(NASCAR)—-Kevin Harvick won his second Brickyard 400 at the historic Indianapolis Motor Speedway but the drama of the race was behind him where Clint Bowyer hoped to cling to his playoff spot with three other drivers hoping to race past him.

Bowyer, who sometimes likes to unwind at the Lake of the Ozarks where he has a place, said before the race he needed another single-digit finish—-and he got it, coming home fifth in a hotly-contested but tightly-fought race. He avoided trouble on pit lane early, dodged a big bullet when he slipped past a crashing Alex Bowman with a dozen laps to go, and finished ahead of challengers Ryan Newman, Daniel Suarez, and Jimmie Johnson.

Audio: Bowyer after the race: bowyer after 2019 by400

Suarez damaged he right side of his car in an early brush with the wall and finished 11th.  Newman finished eighth and Johnson crashed out of the race at the two-thirds mark, ending a sixteen-year streak of making the playoffs.

Bowyer and Newman locked up the last two playoff slots joining Kyle and Kurt Busch, Denny Hamlin, Martin Truex, Jr., Harvick, defending champion Joey  Logano, Brad Keselowski, Chase Elliott, Bowman, Erik Jones, Kyle Larson, Ryan Blaney, William Byron, and Aric Almirola in the first of a ten-race runoff for the championship.  The first race is next weekend at Las Vegas.

The playoff field will be cut from sixteen to twelve after three races, to eight after three more, and to for finalists after the ninth race. Whoever has the highest finish in the final race is the champion.

(FORMULA 1)—Charles Leclerc defended Ferrari’s home-country honor by winning the Grand Prix of Italy by almost a second over Mercedes driver Valtterri Bottas.  But Mercedes officials were not happy with his tactics.

Leclerc twice blocked challenger Lewis Hamilton, once forcing him off-course.  Hamilton finished third and continues to lead the championship points standings.

(INDYCAR)—Indycar was idle this week and will finish its season in two weeks.

(Photo credits: Jim Coleman and Bob Priddy)