What, Why and Where to Watch Racing on TV for Oct. 9-11

This crazy, we-hope-it-never-happens again 2020 is FINALLY winding down, and that means that racing championships are hanging in the balance. Teams and drivers can’t win season championships this week, but plenty of drivers in all three major series in action can sure be eliminated.

It’s a make-or-break weekend many drivers, and that means there’s a little something for everyone on this weekend’s racing-on-TV schedule.

You want a little history with your racing this week? Check out the Formula 1’s return to the Nurburgring.

Want the more newfangled, made-for-TV show? Check out the NASCAR/IMSA doubleheader at the Charlotte Motor Speedway Roval.

Here’s the meat and potatoes of another racing weekend:


What: F1 German Grand Prix (Sun.)

Where: The Nuburgring, Nurburg, Germany.

Why it is a Must-See: The race will be the first race at the ‘Ring since 2013. Unfortunately, they drivers won’t be taking on the 17.5-mile, 172-turn Nordschleife. Also, the weather (race-time temperatures expected in the high 40s, chance of rain) could make this a real wild one.

What to Watch:

Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton takes his second crack at one of sport’s thought-to-be-unreachable records—91 career race victories. Michael Schumacher won his 91st race in 2006. Hamilton is at 90. Next on the list is Sebastian Vettel at 53.

• Alfa Romeo’s Kimi Raikkonen is also on a record-setting quest on Sunday. He’s currently tied with Rubens Barrichello on the sport’s all-time starts list at 322. Raikkonen’s first start came in Melbourne in 2001.

• As for the standings, just six races remain after this week’s race in Germany. Hamilton has a 44-point lead on runner-up and teammate Valtteri Bottas. Red Bull’s Max Verstappen is a distant third, 77 points back. The maximum number of points anyone can earn on a race weekend is 26. Hamilton is threatening to end this chase early this year.

Where to Find the Action:


Formula 1 Welcome to the Weekend Preview, Nurburg, Germany, 4:30 a.m., ESPN2 (L)

Formula 1, Practice 1, Nurburg, Germany; 4:55 a.m., ESPN2 (L)

Formula 1 Practice 2, Nurburg, Germany; 8:55 a.m., ESPN2 (L)


Formula 1 Practice 3, Nurburg, Germany; 5:55 a.m.; ESPN2 (L)

Formula 1 Qualifying, Nurburg, Germany, 8:55 a.m.; ESPN2 (L


Formula 1 Eifel Grand Prix, Nurburg, Germany; 8 a.m., ESPN2 (L)

Formula 1 Eifel Grand Prix, Nurburg, Germany; 4 p.m., ESPNEWS (S)

Formula 1 Eifel Grand Prix, Nurburg, Germany; 8:30 p.m., ESPN2 (S)


What: NASCAR Cup (Sun.), NASCAR Xfinity (Sat.)

Where: Charlotte Motor Speedway Roval

Why it is a Must-See: It’s Roval week in NASCAR. The combination road course and oval of Charlotte Motor Speedway has produced some of the most compelling racing since its debut on the Cup Series schedule in 2018.

What to Watch:

• It’s cut-off week as the NASCAR Playoff field gets trimmed from 12 to eight. Kurt Busch (Las Vegas) and Denny Hamlin (Talladega, Ala.) won the opening two races of this round. They’re safe. Not so safe are the drivers currently in the bottom four: Kyle Busch, Austin Dillon, Clint Bowyer and Aric Almirola. Of this group, Busch is closest to the cut line, but 21 points is a lot to make up.

• If there’s a favorite, it might just be Chase Elliott. He won here last year (Ryan Blaney won in 2018), and he also owns the only road-course win on the schedule this year (Daytona road course).

• If you like to bet “due theories,” Kyle Busch is an interesting bet. He has finishes of 37th (suspension problem) last year and 32nd (crash) in 2018 at Charlotte’s Roval. He finished 37th at Daytona earlier this season. He’s better than that.

• It’s Elimination Saturday in the Xfinity Series, as the field gets cut from 12 to eight after this weekend’s race at Charlotte. It’s a logjam between sixth and 10th place as 20 points separate sixth-place Ryan Sieg and eighth-place Ross Chastain. Harrison Burton trails Chastain by just seven points. Brandon Brown, in 10th place, is 19 points under the cut line.

Where to Find the Action:


NASCAR Xfinity Series Drive for the Cure 250 on the Roval, Charlotte, N.C.; 3:30 p.m., NBC (L)


NASCAR Cup Series Bank of America ROVAL 400, Charlotte, N.C.; 2:30 p.m., NBC (L)


What: IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship MOTUL 100% Synthetic Grand Prix (Sat.).

Where: Charlotte Motor Speedway Roval.

Why it is a Must-See: This will be IMSA’s first race on the Charlotte Roval. It’s worth noting that none of the IMSA GT Le Mans or GT Daytona drivers or teams in this weekend’s field have raced on this current configuration of the circuit. It’s a level playing field.

What to Watch:

• This weekend’s field includes an entry list of six GTLM and 12 GTD cars. The race is just 100 minutes long, and it’s will be a one-stop race. Track position will be at a premium.

• While Corvette Racing has dominated the GTLM class, and its cars are 1-2 in the standings, the GTD class is still wide open. Heading to Charlotte, the No. 86 Meyer Shank Racing with Curb-Agajanian Acura NSX GT3 Evo leads the No. 14 Aim Vasser Sullivan Lexus RC F GT3 by just seven points for the top spot. Three races remain after Charlotte.

Where to find the Action:


IMSA WeatherTech Series Qualifying, Charlotte, N.C., 1:55 p.m., IMSA.tv

IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship MOTUL 100% Synthetic Grand Prix, Charlotte, N.C.; 8 p.m., NBCSN, IMSA.tv (L)

What are you most looking forward to watching this weekend? Join in the conversation below.

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