Crunching The Numbers: Chicagoland

After a wild and controversial weekend for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and NASCAR Nationwide Series at Richmond and for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series in Iowa, all three series meet back up for another tripleheader weekend in Chicago as we’re getting down to 10 races or less in the championship race for each series.

Sprint Cup Series – Geico 400

26 races down. 10 to go. For the third straight year, Chicagoland kicks off the Chase for the Sprint Cup and can set the early tone for a successful Chase. Last season, Brad Keselowski won at this track and used the momentum gained from the victory here to carry himself all the way to the championship. Can one of the Chase contenders do the same this season? We’ll find out at the end of 400 miles on Sunday.

Driver Races Win Top 5 Top 10 Pole Laps Led Avg. Start Avg. Finish
Jimmie Johnson 11 0 6 9 2 537 7.5 9.3
Brian Vickers 6 0 1 3 1 12 5.8 9.5
Clint Bowyer 7 0 1 6 0 8 15.0 10.1
Kevin Harvick 12 2 6 7 0 282 18.8 10.5
Jeff Gordon 12 1 6 7 1 134 12.1 12.1
Mark Martin 12 1 1 5 0 239 15.5 12.6
Matt Kenseth 12 0 2 4 1 348 17.1 12.8
Kyle Busch 8 1 3 3 0 174 15.4 13.4
Brad Keselowski 4 1 2 2 0 80 19.5 14.0
Dale Earnhardt, Jr. 12 1 3 5 0 121 17.0 14.2

Who To Watch: When it comes to excelling in races in the Chase, the first driver that usually comes to mind is five-time champion, Jimmie Johnson, so it should be no surprise that Johnson leads all active drivers in stats at Chicago. Despite never having won at Chicago, Johnson has six top fives, nine top tens, two poles, 537 laps led, and an average finish of 9.3 in 11 races.

Brian Vickers will be running both the Sprint Cup race and the Nationwide Series race this weekend at Chicago and in six Cup races at the track, Vickers has a pretty good track record. In those six races, Vickers has one top five, three top tens, one pole, 12 laps led, and an average finish of 9.5.

Others to keep an eye on include: Clint Bowyer, who will have a little added pressure on himself after what took place at and after Richmond last week, with one top five, six top tens, eight laps led, and an average finish of 10.1 in seven starts; Kevin Harvick, with two wins, six top fives, seven top tens, 282 laps led, and an average finish of 10.5 in 12 starts; and Jeff Gordon, with one win, six top fives, seven top tens, one pole, 134 laps led, and an average finish of 12.1 in 12 starts.

Nationwide Series – Dollar General 300

As the Nationwide Series heads to Chicago for the second time this season, Sam Hornish, Jr. still holds onto the points lead by 18 points over second place Austin Dillon. With only eight races remaining in the Nationwide Series schedule, the current four man race for the championship between Hornish, Dillon, Regan Smith, and Elliott Sadler is poised to go right down to the wire

Driver Races Win Top 5 Top 10 Pole Laps Led Avg. Start Avg. Finish
Austin Dillon 3 0 2 3 0 77 2.3 4.0
Sam Hornish, Jr. 4 0 2 4 1 79 3.8 5.2
Joey Logano 5 2 3 4 1 249 4.8 6.4
Justin Allgaier 7 1 2 5 0 9 12.6 8.1
Parker Kligerman 3 0 0 2 0 0 13.3 8.7
Brian Scott 6 0 2 3 1 5 14.0 9.2
Brian Vickers 5 0 4 4 0 3 7.2 9.2
Matt Kenseth 7 0 3 4 0 62 11.0 11.4
Michael Annett 7 0 1 3 0 2 17.7 12.0
Kyle Larson 1 0 0 0 0 4 22.0 12.0

Who To Watch: No surprise that the top two in points are also the top two statistically at Chicagoland. Austin Dillon, sitting second in points, holds the upper hand at this track with two top fives, three top tens, 77 laps led, and an average finish of 4.0 in three starts. Points leader Hornish isn’t far behind though, with two top fives, four top tens, one pole, 79 laps led, and an average finish of 5.2 in four starts.

Others to keep an eye on Saturday afternoon include: Joey Logano, who will be driving the strong No. 22 Ford, with two wins, three top fives, four top tens, one pole, 249 laps led, and an average finish of 6.4 in five races; Justin Allgaier, with one win, two top fives, five top tens, nine laps led, and an average finish of 8.1 in seven races; and Parker Kligerman, with two top tens and an average finish of 8.7 in three starts.

Camping World Truck Series – EnjoyIllinois.com 225

With seven races remaining in the Camping World Truck Series schedule, points leader Matt Crafton, who has been Mr. Consistency this season, still holds a points lead of 37 points over defending series champion, James Buescher, as the series heads to Chicago. Without any drastic changes between now and Homestead, it looks like this championship is Crafton’s to lose. Time will tell if Buescher or any of the other series regulars can make any headway on Crafton’s points lead.

Driver Races Win Top 5 Top 10 Pole Laps Led Avg. Start Avg. Finish
Kyle Busch 3 2 3 3 0 210 7.3 2.3
Ron Hornaday 4 0 1 3 0 12 10.8 7.8
Brendan Gaughan 2 0 1 1 0 83 11.5 8.0
Matt Crafton 4 0 1 3 1 23 9.5 8.0
Johnny Sauter 4 0 2 3 0 2 11.0 9.2
James Buescher 4 1 1 1 0 6 9.0 11.0
Ty Dillon 1 0 0 0 0 17 3.0 12.0
Miguel Paludo 2 0 0 1 0 5 9.5 12.5
Timothy Peters 4 0 1 2 0 8 16.0 12.5
Joey Coulter 2 0 0 0 0 3 6.5 13.5

Who To Watch: No surprise at who is tops statistically at Chicago in the Truck Series. In three races, Kyle Busch has two wins, three top fives, three top tens, 210 laps led, and an average finish of 2.3. Whichever driver has their sights set on Victory Lane will definitely have to go through Busch to get there.

Others to keep an eye on are Ron Hornaday, Jr., with one top five, three top tens, 12 laps led, and an average finish of 7.8 in four races; Brendan Gaughan, with one top five, one top ten, 83 laps led, and an average finish of 8.0 in two starts; points leader Matt Crafton, with one top five, three top tens, one pole, 23 laps led, and an average finish of 8.0 in four starts; and Johnny Sauter, with two top fives, three top tens, two laps led, and an average finish of 9.2 in four starts.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of SpeedwayMedia.com

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