Sunday, Dec 04

NASCAR National Series News & Notes - Kansas Speedway

NASCAR Cup Series

Next Race: Hollywood Casino 400 Presented by Barstool Sportsbook

The Place: Kansas Speedway

The Date: Sunday, September 11

The Time: 3 p.m. ET

The Purse: $8,338,881

TV: USA, 2 p.m. ET

Radio: MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR (Channel 90)

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

Stage 2 (Ends on Lap 165), Final Stage (Ends on Lap 267)

 

NASCAR Xfinity Series

Next Race: Kansas Lottery 300

The Place: Kansas Speedway

The Date: Saturday, September 10

The Time: 3 p.m. ET

The Purse: $1,661,536

TV: USA, 2:30 p.m. ET

Radio: MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR (Channel 90)

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

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

 

NASCAR Camping World Truck Series

Next Race: Kansas Lottery 200

The Place: Kansas Speedway

The Date: Friday, September 9

The Time: 7:30 p.m. ET

The Purse: $648,530

TV: FS1, 6:30 p.m. ET

Radio: MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR (Channel 90)

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

 

Kansas Speedway marks the midway point of NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs Round of 16

Switching gears and mashing the gas has this season’s NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs off to a feverish start and for the first-time in series history not one of the 16 Playoff drivers are locked into the Round of 12 following the postseason opener. That’s because Petty GMS and driver Erik Jones, a non-Playoff competitor this season, snatched the victory at Darlington Raceway last weekend, leaving the Playoff standings shaken-up like never before. Now the Cup Series heads to Kansas Speedway for the Hollywood Casino 400 Presented by Barstool Sportsbook on Sunday, September 11 at 3 p.m. ET on USA, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio, the second of three races in the Playoffs’ Round of 16.

 

The 2022 season marks the first-time the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs’ second race has been hosted by Kansas Speedway. Kansas is the fourth different track in NASCAR Cup Series history to host the second race of the Playoffs; joining Dover Motor Speedway (2004-2010), New Hampshire Motor Speedway (2011–2017) and Richmond Raceway (2018-2021).

 

A total of 13 different drivers have won the second race of the Playoffs, led by seven-time NASCAR Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson with three wins (2005, 2009, 2010); followed by Kyle Busch (2017, 2018), Matt Kenseth (2013, 2015) and Martin Truex Jr. (2019, 2021) with two victories each. 

 

Second Race Of The NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs - Race Winners (2004-2021)

Date

Track

Playoff Race Winners

Saturday, September 11, 2021

Richmond

Martin Truex Jr

Saturday, September 12, 2020

Richmond

Brad Keselowski

Saturday, September 21, 2019

Richmond

Martin Truex Jr

Saturday, September 22, 2018

Richmond

Kyle Busch

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Loudon

Kyle Busch

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Loudon

Kevin Harvick

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Loudon

Matt Kenseth

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Loudon

Joey Logano

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Loudon

Matt Kenseth

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Loudon

Denny Hamlin

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Loudon

Tony Stewart

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Dover

Jimmie Johnson

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Dover

Jimmie Johnson

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Dover

Greg Biffle

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Dover

Carl Edwards

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Dover

Jeff Burton

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Dover

Jimmie Johnson

Sunday, September 26, 2004

Dover

Ryan Newman

 

Since the inception of the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs in 2004, Kansas Speedway has participated in the postseason each year, and this season will mark the seventh different positions on the Playoff schedule the track has occupied:

 

  1. From 2004, 2005, 2011, 2013 and 2014 Kansas Speedway hosted the fourth race in the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs.
  2. From 2006-2010 Kansas Speedway hosted the third race in the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs.
  3. From 2015-2016 Kansas hosted the fifth race of the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs. 
  4. Then in 2012, 2017, 2018 and 2019 Kansas Speedway hosted the sixth race of the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs.
  5. In 2020, Kansas Speedway hosted the seventh race of the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs.
  6. In 2021, Kansas Speedway hosted the eighth race of the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs.
  7. This season, Kansas Speedway will host the second race of the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs.   

A total of 13 different drivers have won the NASCAR Cup Series Playoff races at Kansas Speedway:

 

NASCAR Cup Series Playoff Race Winners - Kansas Speedway

Date

Track

Race Winners

Race No.

Sunday, October 10, 2004

Kansas

Joe Nemechek

30

Sunday, October 9, 2005

Kansas

Mark Martin

30

Sunday, October 1, 2006

Kansas

Tony Stewart

29

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Kansas

Greg Biffle

29

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Kansas

Jimmie Johnson

29

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Kansas

Tony Stewart

29

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Kansas

Greg Biffle

29

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Kansas

Jimmie Johnson

30

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Kansas

Matt Kenseth

32

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Kansas

Kevin Harvick

30

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Kansas

Joey Logano

30

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Kansas

Joey Logano

31

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Kansas

Kevin Harvick

31

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Kansas

Martin Truex Jr

32

Sunday, October 21, 2018

Kansas

Chase Elliott

32

Sunday, October 20, 2019

Kansas

Denny Hamlin

32

Sunday, October 18, 2020

Kansas

Joey Logano

33

Sunday, October 24, 2021

Kansas

Kyle Larson

34

 

Team Penske’s Joey Logano leads the NASCAR Cup Series in Playoff wins at Kansas Speedway with three postseason victories (2014, 2015, 2020); followed by four other drivers with multiple Kanas Playoff wins: Tony Stewart (2006, 2009), Jimmie Johnson (2008, 2011), Greg Biffle (2007, 2010) and Stewart-Haas Racing’s Kevin Harvick (2013, 2016). The 2021 NASCAR Cup Series champion, Kyle Larson, is the most recent Playoff race winner at Kansas Speedway.

 

Winning the second the race in the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs has been a springboard for several competitors throughout the years. When Dover Motor Speedway hosted the second race of the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs (2004-2010), twice the winning driver went on to win the series title that same season – Jimmie Johnson (2009 and 2010). When New Hampshire Motor Speedway moved to the second race in the Playoffs (2011-2017), only one driver won the event and went on to win the title that same year – Tony Stewart (2011). Stewart won five races in the 2011 NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs (a series-record tied with Kyle Larson, 2021). None of the Playoff race winners at Richmond Raceway (2018-2021) went on to win the title in the same season.

 

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 Speedway NASCAR Cup Series 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. The Kansas win was the first of three Playoff wins for Johnson en route to the 2008 title. Then in 2017, Martin Truex Jr. won the Kansas Speedway NASCAR Cup Series Playoff race from the pole, leading 91 laps, and went on to win his first NASCAR Cup Series title later that season. Kansas was the sixth race of the Playoffs in 2017. The Kansas win was the second of four Playoff victories for Truex en route to the championship in 2017.

 

A non-Playoff driver has never won the second race on the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs schedule, but what is interesting is three non-Playoff drivers have won a NASCAR Cup Series Playoff race at Kansas Speedway, which makes us bode the question, will it happen again?

 

In 2004, Joe Nemechek became the first non-Playoff driver to win the NASCAR Cup Series Playoff race at Kansas Speedway. He was ranked 21st in the point standings at the time of the win. In 2006, NASCAR Hall of Famer Tony Stewart won the NASCAR Cup Series Playoff race at Kansas Speedway and was ranked 11th in point standings at the time of the victory – the first spot outside the postseason. In 2007, Greg Biffle won the NASCAR Cup Series Playoff race at Kansas Speedway and was ranked 14th in points at the time of the win. 

 

The worst finish in a NASCAR Cup Series Playoff race at Kansas Speedway by a driver that went on to win the championship later that same season was 15th by NASCAR Hall of Famer Tony Stewart in 2011.

 

The worst finish by a driver in the second race on NASCAR Cup Playoffs schedule that went on to win the title that same season was: 

 

  • At Dover Motor Speedway (2004-2010) – the 2005 series champion Tony Stewart finished 18th.
  • At New Hampshire Motor Speedway (2011-2017) – the 2015 series champion Kyle Busch finished 37th.
  • At Richmond Raceway (2018-2021) – the 2018 series champion Joey Logano finished 14th. 
  • Last season’s champion, Kyle Larson, finished sixth at Richmond Raceway, the second race of the 2021 Playoff schedule, and went on to win the title that same season. Larson’s 2021 Playoff run tied NASCAR Hall of Famer Tony Stewart’s 2011 run for the most wins (five) during a Playoffs’ single season 10 races. 

 

The Rundown: NASCAR Cup Series at Kansas Speedway

A staple in the NASCAR Cup Series postseason since the inception of the Playoffs in 2004, Kansas Speedway has provided some great side-by-side racing and this weekend’s Hollywood Casino 400 Presented by Barstool Sportsbook on Sunday, September 11 at 3 p.m. ET on USA, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio, shouldn’t disappoint.

 

Groundbreaking for Kansas Speedway was held on May 25, 1999, and the official opening of the 1.5-mile paved four-turn track was in 2001 with the first events being an ARCA Menards Series race and an ARCA Menards Series West race on the same day – June 2. The first NASCAR Cup Series race at Kansas Speedway was on September 30, 2001, and the race was won by Hendrick Motorsport’s driver and NASCAR Hall of Famer Jeff Gordon.

 

For the most part Kansas Speedway has remained unchanged since it was built, but did undergo a repave during the 2012 season, between the April and October events, adding variable banking in the corners (17 to 20 degrees).

 

In total there have been 33 NASCAR Cup Series races at Kansas Speedway, one event from 2001 - 2010 and two races per year since 2011. The 33 Cup races have produced 17 different pole winners and 17 different race winners.

 

Stewart-Haas Racing’s Kevin Harvick leads the NASCAR Cup Series in poles at Kansas Speedway with five poles (fall 2013, 2014 sweep, spring 2018 and spring 2019). Six of the 17 NASCAR Cup Series Kansas Speedway pole winners are active this weekend.

 

Active Kansas Pole Winners

Poles

Seasons

Kevin Harvick

5

2013, '14 sweep, '18, '19

Martin Truex Jr

2

2016, '17

Joey Logano

2

2015, '18

Christopher Bell

1

2022

Ryan Blaney

1

2017

Brad Keselowski

1

2015

 

Of the 17 different NASCAR Cup Series race winners at Kansas Speedway, 11 have won multiple races at the 1.5-mile track. Five drivers are tied for the lead in wins in the NASCAR Cup Series at Kansas Speedway with three victories each: Jeff Gordon (2001, 2002, 2014), Kevin Harvick (2013, 2016, 2018), Jimmie Johnson (2008, 2011, 2015), Denny Hamlin (2012, 2019, 2020), Joey Logano (2014, 2015, 2020). Eight of the 17 NASCAR Cup Series Kansas Speedway winners are active this weekend.

 

Active Kansas Race Winners

Wins

Seasons

Denny Hamlin

3

2020, 2019, 2012

Joey Logano

3

2020, 2015, 2014

Kevin Harvick

3

2018, 2016, 2013

Brad Keselowski

2

2019, 2011

Kyle Busch

2

2021, 2016

Martin Truex Jr

2

2017 sweep

Kyle Larson

1

2021

Chase Elliott

1

2018

 

23XI Racing’s driver Kurt Busch is the most recent winner at Kanas Speedway grabbing the victory back in the No. 45 Toyota back in May, but Busch has since sustained an injury that has currently sidelined him. In his stead this weekend at Kansas, his 23XI Racing teammate Bubba Wallace will drive the No. 45 car and NASCAR Xfinity Series standout Ty Gibbs will pilot the No. 23 23XI Racing Toyota.

 

This weekend’s NASCAR Cup Series on-track activity will begin with practice (Sept. 10 at 11:05 a.m. ET) followed by Busch Light Pole Qualifying at 11:50 a.m. ET. Qualifying will be streamed on the NBC Sports App starting at noon ET. 

 

Clinch Scenarios: Kansas Speedway

Petty GMS driver Erik Jones threw a wrench in the hopes of the 16-driver NASCAR Cup Series Playoff field of taking home the Playoff opener win last weekend at Darlington Raceway, when the Michigan native grabbed his first win of 2022. As a result, for the first-time since the inception of the elimination format in 2014, none of the Playoff drivers has clinched a spot in the Round of 12 coming out of the postseason opener.

 

Can Clinch Via Points

If there is a win by a driver who cannot advance to the next round, the following drivers could clinch by being 56 points above the 12th winless driver in the standings. The same point requirements listed below would hold true if a new win comes from among Joey Logano, William Byron, Denny Hamlin, Christopher Bell, Tyler Reddick, Ryan Blaney, Kyle Larson, Ross Chastain, Chase Elliott, Alex Bowman or Kyle Busch.

 

  • Joey Logano: Could only clinch with help
  • William Byron: Could only clinch with help
  • Denny Hamlin: Could only clinch with help
  • Christopher Bell: Could only clinch with help
  • Tyler Reddick: Could only clinch with help
  • Ryan Blaney: Could only clinch with help
  • Kyle Larson: Could only clinch with help
  • Ross Chastain: Could only clinch with help
  • Chase Elliott: Could only clinch with help
  • Alex Bowman: Could only clinch with help
  • Kyle Busch: Could only clinch with help

 

If there is a new winner from Daniel Suárez or another winless driver lower in the standings but still eligible to advance to the next round, the following drivers could clinch by being 56 points above the 11th winless driver in the standings.

 

  • Joey Logano: Could only clinch with help
  • William Byron: Could only clinch with help
  • Denny Hamlin: Could only clinch with help
  • Christopher Bell: Could only clinch with help
  • Tyler Reddick: Could only clinch with help
  • Ryan Blaney: Could only clinch with help
  • Kyle Larson: Could only clinch with help
  • Ross Chastain: Could only clinch with help
  • Chase Elliott: Could only clinch with help
  • Alex Bowman: Could only clinch with help
  • Kyle Busch: Could only clinch with help

 

Can Clinch Via Win

The following drivers would clinch on their win alone: Joey Logano, William Byron, Denny Hamlin, Christopher Bell, Tyler Reddick, Ryan Blaney, Kyle Larson, Ross Chastain, Chase Elliott, Alex Bowman, Kyle Busch, Daniel Suarez, Austin Cindric, Austin Dillon, Chase Briscoe, Kevin Harvick

 

Playoff Bubble: Outside Looking In After One Race

With just two races to go in the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs’ Round of 16, tensions are rising as none of the 16-drivers in the postseason have locked themselves into the next round.

 

Currently Team Penske’s Joey Logano holds the top spot in the Playoff standings after Regular Season Champion and No. 1 seed coming into Darlington Raceway, Chase Elliott, was in an early-race incident dropping him to ninth in the postseason points. Logano is 38 points up on the Round of 12 cutoff, while Elliott is only 14 points above the cutline.

 

Four drivers are outside the Round of 12 cutoff and chasing Trackhouse Racing’s Daniel Suárez in the 12th and final transfer position to the next round on points, Team Penske’s Austin Cindric in 13th (-2 points), Richard Childress Racing’s Austin Dillon in 14th (-4) and Stewart-Haas Racing teammates Chase Briscoe in 15th (-10) and veteran Kevin Harvick in 16th (-13).

 

NASCAR Cup Series Playoff Outlook Following Darlington Raceway (Playoff Race #1)

 

Rank

Playoff Drivers

Points

Race Wins

Stage Wins

Playoff Pts

Pts From Cutoff

1

Joey Logano

2,065

2

5

25

38

2

William Byron

2,059

2

4

15

32

3

Denny Hamlin

2,057

2

3

13

30

4

Christopher Bell

2,055

1

2

11

28

5

Tyler Reddick

2,050

2

2

12

23

6

Ryan Blaney

2,047

0

5

13

20

7

Kyle Larson

2,044

2

3

19

17

8

Ross Chastain

2,042

2

5

20

15

9

Chase Elliott

2,041

4

5

40

14

10

Alex Bowman

2,037

1

1

6

10

11

Kyle Busch

2,035

1

3

11

8

12

Daniel Suarez

2,029

1

2

7

2

13

Austin Cindric

2,027

1

1

6

-2

14

Austin Dillon

2,025

1

0

5

-4

15

Chase Briscoe

2,019

1

4

9

-10

16

Kevin Harvick

2,016

2

0

12

-13

 

Of the four drivers below the Round of 12 cutline, Stewart-Haas Racing’s Kevin Harvick has the biggest hill to climb. But Kansas Speedway is one of the 10 tracks that make up the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs, and of Harvick’s 60 career Cup Series victories, 23 have come at the remaining playoff venues. Three of those wins have been at Kansas, while Harvick also has three wins apiece at Bristol and Texas. He has two wins at Las Vegas and one win each at Talladega, Homestead-Miami and Martinsville. The remaining nine wins were earned at Phoenix Raceway, home to the NASCAR Championship Race. The only Playoffs track where Harvick doesn’t have a win is the Charlotte ROVAL.

 

Top 16 Playoff Driver’s Cup Series Career Performances at Kansas Speedway

 

Rank

Driver

Races

Poles

Wins

Top Fives

Top 10s

DNFs

Average Finish

Driver Rating

 

 
   

1

Joey Logano

26

2

3

8

10

4

17.1

87.7

   

2

William Byron

9

0

0

1

5

2

16.1

85.1

   

3

Denny Hamlin

28

0

3

10

11

2

13.7

92.0

   

4

Christopher Bell

5

1

0

1

3

0

14.8

87.7

   

5

Tyler Reddick

6

0

0

0

2

0

17.7

85.6

   

6

Ryan Blaney

15

1

0

3

6

2

16.9

95.0

   

7

Kyle Larson

15

0

1

5

7

2

14.6

101.1

   

8

Ross Chastain

7

0

0

0

1

1

22.4

59.2

   

9

Chase Elliott

13

0

1

6

8

0

11.2

97.9

   

10

Alex Bowman

14

0

0

2

6

1

16.9

75.5

   

11

Kyle Busch

29

0

2

10

14

4

15.2

94.0

   

12

Daniel Suárez

11

0

0

0

1

2

22.3

64.0

   

13

Austin Cindric

2

0

0

0

0

0

16.5

75.7

   

14

Austin Dillon

18

0

0

0

5

1

16.3

73.8

   

15

Chase Briscoe

3

0

0

0

0

0

21.0

55.9

   

16

Kevin Harvick

33

5

3

12

19

1

9.1

108.5

   

 

At Kansas this weekend, six of the 16-driver Playoff field are former winners at the 1.5-mile track, including Joey Logano, Denny Hamlin, Kevin Harvick, Kyle Busch, Chase Elliott and Kyle Larson.

 

NASCAR Cup Series, Etc.

 

Lee Greenwood to perform ‘God Bless The USA’ at Kansas -  As a tribute to our nation’s military and first responders on a solemn day of remembrance, Lee Greenwood will sing his patriotic hit “God Bless The USA” prior to the start of the Hollywood Casino 400 Presented by Barstool Sportsbook on Sunday, Sept. 11 at Kansas Speedway.

 

Greenwood has made appearances at various NASCAR events throughout the years to perform the chart-topping song, a classic at sporting events and patriotic celebrations across the country. “God Bless the USA” earned two Grammy nominations and has been in the top five on the country singles charts three times (1991, 2001, and 2003), the only song in any genre to achieve that feat.

 

“To have Lee Greenwood perform such an iconic song at Kansas Speedway on such an important day is truly momentous,” said Kansas Speedway President Pat Warren. “‘God Bless The USA’ always fills me with great pride and emotion, and it really has the power to bring people together. I’m looking forward to hearing it live.”

 

An international country music star, Greenwood has earned multiple CMA and ACM awards, as well as a Grammy for Top Male Vocal Performance on his song “I.O.U.” With seven No. 1 songs and 25 charted singles, Greenwood’s impressive discography spans over four decades. He previously served on the National Endowment of the Arts Council under three different US presidents and has performed at some of the country’s greatest venues, now adding Kansas Speedway to that list.

 

NASCAR Cup Series Featured Matchups: Hollywood Casino 400 Presented by Barstool Sportsbook – Below is a close look at the featured matchups fans can bet on heading into this weekend’s event.

 

Erik Jones vs. Daniel Suarez (Fan Vote) - What a Sunday it was for both of these drivers, as Erik Jones became a two-time winner of the Cook Out Southern 500 in the first race of the Playoffs at Darlington. With multiple Playoff drivers having car troubles in the last 50 laps, Jones hung around and used a late restart to hold off Denny Hamlin and Tyler Reddick to win his first race of the 2022 season. Daniel Suárez had an uphill battle all day after having to do a pass-through penalty at the start of the race for failing pre-race tech three times. A lap down to start the race, Suárez got his lap back after the caution came out for rain on Lap 6. Suárez worked his way all to the front and was running comfortably in the top 10 before a speeding penalty on pit road put him another lap down. Even though he wound up finishing 18th, he attained 2 points in Stage 2 and showed that he had a ton of speed in the No. 99 car. Looking ahead to Kanas, Jones has two top fives in his last seven races here and owns a 16-point advantage over Suárez in driver rating at the 1.5-mile track.

 

Kyle Busch vs. Denny Hamlin - Kyle Busch looked like he had the best car all day at Darlington last weekend. It looked like the 18 car was going to find his way to Victory Lane for the first time since Bristol, but an engine issue caused his car to smoke under caution while running first and ended his race with 22 laps to go. His JGR teammate, Denny Hamlin also had a great car all day. He was in contention all race, running in the top five most of the day. He gave it his best shot at running Erik Jones down in the final 20 laps, but ultimately settled for a second-place finish. Both of these championship contenders will be motivated to find Victory Lane after what could have been at Darlington and are headed to a track where both have been dominant. They’ve combined for three wins and eight top fives in the last seven races at Kansas, so expect both Busch and Hamlin to be battling it out for the lead once again. They finished third and fourth in the spring race earlier this season when Kurt Busch won.

 

Kyle Larson vs. Chase Elliott - It wasn’t the start of the Playoffs that Chase Elliott or Kyle Larson was looking for. Both Hendrick teammates had their fair share of struggles throughout the day, starting with Kyle Larson who found himself on pit road with possible engine failure. Luckily, Cliff Daniels and company fixed the issue, but Larson was three laps down early in Stage 2. His Hendrick counterpart and Regular Season Champion, Chase Elliott spun and hit the wall on Lap 113. The damage was so severe that Elliott was unable to fix his car under the DVP clock and had to retire from the race in last place. Elliott fell from first to ninth in the standings. Larson was able to get back on the lead lap in Stage 3 and battled back for a 12th-place finish. For two of the top Playoff contenders, they’ll look to have a better performance at Kansas. Larson holds one win and an average finish of 8.8 in his last five races at Kansas. Elliott boasts an average finishing position of 8.6, so these Hendrick teammates will be poised to regroup and find their stride in the Playoffs.

 

Ryan Blaney vs. Joey Logano - Keeping the theme going with teammate matchups, Ryan Blaney and Joey Logano are our final Featured Matchup for Kansas. Joey Logano’s weekend started out perfect, as he won the pole and the best pit stall for Darlington. However, a long pit stop shuffled him back in the field, and he had to battle the rest of the night for track position. Battle he did, as Logano raced his way to a fourth-place finish, and currently sits atop the Playoff standings. Ryan Blaney avoided trouble all night, and although he didn’t have the car he wanted, he picked up eight combined stage points and finished 13th. These two Team Penske Ford’s will head to Kansas hoping for better results this time around. Earlier this season at Kansas, no Fords finished inside the top-10. That will have to change if Logano wants to maintain the top spot in the Playoff standings. Logano does have one victory to his resume, but Blaney holds the edge in driver rating at 90.8 compared to Logano’s 85.1.

 

Another different winner brings 2022 NASCAR Cup Series total to a record 17 – Petty GMS driver Erik Jones won the Cookout Southern 500 last weekend at Darlington Raceway, becoming the 17th different winner of the 2022 NASCAR Cup Series season tying 1961 season for the most different winners (17) through 27 races of a single season. 

 

The most winners all-time in a NASCAR Cup Series season is 19 different winners and it has occurred four times in the series – 1956, 1958, 1961 and 2001.

 

In 1956, the 19th different winner was named at the third to last race of the year at Martinsville Speedway (Race No. 54 of 56 on the schedule) – Jack Smith won the event.

 

In 1958, the 19th different winner was named with seven races left on the year at the California State Fairgrounds in Sacramento, California (Race No. 44 of 51 on the schedule) – Parnelli Jones won the event.

 

In 1961, the 19th different winner was named with 10 races left on the year at Darlington Raceway (Race No. 42 of 52 on the schedule) – Nelson Stacey won the event.

 

The 2001 season is the only season to reach 19 different winners in the Modern Era (1972-2022). In 2001, the 19th different winner was named season finale race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway (Race No. 36 of 36 on the Schedule) – Robby Gordon won the event.

 

NASCAR Xfinity Series

 

Pushing the limits with NASCAR Xfinity Series Playoffs in sight

Richard Childress Racing rookie Sheldon Creed put on quite the show last weekend at Darlington Raceway, finishing runner-up to JR Motorsports’ Noah Gragson after a last-lap, three car battle with Gragson and NASCAR Cup Series regular Kyle Larson.

 

Creed led a Xfinity Series career-high 47 laps but missed the win by a margin of victory of .794 seconds, which would’ve clinched his spot in the 2022 Playoffs. He now sits in the 13th position, the first spot outside the postseason cutoff, 16 points back from RSS Racing’s Ryan Sieg in the 12th and final Playoff spot on points.

 

Creed, and all Xfinity Series drivers without a win, now only have two opportunities to earn their spot in the postseason - this weekend at 1.5-mile Kansas Speedway in the Kansas Lottery 300 and next Friday under the lights in the Food City 300 at the famous half-mile Bristol Motor Speedway high-banked short track.

 

Looking to close the gap on Sieg this weekend, but this will be Creed’s first Xfinity Series start at Kansas Speedway in the series. Though Creed has run well on other 1.5-mile facilities this season, posting three top 10s in five races on 1.5-mile tracks – Las Vegas (seventh), Atlanta (ninth, 12th), Texas (26th), Charlotte (eighth).

 

Sieg, who currently sits in the final Playoff spot, has been making the trip to Kansas Speedway since 2013, posting three top fives and six top 10s in his 10 starts. His most recent finish at the track was fifth (2021).

 

Kansas Speedway and the NASCAR Xfinity Series 

After some action-packed racing at Darlington Raceway last weekend, the NASCAR Xfinity Series is back for more at Kansas Speedway for the Kansas Lottery 300 on Saturday, September 10 at 3 p.m. ET on USA, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.

Kansas Speedway, located just outside Kansas City, Kansas is a 1.5-mile track with variable banking in the turns (17 to 20 degrees). Kansas Speedway has hosted 22 NASCAR Xfinity Series races producing 15 different pole winners and 17 different race winners. The inaugural race was won by Jeff Green on September 29, 2001.

 

Only two races have been won from the pole or first starting position, most recently by Kyle Busch in 2016. Matt Kenseth set the qualifying record in 2015 with a speed of 184.906 mph while Christopher Bell set the race record in 2017 with a speed of 141.158 mph.

 

Kyle Busch is a known name at the track, currently holding the record for most wins (four), top fives (eight), top 10s (10), laps led (544) and is tied for most lead lap finishes at 10 with Justin Allgaier and Kevin Harvick in the NASCAR Xfinity Series.

Kansas Speedway is a very memorable place for some as it’s where Christopher Bell (2017), Brandon Jones (2019) and John Hunter Nemechek (2018) all scored their first Xfinity Series wins. Parker Kligerman (2009) and Tyler Reddick (2017) each won their first pole.

 

Joe Gibbs Racing’s Ty Gibbs sits is the most recent winner at the track. If he goes back-to-back, he’ll become the fourth driver to do so, joining Joey Logano (2009, 2010), Kyle Busch (2014, 2015, 2016) and Brandon Jones (2019, 2020).

 

The NASCAR Xfinity Series will kick off its weekend with practice at 5:05 p.m. ET followed by qualifying at 5:35 p.m. ET on Friday, September 9 on the USA Network.

 

Two races. Five spots. Who’s in?

With two races remaining in the regular season before Playoffs kickoff for the Xfinity Series at Texas Motor Speedway on September 24, winless drivers are feeling the heat to cross the finish line and take their car to Victory Lane.

 

With more spots than races left in the regular season, points are going to weigh a lot more as we head into the Kansas Lottery 300 this weekend.

 

Already Clinched

The following seven drivers have clinched a spot in the 12-driver postseason field: AJ Allmendinger, Ty Gibbs, Justin Allgaier, Noah Gragson, Josh Berry, Austin Hill, Brandon Jones.

 

Can clinch via points

If there is a repeat winner or a win by a driver who cannot advance to the Playoffs, the following drivers could clinch by being 56 points above the fifth winless driver in the standings.  The same point requirements listed below would hold true if a new win comes from among Riley Herbst, Sam Mayer, Daniel Hemric or Landon Cassill.

 

  • Riley Herbst: Would clinch with 15 points
  • Sam Mayer: Would clinch with 18 points
  • Daniel Hemric: Could only clinch with help
  • Landon Cassill: Could only clinch with help

 

If there is a new winner from Ryan Sieg or another winless driver lower in the standings but still eligible to advance to the Playoffs, the following drivers could clinch by being 56 points above the fourth winless driver in the standings.

 

  • Riley Herbst: Would clinch with 33 points
  • Sam Mayer: Would clinch with 36 points
  • Daniel Hemric: Could only clinch with help

 

Can clinch via win

The following drivers would clinch on their win alone: Riley Herbst, Sam Mayer, Daniel Hemric, Landon Cassill, Ryan Sieg, Sheldon Creed, Brandon Brown, Anthony Alfredo, Myatt Snider

 

The following drivers could clinch with a win:

 

  • Jeb Burton: Would clinch with 46 points
  • Jeremy Clements: Could only clinch with help

 

Can clinch Regular Season Championship

Additionally, the Regular Season Championship could be clinched by the following drivers:

 

  • AJ Allmendinger: Could only clinch with help

 

Stewart-Haas Racing’s Riley Herbst (651 points) and JR Motorsports’ Sam Mayer (648 points) are the highest ranked drivers without a win so you can be sure that they will be racing hard this weekend in hopes of taking the checkered flag.

 

Herbst has three starts at Kansas Speedway with one top 10 (2020). Mayer has one start at the 1.5-mile track where he posted an eight-place finish (2021).

 

NASCAR Xfinity Series, Etc.

 

Rajah Caruth is back in a Xfinity car – Rajah Caruth, a product of the NASCAR Drive for Diversity Development Program, drives full time in the ARCA Menards Series but has been getting his feet wet in the Xfinity Series this season and will continue to do so this weekend at Kansas Speedway.

 

He’s had three starts thus far – Richmond, Dover and Pocono – and will post his fourth start in the Kansas Lottery 300 in the No. 45 Alpha Prime Racing Chevrolet.

 

Sunoco Rookie of the Year update – It’s crunch time in the regular season but Richard Childress Racing’s Austin Hill has created a pretty hefty cushion between himself and the competition. Going into this weekend’s race at Kansas, he leads the group with 740 points.

 

RCR teammate Sheldon Creed had a great performance last weekend and comes in next with 539 points. He has posted three top fives and 10 top 10s this season.

 

Kyle Sieg sits in third with 204 points and Jesse Iwuji slides in next with 84 points.

 

NASCAR Camping World Truck Series

 

Kansas sets the stage for Camping World Truck Series Playoffs elimination race

After a small hiatus, the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series is back and at full song this weekend at Kansas Speedway for the Kansas Lottery 200 this Friday, Sept. 9 at 7:30 p.m. ET on FS1, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio, the elimination-race of the Playoffs’ Round of 10. GMS Racing’s Grant Enfinger and Kyle Busch Motorsports’ Chandler Smith are the only two drivers locked into the next round of the Playoffs. That leaves eight drivers vying for the final six spots on Friday night, and two drivers’ postseason runs will be over when checkered flag flies.

 

Kansas Speedway is a 1.5-mile paved oval with four turns with variable banking (17 to 20 degrees). The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series has competed at Kansas Speedway 24 times producing 16 different pole winners and 20 different race winners. NASCAR Hall of Famer Ron Hornaday Jr. leads the series in poles at Kansas with three consecutive (2008-2010). ThorSport Racing’s Matt Crafton (2013, 2015, 2020) and Kyle Busch (2014, 2017, 2021) lead the Camping World Truck Series in wins at Kansas Speedway with three each. Three of the 20 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Kansas Speedway winners are active this weekend – Matt Crafton (three wins), Brett Moffit (one win) and Front Row Motorsports’ driver and 2022 Regular Series Champion Zane Smith (one win, 2022).

 

This weekend marks just the second-time Kansas Speedway has hosted a NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Playoffs race (2020, 2022), and the first-time it will be an elimination-race. The first Truck Series Playoff race at Kansas Speedway was on October 17, 2020, and the event was the first race of the Round of 8 and it was won by Playoff contender Brett Moffitt propelling him into the Championship 4 Round.

 

Kansas Speedway is the fourth different track to host the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series first round elimination-race since the inception of the Playoffs in the series in 2016; joining Talladega Superspeedway (2016, 2017, 2018, 2020), Las Vegas Motor Speedway (2019) and Bristol Motor Speedway (2021).

 

Six different drivers have won the elimination race of the first round of the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Playoffs; including current postseason contenders Grant Enfinger in 2016 and Chandler Smith in 2021.

 

NCWTS Playoffs First Round Elimination Race Winners (2016-2021)

Date

Track

Playoff Race Winner

Season

Race No.

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Talladega

Grant Enfinger

2016

19

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Talladega

Parker Kligerman

2017

19

Saturday, October 13, 2018

Talladega

Timothy Peters

2018

19

Friday, September 13, 2019

Las Vegas

Austin Hill

2019

19

Saturday, October 3, 2020

Talladega

Raphael Lessard

2020

19

Thursday, September 16, 2021

Bristol

Chandler Smith

2021

18

 

Friday night’s Kansas Speedway Playoff race will be broken up into three stages, the first two stages will be 30 laps each and the final stage will be 74 laps for a race total of 134 laps (201 miles). The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series on-track activity will begin with practice and Cometic Gasket Pole Qualifying on Friday, Sept. 9 at 3 p.m. ET on FS1.

 

Truck Clinch Scenarios: Kansas Speedway

A lot is on the line as the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series returns to action at Kansas Speedway on Sept. 9 at 7:30 p.m. ET on FS1, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio for the Kansas Lottery 200, the cutoff race for the Round of 10.

 

Only two drivers have clinched spots in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Playoffs’ Round of 8 – GMS Racing’s Grant Enfinger (Indianapolis winner) and Kyle Busch Motorsports’ Chandler Smith (Richmond winner) – which means six other positions that are still open with one race to go. Below are the clinch scenarios heading into the Round of 10 finale at Kansas Speedway.

 

Already Clinched

The following two drivers have clinched a spot in the eight-driver field of the next round: Chandler Smith, Grant Enfinger.

 

Can Clinch Via Points

If there is a repeat winner or a win by a driver who cannot advance to the next round, the following drivers could clinch by being ahead of the seventh winless driver in the standings.  The same point requirements listed below would hold true if a new win comes from among Zane Smith, John Hunter Nemechek, Ty Majeski, Stewart Friesen, Ben Rhodes or Matt Crafton.

 

  • Zane Smith: Would clinch with 10 points
  • John Hunter Nemechek: Would clinch with 13 points
  • Ty Majeski: Would clinch with 20 points
  • Stewart Friesen: Would clinch with 25 points
  • Ben Rhodes: Would clinch with 34 points (needs 35 points if Crafton wins)
  • Matt Crafton: Would clinch with 53 points
  • Carson Hocevar: Would clinch with 55 points (needs help if Crafton wins)
  • Christian Eckes: Could only clinch with help

 

If there is a new winner from Carson Hocevar or Christian Eckes, the following drivers could clinch by being ahead of the sixth winless driver in the standings.

 

  • Zane Smith: Would clinch with 13 points
  • John Hunter Nemechek: Would clinch with 16 points
  • Ty Majeski: Would clinch with 23 points
  • Stewart Friesen: Would clinch with 28 points
  • Ben Rhodes: Would clinch with 38 points
  • Matt Crafton: Could only clinch with help
  • Carson Hocevar: Could only clinch with help
  • Christian Eckes: Could only clinch with help

 

Can Clinch Via Win

The following drivers would clinch on their win alone: Zane Smith, John Hunter Nemechek, Ty Majeski, Stewart Friesen, Ben Rhodes, Matt Crafton, Carson Hocevar and Christian Eckes.

 

NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Playoffs Contender’s Career Performances at Kansas Speedway

 

Rank

Driver

Races

Poles

Wins

Top Fives

Top 10s

DNFs

Average Finish

Driver Rating

 
 

1

Chandler Smith

3

0

0

2

2

0

6.7

98.3

 

2

Zane Smith

5

0

1

1

4

0

6.8

122.5

 

3

John H. Nemechek

5

1

0

3

4

0

9.2

103.5

 

4

Grant Enfinger

8

0

0

4

6

0

7.0

93.0

 

5

Ty Majeski

3

0

0

1

1

1

14.3

80.5

 

6

Stewart Friesen

7

0

0

1

1

2

19.9

84.6

 

7

Ben Rhodes

9

0

0

2

5

1

12.6

94.4

 

8

Matt Crafton

24

1

3

7

14

3

11.5

94.1

 

9

Carson Hocevar

2

0

0

0

0

0

19.0

74.6

 

10

Christian Eckes

5

0

0

3

4

0

6.0

99.4

 

 

Chandler Smith rockets out front with Playoff win at Richmond

Kyle Busch Motorsports driver Chandler Smith took the Playoff win at Richmond Raceway a few weeks back in dominant fashion, leading 176 of the scheduled 250 laps, and with the victory catapulted himself into the second round of the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Playoffs. Now the Georgia native sits atop the postseason standings by two points over Front Row Motorsports’ Zane Smith as the series prepares for the final race of the Playoffs’ Round of 10 at Kansas Speedway on September 9 at 7:30 p.m. ET on FS1, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.

 

KBM’s Smith joins GMS Racing’s Grant Enfinger as the only the drivers locked into the Playoffs Round of 8 heading into Kansas. Front Row Motorsports’ Zane Smith leads the drivers without a win this round in the postseason standings with 2,109 points, up 46 points on the Round of 8 cutline. Smith is followed by John Hunter Nemechek (+43), Ty Majeski (+36), Stewart Friesen (+31), 2021 series champ Ben Rhodes (+21), and veteran Matt Crafton, who sits in the eighth and final transfer spot on points, and is up just three points on Niece Motorsport’s Carson Hocevar in ninth and six points on ThorSport Racing’s Christian Eckes in 10th. 

 

After his big win at Richmond, Chandler Smith is now tied with Zane Smith for the most wins on the season with three each. In 18 starts this season, the Kyle Busch Motorsports star has put up career season-highs in wins (three: Las Vegas, Pocono, Richmond), top fives (eight) and top 10s (12).

 

Looking to Kansas this weekend, Smith has also run well at the 1.5-mile facility posting two top 10s and an average finish of 6.7 in three career starts. He finished fourth at Kansas earlier this season.

 

Last Chance Race: Hocevar, Eckes are on the outside looking in

Niece Motorsports’ Carson Hocevar (-3) and ThorSport Racing’s Christian Eckes (-6) are the two drivers currently below the NASCAR Camping World truck Series Playoffs Round of 8 cutline with just one race left to secure a spot to advance.

 

Hocevar’s Playoffs started with a 21st-place finish at Lucas Oil Indianapolis Raceway Park followed by a 10th-place finish at Richmond. Now the Michigan native finds himself three points back from Crafton in eighth in the final transfer position. This is Hocevar’s second Playoff appearance, and he hopes to better what he did in 2021, where he was eliminated in the Round of 8. Unfortunately for Hocevar, Kansas is not one of his better tracks, in two starts he has average finish of 19.0. He finished 15th at Kansas earlier this season.

 

Eckes kicked off his Playoffs with a 16th-place finish at Indianapolis and finished eighth at Richmond Raceway leaving him just six points back from his ThorSport Racing teammate Matt Crafton in eighth. Eckes is looking to build on his only other Playoffs appearance in 2020, where he was eliminated in the Round of 10. Luckily for Eckes, Kansas has been a great track for him. In five series starts he has posted three top fives and four top 10s. His average finish at Kansas is 6.0. He finished fifth at Kansas earlier this season.

 

NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, Etc.

 

Sunoco Rookie of the Year Standings Update – Kyle Busch Motorsport’s rising star, Corey Heim, has strengthened his grip on the 2022 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Sunoco Rookie of the Year standings after posting his third straight top-five finish and fifth overall on the season at Richmond Raceway. Now the Marietta, Georgia native has an 87-point lead on second place in the rookie standings, Niece Motorsports’ Lawless Alan.

 

Though Heim has only participated in 11 of the 18 scheduled races this season, he has been the top of his 2022 rookie class putting up two wins (Atlanta, Gateway), five top fives and six top 10s.

 

NCWTS 2022 Sunoco Rookie of the Year Standings

Rookies

Points

Awards

Corey Heim

335

5

Lawless Alan

248

7

Dean Thompson

227

4

Jack Wood

220

2

Blaine Perkins

150

0

 

Camping World Truck Series Owner Playoffs Update – With Kyle Busch Motorsports’ No. 18 Toyota taking the win at Richmond, they are the only team currently locked into the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Round of 8, leaving seven spots still wide open heading into the round’s finale at Kansas Speedway on Sept. 9.

 

The highest ranked team without a win in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Owner Playoffs is the Front Row Motorsports No. 38 Ford team, up +46 points on the Round of 8 cutline. Plus, the No. 38 team is the most recent winners at the next track on the schedule, Kansas Speedway.

 

At the other end of the Playoff standings, straddling the Playoffs’ Round of 8 cutline, is Niece Motorsports’ No. 42 Chevrolet team in the eighth and final transfer spot on points, up two points over Team DGR’s No. 17 Ford team in ninth - the first spot outside the Round of 8 cutoff. Not far behind Team DGR’s No. 17 Ford team in ninth, is ThorSport Racing’s No. 98 Toyota team in 10th, the basement of the Playoff standings, but within striking distance, just three points behind Niece Motorsports’ No. 42 team.

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