What, Why and Where to Watch Racing on TV for Oct. 30-Nov. 1

Mike Pryson
·9 min read
Photo credit: Chris Graythen - Getty Images
Photo credit: Chris Graythen - Getty Images

From Autoweek

The calendar switches over to November this weekend, but don't worry, there's still plenty of racing left in the season.

This week, NASCAR sets its Championship 4 field, NHRA crowns its champions, Formula 1 visits Imola for the first time since 2006, and IMSA is at Monterey, California for the second-to-last race of its season.

Ladies and gentlemen, start your flat screens!

Photo credit: Chris Graythen - Getty Images
Photo credit: Chris Graythen - Getty Images

NASCAR

What: NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series Hall of Fame 200 (Fri.), NASCAR Xfinity Series Draft Top 250 (Sat.), NASCAR Cup Series Xfinity 500 (Sun.)

Where: Martinsville Speedway, Martinsville, Va.

Why it is a Must-See: All three races are the third of the three-race Round of 8, meaning the Championship 4 field will be set after each race. The highest finishing Championship 4 driver at each of the three series finales next week at Phoenix will be a champion. So, yeah, this weekend is a big deal.

What to Watch:

In Cup, there's still a little intrigue and a few drivers enter the weekend with a make-or-break attitude. With a victory already in the books in the Round of 8, Joey Logano is locked into the Championship 4. Kevin Harvick is 42 points above the cut line and a safe bet to advance. Top four after this race advance. If anyone on this list other than Logano wins this week, they're in, regardless of points.

NASCAR CUP STANDINGS

  1. Joey Logano QUALIFIED

  2. Kevin Harvick +42

  3. Denny Hamlin +27

  4. Brad Keselowski +25

  5. Alex Bowman -25

  6. Chase Elliott -25

  7. Martin Truex Jr. -36

  8. Kurt Busch -81

• In Xfinity, there's plenty to watch, as any of the Round of 8 drivers can get in on points. The only driver locked in is Chase Briscoe. Five-time race winner Austin Cindric is only 14 points to the good, while winless underdogs Ross Chastain and Ryan Sieg are still in it. Of course, the easy way to get in for those on the list behind Briscoe is to simply win this week. No problem, right?

NASCAR XFINITY STANDINGS

  1. Chase Briscoe QUALIFIED

  2. Austin Cindric +14

  3. Justin Allgaier +8

  4. Justin Haley +4

  5. Brandon Jones -4

  6. Ross Chastain -15

  7. Noah Gragson -24

  8. Ryan Sieg -43

• The Trucks picture is a bit clearer, as Brett Moffitt and Sheldon Creed are locked in after earlier wins in the Round of 8. Austin Hill is in good shape in the No. 3 spot, so long as one of the bottom four on the list don't win this week. Such a win would have Hill counting points to try to stay above the cutline.

NASCAR GANDER RV & OUTDOORS TRUCK STANDINGS

  1. Brett Mofffit QUALIFIED

  2. Sheldon Creed QUALIFIED

  3. Austin Hill +27

  4. Zane Smith +12

  5. Matt Crafton -12

  6. Grand Enfinger -42

  7. Ben Rhodes -45

  8. Tyler Ankrom -79

Where to Find the Action:

FRIDAY, OCT. 30

NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series NASCAR Hall of Fame 200, Martinvsille, Va.; 8 p.m., FS1 (L)

SATURDAY, OCT. 31

NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series NASCAR Hall of Fame 200, Martinvsille, Va.; 5 a.m., FS1 (T)

NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series NASCAR Hall of Fame 200, Martinvsille, Va.; 10 a.m., FS2 (T)

NASCAR Xfinity Series Draft Top 250, Martinsville, Va.; 3:30 p.m., NBC (L)

SUNDAY, NOV. 1

NASCAR Cup Series Xfinity 500, Martinsville, Va.; 2 p.m., NBC (L)

Photo credit: Bryn Lennon - Formula 1 - Getty Images
Photo credit: Bryn Lennon - Formula 1 - Getty Images

FORMULA 1

What: F1 Emilia Romagna Grand Prix

Where: Imola, Italy

Why it is a Must-See: Hate to be a downer, but the COVID-19 virus is once again on the rise and countries in Europe are preparing for heightened lockdowns in the coming days. Don't be shocked if F1 doesn't get in its last five races this season. Just sayin'. That's good enough reason to tune in this week. You never know is this crazy season what might (or mght not) happen.

What to Watch:

• Note that it's a short race weekend for Formula 1. No Friday practice this week. Tune in Saturday morning for practice and qualifying. It's also F1's first race at the Imola Circuit since 2006. The podium finishers at that 2006 race were Michael Schumacher, Fernando Alonso and Juan Pablo Montoya.

• For those still rooting for someone other than Lewis Hamilton to win the championship, it's a good week to start rooting for engine failure, a blown tire or crash in Turn 1 that takes out the six-time champion—every race for the next five races. So you're saying there's a chance?

• If you like living in the midpack, the battle for third in the F1 Constructors' Championship is entertaining, as Racing Point, McLaren, Renault, Ferrari and AlphaTauri are separated by just 49 points. Anyone of these teams could still finish third.

F1 CONSTRUCTOR STANDINGS

  1. Mercedes 435

  2. Red Bull 226

  3. Racing Point 126

  4. McLaren 124

  5. Renaul 120

  6. Ferrari 93

  7. AlphaTauri 77

  8. Alfa Romeo 5

  9. Haas 3

  10. Williams 0

• The only real drama left on the driver side (unless you look your buddy in the eye and honestly say you care about which midpack driver finishes fourth in the points), is whether or not Hamilton clinches the tile with three races left in the season or two. There are five races left, and the math won't let him do it this week.

F1 DRIVER STANDINGS

  1. Lewis Hamilton 256

  2. Valtteri Bottas 179

  3. Max Verstappen 162

  4. Daniel Ricciardo 80

  5. Charles Leclerc 75

Where to Find the Action:

SATURDAY, OCT. 31

Formula 1 Emilia Romagna Grand Prix Practice, Imola, Italy; 5:55 a.m., ESPN (L)

Formula 1 Emilia Romagna Grand Prix Qualifying, Imola, Italy; 8:55 a.m., ESPN2 (L)

SUNDAY, NOV. 1

Formula 1 Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, Imola, Italy; 7 a.m., ESPN2 (L)

Formula 1 Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, Imola, Italy; 3 p.m., ESPNews (S)

Formula 1 Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, Imola, Italy; 8 p.m., ESPN2 (S)

Formula 1 Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, Imola, Italy; midnight, ESPNews (S)

Photo credit: RON LEWIS
Photo credit: RON LEWIS

NHRA

What: Dodge NHRA Finals Presented by Pennzoil

Where: The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway

Why it is a Must-See: This is it. The grand finale. The be all and end all (for 2020 anyway). Champions will be crowned. Tears. Emotion. Wallys. What more do you want?

What to Watch:

• The abbreviated, 11-race, 2020 season wraps up this week at Las Vegas. As strange as this season has been (no John Force Racing, title sponsor switch midway through the season among), it's been entertaining on the track. All for pro classes are undecided going into the final week.

• Don't forget to wave good-by to Pro Stock legends Jeg Coughlin Jr. and Jason Line. Both have announced this is their last season. Both would like nothing better than to go out with a win. Meanwhile, Erica Enders holds a 55-point lead over the two as she goes for her fourth title.

• Don Schumacher Racing goes for 13 Funny wins in a row. The team hasn't lost an event since October, 2019. All four of its drivers occupy the top four places in the standings. Hard not to like DSR's chances at an 18th NHRA title this weekend.

• Steve Torrence hopes to wrap up a third consecutive Top Fuel championship. That hasn't happened in the sport since Tony Schumacher won six straight between 2004 and 2009. At last year's final, Torrence had an altercation with rival Cameron Ferre which led to a hefty fine and a an assignment for a little anger management. Torrence has been all business in 2020.

• This weekend, points are increased 50 percent. That means 30 points for a round win and a total of 183 points for a perfect weekend, qualifying bonus points for each session included. Qualifying for the 16 spots in eliminations is worth 30 points.

THE CONTENDERS

Top Fuel

  1. Steve Torrence

  2. Doug Kalitta -101 points

Funny Car

  1. Matt Hagan

  2. Tommy Johnson Jr. -42

  3. Jack Beckman -43

  4. Ron Capps -163

Pro Stock

  1. Erica Enders

  2. Jason Line -55

  3. Jeg Coughlin Jr. -55

  4. Greg Anderson -183

Where to Find the Action:

SUNDAY, NOV. 1

NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series Qualifying, Las Vegas, Nev.; 2 p.m., FS1 (T)

NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series Dodge NHRA FInals Presented by Pennzoil, Las Vegas, Nev.; 4 p.m., FS1 (L)

Photo credit: Icon Sportswire - Getty Images
Photo credit: Icon Sportswire - Getty Images

IMSA

What: Hyundai Monterey Sports Car Championship

Where: WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca, Monterey, Calif.

Why it is a Must-See: This is the second-to-last event of the season, and there's a chance the GT Le Mans class will be decided in California. The other three classes will be going down to the Sebring finale on Nov. 14

What to Watch:

• Antonio Garcia and Jordan Taylor in the No. 3 Corvette Racing C8.R can wrap up the GTLM championship if they leave the weekend with at least a 35-point lead. And it's possible. The team comes into the weekend with a commanding 28-point advantage over the No. 4 Corvette Racing machine. Corvette Racing is seeking drivers title No. 13 and team title No. 14.

• The race is 1 p.m. ET on Nov. 1. Watch it live on NBC Sports Gold TrackPass live or at 4:30 p.m. on NBCSN (tape delayed).

DPi STANDINGS

  1. No. 10 Konica Minolta Cadillac DPi-VR 215

  2. No. 8 Acura Team Penske 207

  3. No. 31 Whelen Engineering 203

GTLM STANDINGS

  1. No. 3 Corvette Racing 293

  2. No. 4 Corvette Racing 265

  3. No. 24 BMW Team RLL 26

LMP2 STANDINGS

  1. No. 52 PR1 Mathiasen Motorsports 126

  2. No. 38 Performance Tech Motorsports 96

  3. No. 18 Era Motorsport 92

GTD STANDINGS

  1. No. 14 AIM Vasser Sullivan 226

  2. No. 16 Wright Motorsports 224

  3. No. 86 Meyer Shank Racing w/Curb Agajanian 221

Where to Find the Action:

SATURDAY, OCT. 31

Lamborghini Super Trofeo Race 1, Monterey, Calif.; 4:35 p.m., IMSA.tv (L)

IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge, Monterey, Calif.; 6:30 p.m., IMSA.tv, NBC Sports Gold (L)

SUNDAY, NOV. 1

IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship Qualifying, Monterey, Calif.; 11:25 a.m., ISMA.tv (L).

Lamborghini Super Trofeo Race 2, Monterey, Calif.; 1:20 p.m., IMSA.TV (L)

IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship Hyundai Monterey Sports Car Championship, Monterey, Calif.; 4:30 p.m., IMSA.tv, NBC Sports Gold TrackPass (L)

IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship Hyundai Monterey Sports Car Championship, Monterey, Calif.; 6:30 p.m., NBCSN (S)

(L) - Live; (T) - Taped; (S) - Same Day Tape Delayed

All times ET

What are you looking forward to watching this weekend? Connect with fellow race fans in the comments section below.