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NASCAR at Chicagoland: everything you need to know about racing this weekend

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NASCAR at Chicagoland: everything you need to know about racing this weekend

Thanks, FOX. We'll take it from here.

This weekend, NASCAR makes their one and only trip to The Windy City and Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, Illinois for the Camping World 400, the 17th race of the 2019 NASCAR Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series season. Kyle Busch is looking to defend his win from last season and earn his fifth checkered flag of the season.

Here's what we're watching for on Sunday afternoon in the Camping World 400 (Sunday, 3 p.m. EDT on NBCSN).


CHICAGOLAND SPEEDWAY (Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, Xfinity Series and Gander Outdoors Truck Series)

Friday, June 28

4:05 – 4:55 p.m. – Xfinity practice (NBCSN)

5:05 p.m. – Truck Series qualifying; single truck/one lap (FS2)

7:05 – 7:55 p.m. – Final Xfinity practice (NBCSN)

9 p.m. – Camping World 225; 150 laps/225 miles (FS1, Motor Racing Network, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio)

Saturday, June 29

11:05 – 11:55 a.m. – First Cup practice (NBCSN, MRN)

12:05 p.m. – Xfinity qualifying; single car/one lap (NBCSN)

2 – 2:50 p.m. – Final Cup practice (NBCSN, MRN)

3:30 p.m. – Camping World 300; 200 laps/300 miles (NBCSN, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio)

6:35 p.m. – Cup qualifying/impound; single car/one lap (NBCSN, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio)

Sunday, June 30

3 p.m. – Camping World 400; 267 laps/400.5 miles (NBCSN, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio)


Chicagoland Speedway: 1.5-mile tri-oval

Race information: 267 laps/400.5 miles

Stage lengths: 80 laps, 80 laps, 107 laps

Defending winner: Kyle Busch

Most wins: Tony Stewart (3)

JGR Looking To Stay Hot

The strongest team in the NASCAR garage is showing no signs of wavering as the summer stretch begins. They're only gaining momentum.

Joe Gibbs Racing has been dominant thus far in 2019, with three of their four drivers (Kyle Busch, Martin Truex Jr. and Denny Hamlin) winning multiple times and the organization garnering a whopping 10 of the 16 race wins thus far. This past weekend, they not only finished 1-2, not only put three drivers inside the top five, but put all their drivers inside the top eight.

Although Erik Jones, who's been rumored to be in contract extension talks with JGR despite pressure to move elite prospect Christopher Bell up to the Cup Series from Xfinity, sits 18th in the standings, Busch, Truex and Hamlin sit first, second and fifth at the moment.

High Temps, Low Action?

Temperatures for Joliet, Illinois are expected to be in the upper 80s/low 90s on race day, reminiscent to last year's scorching hot race where temperatures inside the cockpit reached over 140 degrees. And that race was an instant classic.

So why wouldn't that be replicated this weekend? Well, close your ears, Kyle Busch, because it's the dreaded p-word.

The new aerodynamic rules package for 2019, highlighted by increased downforce and less horsepower, has produced more close quarters, side-by-side racing when temperatures are cooler. As the temps and track heats up, the cars tend to spread out more, making for a less appealing product on track.

But that's not to say that'll be the case this weekend. We've all seen crazier things happen. Chicagoland is one of the oldest intermediate tracks, making for a bumpy, abrasive surface, translating to, usually, good racing.


Fans ... REJOICE! The NBC family of networks will play host to all remaining on-track activity for the Cup and Xfinity Series for the rest of 2019. Hallelujah!

Keep it locked to the NBC family of networks all season long, including NASCAR America on NBCSN weekdays at 5 p.m. EST.


Next week, NASCAR heads to Daytona International Speedway for the Coke Zero Sugar 400 on Saturday, July 6 (7:30 p.m. EST, NBC).

Beyond the Scoreboard: HBO teaming up with Belichick and Saban


Beyond the Scoreboard: HBO teaming up with Belichick and Saban

By Rick Horrow

Podcast edited by Tanner Simkins


  • From an agency perspective, the NFL is moving in the right direction. Rick recently sat down with Arnold Wright, Executive Vice President and co-head of consulting for Octagon. Wright brings NFL team, league, and player deals to life for sponsors including Castrol, Delta, Bank of America, and others. “The league is obviously an incredible platform that leaps up year to year in terms of ratings and engagement,” Wright said. “The on field action is also as good as it’s ever been.” From a global perspective, Wright says, “The international piece in particular has been great for the league. You continue to see key markets like the UK, Mexico, and even Brazil growing internationally. It’s bringing other brands into the NFL ecosystem from a partner and promotional perspective.” As for the NFL’s 100th season platform, Wright says, “The league has done a lot of really great work in terms of positioning themselves, celebrating the history of the league from a player and a fan perspective. They have demonstrated a real savviness around their marketing and their connectivity to fans. The league several years ago probably would not have demonstrated that level of flexibility in terms of their marketing and what you could do with their platforms. But that’s certainly changed.”
    • YouTube stars Logan Paul and KSI will make their professional boxing debut. Last year, the two online sensations faced each other in an exhibition fight that generated more than 1 million pay-per-view buys on YouTube. Now they will fight each other again – this time, in an official professional fight at in Logan’s hometown of Los Angeles at Staples Center on November 9. According to ESPN, the event will be a six-round cruiserweight fight streamed on DAZN and is sure to pack the house after last year’s sold out 57-57 majority draw that happened at Manchester Arena in KSI’s hometown of Manchester, England. They are both now professional boxers, have passed their required medical exams, and will meet at a launch news conference in Los Angeles on September 14, with another news conference to be scheduled in the United Kingdom. KSI and Paul have more than 40 million YouTube subscribers between them and should bring tons of new fans to the sport of boxing, while the sport’s traditional enthusiasts can relish undercard events that will feature an assortment of more established fighters in the boxing world.
    • HBO Sports and NFL Films are teaming on Belichick & Saban: The Art of Coaching, a feature-length film about the four-decade friendship between football coaches Bill Belichick and Nick Saban. According to Cynopsis Sports, the pair grant unprecedented camera access to their annual coaching retreat, where they share conversation about their interwoven history, admiration, coaching philosophies, and more. “Bill Belichick and Nick Saban have become the modern versions of Vince Lombardi and John Wooden – symbols of success not just in sports but in life,” said Ross Ketover, Chief Executive of NFL Films. “Their lessons on leadership are an inspiration; not just for those of us who love football but for anyone who wants to thrive at whatever passion they pursue.” The film is slated air in December on HBO. Belichick and Saban have both started their 2019 campaigns off with a bang, as Alabama handily won its first two games and the Patriots obliterated the Steelers 33-3 on Sunday night.

Michael Phelps and wife Nicole welcome third son, Maverick

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Michael Phelps and wife Nicole welcome third son, Maverick

Michael Phelps and his wife Nicole, former Miss California 2010, have welcomed the arrival of their third son.

Maverick Nicolas was born on September 9, 2019. Maverick follows Boomer Robert, 3, and Beckett Richard, 18 months old.

The parents also shared a sweet photo from Boomer's Instagram account from their hospital photo session. 


Michael Phelps, the greatest swimmer of all time and most decorated Olympian of all time, is from Baltimore, Maryland and boasts 28 total medals, 23 of which are gold.