The Cup Series had its regular schedule this week. The teams had 20 minutes of practice to dial in their cars and then they qualified for the Hollywood Casino 400 at Kansas. The cars are impounded after qualifying, so the speed the cars had in practice is the speed they will start the race with Sunday. The race is shorter than what they had last week in the Southern 500, so that means there will be fewer pit stops to adjust the cars. Kansas Speedway has high-tire wear so we will want the drivers who post the fastest speeds on the 10-lap average speed chart in our lineups Sunday.
Here is my starting lineup for the race at Kansas…
GROUP A DRIVER
KYLE BUSCH (4): Rowdy has been at his best on the 1.5-mile tracks this year. He finished fifth at Las Vegas, third at Kansas and second at Charlotte. The No. 18 car was also one of the best cars last week at Darlington. Busch posted the ninth-fastest long-run speed in practice and qualified 20th for the race. I am not too worried about Rowdy’s starting position. He will move forward Sunday. I wish I had Kyle Larson, but I will roll with the other Kyle Sunday.
GROUP B DRIVERS
CHRISTOPHER BELL (2): Bell is having his best season in the Cup Series and he has been good on the 1.5-mile tracks this year. Bell finished 10th at Las Vegas, fifth at Kansas and fifth at Charlotte. Bell posted the third-fastest speed in practice and qualified _____ for the race. Bell should add his 16th top-10 finish to his 2022 resume Sunday.
TYLER REDDICK (3): Reddick is having a career season and now he is fifth in the Playoff Standings. Reddick finished seventh at Las Vegas and sixth at Charlotte. He had a lot of speed at Kansas in May but was caught up in an accident. Reddick posted the fastest speed in practice and he won the pole for the race. Reddick has finished his last three races in the top-seven. The hot streak should continue with the No. 8 car Sunday.
GROUP C DRIVER
TY GIBBS (8): I will roll with Gibbs as my Group C driver Sunday. He gets some extra seat time this week since he will be competing in the Xfinity Series race Saturday. That extra track time should help Gibbs understand how the tires will wear and where the grip will be later in the race. He posted the fifth-fastest long-run speed in practice. I will use Gibbs this week and then I will have plenty of allocations left with Austin Cindric, Daniel Suarez and Eric Jones for the final eight races.
Good Luck Sunday!
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