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USG Sheetrock 400 Preview

Posted by Matt on July 15, 2007


The boys of summer speed in to Joliet, Illinois at Chicagoland Speedway today for the USG Sheetrock 400.  A relatively new race (with the first one coming in 2001), it tends to be one of the more exciting races of the season with the track being comparatively shorter than some at 1.5-miles long.

Last year’s winner is, without surprise, Jeff Gordon and the Hendrick Motorsports crew has fared well, as they tend to usually do:

  • Casey Mears has the pole for today’s race (#25 National Guard Chevrolet – Hendrick Motorsports)

  • Jeff Gordon (#24 DuPont Chevrolet – Hendrick Motorsports) and Jimmie Johnson (#48 Lowes Chevrolet – Hendrick Motorsports) both have four Top-5 finishes, the most of any active drivers (along with Tony Stewart #20 Home Depot Chevrolet – Joe Gibbs Racing)

  • Jimmie Johnson has an average finish of 3.6 at Chicagoland Speedway and is alone at the top with that statistic

Along with Mears on the pole, Johnson starts 8th and Gordon starts 11th, with shunned Hendrick drive Kyle Busch starting higher than both in the 6th position.  It remains to be seen if the other three Hendrick drivers in the front 11 can work together with Busch but it is no doubt that they will be able to see each other in the mirrors.

The weather is shaping up for a perfect day of racing with a sunny temperature of 80-degrees when the Green Flag drops with only a 10% chance of rain.

The rest of the weather report can be found here: Joliet, IL

The full starting grid can be found here: USG Sheetrock 400

The race is at 4:00PM EST on the TNT network.


Winner: Kevin Harvick – #29 Shell/Penzoil Chevrolet – Richard Childress Racing (won the Daytona 500 and looks for his second win of the season; has three Top-10s in the last five races with one Top-5 – – a second place finish at Sonoma; also won the Busch Series race at Chicagoland Speedway last night; Harvick starts 14th)

Others To Watch For:

Jeff Gordon – #24 DuPont Chevrolet – Hendrick Motorsports (Three Top-5s in the last five races, including a win at Pocono and a runner-up at New Hampshire; runs well at Chicagoland Speedway and won last year’s race here; Gordon starts 11th)

Jimmie Johnson – #48 Lowes Chevrolet – Hendrick Motorsports (highest average finishing position of all active drivers here at Chicagoland Speedway at 3.6; has two Top-10s with one Top-5 in the last five races and seems to be due for a win; Johnson starts 8th)

Most Laps Lead: Casey Mears -#25 National Guard Chevrolet – Hendrick Motorsports (starts on the Pole and has two Top-5s in the last five places with 4th-place finishes at both Pocono and Michigan)

Sleeper: Casey Mears -#25 National Guard Chevrolet – Hendrick Motorsports (I don’t know if someone on the Pole and predicted to lead the most laps can be considered a sleep, however, Mears has only recorded one win in five seasons in the Nextel Cup (a win this year at Charlotte) but starts on the Pole for today’s race at a place where Hendrick’s power runs well (where doesn’t it these days?); Mears has a tendency to be inconsistent but is due for a solid finish today with three finishes of 19th, or higher, in the last three races after back-to-back 4th-place finishes before that)


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