Preview: The Overton's 400 NASCAR Cup Race at Chicagoland Speedway

Paul Menard claims his first NASCAR Cup Busch Pole Award in almost 10 years.

Photo by Matt Sullivan/Getty Images

Paul Menard will start the Overton’s 400 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at Chicagoland Speedway from the pole. 

The driver of the No. 21 Ford Fusion for Wood Brothers Racing was the top qualifier for the second time in his career (Daytona 2008) and the first time in a decade. Six of the top ten qualifying cars are Fords, including Team Penske driver Ryan Blaney. He will line up next to Menard on the front row for the start of the race in his No. 12 Ford Fusion.

Before Cup qualifying, Menard raced in the NASCAR Xfinity Series Overton’s 300 race at Chicagoland where he finished eighth. “After the race, I went back to my hauler. I am on like my fourth or fifth different pair of underwear and my third firesuit," Menard said. "I drank some pickle juice and had a lot of ice packs and now I feel pretty good. Pickle juice gives you all your salt back, I guess. We used to do that in football all the time and it worked. I haven’t drank pickle juice in awhile, but I figured this was a good day to do it.”

While the day went great for Menard, other drivers didn’t fare as well. Martin Truex Jr., Denny Hamlin, Jimmie Johnson, and Chris Buescher will start from the back of the field for Sunday's race at Chicagoland thanks to failing post-qualifying inspection. Kyle Busch and Kevin Harvick, who have dominated the season so far, didn’t make it to the final round of qualifying and will start the race outside the top twelve.

The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Schedule for the Overton's 400:

Overton’s 400 (Follow live)
The Place: Chicagoland Speedway
The Date: Sunday, July 1, 2018
The Time: Approximately 2:30 p.m. EST
TV: NBCSN, 2:00 p.m. ET
Radio: MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio
Distance: 400 miles (267 laps); Stage 1 (Ends on Lap 80), Stage 2 (Ends on Lap 160), Final Stage (Ends on Lap 267)

Press Pass (Watch live)
Post-Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race: 5:30 p.m. EST



Starting Lineup

(Position, Driver, Manufacturer, Speed)

1. Paul Menard, Ford, 180.012
2. Ryan Blaney, Ford, 179.880
3. Chase Elliott, Chevrolet, 179.748
4. Denny Hamlin, Toyota, 179.736
5. Kurt Busch, Ford, 179.545
6. Clint Bowyer, Ford, 179.491
7. Aric Almirola, Ford, 179.259
8. Brad Keselowski, Ford, 179.093
9. William Byron, Chevrolet, 179.057
10. Erik Jones, Toyota, 178.826
11. Daniel Suarez, Toyota, 176.315
12. Martin Truex, Jr., Toyota, 174.656
13. Kevin Harvick, Ford, 178.761
14. Joey Logano, Ford, 178.731
15. Jamie McMurray, Chevrolet, 178.489
16. Austin Dillon, Chevrolet, 178.047
17. Alex Bowman, Chevrolet, 177.754
18. Kyle Busch, Toyota, 177.684
19. Ryan Newman, Chevrolet, 177.288
20. Kyle Larson, Chevrolet, 177.223
21. A.J. Allmendinger, Chevrolet, 177.061
22. Jimmie Johnson, Chevrolet, 176.991
23. Chris Buescher, Chevrolet, 176.488
24. Ricky Stenhouse, Jr., Ford, 176.373
25. Trevor Bayne, Ford, 176.557
26. Bubba Wallace, Chevrolet, 176.378
27. David Ragan, Ford, 175.890
28. Kasey Kahne, Chevrolet, 175.827
29. Ty Dillon, Chevrolet, 175.467
30. Michael McDowell, Ford, 174.306
31. Ross Chastain, Chevrolet, 174.087
32. Matt DiBenedetto, Ford, 174.020
33. Gray Gaulding, Toyota, 173.902
34. Kyle Weatherman, Chevrolet, 170.740
35. Landon Cassill, Chevrolet, 170.412
36. Corey LaJoie, Chevrolet, 169.194
37. B.J. McLeod, Ford, 169.099
38. Reed Sorenson, Chevrolet, 168.471
39. Timmy Hill, Toyota, 167.567

Past 10 Winners at Chicagoland Speedway

(Year, Driver, Manufacturer)

2008, Kyle Busch, Toyota
2009, Mark Martin, Chevrolet
2010, David Reutimann, Toyota
2011, Tony Stewart, Chevrolet
2012, Brad Keselowski, Dodge
2013, Matt Kenseth, Toyota
2014, Brad Keselowski, Ford
2015, Denny Hamlin, Toyota
2016, Martin Truex, Jr., Toyota
2017, Martin Truex, Jr., Toyota

Photo by Matt Sullivan/Getty Images

Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe's for Pros Chevrolet, talks with crew members during qualifying for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Overton's 400 at Chicagoland Speedway

Chicago History

Kevin Harvick, Martin Truex Jr., and Brad Keselowski have two wins apiece at Chicagoland. Harvick has the most top fives among active drivers with nine followed by Jimmie Johnson. The seven-time Monster Energy NASCAR Cup champion has seven top fives, but he has never won a Cup race in 16 starts at the Illinois track. The 1.5-mile tri-oval speedway is one of only three tracks on the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series schedule where he has not won. Ironically, Chicagoland is the only track where he has won a NASCAR Xfinity Series race. Johnson has also led the most Cup laps at Chicago with 695.

Harvick, Kurt Busch, and Matt Kenseth all have 17 NASCAR Cup starts at the speedway. Kenseth has completed the most laps in Chicago with 4,541 but not by many as he is closely followed by Harvick who has completed 4,469 laps. Will Harvick race to the front from his starting position of P13 and capture his sixth win of the season? Can Paul Menard pull off a win after starting from the pole? Will Johnson get that elusive Cup win in Chicago? Truex Jr. has won the previous two Cup races at Chicago. Can he make it three in a row? Leave a comment below and let us know what you think.