the fifth Funny Car driver to win four straight races, beating John Force, Cruz Pedregon and Ron Capps in the final. Spencer Massey won the Top Fuel competition, and Greg Anderson topped the Pro Stock field.
Last event: Allen Johnson won the regular Pro Stock competition at Las Vegas on April 7 after taking the K&N Horsepower Challenge bonus event. Tony Schumacher won in Top Fuel, and Cruz Pedregon topped the Funny Car field.
Fast facts: The event features racing in four lanes instead of the traditional two. A center wall separates the second and third lanes. ... Schumacher has two victories in four events year and leads the Top Fuel standings. He’s a seven-time season champion. ... Pro Stock Motorcycle is back in the event after a two-year absence. ... The series will return to zMAX Dragway in September for the O’Reilly Auto Parts NHRA Nationals, the opener in the six-race Countdown to the Championship.
Next event: O’Reilly Auto Parts NHRA Spring Nationals, April 26-28, Royal Purple Raceway, Baytown, Texas.
AMERICAN LE MANS SERIES: Tequila Patron American Le Mans Series at Long Beach, Saturday (ABC, Sunday, 1-3 p.m.), Streets of Long Beach, Long Beach, Calif. Online: http://www.alms.com
GRAND-AM ROLEX SPORTS CAR SERIES: Road Atlanta, Saturday (Speed, 4:30-7:30 p.m.), Road Atlanta, Braselton, Ga. Online: http://www.grand-am.com
WORLD OF OUTLAWS: Sprint Car: Friday, Paducah International Raceway, Paducah, Ky.; Saturday, Tri-State Speedway, Haubstadt, Ind. Late Model: Friday, Fayetteville Motor Speedway, Fayetteville, N.C.; Saturday, 311 Motor Speedway, Pine Hall, N.C. Online: http://www.worldofoutlaws.com
U.S. AUTO RACING CLUB: Sprint Car: Saturday, Eldora Speedway, Rossburg, Ohio. Online: http://www.usacracing.com