Martin Truex Jr. won the rain-delayed New Hampshire NASCAR Cup race last Monday, perhaps the most significant race of his career. As a kid he watched his father race there, but victory eluded him until Monday’s dominant performance. Truex led 254 of the 301 laps and swept all three stages. The win, his third of the season and 34th of his Cup career, vaulted him to the top of the regular-season points and the top seed in the playoffs. There are now just six more races in the regular season and five open playoff berths. This weekend all three top NASCAR series will race at Pocono Raceway. Chase Elliott won at the tricky triangle last July and needs a win to make the playoff field. Denny Hamlin leads all active drivers with six Pocono victories, Kyle Busch has four wins, and Martin Truex Jr. two. Joining Elliott with one Pocono win are Alex Bowman, Kevin Harvick, Ryan Blaney, Chris Buescher, Joey Logano, and Brad Keselowski. Today’s action includes the CRC Brakleen 150 for Craftsman Trucks on FS1 at 9 a.m., NASCAR Cup qualifying at 12:20 p.m. on USA, and the Xfinity series’ Pocono 225 at 2:30 p.m., also on USA. The High Point 400 for the Cup series airs on USA on Sunday at 11:30 a.m.
Christian Lundgaard set pole time on Saturday and scored his first NTT IndyCar victory on Sunday in Toronto. It was the first win for Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing since August 2020 and the 30th all-time victory for the team. Alex Palou maintained a 117-point lead in the season standings, finishing third with his front wing all but detached from the car. This weekend the series visits Iowa Speedway, the self-proclaimed fastest short oval in the world, for a doubleheader. Josef Newgarden has been the most successful driver of late, winning on all three doubleheader weekends to date. He swept the weekend in 2019, won on Sunday in 2020 and on Saturday in 2022 (the 2021 race was canceled due to COVID). Pato O’Ward won on Sunday last year and Simon Pagenaud on Saturday in 2020. Other previous Iowa winners include Ryan Hunter-Reay with three wins and Helio Castroneves with one. Newgarden also won in 2016 for a total of four Iowa victories. Qualifying airs today at 6:30 a.m. on Peacock with Race 1 on NBC at noon. Sunday will see final warmup on Peacock at 8:05 a.m. and Race 2 at 11 a.m. on NBC.
Also on tap this weekend is the Hungarian Grand Prix for Formula One. Can anyone stop the Red Bull/Max Verstappen juggernaut, and if so, is the Hungaroring the place to do it? Verstappen won in Hungary last year and boasts an 80% win-record for 2023. But Lewis Hamilton leads all drivers at the twisty 13-turn course with few straightaways. Hamilton won here eight times from 2007 to 2020, and Mercedes has shown recent gains on high downforce circuits. Besides Verstappen and Hamilton, there are three other Hungarian GP winners on the grid: Estaban Ocon (2021), Daniel Ricciardo (2014), and Fernando Alonso (2003). It will be Ricciardo’s first race since leaving McLaren, as he was just tapped to replace Nyck DeVries on the Alpha Tauri team. Qualifying airs this morning at 7 a.m. with the race at 6 a.m. Sunday, both on ESPN.
Finally, you can have a say in who is inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame class of 2024. The voting panel will cast 65 ballots, including one from the fan vote, to determine the inductees from the Modern Era and the Pioneer Era. Fan voting closes at midnight, July 30. To vote, visit nascar.com/halloffame.