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NASCAR Fantasy Picks for the Enjoy Illinois 300 From Gateway

Kyle Busch, driver of the #8 3CHI Chevrolet, leads the field during the NASCAR Cup Series Enjoy Illinois 300 at WWT Raceway on June 04, 2023 in Madison, Illinois. (Photo by Jeff Curry/Getty Images)

Our NASCAR Fantasy picks are in for the Enjoy Illinois 300 from World Wide Technology Raceway. Who should you have selected in your lineup?

Formerly known as “Gateway Motorsports Park,” the race will be the third-ever stop at the Illinois venue for the NASCAR Cup Series. The green flag will fly shortly after 3:30 pm ET (12:30 pm PT) on Sunday, June 2nd with televised coverage on Fox Sports 1. Radio coverage will be available on the Motor Racing Network and SiriusXM’s NASCAR Radio.

NASCAR Fantasy Live gives fans the chance to partake in driver selection each Cup Series race weekend. One will pick five starters and one “garage” driver per event. The garage driver will not receive any points but can replace a starter who may face trouble in the first part of the race. At the end of stage two, picks will lock, and no changes can be made. Points are awarded based on stage points and finishing positions in addition to four “head-to-head” driver picks. A driver may only be picked ten (10) times across the 26-race Regular Season and then five (5) times in the 10-race Playoffs. See NASCAR’s website here for rules of how to play.

My suggestions below are NOT my personal lineup for Sunday. See my results from last weekend’s Coca-Cola 600 from Charlotte Motor Speedway and my picks for the 2024 Enjoy Illinois 300 from World Wide Technology Raceway.



  • William Byron – 3 uses left
    • 34 Place Points (3rd) + 19 Stage Points (S1 – 1st, S2 – 2nd) = 53 Total Points
  • Alex Bowman – 7 uses left
    • 28 Place Points (9th) + 13 Stage Points (S1 – 3rd, S2 – 6th) = 41 Total Points
  • Ty Gibbs – 8 uses left
    • 31 Place Points (6th) + 9 Stage Points (S1 – 2nd, S2 – N/A) = 40 Total Points
  • Chase Elliott – 6 uses left
    • 30 Place Points (7th) + 4 Stage Points (S1 – N/A, S2 – 7th) = 34 Total Points
  • Martin Truex Jr. – 5 uses left
    • 25 Place Points (12th) + 6 Stage Points (S1 – 5th, S2 – N/A) = 31 Total Points
  • Kyle Busch – KEPT IN GARAGE, 8 uses left
    • 22 Place Points (15th) + 0 Stage Points (S1 – N/A, S2 – N/A) = 22 Total Points


  • Justin Allgaier vs. William Byron
    • PICK: Byron
    • RESULT: Correct (Allgaier = 13th, Byron = 3rd)
  • Jimmie Johnson vs. Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
    • PICK: Stenhouse Jr.
    • RESULT: Incorrect (Johnson = 29th, Stenhouse Jr. = 31st)
  • Kyle Busch vs. Ryan Blaney
    • PICK: Busch
    • RESULT: Correct (Busch = 15th, Blaney = 39th)
  • Joey Logano vs. Tyler Reddick
    • PICK: Reddick
    • RESULT: Correct (Logano = 14th, Reddick = 4th)

RANKING (after 14 of 36 races)

  • Weekly Points = 229 PTS.
  • Total Season Points = 2,796 PTS. (199.7 average points per race)
  • Collective Rankings = 3,147th (+109 positions from Darlington Raceway)


PICK #1 – Kyle Busch

In two starts at Gateway, Kyle Busch has been the standout performer.

He enters race day as the defending track victor, claiming the one-and-a-quarter mile track in dominant fashion. Busch led 121 laps, won Stage One, and added nine points with a second in Stage Two for his 63rd Cup Series win. It does, surprisingly, stand as his last as he rides the second-longest winless streak of his career. He looks promising ranking at 10th in both five-lap averages and qualifying position. Can “Rowdy” snap a skid of underwhelming performances?

PICK #2 – Joey Logano

Joey Logano follows in similar footsteps to the aforementioned driver.

The No. 22 won the inaugural race at Gateway in 2022 and finished 3rd last year, joining Busch as the only two drivers with Top 5s in both races. Fords appeared to have the upper hand in practice with Logano having the single-handed fastest lap of the bunch. Additionally, his 5-lap, 10-lap, and 15-lap averages ranked 1st, 1st, and 3rd, respectively, amongst the 36-car field. It has been a tough season for the former Champion, and he will roll off from 12th, but this looks like the weekend to turn his year around.

PICK #3 – Ryan Blaney

Bad luck has bit Ryan Blaney over the last two NASCAR events.

A crash leading to a 36th at Darlington and a flat tire causing a 39th at Charlotte have seen the defending Series Champion plummet to 12th in the standings. Luckily, his Penske team and teammates fair great at Gateway. He joins Busch as one of only two drivers with Top 10 stage appearances in all four track stages as well as the only driver with over 50 laps led (Busch = 187, Blaney = 95). Blaney also has the second-best Average Running Position (A.R.P.) of 4.70 behind Busch’s 3.05. On Sunday, he starts shotgun.

PICK #4 – Denny Hamlin

Denny Hamlin’s incredible streak came to an end at Charlotte.

The Joe Gibbs Racing talent had led in 17 consecutive Cup Series races before failing to lead a lap in the rain-shortened Coca-Cola 600. Nonetheless, he enters Gateway with four Top 5s in a row dating back to his third win of the season at Dover Motor Speedway. Hamlin finished Stage One 4th in 2022’s track debut and 3rd in both of last year’s stages. A runner-up finish in 2023 was accompanied by the third-best A.R.P. Picking Hamlin is always a good move for NASCAR Fantasy who starts 6th on Sunday.

PICK #5 – Martin Truex Jr.

The last suggestion of the week sees a second straight JGR driver of Martin Truex Jr.

Is there a slight bit of concern for Sunday? Mainly for stage points, as he rolls 19th following a disappointing effort in qualifying. However, an 8th place ranking in 5-lap average looks like a precursor for a forward-trending run. Truex Jr. finished 6th in 2022 with 42 laps led and 5th in 2023. In 2004 at Gateway, Truex Jr. won his third career Xfinity Series race by starting from the pole and leading an impressive 123 laps.


Christopher Bell

  • Finishes of 9th and 11th in two Gateway starts
  • Won the 2016 Craftsman Truck Series running
  • 5th-best 10-lap average in Saturday practice

Ross Chastain

  • One of six drivers with three or more track stage appearances (best = 5th (2022, Stage One))
  • 6th-ranked A.R.P. in two Next Gen races (12.85)
  • 2019 track Champion in Craftsman Truck Series

Michael McDowell

  • Starting from pole for Sunday’s race with 9th-ranked 10-lap and 15-lap practice averages
  • Led 34 laps in 2022 event
  • Finished 9th in 2023 race


Austin Cindric

  • 3rd, 2nd, and 4th in 5-lap, 10-lap, and 15-lap averages from Saturday
  • Second-best Gateway A.R.P. against competition (12.25)
  • Searching for first non-superspeedway Top 10 since 2023 Fall at Martinsville
  • Starting 2nd for Enjoy Illinois 300


Chris Buescher

  • Missed 2022 race
  • Received no stage points at Gateway last year
  • Qualified 26th position

Chase Elliott

  • 20.6 A.R.P. in 2022 event
  • Missed 2023 race
  • 26th-ranked 10-lap average in Saturday practice

Brad Keselowski

  • A.R.P. ranking 23rd of 24 drivers to make both Next Gen Gateway starts
  • Finishes of 20th in 2022 and 28th in 2023 with no stage appearances


Christopher Bell vs. Ryan Blaney

What a battle this could turn out to be. Christopher Bell and Ryan Blaney will start Sunday’s race from 3rd and 4th position. Track position will be critical to maintain, and the smallest mistake could be detrimental to either driver’s day in the standings. Bell turned a poor stretch of finishes around at Charlotte, and Blaney cannot afford another bad week.

My decision is leaned slightly by the team’s entire performance and prior history. For those reasons, I will go with Blaney.

Kyle Busch vs. Joey Logano

Again, we have another great pairing between two seasoned veterans. As discussed, Kyle Busch and Joey Logano lead practically all the categories through our two Next Gen Gateway races. Neither has looked anything short of competitive, and their Cup wins have the slate divided at 50/50. Forward is the target for both as Busch starts 10th and Logano starts 12th.

Fords and Toyotas are a touch ahead over Chevrolets for Sunday. Although Busch has a path, Logano is my pick.

Martin Truex Jr. vs. Denny Hamlin

JGR teammates meet in this NASCAR Fantasy duel. Martin Truex Jr. showed speed from practice, but making up the positions during the race will come as a challenging task. Denny Hamlin is going to be tough to beat this weekend due to his recent finishing consistency and driver-leading 20-lap average from Saturday’s practice.

The latter comment gives me confidence in Hamlin.

Alex Bowman vs. Ty Gibbs

Last up sees two drivers I have not discussed. Alex Bowman has crept up the ladder in recent weeks with his five straight Top 10 finishes. He has yet to show winning place like his Hendrick Motorsports counterparts; however, he did lead his teammates in 10-lap averages from Sunday practice (11th). Meanwhile, Ty Gibbs is set for only his second Cup Series start at Gateway. The 21-year-old does have more track time having won the 2019 and 2020 ARCA Menards Series races.

Bowman could very well get the job done, but Gibbs takes my final matchup.

What does your NASCAR Fantasy lineup for the 2024 Enjoy Illinois 300? Tweet us @LWOSMotorsport. Stay tuned here at LWOS Motorsports for NASCAR news, results, updates, and more.


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