Kansas Speedway sets the stage for the NASCAR Cup Series

Kansas Speedway

The 2022 NASCAR Cup Series season and the introduction of the Next Gen car are a quarter of the way through the 36-race schedule, and already the competition has produced eight different pole winners and 10 different race winners – making this season tied with the 2001, 2014 and 2019 seasons for second-most race winners through 12 races in the Modern Era (1972-Present); behind 2000, 2003 with 11 different winners. Now the series turns its attention to Kansas Speedway for this Sunday’s AdventHealth 400 at 3 p.m. ET on FS1, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio. 

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 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. 

In total, there have been 32 NASCAR Cup Series races at Kansas Speedway; one event from 2001 – 2010 and two races per year since 2011. The 32 Cup Series races have produced 16 different pole winners and 16 different race winners (2001-2021). 

Stewart-Haas Racing’s Kevin Harvick leads the series in poles at Kansas Speedway with five (fall 2013, 2014 sweep, spring 2018, spring 2019). 

This weekend, six of the 16 NASCAR Cup Series Kansas pole winners are active this weekend. 

Active Kansas Pole Winners (6)PolesSeasons
Kevin Harvick52019, 2018, 2014 sweep, 2013
Joey Logano22018, 2015
Martin Truex Jr22017, 2016
Ryan Blaney12017
Brad Keselowski12015
Kurt Busch12011

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, eight of the 16 NASCAR Cup Series Kansas winners are active.

Active Kansas Race Winners (8)WinsSeasons
Denny Hamlin32020, 2019, 2012
Joey Logano32020, 2015, 2014
Kevin Harvick32018, 2016, 2013
Kyle Busch22021, 2016
Brad Keselowski22019, 2011
Martin Truex Jr22017 sweep
Kyle Larson12021
Chase Elliott12018

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 14 with practice from 5 – 5:35 p.m. ET directly followed by Busch Light Pole Qualifying at  5:35 p.m. ET – both events will be televised on FS1. 

Hendrick Motorsports looks to win third consecutive race on 1.5-mile track this season 

Next up for the NASCAR Cup Series is the AdventHealth 400 at Kansas Speedway, this Sunday, May 15 at 3 p.m. ET on FS1, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio. The series is a quarter of the way through the 36 race season and Kansas marks the third time in 2022 the Next Gen car will compete on a 1.5-mile speedway. The previous two 1.5-mile tracks on the schedule this season were won by Hendrick Motorsports drivers – Alex Bowman (Las Vegas) and William Byron (Atlanta) – and this weekend at Kansas the organization will look to keep the streak alive and get their third win of the year.  

Hendrick Motorsports won the first two NASCAR Cup Series races at Kansas Speedway with NASCAR Hall of Fame driver Jeff Gordon (2001, 2002). The organization actually leads the NASCAR Cup Series in wins at Kansas with eight victories among four drivers: Jeff Gordon (three: 2001, 2002 and 2014), Jimmie Johnson (three: 2008, 2011 and 2015), Chase Elliott (one: Playoffs 2018) and Kyle Larson (one: Playoffs 2021).

2021 NASCAR Cup Series champion, Kyle Larson, is the most recent NASCAR Cup Series winner at Kansas Speedway, taking the checkered flag in last season’s Playoff race. 

Kansas offers one last chance before Texas to earn a spot in the All-Star Race

This weekend at Kansas Speedway is the last chance for a driver to win their way into the 2022 All-Star Race by virtue of a points-paying race victory before the NASCAR Cup Series heads to Texas Motor Speedway for the special event next weekend. 

Drivers eligible for the 2022 NASCAR All-Star Race consist of:

  • Cup Series drivers who have earned a points-paying race victory in either 2021 or 2022.
  • Previous NASCAR All-Star Race winners who are competing full-time this season.
  • Previous NASCAR Cup Series champions who are competing full-time this season.

Drivers who currently have clinched a starting spot (through Darlington) and making return visits to the NASCAR All-Star Race are AJ Allmendinger, Aric Almirola, Christopher Bell, Ryan Blaney, Alex Bowman, Chase Briscoe, Kurt Busch, Kyle Busch, William Byron, Ross Chastain, Chase Elliott, Denny Hamlin, Kevin Harvick, Brad Keselowski, Kyle Larson, Joey Logano, Michael McDowell, Martin Truex Jr., Austin Cindric and Bubba Wallace.

After Kansas this weekend, drivers who have not already secured their spot in the All-Star race will have four more shots at Texas next weekend. The NASCAR Open will immediately precede the NASCAR All-Star Race and will consist of three stages (20 laps / 20 laps / 10 laps). Each segment winner will advance to the NASCAR All-Star Race as will the winner of the Fan Vote. Fans can vote for their favorite driver who has not qualified for the NASCAR All-Star Race by visiting NASCAR.com for details.

Joey Logano adds name to the Playoffs; 10th different driver to win this season

Team Penske’s Joey Logano was not going to be denied the win last weekend at Darlington Raceway as he shoved William Byron out of the way in the closing laps of the race. Logano grabbed his first series win at Darlington, first of the 2022 season and 28th of his NASCAR Cup Series career. The win also cemented Logano in the postseason joining his rookie teammate Austin Cindric who clicked his ticket to the Playoffs with his season-opening win in the Daytona 500. Logano is the 10th different winner this season, leaving just six spots still up for grabs in the Playoffs. 

This season is the 11th consecutive year in the NASCAR Cup Series Logano has put up a victory (2012-2022). Through 12 races this season, he has amassed one win (Darlington), four top fives and six top 10s. He is currently fourth in the driver standings, 79 points behind Chase Elliott in the standings lead. 

Logano heads to Kansas Speedway this weekend as one of the eight former winners in the field. Logano has made 25 series starts at Kansas posting two poles, three wins, eight top fives and 10 top 10s.    

Winless winners a quarter of the way through 2022

A quarter of the way through the 2022 NASCAR Cup Series season and 15 drivers are riding winless streaks that date back to prior to the start of the year and three of the 15 are former Kansas Speedway winners heading into Sunday’s AdventHealth 400 at 3 p.m. ET on FS1, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio. 

NASCAR Cup Series Drivers On A Winless Streak That Started Prior To 2022

RankDriverTrackDateRaces SinceAttempts Since
1Chris BuescherPoconoMonday, August 01, 2016207207
2Ricky Stenhouse JrDaytonaSaturday, July 01, 2017175175
3Justin HaleyDaytonaSunday, July 07, 201910245
4Erik JonesDarlingtonSunday, September 01, 20199595
5Cole CusterKentuckySunday, July 12, 20206767
6Austin DillonTexasSunday, July 19, 20206665
7Kevin HarvickBristolSaturday, September 19, 20205555
8Michael McDowellDaytonaSunday, February 14, 20214747
9Christopher BellDaytona RCSunday, February 21, 20214646
10Brad KeselowskiTalladegaSunday, April 25, 20213838
11Kurt BuschAtlantaSunday, July 11, 20212727
12Aric AlmirolaLoudonSunday, July 18, 20212626
13Ryan BlaneyDaytonaSaturday, August 28, 20212222
14Martin Truex JrRichmondSaturday, September 11, 20212020
15Bubba WallaceTalladegaMonday, October 04, 20211717

Among the three drivers that have previously won at Kansas Speedway in the NASCAR Cup Series currently riding a winless streak that dates back before the start of 2022, Stewart-Haas Racing’s Kevin Harvick has the longest winless streak to overcome this weekend at 55 races; dating back to Bristol Motor Speedway in 2020. But Kansas is one of his best tracks. In 32 starts, he has put up a series leading five poles, tied for the series-most wins at three and also has 12 top fives and 19 top 10s. He also leads every single pre-race Loop Data category at Kansas – Average Finish of 7.750, series-best, Average Running Position of 8.529, series-best, Driver Rating of 109.9, series-best, 649 Fastest Laps Run, series-best, 6,126 Laps in the Top 15 (82.3%), series-most, and 1,124 Quality Passes, series-most.

Next on the list of former Kansas winners riding a large winless streak is RFK Racing’s Brad Keselowski, who hasn’t won in the series since Talladega (April) last season – 38 races ago. Keselowski is hoping to get his first win with his new team – RFK Racing. Keselowski has made 24 series starts at Kansas posting one pole, two wins, seven top fives and 13 top 10s.

Martin Truex Jr. is the third different driver to formerly win at Kansas and is currently riding a winless streak that dates back to prior to the start of the season. Truex’s last win was at Richmond Raceway last season (Sept.) – 20 races ago. Now the New Jersey native returns to Kansas to snap his winless streak. Truex has made 27 series starts at Kansas posting two poles, two wins, nine top fives and 14 top 10s. 

Loop Metrics loving the Next Gen car

A quarter of the way through the 2022 NASCAR Cup Series season and the Next Gen car has been producing some great racing and the stats back it up. 

The Next Gen car has produced some close, action-packed competition. Looking at the racing at the front of the field, with the exception of Richmond, every race (i.e. all but one of the NASCAR Cup Series 12 races thus far) has had a tighter gap between the car leading the race and the car running in second – not just at the checkered flag, but throughout the entire race. In fact, the Median Time Differential Between 1st and 2nd in 2022 is just half of what it was in the previous five-year average of races at these same tracks (0.6 seconds vs. 1.2 seconds).

Not only are the competitors much tighter throughout an event, but it’s never been closer at the finishes too. The average Margin of Victory of the first 12 races of the 2022 NASCAR Cup Series season is 0.420-second, the closest average Margin of Victory through the first 12 races of a season since advent of electronic scoring in 1993. The next closest margin of victory was 2014 with 0.651-second. Plus, the first 12 races of the 2022 season have produced a Cup Series record of 10 races concluding with a Margin of Victory of less than a second.

On top of all that, the level of competition at the front of the pack has been raised as well. The 2022 NASCAR Cup Series season has produced 637 green flag passes for the lead; the series-most through the first 12 races of a season since the Loop Data statistic was initially tabulated in 2007 (the last 16 seasons).

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