AUTO RACING: NASCAR heads to championship weekend in Arizona; Verstappen wins record 16th F1 race

All Times Eastern


NASCAR Cup Series Championship

Site: Avondale, Arizona.

Schedule: Friday, practice, 8:05 p.m.; Saturday, qualifying, 4:35 p.m.; Sunday, race, 3 p.m. (NBC).

Track: Phoenix Raceway.

Race distance: 312 laps, 312 miles.

Last year: Joey Logano won from the pole position.

Last race: Ryan Blaney led 145 laps at Martinsville and won for the third time this season, and second time in the playoffs, to clinch a Championship 4 berth.

Fast facts: Blaney joined 2021 series champion Kyle Larson and Christopher Bell as drivers who won their way into the Championship 4 while William Byron, the series leader with six victories this season, got in on points. The highest finisher among those four will be the champion. ... Regular season champion Martin Truex Jr. and Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Denny Hamlin, Chris Buescher and Tyler Reddick were eliminated from title contention. ... Chevrolet clinched its 42nd manufacturer championship when the race began at Martinsville, giving Chevy its fifth sweep of the manufacturer title in the Cup, Xfinity and truck series.

Next race: Feb. 4, Los Angeles (non-points race); Feb. 15, Daytona Beach, Florida.



NASCAR Xfinity Series Championship

Site: Avondale, Arizona.

Schedule: Friday, practice, 7:05 p.m.; Saturday, qualifying, 3:30 p.m., and race, 7 p.m. (USA).

Track: Phoenix Raceway.

Race distance: 200 laps, 200 miles.

Last year: Ty Gibbs won from the pole position.

Last race: Justin Allgaier beat Sheldon Creed in a door-to-door overtime battle at Martinsville to earn his sixth attempt at an Xfinity Series championship.

Fast facts: Allgaier joins Sam Mayer, who won his way in, and John Hunter Nemechek and Cole Custer in the Championship 4. The top finisher at Phoenix among those four will be a first-time champion. ... Creed needed a victory to advance but finished second by 0.032 seconds. He was eliminated along with Austin Hill, Sammy Smith, who led 147 of the 256 laps, and Chandler Smith.

Next race: Feb 17, Daytona Beach, Florida.



Craftsman 150

Site: Avondale, Arizona.

Schedule: Thursday, practice, 8 p.m.; Friday, qualifying, 6:05 p.m., and race, 10 p.m. (FS1).

Track: Phoenix Raceway.

Race distance: 150 laps, 150 miles.

Last year: Zane Smith won from the pole position.

Last race: Carson Hocevar earned his fourth career victory — all this season — and first NASCAR Truck Series Championship appearance with a victory at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

Fast facts: Hocevar joins regular-season champion Corey Heim, Grant Enfinger and 2021 series champion Ben Rhodes in the Championship 4. ... Defending series champion Zane Smith was disqualified after finishing second at Homestead-Miami for using an unapproved windshield support. ... Hocevar leads all drivers with four victories this season. Heim, Enfinger and Christian Eckes all won three times.

Next race: Feb. 16, Daytona Beach, Florida.



Sao Paulo Grand Prix

Site: Sao Paulo, Brazil.

Schedule: Friday, practice, 10:30 a.m. and 2 p.m.; Saturday, Sprint Shootout, 10 a.m., and Sprint, 2:30 p.m.; Sunday, race, Noon (ESPN).

Track: Autódromo José Carlos Pace.

Race distance: 71 laps, 190.064 miles.

Last year: George Russell won after starting from the pole position.

Last race: Max Verstappen, already the season champion for the third season in a row, started third in Mexico City, quickly gained the lead and set a Formula One record with his 16th victory of the season.

Fast facts: Verstappen has won 16 of 19 races after winning 15 of 22 last season. ... Verstappen's Red Bull teammate Sergio Perez, racing in his home country, crashed seconds after the start and saw his lead over seven-time champion Lewis Hamilton shrink from 39 points to 20 in the battle for second place in the standings with three races remaining. Hamilton is 37 points clear of fourth place Carlos Sainz.

Next race: Nov. 18, Las Vegas.



Last race: Scott Dixon won at Laguna Seca, his third win of the season, all in the last four races. The six-time champion gave Chip Ganassi Racing a 1-2 finish in the standings. A week earlier, teammate Alex Palou became the first driver in 18 years to clinch the title before the final race of the season.

Next race: 2024 season opener at St. Petersburg, Florida.



Last event: Mike Salinas won in Top Fuel and Robert Hight won in Funny Car in Las Vegas.

Next event: Nov. 9-12, Pomona, California.



Next events: Nov. 1-4, Concord, North Carolina.



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