With rain in Friday’s forecast at Chicagoland Speedway, the only time on track became a strategy session for the championship contenders.

If qualifying was rained out, the field for Sunday’s opening round of the Chase for the Sprint Cup championship would be set by practice speeds and teams had to decide if they wanted to focus on simply posting a fast lap to grab a strong starting position.

It worked out perfectly for Kyle Busch, Ryan Newman and Carl Edwards, who all shot to the top of the speed chart in practice and were rewarded with the top three starting spots in Sunday’s race when rain indeed washed out qualifying.

“We definitely saw the radar and the forecast,” said Newman, who will start second on Sunday. “Made one (practice) run and switched it over, spent the rest of the time doing mock qualifying runs, knowing we had a chance of that being our actual qualifying position.”

Truck race postponed

The NASCAR Truck Series race at Chicagoland Speedway has been postponed by rain.

Friday’s showers also washed out qualifying for both the Trucks Series and Sprint Cup races.

The Trucks Series race was pushed back to Saturday at approximately 7 p.m. EDT after the Nationwide race. Johnny Sauter will be on the pole for the Trucks stop, followed by Brennan Newberry and Jeb Burton.