Before we get set to go racing at Kansas this Saturday night, here are five predictions for the Go Bowling 400.
Kansas Speedway isn't your typical mile and half oval, it's only 16 years old but was repaved a few years back.
Jeff Gordon won the first two Cup events held here (2001 and 2002) and shares the record for most victories at Kansas with former teammate Jimmie Johnson. Must use drivers include Kyle Busch, Kevin Harvick, Joey Logano, and Ryan Blaney. "I thought we were", Busch said Thursday afternoon at Kansas Speedway, where he's the defending champion of the spring race. Busch, 32, is still looking for his first win of the season, but Kansas could be the place to get it. Blaney, Harvick, Hamlin, Kenseth, Kurt Busch, Austin Dillon, Logano and Suarez rounded out the top 10.
Larson, one of the rising stars of NASCAR, has led the points standings since the fifth race, when he won at Fontana.
"A lot of cars didn't get a chance to go out and a lot of cars had trouble", said Johnson, who is a three-time Kansas victor. That says a lot about this whole team.
Who will replace Earnhardt Jr., named the most popular drive for 14 consecutive years, as NASCAR's fan favorite: "From a talent standpoint I have no concerns".
The near-misses that have plagued Kyle Busch all season would have eaten away at him earlier in his career, when he was less secure not only of his driving ability but of himself.
New contenders like Ryan Blaney, who sits on the pole, and Ricky Stenhouse Jr., from a suddenly revitalized Roush Racing, have to be taken into account. Three of his last five wins have been on 1.5 mile tracks including a win in Las Vegas back in March. Truex and the #78 team have been Toyota's best performing combination in 2017 and they have been up front all year.
Blaney starts from the pole Saturday night, and he could be a cheap way to gain exposure to the dominator categories.
Quietly, Kasey Kahne is having a real good start to the season.
Larson has been a model of consistency all season and that should continue this weekend at Kansas.
NASCAR will be back in Kansas City this fall for the Hollywood Casino 400. He recovered to finish the second stage in the 10th position. There are now a lot more points likely to be available in the place differential category.
Seeking to exorcise some recent demons at Kansas, which the No. 77 Auto-Owners Insurance Toyota team considers its home track, Truex appeared ready to cruise to the checkered flag after taking the lead with 19 laps remaining.
It's been 159 races since his last one, back in 2012, when Bowyer reached victory lane a career-best three times.
Kyle Busch picked up right where he left off in the Truck Series at Kansas Speedway.
"Yeah, previous year sucked", Bowyer said. Your vehicle and the track change, and you have to be on top of that.
This just could be a breakout weekend for Erik Jones. Truex and Blaney were second and third at the end of stage one, while Harvick drifted back to seventh. 78 auto had extended his lead by seven-tenths of a second over Kyle Busch.
The dividends of driving for one of the sport's established multicar teams paid off there, when Bowyer started sixth and had a strong vehicle before crashing out. He's offering up four tickets to the July 8 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race to the fan who provides a Kentucky Speedway-approved nickname for Turn 3.
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