This Week in Motorsports: September 26-October 2, 2022

It’s the last superspeedway event of the season as all of Toyota’s Playoff drivers look for strong finishes in Talladega, while the NHRA finishes their run of three straight events near St. Louis. ARCA is back in action as well at Salem Speedway as the series closes out its season.

NASCAR National Series – NCS | NXS | NCWTS

Bell plans to rebound… After losing two tires in Texas, Christopher Bell plans to rebound at Talladega Superspeedway. Bell, who has three top-five finishes in the last four races, finished fifth in this race one season ago.

Hamlin continues to show superspeedway strength… Denny Hamlin continues to show his expertise at superspeedway racing. The three-time Daytona 500 champion is also a multi-time winner at Talladega, scoring victories in 2014 and 2020.

Gibbs looks to clinch… Ty Gibbs is looking to clinch his spot in the Round of 8 with a strong run at Talladega on Saturday. After a third-place finish in Texas, Gibbs is third in the point standings – 46 points above ninth.

Jones planning for a bounce back… Brandon Jones had a strong run taken away in Texas when he was involved in a wreck not of his making. Jones, who comes into Talladega 13 points below the cutoff, has two second-place finishes at Talladega, including at this race last season.

Bayne, Griffith return… Trevor Bayne and Derek Griffith are both back behind the wheel of Toyota GR Supras this weekend. Bayne, a former Daytona 500 winner, has been impressive in his six starts this season – scoring four top-five and five top-10 finishes. This is the first of three scheduled starts for Bayne as he will be back with Joe Gibbs Racing in Las Vegas and Homestead-Miami. Griffith is making his fifth career Xfinity Series start and first on a superspeedway.

Majeski breathing easy… Ty Majeski picked the perfect time to score his first career NASCAR victory as the Wisconsin-native proved to have the right strategy on his way to the Bristol Motor Speedway winner’s circle two weeks ago to clinch a berth into the Championship 4. He is making his Truck Series debut at Talladega, although he has a NASCAR Xfinity Series and ARCA Menards Series start at the track.

Smith leads standings with three to go… Despite a ninth-place finish in Bristol, Chandler Smith holds the points lead going into Talladega this weekend on the strength of his two stage wins in Bristol. No driver scored more points in Bristol than Smith, who goes into the race this weekend with a 24-point advantage over the Playoff cutoff. The Georgia-native finished third in his track debut at Talladega in 2020.

NASCAR Regional Series – ARCA

Smith continues to run strong in ARCA… Sammy Smith continues to impress with strong performances in ARCA Menards Series action. Smith, despite competing in only 14 of the 18 events this season, sits sixth in the point standings. He has earned top-five finishes in 13 of his 14 wins, including a victory at ARCA’s last event in Bristol.

Love looks back on his first victory… Jesse Love returns to Salem Speedway as the reigning event winner for the first time in his career. Last season, the Toyota development driver won his first national ARCA Menards Series race at Salem Speedway. He passed Ty Gibbs with 45 laps to go and led the rest of the way to score the win.

NHRA – Top Fuel | Funny Car

Ashley still in the lead… Justin Ashley advanced to his second straight Top Fuel final round to start the Countdown for the championship, which further cements the New York-native as the points leader. Ashley, who has advanced to the semi-finals or better the last six races on tour, holds a 43-point advantage.

Brown, Capps continue to win… Antron Brown and Ron Capps have hit a hot streak recently, while both are in the first season of team ownership. Brown has won three of the last five events to move to second in the point standings, while Capps followed his first U.S. Nationals victory with a triumph at zMax Dragway in Charlotte on Sunday. Capps also sits second in the standings, just 27 markers out of the lead.