NASCAR enters new territory

The NASCAR Winston Cup enters new territory this weekend and it makes its debut at Chicagoland Speedway in America's Midwest

NASCAR enters new territory

The 1.5-mile, 11-degree banked oval hosts America's premier stock car series for the first time on Sunday. Winston Cup stars Jeff Gordon and Bobby Labonte have already tested at the venue and given it the thumbs up.

"The track is very fast with a lot of room to pass," said Gordon. "It's a mix between Texas and Las Vegas. The banking isn't as steep as Texas but steeper than Las Vegas."

Gordon won't be racing the same car used during the test as that car was damaged beyond repair in a first lap accident in The Winston, a race he eventually won in a back-up car.

"The Winston proved our back-up cars are good cars capable of winning races," added Gordon. "While I would've liked to race the car I tested here, Robbie [Loomis, his crew chief] and the crew have been giving me good equipment each week and I'm sure the car we race will be just as good."

Labonte is also looking forward to racing in front of a new audience as NASCAR ventures more and more out of its south-eastern homeland.

"I think it's going to be a great race," said Labonte. "Jeff ran a lot more laps than we did. We weren't quite set up correctly for it, but the tyre that Goodyear is going to bring is going to be really good for us and the temperature is probably going to be kind of warm. The racetrack is really exciting. At most new tracks, the groove is probably going to be more predominantly on the bottom, but you never know."

While Daytona 400 winner Dale Earnhardt Junior hasn't tested there, he has heard enough to get him excited about this weekend's event.

"I haven't even seen the new track but I hear it's really fast, so that's cool with me," he said. "The faster the better! We will have some extra time on Thursday to learn the track, and then hopefully we'll go out there, qualify up front, and win two in a row."

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