The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series blows into Kansas Speedway for the 11th race of the 2014 season, the 5-hour Energy 400. Brian Brown took a look at past performances, season trends, and spoke with NASCAR contacts to predict how the field should finish on Saturday.
When: Saturday, May 10; 7:46 p.m./et.
Weather: Partly cloudy with a high of 83; wind out of the SE at 10 mph. There is a 10% 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 NOT JUST ANOTHER PRETTY 1.5 MILER
Kansas is the third 1.5 mile oval we have seen so far this season. Penske Racing’s Joey Logano and Brad Keselowski took two of the previous three 1.5 mile races and Kyle Busch won the other. Matt Kenseth and Jimmie Johnson are also usually very fast at Kansas.
44 cars will attempt to qualify for 43 spots.
Fantasy Cheat Sheet:
No. 48 Jimmie Johnson: Johnson has been the top driver at Kansas since it opened. He has 13 top 10 finishes in 15 career starts at the track. He will be tough to beat.
No. 20 Matt Kenseth: Kenseth dominated last spring’s race at Kansas and he has had one of the top cars at Kansas in eight of the last nine races at the track. He will be someone to use in all leagues again this weekend.
No. 22 Joey Logano: Logano has improved nearly every trip he makes to Kansas. He won at Texas earlier this year and will be a threat to win on Saturday
No. 2 Brad Keselowski: Keselowski won at Kansas in the spring of 2011 and has been great on 1.5 mile ovals so far this season. He is a terrific option.
No. 24 Jeff Gordon: Gordon has two career wins at Kansas and has finished 13th or better in 14 of his 17 starts at the track.
6 to 10
No. 4 Kevin Harvick: Harvick won last fall’s race at Kansas and has finished inside the top six in six of the last 10 starts at the track. He should back inside the top 10 this weekend.
No. 99 Carl Edwards: Edwards has top 10 finishes in eight of the last 12 races at his home-track. He does very well at 1.5 mile ovals and is a great pick.
No. 5 Kasey Kahne: Kahne has finished in the top eight in four of the last five races at Kansas. He is an interesting pick this weekend.
No. 15 Clint Bowyer: Bowyer usually brings fast cars to his home-track. He is a top pick this weekend.
No. 16 Greg Biffle: Biffle won the 2007 and 2010 races at Kansas. In addition, he has finished 13th or better in 11 of the last 13 races at the track. We like his chances.
11 to 20
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 alsondoesn’t consider Kansas one of his best tracks, but with how well he has been driving this season he shouldn’t be overlooked.
No. 41 Kurt Busch: Busch drove great at Kansas last season. He is worth using in most leagues.
No. 11 Denny Hamlin: Hamlin usually brings a decent car to Kansas. He should finish inside the top 15.
No. 14 Tony Stewart: Stewart has had one of the top cars at Kansas the past nine years. That normally would be good enough to crack our top 10, but with the struggles he has had this season we bump him to 15th.
No. 78 Martin Truex Jr.: Truex Jr. has been awesome at Kansas in three of the past four visits. He is a great third driver in all leagues.
No. 27 Paul Menard: Menard has seven consecutive top 20 finishes at Kansas. He is worth using in most leagues.
No. 43 Aric Almirola: Almirola has driven very well at Kansas during his career. Use the No. 43 this weekend.
No. 31 Ryan Newman: Newman’s past trips to Kansas define hit-or-miss. He has four top 10 finishes in 16 career starts and 12 finishes 15th or worse results at the track. We think he will be back outside the top 15.
No. 17 Ricky Stenhouse Jr.: Ricky finished 11th at Kansas last spring. He should bring a similar setup this trip and a strong finish is expected.
21 to 30
No. 42 Kyle Larson: Larson already has two top five finishes this season and should be fast again this weekend.
No. 47 A.J. Allmendinger: Dinger's has averaged a 22nd place finish at Kansas during his career. He should finish around that average this weekend.
No. 1 Jamie McMurray: McMurray had one of his best races of the 2013 campaign at Kansas last spring. We predict he will be a lot slower this visit.
No. 9 Marcos Ambrose: Ambrose has averaged a 20th place finish at Kansas during his career. He will finish right around his average.
No. 3 Austin Dillon: Dillon finished 26th in his lone Cup trip to Kansas. He should be a little faster this visit.
No. 55 Brian Vickers: Vickers has averaged a 21st place finish at Kansas during his career. He will just barely miss the top 20 once again.
No. 12 Ryan Blaney: Dave Blaney’s son Ryan gets behind the wheel of the No. 12 car this weekend. He has had success in the Nationwide and Camping World Series and is in Penske equipment. We like him as a fifth driver in deep leagues.
No. 34 David Ragan: Ragan has cracked the top 20 in six of his 10 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 12 races at Kansas. He is a decent sleeper option this weekend.
No. 51 Justin Allgaier: Allgaier has the talent, but we will see if the No. 51 has the horses.
No. 10 Danica Patrick
No. 38 David Gilliland
No. 7 Michael Annett
No. 23 Alex Bowman
No. 36 Reed Sorenson
No. 26 Cole Whitt
No. 98 Josh Wise
No. 83 Ryan Truex
No. 32 Travis Kvapil
No. 33 David Stremme
No. 40 Landon Cassill
No. 77 Dave Blaney
No. 44 J.J. Yeley
No. 66 Joe Nemechek
My Yahoo! Fantasy NASCAR Team for this Week:
A. Jimmie Johnson
B. Brad Keselowski
B. Joey Logano
C. Ryan Blaney