By Walker Polivka
The NASCAR Cup Series continues today with the Kwik Trip 250 presented by JOCKEY Made in America at Road America. Read on below to see our prediction for who will win the race, as well as our top 10, dark horse, and driver to fade predictions.
Driver to Fade: Ricky Stenhouse Jr.- Stenhouse has had some solid stretches of racing this year, with 1 top 5 and 5 top 10’s, including a stretch of 3 straight top 10 finishes back in May. Nevertheless, Stenhouse will be in for a long day today, as he has never been particularly known for his road course racing abilities. Stenhouse finished 37th at COTA and 25th at Sonoma this year and didn’t show much speed in Practice or Qualifying yesterday. With so many drivers bringing their A-Game this week, Stenhouse will most certainly finish outside the top 20.
Dark Horse: Michael McDowell- Racing for Front Row Motorsports, McDowell is in the midst of a career year, with 1 top 5 and 6 top 10 finishes. McDowell comes into Road America with a ton of momentum, having finished 3rd at Sonoma a few weeks ago. McDowell has had past success at Road America as well, finishing 2nd here in 2012 and winning here in 2016 while racing in the Xfinity Series. With top 10 speed in both Practice and Qualifying, McDowell is going to be a contender today. He may not necessarily have race winning speed, but a top 10 finish is realistic for McDowell this afternoon.
Top 10: Chase Elliott- The defending champion at Road America and the winner at Nashville Superspeedway last week, Elliott has been having a great 2022 campaign, as he leads the regular season point standings with 2 wins, 4 top 5’s, and 11 top 10 finishes. It’s not a secret that Elliott is pretty good on the road courses, as he has 7 career wins on that style track. Elliott finished in the top 10 at both COTA and Sonoma this year and showed great speed when he won the Pole yesterday. Elliott is a threat to win at every road course track and we predict that he will continue his success here with a top 10 finish today.
Winner: Chris Buescher- Buescher has had a quiet 2022 season, with 1 top 5 and 4 top 10 finishes. Buescher hasn’t always been considered a road course ringer, but he is quickly gaining that sort of a reputation, with a 3rd place finish at the Charlotte Roval last fall and a 2nd place showing at Sonoma a few weeks ago. Buescher had top 10 speed in both Practice and Qualifying and does a solid job of not making costly mistakes. Buescher is in a must win situation to make the Playoffs at this point of the season and we predict that he will pull off the upset and punch his ticket into the Playoffs with a victory at Road America!