2018 Chicagoland Speedway, Overton’s 400

So, 16 races into the season and four drivers have 14 wins between them. The only races not won by one of these drivers were the two restrictor plate races. Most of these races have either been won in dominating fashion like this past weekend at Sonoma, or have been contested between these four drivers. Even at Sonoma these four drivers all finished in the Top-5. The way it is going now, they could just head to Homestead and let these four fight for the Championship. I hope for all of our viewing pleasure some of these other teams step up to the plate pretty quick and give us a little more competition. Only ten races left until the Playoffs start.

OVERTON’S 400

Okay, with my little rant over, the teams head back to the Midwest this weekend and the Chicagoland Speedway for the running of the Overton’s 400. Maybe one more complaint before we get to it. I wish they would run this race on Saturday night and take the heat of the day out of the track. I think it would make it a little more interesting. However, I do like the fact for those attending the weekend that they will get a chance to see all three series races if they don’t get rained out.

Chicagoland Speedway is another of the mile and a half tracks that make up the majority of the NASCAR Cup series schedule. What else can I say other than this season these races have been dominated by Kevin Harvick, Kyle Busch, and Martin Truex Jr. I don’t see anything changing this weekend either. I believe one of these three will win once again and the others will be the drivers who make it competitive. I really don’t know what NASCAR can do to make it more competitive.

Kevin Harvick: I have to go with the driver with the most wins to win again this weekend. Kevin was the closest to Martin last weekend at Sonoma, even if he didn’t even come close to him when they got to the checkered flag. He has been the most dominant so far this season on this type of track. Kevin won the very first two races ever run at this track and has nine top five finishes in his seventeen starts here including a third place finish last year. I believe he picks up win number six on the season this weekend.

Martin Truex Jr.: Martin also has two wins at this track and surprise surprise they have also been the last two races he has run here. The big difference this year is the time of year this race is being held. The previous seven years the races were held in September when it is a little cooler here, so we will have to see if this affects Martin and the set up they put under the car this year. That is going to be the biggest concern for this team heading into the weekend. How close can they come to a good set up coming off the truck.

Kyle Busch: Kyle’s lone win here came back in 2008 when he won from the pole. He has sat on the pole for the last two races here and three of the past four. He has also finished in the top ten in five of his last six starts at this track. He has also led 340 laps in the last five races here. Like I said before, I think one of these three drivers wins again this weekend and the stats are telling me the same thing.

Clint Bowyer: Clint is the last of these four drivers with multiple wins on the season so far. His best finish here was a fourth place finish back in 2010. He finished in the top ten here in seven of his first eight starts and we know that the Stewart-Haas teams have all been fast all year and this team has been much better in Clint’s second season with this team. I look for him to get back to his top ten finishing ways at this track.

Chase Elliott: Chase had another great run at a road course last weekend which should just keep giving him more confidence every week. He hasn’t been the best of the Hendrick drivers his last few starts on this type of track, but I believe that all of the Hendrick drivers have made improvements as the season has progressed. Chase only has two starts at this track and has come away with a second and a third place finish. This is another team that has to figure out their set up here for a July race instead of a September start. Another reason I would have liked to see this race run on a Saturday night.

Ryan Blaney: Another driver with only two starts here and two very good finishes. His first year he finished fourth and last year he just missed the top ten finishing eleventh. I think he has been the most consistent of the Penske drivers in his first season with the team and if his arms don’t fall off this week from having to drive the majority of the road course race last weekend without power steering he should have another good run with his new team.

Kyle Larson: Kyle will be one of the happiest drivers to head to Chicagoland this weekend. He sat on the pole last weekend for the race at Sonoma, but that quickly went down hill from there. He never really had a very good handling car after the first couple of laps after getting new tires and was very disappointed with his result. The good news for his is that in four starts at this track he has come away with three finishes in the top seven and has been the most consistent Chevrolet driver all season.

Brad Keselowski: Brad is another driver with two wins at this track and is just looking for something a little extra at this point of the season. The Penske drivers have shown speed this season, but they just haven’t had quite the speed and handling as the Stewart-Haas teams which makes them try something different to try and get a win. Besides his two wins here. Brad has finished eighth or better in each of his last seven starts here and has led laps in six of those races.

Jimmie Johnson: Jimmie has been getting better and better on this type of track as the season has progressed and has probably been a little more than Chase on this type of track lately. He is still looking for his first win at this track despite finishing in the top five in seven of his sixteen starts here. In fact, Jimmie has only finished outside of the top twenty twice in all of those races. We will see if they have improved even more this weekend.

Alex Bowman: Alex finished tenth here last year as he was subbing for Dale Earnhardt Jr. at the time. That should give this team a lot of confidence heading into this weekend. He and William Byron have both been having good years for the experience they have in this series and will both only get better as they continue to get more time on the track in the Cup series cars. Can he do in July what he did last September?

DRIVER GROUP GAME FANTASY NASCAR PICKS FOR CHICAGOLAND SPEEDWAY

Driver Group Game Group A

  • Kevin Harvick
  • Martin Truex Jr.

Driver Group Game Group B

  • Clint Bowyer
  • Chase Elliott
  • Ryan Blaney
  • Aric Almirola

Driver Group Game Group C

  • Alex Bowman
  • William Byron

MY TOP-5 OVERALL AT CHICAGOLAND SPEEDWAY

  1. Kevin Harvick
  2. Martin Truex Jr.
  3. Kyle Busch
  4. Kyle Larson
  5. Brad Keselowski

Dark Horse: Aric Almirola

Stay Away From: Austin Dillon

Big 18: Martin Truex Jr.

53 thoughts on “2018 Chicagoland Speedway, Overton’s 400

  1. I was thinking 18, 14, 22, 2, 78 & 4 in the garage! these are the top 6 in fantasy rankings! I have 4 in the garage b.c. I only have 4 uses left for 10 more races & I would like to save 1 of the #4’s uses for the reg. season finale at Indy! thoughts?

  2. I would use my starts for Harvick, Truex, and Kyle Busch on the mile and a half tracks. The fourteen on the short tracks and use my gut for the 22 and 2.

  3. What other tracks could I compare to Chicago? Maybe Atlanta since both are low grip tracks..if so maybe could try the 2,18,19,10,31,17..they all either qualified well or ran well at atlanta earlier this year..need to start conserving the 14,41,9,12 just trying to think of different options really enjoy ur column..like to hear ur thoughts..thanks

    1. I would most likely compare it to Kansas. The big thing here is that they ran here the last seven years in September when the temperatures are much cooler. Gonna be a real test this weekend.

  4. Hey Jeff Ryan Blaney and Chase Elliott are A drivers in my league.. do you have a couple other B drivers you could throw out there that might be good this weekend? Thanks

    1. If you want to go with experience I would go with McMurray. If you want to take a chance on someone winning their first race, Bowman finished 10th here last year and Byron has been running very well lately.

    1. Harvick had the best 10 lap average after the final practice which was run during the same conditions the race will be run under. The thing is, there is a good chance of rain tomorrow which means the race could be run on Monday or could be shortened by weather. If it is shortened by weather it is going to be decided by pit strategy. If you don’t want to factor in the weather I would have to go with Harvick again.

  5. 395 point lead in my league but need to choose wisely
    Starts left:
    Harvick 3
    Busch 3
    Almirola, chase, bowyer and busch 5
    Blaney 4
    Byron 6
    Bowman 5
    In A, have to go with Harvick and Truex. Not too concerned using Harvick up because he has been so consistent.
    In B, have the same 4 as you
    IN C, who do you like if both bowman and byron are left out?

    1. Tough to call as they practiced under much hotter conditions than they will qualify under. That final practice most of the teams were running in race trim and aren’t too concerned with where they qualify. If I had to guess I would go with Truex.

      1. I thought about him. Picked Busch and changed it to Logano. He was the only one in the top 10 of both practices (correct me if I’m wrong).

  6. Stage win predictions?

    I have right now:

    S1: Keselowski
    S2: Elliott
    Winner: Harvick / Ford

    I have Harvick in my garage to preserve one of his five remaining starts, but will use him if problems affect Kes, Elliott, Almirola, Blaney, or Larson.

    1. Looks good to me. Both of your stage winners are starting in the top 10 and if the rain holds off I think Harvick makes it back to the front for the win.

  7. Qualifying isn’t over and your mention of temp and grip differences between now and previous run date is showing to be true.

    I am thinking that the qualifying results won’t mean near as much because of long run ability. Very interesting

    1. Qualifying doesn’t mean much because of the temp when they qualified and the temps when they practiced and will race during.

  8. Jeff I appreciate everything you do buddy! Like I said before I have the option of picking anybody after qualifying.. we don’t get qualifying points in my league. if you had that option with only 9 starts for each driver what would your starting lineup look like this weekend? Thanks

  9. Still picking Truex in your Big 18, even after failing inspection? I had him penciled in for mine, but am really reconsidering.

    1. I am sticking with him. He was fast in both practices and he should come up through the field pretty quick like Harvick when he was sent to the back. I predict he will be in the top 10 at the end of the first stage.

    1. How about the 21? He is sitting on the pole and was pretty fast in practice. Or the 95 looks like someone you could take a chance on.

  10. I have Menard (7), Blaney(6), Elliott (6), and Almirola (7) in the B group with how many starts i have in brackets on each. Which 2 would you start?

    1. Menard is on the pole and should lead the first lap at least. That will give you some bonus points. Then I would use Almirola for my other starter.

  11. Dang somehow i have kez on my roster instead of harvick. Would you consider starting him over Truex?

    Also have blaney 4 starts left, elliott , almirola and bowyer with 5. Who would u start?

    Any concerns with elliott after receiving iv yesterday?

    1. Yes, with Truex starting in the back, the chance of him getting in a wreck is greater or he could lose a lap somehow back there. With the threat of rain, Keselowski could be a good call.

  12. Ryan Blaney is starting 2nd today at Chicago. In 4 career races starting 2nd, he’s failed to register a top-10 finish with an average finish of 27th.

    Would you go with him or elliott?

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