NASCAR National Series News & Notes - Kansas Speedway

NASCAR Cup Series

Next Race: Hollywood Casino 400

The Place: Kansas Speedway

The Date: Sunday, October 18

The Time: 2:30 p.m. ET

TV: NBC, 2 p.m. ET

Radio: MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio

Distance: 400.5 miles (267 laps); Stage 1 (Ends on Lap 80),

Stage 2 (Ends on Lap 160), Final Stage (Ends on Lap 267)

 

NASCAR Xfinity Series

Next Race: Kansas Lottery 300

The Place: Kansas Speedway

The Date: Saturday, October 17

The Time: 7 p.m. ET

TV: NBCSN, 6:30 p.m. ET

Radio: MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio

Distance: 300 miles (200 Laps); Stage 1 (Ends on Lap 45),

Stage 2 (Ends on Lap 90), Final Stage (Ends on Lap 200)

 

NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series

Next Race: Clean Harbors 200

The Place: Kansas Speedway

The Date: Saturday, October 17

The Time: 4 p.m. ET

TV: FOX, 3:30 p.m. ET

Radio: MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio

Distance: 201 miles (134 Laps); Stage 1 (Ends on Lap 30),

Stage 2 (Ends on Lap 60), Final Stage (Ends on Lap 134)

 

NASCAR Cup Series

 

Playoff’s Elite Eight to roll the dice in the Hollywood Casino 400 at Kansas

Just eight drivers remain in the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs as the series heads to Kansas Speedway for the first race of the Round of 8, the Hollywood Casino 400, this Sunday at 2:30 p.m. ET on NBC, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.

 

NASCAR Cup Series Playoff Outlook Following Race No. 32

 

Rank

 

Driver

 

Points

 

Starts

 

Race Wins

 

Stage Wins

 

Playoff Pts

 

Pts From Cutoff

 

1

 

Kevin Harvick (P)

 

4,067

 

32

 

9

 

7

 

67

 

45

 

2

 

Denny Hamlin (P)

 

4,054

 

32

 

7

 

9

 

54

 

32

 

3

 

Brad Keselowski (P)

 

4,035

 

32

 

4

 

7

 

35

 

13

 

4

 

Chase Elliott (P)

 

4,027

 

32

 

3

 

8

 

27

 

5

 

5

 

Joey Logano (P)

 

4,022

 

32

 

2

 

6

 

22

 

-5

 

6

 

Martin Truex Jr. (P)

 

4,017

 

32

 

1

 

5

 

17

 

-10

 

7

 

Alex Bowman (P)

 

4,009

 

32

 

1

 

4

 

9

 

-18

 

8

 

Kurt Busch (P)

 

4,006

 

32

 

1

 

1

 

6

 

-21

 

 

The 2020 season marks the first time Kansas Speedway has hosted the seventh race of the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs and the first race of the Round of 8. Since the inception of the Playoffs in 2004, Kansas Speedway has occupied five different positions on the Playoff schedule - from 2004, 2005, 2011, 2013 and 2014 Kansas hosted the fourth race in the Playoffs, from 2006-2010 Kansas hosted the third race in the Playoffs, from 2015 to 2016 Kansas hosted the fifth race of the postseason and from 2012, 2017, 2018 and 2019 Kansas hosted the sixth race of the Playoffs. Kansas Speedway is the fourth different track to host the seventh race in the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs; joining Atlanta Motor Speedway (2004-2008), Talladega Superspeedway (2009-2010) and Martinsville Speedway (2011-2019).

NASCAR Cup Series

 

Kansas Playoff Race Winners

 

Race Winners

 

Wins

 

Greg Biffle

 

2

 

Jimmie Johnson

 

2

 

Joey Logano

 

2

 

Kevin Harvick

 

2

 

Tony Stewart

 

2

 

Chase Elliott

 

1

 

Denny Hamlin

 

1

 

Joe Nemechek

 

1

 

Mark Martin

 

1

 

Martin Truex Jr

 

1

 

Matt Kenseth

 

1

 

 

A total of 11 different drivers have won the NASCAR Cup Series Playoff races at Kansas Speedway. Jimmie Johnson (2008, 2011), Kevin Harvick (2013, 2016), Joey Logano (2014, 2015), Greg Biffle (2007, 2010) and Tony Stewart (2006, 2009) lead the series in Playoff wins at Kansas Speedway with two each.  

 

Twice the winner of the NASCAR Cup Series Playoff race at Kansas Speedway has gone on to win the title that same season:

  • In 2008, Jimmie Johnson won the Kansas Playoff race from the pole, leading 124 laps, and then went on to win his third consecutive series title later that season. Kansas was the third race of the Playoffs in 2008.
  • In 2017, Martin Truex Jr. won the Kansas Playoff race from the pole, leading 91 laps, and then went on to win his first NASCAR Cup Series title later that season. Kansas was the sixth race of the Playoffs in 2017.

 

Three non-Playoff drivers have won a Playoff race at Kansas Speedway:

  • In 2004, Joe Nemechek was ranked 21st in the points at the time of the win.
  • In 2006, Tony Stewart was 11th in the points at the time of the win.
  • In 2007, Greg Biffle was 14th in the points at the time of the win. 

 

The worst finish in a Playoff race at Kansas Speedway by a driver that went on to win the title later that same season was 15th by Tony Stewart in 2011. Last season’s champion, Kyle Busch, finished third in the Kansas Playoff race.

NASCAR Cup Series

 

Playoff Race No. 7 Winners

 

Race Winners

 

Wins

 

Jimmie Johnson

 

4

 

Carl Edwards

 

2

 

Jeff Gordon

 

2

 

Tony Stewart

 

2

 

Clint Bowyer

 

1

 

Dale Earnhardt Jr

 

1

 

Jamie McMurray

 

1

 

Joey Logano

 

1

 

Kyle Busch

 

1

 

Martin Truex Jr

 

1

 

 

A total of 10 different drivers have won the seventh race in the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs, led by Hendrick Motorsport’s driver Jimmie Johnson with four victories (2004, 2007, 2012 and 2016).

 

Four times the winner of the seventh NASCAR Cup Series Playoff race has gone on to win the title later that same season: 

  • In 2007, Jimmie Johnson won from the sixth starting position at Atlanta Motor Speedway and went on to win his second consecutive NASCAR Cup Series championship.
  • In 2011, Tony Stewart won from the fourth starting position at Martinsville Speedway, and went on to win his third NASCAR Cup Series championship.
  • In 2016, Jimmie Johnson won from the third starting position at Martinsville Speedway, and went on to win his record tying seventh NASCAR Cup Series championship.
  • In 2018, Joey Logano won from the 10th starting position at Martinsville Speedway, and went on to win his first NASCAR Cup Series championship.

 

Three non-Playoff drivers have won the seventh race in the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs:

  • In 2006, Tony Stewart won the seventh race of the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs at Atlanta Motor Speedway, he was 11th in points at the time of the win.
  • In 2009, Jamie McMurray won the seventh race of the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs at Talladega Superspeedway, he was ranked 22nd in the points at the time of the win.
  • In 2010, Clint Bowyer won the seventh race of the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs at Talladega Superspeedway, he was 12th in the points at the time of the win. 

 

The worst finish by a driver in the seventh NASCAR Cup Series Playoff race that later went on to win the title that same season was a 42nd-place finish by Kurt Busch in 2004 at Atlanta Motor Speedway. The finish was due to engine failure.

 

In total Kansas Speedway has hosted 29 NASCAR Cup Series races dating back to inaugural event on September 30, 2001. The race was won by NASCAR Hall of Famer Jeff Gordon driving a Chevrolet for Hendrick Motorsports. The 29 Cup Series races at Kansas have produced 16 different pole winners and 15 different race winners. Stewart-Haas Racing’s Kevin Harvick leads the series poles at Kansas with five (Playoff race 2013, 2014 sweep, spring 2018 and spring 2019). Four drivers are tied for the series-most wins at Kansas Speedway with three wins each – Jeff Gordon (2001, 2002, 2014), Kevin Harvick (2013, 2016, 2018),  Jimmie Johnson (2008, 2011, 2015) and Denny Hamlin (2012, 2019, 2020).

 

Looking ahead to Sunday, Hendrick Motorsport’s driver and last weekend’s winner Chase Elliott will start on the pole and Team Penske’s Joey Logano will start on the outside front row. Both drivers are previous winners at Kansas, and both are looking to advance to Championship 4 this season.

 

Playoff driver outlook heading into the Round of 8

Entering the first race of the Round of 8 in the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs at Kansas Speedway this weekend, none of the postseason contenders can clinch a spot in the Championship 4 round on points, making this week’s win and automatic bid to advance that much more important. 

 

Kevin Harvick (No. 4 Stewart-Haas Racing Ford) enters the Round of 8 seeded first in the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs with 4,067 points. Harvick is 45 points ahead of the Championship 4 cutoff and is looking to make the final round for the sixth time in his career (2014, 2015, 2017, 2018, 2019). Harvick has made 29 series starts at Kansas posting five poles (series-most), three wins (tied for series-most), nine top fives and 16 top 10s. He also leads several key categories in the pre-race Loop Data at Kansas with an Average Running Position of 8.906, series-best, a Driver Rating of 108.6, series-best and 5,351 Laps in the Top 15 (80.6%), series-most. He finished fourth at Kansas earlier this season.

 

Denny Hamlin (No. 11 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota) enters the Round of 8 seeded second in the NASCAR Cup Series Playoff standings with 4,054 points. Hamlin is currently 32 points ahead of the Championship 4 cutoff and is looking to make the final round for the third time in his career (2014, 2019). Hamlin has 24 series Kansas starts under his belt having posted three wins (tied for series-most), eight top fives and nine top 10s. He also ranks in the top 10 of several key pre-race Loop Data categories with an Average Running Position of 13.004, ninth-best, a Driver Rating of 90.4, ninth-best and 4,359 Laps in the Top 15 (68.4%), fifth-most. Hamlin has won the last two consecutive races at Kansas Speedway (2019 Playoffs, 2020) and enters this weekend looking to become first driver in series history to win three in a row. 

 

Brad Keselowski (No. 2 Team Penske Ford) arrives in the Round of 8 seeded third in the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs with 4,035 points. Keselowski is currently 13 points ahead of the Championship 4 cutoff and is looking to make the final round for the second time in his career (2017). The Michigan native has made 21 series starts at Kansas Speedway posting one pole, two wins, five top fives and 11 top 10s. He also ranks in the top 10 in several key Loop Data categories with an Average Running Position of 12.645, eighth-best, a Driver Rating of 92.8, seventh-best and 4,057 Laps in the Top 15 (72.1%), eighth-most. Keselowski finished runner-up to Denny Hamlin at Kansas Speedway earlier this season.

 

Chase Elliott (No. 9 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet) enters the Round of 8 seeded in the fourth and final transfer spot to the Championship 4 round in the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs with 4,027 points – just five points ahead of the Championship 4 cutoff. Elliott is looking to make the final round of the Playoffs for the first time in his career. Elliott has made nine starts at Kansas Speedway posting one win, four top fives and five top 10s. He also ranks in the top 15 of several key pre-race Loop Data categories with an Average Running Position of 12.583, seventh-best, a Driver Rating of 95.2, fifth-best and 1,724 Laps in the Top 15 (71.3%), 14th-most. Elliott finished 12th in the series’ first stop at Kansas earlier this year.

 

Joey Logano (No. 22 Team Penske Ford) joins the Round of 8 seeded fifth in the NASCAR Cup Series Playoff standings with 4,022 points – just five points behind Chase Elliott in the final transfer spot to the Championship 4. Logano is looking to make the Playoff’s final round for the fourth time in his career (2014, 2016, 2018). Logano has made 22 series starts at Kansas putting up two poles, two wins, seven top fives and eight top 10s. He also ranks in the top 15 of several key pre-race Loop Data categories with an Average Running Position of 15.234, 13th-best, a Driver Rating of 87.4, 12th-best and 3,345 Laps in the Top 15 (56.7%), ninth-most. Logano will be looking to rebound at Kansas Speedway this weekend, after a disastrous showing earlier this season that resulted in a 35th-place finish due to an incident.

 

Martin Truex Jr. (No. 19 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota) enters the Round of 8 seeded sixth in the NASCAR Cup Series Playoff standings with 4,017 points. Truex is currently 10 points behind Chase Elliott in the final transfer spot into the Championship 4. The New Jersey native, Truex, is looking to make the Playoff’s final round for the fifth time in his career. The 2017 series champion has made 24 starts at Kansas Speedway posting two poles, two wins, nine top fives and 11 top 10s. Truex also ranks in the top five of several key pre-race Loop Data categories with an Average Running Position of 11.215, fourth-best, a Driver Rating of 100.7, fourth-best and 4,565 Laps in the Top 15 (71.6%), third-most. Truex led 44 laps and finished third in the Kansas Speedway race earlier this season.

 

Alex Bowman (No. 88 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet) arrives in the Round of 8 seeded seventh in the NASCAR Cup Series Playoff standings with 4,009 points. Bowman, who recently signed a new deal to drive the Hendrick Motorsport’s No. 48 in 2021, is currently 18 points behind his teammate Chase Elliott in the fourth and final transfer spot to the Championship 4 round. Bowman is looking to make the Playoff’s final round for the first time in his career. The Arizona native, Bowman, has made 10 series starts at Kansas Speedway posting one top five and four top 10s. He also ranks in the top 25 of several key pre-race Loop Data categories with an Average Running Position of 22.106, 25th-best, a Driver Rating of 69.8, 21st-best and 1,094 Laps in the Top 15 (40.7%), 18th-most. Bowman finished in the top-10 (eighth) in the Kansas race earlier this season.

 

Kurt Busch (No. 1 Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet) enters the Round of 8 seeded in the eighth and final position in the NASCAR Cup Series Playoff standings with 4,006 points. Busch is currently 21 points behind Chase Elliott in the final transfer spot to the Championship 4 round. Busch is looking to make the Playoff’s final round for the first time in his career. The 2004 series champion, Busch, has made 29 series starts at Kansas posting one pole, four top fives and 12 top 10s. He also ranks inside the top 15 in key pre-race Loop Data categories with an Average Running Position of 14.196, 12th-best, a Driver Rating of 88.6, 11th-best and 4,301 Laps in the Top 15 (64.8%), sixth-most. Busch finished ninth in the series’ first stop at Kansas earlier this season.

 

NASCAR Cup Series, Etc.

Kansas sells out available seats – NASCAR announced this week all available grandstand inventory for the NASCAR Cup Series Hollywood Casino 400 at Kansas Speedway on Sunday, October 18 has been sold out. 

 

“We are certainly excited that our fans are eagerly anticipating being at the track to enjoy the intensity that Playoff racing offers,” said Kansas Speedway President Pat Warren.  “Hosting them comes with a tremendous amount of responsibility, and our staff is working diligently to provide all of our guests with a great experience.” 

 

Kevin Harvick looking to make history - If Kevin Harvick wins at least one race over the next four races to close out 2020, he will become the 11th different driver to win 10 or more events in a single season in the NASCAR Cup Series Modern Era (1972-Present). It will be the 17th time in the series' Modern Era (1972-Present) the feat has been accomplished and just the second time by a Ford driver; joining NASCAR Hall of Famer Bill Elliott with 11 wins in 1985. The last driver to win 10 or more races in a single season was Jimmie Johnson in 2007 with 10 victories (13 years ago). NASCAR Hall of Famer Jeff Gordon holds the record for the most seasons with 10 or more wins at three (13 wins in 1998, 10 wins in 1996 and 1997). NASCAR Hall of Famers Richard Petty (13 wins in a Dodge in 1975) and Jeff Gordon (13 wins in a Chevrolet in 1998) lead the series in wins in a single season during the Modern Era (1972-Present) with 13 victories each. Petty also holds the NASCAR Cup Series all-time record for the most wins in a single season with 27 victories in 1967.

 

Kansas native Clint Bowyer’s last go at his home track – It was announced last week that Stewart-Haas Racing’s Clint Bowyer would be hanging up his helmet at the conclusion of the 2020 season to pursue a venture in television joining the FOX Sports team to cover NASCAR in 2021. As a result, that makes this weekend the last time Kansas area fans will have a chance to see their local hero compete at the highest level at his home track. Bowyer has made 24 series starts at Kansas posting three top fives and eight top 10s. Though he has yet to win at his home track, his best result on the 1.5-mile speedway was a runner-up finish back in 2007.

 

Kyle Busch’s consecutive wins streak might be in jeopardy – With 56 NASCAR Cup Series wins to his credit, Joe Gibbs Racing’s Kyle Busch – a two-time NASCAR Cup Series champion – is a lock to make the NASCAR Hall of Fame. But the Las Vegas native is currently in a winning slump and hasn’t visited Victory Lane since the season finale of 2019 at Homestead-Miami Speedway putting his 15-year streak of consecutive seasons with a win in the NASCAR Cup Series – the longest current active wins streak - in jeopardy. Busch is currently tied for the sixth-most seasons with a win in the series at 15 with NASCAR Hall of Famers Darrell Waltrip (1975-1989), Dale Earnhardt (1982-1996) and Tony Stewart (1999-2013).

 

Busch has made 25 NASCAR Cup Series starts at Kansas Speedway collecting one win (2016), seven top fives and 11 top 10s. Busch finished in 11th-place at Kansas Speedway earlier this season.

 

NASCAR Hall of Famer Richard Petty holds the series record for the most consecutive seasons with a victory at 18 from 1960 to 1977.

 

Consecutive Years With Victories

 

Rank

 

Drivers

 

No.

 

Years

 

1

 

Richard Petty

 

18

 

1960-1977

 

2

 

David Pearson

 

17

 

1964-1980

 

3

 

Ricky Rudd

 

16

 

1983-1998

 

 

 

Rusty Wallace

 

16

 

1986-2001

 
   

Jimmie Johnson

 

16

 

2002-2017

 

6

 

Darrell Waltrip

 

15

 

1975-1989

 
   

Dale Earnhardt

 

15

 

1982-1996

 

 

 

Tony Stewart

 

15

 

1999-2013

 
   

Kyle Busch

 

15

 

2005-2019

 

 

 

Johnson & fellow drivers to wear visor strips highlighting the Jimmie Johnson Foundation - Seven-time NASCAR Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson will highlight the Jimmie Johnson Foundation this weekend during the NASCAR Cup Series race at Kansas Speedway by raising awareness for the Foundation by sporting a specially designed Team JJF strip on the visors of their respective helmets. 

 

“The Team JJF visor campaign and the support it gets from the drivers means a lot to Chani (wife) and me,” said Johnson. “I’m excited to be able to promote the Jimmie Johnson Foundation this weekend, and I’m grateful to Ally for allowing us to run the visor strip. It’s been a challenging year for everyone, but thanks to the generosity of our partners and the NASCAR community, we are able to provide essential financial support to K-12 public schools through fundraisers like this one.”

 

At the conclusion of Sunday’s race at Kansas, participating drivers will sign their Team JJF branded visors. The signed visors will be available in an online auction the week prior to the race at Phoenix International Raceway, Johnson’s final race as a full-time Cup driver, to raise funds to support K-12 public education. In total 27 drivers will participate this weekend and wear the visor in the Kansas race. In addition to Johnson, drivers Ryan Blaney, Kyle Busch, Matt DiBenedetto, Austin Dillon, Kevin Harvick, Brad Keselowski, Joey Logano and Ryan Newman will donate their visors for the auction.        

 

NASCAR Xfinity Series

 

Wet & Wild: Charlotte ROVAL eliminations, Kansas starts the Round of 8

It was a rainy and crazy race on Saturday for the NASCAR Xfinity Series at the Charlotte Motor Speedway ROVAL. The 68 lap, 157.76-mile race marked the last event of the Round of 12 and the final chance for the Playoff drivers to secure a spot in the Round of 8.

 

AJ Allmendinger, who is not in Playoff contention as he runs part-time for Kaulig Racing, won the race, and went back-to-back at the ROVAL (2019, 2020). The race had 10 cautions for 24 laps and 14 lead changes among six different drivers.

 

Noah Gragson was the highest-finishing Xfinity Playoff driver in second. Daniel Hemric finished third, Alex Labbe fourth and Ross Chastain closed out the top five in fifth. Kaz Grala, also on a part-time schedule this season for Richard Childress Racing, won the first stage and Stewart-Haas Racing’s Chase Briscoe grabbed the additional Playoff point by winning the second stage.

 

Harrison Burton, Riley Herbst, Michael Annett and Brandon Brown ultimately were the four drivers eliminated from the Playoffs following the Round of 12.

 

As the NASCAR Xfinity Series heads to Kansas Speedway this weekend to kick off the Round of 8, the remaining drivers fighting for a spot in the Championship 4 are:

Chase Briscoe

Austin Cindric

Justin Allgaier

Noah Gragson

Justin Haley

Brandon Jones

Ross Chastain

Ryan Sieg

 

The Kansas Lottery 300 will be at 7 p.m. ET on Saturday, October 17 on NBCSN, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio. The race will be 300 miles and 200 laps with Stage 1 ending on Lap 45 and Stage 2 ending on Lap 90.

 

Gragson will lead the field to the green flag on Saturday evening with Cindric joining him on the outside front row.

 

Joe Gibbs Racing’s Brandon Jones was victorious earlier this season at Kansas Speedway, locking himself into the Playoffs with the win. It was also his second win in a row at the track as he won his first career Xfinity Series race at Kansas back in 2019. Jones is not only looking to win this weekend to get the automatic bid to the Championship 4 round, but also because he would like to join his fellow JGR teammate Kyle Busch (2014, 2015, 2016) as just the second driver in series history to win three consecutive races at Kansas Speedway.

 

Who’s good and who’s not so good at Kansas?

Just three races to decide who will battle it out in Phoenix for the title, but the Round of 8 starts at Kansas this weekend in the Kansas Lottery 300 at 7 p.m. ET on NBCSN, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.

 

Kansas Speedway is a 1.5-mile track with 17-20 degrees of variable banking in corners, 10 degrees of banking on the frontstretch and five degrees of banking on the backstretch. The frontstretch is 2,685 feet and the backstretch is 2,207 feet.

 

Kyle Busch holds the record for the most NASCAR Xfinity Series wins at Kansas Speedway with four and Matt Kenseth holds the record for the most poles with three. Busch also has the most top fives (eight) and most top 10s (10) at the 1.5-mile track.

 

In 2010, the race had 21 lead changes, the most in history at the track and in 2015, there were only seven lead changes (the fewest). Two times in history the race winner led only four laps, most recently in 2017. Toyota has the most Xfinity wins at Kansas of any manufacturer with nine.

 

Joe Gibbs Racing is the winningest organization in the NASCAR Xfinity Series at Kansas with nine victories. JGR driver Brandon Jones is the only driver entered this weekend with a win at Kansas Speedway in the Xfinity Series.

 

Earlier this season, the series competed at Kansas Speedway in July. There were five cautions for 22 laps and nine lead changes. Jones won the race and Austin Cindric finished second.

 

NASCAR Xfinity Series Playoff Outlook following Charlotte ROVAL:

 

Rank

 

      Driver

 

Points

 

Race Wins

 

Stage Wins

 

Playoff Pts

 

Pts from Cutoff

 

1

 

Chase Briscoe

 

3,060

 

8

 

10

 

60

 

37

 

 

2

 

Austin Cindric

 

3,050

 

5

 

10

 

50

 

27

 

 

3

 

Justin Allgaier

 

3,033

 

3

 

12

 

33

 

10

 

 

4

 

Noah Gragson

 

3,025

 

2

 

8

 

25

 

2

 

 

 

5

 

Justin Haley

 

3,023

 

3

 

3

 

23

 

-2

 

 

6

 

Brandon Jones

 

3,020

 

3

 

2

 

20

 

-5

 

 

7

 

Ross Chastain

 

3,010

 

0

 

2

 

10

 

-15

 

 

8

 

Ryan Sieg

 

3,002

 

0

 

2

 

2

 

-23

 

 

 

 

Kansas numbers for Playoff drivers

Below is a look at the NASCAR Xfinity Series Round of 8 Playoff drivers at Kansas Speedway (in order of seeding):

 

Chase Briscoe heads to the Round of 8 seeded first in the NASCAR Xfinity Series Playoff standings with 3,060 points. Briscoe is currently 37 points above the Championship 4 round cutoff. He has made three starts at Kansas posting one top-five finish. He finished 14th at Kansas earlier this season. 

 

Austin Cindric rolls into the Round of 8 seeded second in the NASCAR Xfinity Series Playoff standings with 3,050 points. Cindric is currently 27 points above the Championship 4 round cutoff. He has made three starts at Kansas posting one top-five finish. He finished runner-up at Kansas earlier this season. 

 

Justin Allgaier arrives in the Round of 8 seeded third in the NASCAR Xfinity Series Playoff standings with 3,033 points. Allgaier is just 10 points above the Championship 4 round cutoff. Among the remaining Playoff contenders Allgaier has the most experience at Kansas having made 10 series starts putting three top fives and seven top 10s. He finished 10th at Kansas earlier this season. 

 

Noah Gragson heads to the Round of 8 seeded in the fourth and final transfer spot to the Championship 4 round in the NASCAR Xfinity Series Playoff standings with 3,025 points. Gragson is just two points above the Championship 4 round cutoff. The Las Vegas native has made two starts at Kansas posting an average finish of 14.0. He finished 15th at Kansas earlier this season. 

 

Justin Haley jumps into the Round of 8 seeded fifth in the NASCAR Xfinity Series Playoff standings with 3,023 points. Haley is a mere two points back from JR Motorsport’s Noah Gragson in the fourth and final transfer spot to the Championship 4 round. Haley has made two starts at Kansas posting two top-10 finishes. He finished sixth at Kansas earlier this season. 

 

Brandon Jones arrives in the Round of 8 seeded sixth in the NASCAR Xfinity Series Playoff standings with 3,020 points. Jones is currently five points back from JR Motorsport’s Noah Gragson in the fourth and final transfer spot to the Championship 4 round. He has made five starts at Kansas posting two wins (2019, 2020) and three top 10s.

 

Ross Chastain heads to the Round of 8 seeded seventh in the NASCAR Xfinity Series Playoff standings with 3,010 points. Chastain is 15 points behind the Championship 4 round cutoff. The Florida native, Chastain, has made six starts at Kansas posting one top five and two top 10s. He finished fifth at Kansas earlier this season. 

 

Ryan Sieg hangs onto the Round of 8 seeded in the eighth and final position in the NASCAR Xfinity Series Playoff Round of 8 standings with 3,002 points. Sieg is currently 23 points back from the Championship 4 round cutoff. He has made eight series starts at Kansas posting one top-five and four top-10 finishes. He finished fourth at Kansas earlier this season. 

 

NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series 

 

Reset: Round of 8 kicks off for Gander Trucks at Kansas

The NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series had an off-week last weekend as the NASCAR Xfinity Series and NASCAR Cup Series took on the Charlotte Motor Speedway ROVAL. After a weekend of recouping and preparing, the series now heads to Kansas Speedway to kick off the next round of the Gander Trucks Playoffs.

 

Prior to the series’ weekend break, the Gander Trucks took on Talladega Superspeedway in an intense battle between the entire field, specifically the Playoff drivers as the Round of 8 was on the line.

 

Two drivers were eliminated after Talladega – Christian Eckes in the No. 18 Kyle Busch Motorsports Toyota and Todd Gilliland in the No. 38 Front Row Motorsports Ford.

 

Raphael Lessard, the 19-year-old Canadian and non-Playoff driver, won the Talladega elimination race in a wild, two-lap shootout that ended early because of a wreck in Turn 3. Lessard, driver of the No. 4 Toyota for Kyle Busch Motorsports, had never won a race before and called his first career win “amazing”.

 

Saturday’s race at Kansas Speedway, the Clean Harbors 200 (4 p.m. ET on FOX, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio), will be 134 laps and 201 miles and will kick off a full weekend of racing.

 

The series already visited Kansas once this season for the first-ever doubleheader of the series. Austin Hill (7/24) and Matt Crafton (7/25) were both victorious.

 

Crafton, the reigning champion, has 21 starts at Kansas Speedway, the most of any other active driver in the series. He also has three wins (2013, 2015, 2020).

 

Hill, Crafton and Johnny Sauter are the only three drivers in the field with wins at the track.

 

Chandler Smith in the No. 51 Kyle Busch Motorsports Toyota will start on the pole on Saturday afternoon with Ben Rhodes in the No. 99 ThorSport Racing Ford joining him on the front row.

 

NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series Playoff Outlook Following Talladega:

 

Rank

 

      Driver

 

Points

 

Race Wins

 

Stage Wins

 

Playoff Pts

 

Pts from Cutoff

 

1

 

Austin Hill

 

3,028

 

2

 

3

 

28

 

12

 

 

2

 

Sheldon Creed

 

3,028

 

3

 

7

 

28

 

12

 

 

3

 

Zane Smith #

 

3,022

 

2

 

5

 

22

 

6

 

 

4

 

Grant Enfinger

 

3,019

 

3

 

1

 

19

 

3

 

 

 

5

 

Brett Moffitt

 

3,016

 

0

 

6

 

16

 

-3

 

 

6

 

Ben Rhodes

 

3,014

 

1

 

1

 

14

 

-5

 

 

7

 

Matt Crafton

 

3,009

 

1

 

0

 

9

 

-10

 

 

8

 

Tyler Ankrum

 

3,003

 

0

 

1

 

3

 

-16

 

 

 

Kansas stats for Xfinity Playoff drivers
Below is a look at the NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series Round of 8 Playoff drivers at Kansas Speedway (in order of seeding):

 

Austin Hill has made four starts at Kansas Speedway posting one win, two top fives and three top 10s. His win at the track came earlier this season in the first race of the doubleheader in July. In the second race of the doubleheader, he started 15th and finished sixth. Hill has led 85 laps at Kansas and has an average start of 9.2 and average finish of 5.8.

 

Sheldon Creed will make his fourth start at Kansas on Saturday. He has one top 10 in those starts and has led 30 total laps. He has an average start of 9.0 and an average finish of 17.7.

 

Zane Smith made his Kansas Speedway debut earlier this season during the doubleheader weekend. He finished in the top-10 in both of those starts. He has an average start of 8.5 and average finish of 7.5.

 

Grant Enfinger has made five starts at Kansas in his Gander Trucks career. He has two top fives and four top 10s. Both of his top fives came earlier this season, finishing third in both races of the doubleheader weekend. He has led 61 laps at the track and has an average start of 10.6 and average finish of 6.4.

 

Brett Moffitt has made five starts at Kansas posting one top five and three top 10s. Moffitt’s best finish came earlier this season, starting second and finishing in the same position. He has an average start of 7.4 and average finish of 12.0. He has also led 36 laps at the track.

 

Ben Rhodes will make his seventh start at Kansas on Saturday. In his previous six starts, he has two top fives and three top 10s. He’s led 36 laps and has an average start of 8.8 and an average finish of 12.2.

 

Matt Crafton has made 21 starts at Kansas Speedway, the most of any active driver in the series. He has three wins, seven top fives and 12 top 10s. He’s led a total of 143 laps and has an average start of 11.8 and average finish of 11.2. He is also the most recent winner at the track, taking home the victory in the second race of the doubleheader earlier this season.

 

Tyler Ankrum will make his fourth start at Kansas this weekend. He has a best finish of 11th at the 1.5-mile speedway back in his series track debut in 2019. He has an average start of 14.7 and an average finish of 24.0.


Hailie Deegan to make NASCAR national series debut at Kansas
The rising star from California, Hailie Deegan, will be making her NASCAR national series debut this weekend in the NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series in the Clean Harbors 200 at Kansas Speedway (4 p.m. ET on FOX, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio).

 

Deegan’s Gander Trucks start this weekend will make her the 44th different female driver to compete in a NASCAR national series event and the 21st different female to compete in the NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series. Plus, she will be just the third female competitor to make her Gander Trucks series debut at Kansas Speedway; joining Jennifer Jo Cobb (April 28, 2006) and Michelle Theriault (April 28, 2006).

 

The first female to compete in NASCAR national series competition was Sara Christianson in the NASCAR Cup Series at Charlotte (Old) Speedway in Charlotte, North Carolina on June 19, 1949 – she started 13th and finished 14th in a field of 33 cars. Christianson only made seven starts in her NASCAR Cup Series career but to this day still holds the record for the best finish by a female in NASCAR Cup Series competition with a fifth-place finish at Heidelberg Raceway in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on October 2, 1949.

 

The first female driver to compete in the NASCAR Xfinity Series was Diane Teel back in 1982 at Martinsville Speedway. Teel started the race 32nd and finished 26th. The best finish by a female in the NASCAR Xfinity Series and all of NASCAR national series competition is Danica Patrick’s fourth-place finish at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on March 5, 2011 – she started the race from the 22nd starting position.

 

The first female driver to make a start in the NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series was Tammy Jo Kirk at Walt Disney World Speedway on January 19, 1997 – she started ninth and finished 24th. The best finish by a female in the NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series belongs to Natalie Decker who finished a career-best fifth in the 2020 season-opener at Daytona International Speedway.

 

Deegan has already accomplished a lot cutting her teeth in the ARCA Menards Series and the ARCA Menards Series East and West. The youngster has already posted three wins in the ARCA Menards Series West in her career and this season in the ARCA Menards Series she has put up four top fives, 16 top 10s and is ranked third in the championship standings. 

 

This weekend at Kansas, Deegan will become the second youngest female driver to make a start in the NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series at the age of 19 years, 2 months and 30 days just behind Johanna Long, who at the age of 18 years, 1 month, 28 days made her series debut at Lucas Oil Raceway Park on July 23, 2010.

 

Making Gander Trucks history at Kansas
This weekend will be the first time the NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series has competed three times at a single track in a single season as the series heads to Kansas Speedway this weekend for the third time in 2020.

 

NASCAR has raced three times or more at a single track in a single season in the Modern Era twice in the NASCAR Cup Series at Riverside in 1981 and at Darlington in 2020.

 

It has happened 21 times in the NASCAR Xfinity Series from 1982 to Present; the Xfinity Series holds the record for the most events a track in one season with six races at Hickory in 1982.

 

Prior to 2020, the last time a NASCAR national series raced three or more times at a single track in a single season was at Martinsville Speedway in 1990, when the NASCAR Xfinity Series competed three times at the track that season.

 

NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series, Etc.

Zane Smith returning to GMS Racing in 2021: GMS Racing announced that Zane Smith will return to the team in 2021 to pilot a Chevrolet full-time. The team will announce the crew chief and sponsorship at a later date. This season is Smith’s first full-time season in the Gander Trucks, and he has put up some pretty good numbers. He has two wins, four top fives and 10 top 10s. Smith is a current Round of 8 Playoff driver fighting for a championship at Phoenix.

 

Bayne finishing out Gander Trucks season: Trevor Bayne finished second last weekend at Talladega Superspeedway, a much-needed finish in the hunt for a job next season. Bayne, who won the 2011 Daytona 500, had been working on his own car to do some local races before Al Niece, owner of Niece Motorsports, asked him to pilot the No. 45 truck for his team. After his finish last weekend, he announced that he will finish out the rest of the year for the team and hopes that some more finishes like that one will land him somewhere in 2021.

NASCAR PR

Speedway Digest Staff

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