<
>

An epic Chicago weekend on tap

Kurt Busch has faith in Carlos Marmol and the Cubs' chances this weekend against the White Sox. Jerry Lai/US Presswire

As someone who loves pyrotechnics, Independence Day is hands down my favorite holiday.

It is the true American red, white and blue weekend. This July 4th weekend brings Chicago baseball fans to the rivalry of all rivalries, the Crosstown Classic. Last week I was lucky enough to be at Monday’s game when Cubs fans proudly displayed the “W” flag after defeating the White Sox, but coming out of the three-game series the Cubs are down two games to one, which means they have to sweep this weekend’s series at Wrigley to have bragging rights. It’s that time of year to get some wins prior the All-Star Break before getting rest and reloading for the later part of the season. I’ll be wishing the Cubs the best of luck as they take on our Southside rivals in the Friendly Confines.

This past weekend was definitely a good one for me. With the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup heating up, I couldn’t be happier to ride away with the checkered flag at last weekend’s race in Sonoma. It was a great weekend all the way around for me with good practice speed and qualifying and of course ending the weekend with a win. My car was a pleasure to drive, and it turned really well because of the rear tire’s grip. Penske Racing had the perfect strategy. My crew chief, Steve Addington, and I had a two-pit-stop strategy while all the other teams were taking three or four pit stops. It’s great to have everyone on our team on the same page and working hard together, because of this we’re able to give the car the speed it needs to win.

I’m heading to Daytona later this week for Saturday night’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race under the lights, the Coke Zero 400. I won the Gatorade Duel and Budweiser Shootout at Daytona during preseason in early February. Coming off a win last weekend in Sonoma, I’m heading into this weekend with confidence. I have a great Penske Racing teammate in Brad Keselowski, and we’ve done a terrific job helping each other on the track this season. Two car drafting will be the way to win and with Brad and I working so well together right now that only means good things. We need to replicate the strategy we had in Sonoma and during the preseason and hopefully we’ll get the same type of results.

Sunday morning I’ll head back home to North Carolina to enjoy the rest of the holiday with friends – some BBQing, fireworks and of course watching the Cubs take on the White Sox.

Until next time, I hope you all have a safe and fun 4th of July weekend.