The Latest: Almirola wins 1st stage at Chicagoland

JOLIET, Ill. (AP) The Latest on the NASCAR Cup Series race at Chicagoland Speedway (all times local):

2:25 p.m.

Aric Almirola has won the first stage of the NASCAR Cup Series race at Chicagoland Speedway.

Almirola began the day in the No. 6 position. It was his first stage win in the series.

Truex is going for his third straight win on the 1.5-mile oval in the Chicago suburbs. He had to start at the back of the field after his car failed inspection following qualifying.

1:05 p.m.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. is set for his first NASCAR Cup Series broadcast, and Junior Nation is ready.

A steady stream of fans stopped at the NBC Sports set before the race at Chicagoland Speedway. One man yelled ”Go get `em Dale!” as Earnhardt fulfilled his TV duties.

Earnhardt, a two-time Daytona 500 champion, retired at the end of last season and won his 15th straight most popular driver award.

11:05 a.m.

Extreme heat is a concern again as NASCAR closes out its annual weekend at Chicagoland Speedway.

Rain could become a factor, too.

There are scattered thunderstorms in the forecast for the NASCAR Cup Series race on Sunday afternoon. Paul Menard is set to start from the pole, and Martin Truex Jr. is going for his third consecutive victory at Chicagoland Speedway.

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