The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series blows into Kansas Speedway for 32nd race of the 2012 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 21, 2012; 2:16 p.m./et.
Weather: Partly cloudy with a high of 73; wind out of the S at 10 mph. There is a ZERO 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. Jimmie Johnson, Jeff Gordon and Greg Biffle are the only two-time winners and Jimmie Johnson has taken three poles in the 13 Cup races the track has hosted.
47 cars will attempt to qualify for 43 spots. If the first practice is run, but qualifying is unable to take place, the starting lineup will be based on speeds from the car's fastest lap from the first practice, with top-35 cars in owner points no longer segregated from the non-top 35 cars. Previously, the top 35 cars lined up in front of all other eligible car owners.
Fantasy Cheat Sheet:
No. 2 Brad Keselowski: Keselowski won at Kansas in the spring of 2011 and finished third last the fall. He is a terrific option on Sunday.
No. 11 Denny Hamlin: Hamlin won this spring’s Kansas race and has cracked the top 12 in five of the last six races at the track. He should crack the top five once again.
No. 16 Greg Biffle: Biffle won the 2007 race and also the 2010 trip to Kansas. He has finished 12th or better in the last 11 races at the track. We love his chances.
No. 48 Jimmie Johnson: Johnson dominated the fall 2011race as well as the 2008 race. He has 10 top 10 finishes in 12 career starts at the track. He will be tough to beat.
No. 17 Matt Kenseth: Kenseth has had one of the top cars at Kansas in five of the last six races. He will be someone to use in most leagues again this weekend.
6 to 10
No. 14 Tony Stewart: Stewart heads to Kansas, a track he has had a lot of success at during his career. He is a lock to crack the top 10.
No. 29 Kevin Harvick: Harvick has finished inside the top six in five of the last seven starts at Kansas. He should back inside the top 10 this weekend.
No. 99 Carl Edwards: Edwards has top 10 finishes in seven of the last nine 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 10 of his 13 starts at the track.
No. 5 Kasey Kahne: Kahne finished second at Kansas last fall and eighth this spring. He is an interesting pick this weekend.
11 to 20
No. 56 Martin Truex Jr.: Truex Jr. dominated by leading 173 laps at Kansas this spring on his way to a second place finish. He is a great second or third driver in all leagues.
No. 15 Clint Bowyer: Bowyer has usually brought fast cars to his home-track. He is a good pick 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. 88 Regan Smith: Smith blew an engine in his first start in the No. 88 car last weekend. He has past experience in Kansas and is a decent pick this weekend. Rumor has it that Junior may potentially not return next week so this might be a good time to get Smith at a good value.
No. 55 Mark Martin: Martin won the 2005 race at Kansas. He will drive his usual smart race and should finish near the top 15.
No. 39 Ryan Newman: Newman’s past trips to Kansasdefine hit-or-miss. He has four top 10 finishes in 13 career starts and nine 15th or worse results at the track. We think he will be back outside the top 15.
No. 20 Joey Logano: Logano has improved nearly 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 has been mostly average since. We aren’t going to pick him to crack the top 15 this weekend.
No. 27 Paul Menard: Menard has four consecutive top 20 finishes at Kansas. He is worth using in most leagues.
No. 78 Kurt Busch: Busch ran decent in his first start in the No. 78 car last weekend and he led 158 laps at Kansas last season. He is worth using this weekend in the deepest leagues.
21 to 30
No. 22 Sam Hornish Jr.: Hornish Jr. is an interesting pick. He cracked the top 20 this spring while driving the No. 12 car and should finish about the same in the No. 22 car this trip to Kansas.
No. 51 A.J. Allmendinger: A.J. cracked the top 20 in three of the past six races at Kansas. This is a good weekend to sneak “The Dinger” onto your roster.
No. 43 Aric Almirola: Almirola has quietly notched five top 23rd place finishes in a row. He should make it six this weekend.
No. 9 Marcos Ambrose: Ambrose has averaged a 23rd place finish at Kansas during his career. He will finish right around his average.
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. 1 Jamie McMurray: McMurray has been very average in four of the past eight races at Kansas. We predict more of the same from him.
No. 34 David Ragan: Ragan has cracked the top 20 in five of his seven career starts at Kansas. He is worth using this weekend as a fourth driver in deep leagues.
No. 13 Casey Mears: Mears has cracked the top 16 in five of the last nine races at Kansas. He is a decent sleeper option this weekend.
No. 47 Bobby Labonte: Labonte's best career finish at Kansas is 16th. He won't come near that this weekend.
No. 83 Landon Cassill: Cassill hasn’t done much at Kansas in his career. There are far better options.
No. 21 Trevor Bayne: Bayne is always worth using in very deep leagues.
No. 10 Danica Patrick
No. 38 David Gilliland
No. 33 Cole Whitt
No. 32 Timmy Hill
No. 93 Travis Kvapil
No. 36 Dave Blaney
No. 37 J.J. Yeley
No. 30 David Stremme
No. 91 Reed Sorenson
No. 19 Mike Bliss
No. 95 Scott Speed
No. 23 Scott Riggs
No. 87 Joe Nemechek
No. 98 Michael McDowell
No. 79 Kelly Bires
No. 26 Josh Wise
1. Brad Keselowski
2. Denny Hamlin
3. Greg Biffle
4. Jimmie Johnson
1. Regan Smith
2. A.J. Allmendinger
Bust of the Week: