Thursday, September 15th
4:00 PM NNS HAULERS ENTER
Friday, September 16th
6:00 AM NNS GARAGE & REGISTRATION OPENS
10:40 AM NNS ROOKIE & SPOTTER MEETINGS & RANDOM DRAWING
11:40 AM-12:50 PM NNS PRACTICE
3:30 PM-4:50 PM NNS FINAL PRACTICE
5:00 PM NNS REGISTRATION CLOSES
7:00 PM NNS GARAGE CLOSES
Saturday, September 17th
8:00 AM NNS GARAGE & REGISTRATION OPENS
11:05 AM (12:05 PM/ET) NNS QUALIFYING (TWO LAPS, ALL POSITIONS)
12:15 PM NNS DRIVER/CREW CHIEF MEETING (TENT)
2:00 PM NNS DRIVER INTRODUCTION
2:30 PM (3:30 PM/ET) NNS RACE (200 LAPS, 300 MILES)
Sweep Dreams: Allgaier Heads Home Hoping For Rebound
One driver needing to kick start a run in the points over the last seven races of the season is Justin Allgaier, currently fifth, 75 points behind the standings leader Ricky Stenhouse Jr. The 25-year-old, Riverton, Ill., native heads to his home track, Chicagoland Speedway, looking for the sweep.
“Anytime you go to your home race track it raises your spirits and gives you extra incentive to go out and run well,” Allgaier said.
Since winning the inaugural summer race at Chicago in June, Allgaier’s season has taken a downward turn. He’s had two did not finish (DNF) results since June, including a dry fuel cell while leading on the final lap of a green-white-checkered finish at Road America that cost him a certain victory. Then two weeks ago at Atlanta, Allgaier inadvertently bumped into Turner Motorsports teammate Reed Sorenson and turned him into the wall, putting a strain on both teammates’ championship hopes.
But despite Allgaier’s inconsistent finishes over the last 13 races, his average finish is 13.5. He’s had three top-10 finishes in his last four races, including a ninth at Richmond. In three career series starts at Chicago, he has two top-10 finishes in addition to the June win.
At Chicagoland Speedway Allgaier out-ranks all series championship contenders in pre-race Driver Rating with a 102.8. By comparison, points leader Ricky Stenhouse Jr. has a 98.1. Allgaier also leads all championship contenders in Average Running Position (8.108) at Chicago.
Truex And Wallace Making Most Of Opportunities
Two drivers at the opposite ends of the career spectrum, crafty veteran Kenny Wallace and fresh-faced Ryan Truex, might have more in common than you’d think. Both drivers come from racing families and both are making the most of their opportunities in the NASCAR Nationwide Series this season.
Truex, the two-time NASCAR K&N Pro Series East champion, posted a career-best fourth-place finish at Richmond in his second start for Joe Gibbs Racing. Truex, 19, started the season with Pastrana-Waltrip Racing. Before finishing 11th two weeks ago at Atlanta – his first start in a six-race deal for JGR – he had last raced in the series at Chicago in June, finishing 20th. Truex also is scheduled to race at Dover, Kansas and Phoenix. He may also land another ride since he qualified for the NASCAR Nationwide Series’ final “Dash 4 Cash” race at Charlotte.
Wallace also qualified for the last “Dash 4 Cash” race on the heels of his fifth-place finish at Richmond — his first top five since finishing third at Memphis in 2008. Wallace is having a renaissance season. Driving for independent RAB Racing (by his choice, not being paid to help the team save money), Wallace is seventh in the standings, 21 points ahead of his nephew, Steve Wallace, who sits in eighth.
Wallace, who has 870 combined starts in each of NASCAR’s national series, earlier this year became only the second driver to reach 500 starts in the NASCAR Nationwide Series. He’s on track to break Jason Keller’s all-time record of 519 at Texas in November.
Roush Has Best Chance Of Denying Gibbs Fourth Consecutive Owner Title
Championships seem to come naturally for Joe Gibbs. This season looks to be more of the same as Gibbs is seven races away from making series history, becoming the first owner to win four consecutive owner titles. Joe Gibbs Racing has won the last three – with the No. 20 in 2008 and with the No. 18 the last two seasons. Busch’s 2009 championship was the series’ last unified title.
Kyle Busch, usually piloting the No. 18, isn’t entered this weekend. But rather his Joe Gibbs Racing teammate and 2009 Chicagoland race winner, Joey Logano will be in the No. 18 Toyota, while Ryan Truex drives the No. 20.
A scant 48 points separate Joe Gibbs from Jack Roush in second-place and Roush Fenway Racing’s No. 60 driven by Carl Edwards. And ever since Edwards won the 2007 series driver championship, but failed to unify the title as the No. 29 Richard Childress Racing team won the owner title, he has been on a mission to collect an owner title for the No. 60 team. With seven-races remaining, time is running out. This may be his last best shot, especially since he’ll cut back his series schedule in 2012, the first time in his career he won’t run a full-time NASCAR Nationwide Series schedule.
Busch has only three more NASCAR Nationwide Series races left on his 2011 schedule – Charlotte, Texas and Homestead-Miami. Edwards will compete in each of the seven remaining races. Edwards’ average finish in the fall races on the last seven tracks is 7.7 with five wins (2010 at Texas; 2008-10 at Phoenix and 2008 at Homestead-Miami). Busch’s average fall finish at his final three tracks is 8.3 with six wins (2008-09 at Charlotte; 2008-09 at Texas and 2000-10 at Homestead-Miami).
NASCAR Nationwide Series Etc.
Kevin Conway in the No. 87 Toyota owned by 1992 series champion Joe Nemechek is running a special paint scheme this weekend at Chicago. In an effort to assist the Joliet Police Department in the unsolved hit and run homicide case of Melissa Lech, the team will be displaying photos of Melissa plus JPD contact info on the hood of the No. 87 Toyota. … Michael Annett, a former ice hockey defenseman, previously called Chicago home during his junior year of high school. Annett led Team Illinois to the 2002 Calgary Mac’s AAA Hockey Tournament championship. Annett has three starts at Chicago, posting one top 10 finish. … Trevor Bayne and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. will be attending the NASCAR Car Wash opening in Romeoville, Ill. on Thurs., Sept. 15th.
Tire: Goodyear Eagle Speedway Radials
Number of Tires:
Nationwide: Left-side -- 525, Right-side -- 525
Nationwide: 6 sets for the event
Left-side -- D-4392; Right-side -- D-4410
Left-side -- 87.1 in.; Right-side -- 88.4 in.
Technical Inspection Inflation:
Left Front -- 30 psi; Left Rear -- 30 psi;
Right Front -- 48 psi; Right Rear -- 45 psi
Minimum Recommended Inflation:
Left Front -- 20 psi; Left Rear -- 20 psi;
Right Front -- 48 psi; Right Rear -- 44 psi
Notes: Teams in all three NASCAR series in action at Chicagoland this weekend will run the same tire codes, though the Sprint Cup and Nationwide tires will be branded "Goodyear Eagle," while the Camping World Truck tires will be branded "Goodyear Wrangler" . . . this is the same combination of left- and right-side tires that Nationwide Series teams ran at Chicagoland in June . . . this is also the same exact tire set-up that Sprint Cup and Nationwide teams ran at Texas earlier this season and at Homestead last November . . . for Camping World Truck teams, they ran this set-up at Homestead last season, but ran only this left-side tire code with a different right-side at Texas earlier this season . . . NASCAR teams have also run this left-side tire at Dover (all three series) and Nashville (Nationwide and Trucks) in 2011 . . . talking specifically about Chicagoland, teams in all three of these series ran this same left-side tire code (D-4392) last season, but with a different right-side code . . . compared to what was run at this track in 2010, this right-side (D-4410) features just a minor construction change . . . as on all NASCAR ovals greater than one mile in length, teams are required to run inner liners in all four tire positions at Chicagoland . . . air pressure in those inner liners should be 12-25 psi greater than that of the outer tire.