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Stars and Stripes Weekend at Chicagoland Speedway draws nearer

Justin Allgaier crosses the finish line while winning the NASCAR Xfinity Series race Sunday at Iowa Speedway in Newton, Iowa.
Justin Allgaier crosses the finish line while winning the NASCAR Xfinity Series race Sunday at Iowa Speedway in Newton, Iowa.

As the Stars and Stripes Weekend at Chicagoland Speedway draws nearer, two series of NASCAR drivers will be running this weekend while the other is off until they compete in Joliet during the four days of racing that runs from June 28 to July 1.

In the Xfinity Series, Justin Allgaier took first place at the Iowa 250 to capture his series-high second victory of the season. The native of downstate Riverton, who won last year’s race in Joliet, led for 182 laps and won all three stages of the event to give him seven playoff points.

That win moved Allgaier up to sixth in the standings with 453 points, not far behind rookies Tyler Reddick (473) and Christopher Bell (471), who own the two spots ahead of him. Bell, who has seven playoff points, challenged late before claiming second in the event at the Iowa Speedway.

With Daniel Hemric placing third and Cole Custer taking fourth while series leader Elliott Sadler was 28th, things definitely got more interesting at the top of the Xfinity standings.

Sadler led by 41 points entering the day but now only leads by four points. He has 504 points, while Custer has 500, and Hemric has 497 points.

Drivers in the Xfinity Series will compete at Chicagoland Speedway in the Overton’s 300, which will be held at 2:30 p.m. June 30.

The Camping World Truck Series also competed last weekend in Iowa in the M&M’s 200. Iowa-native Brett Moffitt led the final 76 laps and held off Noah Gragson to capture the title as the two remain among the series’ top points scorers.

Johnny Sauter, who took fifth place at Iowa, continues to lead the way with 419 points, while Gragson (348) is second and Moffitt (334) is third. Sauter has won four races, while Moffitt won for the second time, making him the only other driver with multiple wins.

The trucks compete again this weekend Saturday when they take part in the Villa Lighting delivers the Eaton 200 at Gateway Motorsports Park in downstate Madison. Then it’s on to Joliet and the Overton’s 225, which takes place at 8 p.m. June 29.

After taking a week off, the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series returns Sunday in the Toyota/Save Mart 350 at Sonoma Raceway’s road course.

Kyle Busch leads the series in points with 664 after picking up four victories and 10 top-five finishes in 15 races, while Kevin Harvick is ranked in second place with 589 points after winning five times and finishing in the top-five on 11 occasions.

Joey Logano (566), Brad Keselowski (514), Clint Bowyer (510) and defending series champion Martin Truex, Jr. (506) are next-best in the points race.

Chicagoland Speedway’s Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race, the Overton’s 400, will take place at 1:30 p.m. July 1.

And kicking off the Stars and Stripes Weekend is the ARCA Racing Series Scott 150, which will be held at 8 p.m. June 28.

In last week’s race in Oregon, Wisconsin, 15-year old Chandler Smith, who is running in a limited number of events, got his first ARCA Series win.

This week, ARCA competes at downstate Gateway Motorsports Park. In the points standings, Sheldon Creed leads Zane Smith, 2,185-2,130, for first place.

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