Blogs > Nascar: Beyond the Track

Find out what's really going on in NASCAR. Look here to find out why your driver really lost his ride, or the real reason those two drivers can't stand each other. Learn about the hidden motives and reasons for the things that happen in NASCAR, from the drivers to the team owners.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Did Chad Knaus and Jimmie Johnson try to cheat again?

In a week where the #00, #56 and #47 teams already got busted for cheating, and all three crew chiefs were suspended for the rest of the year, it appears more cheating might have been in the works -- at the #48 team of all places.

Based on a chat overheard prior to Sunday's Talladega race, it appears Chad Knaus was concerned about the back of his car, telling Jimmie to damage the rear end of the car if he won the race. Knaus did not deny telling Johnson to do this.

"If we win this race, you have to crack the back of the car," Knaus said on the recording. "Got it? ... You don't have to have to hit it hard, you don't have to destroy it. But you've gotta do a donut and you've gotta hit the back end, or somebody's gotta hit you in the ass-end or something. OK?"

His not-very-believable explanation is that the move would have been to "cover our bases," but I doubt it. There was no doubt some hanky-panky going on, and Chad didn't want to incur any penalties as a result.

We shouldn't be surprised by this. Chad has cheated before, and always tries to blur the lines between what's allowed and what's not allowed. All good crew chiefs do, to a point. He was just stupid enough to get caught on tape this time. (Next time, I bet he uses hand signals).

The bottom line: Johnson and Knaus are desperate, as they know they title hopes are pretty much done ... something they are not used to. Maybe this is a sign they can't handle the pressure, a la Denny Hamlin falling apart at the end of last year.

I'm not going to pretend Knaus is the only crew chief to contemplate such a move, but actions like this do somewhat lower my opinion of him as genius crew chief who's won five titles ... it makes me think: How much of it was legit, and how much was possibly cheating?

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Sunday, October 16, 2011

No blame to lay for Wheldon death; just sadness for all who did (and didn't) know him

I never knew Dan Wheldon.

While I covered some Indycar back in the day, I never had the pleasure of meeting the man – who by all accounts was the kind of guy you couldn’t help but like.

But his death saddens me in a way that might seem strange to some people.

On one level, it saddens me like it does anyone else with a heart. This man was 33 years old, had a wife and two children, and was just beginning his life – when you consider that people can live to be 100 or more. Sure he did a lot in that time, winning two Indy 500s and competing with the best of the auto racing world, but that should have only been Act 1 of his life.

Acts 2, 3 and beyond should have been the even more important parts of his life – growing old with his family and watching his boys become men. It’s always sad when someone goes, but if they’ve lived a full life it’s easier to accept. There’s nothing easy to accept here, and his family will never be the same without him.

But going beyond the basic human connection, I am particularly sad in this because Dan Wheldon was a racecar driver, and the racing community is one of the tightest in the world. While the world wonders why we are fans of cars going in circles, all race fans feel a connection to each other because they understand why and don’t have to ask that question.
Drivers, to us fans, are the bravest of the brave, because they are the ones capable enough of doing this daredevil activity for a living and providing us the entertainment we seek on the racetrack. Even if we never meet them in real life, we feel like we know them.

I never even had a one-on-one conversation with Dale Earnhardt Sr., but when he died I was covering the Daytona 500, and the story of his death was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to write in my life. Because the reality was that I DID know him. I watched him every week racing on TV and sometimes in person, and he was someone I had a connection to.

I was similarly upset when other NASCAR drivers I never met – such as Adam Petty and Kenny Irwin – passed away tragically due to on-track accidents. “Why would you care?” some might wonder “You didn’t know them.” … But I did care, and I care now that Dan Wheldon has died.

In Wheldon’s case, my connection is even less, as I’m not even a huge Indycar fan and usually stick to NASCAR, but I am no less sad. I watched him race regularly and recognized him as a talented driver who seemed like a decent person from his interviews.

If you had asked me Sunday morning to name my favorite Indycar drivers, he probably wouldn’t have even made the list. But that doesn’t change the sinking feeling I got when I saw that horrific accident in the Vegas Indycar race. It was the worst accident I have ever seen in motorsports (and I’ve watched a lot of it over the past 15 years or so), and my first thought was that somebody was probably dead.

The longer the wait dragged on without hearing about Wheldon’s condition, the worse the prognosis was in my mind. If he was OK, they would have said something. Silence is usually a bad thing in this situation.

At Daytona in 2001, I was in the midst of writing a cheery story about Michael Waltrip’s breakthrough win in the top NASCAR division, and the guy next to me in the media center leaned over and said: “I heard Earnhardt’s dead”. I wanted to dismiss it as rumor, but that’s not the kind of rumor that’s going to turn out to be false most of the time. Sure enough, a couple hours later, NASCAR President Mike Helton made it official, and I can still picture him up on the stage uttering the horrible words; “We’ve lost Dale Earnhardt”.

The situation today was no doubt equally terrible for the Indycar community, who had to sit around for two hours and await word on the fate of Wheldon – knowing that the worst was possible.
The emotions on their face, the tears that flowed as they did those five moving tribute laps in honor or Wheldon while Amazing Grace played, shows that amid all the bravado and smack talk of racing, these people are no different than the rest of us … with the exception of their ability to drive racecars really really fast.

There will no doubt be discussion about the accident and what could have been done to prevent it. Was the $5 million bonus offer a gimmick that turned horribly bad due to too many cars being on the track? Can anything be done to improve the safety of the walls and/or catch fences at these tracks? … etc., etc., etc.

Personally, I’m not assigning any blame, not to Indycar, not to the driver who started the initial accident, or anyone else. Racers know that anything can happen on the track, and while no one is ever prepared for death they are among the few professions who know that it’s actually possible every time they show up to work. (Though most, obviously, keep that thought far from the front of their heads while actually competing in a race.)

Ironically, Dan Wheldon had been one of the main drivers working on improving the new 2012 Indycar models, which vow to be much safer than the cars driven in 2011.

No, there is no headline here about who should be in trouble for all this. There is only sadness.

Sadness from the Wheldon family, who have lost a father, husband, child, brother at far too young of an age.

Sadness from the tight Indycar community, who will no longer have Wheldon around to enjoy their weekends with on and off the track.

And sadness from fans of motorsports around the world, who most likely never met the man, but still feel like they have lost a family member today.

R.I.P. Dan Wheldon.

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Yes folks, even Jimmie Johnson has bad luck (but he ain't dead yet))

It looked like your typical good points day in the Chase for Jimmie Johnson on Saturday night at Charlotte. He was running up front, and on pace to stay near the top of the standings.

Then, disaster struck.

While racing hard against Ryan Newman, Johnson lost control and hit the wall hard -- a very un-Jimmie-like move (which, of course, led to cheers from the audience; kind of weak considering he could have been seriously injured).

The result of this wreck: he is now 8th in the standings, 35 points behind leader Carl Edwards.

The first reaction by many cheering for a non-Jimmie title this year is to declare that this is the nail in the coffin for his title hopes -- that he can't possibly pass 7 other drivers and make up that many points.

But that wouldn't be the smart thing to do, because after all, this is Jimmie Johnson. He is still the five-time defending champ and is capable of knocking off five wins to end the season. And don't forget, Talladega is one of those five races, and anything can happen there -- including big wrecks that could take out his competition and move him up in the standings.

So while there is some reason for hope in the anyone but Jimmie crowd (a crowd to which I am proud to belong; as it's simply not good for the sport to have a dominant driver) -- there is no need to go overboard.

It's true that Edwards, Harvick, Kyle Busch and a few others are much more likely at this point to win it than Johnson, but the key point to remember is we are only halfway through this very unique Chase. With no dominant driver and a bunch of weird stuff like fuel mileage races happening, there's no telling what the future holds for Jimmie and his competition.

One more bad race with a finish in the 30s, and Johnson's title hopes will be dead (which can already be said about Dale Jr., Jeff Gordon, Ryan Newman and Denny Hamlin). But until then, you can't count him out.

Kenseth a contender
Matt Kenseth is known for being consistently good, but not necessarily winning a lot of races. Well, now he's trying to do both. With his win at Charlotte, he served notice to his competition that he is definitely in the hunt for title No. 2 ... as he sits third in points, just 7 points out of the lead.

Kenseth's name is not mentioned as much as some of his higher-profile competition, but he's OK with that.

“It doesn’t really matter to me that much what everybody thinks. We’re in it or out of it or whatever," Kenseth said. "What’s important to me is trying to win races and trying to be competitive and go do the best job we can do every week. I don’t really care about Wii dance offs or how much coverage you get for doing certain things. If somebody wants to say I’m boring or whatever, I was hired to try to go win races and try to run good and that’s what I try to do every week. I take my job real serious when I’m at the race track. Jimmy and I and all the guys work as hard as we can on the common goal of trying to be the best and trying to win and trying to run for a championship and that’s who we are at the race track.”

That kind of business-like attitude is why Kenseth is a legitimate threat this year, so key an eye on him the next five weeks.

Some facts about Kenseth's win:
-- It was the 7th win of the season for Ford
-- Kenseth took the checkered flag for the 21st time in his Cup Series career
-- It was the second time at Charlotte Motor Speedway in a points event (the first came in 2000, when he won the Coke 600 as a rookie).
-- The win is the seventh of the season for Ford Racing, equaling the total of the last two years combined.
-- The win was the 125th all-time NSCS win for Roush Fenway Racing.
-- This marks the first NSCS win for Ford at Charlotte Motor Speedway since 2002, when Mark Martin won the Coca-Cola 600.

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Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Indycar racing returns to Detroit, with Belle Isle Grand Prix in 2012

If you're in the Detroit area and like Indycar racing (and I'm sure a few of you still exist), you got some good news Wednesday.
Grand Prix racing is returning to Belle Isle.

The Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix weekend will be June 1-3, 2012 at the 2.1-mile Raceway at Belle Isle Park road course.

“Chevrolet has a long, storied history in Indy car racing,” said Mark Reuss, president, GM North America. “This year we celebrated the shared centennial of Chevrolet and the Indianapolis 500. We're excited to see that history continue with the help of Penske Corporation and INDYCAR bringing back open-wheel racing to Detroit in 2012. This city is a natural for racing – it put the world on wheels and the roar of engines is something that simply belongs here."

Combined with the two Michigan Speedway race weekends in the summer, this means even more opportunity for Motor City race fans to get their fix. I can remember hearing Formula 1 and Indycar racing downtown from miles away when I was a young boy, so it will nice to hear those sounds again in 2012 and beyond, and I hope the fans show up and enjoy it.

As is usually the case when discussing auto racing and Michigan, NASCAR team owner Roger Penske is involved, as says the return of the race is good for the city, which is on the rise after a few tough years.

“Chevrolet has been instrumental in bringing motorsports back to Detroit,” said Penske Corp. Chairman Roger Penske. “The Grand Prix will draw international attention and visitors to Belle Isle – which is one of the most-scenic race venues in the United States. We believe the Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix will be one of the most-popular races in the IZOD IndyCar Series and will play a major role in continuing the renaissance of Detroit.”

Four races will be held during the three-day event, including:
— The Chevrolet Indy Grand Prix presented by, where Chevrolet’s new twin-turbo V-6 race engines will compete in the IZOD IndyCar Series
— The Chevrolet Detroit Sports Car Challenge where Chevrolet Daytona Prototypes and Camaros will compete in the first GRAND-AM Rolex Series race held on Belle Isle
— The Cadillac V-Series Challenge at Belle Isle, where Cadillac CTS-Vs will compete in the second Pirelli World Challenge series race held on Belle Isle
— The Firestone Indy Light Series race, featuring the rising stars of open-wheel racing

The Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix was last held in 2007 and 2008. Based on estimates from the Detroit Metro Convention and Visitors Bureau, those two events combined attracted more than 200,000 visitors, and brought more than $100 million to the Detroit Metro economy.

"We are thrilled to be able to bring the Detroit Grand Prix back to Belle Isle,” said Detroit Mayor Dave Bing. "Thanks to the support of INDYCAR, Penske Corporation and Chevrolet we will once again host one of the world's most prestigious motorsports events."

For more information and to sign up for tickets to the Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix, please visit Learn more about the event through social media by visiting and

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Monday, October 10, 2011

Don't expect much from Clint Bowyer next year at Michael Waltrip Racing

The big news earlier this week was the not-so-secret announcement that Clint Bowyer will move to Michael Waltrip Racing next year, running the #15 car sponsored by 5-Hour Energy.

A few observations on the matter.
1. What I find most curious is that Bowyer first presented the 5-Hour Energy sponsorship to his current RCR team, but a deal couldn't be worked out. I'm curious what went wrong there, as teams rarely push away sponsorship. Sounds like there was some ill will between the two parties, if you ask Bowyer at least.

When asked what made him leave RCR, he said: "I'd say that day came when we went and talked to them about the 5-Hour Energy deal and they still couldn't put a deal
together, so I said, 'Well, alright we'll go somewhere else.'

2. In my view, the move is also partly about Bowyer wanting to be the big dog on his team. At RCR, Kevin Harvick is the man, and the guy who will get the best equipment. The best he can do there is be second fiddle ahead of Menard and Burton. At MWR, he can be THE man. Neither Martin Truex Jr. or David Reutimann have set the racing world on fire, so if he shows up there and starts to compete, he'll be top dog.

3. Don't expect that to happen though, at least not right away. Despite an occasional good run from Truex and Reutimann, most weeks they are far from competitive, falling far behind the competition. I don't see how a third team with Bowyer will make their cars that much better. Time will tell, but I say don't expect miracles from any MWR team in 2012.

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Sunday, October 9, 2011

Keselowski continues to impress in the Chase; could contend for title

I must give a nod to Rochester Hills native Brad Keselowski, who got another top-5 finish Sunday and is continuing his great run this Chase. Four races into the Chase, Keselowski is fourth in points, 11 points out of first place. Considering the amazing run that Keselowski made just to make the Chase, a lot of people thought he might end that run of luck once the Chase started.

After Sunday's race, Keselowski said his team is just a lot better than it was last year.

“It all comes back to just having a good team. Good teams have good cars; they're best at their end and fastest at their end. They use good pit strategy and stay strong through adversity. I feel like I just have a really good team. I guess it's hard to define what makes a good team and a bad team does those things.

“Last year we weren't a good team. We were always our worst at the end, and that's not what it takes. I don't know why that was, but that's just the way it kind of works out sometimes. This year, it seems like as a group, we're just clicking. Sometimes that's the way it goes, and we’re doing a good job of maximizing our day, taking care of everything that's in our control and I'm really proud of our team for doing that.“

So about that Jimmie Johnson
Remember all the talk about how Jimmie Johnson had lost his mojo this Chase and likely wouldn't compete for his sixth straight title?
Well, he killed all that talk Sunday with his dominating win at Kansas.

It just goes to prove what anyone with sense has said all year. It doesn't matter if Jimmie hasn't won since April -- he's still the man to beat for the title.

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Monday, October 3, 2011

Hornaday's truck series greatness continues with 50th win

When you talk about the all-time greats in NASCAR's Truck series, one name comes to mind more than any other -- Ron Hornaday Jr.

The seemingly ageless four-time champ made history yet again this weekend with his 50th career win in the series, extending his own record.

The grit of a guy like Ron Hornaday is a perfect match for the Truck series, and I'm glad he was able to find his niche there (I doubt it would have happened in Nationwide or Cup, despite Ron's obvious driving talent).

This beating and banging series is just what the doctor ordered for an old-school racer like Hornaday, who has shown through the years that given the right equipment he can win any week.

As the only driver currently racing who was an entry in the first ever Truck race at Phoenix in 1995, Hornaday's commitment to this series has been steadfast, minus a couple brief trips to bigger series.

Some will downplay his accomplishments due to it not being Cup or Nationwide, but that's short-sighted. If you've ever watched a Truck series race, you know how hard it is to compete with those guys and win.

Driving for Dale Earnhardt Inc. at the start of his career, and later for Kevin Harvick Inc., he pulled off at least one win every year he ran a full-time ride in the series. Hornaday won championships with DEI in 1996 and 1998 and with Kevin Harvick Inc. in 2007 and 2009. He has ranked among the top five in the points standings eight times.

Hornaday holds series records for most top-five (143) and top-10 (205) finishes. by a NASCAR Camping World Truck Series driver age 50 years or older. Hornaday stands third all-time among series pole winners with 26.

I predict many more wins in the future ... as I don't see Hornaday stepping away from the driver's seat any time soon.

“Ron has been the heart and soul of the Truck series,” said Kevin Harvick, the owner for 24 of Hornaday’s victories. “Fifty wins is just one more incredible achievement in a career that I’m sure will one day land him in the NASCAR Hall of Fame.”

I couldn't agree more.


Below is a timeline of Hornaday’s notable victories on his way to 50:

1 – On April 8, 1995, at Tucson Raceway Park, Hornaday wins his first race, the second for the series. It is the first NASCAR national series victory for Dale Earnhardt Inc.

9 – On Aug. 25, 1996, at Watkins Glen International, Hornaday completes a sweep of all three road courses scheduled to date. He previously won at Heartland Park Topeka and Infineon Raceway.

10 – On Sept. 8, 1996, at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, Hornaday goes from sixth to first on the final lap, the only lap he led.

12 – On June 21, 1997, at Bristol Motor Speedway, Hornaday becomes the final driver to lead every lap – 200 – of a NASCAR Camping World Truck race.

25 – On April 3, 1999, at Evergreen Speedway, Hornaday wins the series’ 100th race and a $100,000 bonus posted by then series sponsor Craftsman for an eligible winner having competed in all 99 previous events. The victory is his last in the series for Dale Earnhardt Inc.

27 – On March 18, at Atlanta Motor Speedway, Hornaday edges Bobby Labonte by 0.008 seconds in the series’ then-closest finish on a superspeedway.

35 – On June 6, 2008, at Texas Motor Speedway, Hornaday breaks a 10-race winless drought at the 1.5-mile superspeedway. He returns in November to complete a season sweep at the Ft. Worth track.

36 – On June 28, 2008 at Memphis Motorsports Park, Hornaday scores the first of 14 victories at the age of 50 years or older.

45 – On Aug. 1, 2009, at Nashville Superspeedway, Hornaday completes a string of five consecutive victories that began at The Milwaukee Mile and continued at Memphis Motorsports Park, Kentucky Speedway and Lucas Oil Raceway. He is the first national series driver to post such a streak since 1971.

47 – On Oct. 23, 2010, Hornaday, the series’ leading short track winner, is finally a winner in his 17th trip to Martinsville Speedway.

49 – On Sept. 2, 2011, at Atlanta Motor Speedway, wins for the 14th time past the age of 50 breaking a record he’d shared with Joe Ruttman for the most wins past 50 in a single national series.

Kurt Busch, Jimmie Johnson back in the mix

Prior to the Dover race, Jimmie Johnson and Kurt Busch were hovering near the bottom of the point standings. After Dover, that is no longer the case, and their great runs had them leapfrogging a handful of competitors and jumping right back into the title hunt.

“I feel like that we’re right in the mix. You just have to cover up those bad days," Kurt said. "Tony Stewart struggled today. He’s going to be dropping back. You just have to run consistent.”

Despite his surge, Jimmie still isn't happy, and says he should have scored more points by now, and also mentioned how easy it is for things to go bad again.

"I look at it and say we left points on the table. New Hampshire, for sure all three of them, absolutely, without a doubt. Not getting the restart I needed today at the end, that's on me and no one else," Johnson said. "This Chase is so tough to know what it's going to take, and I just we look at the 14 car, and what he did in the first two races and then the struggles they had today. I think it speaks to how tough these ten races are going to be and how you think somebody is on fire and the fire can go out.
So we'll just keep fighting hard. I hate leaving points on the table, and we have these first three."

Goodyear To Continue As Exclusive Tire Supplier Through 2017

NEW YORK – NASCAR and Goodyear announced they have signed an extended agreement for Goodyear to continue as the exclusive tire used in NASCAR’s top three racing series for the next five years.

The agreement, which extends through the 2017 season, renews Goodyear as the “Exclusive Tire Supplier” of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, the NASCAR Nationwide Series and the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. Goodyear has had an uninterrupted commitment to NASCAR since becoming a race tire supplier in the 1950s, making it one of the longest-running supply programs in any sport. In addition, Goodyear has been the exclusive tire supplier for all three of the circuit’s top series since 1997.

Tickets For NASCAR After The Lap Go On Sale

Tickets are officially on sale today for 2011 NASCAR After The Lap, scheduled for December 1 at The Joint at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Las Vegas.

NASCAR After the Lap is one of the highlights of NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion’s Week in Las Vegas, Nev. Tickets for the third-annual event are now available for purchase at for $20 each, with proceeds benefitting The NASCAR Foundation, a non-profit that raises funds that support children’s charities and important causes throughout the nation.

NASCAR After The Lap features an unfiltered, “tell-all” format featuring the 2011 top 12 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers. The event is scheduled for Dec. 1 at 4:30 p.m. PT.

Fans can get a front-row seat for the conclusion of NASCAR Victory Lap at the Coca-Cola Fan Zone, which is located at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Las Vegas. Beginning at noon, the Coca-Cola Fan Zone offers interactive displays from Sprint, Game Show Network, Coca-Cola and Ford, and is a prelude to NASCAR After The Lap.

For fans unable to attend NASCAR After The Lap, NASCAR.COM will offer a live web cast at NASCAR.COM. Additionally, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio will broadcast the event live on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio channel 90.

Kansas Speedway, by the numbers

-- Groundbreaking was held on May 25, 1999.
-- The official opening of Kansas Speedway was in 2001, with the first events being an ARCA race and a NASCAR K&N Pro Series West race on the same day – June 2.
-- The first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race was Sept. 30, 2001.

-- There have been 11 NASCAR Sprint Cup races at Kansas since the track opened in 2001.
-- All of the races have been scheduled for 267 laps.
-- 10 drivers have competed in all 11 races at Kansas.
-- Jeff Gordon won the first two NASCAR Sprint Cup races.
-- Jason Leffler won the first pole in September 2001.
-- Eight different drivers have won poles, led by Jimmie Johnson with three.
-- Eight different drivers have posted victories, led by Greg Biffle, Jeff Gordon and Tony Stewart (each with two).
-- Seven of the 11 races have been won from a top-10 starting position.
-- Two drivers have won from the pole: Joe Nemechek in 2004 and Jimmie Johnson in 2008.
-- The furthest back in the field that a race winner started was 25th, by Brad Keselowski earlier this season.
-- Three active drivers with more than one start have averaged a top-10 finish: Greg Biffle (8.3), Jeff Gordon (8.1) and Jimmie Johnson (9.1).
-- Jeff Gordon leads all drivers in top fives (eight) and top 10s (nine). Gordon’s only two non-top 10s were a 39th in 2006 and a 13th in 2004.
-- Seven of the 11 races that ended under green had a margin of victory under one second. The 2007 race ended under caution.

Kansas Speedway Data
Race #: 30 of 36 (10-9-11)
Track Size: 1.5 miles
-- Banking/Corners: 15 degrees
-- Banking/Frontstretch: 10.4 degrees
-- Banking/Backstretch: 5 degrees
-- Frontstretch: 2,685 feet
-- Backstretch: 2,207 feet

Driver Rating at Kansas
Greg Biffle 118.8
Jimmie Johnson 116.5
Jeff Gordon 107.3
Tony Stewart 105.3
Carl Edwards 98.7
Matt Kenseth 98.6
Mark Martin 92.7
Kurt Busch 91.8
Kevin Harvick 89.4
Clint Bowyer 86.5
Denny Hamlin 85.2
Brad Keselowski 84.8
Note: Driver Rating compiled from 2005-2011 races (7 total) at Kansas.

Qualifying/Race Data
2010 pole winner: Kasey Kahne (174.844 mph, 30.920 seconds)
2010 race winner: Greg Biffle, 138.077 mph, 10-03-10)
Qualifying record: Matt Kenseth (180.856 mph, 29.858 seconds, 10-08-05)
Race record: Greg Biffle (138.077 mph, 10-03-10)

NASCAR in Kansas
-- There have been 11 NASCAR Sprint Cup races in Kansas, all at Kansas Speedway. The only other Kansas track to hold a NASCAR national series race was Heartland Park in Topeka, which hosted five NASCAR Camping World Truck Series races from 1995-99.
-- 16 drivers in NASCAR’s three national series (all-time) have their home state recorded as Kansas, including Jim Roper who won the very first NASCAR Sprint Cup race – Charlotte in 1949.
-- There have been two race winners in the top three NASCAR series from Kansas:

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