The NASCAR Season is ½ over and the Sprint Cup Series is on a well-deserved off weekend. The NASCAR Nationwide and Truck Series are not, and it is their time to shine as they have the spotlight. Both series enjoy a weekend to themselves at the Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, IL.
The start of the weekend is Saturday night with the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. There is nothing better than the Truck Series racing at night under the lights, especially on a hot slick track. Truck Series leader Timothy Peters is hoping to extend his lead after winning the last race at Iowa Speedway. Austin Dillon won this race last year but will not be competing this year, leaving it wide open for yet another new winner. Austin’s brother, Ty Dillon driving the same #3 truck would love to back up his brother’s win with one of his own.
Todd Bodine is making history as the first driver to have at least 200 starts in all of NASCAR’s national series. He will have 766 NASCAR national series starts: 241 in NASCAR Sprint Cup, 321 in NASCAR Nationwide and 200 in trucks. Ron Hornaday Jr. will also be making his 310th start which is third all-time to Rick Crawford (331) and Terry Cook (314). He is also looking for a better finish than last week at Iowa, where he finished second.
Sunday is where the NASCAR Nationwide series has the spotlight on ESPN. NASCAR fans used to tuning in on Sunday will do so only to find the Nationwide Series and watch the future Cup stars compete. They will get a show as this is the second race of the “Dash 4 Cash” where the top four drivers from the week before are racing for $100,000.00. Austin Dillon won $100,000.00 last week and is eligible to repeat that feat this week. Ricky Stenhouse, Sam Hornish and Elliott Sadler are also in the running for the Bonus.
Elliott Sadler is also the point’s leader over his teammate Austin Dillon by only 3 points. Ricky Stenhouse Jr. is in third, sixteen points back. Can Austin back up last year’s Truck Series win at Chicagoland with a Nationwide Series Win? Can Elliott Sadler win and pull ahead of Austin or will we have a new winner entirely? Either way, the weather is supposed to be hot and the action on the track should match.
Travis Pastrana has been struggling on 1.5 mile speedways with keeping the car underneath him. On a slick and hot racetrack it will only be more difficult. It will be interesting to watch Travis to see how he does. Danica Patrick appears to be getting better every week and it will also be interesting to see how she does here as well. The only Cup Series interloper will be Kyle Busch, who will be driving for his own team in the 54 car this week.
If you can’t get to the track Saturday or Sunday the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series is on Speed at 7:30 PM ET Saturday night July 21st. The NASCAR Nationwide Series is on ESPN at 2 PM ET Sunday July 22nd.
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