Nothing bodes better for great action than a little controversy among title contenders. Regan Smith and Elliott Sadler have some unfinished business heading into Chicagoland following some tough racing this past weekend.
Championship standings leader Smith and defending race winner Sadler tangled on track in New Hampshire this past weekend. Frustrations and tempers were high following the incident and Sadler vowed in post-race remarks that Smith would not win the championship at season’s end. Smith currently holds a 24-point lead over Sadler, who is in fifth.
Smith will have more than a smoldering Sadler on his bumper. He also must contend with the other eight drivers in the top 10 in the standings nipping at No. 7 Chevrolet’s quarter panels. Smith’s points lead had grown to 58 points over second heading into Road America, just four races ago. Since then it has dwindled to five points over second-place Sam Hornish Jr. But what is even more interesting is 10th-place Parker Kligerman is only 69 points back. Smith will have to be on his game the remainder of the season to hold his lead.
If Smith’s past is any indication of how he will do this weekend at Chicago, his pursuers should enter the race with optimism. The standings leader has made three series starts at Chicago posting an average finish of 31.3.