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Illinois 300 Race Preview

Written by Gabriel Tsui, Edited by Sharifah Zaqreeztrina

After a rain-shortened and disappointing race in Charlotte, the field is heading west towards Madison, Illinois for the 15th race of the season. Will the Toyotas be able to start a win streak? Or will the Chevrolets and Fords retake the momentum?

Track Preview

World Wide Technology (WWT) Raceway is a 1.25 mile (2.01 kilometre) long track located in Madison, Illinois. Similar to the Darlington Raceway, the two turns of the race track have different lengths, with the shorter turn as turns one and two, and the longer turn as turns three and four. 

The shorter turn has a banking of 11 degrees, while the longer turn has a banking of nine degrees. The drivers will drive 240 laps around the track, which make up a total of 300 miles (480 kilometres) around the racetrack, with 45 laps in the first stage, 95 laps in the second stage, and 100 laps in the final stage.

The area originally had a drag strip and road course built in 1967 and 1985 respectively, but were eventually dismantled and rebuilt into an oval after new ownership. A few years after the new track was built, the truck series started hosting races at the track. 

The Cup Series had never raced there prior to 2022, but as a result of a major reshuffle of the Cup Series schedule, the WWT Raceway received a race on the NASCAR calendar, in the same year the Gen-6 car was first deployed.

The weekend has a small chance of precipitation, but will mostly be sunny. The race will commence on Sunday, June 2nd, at 15:30 ET (12:30 PT, 21:30 CET).

Race Prediction

The Charlotte 600 was cut short due to weather implications, albeit a dry track. Regardless, the race ended with Christopher Bell declared the winner of the race. Up to that point, he had led a race high of 90 laps out of the 249 laps run. 

Whether the race win was deserved or not is up for the audience’s debate, but it is undeniable that Bell had a really great race. Alongside other drivers such as Tyler Reddick, Denny Hamlin, and Ty Gibbs who finished the race in the top ten, the Toyotas were outstanding at Charlotte. 

They have been excellent at the intermediate tracks, including Darlington, a track similar to WWT, where three of their drivers secured a top ten finish. If they can replicate the performance, paired with a slightly better fortune, they will be heading to victory lane once again.

On the other side of the garages, Ford and Chevrolet have to be incredibly unhappy with the way the Charlotte 600 ended. They both had drivers in contention for the top spot, but an untimely rain alongside a questionable decision took away their chance to continue competing. 

They will be looking for revenge in Madison, with Toyotas as their main target. They both had one winner each in WWT, with Joey Logano in 2022 and Kyle Busch in 2023. They have experienced winning here in the raceway, an experience that might prove helpful if they are to take down the Toyotas.

However, the odds are still more in favour of the Toyotas. Specifically, the ultimate prediction will be one of the Toyota drivers, most likely being Denny Hamlin, taking the No.11 car back to victory lane.


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