The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series moves to Chicagoland Speedway for the 27th race of the 2013 season, the GEICO 400. NASCAR Fantasy Cheat Sheet’s Brian Brown took a look at past performances, season trends, and spoke to team contacts to predict how the field should finish on Sunday.
When: Sunday, September 15, 2013; 2:16 p.m./et.
Weather: Scattered T-Storms with a high around 67; wind out of the WSW at 8 mph. Chance of precipitation is 40%.
The Track: Chicagoland Speedway
Chicagoland is a 1.5-mile tri-oval. It has 18 degree banking on the corners with 11 degree banking on the front straightaway and five degree banking on the back straightaway. Roush Fenway is tough to beat on most 1.5 mile tracks, but the team has yet to win a race at Chicagoland. Look for Kyle Busch, Kevin Harvick, and the Hendrick Boys to be very strong on Sunday.
Key to Race: QUICK OUT OF THE PITS
As is the key with most 1.5 mile tracks tire-wear and pit stops will be a key to Sunday's race. Look for the drivers with the best location of their pit stall to have a big advantage in the race.
43 cars will attempt to qualify for 43 spots.
Fantasy Cheat Sheet:
No. 48 Jimmie Johnson: Johnson has been awesome at Chicagoland. In nine races at the track he has finished outside the top six just four times. He is a strong candidate to find victory lane on Sunday.
No. 18 Kyle Busch: Busch has finished worse than 17th just twice in eight career starts (including a 2008 win) at Chicagoland. He will have no problem finishing inside the top 10 this weekend.
No. 15 Clint Bowyer: Bowyer has cracked the top 10 in six of his seven career starts at Chicagoland. If he can avoid spinning-out due to a tired arm he will be a great option.
No. 88 Dale Earnhardt Jr.: Junior won the 2005 race at Chicagoland. He has notched top eight finishes the past two years and is a terrific pick this weekend.
No. 29 Kevin Harvick: Chicagoland is one of Harvick’s top tracks. He has two career wins and could easily make it three this weekend.
6 to 10
No. 5 Kasey Kahne: Kahne's has cracked the top six in three of the past four races at Chicagoland. He will be a good choice this weekend.
No. 39 Ryan Newman: Newman has four top six finishes, including a win, in 11 career starts in Joliet. He will have a strong car again.
No. 20 Matt Kenseth: Kenseth has led 344 laps in the past eight races at Chicagoland. He has as good of a chance to win as anybody.
No. 24 Jeff Gordon: Gordon has six top five finishes in 12 career starts at Chicagoland. He is a great option.
No.2 Brad Keselowski: Keselowski won last year’s feature at Joliet. He is a great choice this weekend.
11 to 20
No. 99 Carl Edwards: Edwards finished fourth during the 2011 trip to Chicagoland. Look for the Midwesterner to be fast again on Sunday.
No. 16 Greg Biffle: Biffle has finished in the top 11 in four of the past eight starts at Chicagoland. He is a top 11 option again.
No. 22 Joey Logano: Logano has improved every trip to Chicagoland. He will finish inside the top 15 once again.
No. 56 Martin Truex Jr.: Truex has been fast in all seven of his career starts at Chicagoland. He is a good pick.
No. 78 Kurt Busch: Busch has five top 10 finishes in 12 career starts at Chicagoland. He should have the No. 78 back inside the top 20 on Sunday.
No. 14 Mark Martin: Martin won the 2009 race at Chicagoland and finished 14 last year. He is a solid value pick.
No. 11 Denny Hamlin: Hamlin is usually a good shoe on intermediate tracks and this weekend should be no different.
No. 31 Jeff Burton: Burton has been excellent in four of the past seven Chicagoland races. He is a fine choice to make the top 15.
No. 43 Aric Almirola: Almirola finished 17th last year at Chicagoland. He will finish inside the top 20 once again.
No. 55 Brian Vickers: Vickers has been awesome at Chicago during his career. This is a great weekend to use the No. 55 car.
21 to 30
No. 42 Juan Pablo Montoya: Montoya has finished in the top 20 in four of his five of his starts at Chicagoland. He is an option in every league.
No. 17 Ricky Stenhouse Jr.: Stenhouse will just miss the top 20 in his first Cup start in Joliet.
No. 27 Paul Menard: Menard is averaging just a 25th place finish at Chicagoland. He should improve on that, but a top 20 finish isn’t likely.
No. 1 Jamie McMurray: McMurray has struggled in five of the last six trips to Joliet. He is the definition of a “use-at-your-own-risk” driver.
No. 10 Danica Patrick: Patrick finished 25th at Chicagoland last year. He should finish a few spots better this year.
No. 9 Marcos Ambrose: Ambrose has been wildly inconsistent throughout this year and his career. He isn’t a fantasy recommendation this weekend unless you are desperate.
No. 13 Casey Mears: Mears will finish right around his 24th place career average at Chicagoland.
No. 47 A.J. Allmendinger: “Dinger” has been very fast in Chicago races during his career. He is worth using as a fifth driver.
No. 34 David Ragan: Ragan has averaged a 16th place finish at Chicagoland. He should finish about 10 spots below his average on Sunday.
No. 33 Tony Raines: Raines has driven well when behind the wheel of the No. 33 car. He is a deep, deep sleeper choice.
No. 51 Justin Allgaier
No. 83 David Reutimann
No. 87 Joe Nemechek
No. 7 Dave Blaney
No. 38 David Gilliland
No. 93 Travis Kvapil
No. 32 Timmy Hill
No. 40 Landon Cassill
No. 95 Reed Sorenson
No. 36 J.J. Yeley
No. 98 Michael McDowell
No. 30 Cole Whitt
No. 35 Josh Wise
My Yahoo! Fantasy NASCAR Team for this Week:
A. Jimmie Johnson
B. Kyle Busch
B. Dale Earnhardt Jr.
C. A.J. Allmendinger