The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series blows into Kansas Speedway for the eighth race of the 2013 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, April 21, 2013; 1:16 p.m./et.
Weather: Mostly cloudy with a high of 60; wind out of the S at 10 mph. There is a 20 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. Jimmie Johnson has taken three of the poles in the 14 Cup races the track has hosted.
45 cars will attempt to qualify for 43 spots.
Fantasy Cheat Sheet:
No. 2 Brad Keselowski: Keselowski won at Kansas in the spring of 2011 and finished eighth last the fall. He is a terrific option on Sunday.
No. 48 Jimmie Johnson: Johnson dominated the fall 2011race as well as the 2008 race. He has 11 top 10 finishes in 13 career starts at the track. He will be tough to beat.
No. 20 Matt Kenseth: Kenseth has had one of the top cars at Kansas in six of the last seven races. He will be someone to use in most leagues again this weekend.
No. 5 Kasey Kahne: Kahne has three straight top eight finishes at Kansas. He is an interesting pick this weekend.
No. 16 Greg Biffle: Biffle won the 2007 race and also the 2010 trip to Kansas. He has finished 12th or better in 10 of the last 11 races at the track. We like his chances.
6 to 10
No. 24 Jeff Gordon: Gordon has two career wins at Kansas and has finished 13th or better in 12 of his 15 starts at the track.
No. 56 Martin Truex Jr.: Truex Jr. led 173 laps at Kansas last spring while notching a second place finish. He is a great second or third driver in all leagues.
No. 29 Kevin Harvick: Harvick has finished inside the top six in five of the last eight 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 10 races at Kansas. He does very well at 1.5 mile ovals and is a great pick.
No. 14 Tony Stewart: Stewart has had a lot of success at Kansas during his career. He is a lock to crack the top 15.
11 to 20
No. 11 Brian Vickers: Vickers will be driving for the team that won last spring’s Kansas race and has cracked the top 13 in six of the last seven races at the track. He should crack the top 15.
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 Dale Earnhardt Jr.: Junior doesn’t count Kansas as one of his best tracks, but with how well he has been driving this year he is worth taking a chance on.
No. 27 Paul Menard: Menard has five consecutive top 20 finishes at Kansas. He is worth using in most leagues.
No. 55 Mark Martin: Martin won the 2005 race at Kansas. He will drive his usual smart race and should finish inside the top 20.
No. 39 Ryan Newman: Newman’s past trips to Kansasdefine hit-or-miss. He has four top 10 finishes in 14 career starts and 10 finishes 15th or worse results at the track. We think he will be back outside the top 15.
No. 22 Joey Logano: Logano has improved nearly every trip he makes to Kansas. Look for him to flirt with the top 15 this weekend.
No. 43 Aric Almirola: Almirola has driven very well at Kansas even if his finishes don’t necessarily show it.
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.
21 to 30
No. 78 Kurt Busch: Busch was just okay in at Kansas last season. He is only worth using this weekend in the deepest leagues.
No. 9 Marcos Ambrose: Ambrose has averaged a 21st place finish at Kansas during his career. He will finish right around his average.
No. 17 Ricky Stenhouse Jr.: Ricky has been a top 25 driver for most of this season. He should only improve as he gets more familiar with the Cup series.
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 at Kansas. We predict more of the same from him.
No. 10 Danica Patrick: Patrick finished 32nd last spring at Kansas. She will be slightly better this trip.
No. 12 Sam Hornish Jr.: Hornish takes the wheel of the No. 12 Penske car this weekend. He is a decent deep, deep sleeper choice.
No. 34 David Ragan: Ragan has cracked the top 20 in six of his eight 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 10 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 David Reutimann
No. 7 Dave Blaney
No. 87 Joe Nemechek
No. 19 Mike Bliss
No. 51 Regan Smith
No. 81 Elliott Sadler
No. 93 Travis Kvapil
No. 36 J.J. Yeley
No. 33 Landon Cassill
No. 98 Michael McDowell
No. 38 David Gilliland
No. 44 Scott Riggs
No. 30 David Stremme
No. 35 Josh Wise
No. 32 Timmy Hill
My Yahoo! Fantasy NASCAR Team for this Week:
A. Jeff Gordon
B. Martin Truex Jr.
B. Brian Vickers
C. Sam Hornish Jr.