AUTO RACING: Hendrick off to fast start, F1 and IndyCar, too


EchoPark Automotive Grand Prix

Site: Austin, Texas.

Schedule: Saturday, practice, 10 a.m., and qualifying, 11 a.m.; Sunday, race, 3:30 p.m. (FOX)

Track: Circuit of the Americas.

Race distance:68 laps. 231.88 miles.

Last year: Chase Elliott won after starting eighth.

Last race: William Byron pulled off the race-record 46th lead change on lap 315 of 325 and outran Christopher Bell and Ross Chastain to win in Atlanta.

Fast facts: Byron was among a race-record 20 race leaders. He gave Hendrick Motorsports three different winners through five races. … Bell was penalized for an illegal pass on the final lap and relegated to 23rd place, the last spot on the lead lap. … The race weekend was the first on the track since a major repaving and reconfiguration since the series raced at the 1.54-mile track last July. … Chastain’s finish came despite a crash that put him two laps down. Kyle Busch also rallied after a crash to finish third.

Next race: April 3, Richmond, Virginia.



Pit Boss 250

Site: Austin, Texas.

Schedule: Friday, practice, 5 p.m., and qualifying, 5:30 p.m.; Saturday, race, 4:30 p.m. (FS1)

Track: Circuit of the Americas

Race distance: 48 laps, 156.86 miles.

Last year: Kyle Busch won after starting in the pole position.

Last race: Ty Gibbs passed Ryan Sieg on the final lap of a second overtime and beat Austin Hill by 0.178 seconds to win at Atlanta.

Fast facts: Gibbs led just the final lap and earned his second victory in five starts this season and his sixth in 23 career starts. … The race included a race-record 10 caution flags that slowed the pace for 56 laps. … A.J. Allmendinger ran third, followed by Riley Herbst and Landon Cassill. … Noah Gragson’s streak of four consecutive top-three finishes and Justin Allgaier’s streak of 16 consecutive top-10 finishes ended.

Next race: April 2, Richmond, Virginia.



XPEL 225

Site: Austin, Texas.

Schedule: Friday, practice, 3 p.m., and qualifying, 3:30 p.m.; Saturday, race, 1 p.m. (FS1)

Track: Circuit of the Americas.

Race distance: 42 laps, 143.22 miles.

Last year: Todd Gilliland won after starting fifth.

Last race: Corey Heim passed Kyle Busch Motorsports teammate Chandler Smith on the last lap and won at Atlanta, his first career victory in just his fifth career start.

Fast facts: Ben Rhodes rallied to finish second, followed by Ty Majeski and Smith at Atlanta. … Smith is the points leader by 13 over Tanner Gray. Gray and third-place Majeski are the only drivers with three top-10 finishes in as many races.

Next race: April 7, Martinsville, Virginia.



Saudi Arabian Grand Prix

Site: Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

Schedule: Friday, practice, 10 a.m. and 1 p.m.; Saturday, practice, 10 a.m., and qualifying, 1 p.m.; Sunday, race, 1 p.m. (ESPN)

Track: Jeddah Corniche Circuit.

Race distance: 50 laps, 191.662 miles.

Last year: Lewis Hamilton won in early December after starting in the pole position.

Last race: Charles Leclerc won the season-opener in Bahrain, leading a 1-2 finish for Ferrari.

Fast facts: Leclerc’s victory was his first since he won back-to-back events midway through the 2019 season. … Defending series champion Max Verstappen and Red Bull teammate Sergio Perez both retired before the race concluded, allowing seven-time series champion Lewis Hamilton to rally for a third-place finish. … Verstappen retired on Lap 54 of the 57-lap event, Perez on Lap 56.

Next race: April 10, Melbourne, Australia.



Last race: Josef Newgarden passed teammate Scott McLaughlin in the final turn at Texas to give Team Penske victories in the season’s first two races.

Next race: April 10, Long Beach, California.



Last event: Tripp Tatum won in Top Fuel and Matt Hagan won in Funny Car at the Gatornationals in Gainesville, Florida.

Next event: April 1-3, Las Vegas.



Next events: March 25, Bakersfield, California, and March 26, Perris, California.



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