(NASCAR)—Part-time Missourian Clint Bowyer has survived another cut in the NASCAR playoffs and is one of eight drivers left competing for the national championship.

Chase Elliott won the race at the Kansas Speedway, his third win in ten races, his second in the last three weeks, holding off Kyle Busch by .903 second. Kyle Larson, who started at the back of the pack in a backup car after a qualifying incident, charged to third place at the end, but he needed to win to make the next playoff round.

Bowyer (with son Cash before the race) started the race within the playoff field. His 13th-place finish was enough to earn him the fifth seed in the next three-race round that will determine the four drivers who will race for the championship in the season’s final race.  Bowyer had run consistently in the top ten until the nose of his car was damaged when Jimmie Johnson was slow in picking up speed on a restart.

Bowyer, Joey Logano, and Kurt Busch are tied for the fifth seed heading into next weekend’s race on the short track at Martinsville. Others in the round of eight are Kyle Busch, Kevin Harvick, Martin Truex, Jr., Elliott, and Aric Almarola.

Joplin’s Jamie McMurray (right) also had to start at the back of the field after losing an engine in practice. He made it to seventeenth by race’s  end.

(FORMULA 1)—Confusing team orders might have kept Lewis Hamilton from clinching his fifth Formula 1 championship at the Circuit of the Americas in Texas. Hamilton finished third behind Kimi Raikkonen and Max Verstappen, and one slot ahead of his chief competitor, Sebastian Vettel.  Vettel dropped to 15th after an early race collision with another car but worked his way back to finish just behind Hamilton at the end, keeping his faint hopes alive in the points race.

Had Hamilton finished one place higher, he would have locked up the title. His team had him stop in the pits twice, once more than other competitors.

It’s Raikkonen’s first win since the 2013 Australian GP, 113 races ago, the longest stretch between wins in F1 history.

(INDYCAR)—Fernando Alonso has laid to rest rumors that he will campaign full-time in IndyCar next year.   He’s leaving F1 after this season.  However, the possibility that he will run the Indianapolis 500 in 2019 is still there.

IndyCar competition president Jay Frye says last week’s seven hours of testing at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway by six drivers produced “very positive “ results. The drivers were testing some aerodynamic tweaks for the cars and new tires from Firestone for the big race in May.  The test was the first time racing cars have run at the Speedway since a new pavement sealer was put down.

(Photo credit:  Jason Hanna, NASCAR digital media)