NASCAR Pre-Race Media: Kansas Track Trends, Race Preview, etc

TRACK: Kansas Speedway (1.5-mile oval) DISTANCE: 267 Laps – Stage 1: 80 Laps, Stage 2: 80 Laps, Final Stage: 107 Laps (400.5 miles)

This will be the 33rd and 34th Cup races on the track. Cup Series 1st started coming to the Sunflower State in 2001.

Recently paved which makes this a very difficult track to pass on too. Outside lane is better, but there is a chance to take the lead from the inside. Mostly a restart/track position track. You can gamble on 2 tires or depending on how late you are in the race, 0 tires. Clean air is key here.

Prime Sports NASCAR Darlington Recap Show Here

Prime Sports NASCAR Kansas Recap Show Here

  • 6 of the last 10 Kansas winners have come from the top four of the starting lineup including 2 of the last 3 from the front row.
  • Toyota has won 3 of the last 5 Kansas races including half (5) of the last 10.
  • We’ve seen 8 different winners in the last 9 Kansas races. Only repeat winner is Denny Hamlin.
  • There’s been no OT finishes in each of the last 4 races including 10 of the last 12 in general.
  • The eventual race winner scored stage points in every first stage under the stage era.
  • The eventual race winner finished in the top 2 in 4 of the last 5 first stages. Both winners last year won the opening stage.
  • The eventual race winner finished in the top 5 in 4 of the last 5 2nd stages and 7 of the 10 overall second stages.
  • The odd thing is, just once has the eventual race winner at Kansas actually won a second stage (2019 playoff race).

TRACK COMPARISONS

Closest comparison is to Las Vegas.


Favorites

Chase Elliott

He’s had six top six finishes in his last seven Kansas starts including being fifth and second last year. On the season, Elliott also has 5 straight top 10’s too.

Kyle Larson

He dominated in leading the most laps but not winning last year’s spring race. He then would win the playoff race though for his fourth top 8, three of which being in the top 4, in his last six Kansas tries.

Martin Truex Jr.

Since 2017, he’s had a top 10 in all but one Kansas start including sweeping both race wins in 2017.

Kyle Busch

He won last May and has four top five finishes in his last seven Kansas starts.

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – MARCH 06: Alex Bowman, driver of the #48 Ally Chevrolet, and Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 Ethel M Chocolates Toyota, race during the NASCAR Cup Series Pennzoil 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on March 06, 2022 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Meg Oliphant/Getty Images)

Sleepers:

Alex Bowman

Bowman has five top 11 results on the 1.5-mile track in his last eight tries including being runner-up in the spring race in 2019 and eighth and fourth respectively in 2020. He won on a similar track in Las Vegas back in March too.

William Byron

He has five straight top 10 finishes at Kansas including being ninth and sixth respectively last year.

Kevin Harvick

Harvick, has eight top two finishes at Kansas since 2013 including a 2nd place result in 2 of his last 3 starts there in general. Harvic’s not finished worse than 4th since the start of the 2020 season at Kansas.

Christopher Bell

He scored his first Xfinity race win at this very track a few years ago as well as being 10th and eighth in the last 2 Kansas playoff races. On the season, Bell has 5 top 7 results in the last 7 weeks too.

RCR Duo (Combined for 4 top 3 results in the last 5 weeks)

Tyler Reddick

He was seventh in last year’s spring race plus has 2 runner-ups in the last 4 weeks on the season too.

Austin Dillon

He was 10th in both races a year ago to go along with being 11th in the 2020 playoff race too.

Fades

Denny Hamlin

He’s feast or famine in Kansas with two wins in his last five tries. He was 15th in the 2020 playoff race though and 12th back in May of last year too. On the season, outside of his Richmond win, he’s had 7 finishes outside of the top 15 in the last 8 weeks.

Team Penske:

Austin Cindric is a rookie. Since 2011, every Kansas winner has won a Cup championship. Cindric, had 1 top 5 all season too. Ryan Blaney has had 5 of his last 6 Kansas races have seen him finish 20th or worse. He’s not had a top 10 in any of the last 3 weeks on the season either. For Joey Logano, with 10 winners in 12 races, I don’t see Logano (15th or worse in 4 of last 6 at Kansas) going back-to-back. In fact, his spring race finishes at Kansas have been abysmal. He was 38th, 37th, 3rd, 15th, 35th and 17th in his last 6 spring starts there.

23XI Racing

Bubba Wallace has finished outside of the top 15 in 10 of the last 11 weeks. Kurt Busch has been 28th or worse in 5 of the last 7 weeks himself.

Aric Almirola

No top five finishes in 20 starts puts him on this list.


KANSAS CITY, KANSAS – MAY 02: Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Verizon 5G Ford, and William Byron, driver of the #24 Axalta Chevrolet, lead the field to start the NASCAR Cup Series Buschy McBusch Race 400 at Kansas Speedway on May 02, 2021 in Kansas City, Kansas. (Photo by James Gilbert/Getty Images)

AdventHealth 400 Race Preview

12 races run, 10 different winners and 8 of the 10 having double digit odds entering the weekend at that. 32 of the 36 drivers entered into Sunday’s race have double digit odds and among the 4 that don’t, I think you can almost eliminate half of the them right off the bat.

Denny Hamlin (stats above) doesn’t enter with much momentum. His teammate Kyle Busch (+700) is the defending race winner but only has 3 top 10 finishes all season. A 3rd Joe Gibbs Racing driver in Martin Truex Jr. (+1000) has been great in Kansas though. However, do you trust him to magically turn it on when he enters having scored 4 finishes of 12th or worse in the last 5 weeks? What bout the only other Toyota team in the field? 23XI Racing doesn’t provide much hope either.

Bubba Wallace (+15000) has finished outside of the top 15 in 10 of the last 11 weeks. Kurt Busch (+4000) has been 28th or worse in 5 of the last 7 weeks himself.

The Ford’s generally have struggled at Kansas too which sets up a potential dominating day out of the Chevrolet camp.

2 of the 4 Hendrick Motorsports (stats above) drivers are +1000 odds or lower and the other 2 (stats above) are favorites for a reason. This is a good week you could bet on just the Hendrick camp as well as the Richard Childress Racing Duo (stats above) and come out pretty on the other end.

Of Note

Each manufacturer has won the last 3 Kansas races (Ford in the Fall of 2020, Toyota in Spring of 2021 and Chevrolet in the Fall of 2021).


Key Stat

  • Since 2011, every Kansas winner has won a series championship.
  • In fact, only Ryan Newman, Mark Martin, Greg Biffle and Joe Nemechek have won at Kansas and not won a Cup title. Kyle Larson joined that list but only for a few months last Fall before he became a champion.

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