Based on history, the Chase for the Sprint Cup championship will produce pushing and shoving, ruined cars and a whole lot of yelling and finger-pointing.
The third year of NASCAR’s elimination-style, 10-race dash for the series title begins Sunday with the 400-mile race at Chicagoland Speedway. Drivers, start your aggression.
“I just know for us, it’s kind of a one-way street,” Kevin Harvick, the 2014 champion, said of his approach. “You do what you have to do for your team, whatever that may be, and worry about the consequences later.”
In last year’s Chase opener at the 1.5-mile oval, Harvick shoved Jimmie Johnson after a contentious race. It was similar to Matt Kenseth and Brad Keselowski brawling in 2014 at Charlotte and Jeff Gordon and Keselowski exchanging blows at Texas.
Last year there was bad blood between Joey Logano and Kenseth that ended with Logano’s car rammed into the wall at Martinsville.
“This is a mental game,” Logano said. “It is all about what is up in your head.”
Nascar XFINITY series
Erik Jones won the Truck Series title last year and is headed to Sprint Cup next year.
He put himself in position Saturday to also capture the NASCAR Xfinity Series championship and solidify his status as a rising star.
Jones passed Elliott Sadler with nine laps to go and held off Kyle Larson to win the NASCAR Xfinity race at Chicagoland Speedway, allowing Ryan Sieg and Blake Koch to claim the final two spots in the Chase for the championship.
Roger Penske has sponsorship locked down for three of his IndyCar teams next season, with Menards signing on for 10 races with Simon Pagenaud to drive the bright yellow colors of the home improvement store.
The announcement Saturday returns John Menard to a high-profile role in IndyCar after a long absence. The billionaire was a team owner and sponsor in the series but walked away after the 2004 season to back his son, Paul, in NASCAR.
Menard made a slow return to Indy this year as sponsor for Simon Pagenaud in the 100th Indianapolis 500, and that deal grew to cover five races.
Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg took pole position for the Singapore Grand Prix with a stunning lap time at the Marina Bay street circuit on Saturday.
Rosberg trails championship leader and Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton by two points in the championship. But the German put himself in the best possible position for a third consecutive victory with a time of 1 minute, 42.584 seconds – more than half a second faster than Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo in second.
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