Chicagoland. The three dog fight continues here. Who will come out of Chicagoland with the points lead and who will move another step closer to their first Nationwide Championship? Will it be the veteran, Elliott Sadler?
Sadler was supposed to be the next Sprint Cup Champion. He joined a still powerful Wood Brothers in 1999. Sadler would finish his first two seasons with just one top ten each year. Finally in 2001, Sadler won his first Sprint Cup Race at Bristol Motor Speedway. The rest of that season was pretty mediocre. 2002 saw Sadler run in the top ten seven times, but without a win. In 2003, Sadler joined Yates Racing and had his best year to date, with two top fives, and nine top tens. But in 2004, Elliott would finally start showing his potential. Sadler won twice in the M&Ms Ford. He would go on to have eight top fives, and fourteen top tens, as well as a berth in the very first Chase for the Sprint Cup. But two mediocre years later and Sadler would be fired from Yates in favor of another young driver David Gilliland. Sadler would land instantly with Ray Evernham thanks to the Jeremy Mayfield problems. Sadler would run the next four years under constant dissappointment before the team was discontinued. It was Kevin Harvick who saw the potential that was still there for Elliott, as Kevin Harvick Inc. expanded to two teams. Now Sadler is in control and ready to finally prove he's more then just an also ran.
Or will it be Ricky Stenhouse? The 2010 Rookie of the Year and future Sprint Cup star, Ricky Stenhouse had a season to forget last year, wrecking out and DNF'ing his way to a mid-season sit down. Ricky got the message and was on fire to end the year. This year, just his second full time year, Stenhouse came out strong, and has won two races, and without the massive Sprint Cup Stars running every week, would probably have even more.
Or will it be Reed Sorenson? Sorenson was a Chip Ganassi developmental driver before making the leap to Cup. Sorenson won two Nationwide Races in his first full Nationwide season. But many believe he was moved up to quickly. Sorenson had three very disappointing years with Chip before landing as Elliott Sadler's teammate with Richard Petty Motorsports. When the team cut down, Sorenson was without a ride. After a 2010 that saw Sorenson part time in both the Cup Series and the Nationwide Series, Turner Motorsports finally decided to go all in with Reed, and make him a top contender for the Nationwide Championship.
Entry List and More after the Jump!
|1||01||Mike Wallace||G&K Services||11 Chevy||Lori Davis|
|2||2||Elliott Sadler||OneMain Financial||11 Chevy||Delana Harvick|
|3||03||Scott Riggs *||N TX Pipe||11 Chevy||Robert Richardson Sr|
|4||04||Danny O'Quinn Jr *||Go Green Racing||11 Ford||Archie St Hilaire|
|5||6||Ricky Stenhouse Jr||Roush Fenway Racing||11 Ford||Jack Roush|
|6||7||Jamie McMurray(i)||Air Hogs||11 Chevy||Kelley Earnhardt|
|7||09||Kenny Wallace||Family Farmers||11 Toyota||Robby Benton|
|8||11||Brian Scott||Shore Lodge||11 Toyota||J D Gibbs|
|9||12||Sam Hornish Jr||Alliance Truck Parts||11 Dodge||Roger Penske|
|10||13||Jennifer Jo Cobb *||hipchixfundraisers.com||11 Dodge||Jennifer Jo Cobb|
|11||14||Eric McClure||Hefty BlackOut/Reynolds||11 Chevy||Mark Smith|
|12||15||Timmy Hill||Lilly Trucking-Point||11 Ford||Bob Germain|
|13||16||Trevor Bayne *||Roush Fenway Racing||11 Ford||Jack Roush|
|14||18||Joey Logano(i)||SportClips||11 Toyota||Joe Gibbs|
|15||19||Mike Bliss||US Express Trucking||11 Chevy||Mark Smith|
|16||20||Ryan Truex *||TBD||11 Toyota||Joe Gibbs|
|17||22||Brad Keselowski(i)||Discount Tire||11 Dodge||Roger Penske|
|18||23||Robert Richardson Jr||N TX Pipe||11 Chevy||Robert Richardson Sr|
|19||27||J J Yeley(i) *||Go Canada Racing||11 Ford||Steve Meehan|
|20||28||Derrike Cope||Maxelence||11 Chevy||Jay Robinson|
|21||30||Kasey Kahne(i)||Rexall||11 Chevy||Harry Scott Jr|
|22||31||Justin Allgaier||Brandt||11 Chevy||Steve Turner|
|23||32||Reed Sorenson||Dollar General||11 Chevy||Sandra Turner|
|24||33||Paul Menard(i)||Rheem/Menards||11 Chevy||Delana Harvick|
|25||38||Jason Leffler||Great Clips||11 Chevy||Steve Turner|
|26||39||Joey Gase||Go Green Racing||11 Ford||Jack Roush|
|27||40||Josh Wise||TBA||11 Chevy||Curtis Key Sr|
|28||41||Johnny Chapman *||Rick Ware Racing||11 Chevy||Rick Ware|
|29||42||Tim Andrews *||Key Motorsports||11 Chevy||Curtis Key Sr|
|30||44||Angela Cope *||Horizon Sports Management||11 Chevy||Mark Smith|
|31||46||Chase Miller *||Key Motorsports||11 Chevy||Curtis Key Sr|
|32||47||Brian Keselowski(i) *||TBA||11 Chevy||Curtis Key Sr|
|33||48||Dennis Setzer *||TBA||11 Chevy||Jay Robinson|
|34||49||Mark Green *||Acredale Vending||11 Chevy||Jay Robinson|
|35||50||T J Bell(i) *||Liberty Tire Recyclers||11 Chevy||Mark Beaver|
|36||51||Jeremy Clements||Clements Racing Engines||10 Chevy||Johnny Davis|
|37||52||Blake Koch||Daystar||11 Chevy||Jimmy Means|
|38||60||Carl Edwards(i)||Fastenal||11 Ford||Jack Roush|
|39||62||Michael Annett||Pilot-Flying J||11 Toyota||Rusty Wallace|
|40||66||Steve Wallace||5 Hour Energy||11 Toyota||Rusty Wallace|
|41||70||David Stremme(i)||Foretravel||11 Chevy||Mary Louise Miller|
|42||71||Matthew Carter *||Lilly Trucking of VA||11 Ford||Rick Ware|
|43||74||Mike Harmon *||MHR||11 Chevy||Mike Harmon|
|44||75||Carl Long *||Race Cash||11 Ford||Rick Ware|
|45||81||Scott Wimmer||K Love||11 Dodge||Pat MacDonald|
|46||87||Kevin Conway||Extenze||11 Toyota||Andrea Nemechek|
|47||88||Aric Almirola||Suave MEN||11 Chevy||Dale Earnhardt Jr|
|48||89||Morgan Shepherd||Victory in Jesus||11 Chevy||Morgan Shepherd|
48 cars are entered this week. Let's take a look at who to watch this week:
- #2-Elliott Sadler. It will be important for Sadler to leave Chicagoland with a top ten.
- #6-Ricky Stenhouse may be heading into conservative mode. You often see points leaders trying more for second place then going all out for wins. Stenhouse needs to keep the foot to the floor to win this Championship.
- #12-Sam Hornish returns this week and the plans for next year are to run him full time if sponsorship can be found. Hornish has done pretty well this year in a limited schedule.
- #18-Joey Logano will step into the Owner Points leading Toyota team this week.
- #20-Ryan Truex has been running incredibly well for Joe Gibbs Racing. Truex could just get his first win this weekend. Keep an eye on him.
- #32-Reed Sorenson needs some help. He is falling behind in the hunt for the Championship.
- #33-Paul Menard will make another start for KHI. We know that Austin Dillon will join KHI next year as RCR merges with Kevin Harvick's team. We will have RCR drivers in the #33 again next year, Championship contender Elliott Sadler will return next year in the #2 car, and 2012 Rookie Of The Year contender Austin Dillon will bring the #3 back to full time contention in another series. KHI/RCR will field three teams, and two Championship contenders next year. And we get to see the #3 in action full time in the Nationwide and the Camping World series with Ty Dillon replacing his brother.
- #44-Angela Cope will attempt to make another start. It's been a pretty mediocre run for the Cope Sisters so far.
- #81-Scott Wimmer will make a start for MacDonald Motorsports this week.
Join us Saturday afternoon for the live running of the Dollar General 300 from Chicagoland! And tune in to ESPN2 at 3pm eastern for the live broadcast. Enjoy!