On a short week following the postponement of the Dover Motor Speedway race to Monday, May 1, the NASCAR Cup Series turns its attention to Kansas Speedway for this Sunday’s AdventHealth 400 at 2 p.m. CT on FS1, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio, the 12th race of the season. The quarter mark of the 36-race NASCAR Cup Series schedule.
In the heartland of America, groundbreaking for Kansas Speedway was held on May 25, 1999. The official opening of Kansas Speedway was in 2001, with the first NASCAR Cup Series race being held on September 30, 2001. The first Kansas Cup event was won by Hendrick Motorsport’s driver and NASCAR Hall of Famer Jeff Gordon (Chevrolet). Gordon would actually win the first two NASCAR Cup Series races held at Kansas (2001, 2002).
During the 2012 season, between the April and October events, the 1.5-mile Kansas Speedway track underwent a repave, adding variable banking in the corners bringing them to 17-20 degrees. The advancement has opened up racing lanes from the apron to the wall and has become a driver favorite.
“I think Kansas has been a great race track and from a driver’s standpoint, a fun race track because of the fact, it’s worn in so well,” said veteran Kevin Harvick, the Stewart-Haas Racing driver who has competed in every Cup race since the track opened.
“Kansas has become one of the more unique race tracks because of the fact the asphalt and the shape of the race track is so driver-friendly, as far as where you can drive on the race track,” he continued. “You can literally drive from the wall to the apron all the way around the race track. So, it’s a fun race track.”
In total, there have been 34 NASCAR Cup Series races at Kansas Speedway; one event from 2001 – 2010 and two races per year since 2011. The 34 Cup Series races have produced 18 different pole winners and 18 different race winners (2001-2022).
Stewart-Haas Racing’s Kevin Harvick leads the NASCAR Cup Series in poles at Kansas Speedway with five (fall 2013, 2014 sweep, spring 2018, spring 2019).
This weekend, eight of the 16 NASCAR Cup Series Kansas pole winners are active this weekend.
|Active Kansas Pole Winners (8)||Poles||Seasons|
|Kevin Harvick||5||2019, 2018, 2014 sweep, 2013|
|Joey Logano||2||2018, 2015|
|Martin Truex Jr||2||2017, 2016|
Jeff Gordon (2001, 2002, 2014), Jimmie Johnson (2008, 2011, 2015), Kevin Harvick (2013, 2016, 2018), Joey Logano (2014, 2015, 2020) and Denny Hamlin (2012, 2019, 2020) lead the NASCAR Cup Series in wins at Kansas Speedway with three victories each.
This weekend, nine of the 18 NASCAR Cup Series Kansas winners are active.
|Active Kansas Race Winners (9)||Wins||Seasons|
|Denny Hamlin||3||2020, 2019, 2012|
|Joey Logano||3||2020, 2015, 2014|
|Kevin Harvick||3||2018, 2016, 2013|
|Kyle Busch||2||2021, 2016|
|Brad Keselowski||2||2019, 2011|
|Martin Truex Jr||2||2017 sweep|
This weekend’s AdventHealth 400 at Kansas Speedway is scheduled for 267 laps (400 miles) and will be broken up into three stages. The first stage is 80 laps, the second stage is 85 laps, and the final stage will be 102 laps.
The NASCAR Cup Series on-track activity at Kansas Speedway is scheduled to begin on Saturday, May 6 with practice and Busch Light Pole Qualifying from 4 – 6 p.m. CT – both events will be televised on FS1.
23XI Racing returns to Kansas Speedway to keep the winning streak alive
Last season, 23XI Racing drivers’ Kurt Busch (May race) and Bubba Wallace (Sept. race) swept the NASCAR Cup Series races at Kansas Speedway, and now the young organization returns looking to keep the winning streak alive and become the first organization to win three-straight at Kansas Speedway.
23XI Racing became the fourth different organization to win consecutive NASCAR Cup Series races at Kansas joining Hendrick Motorsports (Jeff Gordon, 2001-2002), Furniture Row Racing (Martin Truex Jr., 2017 sweep), and Joe Gibbs Racing (Denny Hamlin, 2019-2020).
This year, 23XI Racing brings back Bubba Wallace – the most recent winner at Kansas – this time in the No. 23 Toyota. And new to this season, Tyler Reddick will be in the No. 45 Toyota – the car/team that won both races last season. Wallace is still looking for his first win of 2023, but Reddick has already won, grabbing his first victory of the year at Circuit of The Americas. At Kansas, Wallace has made 10 starts in the series posting one win, one top five and two top 10s. Reddick has made seven series starts at Kansas posting two top 10s.
Wrestling winless streaks in the Cup Series
With veteran Joe Gibbs Racing driver Martin Truex Jr. snapping a 54-race winless streak on Monday, who else is wrestling a long winless streak this season that might get to Victory Lane this weekend?
Looking at the entry list for the AdventHealth 400, a total of 17 different drivers are riding winless streaks that date back to prior to the start of the year and five of the 17 are former Kansas Speedway winners heading into Sunday’s race at 2 p.m. CT on FS1, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.
NASCAR Cup Series Drivers On A Winless Streak That Started Prior To 2023
|Driver||Track||Date||Races Since||Attempts Since|
|Justin Haley||Daytona||Sunday, July 07, 2019||137||80|
|Michael McDowell||Daytona||Sunday, February 14, 2021||82||82|
|Brad Keselowski*||Talladega||Sunday, April 25, 2021||73||73|
|Aric Almirola||Loudon||Sunday, July 18, 2021||61||61|
|AJ Allmendinger||Indianapolis RC||Sunday, August 15, 2021||59||30|
|Ryan Blaney||Daytona||Saturday, August 28, 2021||57||57|
|Austin Cindric||Daytona||Sunday, February 20, 2022||46||46|
|Chase Briscoe||Phoenix||Sunday, March 13, 2022||43||43|
|Ross Chastain||Talladega||Sunday, April 24, 2022||37||37|
|Denny Hamlin*||Charlotte||Sunday, May 29, 2022||33||33|
|Daniel Suárez||Sonoma||Sunday, June 12, 2022||31||31|
|Kevin Harvick*||Richmond||Sunday, August 14, 2022||23||23|
|Austin Dillon||Daytona||Sunday, August 28, 2022||21||21|
|Erik Jones||Darlington||Sunday, September 04, 2022||20||20|
|Bubba Wallace*||Kansas||Sunday, September 11, 2022||19||18|
|Chris Buescher||Bristol||Saturday, September 17, 2022||18||18|
|Chase Elliott*||Talladega||Sunday, October 02, 2022||16||10|
Justin Haley (187 races) and Michael McDowell (82 races) hold the two longest active winless streaks, but among the three drivers with a winless streak that have previously won at Kansas Speedway in the NASCAR Cup Series – RFK Racing’s Brad Keselowski has the longest winless streak to overcome this weekend at 73 races; dating back to Talladega Superspeedway in 2021. Keselowski has been running well this season putting up to top fives and five top 10s. This Sunday, the Michigan native is hoping to get his first points-paying race win with his new team – RFK Racing. Keselowski has made 24 series starts at Kansas posting one pole, two wins (2011, 2019), seven top fives and 13 top 10s.
Joe Gibbs Racing’s Denny Hamlin has the longest winless streak among previous Kansas winners to overcome this weekend at 33 races; dating back to Charlotte Motor Speedway in 2022. But Kansas is a track at which he has excelled. In 29 starts, he has put up three wins (2012, 2019, 2020), 11 top fives and 12 top 10s.
The last three drivers with winless streaks dating back to prior to the start of this season but have career wins at Kansas are Stewart-Haas Racing’s Kevin Harvick, 23XI Racing’s Bubba Wallace and Hendrick Motorsports’ Chase Elliott. Harvick, with three career Kansas wins (2013, 2016, 2018), is on a winless streak that has reached 23 races, dating back to Richmond (Aug.) of last season. And last year’s Kansas victor Bubba Wallace, who last reached Victory Lane at Kansas Speedway on Sept. 11, 2022 has a winless streak of 19 races. And the 2018 Kansas Speedway winner Chase Elliott’s winless streak dates back to Talladega last season – 16 races ago.
Trackhouse Racing drivers bookend the Playoff outlook
Following the 11th race of the 2023 NASCAR Cup Series season, nine drivers are currently qualified for the Playoffs either by being the points leader or by virtue of their wins this season. With nine spots occupied, that leaves just seven spots up for grabs as the NASCAR Cup Series heads to Kansas Speedway.
At one end of the Playoff outlook sits Trackhouse Racing’s Ross Chastain, the current points leader, and at the other end, teetering the cutoff line, is Chastain’s teammate Daniel Suarez just three points up on Joe Gibbs Racing’s rookie Ty Gibbs in 17th – the first spot outside the postseason cutoff.
|2023 NASCAR Cup Series Driver Playoff Outlook Following Race No. 11|
|Rank||Drivers||Points||Starts||Wins||Stages||Playoff Pts||Points From Cutoff|
|1||Kyle Busch||306||11||2||0||10||In On Wins|
|5||Martin Truex Jr.||330||11||1||0||5|
|8||Ricky Stenhouse Jr.||270||11||1||0||5|
|9||Ross Chastain||370||11||0||4||4||Pts. Leader|
|17||Ty Gibbs #||228||11||0||0||0||-3|
|31||Noah Gragson #||111||11||0||0||0||-120|
|Note: Must compete in every race of the season to be eligible for the Playoffs or be granted a waiver by NASCAR (*).|