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NASCAR | Looking Forward to Kansas

Kansas Speedway was officially opened in 2001. The first two events held there were an ARCA Menard Series race and an ARCA Menard Series West race on the same day, June 2nd.  The first Cup Series race was held there on September 30, 2001 and was won by NASCAR Hall of Famer Jeff Gordon. But who will take the checkered flag this Sunday?

There has been a total of 29 Cup Series races at Kansas Speedway, one event from 2001-2010 and two races every year since 2011, with three drivers starting all 29 races: Kevin Harvick, Kurt Busch, and Ryan Newman. Harvick has three victories at Kansas, Newman has one, and Kurt has yet to win. Will this be the year for Kurt to take the checkered flag?

There have also been four drivers who made their first Cup Series start at Kansas: Denny Hamlin (October 9, 2005), Austin Dillon (October 9, 2011), Ryan Blaney (May 10, 2014), and Erik Jones (May 9, 2015). None of these drivers won. In fact, the best finish out of these drivers was 26th. Will Matt Mills be the first driver to win his first Cup Series start at Kansas? Mills will be driving the #55 for BJ McLeod Motorsports.

Two active drivers are tied for the most wins at Kansas, with three each. Kevin Harvick won in 2013, 2016, and 2018 and Denny Hamlin won in 2012, 2019, and 2020. Will one of these two go to victory lane to break the tie?

But before the Cup Series takes to the track, the Truck Series will take to the track on Saturday night. There are only six drivers in the field who have won at Kansas in the past ten years: Austin Hill, Matt Crafton, Brett Moffitt, Ross Chastain, Kyle Busch, and Johnny Sauter. Crafton has the most wins with three. Will a previous winner take the checkered flag again or will we see a new face in victory lane?

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