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What to Watch For This Racing Weekend

Road & Track logo Road & Track 1/08/2020 Fred Smith
a motorcycle that is sitting on a table: Formula 1, NASCAR, and IMSA are back after an inexplicable, series wide bye week. © Dan Istitene - Formula 1 - Getty Images Formula 1, NASCAR, and IMSA are back after an inexplicable, series wide bye week.

Betwen NASCAR's in-week races, IndyCar's strange schedule that will now include no races in September, and Formula 1's well-deserved first week off of the year, last weekend's complete lack of notable auto races was an abnormality for the month of July. Given that those three series had combined to host a startling thirteen races in the first three weeks of the month, last weekend seemed downright impossible.

This weekend is packed, again, headlined by the British Grand Prix. Here are the races:

F1 Grand Prix of Great Britain - Qualifying © Clive Mason - Formula 1 - Getty Images F1 Grand Prix of Great Britain - Qualifying

Formula 1 - British Grand PrixSunday, August 2 - 9 a.m. EST - ESPN

The first of two consecutive race weekends at Silverstone will be the one given the official British Grand Prix designation, meaning that this weekend's race is a part of a grand, decades-old tradition, and next weekend's is nothing more than a one-off, a schedule filler never to be run again. Naming conventions are fun!

Mercedes AMG F1 and Lewis Hamilton are, obviously, the favorites for this race weekend, and Hamilton will start from pole over teammate Valtteri Bottas. Red Bull and Ferrari showed improved pace in practice, but their young lead drivers Max Verstappen and Charles Leclerc, starting third and fourth, could not get within a second of Hamilton.

a truck that is driving down the road: AUTO: JAN 25 IMSA Rolex 24 at Daytona © Icon Sportswire - Getty Images AUTO: JAN 25 IMSA Rolex 24 at Daytona

IMSA - Road AmericaSunday, August 2 - 12 p.m. EST - NBC

Road America, which hosted IndyCar three weeks back and will host the NASCAR Xfinity Series two weeks from now, was, for a few years, host only to sports car racing. This weekend's racing, aptly titled the "IMSA Sportscar Weekend," is a return to those standalone American sports car racing days.

After news that the team and manufacturer will go their separate ways to seek new opportunities at the end of this season, Team Penske's Acuras will be the cars to watch in the DPi class. While the Honda Performance Development program will look for new partner teams to field the cars in less-than-factory, more-than-customer operations next season, Penske's sports car operation is likely to go on hiatus until a new corporate partner is found, which leaves the team that won last year's championship more reason to fight for another title than ever before.

In GTLM, Corvette Racing will be looking to keep the C8.R on a winning streak. The car has won two of its first three races, and, with no Le Mans entry this season, has nothing left to race for but IMSA wins and IMSA titles.

a police car parked in a parking lot: AUTO: JUL 21 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series - Foxwoods Resort Casino 301 © Icon Sportswire - Getty Images AUTO: JUL 21 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series - Foxwoods Resort Casino 301

NASCAR Cup Series - New Hampshire Motor SpeedwaySunday, August 2 - 3 p.m. EST - NBC Sports Network

The New Hampshire Motor Speedway marks yet another relatively uninteresting stop on what has of late been a very intermediate-heavy NASCAR schedule, a flat, 1-mile oval that once raced more like a short track than not but now rarely holds eventful races.

It is, however, a good track for both Denny Hamlin and Kevin Harvick, and the track most similar to Phoenix, home of this season's Championship Four round, left on the schedule. In a season without testing, practice, or qualifying, this makes for a relatively high stakes low stakes race, a chance to try something out on a real track resembling the track used for the most important race of the season with no real consequence for failure for any team within the top ten or so in points.

Plus, in two weeks, NASCAR makes its surprise debut at the Daytona road course. So, there's something to look forward to!


Video: NASCAR's Ryan Newman expecting 'emotional' return to Daytona (FOX News)

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