NSCS: STP 400 from Kansas previewApril 19, 2012 No Comments
Date: Sunday, April 22, 2012
Location: Kansas Speedway
Time: 1 p.m. EST
Distance: 267 laps/ 400.5 miles
Broadcast: TV— Fox with broadcast starting at 12:30 p.m. EST
The two races at Kansas Speedway in 2011 were about as different as the two winners that won them.
Brad Keselowski won the first race, the very first Kansas NASCAR Sprint Cup series race to be held at Kansas before the month of September, on a daring fuel mileage stretch. Despite having his partner lead the most laps, Keselowski didn’t take the lead until there were only eight laps left.
It only took those eight laps for Keselowski to drive to victory, but Keselowski had to conserve gas to find victory lane.
When the series returned to the tack for its more traditional October chase race date, it was five time Sprint Cup champion, Jimmie Johnson that won the race. Unlike Keselowski in June, Johnson dominated the October race and didn’t have to worry about fuel at the end of the race.
Instead of fuel, Johnson had to survive a green-white-checkered finish and a hard charging Kasey Kahne to win the race.
In June, Keselowski had to hold off hard charges from Dale Earnhardt Jr. to win.
For Keselowski, his June victory was just the second of his career, and it would prove to be the start of an impressive streak that jolted Keselowski from a lower teens points driver to an eventual wild-card driver in the chase.
Johnson’s win in October was just the second, and ultimately, the last of his 2011 season. That win was the 55th of his career.
In June, there were only five cautions that lasted 22 laps, and towards the end there were a lack of cautions, that ultimately set up the long green flag run at the end that allowed Keselowski to drive to the win.
Johnson’s race win in October was less about strategy and more about the car. Johnson started that race in 19th, but it took him just 24 laps to drive to the lead. Johnson led the most laps in October and clearly had one of the better cars that weekend.
Keselowski’s win, however, was heavily reliant on race strategy and less about having a strong car, although Kurt Busch, Keselowski’s teammate did have the strongest car for most of the race.
When it comes to Kansas, it can be hard to predict what type of race it’ll be. It could be like June and come down to fuel mileage, or it could come down to whoever has the strongest car and can find their way to the lead.
By the Numbers:
- 25th—the furthest back a Kansas winner has started. (Brad Keselowski in June 2011)
- 11th—the average starting position (rounded up) of a Kansas winner.
- 7— the number of wins that Chevrolet has at Kansas (leads all manufacturers)
- 4—the number of wins that Rick Hendrick drivers have at Kansas Speedway, leads all car owners.
- 4—also the number of drivers that are tied with most wins at Kansas (Greg Biffle, Jeff Gordon, Jimmie Johnson and Tony Stewart all have two wins at the mile and a half track.)
- 2— the number of times that a pole winner has won at Kansas. (Jimmie Johnson in 2008 and Joe Nemechek in 2004)
- 0—the number of wins that Toyota has in the Sprint Cup series at Kansas.
“A” drivers: Jeff Gordon, Jimmie Johnson, Tony Stewart
“B” drivers: Greg Biffle, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Mark Martin, A.J. Allmendinger, Clint Bowyer
“C” drivers: David Ragan, Landon Cassill, Aric Almirola
- Jamie McMurray
- Brad Keselowski
- Kasey Kahne
- Marcos Ambrose
- David Reutimann
- Denny Hamlin
- Sam Hornish Jr.
- Casey Mears
- Tony Stewart
- Clint Bowyer
- Greg Biffle
- Matt Kenseth
- Kyle Busch
- Mike Bliss
- Joey Logano
- A.J. Allmendinger
- Scott Riggs
- Jeff Gordon
- Josh Wise
- Paul Menard
- Kevin Harvick
- David Stremme
- Jeff Burton
- Reed Sorenson
- David Ragan
- Dave Blaney
- David Gilliland
- Ryan Newman
- Juan Pablo Montoya
- Aric Almirola
- Bobby Labonte
- Jimmie Johnson
- J.J. Yeley
- Kurt Busch
- Mark Martin
- Martin Truex Jr.
- Tony Raines
- Regan Smith
- Tim Andrews
- Landon Cassill
- Joe Nemechek
- Dale Earnhardt Jr.
- Travis Kvapil
- Michael McDowell
- Carl Edwards