The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series moves to Kansas Speedway for 30th race of the 2011 season, the Hollywood Casino 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, October 9, 2011; 2:16 p.m./et.
Weather: A few showers with a high of 78; wind out of the SSE at 8 mph. There is a 30 percent chance of precipitation on race day.
The Track: KansasSpeedway
Kansasis 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
Kansasis 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 11 Cup races the track has hosted.
46 cars will attempt to qualify for 43 spots. Cars not in the top 35 in the 2011 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, October 7 at 5:10 pm/et.
Fantasy Cheat Sheet:
No. 48 Jimmie Johnson: Johnson dominated the 2008 race and finished second last year at Kansas. He has eight top 10 finishes in 10 career starts at the track. He will be tough to beat.
No. 14 Tony Stewart: Stewart won at Kansas in 2000 and has eight top 10 finishes in 11 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 seven races at Kansas. He does very well at 1.5 mile ovals and is a great pick.
No. 2 Brad Keselowski: Keselowski led nine laps on his way to a win at Kansas earlier this season. With the way he has driven lately we aren’t going to bet against him.
No. 24 Jeff Gordon: Gordon has two career wins at Kansas and has finished 13th or better in 10 of his 11 starts at the track.
6 to 10
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 nine races at the track. We love his chances.
No. 29 Kevin Harvick: Harvick has finished inside the top six in three of the last five starts at Kansas. He should back inside the top 10 this weekend.
No. 22 Kurt Busch: Busch led 152 laps in this spring’s race at Kansas. He will bring another fast car.
No. 17 Matt Kenseth: Kenseth has had one of the top cars at Kansas in three of the last four races. He will be someone to use in most leagues again this weekend.
No. 11 Denny Hamlin: Hamlin has cracked the top 12 the past four races at Kansas. H e should crack the top 12 once again.
11 to 20
No. 88 Dale Earnhardt Jr.: Junior has had five top 10 finishes in 11 career starts at Kansas. He will just miss the top 10’s this weekend.
No. 5 Mark Martin: Martin won the 2005 race atKansas. He will drive his usual smart race and should finish near the top 10.
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. 33 Clint Bowyer: Bowyer has usually brought fast cars to his home-track. He is a good pick.
No. 4 Kasey Kahne: Kahne has led 77 laps in eight career starts at Kansas. He is an interesting pick this weekend.
No. 39 Ryan Newman: Newman’s past trips to Kansasdefine hit-or-miss. He has four top 10 finishes in 11 career starts and seven 15th or worse results at the track. We think he will be back inside the top 15.
No. 6 David Ragan: Ragan has cracked the top 20 in four of his five career starts at Kansas. He is worth using this weekend as a fourth driver in deep leagues.
No. 20 Joey Logano: Logano has improved almost 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, was terrible last year, and was average this spring. We aren’t going to pick him to crack the top 10 this weekend.
No. 43 A.J. Allmendinger: A.J. cracked the top 20 in three of the past four races at Kansas. This is a good weekend to sneak “The Dinger” onto your roster.
21 to 30
No. 27 Paul Menard: Menard has back-to-back top 20 finishes at Kansas. He is worth using in deep leagues.
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. 13 Casey Mears: Mears has cracked the top 16 in five of the last seven races at Kansas. He is a great sleeper option this weekend.
No. 83 Brian Vickers: Vickers cranked out a 16th place finish at Kansas earlier this year. We don’t expect he will match that finish this trip to the track.
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 fellow to pick.
No. 00 David Reutimann: Reutimann drove a smart race at Kansas in 2009, but was awful the past two years. 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 four 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 six races at Kansas. We predict more of the same from him.
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: Smith has averaged just a 27th place finish at Kansas during his career.
No. 34 David Gilliland
No. 71 Andy Lally
No. 51 Landon Cassill
No. 36 Dave Blaney
No. 98 Austin Dillion
No. 32 Mike Bliss
No. 7 Robby Gordon
No. 55 J.J. Yeley
No. 30 David Stremme
No. 46 Scott Speed
No. 95 Davis Starr
No. 87 Joe Nemechek
No. 38 Travis Kvapil
No. 66 Michael McDowell
No. 60 Mike Skinner
No. 37 Josh Wise
1. Jimmie Johnson
2. Tony Stewart
3. Carl Edwards
4. Brian Keselowski
1. Casey Mears
2. Bobby Labonte
Bust of the Week: