Cole Custer took the checkered flag for the Camping World 300 at Chicagoland Speedway. 

Custer started on the outside of pole-sitter, Joey Logano when the green flag waved. It did not take long for the No. 00 to take the lead and claim the Stage 1 victory. 

With less than 15 laps to go in Stage 2, Ryan Sieg took a spin to bring out the caution flag. The caution gave Joey Logano the advantage when they went back to green. The field went 5 wide into the turn and all managed to keep it together. Logano retook the lead to claim Stage 2.

Stage 3 was action-packed and caution filled with many drivers fighting for position and others running into late race issues. Cole Custer was able to take advantage of late race cautions and retake the lead with 50 laps to go. After passing Michael Annett on the restart with 22 laps to go, the SHR driver never looked back. 

The No. 00 Ford led 151 of 200 laps, earning Custer his fourth win of the season and sixth Xfinity Series victory of his career. 

“I can’t do anything but thank everyone at Haas Automation and Stewart-Haas Racing because we’re going to take it to them in the summer time,” Custer said while celebrating in victory lane with his Haas Automation crew. 

Logano, Annett, Jones and Cindric rounded out the top five at Chicagoland. Christopher Bell originally finished in the third position, but was demoted to a last-place finish after his car failed post-race inspection and was disqualified. 

Tyler Reddick remains the leader in Xfinity Series points, followed by Christopher Bell, Cole Custer, Justin Allagaier and Austin Cindric rounding out the top five. 

The Xfinity Series is back in action for the Circle K Firecracker 250 at Daytona International Speedway on July 6 at 7:30 PM ET. 

After a couple late race cautions, Kyle Busch holds off Daniel Hemric and Cameron Hayley in overtime to win the American Ethanol E15 225 at Chicagoland Speedway. This is Busch’s 46th career NASCAR Camping World Truck Series win; his fifth at Chicago.

 

“This has been a really good place for us at KBM (Kyle Busch Motorsports) over the years. We’ve been really fast here. It was nice to be able to come out here and keep that speed going with this SiriusXM Tundra. I really appreciate Erik Jones being here yesterday, working it in for me a bit, all the work the guys at the shop do a great job. I can’t say enough about Toyota, TRD and JGR Engines – this engine ran really well today. Thank Camping World and of course the fans, too. It seems as though it was perfect timing as it just started spitting a little bit here. All in all good day but really important to see the 9 (William Byron) and 4 (Christopher Bell) make the Chase this year for KBM. Two opportunities there to go after a championship. Also the 13 (Cameron Hayley) right there at the end, that’s a brand new KBM truck out of our stables, so that thing was fast – it was hard to hold him off at the end, he was really quick. Good job to those guys and finding speed in our stuff,”  said Kyle Busch in a post-race victory lane interview.

 

Hemric, who finished second to Busch, was able to lock himself into the chase on points, stated post race, “You’re trying to be smart knowing the situation you’re in, but Kyle and I were able to work good together. I just couldn’t get the air enough like I needed to get the run on him, but when I got there, I stalled out. We just have to work on that aero area on our trucks, and figure out what we need to do on that next step.”

 

Hayley, who needed a win to get into the chase, was unable to point his way into the chase finished third. “We did not have a winning truck at the beginning of that race. They gave me a great Tundra there at the end. That’s why he (Busch) is a Cup driver, I’m the Truck driver. I have a lot to learn from that guy. We’re not in the chase, but you couldn’t say we didn’t try.”

 

With a full moon on hand the American Ethanol E15 225 began shortly after 8:45PM EST. On the initial start, John Wes Townley, who qualified second, did not get up to speed and quickly fell towards the back of the field. After only four laps of competition, William Byron shot into the wall bringing out the first caution. The high lane was the preferred lane on restarts and during the race. Matt Tifft made an unscheduled pit stop under green for a loose left rear wheel. The caution clock expired on lap 46 as Suarez was leading over Ky. Busch and Townley. Cameron Hayley and Timothy Peters endured penalties on the first round of pit stops. Hayley for removing equipment from the box, and Peters for an uncontrolled tire. After hitting the wall, Peters made a couple unscheduled pit stops to try to fix the issues. At the halfway point, Busch led Sauter, Reddick, Custer, and Townley.

 

In the second half of the race, Tyler Reddick was on the charge to the front in order to get a win to put him in the chase in the beginning. Just before the caution clock expired for the second time of the night, the caution flag flew for Byron who hit the wall for the second time after repairing damage.  Cole Custer, who needed a win to get in, was caught on pit road for being too fast on pit exit. On restarts, the high line continued to get the better start compared to the inside line. When the caution flew out for a spin by Josh Berry, teams were debating on making two and four tire stops for the remaining 40 laps of the race. The red flag was displayed after a wreck involving Ben Kennedy, Matt Crafton, Sauter, and Ben Rhodes to repair the SAFER barrier. The red flag was lifted after 14 minutes. Crafton went to the garage in an effort to save the truck from tonight for a race later on in the chase. Grant Enfinger brought out the caution shortly after the restart after contact with Gallagher and Custer. Late race spins by Ben Rhodes and Tommy Joe Martins shortened the chance for other drivers to get the much needed win to get into the chase. However, Busch prevailed to win over Hemric, Hayley, Christopher Bell, and Sauter, who rounded out the top-five.

 

The Chase Grid is officially set for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. Byron holds the top seed going into New Hampshire with his five wins in the regular season. Crafton and John Hunter Nemechek will be seeded after Byron for scoring two wins. Sauter, Bell, and Kennedy are seeded fourth, fifth, and sixth. Hemric and Peters will fill the final two positions in the chase due to their points position. Hayley and Custer barely missed the chance to compete in the Chase, but are tied for the ninth position going into New Hampshire.

 

The American Ethanol E15 225 saw 10 lead changes among five different drivers. Busch led the most laps at 95 with Suarez leading 43, Gallagher leading eight, Kennedy leading four, and Tommy Joe Martins leading one lap. The caution flew 10 times for a total of 41 laps. The average speed of the race was 108.648 mph. The time of the race was 2 hours, 5 minutes, and 5 seconds. The margin of victory was 0.139 seconds.

 

The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series will head to New Hampshire Motor Speedway to kick off the Round of Eight for the UNOH 175. The race will be on September 24th at 1:00PM EST on Fox Sports 1 and Motor Racing Network.

Spencer Gallagher broke the track record with a speed of  176.148 mph to win his first career NASCAR Camping World Truck Series pole for the American Ethanol E15 225 at Chicagoland Speedway. John Wes Townley will start beside Gallagher on the front row. This is the fourth time in 2016 a new track record has been established in qualifying.

 

The first round of qualifying saw Timothy Peters top the leaderboard with a speed of 175.376 mph. Gallagher was second with a speed of 175.126 mph, Daniel Suarez was third at a speed of 175.046 mph, Townley was fourth at a speed of 174.995 mph, and Tyler Reddick was fifth at a speed of 174.967 mph. Matt Tifft filled the transfer spot with a speed of 174.223 mph, just three hundredths of a second over Matt Crafton. Some notable drivers who did not advance to the second round include Crafton who qualified P13, Cole Custer who qualified 17th, and John Hunter Nemechek who qualified 18th. No drivers will be going home for tonight’s race. There were no major incidents within the first round of qualifying.

 

The second round of qualifying saw the track begin to pick up speed. Daniel Hemric and Tifft ran the same speed during qualifying at 174.984 mph, but Hemric received the position ahead of Tifft due to his place in points. The track record was broken by the top five drivers. Townley will start second with a speed of 175.896 mph, Suarez qualified third with a speed of 175.713 mph, Reddick qualified fourth with a speed of 175.530 mph, and Peters rounded out the top five with a speed of 175.513 mph.

 

Next up for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series is the American Ethanol E15 225. The race will begin on Fox Sports 1 at 8:00PM EST. Motor Racing Network will have the radio call beginning at 8:00PM EST.

Fire up the scanner, it is time for Crew Chatter with Speedway Digest writers. This week we tackle Chicagoland with the question, “The Chase for the Sprint Cup has had its defining moments over the past two years, what are your expectations for the 2016 chase?”

 

 

Brett Winningham

 

My expectations going into the 2016 Chase for the Sprint Cup is that it will be one of the best we have ever seen. With the exception of the Joe Gibbs Racing stable, there isn't really one particular driver that stands out, which will make this Chase very exciting to follow all throughout these last 10 races. I expect it to be a very tight battle to the end.

 

 

 

Katie Williams

 

One of the things I've learned following this sport for the past five years is that you can't really expect anything to happen because anything can and will happen. There are some drivers in the lineup that won at the tracks with more than one race on the schedule, like Dover, Charlotte and Kansas, just to name a few. That doesn't mean they will repeat but they sure could. Sometimes, things are a little different in the fall than they are in the spring so I think you really can't bank on repeat winners in the same year. 

 

I'm really not expecting anyone to dominate. I think we'll know after Chicago where these drivers stand for the remaining nine weeks, which will just fly by.

 

Denny Hamlin, Martin Truex Jr. and Kyle Larson are waking up after winning the last few races of the season. I think they'll continue to run well but I'm not expecting them to dominate. 

 

Joey Logano swept the Round of 12 (Charlotte, Kansas, Talladega) a year ago. He's been a little quiet this season with only one win in June at Michigan, but he could possibly show up and do it again. 

 

Chris Buescher made it in with a little luck on his side at the August Pocono race. I don't think he'll make it to the championship four, but I sure think he'll make it past the round of 16. 

 

Chase Elliott, Austin Dillon and Jamie McMurray have not yet won this season but they are in on points. I really don't know what will happen with them. I think they can pull off top fives and top 10's but I just don't see them going far. Of course, they could be the ones to shake things up.

 

One other thing to remember is that there are 24 other drivers looking to crash the Chase party. Just because they are not in championship contention doesn't mean they can't pull off a win or a top finish. 

 

This Chase is so unpredictable and it'll be interesting to see where things stand after round one. Right now, I really have no idea what's going to happen.

 

 

Davey Segal

 

My expectations for the 2016 Chase are to see more of what we already have this season, as well as the past couple seasons. Toyota dominance and the championship coming down to the final lap. Just like always, right?


As the Chase kicks off in Chicago this weekend, the Joe Gibbs Racing drivers of Denny Hamlin, Kyle Busch, Matt Kenseth and Carl Edwards are the odds on favorites. Add Furniture Row Racing's Martin Truex Jr., who is basically a JGR teammate, and you have five of the 16 drivers that make up the Chase field.

 

Kevin Harvick, Brad Keselowski and Kyle Larson will also be tough to beat. Harvick and Keselowski have showed dominance throughout the season, whereas Larson has come on as of late after his win at Michigan.

 

In 2014, Harvick won the Ford EcoBoost 400 and his first championship by one point and one position over Ryan Newman. In 2015, Kyle Busch won the Ford EcoBoost 400 and his first championship by one point and one position over Ryan Newman. Sense a theme?

 

So that means that *insert first time champion here* will win the race and the championship by one point and one position over Kyle Busch, right?

 

I'm not sure, and I don't think anyone is. But one thing is for certain: The Chase is on.

 

 

Caleb Whisler

The Chase is on! I have learned one thing participating in this sport since birth is that you have to expect the unexpected. This sport is probably one of the most unpredictable sports to predict because it is a sport of man and machine.

 

The past two years of this current format have produced defining “quintessential” moments for the sport. In 2014, you had Keselowski against Kenseth and Gordon at Charlotte and Texas. In 2015, you had Logano dominating the Round of Eight, but getting punted at Martinsville by Kenseth, who ended up with a two race suspension from NASCAR.

 

This year I expect it to be one of the best Chase for the Sprint Cup we have seen. Why? You have so many storylines from Chris Buescher to Tony Stewart to the dominance from Toyota. We will see someone move on into the Championship Four based on consistency. These last ten races will have a defining moment, but I will expect the unexpected for the 2016 Chase for the Sprint Cup

The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series thunders into Chicagoland Speedway for the American Ethanol E15 225, the final race before the chase begins next weekend in Chicago. 32 drivers will strive to compete for 32 spots in the Friday evening extravaganza in Joilet, Illinois. This is race 16 of 22 of the 2016 season.

 

Matt Tifft will return to action in NASCAR this weekend. Tifft had surgery in July to remove a non-cancerous tumor from his brain. He will drive the No. 32 Red Horse Racing Brain Gear/Surface Sunscreen Toyota. Kyle Busch will be performing triple duty this weekend racing in all three national series for NASCAR.

 

Chicagoland Speedway is located southwest of the city of Chicago.The track is a 1.5-mile, D-shaped oval. All the turns are banked at 18 degrees. They have a width of 55 feet, and an apron of 27 feet.

 

This will be the eighth trip to Chicagoland for the Camping World Truck Series. There have been five different pole winners with Jeb Burton being the youngest and Todd Bodine as the oldest. There have been four different race winners with John Hunter Nemechek as the youngest and Kyle Busch as the oldest. No races have been won from the pole position. Kyle Busch holds the race record set back in 2014 with a speed of 142.882 mph. Steve Arpin set the qualifying record in 2011 with a speed of 175.507 mph.

 

William Byron will be the top seed in the chase for the Trucks with five wins. Matt Crafton and John Hunter Nemechek currently hold the second and third seeds with two wins. Johnny Sauter, Ben Kennedy, and Christopher Bell hold the next three seeds with one win in 2016. Daniel Hemric and Timothy Peters currently hold the final two positions in the chase. However, Cole Custer and Cameron Hayley are virtually locked in the chase based on points, but a new winner would bump one of them out at the end of the day.

 

According to weekly press releases, drivers are excited about heading into Chicagoland and the chase.

 

"The closer we get to New Hampshire the more excited I get for the Chase. The 33 team is in a really good place and overall GMS Racing is in a good place. At the end of the day when you look at the results you will see at least one GMS truck in the top 5 or top 10 and typically there are two running up front each race. We're strong as a whole and I think you'll see that more once we get down to those final seven races,” stated Ben Kennedy, driver of the No. 33 GMS Racing Chevy.

 

"Based on our success on the intermediate race tracks, I feel really confident that we can have a good run this weekend. I'm just really happy to get back to some normality in the schedule when it comes to the race tracks being more like the ones in the Chase.  I think this will be a really important tune up for places like Las Vegas and Texas in a few weeks. There is just something about these type of race tracks that works with Rudy and my driving style, so we are both eager to unload at Chicago,” said William Byron, driver of the No. 9 Kyle Busch Motorsports Toyota.

 

"I don't have a whole lot of experience at Chicagoland Speedway, since we had an issue so early in the race last year, but I do know it's a track that a lot of drivers look forward to going to. Chicagoland offers such a wide racing surface to work with, that as drivers, we can constantly be searching for grip during the race. It makes you feel like you have a little more in your control as to how your day turns out.  Everyone on our Draw-Tite Ford F-150 team is focused on running well and locking down a spot in the Chase this weekend,” said Hemric, driver of the No. 19 Brad Keselowski Racing Ford.

 

The trucks had two practice session on Thursday. In the first practice session, John Wes Townley was fastest with a speed of 175.182 mph followed by Byron at a speed of 174.910 mph, Crafton was third at a speed of 173.779 mph, Peters was fourth at a speed of 173.673 mph, and Custer rounded out the top-five with a speed of 173.633 mph. In the second practice session, Hemric was fastest with a speed of 176.563 mph, Spencer Gallagher was second with a speed of 176.465 mph, Daniel Suarez was third fastest at 176.453 mph, Grant Enfinger was fourth at 176.223 mph, and Kennedy rounded out the top five with a speed of 176.171 mph.

 

The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series will qualify Friday afternoon at 4:30PM EST on Fox Sports 1. The American Ethanol E15 225 will be on Fox Sports 1 and Motor Racing Network beginning at 8:00PM EST.

 

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