West to East
After racing on the West Coast in Sonoma, California, the drivers of the NASCAR Monster Energy Cup will now begin traveling back to the East Coast, with a pit stop in Chicago. Referencing the statistics at this track, fans could potentially be “blown away” with the results of Sunday’s race in the Windy City. As the playoffs draw even nearer with each weekend, certain drivers will literally drive the wheels off of their cars at Chicagoland Speedway on Sunday.
Since the Monster Series only races at this track once a year, the list of past winners is a bit shorter as opposed to other tracks. The majority of past winners also happen to be retired drivers.
New (and Few)
However, there are six full-time drivers that dominate this track. Among the six is Kyle Busch, who is currently standing second in season points, just one point behind the leader, Joey Logano. Busch has two wins, three top 10’s, and three top five’s. Taking his track history into account, he could likely surpass Logano and take over as the points leader after Sunday’s race.
Martin Truex Jr. is also a notable driver at Chicagoland, with two consecutive wins in 2016 and 2017. However, he has not made many appearances in the top 10 and top five. If the odds are in the favor of Truex Jr., he could claim his third win here, and also gain position in the season points.
Denny Hamlin has a pretty solid record at this track, with one win, four top 10’s, and two top five’s. However, that “solid” record is severed by three finishes below 30th.
Chicagoland could be a track on the safe side for Brad Keselowski. In his nine years of racing at this track, Keselowski has only fallen below the top 10 twice. Since 2011, he has earned two wins, four top 10’s and two top five’s.
Considering Kevin Harvick’s long history at this speedway, his list of finishing positions is pretty impressive. Since 2001, Harvick has two wins, one top 10 and eight top five’s on his record. Sunday could be the day for Harvick to earn his first win at Chicagoland since 2002 and his first win of the season.
Although his history at Chicagoland has ups and downs, Ryan Newman could be the dark horse this weekend. Aside from a few finishes in the 20s and 30s, Newman has one win, five top 10’s and three top five’s. He currently stands 16th in season points, which is the last spot before the cutoff for the playoffs. If Newman can pull a win this weekend, he can race a little more comfortably in the proceeding weekends.
Aside from their decent record, Keselowski and Newman may have a slight advantage at Chicagoland. These two drivers participated in the Goodyear tire test, held at this speedway in May. According to the manufacturer, the results of the test indicated right-side tire that provides increased grip, which could potentially assist cars in racing against lead cars.
The Camping World 400 will be held at the Chicagoland Speedway, located in Joliet, Illinois. Chicagoland is a 1.5-mile D-shaped tri-oval speedway. The race will begin at 3:00 p.m. ET on Sunday, June 30. The drivers will have a busy day on Saturday, with practices taking place at 11:05 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. and qualifying at 6:35 p.m.
After Sunday’s race at Chicagoland, the Monster Energy drivers will travel to Daytona, Florida for the Coke Zero Sugar 400 at the Daytona International Speedway.