Dillon hoping to win more bonus money at Chicagoland
Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - A lot of money is up for grabs again in the Nationwide Series this weekend.
Chicagoland Speedway hosts the second of four consecutive "Dash 4 Cash" races in Nationwide. Elliott Sadler, Austin Dillon, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and Sam Hornish Jr. are those eligible for the $100,000 bonus from Nationwide Insurance, the title sponsor of NASCAR's second-tier series. The highest finisher among those four drivers in Sunday's 300-mile race at Chicagoland will collect the cash award.
Dillon, a rookie in the series this year, won the first $100,000 bonus last weekend with his third-place finish at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. Sadler, Stenhouse and Michael Annett were the other drivers eligible.
"It was pretty cool that you have a one in four chance to win a hundred grand, and it was a fight until the end at New Hampshire, and I'm sure it will be the next couple of races," said Dillon, who is the 22-year-old grandson of NASCAR multi-team owner Richard Childress.
Indianapolis Motor Speedway (July 28) and Iowa Speedway (Aug. 4) are the last two races in the D4C. Dillon is the only driver with a chance at $1 million, should he claim the bonus at Chicagoland and Indianapolis and then win the race at Iowa.
The bonus winner as well as the next three highest finishers among Nationwide regulars at Chicagoland become eligible for the next round at Indianapolis.
Dillon has yet to compete in a Nationwide race at Chicagoland, but he did win the Camping World Truck Series event there in September 2011. Dillon went on to capture the truck championship last season. He enters this race just three points behind leader and Richard Childress Racing teammate Elliott Sadler.
"Once we get (to Chicagoland), we'll be using some of the same stuff that Elliot learned last year and add that to what we learned in our Truck Series start at Chicago and try to build on it and have a shot to win," Dillon said. "I think the guys racing for the 'Dash 4 Cash' will be up front racing for the win. I think among Stenhouse, Elliot, Hornish and me...there's going to be some great racing going on, and especially for that extra bonus."
Sadler finished 11th at Chicagoland in June 2011 and then placed sixth there last September. Stenhouse, who is currently 16 points behind Sadler, finished eighth and 14th at this 1.5-mile racetrack this past season.
Hornish competed in his first Nationwide race at Chicagoland ten months ago, finishing fifth.
Kyle Busch is the only Sprint Cup Series regular entered in the Nationwide race at Chicagoland. Busch, who is driving his own No. 54 Toyota, has won at least one race in each of NASCAR's three national touring series at this track. His Nationwide victories there came in 2008 and '10.
"I like racing Chicago and think our intermediate-car program at (Kyle Busch Motorsports) is competitive enough that we can have a good finish," Busch said. "Hopefully, we can get the monkey off our back now and put another win in the column for the KBM Nationwide team, here in Chicago.
Forty-four teams are on the preliminary entry list for the STP 300.
Series: NASCAR Nationwide. Date: Sunday, July 22. Race: STP 300. Site: Chicagoland Speedway. Track: 1.5-mile oval. Start time: 3 p.m. (et). Laps: 200. Miles: 300. 2011 Winner: Justin Allgaier. Television: ESPN. Radio: Motor Racing Network (MRN)/SIRIUS NASCAR Satellite.
07/18 23:20:33 ET