Austin Dillon now holds the lead in the NASCAR Nationwide Series’ STP 300 at Chicagoland Speedway following the second wave of pit stops, which took place under green conditions just after the halfway point. Elliott Sadler had been leading until a slow second stop for fuel cost him the lead when the cycle played out.
Pole sitter Sam Hornish Jr. led the first 49 laps of the race, but was penalized for speeding on pit road during his first stop of the afternoon. He was pushed back to 20th on the subsequent restart at Lap 53, but charged back into the Top 5 before he returned to the pits for service.
He has retained fifth position behind Dillon, Sadler, Brian Vickers in third and Penske Racing teammate Joey Logano in fourth.
Hornish is looking to leapfrog Regan Smith in the championship standings this afternoon at the 1.5-mile oval in Joliet, Illinois. Smith, who started 13th this afternoon, is up to 10th on the track.
Gabby Chaves is set to return to the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship at Watkins Glen International later this month.
The Columbian-American driver, who last competed in IMSA in 2016 – with the DeltaWing outfit – will sub for the injured Joao Barbosa – he hurt his wrist in a cycling accident earlier in June – in the No. 5 Mustang Sampling Racing Cadillac DPi-V.R in the Sahlen’s Six Hours of the Glen.
Chaves will partner Filipe Albuquerque and Christian Fittipaldi in the No. 5 Cadillac.
Chaves expressed gratitude for being asked to fill in, but kept his enthusiasm muted, noting that he is getting the opportunity ultimately because another driver got hurt.
“The first thing is of course that you never want to have an opportunity because someone got hurt, so this is an unfortunate circumstance with Joao having his injury,”said Chaves. “But I appreciate the opportunity to join the championship-leading team. Mustang Sampling Racing has had a strong start this year and hopefully I can help the team continue to have those kinds of results.”
Chaves added, “I love Watkins Glen, it is a great track and I am looking forward to racing the Cadillac Prototype there. I’m excited to be going back to endurance racing. With different classes all racing at the same time, there is a lot for the driver to deal with as you work through traffic. So I am looking forward to racing at the Glen again, and I really appreciate this opportunity with Mustang Sampling Racing.”
Chaves’ most recent IMSA event was the 2016 Sahlen’s Six Hours of the Glen, when he finished seventh in the Prototype class.
The No. 5 Action Express Cadillac currently sits tied with the sister No. 31 Whelen Engineer Racing Cadillac of Eric Curran and Felipe Nasr atop the IMSA standings, though Barbosa’s hopes of a driver’s championship are set to take an enormous hit with him missing Watkins Glen.