Here are three story lines from Sunday’s NASCAR race at Chicagoland Speedway.  Brad Keselowski is this week’s headliner:

1.      New leader after one race

The chase is now officially underway, and Jimmie Johnson’s time at the top didn’t last long. Brad Keselowski took it away from Johnson by winning Sunday. But don’t count out Johnson by a long shot; he’s only three points back with nine races to go.  The 2 car took the lead in the final 30 laps and was never really threatened.  It’s his fourth race of the season.

brad-keselowski-is-all-smiles-after-his-victory

Brad Keselowski is all smiles after his victory at Chicagoland Speedway

2.      Solid day for the other Chasers, except….. 

Jeff Gordon. Gordon, who sneaked into the playoff at the last possible moment at Richmond, whacked the wall after his throttle got stuck. Gordon finished 35th as a result.  All of the other Chase drivers finished in the Top 18.

3.      A pretty tame playoff opener

There were only four yellow flags on Sunday, and two of them were the dreaded debris cautions.  This is just more of the same old trend we’ve seen all year: long green-flag runs and a limited number of cautions.

 

Next week: it’s race #2 in the Chase at the Magic Mile: New Hampshire Motor Speedway.  For this blogger, it also means a day trip to Loudon.