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Crew members work the pit as Alex Bowman comes in during a NASCAR Cup Series auto race Sunday, Sept. 5, 2021, in Darlington, S.C. (AP Photo/John Amis)

Headaches galore: Contenders struggle in NASCAR playoffs

Kyle Larson drives at the NASCAR Cup Series auto race at Michigan International Speedway, Sunday, Aug. 22, 2021, in Brooklyn, Mich. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)

Winless Harvick, Hamlin still have a chance at Southern 500

FILE - In this Friday, Aug. 13, 2021, file photo, Alex Palou, second from left, of Spain, talks with a crew member before a practice session for a IndyCar auto race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indianapolis. IndyCar is on a two-week break, but the 24-year-old Palou has no plans to rest as he tries to reclaim his spot atop the championship standings. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings, File)

Palou looks ahead at reclaiming IndyCar championship lead

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Kyle Larson examines the sword presented to him after winning a NASCAR Cup Series auto race at Bristol Motor Speedway Saturday, Sept. 18, 2021, in Bristol, Tenn. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)

Larson wins at Bristol while Harvick and Elliott feud

BRISTOL, Tenn. (AP) — Kyle Larson won at Bristol Motor Speedway — not really a big surprise or even the most interesting part of NASCAR's first playoff elimination race.

Colton Herta poses after winning the pole, Saturday, Sept. 18, 2021, at Laguna Seca Raceway in Monterey, Calif. Herta is the defending race winner from 2019. (AP Photo/Jenna Fryer)

Herta claims pole at Laguna Seca as Palou eyes IndyCar title

MONTEREY, Calif.

In this photo provided by the NHRA, Funny Car points leader John Force races to the provisional No. 1 position in his first-round qualifying run in his PEAK Chevrolet Camaro SS at the DeWalt NHRA Carolina Nationals at zMAX Dragway in Concord, N.C., Friday, Sept. 17, 2021 (Richard H. Shute/NHRA via AP)

Forces complete father-daughter NHRA qualifying sweep

CONCORD, N.C. (AP) — John Force topped Funny Car qualifying for the 163rd time in his career Saturday in the DeWalt NHRA Carolina Nationals at zMAX Dragway.

ARCHIVO- En esta foto de archivo, Alex Palou, de España, se prepara para participar en las 500 Millas de Indianápolis. La mala noticia para Palou es que nunca ha corrido en Laguna Seca, la penúltima fecha de la temporada de IndyCar. La buena es que quienes le pueden quitar el campeonato tampoco tienen mucha experiencia. (AP Foto/Darron Cummings, Archivo)

IndyCar soars into Laguna Seca celebrating strong season

MONTEREY, Calif. (AP) — Nearly two dozen fans stood in the California morning chill waiting patiently for their chance to take a selfie with The Phoenix.