Originally posted on The Sports Bank  |  Last updated 7/24/12

This past weekend was the NASCAR Nationwide series at Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, Illinois. The STP 300, held Sunday, was won by Elliot Sadler. It was another big money win for him in “Dash for Cash.”

Above you’ll see the stock cars being taken to the track from the haulers.

The American Ethanol 225, Truck race won  by James Buescher

And cars racing around Chicagoland Speedway in the STP 300 NASCAR Nationwide Series race won by Elliot Sadler.

Here I waited in the pit area, one step from being on the track for my pace car ride. Below is the view inside the pacecar driven by Brendan Gaughan, who led for most of the race Saturday night, but ended up second. Spinning his tires out on the restart. He also knocked over a cone in the race on Sunday and crashed into a wall in practice. So getting into this car going in the high 100s was a bit brave considering he had earlier driven into the wall.

A little local racing history from Close Finishes.com

Chicago has deep racing roots hosting the first-ever auto race in the United States on November 27, 1895. That day, six cars raced from Chicago to Evanston and back with Frank Duryea winning the 10-hour plus event. Duryea averaged a ‘blistering’ 7.3 miles per hour in capturing the $2,000 first prize.

Since then, the Chicago metro area has played host to more than 40 different raceways, the most notable being Soldier Field (now home of the Bears), O’Hare Speedway and Blue Island Raceway. Over the years, Chicago area speedways hosted every kind of race event ranging from ‘Indy’ cars on the two-mile wood board Chicago Speedway (1917-1919) to midget races at Joliet Speedway nearby the current Chicagoland facility.

Today, Chicago area speedways such as Rockford, Grundy and Illiana are all still hotbeds of stock car racing.

Paul M. Banks is CEO of The Sports Bank.net, an official Google News site generating millions of unique visitors. He’s also a regular contributor to Chicago Now, Chicago Tribune.com, Fox Sports, MSN, Walter Football and Yardbarker

A Fulbright scholar and MBA, Banks has appeared on live radio all over the world; and he’s a member of the Football Writers Association of America, U.S. Basketball Writers Association, and Society of Professional Journalists. The President of the United States follows him on Twitter (@Paul_M_BanksTSB) You should too

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