Cup Series Elite Eight to roll the dice in the Hollywood Casino 400 at Kansas Speedway

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Just eight drivers remain in the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs as the series heads to Kansas Speedway for the first race of the Round of 8, the Hollywood Casino 400, this Sunday at 2:30 p.m. ET on NBC, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.

NASCAR Cup Series Playoff Outlook Following Race No. 32
RankDriverPointsStartsRace WinsStage WinsPlayoff PtsPts From Cutoff
1Kevin Harvick (P)4,06732976745
2Denny Hamlin (P)4,05432795432
3Brad Keselowski (P)4,03532473513
4Chase Elliott (P)4,0273238275
5Joey Logano (P)4,022322622-5
6Martin Truex Jr. (P)4,017321517-10
7Alex Bowman (P)4,00932149-18
8Kurt Busch (P)4,00632116-21

The 2020 season marks the first time Kansas Speedway has hosted the seventh race of the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs and the first race of the Round of 8. Since the inception of the Playoffs in 2004, Kansas Speedway has occupied five different positions on the Playoff schedule – from 2004, 2005, 2011, 2013 and 2014 Kansas hosted the fourth race in the Playoffs, from 2006-2010 Kansas hosted the third race in the Playoffs, from 2015 to 2016 Kansas hosted the fifth race of the postseason and from 2012, 2017, 2018 and 2019 Kansas hosted the sixth race of the Playoffs. Kansas Speedway is the fourth different track to host the seventh race in the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs; joining Atlanta Motor Speedway (2004-2008), Talladega Superspeedway (2009-2010) and Martinsville Speedway (2011-2019).

NASCAR Cup Series
Kansas Playoff Race Winners
Race WinnersWins
Greg Biffle2
Jimmie Johnson2
Joey Logano2
Kevin Harvick2
Tony Stewart2
Chase Elliott1
Denny Hamlin1
Joe Nemechek1
Mark Martin1
Martin Truex Jr1
Matt Kenseth1

A total of 11 different drivers have won the NASCAR Cup Series Playoff races at Kansas Speedway. Jimmie Johnson (2008, 2011), Kevin Harvick (2013, 2016), Joey Logano (2014, 2015), Greg Biffle (2007, 2010) and Tony Stewart (2006, 2009) lead the series in Playoff wins at Kansas Speedway with two each.  

Twice the winner of the NASCAR Cup Series Playoff race at Kansas Speedway has gone on to win the title that same season:

  • In 2008, Jimmie Johnson won the Kansas Playoff race from the pole, leading 124 laps, and then went on to win his third consecutive series title later that season. Kansas was the third race of the Playoffs in 2008.
  • In 2017, Martin Truex Jr. won the Kansas Playoff race from the pole, leading 91 laps, and then went on to win his first NASCAR Cup Series title later that season. Kansas was the sixth race of the Playoffs in 2017.

Three non-Playoff drivers have won a Playoff race at Kansas Speedway:

  • In 2004, Joe Nemechek was ranked 21st in the points at the time of the win.
  • In 2006, Tony Stewart was 11th in the points at the time of the win.
  • In 2007, Greg Biffle was 14th in the points at the time of the win. 

The worst finish in a Playoff race at Kansas Speedway by a driver that went on to win the title later that same season was 15th by Tony Stewart in 2011. Last season’s champion, Kyle Busch, finished third in the Kansas Playoff race.

NASCAR Cup Series
Playoff Race No. 7 Winners
Race WinnersWins
Jimmie Johnson4
Carl Edwards2
Jeff Gordon2
Tony Stewart2
Clint Bowyer1
Dale Earnhardt Jr1
Jamie McMurray1
Joey Logano1
Kyle Busch1
Martin Truex Jr1

A total of 10 different drivers have won the seventh race in the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs, led by Hendrick Motorsport’s driver Jimmie Johnson with four victories (2004, 2007, 2012 and 2016).

Four times the winner of the seventh NASCAR Cup Series Playoff race has gone on to win the title later that same season: 

  • In 2007, Jimmie Johnson won from the sixth starting position at Atlanta Motor Speedway and went on to win his second consecutive NASCAR Cup Series championship.
  • In 2011, Tony Stewart won from the fourth starting position at Martinsville Speedway, and went on to win his third NASCAR Cup Series championship.
  • In 2016, Jimmie Johnson won from the third starting position at Martinsville Speedway, and went on to win his record tying seventh NASCAR Cup Series championship.
  • In 2018, Joey Logano won from the 10th starting position at Martinsville Speedway, and went on to win his first NASCAR Cup Series championship.

Three non-Playoff drivers have won the seventh race in the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs:

  • In 2006, Tony Stewart won the seventh race of the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs at Atlanta Motor Speedway, he was 11th in points at the time of the win.
  • In 2009, Jamie McMurray won the seventh race of the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs at Talladega Superspeedway, he was ranked 22nd in the points at the time of the win.
  • In 2010, Clint Bowyer won the seventh race of the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs at Talladega Superspeedway, he was 12th in the points at the time of the win. 

The worst finish by a driver in the seventh NASCAR Cup Series Playoff race that later went on to win the title that same season was a 42nd-place finish by Kurt Busch in 2004 at Atlanta Motor Speedway. The finish was due to engine failure.

In total Kansas Speedway has hosted 29 NASCAR Cup Series races dating back to inaugural event on September 30, 2001. The race was won by NASCAR Hall of Famer Jeff Gordon driving a Chevrolet for Hendrick Motorsports. The 29 Cup Series races at Kansas have produced 16 different pole winners and 15 different race winners. Stewart-Haas Racing’s Kevin Harvick leads the series poles at Kansas with five (Playoff race 2013, 2014 sweep, spring 2018 and spring 2019). Four drivers are tied for the series-most wins at Kansas Speedway with three wins each – Jeff Gordon (2001, 2002, 2014), Kevin Harvick (2013, 2016, 2018),  Jimmie Johnson (2008, 2011, 2015) and Denny Hamlin (2012, 2019, 2020).

Looking ahead to Sunday, Hendrick Motorsport’s driver and last weekend’s winner Chase Elliott will start on the pole and Team Penske’s Joey Logano will start on the outside front row. Both drivers are previous winners at Kansas, and both are looking to advance to Championship 4 this season.

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