Overton's 400 Preview: Welcome to the Windy City
Overton's 400 Preview: Welcome to the Windy City

This article is part of our Weekly Preview series.

NASCAR offers a shakeup in the usual schedule this weekend. For several seasons the competitors of the Monster Energy Cup Series have kicked off the Chase for the Cup playoffs at Chicago's intermediate oval. However, this season the sanctioning body has moved this race to mid-summer and replaced the first race of the Chase with a new, second date at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. This Sunday afternoon the stars of NASCAR will head to the Windy City and Chicagoland Speedway for the Overton's 400.

The 1.5-mile oval in Joliet, Ill., boasts the same characteristics of many of the intermediate ovals on the circuit, but with a twist. Whereas Charlotte, Texas and Atlanta are steeply banked, Chicagoland Speedway is somewhat less banked. Turns 1 through 4 provide 18-degree banking, which gives the drivers some high speeds but also heightened handling sensitivity. The front stretch has 11 degree banking and the back stretch has very flat 5-degree banking. The groove is limited in width and passing is a lot trickier than most tri-ovals as a result. The crew chiefs will be challenged this weekend to give their drivers a car that will handle comfortably enough for the drivers to push them to the edge and make the tough pass. If you have a handling issue at Chicago's oval, you won't be able to man-handle the car like we saw recently at the much more forgiving Charlotte Motor Speedway. No, a driver with an ill-handling car at this oval has to drive patiently

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Mark Taylor
Taylor is RotoWire's senior NASCAR writer. A nine-time FSWA finalist, Taylor was named the Racing Writer of the Year in 2008, 2009, 2010, 2016 and 2017. He is also a military historian, focused specifically on World War II and the U.S. Navy's efforts in the Pacific.
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