Chase Race Postponed By Rain – Notes From Chicagoland

Joliet, IL – Due to persistent rain, with more coming on radar, the Geico 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Chicagoland Speedway has been postponed until Monday at 11: 00 AM local time. The race will be shown on ESPN. The event is the first race in NASCAR’s Chase for the 2011 series’ championship.

Geico 400 Notes

• Matt Kenseth on winning (for him) a rare Sprint Cup pole: “My cars have just been fast and driving very good. I have always tried very hard. I have probably done a little better job at not overdriving the car. That has been a fault of mine in qualifying in the past, overdriving and driving the corner too hard and messing up the rest of the corner. I think Jimmy (Fennig) works really hard on it too and it has always been really important to Jimmy. Back in the day when it was easier to pass it probably wasn’t as important to us as it is today. Maybe I am a little better at it, but the main thing is the cars have been really fast.”
• At a press conference prior to today’s Geico 400, it was announced that current Sprint Cup team owner and former driver Richard Childress will be one of three veterans inducted into the International Motorsports Hall of Fame on May 3rd in Talladega, AL.
Childress, who made his mark in NASCAR as the team owner for six of Dale Earnhardt’s seven NASCAR Championships, formed RCR in 1972 competing as an owner/driver. The two remaining inductees will be announced at upcoming races.
• With 47 cars entered for the Geico 400, drivers who did not qualify were: Travis Kvapil, David Starr, Stephen Leicht and Mike Skinner.
• There is interesting speculation around Chicagoland Speedway regarding the future of Sprint Cup racing at the facility. The 2012 track schedule shows Sept.16th as the date of a Sprint Cup Chase race, with a Nationwide event on Saturday the 15th. No Camping World Truck Series race is listed for that weekend. A media insider noted that should the Chase events fail to draw well here at Chicagoland after 2012, track owner ISC could be interested in selling the track. Others speculate that an IndyCar event could return to the Chicago schedule in 2012 or 2013 at the behest of series sponsor IZOD who, it is said, desires a series race in the Chicago market. With the Milwaukee Mile off the IndyCar schedule for the foreseeable future, Chicago or Road America seem to be the two tracks beside Iowa Speedway, that could hold open wheel events in this area. RA needs an event sponsor to make their race financially viable, but the balance of road courses, street events and ovals on the schedule could go a long way in determining where IndyCar races in 2012 and beyond. Also, don’t be surprised if the Indy tour heads across the pond to Europe in 2012 or 2013 for up to three events.
• The 2011 NASCAR season marks Toyota’s fifth in the Sprint Cup Series. Six Camry drivers have won 38 races since their inaugural 2007 season with Kyle Busch leading with 19 wins.
• Former USAC open wheel pilot Josh Wise qualified for his first NASCAR Sprint Cup race Saturday. He will start 43rd in Brad Jenkins’ Bradley University Ford.
• Veteran racing photographer Russ Lake is working on a book that will highlight his 60+ years in chronicling motorsports. Lake is using the title “Through the Lens of Russ Lake.” He expects the work to be done, “In two years, but that’s what I said last year, too.”

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