Preparing drivers to race at the highest level has been the goal behind the NASCAR Nationwide Series. A series that has come to be known as a place “where names are made” has proven true, as six former series champions qualified for the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup this season – Dale Earnhardt Jr. (1998, ’99), Kevin Harvick (2001, ’06), Greg Biffle (2002), Carl Edwards (2007), Kyle Busch (2009) and Brad Keselowski (2010).
Since the inaugural season in 1982, the NASCAR Nationwide Series has had two former series champions go on to win the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship – Bobby Labonte (NSCS 2000, NNS 1991) and Brad Keselowski (NSCS 2012, NNS 2010).
This weekend at Chicago expect to see some Chase Challengers in the field logging extra laps on Saturday - Denny Hamlin, Kyle Busch, Kevin Harvick and Aric Almirola are all entered in the Jimmy John’s Freaky Fast 300. Almirola will be attempting to make his 75th series start this weekend driving the No. 98 Ford for car owner Fred Biagi.
Kyle Busch, back in the No. 54 Toyota, is the defending winner of this race. He also is coming off a dominating performance in Richmond in which he led every single lap of the event posting his 23rd series-career perfect (150.0) driver rating and his 67th career win.