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Auto Racing

NASCAR: 4 days of racing on tap at Chicagoland Speedway

Martin Truex Jr., the defending champion at Chicagoland Speedway, drinks wine after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race Sunday in Sonoma, California.
Martin Truex Jr., the defending champion at Chicagoland Speedway, drinks wine after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race Sunday in Sonoma, California.

JOLIET – Chicagoland Speedway kicks off its Stars and Stripes weekend of racing Thursday when the ARCA Racing Series gets started with the Scott 150.

The ARCA Series has been dominated this season by MDM Motorsports, which received its third 1-2-3 finish of the season when Sheldon Creed, Chase Purdy and Harrison Burton claimed the top spots in Friday’s PapaNicholas Coffee 150 at Gateway Motorsports Park in downstate Madison.

Creed set a track record to claim the pole and then was the dominant driver throughout the event by leading for 84 laps to capture his second ARCA title of the season.

MDM Motorsports now has 1-2-3 finishes at Nashville, Pocono and Gateway. Purdy’s runner-up effort matched his career-best finish.

Following the series’ most recent event, Creed held a 2,680 to 2,530 lead over Zane Smith for first place. Riley Herbst (2,355), Purdy (2,250) and Travis Braden (2,230) round out the top five.

Smith, who also races for MDM Motorsports and leads all ARCA drivers with three wins this season, had a rough day at Gateway, finishing 16th.

In last year’s race at Joliet, which also was the Scott 150, Christopher Bell won the title before competing in the Camping World Truck Series race in which he was the series champion in 2017. This season, he’s participating in the Xfinity Series.

ARCA qualifying will be at 5:35 p.m. Thursday with the Scott 150 at 8 p.m.

Speaking of the trucks, they’ll be competing for the fourth straight week when they visit Chicagoland Speedway on Friday for the Overton’s 225.

Johnny Sauter remains the points leader by a 464 to 391 margin over Noah Gragson. Brett Moffitt (368), Grant Enfinger (337) and Stewart Friesen (335) round out the top five in the Camping World Truck Series standings. Sauter has won four events this year and has placed in the top five nine times.

In Saturday’s Villa Lighting Delivers the Eaton 200 at Gateway, Justin Haley led seven laps to beat Todd Gilliland for top honors, while Sauter claimed third. Haley prevailed in a green-white-checkered finish to capture his first victory in the Truck Series.

In last year’s Camping World Truck Series race in Joliet, Sauter led 28 laps and won the title.

Truck Series qualifying is at
4:40 p.m. Friday with the Overton’s 225 set for 8 p.m.

The Xfinity Series took last weekend off and returns to action Saturday for the Overton’s 300. Things are tight at the top of the series standings with Elliott Sadler (504) holding a slight lead over Cole Custer (500), while Daniel Hemric (497) is right behind. All three are seeking their first victory of the season.

In last year’s Xfinity event at Chicagoland Speedway, Justin Allgaier, a native of downstate Riverton, won the title. Allgaier, who held off Bell to win the title in the last event that the series held at Iowa, is sixth in the standings with 453 points, not far behind Tyler Reddick (473) and Bell (471).

Xfinity Series qualifying is at
11:40 a.m. Saturday and the Overton’s 300 is scheduled to begin at 2:30 p.m.

The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series will cap the Stars and Stripes weekend’s activities with the Overton’s 400. Qualifying takes place at 6:05 p.m. Saturday and the race is scheduled at 1:30 p.m. Sunday.

In Sunday’s Toyota/Save Mart 350 at Sonoma, Martin Truex Jr. led for 62 laps to capture his third win of the year, beating runner-up Kevin Harvick, who led for 35 laps. Truex won last year’s race at Joliet to help him capture the 2017 championship in the series.

Following Sunday’s race, Kyle Busch leads Harvick 696 to 624 for first in the standings, while Joey Logano (584), Brad Keselowski (554), Truex (546) and Clint Bowyer (544) are next.

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