Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - While the Sprint Cup Series takes a break
this weekend, the Nationwide and Camping World Truck Series compete at
Chicagoland Speedway. The IZOD IndyCar Series heads to Edmonton, Canada, while
Formula One travels to Germany.
STP 300 - Chicagoland Speedway - Joliet, IL
A lot of money is up for grabs again in the Nationwide Series this weekend.
Chicagoland Speedway hosts the second of four consecutive "Dash 4 Cash" races
in Nationwide. Elliott Sadler, Austin Dillon, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and Sam
Hornish Jr. are those eligible for the $100,000 bonus from Nationwide
Insurance, the title sponsor of NASCAR's second-tier series. The highest
finisher among those four drivers in Sunday's 300-mile race at Chicagoland
will collect the cash award.
Dillon, a rookie in the series this year, won the first $100,000 bonus last
weekend with his third-place finish at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. Sadler,
Stenhouse and Michael Annett were the other drivers eligible.
"It was pretty cool that you have a one in four chance to win a hundred grand,
and it was a fight until the end at New Hampshire, and I'm sure it will be the
next couple of races," said Dillon, who is the 22-year-old grandson of NASCAR
multi-team owner Richard Childress.
Indianapolis Motor Speedway (July 28) and Iowa Speedway (Aug. 4) are the last
two races in the D4C. Dillon is the only driver with a chance at $1 million,
should he claim the bonus at Chicagoland and Indianapolis and then win the
race at Iowa.
The bonus winner as well as the next three highest finishers among Nationwide
regulars at Chicagoland become eligible for the next round at Indianapolis.
Dillon has yet to compete in a Nationwide race at Chicagoland, but he did win
the Camping World Truck Series event there in September 2011. Dillon went on
to capture the truck championship last season. He enters this race just three
points behind leader and Richard Childress Racing teammate Elliott Sadler.
"Once we get (to Chicagoland), we'll be using some of the same stuff that
Elliot learned last year and add that to what we learned in our Truck Series
start at Chicago and try to build on it and have a shot to win," Dillon said.
"I think the guys racing for the 'Dash 4 Cash' will be up front racing for the
win. I think among Stenhouse, Elliot, Hornish and me...there's going to be
some great racing going on, and especially for that extra bonus."
Sadler finished 11th at Chicagoland in June 2011 and then placed sixth there
last September. Stenhouse, who is currently 16 points behind Sadler, finished
eighth and 14th at this 1.5-mile racetrack this past season.
Hornish competed in his first Nationwide race at Chicagoland ten months ago,
Kyle Busch is the only Sprint Cup Series regular entered in the Nationwide
race at Chicagoland. Busch, who is driving his own No. 54 Toyota, has won at
least one race in each of NASCAR's three national touring series at this
track. His Nationwide victories there came in 2008 and '10.
"I like racing Chicago and think our intermediate-car program at (Kyle Busch
Motorsports) is competitive enough that we can have a good finish," Busch
said. "Hopefully, we can get the monkey off our back now and put another win
in the column for the KBM Nationwide team, here in Chicago.
Forty-four teams are on the preliminary entry list for the STP 300.
Camping World Truck Series
American Ethanol 225 - Chicagoland Speedway - Joliet, IL
Timothy Peters has emerged as a strong contender to win this year's Camping
World Truck Series championship after winning last weekend's race at Iowa
Peters became the eighth different winner in nine races this season. He also
moved atop the point standings. Peters holds a 12-point lead over Justin
Lofton, while rookie Ty Dillon is 14 markers behind.
James Buescher is the only repeat race winner so far this season, earning his
victories at Kansas and Kentucky. Buescher led the most laps at Iowa but
crashed in the late going and ended up finishing 30th. He is now 40 points out
of the lead.
"We know that the competition is going to get tough," Peters said. "The series
has already proven that this season. With the tough competition, that means
the mistakes need to be very slim on our part. If we keep running like we are
and putting down the finishes that we have, we hope that next win is around
the corner. It would be nice if we could knock off a couple wins in the summer
stretch. Momentum from a win is going to keep us moving in the right
Peters's worst finish so far this season is 11th, which came last month at
The series is running at Chicagoland Speedway this weekend. Peters has three
truck starts at this 1.5-mile racetrack, with his best finish of ninth coming
"I've always liked Chicago," he said. "It was a great track for us to go test
at before it got added to the Truck Series schedule. I've only had one good
finish there when I joined Red Horse Racing in 2009. This year we have changed
things around in our 1.5-mile program, and we have gotten our best results at
these types of tracks. So, I am really looking forward to going back."
Todd Bodine, who is Peters' teammate at Red Horse Racing, is expected to make
his 200th career truck start on Saturday night. Bodine, the 2006 and '10
series champion, has scored 22 victories, 90 top-five finishes, 121 top-10s
and seven poles. He won the June 1 rain-shortened race at Dover.
Bodine has also competed in 241 Sprint Cup Series races and 321 Nationwide
Series events to date.
Thirty-two teams are on the preliminary entry list for the American Ethanol
IZOD INDYCAR SERIES
Edmonton Indy - Edmonton City Centre Airport - Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
Ryan Hunter-Reay has indeed been the hottest driver in the IZOD IndyCar Series
Hunter-Reay has won the last three races in the series -- Milwaukee, Iowa and
Toronto. The Andretti Autosport driver has also accumulated 154 points in
those three events to put him atop the championship point standings. Five
races remain this season, with Edmonton scheduled for this weekend.
Before the June 16 race at Milwaukee, it looked as though Hunter-Reay would be
a long shot for this year's IndyCar championship, as he sat seventh in the
rankings and trailed then-leader Will Power by 75 points. Hunter-Reay
experienced a suspension problem and wound up finishing 27th in the
Indianapolis 500 the last weekend in May. Two weeks later, he had another
mechanical issue that led to a 21st-place finish at Texas.
Right now, Hunter-Reay, a 31-year-old Floridian, holds a 34-point lead.
"It's been the best run of my career, but it's not something that's happened
by accident," Hunter-Reay said. "I'm just like a lot of people who reach their
own American dream through hard work. It took a lot of persistence and
perseverance to get to this point. Credit has to go to (team owner) Michael
Andretti, who hired me three years ago and told me he was going to bring this
team back to its championship form."
No driver has ever won four consecutive races in the 17-year history of the
IndyCar Series. However, several drivers in the now-defunct CART/Champ Car
Series won four events in a row. Sebastien Bourdais last did it in 2006,
posting victories at Long Beach, Houston, Monterrey and Milwaukee.
Alex Zanardi won four straight CART races in 1998, and Cristiano de Matta
accomplished the feat in that series in 2002. Al Unser Jr. is the last
American driver with four consecutive victories, do so during the 1990 CART
"I'm definitely honored to be carrying the American flag at the front right
now, and every time I get on the podium, I raise it because I'm proud of it,"
Hunter-Reay said. "I think what hits home for me is when I was a kid, before I
started racing go karts, my dad took me to a couple of IndyCar races in Miami,
and I watched the series as a fan of the series. I was really focused on the
"I liked to watch Michael (Andretti), Bobby Rahal, Rick Mears, Al Unser Jr.,
the big names. I feel like now that I'm in IndyCar and doing well, hopefully,
there is some kid sitting there doing the same thing, so that's kind of cool."
Hunter-Reay's victories have been on a mixture of racetracks. Milwaukee and
Iowa are ovals, and Toronto is a road/street course.
This Sunday's race will be contested on the 2.224-mile, 13-turn course at
Edmonton City Centre Airport. Power won last year's race on the newly-
reconfigured Edmonton circuit. The track had been a 1.96-mile, 14-turn course
when IndyCar competed there from 2008-10.
"The old track was like the toughest driving track, just corner after corner,
high speeds and bumpy and as tough as you get as a driver," Power said. "The
new circuit, I think it creates good racing. It's like Toronto, and we all
love Toronto. But if you would just drive around that track just by yourself,
you probably couldn't think much of it. But as an actual racetrack, to race on
it, it's one of the best for the single fact that it's great racing, and
that's what the new Edmonton track has got."
Power also scored three straight victories earlier this season, winning at
Birmingham, Long Beach and Sao Paulo, but the Australian finished 28th in the
Indy 500 after wrecking early in the event. He has yet to win a race since
then. In fact, Power has placed 12th, 15th and 23rd in the last three events.
Twenty-five teams are on the entry list for the Edmonton Indy.
German Grand Prix - Hockenheimring - Hockenheim, Germany
The 2012 Formula One season resumes this weekend with the German Grand Prix,
which returns to the 2.842-mile, 17-turn Hockenheimring circuit.
With nine of 20 grand prix completed this season, Fernando Alonso from Ferrari
holds a 13-point lead over Red Bull's Mark Webber in the world championship
standings. Webber won the British Grand Prix earlier this month and joined
Alonso as the only drivers with multiple victories so far this year.
Webber's teammate, Sebastian Vettel, the two-time defending F1 titleholder,
trails Alonso by 29 points, while McLaren's Lewis Hamilton is 37 points behind
the leader. Hamilton won last year's German GP, which was contested on the
3.2-mile Nurburgring circuit.
"(This) weekend will mark my 100th grand prix," Hamilton said. "That's
incredible, because I still remember my first as if it were only yesterday. I
guess Formula One has that effect on you.
Hamilton started on the pole and won at Hockenheim during his 2008 world
"It's always been a regret of mine that I arrived in Formula One too late to
race on the classic, old Hockenheim layout, where the track disappeared for
miles into the forests and was only broken up by a couple of relatively high-
speed chicanes," he said. "It must have been incredible battling around that
track with minimal downforce, locked in a slipstreaming battle with another
car and waiting for just the right moment to pounce and overtake. Still, I
very much enjoy the updated track."
Vettel is among the five Germans competing in front of their home crowd.
Mercedes drivers Nico Rosberg and Michael Schumacher, the seven-time F1
champion, as well as Force India's Nico Hulkenberg and Timo Glock from
Marussia are the others.
"Hockenheim is only half an hour away from my home town (Heppenheim), so I
have a lot of friends and family there, and it's always a special crowd to
race in front of," Vettel said. "I've driven on that circuit in different
series, and it's always been great. The campsites near the new circuit are
fun, and it's special to meet the fans there. I haven't won the German GP
before, and of course, I would like to."
Vettel has finished second, third and fourth in the last three German GPs.
Schumacher has won this race four times (1995, 2002, '04 and '06).
"People often ask me whether there is any such thing as a home advantage in
such an international sport as ours, and my answer is, perhaps not a home
advantage but certainly a home-race feeling," Schumacher said. "As a German
driver, you naturally have a different sense of excitement when you arrive at
the German Grand Prix, and know that all the spectators in the grandstands are
supporting you. That makes you proud and always boosts your motivation even
Schumacher finished third in the June 24 European Grand Prix in Valencia,
Spain. It was his first podium appearance since coming out of retirement in
2010. Schumacher took a three-year break from the sport following the '06
When the German GP was last held at Hockenheim two years ago, Alonso won it
under a cloud of controversy. Felipe Massa was robbed of a potential win after
his Ferrari team instructed him to move aside and allow his teammate, Alonso,
to take the lead with 20 laps remaining.
Shortly before Alonso made his winning pass, Massa's race engineer, Rob
Smedley, told his driver over the radio that "Fernando is faster than you. Can
you confirm you understand the message?" Massa finished second.
Hours after the race had concluded, F1's governing body, the FIA, determined
Ferrari breached sporting regulations and fined the Italian team $100,000.
Race stewards determined Ferrari gave team orders to Massa, which interfered
with the race result.
Ferrari maintained their action did not constitute a team order.
Alonso won the German GP for the first time in 2005 when he drove for Renault.
The Sports Network