Winners, Losers After NASCAR Enjoy Illinois 300 at Gateway

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After an exciting Enjoy Illinois 300 at World Wide Technology Raceway for the NASCAR Cup Series, it’s time to evaluate the winners and losers of the past weekend.

Of course there are some obvious choices, but if we look across the field we will find some names in surprising positions after last weekend’s race. NBC Sports’ Dustin Long took the time to identify who benefited this weekend and who will return to the drawing board after the race.

An obvious choice is Austin Cindric, who literally won the race, but who else had a weekend to remember? Check out the winners and losers of the Enjoy Illinois 300 below, which will provide a baseline of which drivers are worth keeping an eye on over the summer.

NASCAR Enjoy Illinois 300: Winners

  • Austin Cindric
  • Denny Hamlin
  • Brad Keselowski
  • Austin Dillon
  • Carson Hocevar
  • Justin Haley

First off, Long’s top winner is none other than the aforementioned Austin Cyndric. By winning the race, he also cooled his position with Team Penske, likely earning at least another season in the No. 2 position.

After Cindric on stage, two veterans entered Denny Hamlin And Brad Keselowski. The duo have been two of the most consistent coxswains in the Cup Series over the past month and changed, and that continued at the Enjoy Illinois 300.

Elsewhere, some surprising names made up the top ten at the Enjoy Illinois 300. Austin Dillon, Carson Hocevar And Justin Haley all finished in the top group, three names you wouldn’t expect there week in, week out. That’s a pretty great result for any driver, and one they hope to build on.

Losers

Looking at the losers, Long’s first pick was also one that couldn’t be overlooked Ryan Blaney. The Team Penske helmsman led in the closing laps, but the No. 12 ran out of gas and Blaney went from his first victory to a disappointing finish. It certainly hasn’t been an easy year for Blaney.

Additionally, Kyle Busch won the Enjoy Illinois 300 last season, but the No. 8 dropped out of the race during this season’s iteration. The hits keep coming for Busch, and not just from Ricky Stenhouse Jr. at the moment, as he finished P35 on Sunday.

Both Ryan Blaney and Kyle Busch will look to win this weekend in Sonoma, and the stench of last weekend’s race will dissipate. We’ll see what happens, but it was certainly an interesting weekend at Gateway Motorsports Park.