Your One stop for all the Racing & Sports News... Local and National
If you are modifying the stock Mustang to the next level then upgrading your Mustang maf sensor is a must. The SCT mass air flow sensor can support cars up to 825 rwhp.
A bit of the NFL at the Chicagoland Speedway..
New England Patriots All-Pro tight end and Super Bowl Champion, Rob Gronkowski, will kicked off Father’s Day Weekend at Chicagoland Speedway on Saturday, June 20. Alongside his brothers Gordie Jr., Chris, Dan, Glenn and their father, Gordy Sr., it was a family affair as Rob and his four brothers served as co-Grand Marshals and Gordy Sr. served as the Honorary Starter. Rob was to lead the field of drivers onto the track as the official pace car driver prior to kick-off the NASCAR XFINITY Series race under the lights, but the race was postponed until Sunday.
Gronkowski, 26, recently became the first tight end in NFL history to have four consecutive seasons with 10 or more touchdown receptions, and owns an NFL record for most touchdown receptions by a tight end in a single season with 17 in 2011. “Gronk’s” most recent touchdown reception came in Super Bowl XLIX, as his New England Patriots emerged victorious over the Seattle Seahawks, 28-24.
“I’m stoked to spend Father’s Day weekend with my family at Chicagoland Speedway. Not only are we coming from all over the country to celebrate the best dad in the world, but I get the ultimate adrenaline rush of getting behind the wheel and driving the pace car to kick-off the NASCAR race,” said Rob Gronkowski. “My brothers and I get to say the most famous words in racing, ‘Drivers Start Your Engines,” and my dad gets to wave the green flag to start the race. It’s going to be an awesome weekend.”
In addition to appearing in Chicagoland Speedway’s Infield Fan Zone for a free Q-and-A with fans, the Gronkowski’s will also meet with several families from the Bear Necessities Pediatric Cancer Foundation as part of the family’s “Gronk Nation Youth Foundation.” The Gronk Nation Youth Foundation is an organization dedicated to inspiring and supporting youth to reach their maximum potential by empowering them to be positively involved in sports, community activities, education and fitness.
So what does Gronk think now that he's met some drivers and driven the pace car at 120 mph?
"Why you trying to put pressure on me?," Gronkowski joked after being asked his thoughts on the matter. "I definitely drove around and I definitely wasn't going 185 (mph) like them, but it's definitely a challenge, no doubt about that. It definitely takes competition, practice, hard work, dedication, to be able to know what you're doing because I did one lap only at like 100 mph and it was definitely a challenge. I would say that they're definitely up there with the competitiveness, no doubt. It's cool to see that. And definitely mental toughness, too. You've got to be mentally ready in sports and NASCAR."
Dale Earnhardt, Jr Smokes State Street in Chicago
"I'd love to win again to start the Chase off," Earnhardt said. "Anyone who wins that race, that really propels them into a contender for the Chase and for the championship itself."
Earnhardt Jr was excited to be in Chicago. He loves coming to Chicago for the barbecue food and generally will get out on the town for some of the City's great feasts.
Miss Sprint Cup was the moderator and asked some pretty entertaining questions, some of which got the crowd laughing.... Like.. what was your first car? Actually his first car was a truck, a Chevrolet which Jr scrapped all of his money up to buy it... only to have it wrecked on a drive to a family function. What scared him the most? how his dad would react when he arrived to pick him up. What did Dale Earnhardt Sr do? he laughed, which surprised Jr. He asked his dad why he was laughing.. he replied.. I did the same thing with my first car at the same age as you..19. Indeed a chip off the old block.
Earnhardt Jr also gave the crowd insights on how he sometimes manages to escape the race crowd after a race. What does he do? He puts on another drivers hat and t-shirt, in this instance "Bobby Labonte", grab a small cooler and walk out with the fans to the parking lot.
He also likes to take time away from the race track on a rare week off and visit his favorite place... Key West.
Like most drivers, Jr has the same meal prior to a race.. in his case its chicken dish.
All in all the crowd was thoroughly enjoyed by the visit, and were pumped up for the upcoming races next month at Chicagoland Speedway
Fun was had by all.. young and old.. and one lucky mother and son that was on hand won Sammy Hagar tickets as well as race tickets to the Geico 400 next month.
After the Q & A session, you would think Jr would be whisked off to a waiting car and get back to North Carolina..but not Jr. he was in Chicago and in Millennium Park. He mentioned earlier that he liked the "Bean" and said that he never realized that you could go under the bean, so that's where he went. I an sure some lucky tourists and Chicago natives got a treat seeing NASCAR's Fan favorite at one of Chicago's most interesting tourist spots.
The Chase for the Cup starts soon... and if the past two were any indication.. it will be an exciting start to determine the next Sprint Cup Champion.
Geico 400 2012
The Chase begins here!
Brad Keselowski didn’t have the strongest or fastest car early on, but his crew gave him awesome pits stops, allowing the Dodge driver to pull away from Pole Sitter Jimmie Johnson to claim the first win in the “Chase for the Sprint Cup”
One down, 9 to go for Keselowski.
"It feels like Round 1 of a heavyweight title bout," said Keselowski, who took the series points lead for the first time in his career. "It's a 10-round bout. Week one's done. We might have won the round, but we didn't by any means knock 'em out.
"We've got a lot of racing left to go. We're feeling good about today, but (we) know that we have a lot of work to do."
What would a NASCAR race be without a little controversy? Ask Jimmie Johnson and winner Keselowski.
Johnson would claim that Keselowski was driving too aggressively, "He did cut up early," Johnson said. "It did impede my progress. I had to check up and wasn't sure where things were going. But it didn't affect the outcome, I don't believe.
"The way he made quick work of traffic and stretched it out on me, I'm not sure I would have held him off. At the time, it messed me up, but I don't think it played (a part in the) outcome in the race."
Keselowski thought he was well within the spirit and letter of the law in re-entering off Turn 2. And he was.
"There is no enforced line like you see in other sports, and that's not a bad thing," Keselowski said. "That's just one more thing to monitor during the race. But it's certainly a, I don't want to say a gentlemen's agreement, it's a policy of merging down the backstretch, off of Turn 2, I think it said specifically in the driver's meeting, and I feel like that's what we did.
"You can make rules that count it down to the inches and just make it a pain in the [neck] for everybody that participates in the sport, or you can just have a rule like we do, and I felt like I was inside those guidelines."
From elation of Richmond, to the disappointment at Chicago
Jeff Gordon was all smiles all week and prior to the race. There was lots of chatter and talk about Jeff growing a moustache, I guess it was a challenge for him, but now the biggest challenge lies ahead. Gordon looked strong most of the race, moving through the field, then disaster struck. "I just let off the throttle, and it just didn't come all the way back," Gordon said as his crew tried to repair the car. "It was probably about half-throttle, which is still enough to do a lot of damage. We're looking at what the issue is right now, what could have caused it.
"We'll get back out, but in this deal you can't afford to have issues like that."
Gordon, the last driver in the Chase as the second wild card, finished 35th and more than likely fell out of the championship chase.
Tough day for the Blue Oval at Chicagoland
Matt Kenseth dropped back drastically during the latter part of a run, his team prepared to change a right front shock absorber, but then Jeff Gordon crashed on Lap 188, when the throttle of the No. 24 Chevrolet stuck as he entered Turn 1 and the car slammed the outside wall. This would give the Roush team time to fix Kenseth’s car.
“A shock fell off I guess. I guess it didn’t get tight. We had a brake line get loose at Bristol and a shock fall off today so obviously we have to get to the bottom of that. He was asked about the cause and effect of the races today.. I don’t think today has anything to do with next week and going on but we have to do a better job. We didn’t have a very fast car to start with. We had a real good qualifying lap and good track position and thought we could maybe sneak out a top-10 which isn’t nearly good enough but it would still keep you in the game. When we had that problem we got so far behind, thankfully we were able to stay on the lead lap. I was in the back and couldn’t go anywhere. My car just wasn’t fast enough.”
The Pits can make or break it for a driver…
For Biffle it would be a late race bad break.. “We were really going good there at the end and we did our last stop and the car just went bad. It just got way too loose and we were hooking the bottom. I don’t even really know what happened. We were driving up through there and the car was getting better and better and it never fails – the last stop of the day we put our tires on and it went bad.” Biffle would be the highest finishing Ford, 13th place.
Kenseth salvaged an 18th-place finish but fell to 11th in the standings, 26 points behind Keselowski and 21 ahead of Gordon in 12th. Defending champion Tony Stewart ran sixth and sits third in points, seven ahead of Denny Hamlin (16th Sunday after running out of fuel in the closing laps), Kahne was third and Clint Bowyer finished tenth.
How excited was Keselowski on winning the first race of the chase?
On his way to Victory Lane, Keselowski seemed to get lost, making a wrong turn into a swarm of fans gathered behind Victory Circle.. His car was spewing hot water out of the vent behind the hood. Track officials quickly would point him in the right direction, the celebration was on.
Keselowski heads New Hampshire with his first points lead in his Sprint Cup career.
The rest of Sprint Cup Series heads to the “Magic Mile” in New Hampshire as well this week for the second race of the Chase, another challenge for the teams and drivers in their quest for the Cup.
Photo Gallery Geico 400
Michael Waltrip Racing Unviels 2013 Toyota Camry that Clint Bowyer will drive beginning at Daytona in February 2013
Jimmiw Johnson Wins Pole for Geico 400
Jimmie Johnson won the Pole for the 12th annual Gieco 400 with a lap of 182.865 mph.
With the pole, Johnson now has 27 poles in 390 MASCAR Sprint Cup races. He now moves into a tie for 24th all-time with Terry Labonte.
Johnson now has two poles this season ant the 19th top-10 start in 2012. He earned the ploe in Kentucky earlier this year.
Johnson now has two poles at Chicagoland Speedway. He won the Pole for the 2005 race.
2011 Chicagoland Speedway
Winless no more. Tony Stewart Wins 1st Race of the Chase
Victory Lane Photo By Mark Rotor
Photo Gallery from Monday's Race
Double Duty working just fine For Keselowski
With a full schedule of double-duty, Brad Keselowski, won Saturday’s Dollar General 300 Nationwide Series race at Chicagoland Speedway in a prelude to his debut Sunday in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup.
Keselowski won his third Nationwide race of the season and the 15th of his career, cruising to a decisive victory over Carl Edwards, whose chances at a victory evaporated when his No. 60 Ford ran out of fuel moments before a scheduled pit stop on Lap 124 of 200.
A day of firsts for Penske Racing
Today’s victory is Keselowski’s first win at Chicagoland Speedway. He is the first driver to win from a front-row start in 12 Chicagoland races
Penske Racing got its 20th career win, fourth win of 2011 and first win at Chicagoland.
Polesitter Brian Scott came home third, followed by Aric Almirola and Sam Hornish Jr. in a race that saw 10 cars finish on the lead lap. Series points leader Ricky Stenhouse Jr. held the top spot in the standings with an eighth-place finish.
Keselowski, who qualified sixth for the Cup race before taking the green later in the afternoon, held a 10-second lead over Edwards after a round of green-flag pit stops late in the race and cruised through the final 30 laps.
"It’s a great booster to get a win before going into the Chase," Keselowski said. "It was great execution today. That’s what it takes to win right now. Our Dodges are fast, and today we just executed really well and did what it takes."
Asked what might carry over into Sunday’s Cup race, Keselowski said, "There’s always the confidence—that’s the biggest thing."
Practicing for the Chase
During the early and middle portions of the race, Keselowski and Edwards—the only Chase drivers in the field—took turns dominating.
Keselowski wrested the lead from Scott on Lap 2 and stayed out front—with the exception of one lap under caution—until Edwards passed him in traffic on Lap 90.
"I’m going to take every one of those freakin’ lapped cars and wreck ’em," Keselowski vented, after one of the back markers failed to give him a lane to pass and facilitated Edwards’ move to the lead.
By the time Keselowski made a green-flag pit stop for tires and fuel on Lap 115, Edwards had extended his advantage to three seconds. Edwards waited until Lap 124 to pit—one lap too long, as it turned out.
Another Fuel Issue for Edwards
For Edwards, it was like ground hog day.. This past June Edwards was on track for a sure victory in the STP 300, Then his Ford Mustang ran out of fuel on the backstretch giving the victory to Justin Allgaier.
Edwards ran out of fuel on the way to his pit stall, and by the time the crew completed his service and his engine refired, he was nine seconds behind Keselowski and in fifth place when the cycle of stops was complete.
Charging Carl, too little to late
Edwards began to chip away at Keselowski’s advantage, narrowing the margin to 6.188 seconds by Lap 141. Later in the run, however, Edwards’ charge stalled, and on Lap 155, he was running third behind Keselowski and Scott, 5.635 seconds behind the leader.
"They told me to pit, and I was coming down the back straightaway, and I ran out of fuel," Edwards said. "So it took us a little longer in the pits. The guys did a really good job of keeping it running and got us back out there, and then we had a really long green-flag run (131 laps).
"I think our car was fast enough. I would have really liked the opportunity to go up there and race Brad. We just didn’t get that caution."
For Edwards and Roush, it will be wait until next year. Roush racing is winless at the Chicagoland Speedway. The odds are that Roush racing will end their drought in Chicago long before the Chicago Cubs do.
Keselowski takes a moment with a special fan
Brad Keselowski showed just how fan friendly NASCAR drivers can be on Saturday. After making a second place qualifying run, Brad took several moments to pose with a fan.
One thing can be said of Brad, he has matured and is becoming a great ambassador for NASCAR.
Austin Dillon Brings the #3 to Victory Lane Friday at the Fast 5 225.
Photos By Dan Peters
With a two-tire call on a late-race pit stop, Austin Dillon stole Friday night’s Fast Five 225 Camping World Truck Series race at Chicagoland Speedway from Kevin Harvick, who had dominated the event until the last round of stops.
Dillon won his second race of the season and the fourth of his career. Harvick came home second, almost five seconds back. Nelson Piquet Jr., Parker Kligerman and Kyle Busch completed the top five.
"This is the biggest win of my career, I think," Dillon, 21, said in victory lane. "I ran up there, racing with Kyle and Harvick. Harvick was great all night, but (crew chief Danny) Stockman made the call at the end to put us out on two tires.
"He knows when I get out front it’s like smelling blood for a shark. When we got out there, we could just take off. The team—they kept gaining spots every time we came on pit road. I love coming on pit road when they’re like that. It’s awesome."
Dillon moved up two spots in the series standings to second and trimmed 11th-place finisher James Buescher’s lead to three points. Johnny Sauter, who finished sixth, is six points back in third.
Harvick had led 99 laps by the time he came to pit road for his final stop on Lap 129 of 150.
Harvick took four tires, a decision necessitated by a vibration Harvick’s truck picked up during a green-flag run of 42 laps. That decision allowed Busch (who pitted on Lap 130 and took two tires) and Dillon (who came to pit road on Lap 131) to cycle out ahead of Harvick.
As Busch and Harvick battled for the second position, Dillon began to pull away, opening a lead of more than 4.7 seconds over Harvick with seven laps left.
"That definitely dictated a four-tire call," Harvick said of the vibration. "On the caution before (on Lap 84) we didn’t take any tires, so we had about 22 more laps on our tires. When you have a vibration like that, you want to win the race, but in the big picture—and the even bigger picture on Sunday (in the first Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup race)—we don’t need to blow a tire and have something happen.
"So when it got to the point of shaking bad enough to where I knew something was changing, I just came in and changed four tires. I knew at that point, they (Dillon and Busch) were going to do the opposite, but we had to change four."
Kurt Busch, Chicago’s Adopted Son, Visits Children’s Hospital.
A huge Cubs fan, Kurt Busch was the perfect fit for Chicagoland Speedway’s portion of Chase Media Week. Busch visited Children’s Memorial Hospital in Chicago, coloring books, signing t-shirts and, for one young girl, signing a cast. Busch also went through his own media run, with hits on Showtime’s Inside NASCAR, ESPN’s NASCAR Now and a Dodge teleconference with print outlets.
He will continue his media tour tomorrow with appearances on local affiliates WGN, WLS and a hit on ESPN Radio. During Tuesday’s interviews, Busch focused his attention on the Chase, and not the ongoing feud with Jimmie Johnson that sparked up again at Richmond. Said Busch: "We are on offense moving forward. We are not on defense.
I am not worried about what happened at Richmond, because we have 10 weeks ahead of us to put ourselves in position for this championship."
Mike Wallace's Chevrolet Carries the Special Cowboys and Aliens Paint Scheme at Chicagoland Sppedway
Photos By Dan Peters
How well do you know your track?
In conjunction with celebrating our 10th Anniversary, we've selected 10 photos to represent each year we've been racing!
Go now and view the images of Chicagoland Speedway's history and identify the appropriate year. If you've match the photo with the correct year, you will be entered to win the best seats in the house VIP September Weekend Package.
Don't match all the photos to the years correctly, that's ok, you will be placed into a separate drawing to win tickets to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Race.
Just a friendly reminder, new to this season we have wider bench seating, more restrooms, coolers allowed, single day tickets and much more!
Click here to play!
Good luck to all.
Kevin Harvick has his eyes on the sky... and for good reason. Moments later a heavy rain cancelled qualifying
Spin and win, Hamlin steals first Chase race at Chicagoland
Nothing was going to keep Denny Hamlin down this day. Just twelve days before Sunday’s opening Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Chicagoland Speedway, Denny Hamlin tore the ACL in his right leg playing basketball.
Late in the myAFibRisk.com 400 at the 1.5-mile track, Hamlin found his good fortune in the form of a bold pit call on the part of crew chief Dave Rogers.
Hamlin would grabbed the lead moments after a restart with five laps left and cruised to a .963-second victory over Carl Edwards, who surged from sixth to second during that restart on Lap 263 of 267. Just how lucky was Hamlin? His right rear wheel was missing a lug nut. (Photo Below)
Hamlin saw an opening as the cars roared toward Turn 1 on the restart.
"It was ballsy, but I’d been stuck so many times three-wide in the middle," Hamlin said of the winning move. "The front cars almost have a disadvantage to the back cars the way it all plays out.
"We got a great restart, and I just held it wide open through (Turns) 1 and 2, and it stuck. We were able to get in that clean air and take off."
Hamlin is not even close to front in the start...
Remarkably, Hamlin won from the 29th starting position, rallying from a spin on Lap 2 that left him a lap down. Hamlin didn’t get back on the lead lap until he took advantage of a wave-around before a restart on Lap 129.
"Luckily, that one caution (for debris on the backstretch on Lap 122) came out that allowed us to get the wave-around and get back on the lead lap," Hamlin said. "We had a fast car, and that was the most important thing. We stretched out there at the end even with no tires.
"I’m proud of this effort. The pit crew did a phenomenal job again and now we’re looking forward to the next round."
Kyle Busch finished 9th at Chicagoland
Hamlin’s first victory at Chicagoland, his second of the season and the 16th of his career ensured the driver of the No. 11 JGR Toyota will advance from the Challenger Round to the Contender Round of the Chase, as the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series heads to New Hampshire and the second race of the postseason.
A new tradition started.
Hamlin was the first driver to indulge in a new “Chicago” tradition at Chicagoland Speedway.. A Chicago style hot dog. Indianapolis has milk, Chicago now has the hot dog. Track President Scott Paddock presented Hamlin with a fully loaded Chicago style hot dog in Victory Lane with. no ketchup.
Not so Happy Harvick
Kevin Harvick wasn’t as fortunate and not happy. Earlier in the week Harvick vowed to pound the JGR drivers into the ground three days before the Chase began. It would be Harvick who would get pounded into the Turn 3 wall with the rear of his No. 4 Stewart-Haas Chevrolet after contact with Jimmie Johnson during a Lap 135 restart flattened Harvick’s left rear tire.
"I got a pretty good restart, and obviously, the 22 (Joey Logano) and 48 got a good run, and I just held my line and the 48 just slammed into the side of my door," Harvick said. "That was pretty much it."
Johnson had a simple explanation for the contact.
"He was pinning me down, and I’ve got to get back up on the track," Johnson said. "I wouldn’t say that what he did is any different than other situations I’ve been in like that. When you’re in Kevin’s situation, you want to give that inside car a bad angle, so they’ve got to lift.
"I was fine with lifting, but I had to get back on the race track. So I worked my way back onto the track… I pulled down inside of him, and then we were door-to-door, and then, as I moved back into the racing groove, that’s when we touched door-to-door, tire-to-tire."
Harvick feels he must win one of the next two races to advance to the Contender Round. That’s not a new position for the driver of the No. 4 Chevy. Last year he triumphed in a must-win situation at Phoenix before taking the checkered flag at Homestead to secure his first premier series title.
"We can win anywhere," Harvick said after the race. "We could have won today. It’s just a matter of putting a couple of days together and being able to come back to Victory Lane. Same thing as last year."
After the race, Harvick, who finished 42nd, confronted Johnson and pounded the six-time Sprint Cup champion with a blow to the chest. Kept apart by one of Harvick’s lieutenants, the drivers then went their separate ways without further incident.
Kurt Busch, who like Hamlin stayed out on old tires, led the field to green on Lap 263 after the sixth caution for debris in Turn 1 slowed the race. Busch fell to third at the finish, followed by 2014 Chase runner-up Ryan Newman, who posted his first top-five finish since April at Bristol.
Matt Kenseth ran fifth and assumed the series lead, bolstered by 12 bonus points earned for four victories in the 26-race regular season.
Erik Jones wins at Chicagoland Speedway, second win of the weekend.
Photo By Kim Kemperman
Severe storms at Chicagoland Speedway on Saturday evening postponed the NASCAR XFINITY Series race until Sunday morning.
Even the rain could not put out Erik Jones’ fire, winning his second race of the weekend. Jones won at Iowa Speedway Friday night in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race. Jones was not at the Chicagoland Speedway for practice Friday. Drew Herring filled in and practiced the #54 Monster Energy Toyota.
“It’s pretty awesome to get this Monster Energy Toyota back to victory lane. Its two weeks in a row for these guys. That’s three wins this week for me – that’s pretty awesome. It was a rough go for a while, but we came back at it now. It’s just cool to be back here – thanks to Kyle Busch Motorsports for Friday, Joe Gibbs Racing for today and Port City Race Cars for Tuesday, XFINITY for doing this for us, the fans and – man, what a day, what a day. Thanks to Drew Herring who shook this thing down for us two days ago (in practice) and got it right and we took it to victory lane today.”
Kenseth, driving the No. 20 Dollar General Toyota Camry for Joe Gibbs Racing, was sixth in his XFINITY Series debut, a nice rebound after a Friday spinout during practice in his first time running the track.
"In the last two days we were a lot better than my first day here," said Kenseth, son of 2003 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Matt Kenseth. "At the end I thought we were really good — a third, fourth-place car — (but) was a little disappointed we didn’t get into the top five. ... But the guys worked so hard at it and gave me a great car this weekend."
“I thought all these guys did a fantastic job all day. The first round we were so tight I couldn’t get by anybody, and worked on it. There at the end, I felt we were really good – a third, fourth-place car – a little disappointed we didn’t get into the top-five. These guys worked so hard at it and gave me a great car this weekend. Thanks to Dollar General, JGR (Joe Gibbs Racing) for giving me this opportunity. For a one-off deal like this, I was happy. I was hoping in this car, it’s been competitive all year, so I’m hoping we can do it again.”
Daniel Suarez had a strong run in another Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota, finishing seventh.
“It was a hard-fought top-10 finish in today’s NASCAR XFINITY Series race. We had some trouble on pit road where there was almost a collision, but we were able to avoid it and fought hard to score a seventh-place result. I can’t thank my crew, ARRIS, Toyota and Joe Gibbs Racing enough for the effort and support.”
Pulling double-duty has it’s benefits..
“I think it is very important. The truck has been helping a lot the last few months to adapt faster to the race tracks and gain some experience. To be honest, I was expecting the same thing from ARCA, but I feel right now the ARCA Series is somewhat different from NASCAR XFINITY and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. I’m not sure if the ARCA race this weekend helped me at all. The seat time, racing on ovals – it helps.” Said Suarez.
Ryan Blaney nearly had a storybook finish as he overcame earlier misfortune to lead the race with less than a dozen laps remaining.
Driving the No. 22 Hertz Ford for Team Penske, Blaney wrecked his primary car in Saturday qualifying, started Sunday with a backup car in the back row but quickly maneuvered into the top 10 and moved into the lead with 45 laps to run.
"I thought it was a good day for us, a decent day," Blaney said. "I felt like I threw it away yesterday wrecking our primary. For our team to get a backup car out and work as hard as they did and have a car contending for the win and to be leading in the last little bit and then just not pull it off, that really speaks volumes to them about how well they prepared."
Series points leader Chris Buescher finished fifth and maintained his series lead with 528 points, 29 points ahead of second place Ty Dillon.
Austin Dillon won the Coors Light Pole Award for the 5th annual Owens Corning Atticat 300 with a lap of 30.583 seconds. 176.569 mph
Buescher and the No. 60 Ford EcoBoost team were able to overcome adversity during Sunday afternoon’s rain-postponed NASCAR XFINITY Series race at Chicagoland Speedway to finish fifth, Buescher’s eighth top-five of the season.
He shook off a penalty for speeding on pit road and rallied to the top five.
He regained track position when 22 drivers were penalized for pitting too soon with 46 laps remaining.
“It’s definitely a good points day for us,” said Buescher. It was a solid day for us. I think we outran most of the fulltime [XFINITY] guys. It’s nice coming off Michigan having a top-five run there. We’ve just got to keep it up and be consistent.”
Late race caution for Dakoda Armstrong's crash near the start/finish line
Photo By Kim Kemperman
Chase Elliott, who won last summer’s XFINITY Chicagoland race on the way to the 2014 series championship, spun out with 23 laps to go and finished 14th. He’s still looking for his first win of the season.
The race featured a track record 23 lead changes, plus seven cautions for 39 laps.
The XFINITY series takes a break this week and resumes with a July 4 race at Daytona International Speedway.
Its raining at Chicagoland Speedway. The NASCAR Nationwide Series and Sprint Cup Series got their practices in before the rain came. Brendan Gaughan was fastest in Nationwide practice with a speed of 178.601 mph, Followed by Kyle Busch 177.854 and Dylan Kwasniewski at 177.515
#62 Brendan Gaughan
#31 Dylan Kwasniewski
#54 Kyle Busch
In Sprint Cup Practice, Kyle Busch was fastest in Cup practice with a blistering speed of 191.442 mph. Second fastest was Ryan Newman at 191.042 followed by Carl Edwards at 191.022 mph
#18 Kyle Busch
Camping World Truck Series was cancelled due to the rain and the Field will be set by practice speeds.
Chase Elliott nabs third win of the season at Chicagoland
Chase Elliott won the 4th annual enjoyillinois.com 300, his third victory in 18 Nationwide Series races.
The start of the race...
Photo By Scott Krause
Accomplishing feats uncharacteristic for a rookie, Elliott lead 85 of 200 laps en route to his third win of the season at Chicagoland Speedway.
Elliott in the #9 NAPA Camaro took the lead for the fourth and final time on Lap 177 and held on for the final 23 laps, winning by 1.7 seconds. The NNS Sunoco Rookie of the Year frontrunner ties Kyle Busch for most wins in the series thus far this season, each with three visits to Victory Lane in the first 19 races. Elliott also has 13 top ten finishes in 2014 heading into Indianapolis next week.
Photo By Scott Krause
"This is an unbelievable night," Elliott said. "We were fortunate enough to be in contention on that last pit stop, the guys busted their butts for me and that was the deciding factor.
"We all as a team, we completed our task tonight. And that was the difference."
Trevor Bayne #6 finished second, followed by Kyle Larson #42, Kasey Kahne #5 and Ty Dillon#3.
"We got our car turning there at the end," Bayne said. "That's probably the strongest weekend we've had in a while. Had it stayed green for another 15, we might have had it, but that's 15 laps we'll never know about. This was Bayne’s 13th top ten finish in 2014.
Added Larson, "I thought we had a real good car. I had some fun, just frustrating coming in third when I thought we had a real good chance to win."
As for Dillon, "I've got a feeling that we can keep doing this as the year goes on," he said. "The car was coming to me there at the end."
In addition to the race winner, Kahne was the second JR Motorsports driver in the top five. It almost didn't happen for Kahne, who brushed the wall late that did just enough damage to keep him from making a last-ditch run towards the front.
Pole-sitter Brian Scott earned $100,000 in the Nationwide Insurance Dash 4 Cash for finishing sixth, ahead of fellow D4C competitors Chris Buescher (eighth), Elliott Sadler (10th) and Regan Smith (16th).
Seventh through 10th were Erik Jones (in his NNS debut), Buescher, Ryan Blaney and Sadler.
Smith, who was the points leader coming into the race, struggled with a loose car and finished with a disappointing 16th showing.
Photo By Scott Krause
Elliott's win also vaulted him from third to the top of the Nationwide points standings. He now leads Smith by seven points and Sadler by eight points.
A series of green-flag pit stops around Lap 161 shuffled the field with teams hoping they could make it to the finish without it turning into a fuel-mileage race.
Bayne took the lead at Lap 161 when the leaders made stops for service and held on until he had to come in on Lap 176 for four tires and fuel. Elliott inherited the lead, and kept it for the remainder of the race.
Pole-sitter Scott led 20 laps early on before Ryan Blaney, Elliott and Larson took their turns ahead of the field.
Sam Hornish Jr. #54, who started at the back of the field due to unapproved adjustments, quickly worked his way up to the middle of the pack only to have uncharacteristic engine failure in his Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota that ended his night just eight laps into the event, finishing 36th in the 40-car field.
"It felt like we were going to have a really good day and felt like this was going to be a race where we had opportunity to lead laps and potentially win," Hornish told ESPN.
NASCAR’s top Sprint Cup Series had a rare week off this weekend, the last until the end of the season. Normally, you would see more Sprint Cup drivers in this race, but with the Chase looming and no more weekends off, most took a break to prepare for the grueling stretch to the Chase.
Fan attendance was marginal at best, but with the full plate of events in the Chicago area, one could say the true race fans were in Joliet on Saturday. The White Sox were in town as well as the Chicago Blackhawks Fan Convention. This will surely change come September when Chicagoland will once again host the first race of the Chase, as well as the NASCAR Nationwide Series and Camping World Truck Series. A busy weekend it will be.
The Nationwide Series heads to the famed Indianapolis Motor Speedway next week where the Sprint Cup Series will race as well.
Photo By Joe Paolella
And give the driver of the No. 54 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota two legs up on a weekend sweep at Chicagoland Speedway.
In Saturday's Dollar General 300, Busch won his 10th NASCAR Nationwide Series race in 20 starts this season, leading 195 of the 200 laps in claiming the record 61st victory of his career.
Busch became the first driver to win from the pole in NNS competition at Chicagoland, though he's certainly no stranger to winning from the top starting spot. In Saturday morning's time trials, Busch won his eighth pole of the season. He has converted seven of those into victories.
Joey Logano ran second, but no other driver proved a threat to Busch's dominance. Sam Hornish Jr. finished third and extended his lead in the series standings to 17 points over Austin Dillon, who came home fourth.
Dale Earnhardt Jr. finished fifth, followed by Brian Vickers, Matt Kenseth, Parker Kligerman, Kevin Harvick and rookie Nelson Piquet Jr.
Having won Friday night's NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race at Chicagoland, Busch will go for the second three-series weekend sweep of his career in Sunday's GEICO 400 Sprint Cup race at the 1.5-mile track.
That won’t be an easy task. During Saturday’s practice, the handling on Busch’s Cup car wasn’t optimal.
"We tried a lot of stuff (Saturday) in the Cup garage and couldn’t really find the feel I was looking for, couldn’t really find the grip I was hoping to have that would produce fast lap times and be comfortable for me," Busch said. "It’s going to be a bit of a challenge (Sunday).
"I think we’re a top-10 car right now. That’s a little further off than where I’d like to start going into (Sunday), but we’ll just have to work through 400 miles and push hard and see if we can’t achieve the trifecta."
Penkse Racing teammates Logano and Hornish agreed that they needed to find a little additional speed to compete with Busch on a regular basis, but they also defended their own records. Four Penske drivers have combined for 10 NNS victories this season.
"We’re not far behind--we’ve won quite a few races this year," Logano said. "But the 54 car is obviously our main competition every weekend. Where it’s at is hard to pinpoint. It’s probably a little bit of body, it could be some motor, it could be some of our chassis setups.
"We have to look in every little area to find a little bit of speed. It’s not like he’s a half-second quicker than us. He’s a tenth better, all day today… It’s hard to pinpoint exactly where it’s at--because he drives away so fast you can’t figure it out quick enough."
Having led 153 of the first 158 laps, Busch held a lead of more than three seconds when Brett Butler plowed into the back of title contender Elliott Sadler's No. 11 Toyota as Sadler was slowing to enter pit road.
Lead-lap cars came to the pits on Lap 160 four tires and fuel, leaving them with enough gas to finish the race comfortably. Busch was first off pit road for a restart on Lap 164, but one circuit later, a caution for debris slowed the field for the fourth time.
Busch pulled away after a Lap 170 restart and stretched his lead until Kyle Larson blew a left rear tire and smacked the outside wall in Turn 2, spewing debris throughout the corner.
That wasn't the last yellow. One circuit after a restart on Lap 182, Justin Allgaier's Chevrolet clipped the outside wall, bounced into Regan Smith's Chevy and sent it spinning down the backstretch. Smith, who entered the race third in the series standings, stayed on the lead lap but restarted 18th when Busch led the field to green on Lap 187.
Smith worked his way up to 13th by the finish but lost ground to Hornish, as did Sadler, who ran 19th, one lap down.
With Smith and Sadler both having issues, dropping them to 36 and 44 points behind Hornish, respectively, the championship battle began to look more and more like a two-man contest.
"There’s still a long time to go," Hornish said. "What? Seven races? A lot can happen. We have to be smart about how we run it and all those things. One flat tire can lose you a bunch of points. I feel like I was pretty excited about where we were running at about Lap 160, with how we were running.
"I think Austin was seventh, and we were running second and catching the leader a little bit. All of a sudden the yellow comes out, and we were running third, and he (Dillon) was second. We worked real hard to get back around there at the end, and I just wish we’d had a little more for the short run."
Notes: Busch led the largest number of laps ever in a Nationwide Series at an intermediate speedway, eclipsing the 194 of 200 led by Dale Earnhardt at Charlotte in 1986… Busch posted his 20th perfect driver rating in the series… Kenny Wallace started his 543rd NNS race, bringing his total NASCAR starts across all three national touring series to 900.
NASCAR Nationwide Series Race - Dollar General 300 Powered By Coca-Cola
Saturday, September 14, 2013
1. (1) Kyle Busch(i), Toyota, 200, $82650.
2. (3) Joey Logano(i), Ford, 200, $60050.
3. (4) Sam Hornish Jr., Ford, 200, $53525.
4. (2) Austin Dillon, Chevrolet, 200, $47475.
5. (6) Dale Earnhardt Jr.(i), Chevrolet, 200, $31975.
6. (10) Brian Vickers, Toyota, 200, $31375.
7. (18) Matt Kenseth(i), Toyota, 200, $24325.
8. (5) Parker Kligerman, Toyota, 200, $29675.
9. (13) Kevin Harvick(i), Chevrolet, 200, $22135.
10. (9) Nelson Piquet Jr. #, Chevrolet, 200, $29500.
11. (8) Alex Bowman #, Toyota, 200, $26750.
12. (20) Justin Allgaier, Chevrolet, 200, $26200.
13. (16) Regan Smith, Chevrolet, 200, $25650.
14. (19) Brian Scott, Chevrolet, 200, $25140.
15. (14) Trevor Bayne, Ford, 200, $25780.
16. (17) Kevin Swindell #, Ford, 200, $24470.
17. (11) Kenny Wallace, Toyota, 200, $18185.
18. (15) Michael Annett, Ford, 200, $23925.
19. (7) Elliott Sadler, Toyota, 199, $24715.
20. (12) Brad Sweet, Chevrolet, 198, $24180.
21. (27) Chad Hackenbracht(i), Toyota, 198, $23395.
22. (29) Landon Cassill, Chevrolet, 198, $23285.
23. (35) Mike Bliss, Toyota, 198, $23150.
24. (21) Jeremy Clements, Chevrolet, 198, $23040.
25. (25) Eric McClure, Toyota, 198, $23380.
26. (22) Johanna Long, Chevrolet, 197, $22795.
27. (24) Travis Pastrana, Ford, 196, $22685.
28. (26) Mike Wallace, Chevrolet, 193, $22565.
29. (37) Juan Carlos Blum #, Ford, 189, $22415.
30. (23) Joe Nemechek, Toyota, Electrical, 186, $22605.
31. (36) Maryeve Dufault, Ford, 183, $22150.
32. (39) Kyle Larson #, Chevrolet, Accident, 175, $22040.
33. (38) Reed Sorenson, Chevrolet, 172, $21925.
34. (32) Brett Butler, Toyota, Accident, 146, $21814.
35. (31) Joey Gase, Toyota, Engine, 46, $21689.
36. (30) Kevin Lepage, Dodge, Fuel Pump, 30, $20445.
37. (33) Tanner Berryhill, Dodge, Electrical, 21, $14325.
38. (28) Blake Koch, Toyota, Transmission, 7, $14265.
39. (34) JJ Yeley(i), Chevrolet, Rear Gear, 4, $13940.
40. (40) Jeff Green, Toyota, Vibration, 3, $13830.
Average Speed of Race Winner: 131.804 mph.
Time of Race: 2 Hrs, 16 Mins, 34 Secs. Margin of Victory: 1.615 Seconds.
Caution Flags: 6 for 27 laps.
Lead Changes: 4 among 4 drivers.
Lap Leaders: K. Busch(i) 1-25; J. Clements 26; D. Earnhardt Jr.(i) 27-28; J. Logano(i) 29-30; K. Busch(i) 31-200.
Leaders Summary (Driver, Times Lead, Laps Led): K. Busch(i) 2 times for 195 laps; D. Earnhardt Jr.(i) 1 time for 2 laps; J. Logano(i) 1 time for 2 laps; J. Clements 1 time for 1 lap.
Top 10 in Points: S. Hornish Jr. - 921; A. Dillon - 904; R. Smith - 885; E. Sadler - 877; B. Vickers - 865; B. Scott - 849; T. Bayne - 839; K. Larson # - 811; P. Kligerman - 768; A. Bowman # - 700.
Joey Logano slices through the field, claims second victory at Chicagoland
Some NASCAR drivers take a week off from the Sprint Cup Series, head to the beach, visit family and friends, play golf or just plain take it easy.
Not "Sliced Bread." Joey's way of relaxing is behind the wheel of a race car. Logano decided to race in the STP 300 at Chicagoland Speedway, and it was a great call.
Logano took the lead on the final restart and led the final 15 circuits to claim his second NASCAR Nationwide race of the season. His other win came earlier at Dover on June 1st.
"I was ok doing nothing on the off-weekend, but you can't say no to RP (team owner Roger Penske)." Logano said with a laugh.
Photo By Mark Rotor
"At the start of the race, I thought we had a third place car, but we made some adjustments and got it a lot better."
"That was a big momentum switch for us after two bad races the last weekend at New Hampshire," Logano said. "We're looking forward to getting to Indianapolis next weekend, we'll be running both races and hopefully we can get some momentum from this win going forward there."
Second place is not bad at all...
"We would have liked to win, but you can't complain too much with it being a 1-2 Penske finish, it was a really good thing," Hornish said.
It was indeed a great weekend for Team Penske. Hornish won the Coors Light Pole in qualifying earlier on Sunday morning, his first pole of the season. Last year's winner Elliott Sadler started alongside him on the front row.
Sam Hornish would dominate the early portion of the race, until a pit stop on lap 49. A great pit stop, but the NASCAR police caught him speeding entering pit road. He exited in second place, but the penalty would put him back to 20th on the restart. Hornish sliced through the field, but could not overtake his teammate.
Points... Points.. It’s about Points.
More important for Hornish, he regained the lead in the Nationwide Series points standings, passing former leader Regan Smith. He know leads Smith by seven points.
Regan Smith Goes for a wild ride... Photo sequence (below)by Joe Paolella
"We've gone from being 58 points behind after Michigan to seven ahead," Hornish said. "What we do now is try to figure out where to go from here."
Dillon Earns Second-Consecutive NASCAR Nationwide Series Dash 4 Cash $100,000 Bonus with Third-Place Finish at Chicagoland Speedway
Austin Dillon drove the RCR No. 3 AdvoCare Chevrolet to a third-place finish in the STP 300 NASCAR at Chicagoland Speedway on Saturday afternoon, besting the performances of fellow Dash 4 Cash competitors Brian Scott, Brian Vickers and Michael Annett to earn a $100,000 bonus for the second-consecutive week. Dillon is now eligible for Nationwide Insurance's fourth and final leg of the Dash 4 Cash program next weekend at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, and is the only series competitor who has qualified for every leg of the program. The Welcome, N.C. driver started Sunday's race from the third position and never fell below eighth in the running order.
"Wow, another $100,000. Thanks to Nationwide Insurance for putting this program together, and first and foremost, thanks to the Lord above. We had a great AdvoCare Chevrolet today. We started off a little free. We made a big adjustment during the first pit stop and it turned out to really help us. The AdvoCare team did a good job today. It was about track position at the end there. I think the fans should have enjoyed it because it was four-wide racing at the end on that one restart."
RCR drivers fared well at Chicagoland Speedway today. In only his second start in the series, Matt Crafton fought an ill-handling car all day to bring his Chevrolet Camaro home 10th. Crafton started the event from the fourth position and remained in the top five until lap 28 when his. 33 Rheem/Menards car was loose on exit. The caution flag was displayed on lap 49. Crew chief Ernie Cope to call Crafton to pit road for four Goodyear Eagle tires, Sunoco Green E15 fuel and an air pressure adjustment.
The Tulare, Calif., native restarted the race on lap 53 from the sixth position. Shortly after pitting for routine service under green-flag conditions on lap 100, Crafton reported a bad vibration in the rear of the car, forcing the team to make an unscheduled stop on lap 112. The crew changed four tires and topped off with fuel as Crafton returned to the track on lap 114 in the 18th position, one lap down to the leader.
Crafton raced his way into the "Lucky Dog" position and rejoined the lead lap cars when the caution flag was displayed on lap 130. Crafton restarted in the 15th position and quickly worked his way to the 12th position by lap 149. The caution flag was displayed again on lap 172 for an accident, and Crafton relayed to the team he was still too loose off. Receiving four tires and a splash of fuel on pit road, he returned to the track in the 12th spot. During the closing laps, Crafton battled his way to the 10th position, where he finished the race. The finish marked his second top-10 in his second career Nationwide Series start.
"We battled a loose car most of the race, but I'm proud of the way this team fought back to get a top-10 finish. I am grateful to Menards and the entire Richard Childress Racing organization for the opportunity to be behind the wheel in the Nationwide Series. We'll take this top-10 and hope to improve on it in my next run at Kentucky Speedway."
Elliott Sadler had a strong run, but his pit stops would ultimately cost him the win. Sadler exited the pits in the lead after the first stop. He would hold the lead at the races mid-point ( 100 laps) and looked like he was cruising to his second straight Chicago finish, but Sadler overdrove his race car and fell from the lead to fourth.
Still finishing was a shot in the arm, especially after being wrecked out late in last Saturday’s Nationwide race at New Hampshire.
Photo By Mark Rotor
“(We) should have been in Victory Lane, but I tried to be too greedy and keep my car too low and it bit us in the end,” Sadler said. “We’ll have to take what it gave us, fourth-place and we’ll go on to Indy.”
Travis Pastrana, who started fifth in the #60 Roush Mustang, had his third top-five qualifying effort in his last four starts. Pastrana’s good start didn’t quite finish that way as he suffered a tire problem on lap 114 that sent his Ford careening into the wall, bringing out the fourth caution of the race.
Nationwide Points leader Smith was involved in a solo spin into the infield grass on Lap 128, bringing out the caution, but his Chevrolet suffered minimal damage.
Smith was running 12th at the time. and it would cost him the points lead.
Next up for the Nationwide Series.. The Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Saturday.
Sam Hornish Jr won today's pole for the STP 300 in his Penske Ford Mustang with a speed of 178.341.
Last Year's race winner Elliott Sadler was second with a speed of 178.265.
Austin Dillon signs a fans hat prior to qualifying
Richard Childress driver Austin Dillon driving the #3 AdvoCare Camaro was third with a speed of 177.912
Photos from Saturday's practice
Sadler looks to repeat at Chicagoland Speedway
The heat and humidity may have left the Chicago area last night, but Elliott Sadler was still steaming.
Last year's STP 300 winner Elloitt Sadler was still venting from last week's race in New Hampshire, after a late race incident with Regan Smith. Sadler was in the position to earn 100k in the "Dash for the Cash".
Sadler did speak to Smith this past week...
"You can ask us all you want, and we understand you have a job to do also. Yes, Regan (Smith) did reach out to me this week and we had a 20 or 30 minute conversation and also Dale Jr. (Earnhardt) reached out to me this week because he's the owner of the car and he and I have been friends since we were teenagers, and had some good conversation.
I'm still pissed about it and Regan knows that and he knows where I stand. He took 100 percent of the blame and understood why I'm upset and why I was upset. The biggest problem I had with it is I gave him a huge break at Iowa -- a huge break -- he hit the wall off turn four and went into turn one and I could have easily made it three-wide, that was the same day as the Pocono race, so none of us, a lot of us that use spotters, so I knew he didn't have his spotter at Iowa and I gave him a huge break and could have easily--he could have easily wrecked.
I felt like he didn't give me the same courtesy and I actually gave him a big break at the beginning of the race at New Hampshire-- I caught him from a straightaway behind, raced him for 15 laps and got in the back of him in the middle of (turns) three and four and I ust slowed down and stopped and let him get back in front of me and then tried to race him clean again. For him to do what he did at New Hampshire-- I'm still ticked about it. But, we talked and agreed that our racing is going to change a little between us, but we know that we're going to be racing around each other a lot between now and Homestead and they feel like they have a chance to win the Championship. We feel like we have a chance amongst other drivers, so we're probably going to see each other alot between now and November."
But it’s good to be in the "Windy City"
How does it feel to return to Chicagoland after winning last year's race? "As far as us winning last year, it was definitely a great win for us and our race team. We were fortunate enough to be a part of the 'Dash for Cash' to get to win an extra $100,000 and it was a fun race for us. Really hot, slick day track and for us to win, anytime you get to win is good, but for us to win as sick as I was, taking IVs and all that before the race, I think it meant a lot to me and our race team."
Why do NASCAR drivers talk out situations with other drivers when in other sports they don't
"It's very simple, it's a very simple rule. When you play hockey you have 'Blackhawks' written on your jersey, so you're responsible for the Blackhawks. When you drive racing, you have Fortune 500 companies up here that you don't want you running around I think punching people and setting a bad example. I think it's a courtesy thing, we usually all have a pretty good gentleman's agreement with each other. If we have an issue, we'll come talk it out and we'll go from there. That's why I confronted him after the race because I wanted him to know that I did'nt appreciate it and we talked about it and he was very nice and upfront about it and I was too, we'll go from there."
A Million reasons to be angry...
Did you feel better aboutlast week's situation after Regan Smith called you?
"No. He knows that because we felt we had a legitimate chance at the $100,000 that Austin Dillon and I were racing side-by-side and didn't touch each other at all racing for the money and also eligible for this week which is another $100,000 and also would have kept me eligible for the million dollars. No."
Photo Gallery from Saturday's Practice and STP 300 Race
Photo (Above) By Mark Rotor
#31 Chevrolet Camaro Justin Algaier
#43 STP Ford Michael Annett
Dollar General 300 September 15, 2012
Stenhouse Jr Ends Roush-Fenway Drought at Chicagoland Speedway.. Wins Dollar General 300
With the victory today, Stenhouse, Jr now has 7 wins in the NASCAR Nationwide Series.
This is his fifth victory and 20th top-10 finish in 2012.
This is the first win for Roush-Fenway Racing at Chicagoland Speedway in any of the three NASCAR national series.
"This is cool. I felt like we should have been here last time. It is goodto get redemption after a dominating performance last time. We didn't have a dominating car until that last run. Mike kept making good calls and I put us a little behind stalling on pit road. We had to driveup to the front but Mike gave us a Blue Bird Mustang that could do it. I have to thank all the fans for coming out. It was a lot of fun out there today."
Austin Dillon finished third and posted his second top ten finish in two races at Chicagoland. Dillon was also the highest finishing rookie of the race.
Stenhouse Jr leaves Chicagoland with a 9 point lead over Elliott Sadler.
Double-duty driver Kyle Busch lead the race several times and seemed to have the car to beat, but finished second. This was Busch's fifth top-ten finish in nine races at Chicagoland, and his eighth top-10 finish of 2012.
Danica Patrick finished 12th
Joey Lagono Claims Pole
Dollar General 300 Photo Gallery September 15, 2012
Joey Logano won the Coors Light Pole for the 12th annual Dollar General 300 Powered by Coca Cola with a lap of 30.335 seconds, 178.012 mph
2012 Chicagoland Speedway Photo Gallery
Elliott Sadler overcomes virus, Wins STP 300 at Chicagoland
July 22, 2012
In sickness or in health, a driver must overcome many hurdles to win, and Elliott Sadler did just that. Sadler went from sickness to Victory Lane, rallying late in the race to win Sunday's STP 300 NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Chicagoland Speedway.
Sadler, also won the $100,000 Nationwide Dash 4 Cash bonus for the victory. Sadler battled a stomach virus for the previous three days, at one point spending 36 hours in bed. When he arrived at the track Saturday, he felt the worst was behind him and was ready to practice and then race on Sunday.
"I'm still not 100 percent, but it feels good to win here in Chicago," Sadler said. "My wife and I came here with another couple, which also happens to be my doctor, and we had to put him to work.
"Man, what a day. I have been sick with a bug for the past three days, but this win makes me feel a lot better. It feels so good to be able to be in Victory Lane for the third time this season, and it is great to be able to get Hunt Brothers Pizza a win. We knew we had a good car on the long runs, but we knew we had work to do on the short runs. Luke [Lambert] made a great call at the end with adjustments, and at the end of the day, it was all about track position, and our car was really fast out front. I'm really proud of my guys, who stuck with me knowing that I wasn't feeling great all weekend. I'm a little worn out, but I'd rather be worn out in Victory Lane than anywhere else. "We drank a lot of fluids and I had to have a few IVs just to stay hydrated."
"It was a big win, we won the Dash 4 Cash ($100,000 bonus), we kept our lead in the points and we go now to Indianapolis next week for the first-ever Nationwide Series race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway."
Giving a helping “Push’ to victory
Justin Allgaier gave Sadler a nice bump on the last restart and a big assist to Sadler's win. Allgaier blocked runner-up Ricky Stenhouse Jr. several times in the green-white-checkered finish that turned the scheduled 200-lap event into a 201-lap finish.
"We were trying to get to Elliott and working both the high and low line," said Allgaier, who won this race last season. "At the end, we just couldn't hold off Ricky, but I'm very proud of this Brandt Chevy team and what we were able to do today."
Allgaier made a bid on the second-to-last lap to overtake Sadler, but didn't have a strong enough car. While he held off Stenhouse as long as he could, Allgaier eventually yielded to the pole-sitter.
Stenhouse didn't have enough in his car to pass Sadler. Stenhouse had dominated much of the race, including winning the pole earlier Sunday.
The final battle to the finish line was set up when, with seven laps remaining, Sam Hornish Jr. tapped the rear of Kyle Busch's car, sending it careening into Brendan Gaughan and putting both vehicles into the wall, bringing out the caution. While it was a tough break for both Gaughan and Busch, the incident was the best thing to happen for Stenhouse, as it set up a two-lap drag race to the checkered flag.
"I feel real bad about it," Hornish said. "I looked down because it looked like one of our hood pins was coming loose, then I looked up and got right into the back of Kyle's car. I get along real well with Kyle and, while he had already gotten on his plane and flown out, I apologized to (team manager) Rick Ren and also apologized to Brendan."
Busch finished 27th while Gaughan wound up right behind in 28th.
No so “Sweet” for Stenhouse
Stenhouse's bid for the victory was hurt when Brad Sweet spun for the second time in the race with 33 laps remaining, Stenhouse was caught on pit lane as the caution flag fell, dropping him from first to 10th when the race returned to green flag conditions.
Sadler assumed the lead at that point and never yielded in the remainder of the event.
"We were in the right place at the right time," Sadler said. "Ricky had the strongest car all day, but we kept working at it and eventually got into the right position.
Stenhouse got a great jump on the restart, rode around the track on the high line and began his quest to regain the lead, passing six cars and gaining three spots in the following two laps. He halved Sadler's two-second lead to just one in seven laps and the pole-sitter appeared as if he would finish off what he started, but it was not to be.
Stenhouse would lead 135 of the 201 laps, while Sadler led 35.
Allgaier finished third, followed by an outstanding run by series veteran Kenny Wallace and Michael Annett.
Rounding out the top 10 were Austin Dillon, Parker Kligerman, Hornish, Cole Whitt and Ryan Truex.
Danica Patrick finished 14th, the last car on the lead lap.
The points standings stayed the same, with Sadler remaining atop the Nationwide hill. He leads Austin Dillon by 11 points, followed by Stenhouse (19 points back), Hornish (minus-42) and Allgaier (minus-78).
1. (15) Elliott Sadler, Chevrolet, 201, $88,468.
2. (1) Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Ford, 201, $75,593.
3. (16) Justin Allgaier, Chevrolet, 201, $43,468.
4. (11) Kenny Wallace, Toyota, 201, $26,950.
5. (14) Michael Annett, Ford, 201, $31,043.
6. (2) Austin Dillon, Chevrolet, 201, $30,343.
7. (5) Parker Kligerman, Dodge, 201, $27,203.
8. (3) Sam Hornish Jr., Dodge, 201, $26,713.
9. (8) Cole Whitt, Chevrolet, 201, $24,618.
10. (9) Ryan Truex, Toyota, 201, $24,943.
11. (6) Brian Scott, Toyota, 201, $23,368.
12. (7) Mike Bliss, Toyota, 201, $23,018.
13. (22) Joe Nemechek, Toyota, 201, $22,293.
14. (13) Danica Patrick, Chevrolet, 201, $21,768.
15. (18) James Buescher, Chevrolet, 200, $22,093.
16. (24) Mike Wallace, Chevrolet, 200, $21,893.
17. (32) Travis Pastrana, Toyota, 200, $23,768.
18. (25) Timmy Hill, Ford, 200, $21,043.
19. (21) Brad Sweet, Chevrolet, 200, $20,918.
20. (28) Josh Richards, Ford, 199, $15,000.
21. (12) Johanna Long, Chevrolet, 199, $20,668.
22. (27) Jeremy Clements, Chevrolet, 199, $20,518.
23. (17) Jason Bowles, Toyota, 198, $20,368.
24. (19) Eric McClure, Toyota, 198, $20,243.
25. (30) Tayler Malsam, Toyota, 197, $20,578.
26. (35) Tanner Berryhill, Toyota, 194, $13,500.
27. (4) Kyle Busch, Toyota, Accident, 193, $14,100.
28. (10) Brendan Gaughan, Chevrolet, Accident, 192, $19,643.
29. (20) Jamie Dick, Chevrolet, 192, $13,050.
30. (26) Erik Darnell, Chevrolet, 179, $19,668.
31. (36) Benny Gordon, Chevrolet, Transmission, 60, $12,770.
32. (33) Danny Efland, Chevrolet, Engine, 47, $12,635.
33. (37) Tim Schendel, Chevrolet, Engine, 28, $12,525.
34. (41) Morgan Shepherd, Chevrolet, Handling, 19, $12,415.
35. (40) Matt Carter, Chevrolet, Handling, 18, $12,310.
36. (29) Blake Koch, Chevrolet, Ignition, 14, $12,275.
37. (39) Tim Andrews, Ford, Rear Gear, 13, $12,240.
38. (38) TJ Bell, Chevrolet, Vibration, 13, $12,186.
39. (42) Mike Harmon, Chevrolet, Overheating, 12, $12,070.
40. (34) Chase Miller, Chevrolet, Vibration, 11, $12,030.
41. (31) Stephen Leicht, Chevrolet, Clutch, 6, $11,965.
42. (43) Carl Long, Chevrolet, Overheating, 4, $11,935.
43. (23) Jeff Green, Toyota, Vibration, 4, $11,887
Two words describe the upcoming 10 races, in both driving style and championship handicapping: Wide open.
A 26-race regular season that brought us 15 different winners and five first-time victors, now offers up 12 championship contenders. These 12 – the best-of-the-best – will compete over the next 10 races, at 10 different tracks, in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup.
It all begins this Sunday at Chicagoland Speedway, a fitting spot to kick-off NASCAR’s playoff. Chicago, one of the biggest sports towns in the country, knows big events. And this is one of the biggest on a busy NASCAR calendar.
Green flag for Sunday’s Chase-opening GEICO 400 is set for 2 p.m. ET.
Carl Edwards poses with a fan after driver introductions on Sunday
The weekend starts with the Truck Series
NASCAR Camping World Truck Series racing kicks off the triple-header weekend with Friday night’s Fast Five 225. New points leader James Buescher looks to defend his top spot for the first time.
On Saturday afternoon, the NASCAR Nationwide Series runs the Dollar General 300 Powered by Coca-Cola. Illinois-native Justin Allgaier looks to complete the sweep of his home track.
Mighty Chase Field Gives Championship Wide Open Feel.
Allgaier wins at Chicagoland Speedway, runs out of gas coming to the checkered flag
Local favorite Justin Allgaier led only one lap, the final one and snatched victory from Roush driver Carl Edwards. Roush racing is still looking for a victory in the NASCAR Nationwide Series at Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet
Edwards Pit Strategy fails.
Crew chief Mike Beam made a gamble for fuel only on the last pit stop. It nearly worked.
I thought I'd saved about a lap of fuel," Edwards said. "With five or six laps to go, Justin really started coming, so I laid it down."
And he ran out just before the entrance to Turn 3 on the 200th and final lap. Allgaier was wide-eyed at the sight.
"Coming off Turn 2, I didn't know if I'd have the time to catch him," Allgaier said. "Then he started wiggling, and I got a big grin."
Allgaier drew even, and as he did, his engine went silent. It was a coast to the finish, and Allgaier would win it. He led only the final lap, and only about seven-tenths of a mile of it.
"We were on power another 100 feet, and that was the difference," Allgaier said.
Nationwide Practice & Photos from Chicagoland Speedway Friday June 3, 2011
Danica Patrick Returns To NASCAR
Practice Photos from Chicagoland Speedway Friday June 3, 2011
Jones wins at Chicagoland Speedway, second win of the weekend.
Severe storms at Chicagoland Speedway on Saturday evening postponed the NASCAR XFINITY Series race until Sunday morning.
Even the rain could not put out Eric Jones’ fire, winning his second race of the weekend. Jones won at Iowa Speedway Friday night in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race. Jones was not at the Chicagoland Speedway for practice Friday. Drew Herring filled in and practiced the #54 Monster Energy Toyota.
Photo By Kim Kemperman
Copyright DPR Sports & Racing News. All rights reserved.