The last race at Kansas Speedway was the first race of the Round of Eight for the 2020 playoffs. It was a really cold day in Kansas so the track had a lot of grip. Joey Logano was able to hold off Kevin Harvick for the win and earned a trip to the Championship race. Logano was praised for his ability to block Harvick for 20 laps, but the reality is that the aero package makes it almost impossible to pass the leader.
Race Rewind Kansas: Hollywood Casino 400 (2020)
– The 10 drivers who looked the best in the race: Kevin Harvick, Joey Logano, Chase Elliott, Ryan Blaney, Brad Keselowski, Alex Bowman, Denny Hamlin, Martin Truex Jr., Kyle Busch and Christopher Bell
Stage / Race Results
|Stage 1||Stage 2||
|1. Chase Elliott||1. Denny Hamlin||1. Joey Logano|
|2. Brad Keselowski||2. Kevin Harvick||2. Kevin Harvick|
|3. Denny Hamlin||3. Ryan Blaney||3. Alex Bowman|
|4. Ryan Blaney||4. Alex Bowman||4. Brad Keselowski|
|5. Erik Jones||5. Chase Elliott||5. Kyle Busch|
|6. Alex Bowman||6. Brad Keselowski||6. Chase Elliott|
|7. Kevin Harvick||7. Matt DiBenedetto||7. Ryan Blaney|
|8. Martin Truex Jr.||8. Martin Truex Jr.||8. William Byron|
|9. Joey Logano||9. Kurt Busch||9. Martin Truex Jr.|
|10. Kyle Busch||10. Clint Bowyer||10. Christopher Bell|
– Martin Truex Jr. and the No. 19 team had a lot of problems with pre-race inspection last year. Their car failed inspection twice so Truex had to start at the back of the field. He had no problem making his way to the front. Truex finished 8th in Stage 1, 8th in Stage 2, did not lead any laps, had a 10.18 average running position (8th best) and finished 9th. Truex won two races at Kansas in 2017 but he has only been “OK”in the Heartland since the Cup Series went to the current aero package. His average finishing position in this aero package at Kansas is 9.25 with only 77 laps led.
– Kyle Busch has been hit or miss at Kansas in the current aero package. Busch finished 5th, 11th, 3rd, 30th and 2nd in his last 4 races at the track with 53 laps led. Rowdy was pretty good last October. The No. 18 car started 20th and quickly went to the front. Busch finished 10th in Stage 1, led 4 laps, had an 11.7 average running position (9th best) and finished 5th.
– Denny Hamlin entered the October race at Kansas as the favorite. He won the fall race at this track in 2019 and backed it up with another trip to Victory Lane in the Heartland in the July race. Hamlin was really good at the start of the race but the No. 11 team had problems keeping up with the changing track conditions. Hamlin started 7th, finished 3rd in Stage 1, won Stage 2, led 58 laps, had a 9.45 average running position (7th best) and finished 15th. Hamlin is better at Kansas on a hot, slick track.
– Christopher Bell was one of the surprise drivers in the fall race at Kansas. Bell did not run well in the July race. He started 22nd and finished 23rd. The team must have learned something because the No. 95 car came to life at the end of the race in the October race at Kansas. Bell started 22nd, did not score any Stage points, had a 12.57 average running position (11th best) and finished 10th. He will be driving the No. 20 car this week. Erik Jones finished 5th and 20th in his 2 races at Kansas in the No. 20 car last year.
– Brad Keselowski had two really good races at Kansas last year. Keselowski started 7th, scored 16 Stage points, led 30 laps and finished 2nd in the July race at Kansas. In October Keselowski started 8th, finished 2nd in Stage 1, 6th in Stage 2, led 6 laps, had a 5.06 average running position (4th best) and finished 4th. Keselowski won at Kansas in 2019 using the current aero package so he should have a chance to win this week.
– Joey Logano was really good at the intermediate tracks like Kansas last year. He won at Las Vegas but must people did not expect him to win the October race at Kansas because he crashed out early in the July race at the track. Logano’s car was only “OK” in the first-half of the race but Paul Wolff kept working on it and the No. 22 car came to life at the end of the race. Logano started 2nd, finished 9th in Stage 1, 12th in Stage 2, led 47 laps, had a 6.48 average finishing position (5th best) and won the race. His win was a result of getting track position and not because he had the fastest car in the race.
– Ryan Blaney was awesome on the 1.5-mile tracks last year. He had a 6.5 average finishing position on these tracks. He was good in the October race at Kansas too. The No. 12 car started 9th, finished 4th in Stage 1, 3rd in Stage 2, had a 4.54 average running position (2nd best) and finished 7th. Blaney finished 20th, 21st and 32nd in his prior 3 races in the current aero package at Kansas so either the team found something that worked last year or the race was a fluke because of the could track conditions.
– Matt DiBenedetto was just another driver from the Team Penske alliance who ran well at Kansas last October. DiBenedetto started 12th and crashed out of the July race at Kansas. The No. 21 car started 18th in the October race. DiBenedetto finished 7th in Stage 2, led 12 laps, had a 14.76 average running position (13th best) and finished 12th in the race. He should finish in the top 15 again this week.
– Kevin Harvick had the best car at Kansas last October but every time he would try to pass Joey Logano for the lead, the air would get taken off his spoiler and ruin his momentum. Lucky this is the last year of this aero package. Harvick finished 4th in the July race at Kansas. He was good again in the fall. The No. 4 car started 4th, finished 7th in Stage 1, 2nd in Stage 2, led a race-high 85 laps, had a series-best 3.33 average running position and finished 2nd. Harvick needs to find the speed that he had at Kansas last year.
– Chase Briscoe did not compete in the Cup Series race at Kansas last year. He started 6th, led 159 laps and won the Xfinity Series race at Kansas last October. Briscoe will be driving the No. 14 car this week. Clint Bowyer finished 14th and 26th in his 2 races at Kansas last year in the No. 14 car. It will be interesting to see how Briscoe can do compared to Bowyer.
– Aric Almirola had a really good race in July at Kansas and he was “OK” in the October race. Almirola started 3rd in July. The No. 10 car finished 8th in Stage 1, 3rd in Stage 2 and finished 6th in the race. Almirola started 16th in October. He did not score any Stage points or lead any laps. His average running position was 15.66 (16th best) and Almirola finished 13th. He is a good pick when he starts up front but not so good when he starts outside the top 10.
– Cole Custer won last year at a similar track (Kentucky). He ran pretty well for rookie at Kansas too. Custer started 24th and finished 7th in the July race at Kansas. In October the No. 41 car started 13th, did not score any Stage points, had a 15.53 average running position (15th best) and finished 14th. Custer was better in the summer on the 1.5-mile tracks so that tells me he likes a hot, slick track.
– Chase Elliott had the car to beat at the beginning of the race at Kansas last October. Elliott started on the pole, led 48 laps and won Stage 1. He finished 5th in Stage 2 but then the No. 9 team had radio problems. Chase could not hear his team but they could hear him. He had to make a long pit stop and it forced the No. 9 car to lose track position. Elliott was still able to finish 6th in the race. His average finishing position in his last 5 races at Kansas is 5th and he has led at least 44 laps in 3 of the 5 races.
– Kyle Larson did not compete in the races at Kansas last year because he was suspended. He has been pretty good at the track in his career. Larson has a 7.25 average finishing position in his last 4 races in the Heartland. He will be driving for the team Jimmie Johnson drove for last year. Johnson crashed out of both races at Kansas last year. Larson has been the best driver on the 1.5-mile tracks this season so he should have a good chance to win Sunday.
– William Byron is starting to figure out Kansas Speedway. He finished 5th in the fall race at Kansas in 2019. He backed it up with a 10th-place finish at the track in July. The No. 24 car started 10th last October. Byron did not score any Stage points but he led 3 laps, had a 12.42 average running position (10th best) and finished 8th. This is a good track to take a chance with Byron.
– Alex Bowman had two really good races at Kansas last year. The No. 88 car started 6th and finished 8th in July. Bowman was even better in October. The No. 88 car started 6th, finished 6th in Stage 1, 4th in Stage 2, had a 6.97 average running position (6th best) and finished 3rd. Bowman is a good pick for fantasy teams this week.
– Kurt Busch is usually really good at Kansas. He started 9th and finished 9th in the July race at Kansas. His car was fast in October but it did not last long. Busch started 3rd, finished 9th in Stage 2, led 2 laps but Busch had engine problems in the final Stage. He tried to diagnose the problem but the engine blew up on lap 199. I would not worry too much about his results from the October race. Busch is typically a top-12 driver at Kansas.
– Ross Chastain did not compete in the Cup Series races at Kansas last year. He finished 5th and 12th in his 2 Xfinity Series races at Kansas last year. Chastain will be driving the No. 42 car this week. Matt Kenseth drove the car at Kansas last year. Kenseth finished 17th in July and crashed early in the October race (he finished 40th). The car should have top-20 speed.
– Ryan Newman does not like racing at Kansas. The track ranks as his worst on the schedule. Newman has a 28.25 average finishing position at Kansas in the current aero package. Last October Newman started 28th, did not score any Stage points, had a 22.13 average running position (24th best) and finished 22nd. There are better tracks to use Newman at.
– Ricky Stenhouse Jr. did not get much time to compete in the July race at Kansas. The No. 47 had an electrical issue and Stenhouse had to go to the garage at lap 58. He came back and had a decent race in October. Stenhouse started 23rd, had a 20.08 average running position (21st best) and finished 16th. At least he scored 7 place differential points in DFS contests. Stenhouse has been much better in 2021 then he was last year.
– Chris Buescher did not have much success at Kansas last year but this is the worst track for Roush-Fenway Racing. Buescher started 13th and finished 33rd in the July race. He started 21st, had a 22.79 average running position (26th best) and finished 21st in the October race. Buescher will only have fantasy value if he starts deep in the field.
– Austin Dillon ran pretty well at Kansas last October. Dillon started 17th, did not score any Stage points, had a 14.87 average running position (14th best) and finished 11th. He should have a chance for another top-12 finish this week with his Hendrick-ECR engine.
– Tyler Reddick has 3 races at Kansas on his resume because he ran the No. 31 car for Richard Childress Racing at the track in 2019. Reddick has a 15th-place average finishing position in his 3 races (not too bad). Reddick started 15th, did not score any Stage points, had a 17.52 average finishing position and finished 25th. His car was faster than the results suggests because he lost track position in the pits at the end of the race.
– Erik Jones is usually really good at Kansas. He entered the October race with finishes of 5th, 7th, 3rd, 4th and 7th in his previous 5 races at the track. He did not have the same success in his “lame duck” race at Kansas in October. Jones started 11th, finished 5th in Stage 1, had a 19.16 average running position and finished 20th. He will be driving the No. 43 car for Richard Petty Motorsports this week. Bubba Wallace finished 18th in this car at Kansas last year.
– Bubba Wallace had one good race and one bad race at Kansas last year. Wallace started 17th and was involved in a wreck on lap 170 in the July race at Kansas. He was able to stay out of trouble in the October race. Wallace started 24th, did not score any Stage points, had a 19.81 average running position (20th best) and finished 18th. He will have a Joe Gibbs Racing affiliated car this week. That should help.
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