After another exciting race at Gateway last weekend, the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series continues its season and reaches the halfway point at Chicagoland Speedway.
Last year, this race was held prior to the eight race Playoffs and decided the regular season champion. However, this year, it is now a summertime race but it is still an important race as stage points and a race win are still up for grabs.
Currently, there are 33 trucks entered on the preliminary entry list.
Here’s who to expect on might end up in victory lane in Friday nights Overton’s 225.
- John Hunter Nemechek – Nemechek will pilot the No. 8 NEMCO Motorsports truck this weekend. He’ll be hungry for a win after exiting the race late last week at Gateway due to an issue. Chicago could be the place where he will break the drought and end up in victory lane. In three races, Nemechek has an average start of 13.7 and an average finish of 7.3. In that time span, he had one win which came in 2015 and he finished 14th and seventh in the last two races. Nemechek will be a prime contender in this week’s race if all the cards fall in the right place.
- Johnny Sauter – How could one ever overlook a four-time winner this year going for win number five? Sauter has nine starts dating back to 2009 and is the previous race winner. He also has an average start of 9.1 and an average finish of 8.0 and has led 106 laps. Sauter earned a pole here back in 2014 where he finished 14th. In last year’s race, the No. 21 GMS Racing team finished second and fourth in the first two stages, respectively, before taking the lead on Lap 123 en route to victory after leading the final 28 laps.
- Myatt Snider – While Snider only has one start at Chicago which came last year after finishing 10th, he’ll have his Thorsport Racing teammates to lean on for advice, especially two-time champion, Matt Crafton, who has nine starts. He is also carrying momentum from last week’s fourth-place finish, which was his first top five of the year. .
- Todd Gilliland – After turning 18 a few weeks ago, Gilliland has been consistent with his finishes, despite not finishing at Iowa and being relegated to 29th. It will be his first start at Chicago, but it is also another 1.5-mile track where he does have experience. At Charlotte, he finished 10th with a sixth-place finish the following week at Fort Worth, both 1.5-mile tracks. It will be a little bit of a learning curve with it being his first start, but if past finishes say anything, Gilliland will be a contender for the win. He will also be competing in Thursday night’s ARCA race.
- Stewart Friesen – Friesen has been a solid contender this year in the Truck Series. If not for issues late in previous races this year, he could have had multiple race victories in 2018. At the 1.5-mile race tracks, he finished sixth at Atlanta, fifth at Las Vegas after leading 31 laps, third at Kansas (led six laps), sixth at Charlotte, won the pole and finished second at Texas while leading 13 laps. He has certainly been a contender for the win this year at these tracks, but for whatever reason, can’t quite get the No. 52 truck to victory lane yet. If he wins this weekend, not only will it be his first win, but it could be the first of many this season and he could be a prime contender at Homestead for the championship.
The trucks have competed at Chicagoland nine times with five different winners, those being Kyle Busch, Austin Dillon, James Buescher, Nemechek, and Sauter. Busch is the only repeat winner at the track with five wins.
The trucks will have two practice sessions scheduled for Thursday afternoon. The first practice takes place at 5:30 p.m. ET and the final practice will be held at 6:35 p.m. ET with no live TV coverage.
Qualifying is slated for Friday afternoon at 5:40 p.m. ET on Fox Sports 2.
Race coverage begins at 8:30 p.m. ET and with the approximate green flag taking place at 9:19 p.m. ET, both on Fox Sports 1 and MRN Radio. Stages will be broken up into 35/70/150 laps.