Chicagoland Race Preview – Mike Wallace
CHICAGOLAND – A TRACK WITH PERSONALITY
JOLIET, Ill. – In the NASCAR universe, the 1.5-mile speedway is a popular entity. All of NASCAR’s national series make multiple stops at the mid-range tracks, and their nearly identical lengths and similar shapes have led to them being grouped in “cookie cutter” categories.
The reality, however, is that each 1.5-mile track is different and has its own personality, and the ways teams and drivers approach them can vary significantly.
Chicagoland Speedway, the site of Sunday’s STP 300 Nationwide Series race, is different from the other 1.5-milers primarily because of the slight outside “bulge” in the backstretch, said JD Motorsports with Gary Keller driver Mike Wallace.
“The 1.5-mile tracks have their similarities, but I think every mile-and-half is different,” Wallace said. “They’ve been called cookie cutters for years, but you look at Chicago and there’s the little bow on the backstraight. The corner entries are different, too. And the speeds are fast.”
Wallace will be looking to rebound this weekend after a 28th-place run Saturday at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.
THE RACE: 300 miles, 200 laps, race 18 of the Nationwide Series season