On Thursday afternoon at Chicagoland Speedway, the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series would have a pair of practices while the Sprint Cup Series drivers were off promoting the Chase for the Sprint Cup.
Chevrolet Silverado 250 winner Ryan Blaney would lead the first session with a lap of 30.816 seconds around the intermediate track behind the wheel of his No. 29 Cooper Standard Ford. Blaney is looking for his second straight victory after winning at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park two weeks ago. The victory could also help him gain points in the championship standings, currently sitting 13 behind points leader Johnny Sauter.
Jeb Burton was second quickest, 0.033 seconds behind Blaney, as he looks to turn his recent struggles into some strong runs for ThorSport Racing. The second-generation driver hasn’t had the season that he wanted, posting sub-par finishes throughout the year to date to sit 10th in the standings. KBM teammates Erik Jones and Darrell Wallace Jr. were third and fourth. Jones was practicing in place for Kyle Busch, who was busy with his Chase commitments. Busch will be behind the wheel of the No. 51 Dollar General Toyota on Friday for qualifying and the race.
Points leader Johnny Sauter rounded out the top-five as he enters this weekend with a seven point lead over Matt Crafton. Austin Dillon was sixth, followed by Brennan Newberry, Joey Coulter, German Quiroga and John Wes Townley.
Sauter would lead the final practice in his No. 98 Nextant/Curb Records Toyota with a lap of 30.588 seconds. Sauter is coming off of a solid eighth place finish at CTMP that goes along perfectly with the consistency (12 top 10s in 14 races) that has him leading the standings currently.
Newberry was second quickest as he is looking to breakthrough with his first career truck victory following a solid top 10 at CTMP. Burton was third, followed by Dillon and Wallace. Quiroga was sixth, followed by Crafton, Jones, Peters, Coulter and Blaney.