NASCAR Gets Truckin’ In The Windy City; Preview Of Chicagoland

Column by: SHANE CARLSON / RPW – JOLIET, IL – The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series kicks off a weekend triple-header at Chicagoland Speedway on Friday night.

Last weekend at Gateway Motorsports Park, it was Justin Haley taking the checkered flag for the first time in his Truck Series career. The win came in his 37th try and Haley is currently sixth in the standings. He would make the playoffs as it stands.

Outside of Johnny Sauter, the series veterans struggled last week. The top-10 featured Haley, Todd Gilliland, Johnny Sauter, Myatt Snider, Zane Smith, Chad Finley, Jesse Little, Riley Herbst, Cody Coughlin and Noah Gragson rounded out the top-10.

Chicagoland Speedway features multi-groove racing options and high speeds carried throughout the wide, sweeping corners. Restarts will make for a lot of excitement.

Last year, the Truck Series raced at Chicagoland in September and Johnny Sauter took the checkers. If he can go back-to-back, it will be his fifth win of 2018.

The Truck Series has raced at Chicagoland Speedway nine times, with five different winners, with Kyle Busch, Austin Dillon, James Buescher, John Hunter Nemechek and Johnny Sauter all having visited Victory Lane. Kyle Busch is the only multiple-race winner, winning five of the nine races.

Race Info
Race: Overton’s 225
Track: Chicagoland Speedway
Date: June 29, 2018
Time: 9 p.m. ET
Length: 150 laps, 225 miles
TV: FOX Sports 1
Radio: Motor Racing Network

My Pick to win is…
Todd Gilliland
No. 4 Mobil 1 Toyota Tundra
Kyle Busch Motorsports

Todd Gilliland is coming off a second-place run at Gateway and has been showing improvements since he made his first start of the year at Martinsville in March. At Iowa two weeks ago, he had what looked to be a contending truck but an accident relegated him to a 29th-place finish. Gilliland will make his first start at Chicagoland on Friday in the Truck Series, but he ran the ARCA race Thursday night and finished third. The seat time should help him in Friday’s race and with no Cup Series regulars participating, the door is wide open for another first-time winner for the second week in a row.

NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Power Rankings

  1. Johnny Sauter: In the season’s first 10 races, Sauter has scored a top-five in nine of them. He’s setting a blistering pace.
  2. Noah Gragson: After starting third last week at Gateway and leading 63 laps, he finished 10th. Not the finish he was looking for but his mettle will be tested this week in trying to put a weekend like that in the rearview.
  3. Brett Moffitt: After spinning, he finished 14th but the good news is he found sponsorship to compete at Chicagoland and Kentucky.
  4. Stewart Friesen: Friesen struggled at Gateway, finishing 13th. He will be making his first start at Chicagoland on Friday.
  5. Grant Enfinger: After starting on the pole, Enfinger led 36 laps but finished a disappointing 21st. He finished fifth at Chicagoland last season.