Richard Childress Racing claimed the top two spots in this afternoon’s final practice session for tomorrow’s NASCAR Nationwide Series STP 300 at Chicagoland Speedway. Brian Scott led the session with a fast lap at 173.751 miles per hour, followed by teammate Austin Dillon at 173.483 miles per hour.
Scott and Dillon are two of this week’s four “Dash 4 Cash” qualifiers, who are eligible for a $100,000 bonus if they are the highest-finishing driver in the group. The other two qualifiers are Michael Annett and last week’s Sprint Cup winner at New Hampshire, Brian Vickers.
RAB Racing’s Alex Bowman was third-quickest this afternoon at 173.371 mph, followed by a pair of Roush Fenway Racing drivers in Trevor Bayne (fourth, 173.371) and Travis Pastrana (fifth, 173.210). Pastrana is doing double duty in the Windy City this weekend, as he is also competing in a Traxxas TORC off-road event at the Route 66 Raceway (which is conveniently located adjacent to Chicagoland’s 1.5-mile oval).
Sunday’s race may be a pivotal one in the NNS points battle. Championship leader Regan Smith, who has seen his lead over Sam Hornish Jr. shrink down from 58 points to a mere five in the last four races, was 14th-quickest in “Happy Hour” (170.363), while Hornish was ninth-quickest (172.068).
Qualifying will take place tomorrow morning before the race.