Even though Kansas Speedway is one of the newer venues in NASCAR, track officials believed it was time repave the racing surface. The wear and tear caused by the sizzling hot summers and freezing cold winters common to the nation's heartland were addressed with fresh asphalt. Variable banking was also added to the turns and frontstretch. Managers should take note that in addition to the three typical practice sessions, there will be an additional tire testing session.
Testing sessions: Thursday, Oct. 3, at 1 p.m. EDT
Practice sessions: Friday, Oct. 4, at 12:30 p.m. EDT; Saturday, Oct. 5, at 11 a.m. EDT and 1:50 p.m. EDT
Qualifying: Friday, Oct. 4, at 5:10 p.m. EDT
Race: Sunday, Oct. 6, at 2 p.m. EDT
Location: Kansas City, Kan.
Shape: D-shaped oval
Length: 1.5 miles
Turns: 17-20 degrees
Frontstretch: 9-11 degrees
Backstretch: 5 degrees
Drivers to keep an eye on
Matt Kenseth | No. 20 Dollar General Toyota | Joe Gibbs Racing
Don't sleep on Stenhouse
Kenseth has laid claim to winner's circle at Kansas each of the last two races. Back in April he won from the pole with 163 laps led, besting the 78 circuits he paced in last year's fall appearance. Since 2010 Kenseth has held an average running position of eighth or better in all six Kansas events.
Kenseth began the Chase with two victories and hasn't finished outside the top 15 in seven straight.
Jimmie Johnson | No. 48 Lowe's Chevrolet | Hendrick Motorsports
You have to go back to 2006 to find the last time Johnson finished outside the top 10 at Kansas, something he's done only twice in 14 career starts. Over the last nine starts Johnson has collected two wins at Kansas, most recently in the 2011 Chase, in addition to four other trips to the podium.
Johnson is coming off a dominating victory at Dover and has now recorded a top-five in all three Chase events held thus far.
Kevin Harvick | No. 29 Budweiser Chevrolet | Richard Childress Racing
Harvick has finished outside the top 12 at Kansas only once in nine starts since 2007. In four of the last five races he's recorded more than 95 percent of his laps running in the top 15.
Over the last five races of this season, Harvick owns four finishes of 11th or better and continues to be a sound top-tier selection.
Clint Bowyer | No. 15 Raspberry 5-Hour Energy Toyota | Michael Waltrip Racing
Over the last four Kansas races, Bowyer has put together three top-10s. He's been particularly sharp the last two races, where Bowyer has finished sixth and fifth, respectively, spending more than 98 percent of his laps running in the top 15 each time.
Bowyer is coming off his second top-10 of the Chase.
Kahne and more, plus a couple to ignore. ...
About Eric McClung
Eric McClung has been profiled by the FSWA for covering the fantasy sports spectrum and is a two-time award finalist. He's also made several appearances in print and on radio. McClung began contributing to KFFL in 2008 and currently serves as one of KFFL's featured fantasy NASCAR experts.
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