by Bob Priddy, Contributing Editor

(NASCAR)—Kyle Busch dodged a big wreck that collected Martin Truex Jr., and others, and grabbed a win at New Hampshire that automatically moves him to the next round of NASCAR’s playoffs. Kevin Harvick’s spin also knocked out playoff contender Kurt Busch and forced Truex to the pits for repairs. The playoff field will be cut from sixteen drivers to a dozen after next weekend’s race on the banked concrete mile at Dover, Delaware.

Joplin driver Jamie McMurray remains in the top twelve in points, but has a thin nine-point margin over thirteenth place.  McMurray ran in or near the top ten all day at New Hampshire until fading to sixteenth at the end.  He’s trying to advance to the second round for the first time in his career.  He came up short in each of the last two years.

McMurray has never won at Dover.  He was second in one of the races there in 2006 and has only eight top tens in twenty-nine career races there.  But he has posted top tens in three of the last five races, including a seventh-place run in June.

Our adopted Missouri driver Clint Bowyer had his best run in six weeks, got as high as second, and wound up seventh.

(INDYCAR)—The IndyCar season has ended with Josef Newgarden the new series champion.  Teams will spend the next six months prepping their cars to run with the new aero package that will be same on Honda and Chevrolet-powered cars.  The engine manufacturers had similar, but different, designs on this year’s cars.

(FORMULA 1)—The Grand Prix of Malaysia at Kuala Lumpur is next up on the calendar, next weekend.  Lewis Hamilton is guaranteed to remain the points leader after the race regardless of who wins.  He’s far enough ahead of Sebastian Vettel that Vettel cannot catch him at Malaysia even if Hamilton fails to score a point. A victory is worth twenty-five points. Hamilton leads by twenty-eight.  Vettel has won this race four times, most recently in 2015. Hamilton’s only victory on the circuit came in 2014.

(Photo credit: NASCAR)