Nationwide Insights: Drivers Hit Chi-Town
NASCAR Nationwide Series drivers take to Chicagoland Speedway Sunday for the STP 300, the first of two NASCAR Nationwide Series trips to the Windy City area. We'll take a look at the storylines and statistics prior to the 300-mile race.
Date: Sunday, July 21
Start Time: 3 p.m. (ET)
Site: Chicagoland Speedway -- Joliet, Ill.
Track: 1.5-mile oval
Race record: Brad Keselowski, 2011 (148.637 mph)
Qualifying record: Ryan Newman, 2005 (186.611 mph)
• Elliott Sadler is the defending race winner, but returns to Chicagoland with a new team in Joe Gibbs Racing and new manufacturer in Toyota. Will he find similar success? One thing is certain for the 38-year-old driver, and that's his quest for redemption after last weekend's difficult ending at New Hampshire. Sadler was battling with Regan Smith for a top five position on the final restart before spinning and finishing 18th. Sadler now sits fifth in the championship standings, 24 points behind Smith.
• Austin Dillon looks to win back-to-back Dash 4 Cash $100,000 bonuses. Dillon's third place finish at New Hampshire earned him the cash and qualified him for this weekend's payout. Dillon will battle head-to-head with Brian Vickers, Brian Scott and Michael Annett, with the top finisher taking home the check.
• Pole-sitter Sam Hornish Jr. will lead the field to green Sunday as he looks to claim his second victory of the season and take control of the points lead. Hornish Jr. bested the field in qualifying with a lap of 178.341 mph, while his title rival Smith qualified just 13th.
• Can Brian Vickers continue to ride the momentum from his New Hampshire Sprint Cup victory? Vickers, who scored his first win since 2009, will start sixth in today's STP 300.
• And how will Joey Logano fare against the Nationwide regulars? Logano is the only full-time Sprint Cup driver who will take the green flag today at Chicagoland Speedway. He starts seventh.
• Trevor Bayne - nine top 10s in 2013, six of the nine came in the last eight races including his Iowa win.
• Austin Dillon - finished in the top 10 in the last four races, his longest streak of the season, and has moved from 67 points out of the lead to 12 points out in four races.
• Sam Hornish Jr. - finished in the top 10 in the last four races and went from 58 points out of the lead to only five out of the lead after finishing ahead of Regan Smith in each of the last four races.
• Kyle Larson - finished in the top 10 in 11 races this season; he finished 14th last week at New Hampshire, his first finish outside the top 10 in the last nine races.
• Justin Allgaier - finished in the top 10 in only two of the last seven races.
• Parker Kligerman - In the last seven races, he has only one top 10 (third at Road America); he finished outside the top 15 in four of the last five races.
• Travis Pastrana - In the last 10 races he has a best finish of 15th (twice) despite winning a pole and starting second twice.
Statistics provided by Racing Recall