Local Sports

NASCAR Heads to Michigan; Trucks in Southern Illinois

After back-to-back weekends on a road course, the traditional oval of the NASCAR Cup Series and XFinity series heads to Michigan while the Gander Mountain Truck Series goes south to Madison, Illinois.


Kevin Harvick won both races on back-to-back days in early August last year. Kyle Larson tops the standings, 22 points ahead of Denny Hamlin. Larson’s finish at Indy was his 13th top-five run in 24 races. Hamlin’s Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Kyle Busch is third in points, but a distant 157 behind. William Byron is fourth, 163 back, and defending series champion Chase Elliott is 179 behind. Hamlin did clinch a berth in the playoffs because race winner Allmendinger is not eligible for the playoffs.


A.J. Allmendinger grabbed a late lead and won on the Indianapolis road course after a wild, chaotic finish last week at the Brickyard road course. 


The XFinity series races Saturday afternoon at Michigan. Austin Cindric led 29 of 62 laps and won on the road course at Indianapolis for his series-best fifth victory of the season.


Cindric, who drives for Team Penske, was greeted in victory lane by his father, Tim, the president of Team Penske. Team owner Roger Penske owns the track at Indianapolis. Riley Herbst finished eighth to move into the 12th and final playoff spot with five races remaining to set the field. AJ Allmendinger finished second and is second in points, 82 behind Cindric. Daniel Hemric is third, 159 back.


Meanwhile, the truck series returns after nearly a month-long hiatus and marks the start of the 10-driver playoffs. 


Series regulars have won 11 of the 15 races so far this season, led by points leader John Hunter Nemechek with five wins. Nemechek leads Hill by 28 points, Ben Rhodes by 30, Todd Gilliland by 34 and Creed by 38. Those five are the only series regulars with victories. The playoff contenders are separated by just 48 points as the points were reset for the postseason.


The trucks race tonight at 8 pm local time. 

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