May 26, 2024

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Drivers to watch the NASCAR Cup Series race in Kansas

Drivers to watch the NASCAR Cup Series race in Kansas

NASCAR returns to the 1.5-mile oval track this weekend with a trip to Kansas Speedway.

Kansas represents the second mile-and-a-half traditional track in the Cup stream. Las vigas Hosted the first in March followed by a race in Atlanta Motor Speedwaywhich has been reconfigured and now features the sport’s ultra-fast speed ruleset.

Who should you watch this weekend?

Front Runners

Kyle Larson

  • points position: ninth
  • The last three races: the fourth Talladega. VI Dover. 36 – Darlington
  • Recent in Kansas: won in october

Nobody drove more laps in Kansas in 2021 than Kyle Larson. The No. 5 Chevrolet finished first in 262 laps between the two races, and in October took advantage of 130 laps from pole to win.

His results in 2022 are still slightly less consistent than the benchmark set one year ago, but Larson has finished four races in sixth or better in the past six. A mechanical failure led Darlington to last place, ending a three-race streak of top six results.

Kevin Harvick

  • points position: eleventh
  • The last three races: tenth – Talladega; ninth Dover. Fourth – Darlington
  • Recent in Kansas: Runner-up in this race last spring

Harvick won the Cup three times at Kansas Speedway and is on his way to a hot streak. The 2014 Cup champion finished inside the top four in each of the past four Kansas competitions, including second place.

His last win came in Kansas City in May 2018. His next starts resulted in finals outside the top ten, but he has finished no worse than ninth since. Harvick scored points in 18 of the 20 stages in Kansas and finished third in the playoff race last October.

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Chase Elliot

  • points position: the first
  • The last three races: seventh Talladega. the first Dover. Fifth – Darlington
  • Recent in Kansas: He led laps in five of the last seven races

Elliott is the former winner in Kansas, recording his only facility win in October 2018. While he hasn’t returned to the victory lane there since then, he’s been consistently fast on the 1.5-mile oval.

Elliott has finished six places in sixth or better in the past seven Kansas races, with eight of the top 10 races in 12 games in Kansas. The No. 9 Chevrolet has finished in the top 10 in each of the past five races this season and finished fifth and second in a row at last year’s Kansas events.

Questions to answer

Kyle Bush

  • points position: VI
  • The last three races: the third Talladega. seventh Dover. 33 – Darlington
  • Recent in Kansas: He won this race last year

Kansas and Kyle Bush haven’t always gotten along, but Toyota’s #18 won for a second time there in May 2021. In his past six starts in Kansas, Bush’s results have been a mixed bag: three games at the top and three for 11th or worse.

However, Bosch finished inside the top 10 in 11 out of 14 races in Kansas and scored points in 17 out of 20 stages. The team is certainly looking forward to a rebound from 33rd place in Darlington.

Denny Hamlin

  • points position: 22
  • The last three races: eighteen Talladega. 21 Dover. Twenty-first – Darlington
  • Recent in Kansas: Three times in the past five races
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Hamlin bad luck It continued Sunday in Darlington when a slow pit stop dumped the #11 Toyota in traffic just in time to assemble it in a multi-car crash that ended his winning aspirations. Hamlin hasn’t finished inside the top ten this year except for his win in Richmond. Even worse, he has finished outside the top 20 in four of the past five races.

Kansas was a good track for Hamlin, though. He has three cup wins there, two of them in the past five races, as well as five in the past nine races. He finished fifth in Kansas during the playoffs last year.

William Byron

  • points position: The second
  • The last three races: 15th Talladega. 22 Dover. Thirteenth – Darlington
  • Recent in Kansas: He led laps in five of the last six races

It was a Chevrolet number 24 Six run away of the third major win of the Series of the Year in Darlington. With that in the rearview mirror, KS proved to be a good track for Byron.

The 2017 Xfinity Series champ started his career in Kansas with two DNFs, but collected five straight top ten tops at the 1.5-mile oval and drove 57 laps there in October. Byron has been in a cool streak ever since Martinsville victory With four consecutive finishes outside the top ten, but the team certainly didn’t lose pace.