After a week of controversy regarding the final few spots in the Chase for the Sprint Cup, the NASCAR schedule resumes on Sunday with the Geico 400, the first of 10 Chase races.
Citing unprecedented and extraordinary circumstances resulting from several allegations of race-fixing last week at Richmond International Raceway, NASCAR has expanded the field for its Chase for the Sprint Cup playoffs by adding Jeff Gordon as a 13th driver.
Last year's Geico 400 winner and Sprint Cup champion Brad Keselowski, who failed to qualify for the Chase this season, will start second after an impressive qualifying speed of 189.248. Joey Logano earned the pole position with a 189.414 mph lap.
With the Chase field set, the most exciting part of the NASCAR season is about to begin. Here's a full preview of what should be a thrilling race from Chicagoland.
When: Sunday, September 15 at 2:00 p.m. ET
Where: Chicagoland Speedway, Joliet, Ill.
Drivers to Watch
Logano was part of the Chase drama this week, but he was still able to put the off-track controversy to the side and qualify for the pole. With 14 top-10 finishes, eight top-five finishes and one victory this season, the Connecticut native should be among the top contenders on Sunday as someone motivated to prove that he belongs in the Chase.
Even though his attempt to repeat as champion fell short, Keselowski is another driver that will be tough to beat this weekend. He hasn't finished in the top 10 in his last four Sprint Cup races, but his career success in Chicagoland makes him a good bet to finish in the top five.
Jimmie Johnson is once again in the Chase, and he will start ninth on Sunday. As a five-time champion who drives some of his best races during the Chase, Johnson is always a threat at this time of the year. He also had a solid race in this event last season with 172 laps led (the most of any driver).