Race: Friday, September 15, 2012 in Joliet, IL
Title Sponsor: VDollar General
Scheduled Green Flag (approx): 3:46pm/et
Television Race Coverage: ESPN2, 3:00 pm/et
Announcers: Marty Reid, Dale Jarrett, Andy Petree
Pit Reporters: Dave Burns, Jamie Little, Dr. Jerry Punch, Vince Welch
This Week - Motor Racing Network (MRN) and Sirius XM Satellite Radio
Times are local to the Track
Thursday, Spetember 13th4:00 PM NNS HAULERS ENTER
Friday, September 14th7:30 AM NNS REGISTRATION OPENS
Saturday, September 15th7:30 AM NNS GARAGE & REGISTRATION OPENS
NNS = Nationwide Series
SUBJECT TO CHANGE
Times are local to the Track
Stenhouse, Jr. wins at Chicagoland Speedway: #6-Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. won the Dollar General 300 at Chicagoland Speedway. #54-Kyle Busch finished second followed by#3-Austin Dillon, #22-Brad Keselowski, #33-Paul Menard, #12-Sam Hornish, Jr., #43-Michael Annett, #2-Elliott Sadler, #18-Joey Logano, and #11-Brian Scott. There were 5 cautions for 20 laps and 17 lead changes among 9 leaders. The estimated attendance was 34,000. Complete results are on the Chicagoland Speedway race results page (pdf).(9-15-2012)
Chicagoland Speedway Race Fast Facts:
Ricky Stenhouse Jr. won the 12th Annual Dollar General 300 Powered by Coca-Cola , his seventh victory in 99 NASCAR Nationwide Series races.
This is his fifth victory and 20th top-10 finish in 2012.
This is his first victory and third top-10 finish in five races at Chicagoland Speedway.
This is the first win for Roush Fenway Racing at Chicagoland Speedway in any of NASCAR's three national series.
Kyle Busch (second) posted his fifth top-10 finish in nine races at Chicagoland Speedway. It is his eighth top-10 finish in 2012.
Austin Dillon (third) posted his second top-10 finish in two races at Chicagoland Speedway.
Austin Dillon (third) was the highest finishing rookie.
Ricky Stenhouse Jr. leads the point standings by 9 points over Elliott Sadler.
(NASCAR Intergrated Marketing Communications)(9-15-2012)
Driver standings following Chicagoland Speedway:
1) #6-Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. 982
2) #2-Elliott Sadler 973 -9
3) #3-Austin Dillon 948 -34
4) #12-Sam Hornish Jr. 925 -57
5) #31-Justin Allgaier 875 -107
6) #43-Michael Annett 837 -145
7) #88-Cole Whitt # 767 -215
8) #44-Mike Bliss 722 -260
9) #87-Joe Nemechek 634 -348
10) #11-Brian Scott 633 -349
See complete standings on the driver standings page (pdf).(9-15-2012)
Owner Standings following Chicagoland Speedway are posted (pdf).(9-15-2012)
Lucky Dogs - Who got a lap back on each caution at Chicagoland Speedway: (and their finish)
Caution 1: none, noone on track a lap or more down
Caution 2: #70-Long, 21st
Caution 3: #40-Darnell, 22nd
Caution 4: #7-Patrick, 12th
Caution 5: #88-Whitt, 14th
Logano on pole at Chicagoland Speedway: #18-Joey Logano won the Coors Light Pole for the Dollar General 300 at Chicagoland Speedway with a speed of 178.012 mph. #3-Austin Dillon will start second. The rest of the top ten: #6-Riky Stenhouse, Jr., #12-Sam Hornish, Jr., #2-Elliott Sadler, #54-Kyle Busch, #33-Paul Menard, #43-Michael Annett, #44-Mike Bliss, and #31-Justin Allgaier. Did Not Qualify: none. The starting lineup is posted on the Chicagoland Speedway starting lineup page (pdf).(9-15-2012)
Chicagoland Speedway Qualifying Notes:
Joey Logano won the Coors Light Pole Award for the 12th Annual Dollar General 300 Powered by Coca-Cola with a lap of 30.335 seconds, 178.012 mph.
This is his 20th pole in 104 NASCAR Nationwide Series races.
This is his fourth pole and 13th top-10 start in 2012. He also earned the pole at Bristol Motor Speedway, Auto Club Speedway and Charlotte Motor Speedway.
This is his first pole in four races at Chicagoland Speedway.
Austin Dillon (second) posted his 20th top-10 start of 2012 and his second in two races at Chicagoland Speedway.
Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (third) posted his fourth top-10 start at Chicagoland Speedway. It is his 22nd in 26 races this season. He earned the Coors Light Pole here in July and finished second.
Austin Dillon (second) was the fastest qualifying rookie.
(NASCAR Intergrated Marketing Communications)(9-7-2012)
Dillon fastest in happy hour: #3-Austin Dillon was quickest during the final practice session for the Dollar General 300 with a top speed of 177.632 mph. He was followed by: #2-Elliott Sadler, #38-Brad Sweet, #31-Justin Allgaier, #33-Paul Menard, #88-Cole Whitt, #7-Danica Patrick, #12-Sam Hornish, Jr., #87-Joe Nemechek, and #18-Joey Logano. See complete results on the Chicagoland Speedway practice 2 speeds page (pdf).(9-14-2012)
Whitt fastest in first practice: #88-Cole Whitt was fastest during opening practice at Chicagoland Speedway with a speed of 174.233mph. #6-Ricky Stenhouse, Jr.was second, followed by: #99-Kenny Wallace, #18-Joey Logano, #54-Kurt Busch, #31-Justin Allgaier, #33-Paul Menard, #22-Brad Keselowski, #11-Brian Scott, and #3-Austin DillonSee complete results on the Chicagoland Speedway practice 1 speeds page (pdf).(9-14-2012)
Entry List: There are 44 cars on the preliminary entry list for Friday's Dollar General 300 at Chicagoland Speedway. A few notes:
Blake Koch returns to the #00;
The #08 for Randy Hill Racing is TBA;
Tony Raines will drive the #28 for Jay Robinson;
Alex Bowman will drive the #30 for Turner Motorsports;
The Go Green #39 is TBA;
The #50 for MAKE Motorsports is TBA;
The #52 for Jimmy Means is TBA;
Kenny Wallace returns to the RAB Racing #99.(9-10-2012)
UPDATE: Mike Harmon and the #74 team have been added. Tim Andrews will be in the #08 and Dexter Stacey will return to the #39.(9-11-2012)
UPDATE 2: Joey Gase will drive the #52 for Jimmy Means.(9-11-2012)
UPDATE 3: Benny Gordon will drive the #24.(9-12-2012)
UPDATE 4: Juan Carlos Blum will drive the Rick Ware #41. Timmy Hill moves to the #15. #86-Kevin Lepage and the #50 MAKE Motorsports teams withdrew.(9-14-2012)
See the complete list on the Chicagoland Speedway entry list page.
Nationwide Series from Chicago on ESPN: Saturday's NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Chicagoland airs on ESPN, with NASCAR Countdown at 3 p.m. and the green flag at 3:46 p.m. Also from Chicagoland, ESPN2 airs NASCAR Sprint Cup practice sessions on Friday at 1 p.m. and 4 p.m., and NASCAR Nationwide Series practice at 2:30 p.m. All NASCAR programming on ESPN and ESPN2 is also available on computers, smartphones and tablets with the WatchESPN app and WatchESPN.com.(ESPN)(9-10-2012)
Tire: Goodyear Eagle Speedway Radials
Number of Tires:
Sprint Cup: Left-side -- 1,300, Right-side -- 1,300;
Nationwide: Left-side -- 500, Right-side -- 500
Sprint Cup: 5 sets for practice/qualifying and 10 sets for the race;
Nationwide: 6 sets for the event
Tire Codes: Left-side -- D-4392; Right-side -- D-4410
Left-side -- 87.2 in. (2,215 mm);
Right-side -- 88.4 in. (2,246 mm)
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 both the NASCAR Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series will run the same tire codes at Chicagoland this weekend . . . this is the same combination of left- and right-side tires that teams in these two series ran at Chicagoland last season . . . this is also the same exact tire set-up that Sprint Cup and Nationwide teams have been scheduled to run at Texas and Homestead in both 2011 and 2012 . . . as on all NASCAR ovals greater than one mile in length, teams are required to run inner liners on all four tire positions at Chicagoland . . . air pressure in those inner liners should be 12-25 psi greater than that of the outer tire.
Sadler, Stenhouse Face Heated Final Championship Stretch Run
Eight races left, two drivers on top of their game and just one point separates the fierce competitors as the NASCAR Nationwide Series heads to Chicagoland Speedway.
Standings leader Elliott Sadler just barely held on to the points lead following last weekend's race at Richmond. Sadler and the No. 2 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet team rebounded from an accident involving the No. 6 Roush Fenway Racing Ford of rival Ricky Stenhouse Jr. that sent the points leader behind the wall. Sadler finished 12th and Stenhouse went on to finish second, closing a 12-point gap to just one.
Last season Stenhouse turned it on and closed out the championship over the last eight races. Starting with Chicago all the way to Homestead, Stenhouse had an average finish of 5.4 compared to Sadler's 9.8. Stenhouse also led more laps over that span than Sadler, leading a total of 117 laps to Sadler's 35.
But this could be Sadler's year. Sadler (5.5) did better than Stenhouse (6.7) in average starting position over the last eight races of the 2011 season. Minus Sadler's accident at Phoenix, the two drivers almost mirrored each other in 2011. This season, Sadler has posted three Coors Light poles, four wins and 18 top 10s; Stenhouse has four poles, four wins and 19 top 10s.
Heading to Chicago this week is like pouring gas on the fire. Sadler and Stenhouse finished one-two respectively at the 1.5-mile track earlier this season. Stenhouse sat on the pole and dominated the race leading 135 laps, but Sadler took the lead late for the victory. Stenhouse's performance at Chicago gives him an edge in the pre-race Driver Rating category (110.6) over Sadler (85.7).
Illinois Natives Return Home For Dollar General 300 Powered By Coca-Cola
On Saturday, three NNS regulars return to their home state of Illinois for the Dollar General 300 Powered by Coca-Cola at Chicagoland Speedway. Justin Allgaier (Riverton), Danica Patrick (Roscoe) and Erik Darnell (Beach Park) are all hoping to impress their home-state crowd.
Allgaier, currently fifth in points (-95), has one victory (Montreal), six top-five and 16 top-10 finishes in 2012. In June 2011, he earned his only victory at Chicagoland after leading only the final lap. In five NNS races, he has two top-five and four top-10 showings.
In three appearances at Chicagoland, Patrick has one top-10 effort. Her best finish at Chicagoland is 10th place in June 2011. In the track's first race this season, Patrick finished 14th, the last driver on the lead lap. She is 11th in the standings (-351).
This Saturday will be Darnell's second NNS start at Chicagoland. Darnell, who is in 16th place in the standings (-581), made his only other start at the track earlier this season, when he placed 30th. His best finish of the year is 14th at Talladega in May.
Six Former NNS Champions Make The 2012 Chase For The NASCAR Sprint Cup
Brad Keselowski and Martin Truex Jr. are just two of the six former NASCAR Nationwide champions who made the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup". Joining them is their former boss, Dale Earnhardt Jr., as well as Greg Biffle, Clint Bowyer and Kevin Harvick.
Truex makes only his second Chase appearance, but he does have championship experience having won back-to-back NNS championships in 2004 and 2005 with Chance 2 Motorsports, which was co-owned by Earnhardt.
This is also Keselowski's second stint in NASCAR's playoffs. He won the NNS championship in 2010 while driving for Penske, but drove for Earnhardt's JR Motorsports from 2007-2009.
Earnhardt, who also won NNS titles in back-to-back years (1998-99), enters the Chase for the fifth time. The 2002 NNS champion Biffle returns to the Chase after missing it last year. It is his fifth appearance in the playoffs. In 2008, Bowyer won the NNS title, but he also qualified for his second Chase. This year marks his fourth trip. Harvick, another two-time series champ (2001 and 2006), enters the Chase for the sixth time in his career.
NASCAR Nationwide Series, Etc.
Owners Championship Update: With just eight races left in the 2012 season, Joe Gibbs Racing's No. 18 team is leading the owner standings by 13 points over Richard Childress Racing's No. 2 team. Just one point behind the No. 2 team is Roush Fenway Racing's No. 6 team in third. & Milestone Watch: Joey Logano attempts to post his 50th NNS top-five finish this weekend at Chicago. & Lap Leaders: RCR's No. 33 car has led the most laps this season with 948. Two-time series champ Kevin Harvick owns most of the laps led in the No. 33 with 787. Harvick matched 2007 series champ Carl Edwards for third on the all-time NNS wins list with his 38th victory last weekend at Richmond. Paul Menard is in the No. 33 this weekend. & All-time NNS starts leader (532) Kenny Wallace returns to the series this week in the No. 99 car. & Million Dollar Quartet will make its second appearance of the season in pre-race activities at Chicagoland Speedway on Saturday, Sept.15.
Congratulations 2015 Champ Kyle Busch
(Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)