The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series moves to Kansas Speedway for the "lucky" 13th race of the 2011 season, the STP 400. Brian Brown took a look at past performances, season trends, and spoke with NASCAR contacts to predict how the field should finish on Sunday.When:
Sunday, June 5, 2011; 1:15 p.m./et.Weather:
Sunny with a high of 88; wind out of the South at 8 mph. There is a zero percent chance of precipitation on race day.The Track:
Kansas is a 1.5 mile quad-oval. It has 15 degree banking in the corners and 10 degree banking in the tri-oval and five degree banking on the straight-aways.Key to Race:
KANSAS ISN'T JUST THE NAME OF A BAND
Kansas is another 1.5 mile oval which favors teams like Roush-Fenway and Hendrick Motorsports. Jeff Gordon
and Greg Biffle
are the only two-time winners and Jimmie Johnson
has taken three poles in the 10 Cup races the track has hosted. Qualifying Procedures:
45 cars will attempt to qualify for 43 spots. Cars not in the top 35 in the 2010 owner point standings will have to qualify based on speed. Starting positions 1-43 will be determined by a two lap qualifying run on Saturday, June 4 at 12:10 pm/et.Fantasy Cheat Sheet:Top 5
No. 16 Greg Biffle
: Biffle won the 2007 race and also last year's trip to Kansas. He has finished 12th or better in the last eight races at the track. We love his chances.
No. 48 Jimmie Johnson
: Johnson dominated the 2008 race and finished second last year at Kansas. He has seven top 10 finishes in nine career starts at the track. He will be tough to beat.
No. 14 Tony Stewart
: Stewart won at Kansas in 2000 and has seven top 10 finishes in 10 career starts at the track. He is a lock to crack the top five.
No. 99 Carl Edwards
: Edwards has top 10 finishes in five of the last six races at Kansas. He does very well at 1.5 mile ovals and is a great pick.
No. 24 Jeff Gordon
: Gordon has two career wins at Kansas and has finished 13th or better in nine of his 10 starts at the track. 6 to 10
No. 29 Kevin Harvick
: Harvick has finished inside the top six in three of the last four starts at Kansas. He should back inside the top 10 this weekend.
No. 11 Denny Hamlin
: Hamlin has cracked the top 12 the past three races at Kansas. H e should crack the top 12 once again.
No. 33 Clint Bowyer
: Bowyer has usually brought fast cars to his home-track. He is a good pick.
No. 5 Mark Martin
: Martin won the 2005 race at Kansas. He will drive his usual smart race and should finish near the top 10.
No. 22 Kurt Busch
: Busch led 76 laps on his way to an 11th place finish at Kansas in 2007, led two laps on his way to an 11th place finish in 2009 and led zero laps and finished 13th during last year's race. He is a decent pick this weekend.11 to 20
No. 17 Matt Kenseth
: Kenseth had one of the top cars at Kansas in 2008 and 2010, but he has averaged just a 21st place finish at Kansas during his career. There are a few better options than the No. 17 team.
No. 88 Dale Earnhardt Jr.
: Junior has had four top 10 finishes in 10 career starts at Kansas. He won't make it five top 10's this weekend.
No. 18 Kyle Busch
: Kansas has never been one of Rowdy's better tracks. Look for him to take some unnecessary chances that will either help or hurt your fantasy team.
No. 4 Kasey Kahne
: Kahne has led 77 laps in seven career starts at Kansas. He is an interesting pick this weekend.
No. 39 Ryan Newman
: Newman's past trips to Kansas define hit-or-miss. He has four top 10 finishes in 10 career starts and six 15th or worse results at the track. We think he will be back inside the top 15.
No. 20 Joey Logano
: Logano has improved with every trip he makes to Kansas. Look for him to flirt with the top 15 this weekend.
No. 42 Juan Pablo Montoya
: Montoya was great at Kansas in 2009, but was terrible last year. We aren't going to pick him to crack the top 10 this weekend.
No. 13 Casey Mears
: Mears has cracked the top 16 in five of the last six races at Kansas. He is a great sleeper option this weekend.
No. 6 David Ragan
: Ragan is on fire. He has finished inside the top 10 in the past two races this season and has cracked the top 20 in three of his four career starts at Kansas. He is worth using this weekend as a fourth driver in deep leagues.
No. 43 A.J. Allmendinger: A.J. cracked the top 20 in the past three races at Kansas. This is a good weekend to sneak The Dinger onto your roster.21 to 30
No. 31 Jeff Burton
: Burton has cracked the top 10 just twice at Kansas in his career. There are far better options this weekend.
No. 2 Brad Keselowski
: Keselowski finished 23rd at Kansas last season. He is just someone to round-out your roster this weekend.
No. 9 Marcos Ambrose
: Ambrose is consistently inconsistent. He should be a top 25 finisher once again this weekend…or maybe he won't. He is a tough fella to pick.
No. 00 David Reutimann
: Reutimann drove a smart race at Kansas in 2009, but was awful last year. He is a decent option as a fourth driver in most fantasy leagues.
No. 56 Martin Truex Jr.
: Truex Jr. has been very inconsistent in his first three career starts at Kansas. He is a risky pick this weekend.
No. 1 Jamie McMurray
: McMurray has been very average in four of the past five races at Kansas. We predict more of the same from him.
No. 83 Brian Vickers
: Vickers has been a big disappointment this season. He isn't worth the gamble.
No. 27 Paul Menard
: Menard cranked off an eighth place finish at Kansas last year. He won't match the finish, but he is worth using in deep leagues.
No. 47 Bobby Labonte
: Labonte's best career finish at Kansas is 16th. He won't come near that this weekend.
No. 78 Regan Smith
: Was extremely smart in the pits last week to notch at top 10 finish at Charlotte. He won't be anywhere near there at Kansas where he has had very limited success.Field Fillers
No. 37 David Gilliland
No. 7 Robby Gordon
No. 46 J.J. Yeley
No. 32 Patrick Carpentier
No. 36 Dave Blaney
No. 87 Joe Nemechek
No. 50 T.J. Bell
No. 37 Tony Raines
No. 38 Travis Kvapil
No. 30 David Stremme
No. 81 Scott Riggs
No. 60 Mike Skinner
No. 66 Michael McDowell
No. 09 Landon Cassill
No. 71 Andy LallyBrownie's PicksTop Four:
1. Greg Biffle
2. Jimmie Johnson
3. Tony Stewart
4. Carl EdwardsSleepers:
1. Casey Mears
2. David RaganBust of the Week:Jeff Burton