The NASCAR Nationwide Series has the Spotlight this weekend at the Chicagoland Speedway for the enjoyIllinois.com 300. In preparation for Saturday night’s feature event they had two practice sessions.
The first practice session was 50 minutes. It just so happened to be at about the same time of the day that qualifying will be held tomorrow. Some teams appeared to just make a few qualifying runs and others make multiple runs.
Dash4Cash driver Brian Scott in the No. 2 made only five laps at the start of practice. That was enough to be the fastest at 172.806 MPH. Chris Buescher in the No. 60, also a Dash4Cash driver, ran 21 laps and was second fastest at 172.623 MPH. The rest of the top ten speeds are below.
Also of note current Nationwide Series point leader Regan Smith in the No. 7 was 15th fastest at 170.154 ran only 8 laps. Elliot Sadler in the No. 11, who is the runner up, was 14th at 170.557 MPH. Both are also Dash4Cash drivers.
Harrison Rhodes replaced Jeffery Earnhardt in the No. 4 car. Earnhardt has been nursing a broken collar bone. Earnhardt had all but lost the car in the first practice and in saving the car must have realized that he is not 100%. Rhodes was at the track just in case this happened. It was unclear if they will make this change for the race.
The second practice started with most teams making runs in race trim. In fact many teams looked like they were racing one another based on their close quarters on the track. In the last half of practice some teams were making mock qualifying runs in race trim. Needless to say the leaderboard of lap times changed drastically from the first half of practice until the end. Most of the top ten were from mock qualifying runs.
Cale Conley in the No. 33 led the second practice at 175.262 followed by Brendan Gaughan in the No. 62 at 174.961. Both drivers appeared to make mock qualifying runs. The rest of the top ten speeds are below.
None of the Dash4Cash drivers made the top ten. Brian Scott led them all 11th at 172.667 followed by Elliott Sadler at 172.557. In addition Chris Buescher was 16th at 171.909 followed by Regan Smith at 171.636.
Qualifying is Saturday July 19th at 4:10 PM ET. It will be broadcast on Fox Sports 2. It will be interesting to see how those drivers who were fast during practice but did not make mock qualifying runs will fare.
Feature Photo Credit: Brian Berg Jr. BehindPitRow.com
|First Practice Top Ten|
|54||Sam Hornish Jr.||171.723|
|Second Practice Top Ten|