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NASCAR playoff opener at Chicagoland Speedway: What you need to know

By winning the last NASCAR Cup Series race of the regular season last weekend in Richmond, Kyle Larson vaulted himself to second in the playoff standings.
By winning the last NASCAR Cup Series race of the regular season last weekend in Richmond, Kyle Larson vaulted himself to second in the playoff standings. AP

Race: Tales of the Turtles 400

Distance: 267 laps, or 400.5 miles.

Where: Chicagoland Speedway, a 1.5-mile, asphault trioval in Joliet, Ill.

When: 3 p.m. Sunday.

TV: NBCSN.

Radio: MRN.

Last year’s winner: Martin Truex Jr.

Also this week: Chicagoland 300, Xfinity Series, Chicagoland Speedway, 3:30 p.m., Saturday, NBCSN.

Worth mentioning: The annual race at Chicagoland has been the first race of the Cup Series playoffs since 2011, but this is the last season that’ll happen. The first race of the 2018 playoffs will be held in Las Vegas.

Who’s Hot/ Who’s Not

HOT

Kyle Larson: By winning the last Cup Series race of the regular season last weekend in Richmond, Larson vaulted himself to second in the playoff standings.

Denny Hamlin: Hamlin won at Darlington two weeks ago, and while that win was later encumbered, he also finished fifth at Richmond.

NOT

Joey Logano: Logano finished second at Richmond, but even that wasn’t enough to sneak him into the playoffs.

Matt Kenseth: Kenseth made it into the playoffs without a win this season, and he hasn’t finished in the top five since Michigan in June.

Brendan Marks

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