Saturday, October 16, 2021

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American Ethanol 225 from Chicagoland preview

There have only been three prior races at Chicagoland Speedway for the Truck Series since the series made their debut at the 1 1/2-mile track in 2009.

In those three races, there have only been two drivers to win at Chicagoland.

Here’s the interesting thing; Neither of those two drivers are in Saturday night’s race.

With Jason Leffler piloting the No.18 for Kyle Busch Motorsports, Busch won’t have a chance to make it three wins in a truck at Chicagoland.

The same goes for defending race winner, Austin Dillon, who will instead see his younger brother, Ty Dillon, wheel the No.3 truck on Saturday night.

So, with both of the previous winners of the race not competing, the field is seemingly wide-open for the 225-mile race.

Thus far this season, James Buescher has been the driver to beat at just about every track the Truck Series has visited. And why not? Buescher is the only driver this season to have multiple wins and has lead the most laps thus far.

But, in three starts at Chicagoland, Buescher hasn’t scored a top-10 finish. His average finish in that stretch is 14.5. Add to that, he hasn’t lead a lap at the track.

Of the drivers to start all three previous races at Chicagoland, Johnny Sauter has the best average finish of fifth.

The trip to Chicagoland could be a welcome one for Sauter. Yes, his early season bad luck appears to be over and he’s running well now.

But, he’s outside the top-10 in points, and needs to be in a must win scenario if he wants to make a run at the at least the top-five in points if not the championship.

Sauter’s teammate, Matt Crafton, has also shown past success at Chicagoland Speedway, scoring an average finish of 9.3 in his three trips to the track.

Of course, when there are so few races held at a track for a series, there are going to be drivers with only one start at the track that skew the average finish mark.

In this case, Nelson Piquet Jr. and Parker Kligerman play that role at Chicagoland.

Last year, the two drivers finished third and fourth respectively in their Chicagoland debuts.. Coming back to the track with more experience, you can’t rule out a break-through win for either driver on Saturday night.

While the “young-guns” play a prominent role in the Truck Series, you can’t forget about the series’ veterans.

Ron Hornaday Jr. has raced at Chicagoland Speedway since the track opened in 2001. During his three career Truck starts at the track, Hornaday Jr. has an average finish of eighth, with one top-five and two top-10’s to his credit.

American Ethanol 225 Entry List 

#0 TJ Bell (Driven2Honor)

#2 Brendan Gaughan (South Point)

#3 Ty Dillon (Bass Pro Shops-Tracker Boats)

#5 Paulie Harraka (TBA)

#6 Justin Lofton (

#07 Johnny Chapman (Wear Your Gear /

#08 Ross Chastain (Illiana Watermelon Association)

#09 John Wes Townley (Family Farmers)

#9 Ron Hornaday Jr. (Anderson’s Maple Syrup)

#10 Jennifer Jo Cobb (

#11 Todd Bodine (Red Horse Racing)

#13 Johnny Sauter (Hot Honeys-Curb Records)

#17 Timothy Peters (Red Horse Racing)

#18 Jason Leffler (Dollar General)

#22 Joey Coulter (RCR)

#23 Jason White (JW Demolition/

#27 TBA (Hillman Racing)

#29 Parker Kligerman (

#30 Nelson Piquet Jr. (Polen Design)

#31 James Buescher (Fresh from Florida)

#32 Miguel Paludo (Duroline)

#33 Cale Gale (Rheem)

#39 Ryan Sieg (RSS Racing)

#57 Norm Benning (Norm Benning Racing)

#65 Chris Lafferty (Chris Lafferty’s Motorsports TV)

#68 Clay Greenfield (@claygreenfield)

#73 Rick Crawford (Lilly Trucking / Superseal)

#74 Mike Harmon (Koma Unwind)

#81 David Starr (Zachry)

#84 Chris Fontaine (Glenden Enterprises)

#86 Blake Koch (Clay Greenfield Motorsports)

#88 Matt Crafton (Menard’s)

#92 Chad McCumbee (BTS Tire & Wheel/QMI)

#93 Dennis Setzer (RSS Racing)

#98 Dakoda Armstrong (

#99 Bryan Silas (Rockingham Speedway)

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