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NASCAR America: Biggest storylines heading into Chicagoland

With the playoffs getting closer, the NASCAR America crew examines the top storylines ahead of this weekend's race in Chicagoland.

This weekend’s NASCAR racing at Chicagoland Speedway starts a long summer grind for the series.

None of the final 10 regular season races will be held at identical tracks. The two tracks that most resemble one another are the 1.5-mile facilities of Kentucky and Chicago.

According to NASCAR America analysts Steve Letarte and Kyle Petty, this is one of the biggest storylines heading into NBC and NBCSN’s portion of the TV schedule.

“July and August will push a crew chief to do television,” Letarte said. “These variety of race tracks are great for the fans. They’re great for the competitors for the opportunity to make the playoffs, but what they do is rob the current playoff teams of a chance to get better.”

Petty observed the “opportunity to gamble” is at the upcoming 10 tracks.

“Some of these race tracks out here there are places where you can roll the dice,” Petty said. “To win will be huge. To lose, will send you home and that’s how simple it is. ... The scenarios are going to be out of control.”

The analysts also discussed how moving the Chicagoland race from September to July will impact racing.

“The track is going to be well over 90 degrees, the track is going to be crazy hot,” Letarte said. “At a track that’s already low on grip. ... I think that favors some different drivers. Kevin Harvick comes to mind, I know he’s good everywhere. ... But I’m thinking Kyle Larson. Kyle Larson is the type of guy that when you get rim-riding, have to back the corner up, be very patient on the throttle, he comes to mind as a guy that would suit this style of racing.”

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