Welcome NASCAR race fans to my NASCAR blog. It was a big day of NASCAR activities at ChicagoLand Speedway in Joliet, Il. on Friday. For the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, there was practice for the Geico 400. In the first practice that set the qualifying order, David Reutimann and Clint Bowyer topped the charts. They will come out last for Coors light Pole Qualifying to be held on Saturday. In Happy Hour, the final practice, Red Bull team mates, Brian Vickers and Kasey Kahne were fastest. The Geico 400 will be raced Sunday afternoon.
The NASCAR Nationwide Series also had practice for the Dollar General 300. Ryan Truex in the JGR #20 car and Brad Keselowski were fastest in the first practice, while Elliott Sadler and Aric Almirola were fastest in the second practice. They will qualify and race on Saturday.
The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series also had practice on Friday. They also qualified for the Fast Five 225 with 32 Steve Arpin capturing the Pole with a speed of 175.507 mph and 30.768 seconds around this 1.5 mile D-shaped oval track. 2 Kevin Harvick will start second. This was Steve’s first career pole. Thirteen drivers broke the track record. 18 Kyle Busch will start fourteenth. 17 Timothy Peters had to change the engine in his Truck and qualified last, but will start from the rear. Wayne Edwards and Charles Vest failed to qualify for the race.
And now for the race review of the Fast Five 225. 2 Harvick leads the race while 32 Arpin falls back. 29 Parker Kligerman and 32 get by 4 Ricky Carmichael. 38 Mike Garvey is slow on the track and the first caution comes out for debris from his Truck. 7 Norm Benning gets back onto the lead lap. At the restart, 2 and 29 are up front. 2 takes off. 18 drives under 4 for fifth. 60 Cole Whitt and 18 battle for fifth and 18 gets by. 8 Nelson Piquet, Jr. gets by 29 for second. The temperature is rising on 60 so he must be careful not to overheat and blow the engine. 2 starts Green Flag pitting. 8 leads. 29 gets by 8 to lead. 8 leads, then pits. 3 Austin Dillon leads, then pits. 5 Todd Bodine, who pit during the first caution leads.
4 is smoking and leaking oil, which brings out the second caution. He takes the truck behind the wall. 18 and 8 lead at the restart. 2 gets by 8 and 29 for second. 18 and 2 battle side by side for the lead. 2 takes the lead. 81 David Starr gets a flat left rear tire and drives on the apron to get to pit road. 17 got loose into 81 causing the tire to go flat. The third caution comes out for debris from 81. 60 Cole Whitt gets the free pass onto the lead lap. 23 Jason White miss shifts and falls back. 2 leads with 5 and 18 behind. 18 and 5 race for second with 18 completing the pass on the outside. 3 gets by 29 for ninth. 8 and 5 race for position and 8 gets loose but catches the Truck. 8 and race again and 8 finally gets by.
3 and 5 race side by side and 3 gets by. 31 James Buescher, the points leader is having trouble. 3 gets by 8 for third in traffic. 60 gets by 33 Ron Hornaday in traffic. 2 again starts Green Flag pitting. 8 is too fast entering the pits. 6 Justin Lofton is too fast entering, but they review what happened and he gets no penalty. 18 and 2 race side by side for second with 8 right behind. 18 gets into the wall and 2 takes second. 3 pulls away while 2 and 18 race for position. 29 gets by 18.
3 Austin Dillon wins the Fast Five 225 at Chicagoland Speedway, his fourth career win. He beat the Cup drivers who were battling each other. (It’s nice to have a Truck driver, going for the championship points, win the Truck race.) Harvick, finished second, followed by Piquet, Jr., Kligerman, Busch, Johnny Sauter, Matt Crafton, Joey Coulter, Kligerman, Whitt and Bodine rounded out the top ten. Buescher stays in the points lead. Dillon gains two spots into second. Sauter drops a spot into third. peters drops a spot to fourth, followed by Hornaday. Crafton and Coulter trade spots, Kligerman and Whitt trade spots and Bodine remains in tenth.
It was fun to watch Cup drivers, Busch and Harvick racing side by side, lap after lap. They did not take each other out, and eventually, Harvick did get by. It was also great that a Truck driver won a Truck race. I liked the race, and will record the replay on Monday. Next up: Sprint Cup qualifying on Saturday. And nationwide qualifying and the Dollar General 300 race on Saturday.
Brought to you by Sheila Hawley. I love NASCAR racing.