Sat 9/13: Chicagoland Speedway, Jimmy John's Freaky Fast 300, 3pm, MRN
Sprint Cup Series:
Sun 9/14: Chicagoland Speedway, MyAFibStory.com 400, 1pm, MRN
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NASCAR News (all content provided by John Singler, MRN Radio)
NEXT STOP … CHICAGOLAND SPEEDWAY … for the opening round of the 2014 Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup, Sunday’s My A-Fib Story-dot-com 400. Sixteen drivers representing eight organizations are ready to embark on the ten-race path that’ll lead one to a championship in mid-November at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Team Penske’s Brad Keselowski is the top seed with a series-best four wins this year, including a dominating victory last weekend at Richmond International Raceway. Regular-season points leader Jeff Gordon goes in as the Number-2 seed, one of four Hendrick Motorsports drivers eyeing the big prize. The next three races comprise the Challenger Round of the post-season, after which the bottom four drivers will be eliminated from championship contention. Any one of The Sixteen Challengers that wins a race at Chicagoland, New Hampshire or Dover will automatically advance to the Contender Round of the Chase.
THE NASCAR NATIONWIDE SERIES … is also in Joliet, Illinois, for Saturday afternoon’s Jimmy John’s Freaky Fast 300 Powered by Coca Cola. Of the forty-three drivers entered, four are Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup participants: Aric Almirola, Kyle Busch, Denny Hamlin and Kevin Harvick … Rookie points leader Chase Elliott is bidding to become the first driver to record a season sweep since Chicagoland Speedway went to two Nationwide Series events annually in 2011 … THE CAMPING WORLD TRUCK SERIES … will get Chicagoland Speedway’s tripleheader weekend rolling with tonight’s Lucas Oil 225. Teams had two practice sessions on Thursday with points leader Johnny Sauter posting the top overall speed.
STEWART-WARD INVESTIGATION COMPLETED: The Ontario County (New York) Sheriff’s Office has completed its investigation into the death of Kevin A. Ward Junior, the sprint car driver who was struck by Tony Stewart’s car as he was walking on the track after climbing out of his own car during a race last month. The information has been submitted to the Office of the District Attorney, who is expected to make a statement late next week advising what action will be taken regarding the investigation.
► His eleventh-place finish last weekend at Richmond International Raceway enabled Kyle Larson of Chip Ganassi Racing to maintain a fifty-two-point lead over Austin Dillon in the Sunoco Sprint Cup Series Rookie of the Year standings. Dillon finished twentieth in the Federated Auto Parts 400. Justin Allgaier remains a distant third in the Cup Series rookie chase with Michael Annett and Cole Whitt completing the top five.
► Chase Elliott of Junior Motorsports continues to carry a commanding lead over Ty Dillon in the Nationwide Series rookie standings with eight races remaining in the season. He finished second (to Kyle Busch) in Richmond, seven spots in front of Dillon, and has built a sixty-point advantage. Chris Buescher is third with Dylan Kwasniewski and Ryan Reed rounding out the top five.
► Ben Kennedy’s lead over Mason Mingus stands at thirty-nine points in the Camping World Truck Series rookie chase. The Turner Scott Motorsports driver finished fifteenth on August 31st at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park … one spot behind Mingus. Tyler Young is four points out of second place with Tyler Reddick and Jimmy Weller the Third making up the rest of the top five.
TRACK INFORMATION: Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, Illinois, is a mile-and-a-half oval with eighteen degrees of banking in the turns, eleven degrees through the frontstretch tri-oval and five degrees along the backstretch. The length of the frontstretch is twenty-four hundred feet, the backstretch seventeen hundred feet.
14th RUNNING OF THE MY A-FIB STORY-dot-com 400 SPRINT CUP SERIES RACE
AT CHICAGOLAND SPEEDWAY … Sunday, 1 p.m. (ET)
Last Year’s Race: Matt Kenseth backed up his Number-1 seed for the post-season Chase by winning the opening round of the ten-race title series … waiting through a five-hour delay for rain and then outrunning teammate Kyle Busch when competition resumed to claim his series-best sixth win of the season. Kenseth started tenth and led a race-high eighty-nine laps, including the final twenty-three. He beat Busch to the checkered flag by three-quarters-of-a-second, giving Joe Gibbs Racing a one-two sweep. Kevin Harvick finished third with Kurt Busch and Jimmie Johnson completing the top five. The race was late getting started due to rain showers and then the skies opened up again twenty-five laps short of the halfway point … which led to the lengthy red-flag period. Jeff Gordon and Kyle Busch both had strong cars during the second half of the race. Gordon was slowed by a flat tire, though he did rally to finish sixth. Busch led sixty-seven laps but was no match for his faster teammate down the stretch. Chase drivers filled the first six spots in the final running order.
Track Position at Chicagoland: Five of the thirteen Sprint Cup Series races run have been won from a starting position of tenth or better. Three winners have come from a starting position of twenty-fifth or worse, most recently Tony Stewart in 2011 – when he qualified twenty-sixth … Winning From the Pole in Joliet: The only Cup Series driver to win from the pole position in thirteen years is Kyle Busch in 2008 … Track Qualifying Record: Joey Logano (Ford) … 189.414 miles per hour … 28.509 seconds … September 2013 … Track Record, Race Speed: David Reutimann (Toyota) … 145.138 mph … 2 hours, 45 minutes, 34 seconds … July 2010 …Practice Schedule: Friday from 1 to 2:30 p.m. (ET) … Saturday from 11 to 11:50 a.m. and 2 to 2:50 p.m. (ET) … Qualifying: TODAY at 6:45 p.m. (ET) … Logano won the pole last year but finished thirty-seventh in the race.
14th RUNNING OF THE JIMMY JOHN’S FREAKY FAST 300 NATIONWIDE SERIES RACE
AT CHICAGOLAND SPEEDWAY … Saturday, 3 p.m. (ET)
Last Year’s Race: Kyle Busch started from the pole and led all but five of the two hundred laps on the way to his tenth victory of the season … in his twentieth start. The Joe Gibbs Racing driver finished one-point-six seconds ahead of runner-up Joey Logano. Points leader Sam Hornish Junior placed third with Austin Dillon and Dale Earnhardt Junior completing the top five.
This Year’s First Race: On July 19th, Junior Motorsports rookie Chase Elliott grabbed his final lead of the night twenty-four laps from the finish and kept the Number-9 Chevrolet in front the rest of the way, posting his third win of the season. The margin of victory over Trevor Bayne was nearly two seconds with Kyle Larson, Kasey Kahne and rookie Ty Dillon completing the top five. Elliott – 18-year-old son of 1988 Cup Series champion Bill Elliott – started third and led a race-high eighty-five laps. His first two victories this year came back-to-back at Texas and Darlington Raceway in April. Elliott’s win at Chicagoland Speedway moved him past both Regan Smith and Elliott Sadler in taking over the top spot in the Nationwide Series point standings. Sadler labored to a tenth-place finish while Smith could do no better than sixteenth.
Today’s Practice Schedule: From 12 to 12:50 p.m. and 4:30 to 6 p.m. (ET) … Qualifying: Saturday at 12:15 p.m. (ET).
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
Sun 9/21: New Hampshire Motor Speedway, Sylvania 300, 1pm, PRN
Sun 9/28: Dover Int'l Speedway, AAA 400, 1pm, MRN
Sun 10/5: Kansas Speedway, Hollywood Casino 400, 1pm, MRN
Sat 10/11: Charlotte Motor Speedway, Bank of America 500, 7pm, PRN
Sun 10/19: Talladega Superspeedway, Talladega 500, 1pm, MRN
Sun 10/26: Martinsville Speedway, Goody’s Headache Relief Shot 500 powered by Kroger, 12:30pm, MRN
Sun 11/2: Texas Motor Speedway, AAA Texas 500, 2pm, PRN
Sun 11/9: Phoenix Int'l Raceway, Sprint Cup 500, 2pm MRN
Sun 11/16: Homestead-Miami Speedway, Ford EcoBoost 400, 2pm, MRN
NASCAR Nationwide Series
Sat 9/20: Kentucky Speedway, Kentucky 300, 7pm, PRN
Sat 9/27: Dover Int'l Speedway, Nationwide 200, 3pm, MRN
Sat 10/4: Kansas Speedway, Nationwide 300, 3pm, MRN
Sat 11/1: Texas Motor Speedway, O'Reilly Challenge, 3pm, PRN
Sat 11/8: Phoenix Int'l Raceway, Nationwide 200, 3:30pm, MRN
Sat 11/15: Homestead-Miami Speedway, Ford EcoBoost 300, 4pm, MRN
NASCAR Camping World Truck Series
Sat 9/20: New Hampshire Motor Speedway, TBD, TBD, MRN
Sat 9/27: Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Smith's 350, 8pm, MRN
Sat 10/18: Talladega Superspeedway, Fred's 250 powered by Coca-Cola, 3:30pm, MRN
Sat 10/25: Martinsville Speedway, Kroger 200, 1pm, MRN
Indy Car Series