The Chase is on for Joe Gibbs Racing drivers Matt Kenseth and Kyle Busch, who enter the Chase for the Sprint Cup as the first and third seeds, respectively. The duo, along with their JGR teammate Denny Hamlin, will be heading to Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, Illinois this weekend for the GEICO 400.
Kenseth, in the No. 20 Dollar General Toyota Camry this weekend, has four top 10 finishes in 12 races at the 1.5-mile oval, with an average finish of 12.8. Busch, in the No. 18 Doublemint Toyota, is the only JGR driver – and the only driver in the top three, along with Kenseth and Jimmie Johnson – with a win at Chicagoland; he also has two wins each in the Nationwide and Camping World Truck Series at the track. Both Kenseth and Busch will be racing in Saturday’s Nationwide Series Dollar General 300 Powered by Coca Cola as well – Kenseth in the No. 18 GameStop Toyota and Busch in the No. 54 Monster Energy Toyota – and Busch will compete for his own Kyle Busch Motorsports in Friday night’s Truck Series EnjoyIllinois.com 225.
Hamlin, in the No. 11 FedEx Office Toyota on Sunday, has two top 10 finishes in seven starts at Chicagoland, including a fifth-place finish in 2009. Hamlin, a former Chase runner-up (2010), is 26th in points after missing four races with a back injury earlier in the season.
Elliott Sadler and Brian Vickers will also be making Nationwide Series starts at Chicagoland for JGR. Sadler, in the No. 11 OneMain Financial Toyota, has four top 10 finishes – including a win in the July 2012 race – at the track, where he also has a top 10 finish in 10 Cup Series starts. Vickers, in the No. 20 Dollar General Toyota, has four top five finishes in five starts at Chicagoland in the Nationwide Series, including a fifth-place finish this past July. Vickers, who will be racing in the Sprint Cup Series race for Michael Waltrip Racing this week, also has three top 10 finishes in six Cup Series starts.
Qualifying for the GEICO 400 happens Friday at 4:10 p.m. CT, with the green flag falling on the race on Sunday at 1 p.m. CT. Qualifying for the Dollar General 300 Powered by Coca Cola takes place Saturday at 11:05 a.m. CT, with the race going green at 2:30 p.m. CT. Keep up with the action this weekend at www.nascar.com and joegibbsracing.com.
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