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Driver Recommendations for the 400 at Chicagoland Speedway

Posted by chadmusselman on July 6, 2009

This will be the last race on TNT before ESPN begins their coverage next weekend and it will be another Saturday night race. Chicagoland is one of the cookie-cutter 1.5 mile ovals that have been popping up in NASCAR over the past 10 – 15 years. Look for the usual drivers to run well, but hopefully I’ll be able to give you a name or two that you didn’t think of.

Recommendations for this week:

Chaser: Tony Stewart
It seems like I say it every week, but he is hotter than hot. Tony is averaging a 3.2 place finish over the past 5 races! Is that ridiculous or what? He’s done well at Chicagoland as well with top ten finishes in 3 of the last 4 here. He has 6 top tens in 8 career races at Chicagoland Speedway with two of those being wins and is averaging a 10.3 place finish, 7th best among active drivers. If Tony is on your team, ride this hot steak out. If he isn’t on your team, what are you waiting for?

Alternate Chaser: Kevin Harvick
Kevin has the best average finish, 7.4, at Chicagoland Speedway along with 2 wins, 5 top fives, and 6 top tens in 8 career races. Kevin has been horrible all year, and is averaging a 26.2 place finish over the last 5 races, but the race this weekend can turn that all around. Kevin likes this track and always seems to perform well here. His worst finish was 19th back in 2005. If you want to pick a driver that not a lot of others will have on their team, Kevin Harvick is your guy.

Kurt Busch
Kurt doesn’t have a win yet at the Chicagoland Speedway, but does have 5 top tens in 8 career races. In the three races he didn’t finish in the top ten Kurt placed 28th, 35th, and 39th so there’s not much middle ground with him. He’ll either get you a lot of points, or be a flop. I think this weekend will be a good run and Kurt should rack up some points for you.

Juan Montoya
Juan hasn’t tore things up in Chicago in his two races here with 15th and 18th place finishes, but it looks like he’s figured something out this season. He’s held his own on the intermediate tracks and if the chase were to start today he would be in. Juan’s confidence has to be way up, and now he knows that he can run with anyone on the 1 ½ and 2 mile speedways. Juan may not get a top five finish on Saturday, but I think a top ten is definitely within reach.

Dark Horse: Brian Vickers
Brian barely qualifies as a dark horse since he’s 17th in points and didn’t make the chase last year, but I’ll take it and use him as my pick. He’s only raced in Chicago 4 times, but does have 2 top tens and an average finish of 9.3, good enough for 4th best among active drivers. Brian may not get another top ten on Saturday night, but a top 15 finish is certainly doable for him, as his worst finish here is 14th; very respectable.


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