Thursday, September 30, 2010

Kansas Price Chopper 400 Preview: Tony Stewart Looks Like a Good Bet This Week

By Micah Roberts

This week at Kansas Speedway we have all types of elements coming together that make for plenty of interesting candidates to win. This is the third race of the Chase and while there are all kinds of storylines going around that involve Clint Bowyer and his upheld fine and deduction of points, he’s just as good a candidate to win as anyone. There will be no lull or dry spell despite knowing that he can’t win the Championship.

The heated exchange of words and paint between Denny Hamlin and Kevin Harvick is over, but not forgotten. Harvick did the appropriate venting during Dover practice and didn’t allow it to carry over onto the race itself. Each went about their business at hand and didn’t let any bitterness towards one another affect their ultimate goal of winning a title. If one had wrecked the other and hurt either one’s chances of finishing well, the retaliatory smack the following week would have happened which basically would have eliminated each other from contention.

We talk about all the Chase drivers as candidates to win every week, but there are three to five drivers outside the Chase that could win Sunday based on the track and past performances on similar types. The track itself is a 1.5-mile tri-oval, but it doesn’t resemble the others just because of it’s banking being much lower than the others. If looking to compare Kansas with any, California’s 2-mile layout has similar traits, as does Chicagoland. Atlanta, Las Vegas, Texas and Charlotte all have much steeper banking and race at higher speeds despite being the same distance.

Of all the tracks on the season, year after year, Kansas is usually the hardest to dissect a winner from by using traditional methods of looking at similar tracks, driver history and final practices. So this week, I’m going in another direction where I begin with the actual chassis the driver is using and descend with the remaining data. I have made my plays already and then will look for some more action after seeing practice on Saturday. (Check back Saturday for my final ratings)

When looking at all the drivers chassis’ this week, there a whole slew of quality rides out there with only one having winning experience. Several drivers have brand new cars, but there are about nine others who brought cars with top-five finishes at various tracks throughout 2010 who should all contend this week. Even the likes of Mark Martin and Joey Logano should be considered contenders just because of their cars.

At the top of the list is Tony Stewart who is using his winning chassis from Atlanta, the same car that finished runner-up at Pocono. I like this car a lot and expect him to do well regardless of what happens in practice. He’s a two-time winner at Kansas, but most importantly, one of those wins came last year while with his current team. I also like that Stewart is sitting 10th in points 162 points out which gives me comfort in my 12 to 1 bet that I’ll be getting their most inspired effort of the season. There aren’t many drivers I like when the pressure is on, but Stewart ranks right up there with Jimmie Johnson as guys who are immune to the pressures of high stakes racing.

I feel much more comfortable with Stewart over Johnson this week just because of the primary car Johnson is using. Johnson drove the car to third-place in Atlanta last month, but prior to that, it was 10th at Pocono and 37th at Charlotte. Johnson won this race in 2008, but it was only his second top-five finish on the track. Last season he led 53 laps, but settled for ninth-place. Should Johnson announce that he’s using his back-up car, then I’ll have a problem because that cars is nearly unbeatable. In four starts dating back to last season, the back-up has three wins and a fifth. Two of the wins came at California, a track that a car can be modeled after for Kansas. Hopefully he doesn’t wreck in practice forcing a move to that stout back-up.

Some of the other top experienced cars being brought this week are that of Kyle Busch, Carl Edwards, Bowyer, Jamie McMurray and even Dale Earnhardt Jr.

If looking for the top driver on 1.5-mile tracks this season, you’ll start with Matt Kenseth who has a 10.2 average on the six tracks. Kasey Kahne and Kyle Busch each have the next best average at 11.3 while Kurt Busch has led 393 laps in the six races that include wins at Charlotte and Atlanta.

For Kansas specific, Jeff Gordon leads the way with an 8.9 average finish in nine races that include winning the first Cup two races ever held on the track. Gordon also finished runner-up to Stewart last season. Following Gordon is Greg Biffle with a 9.0 average finish in eight Kansas starts that includes his 2007 win. He’s on a streak right now that has seen him finish no worse than third in five of the last six races. Biffle will be using a brand new car this week.

Clint Bowyer finished runner-up to Biffle on his home track of Kansas in 2007 and has a career average of 11.0 in his four starts. Bowyer is using his fourth place car from Chicagoland this week which should run similar. Another local driver, Jamie McMurray, will be taking one of his better cars to Kansas that has led 143 laps this season en route to being runner-up at Darlington and fifth at Chicagoland.

This race almost has a strange feel to it the way Chicago did when David Reutimann dominated the entire race. I can see Stewart running well, Gordon competing and McMurray making a run for his third win of the year. When it’s said and done, It’ll probably be Johnson and Busch 1-2, but there’s no fun in that payout.

Early Top-5 Finish Prediction:
1) #14 Tony Stewart (12/1)
2) #1 Jamie McMurray (25/1)
3) #24 Jeff Gordon (7/1)
4) #99 Carl Edwards (10/1)
5) #16 Greg Biffle (10/1)

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Driver Chassis Selections for Kansas Price Chopper 400

By Jeff Wackerlin,
1. Denny Hamlin: Scored first top 10 in five starts last year after finishing fifth; Fifth best average finish (8.0) in the two races with the COT; Won the pole and led 74 laps on the last 1.5-mile track (Atlanta) before the engine expired; Will debut a new car (chassis No. 285) in the Price Chopper 400.
2. Jimmie Johnson: Won the 2008 race after leading 124 laps; Three-time pole winner; Ninth-place finish in this event last year was sixth top 10 in eight starts; Third-best average finish (5.0) in the two races with the COT; Eighth best average finish (13.3) in the six races on 1.5-mile tracks this season; Will return in the same car (chassis No. 592) that finished third at Atlanta earlier this month.
3. Kyle Busch: 24.3 average finish in six starts; Only top 10 came with Hendrick Motorsports in 2006; Scored best finish with Joe Gibbs Racing in 12th last year; Tied for the second-best average finish (11.3) in the six races on 1.5-mile tracks this season; Will return in the same car (chassis No. 274) that most recently finished fifth at Atlanta.
4. Kurt Busch: 19.3 average finish in four starts with Penske Racing; Two top 10s came in previous five starts with Roush Racing; Fourth-best average finish (12.2) in the six races on 1.5-mile tracks this season; Tied for the most laps led on 1.5-mile tracks in 2010 with 393; Will debut a new car (chassis No. 735) in the Price Chopper 400.
5. Kevin Harvick: 15.9 average finish in nine starts; 24th-place finish last season ended streak of consecutive sixth-place finishes; 16.0 average finish in the six races on 1.5-mile tracks this season; Will debut a new car (chassis No. 318) in the Price Chopper 400.
6. Carl Edwards: 13.3 average finish in six starts; Overcame a pit road speeding penalty last year to finish 10th; Led 31 laps and finished second in this event last year; 15th-best average finish (17.3) in the six races on 1.5-mile tracks this season; Will return in the same car (chassis No. 695) that finished third at Michigan last month.
7. Jeff Burton: 18.6 average finish in nine starts; Scored second top 10 in six starts with Richard Childress Racing in 2008 in seventh; Seventh-best average finish (13.2) in the six races on 1.5-mile tracks this season; Will debut a new car (chassis No. 323) in the Price Chopper 400.
8. Jeff Gordon: Leads all drivers with an 8.9 average finish; Two-time winner; Tied for the best average finish (3.0) in the two races with the COT; Finished in the top five in last three starts; Fifth-best average finish (12.3) in the six races on 1.5-mile tracks this season; Tied for the most laps led on 1.5-mile tracks in 2010 with 393.
9. Greg Biffle: 2007 winner; Tied for the best average finish (3.0) in the two races with the COT; 21.8 average finish in the six races on 1.5-mile tracks this season; Will debut a new car (chassis No. 706) in the Price Chopper 400.
10. Tony Stewart: Scored second win in this event last year; Victory came in first track start with Stewart-Haas Racing; 13.2 average finish in nine starts; Latest winner on a 1.5-mile track after leading 176 laps at Atlanta; Sixth-best average finish (12.8) in the six races on 1.5-mile tracks this season; Will return in the same car (chassis No. 515) that he won with at Atlanta.
11. Matt Kenseth: 22.1 average finish in nine starts; Finished 39th last year after engine failure; Fifth-place finish in 2008 was third top 10; Has led 99 laps in last three races; Leads all drivers with a 10.2 average finish in the six races on 1.5-mile tracks this season; Will return in the same car (chassis No. 698) that he finished 14th with at Richmond.
12. Clint Bowyer: Two top 10s came in first two starts in 2006 and 2007; 16.5 average finish in the two races with the COT; 10th-best average finish (14.2) in the six races on 1.5-mile tracks this season; Will return in the same car (chassis No. 306) that finished fourth at Chicagoland.

13. Ryan Newman: Posted a 1.7 average finish in first three starts; Won the 2003 event; Has yet to post a top 10 in six starts since his win; Finished 22nd last season in track debut with Stewart-Haas Racing; 14.2 average finish in the six races on 1.5-mile tracks this season.
14. Jamie McMurray: 21.0 average finish in seven starts; Will make track debut in an Earnhardt-Ganassi Chevrolet; 19.2 average finish in the six races on 1.5-mile tracks this season; Will return in the same car (chassis No. 1006) that posted top-five finishes at Darlington and Chicagoland.

15. Juan Pablo Montoya: Posted first top 10 last year with a fourth-place finish; 17.3 average finish in three starts; 22.8 average finish in the six races on 1.5-mile tracks this season; Will return in the same car (chassis No. 910) that finished seventh at Pocono in June.
16. Mark Martin: 2005 winner; Won the pole and finished seventh in this event last year; 12.4 average finish in nine starts; 13.8 average finish in the six races on 1.5-mile tracks this season; Will race chassis No. 523 for the fourth time this season; This chassis saw its best finish at Auto Club in fourth.
17. David Reutimann: Finished eighth last season for first top 10 in three starts; One win and an 18.7 average finish in the six races on 1.5-mile tracks this season.
18. Dale Earnhardt Jr: Started second and finished 36th last season after engine failure; Finished 13th in 2008 in first track start with Hendrick Motorsports; Four top 10s came in previous starts with Dale Earnhardt, Inc.; Best finish (sixth) came in 2002 when he won the pole; 17.7 average finish and 56 laps led in the six races on 1.5-mile tracks this season; Will return in the same car (chassis No. 599) that finished in the top 10 at Michigan and Texas this year.
19. Kasey Kahne: Finished sixth last season for second top 10 in six starts; Won the pole for the 2006 race; Tied for the second-best average finish (11.3) in the six races on 1.5-mile tracks this season; Fourth in laps led on 1.5-mile tracks in 2010 with 160.
20. Joey Logano: 33.5 average finish in two starts; 21.3 average finish in the six races on 1.5-mile tracks this season; Will return in the same car (chassis No. 278) that most recently finished fourth at Richmond. 

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Driver Notes & Quotes: Kansas Price Chopper 400

KEVIN HARVICK'S OUTLOOK ON THE CHASE: “For us, I think we just have to keep doing the things that we did up until this point. We won a few races, had a lot of top-five and top-10 finishes. On the days where we really struggled, I felt like we, for the most part, made something out of those days. It was good enough to lead the points in the first 26 (races), so there is really no reason for us to change our strategy. I feel like the guys have done a great job of getting the cars prepared. We’ll see what happens. Whether we win or lose, I think everybody has done everything we can control. We’ll just go race now.”

Double Dip in Kansas … In addition to his driving duties with the No. 29 Shell-Pennzoil Chevrolet, Harvick will drive Kevin Harvick Incorporated’s No. 33 Chevrolet in the Oct. 2 Kansas Lottery 300 NASCAR Nationwide Series event. The race will air live on ESPN2, beginning at 3:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time. The race will also be broadcast live on the Motor Racing Network and Sirius XM Satellite Radio.

HARVICK CHASSIS CHOICE: Harvick will pilot Chassis No. 318 from the Richard Childress Racing NASCAR Sprint Cup Series stable. This Shell-Pennzoil Chevrolet is a completely brand new car which will see its first laps on the track during Friday’s practice session.

JEFF BURTON ON WHETHER OR NOT KANSAS IS WHERE YOU RE-EVALUATE THINGS IN THE CHASE: “You can be out of the Chase in three races. You can either be out of it or you can position yourself to win it. Where we’ll be, who knows. The reality is we’re going to go to Kansas and race the best we know how, no matter what the situation we’re in. We hope we’re in the position to win a championship. Ten races is a long time. If you’re not learning and applying from the first race to the fifth race to the tenth race, you’re doing something wrong. Every race is an opportunity for us to learn as a team and as a driver. Hopefully, we’re there learning something that we can apply to winning a championship. I think you take each race for what it is. You go and race that race and not make it any more important than any other race. There are 10 races and they all pay the same amount of points. You can have a bad race in the beginning, or a bad race at the end, and they still have the same amount of points. You can’t get caught up in the chess game of where I am now. It’s an accumulation of all those points. That’s not to say if you’re 12th, 300 points back, you can say that you’re going to win a championship. It’s not going to happen. You have to be in position.”

JEFF BURTON CHASSIS CHOICE: Burton will pilot chassis No. 323 from the Richard Childress Racing NASCAR Sprint Cup Series stable. This is a brand new No. 31 racer that will be put through its first paces in this weekend’s Price Chopper 400.

CLINT BOWYER ON WHAT IT WILL TAKE TO GET A VICTORY ON HIS HOME TRACK: “We’ve always run well during the race almost every time we go to Kansas. We had a flat tire last year, and ended up going a couple laps down, but we got one back. Last year was a struggle. But, I always look forward to going to Kansas. We always run well there. We ran awesome at Chicagoland, and that gives me a lot of confidence going into Kansas. The tracks are so similar. We’re bringing the same car we ran in Chicago to Kansas, and I think we have a great shot at winning. We ran in the top three all day at Chicago, and, at the end, Gordon beat us out of the pits, and ended up beating us. Kansas is going to be a good track for us.”

BOWYER CHASSIS CHOICE: Bowyer will pilot chassis No. 306 from the Richard Childress Racing NASCAR Sprint Cup Series stable. Built new in 2010, this No. 33 racer was put through its first paces at Michigan International Speedway in June but contact with the wall in final practice forced the Shane Wilson-led crew to retire this Impala for the No. 33 team’s back up. After cosmetic repair, this chassis made its competitive debut one month later at Chicagoland Speedway where Bowyer finished fourth after starting 15th.

GREG BIFFLE ON KANSAS: “Kansas is a unique track that I have always enjoyed racing at. I think I enjoy it because I’ve run well there. We finished third there the last two years and had a win there in 2007 so we know we can get to victory lane there. The last two weekends have not been a great start to the Chase for us so we really need to get to victory lane to try to make up some of the points. This is a resilient team though and we are definitely going to give it all we have until the checkered flag drops at Homestead.”

BIFFLE CREW CHIEF GREG ERWIN ON KANSAS AND CHASSIS CHOICE: “We’re taking a brand new car to Kansas this weekend based on what we’ve learned at tests and races throughout this season. We’re definitely glad to get back to a mile-and-a-half race track. Kansas is a fast track that allows for a lot of good racing and we’ve had a lot of success there. My first win with this team was at Kansas in 2007 so it would be great to repeat that success there this weekend. Kansas is easy on tire wear so that allows for flexibility in pit strategy as far as taking two tires or fuel only. Hopefully that will play into our hands and we’ll have a solid run this weekend.”

CARL EDWARDS ON KANSAS: “Kansas takes everything. It takes a good engine, good qualifying effort and pit crew. The biggest thing I think it takes is a crew chief that understands how to make that car work through a long run there. So much happens at Kansas. The cars get tight, or they get loose in and you’ve got to really have a good crew chief. Fuel mileage is going to be key, too. I was fortunate to win the truck race there at Kansas. That was a huge victory and to win the Cup race would be unbelievable.”

EDWARDS CRE CHIEF BOB OSBORNE ON KANSAS AND CHASSIS CHOICE: “We are taking the same car we ran at Indy and Michigan to Kansas. It was a new car at Indy and we’ve had success with it both times it has run this year. We hope to come out of Kansas with at least a top-five finish. That has been our goal in the Chase is to finish top five in every race. So far we are only 50 percent since we didn’t get the finish in Loudon we wanted, but Dover was pretty good. It would mean a lot to Carl to get a win at his home track.”

EDWARDS CHASSIS SELECTION: RK-695 - Last outing: Michigan – August, finished third. Also: raced Indy; finished seventh

DALE EARNHARDT JR. ON KANSAS: “We had a really good run there last year, and I know Lance and the guys are coming back with something similar. Kansas can be challenging to get the car to work at both ends, but it’s a pretty simple racetrack, I enjoy running there.”

EARNHARDT JR. KANSAS CHASSIS: Crew chief Lance McGrew and the No. 88 engineers will unload Hendrick Motorsports Chassis No. 88-599 this weekend at Kansas. Earnhardt notably drove this chassis to two top-10 finishes this year. He took seventh on June 13 at Michigan. In April, Earnhardt started ninth in this car at Texas and led 46 laps before finishing eighth.

DAVID REUTIMANN'S CREW CHIEF RODNEY CHILDERS ON KANSAS: “Kansas is a little bit different than most of the intermediate tracks. It’s really tight in turns 3 and 4 and you really have to get the car turned quick and make it to where it will drive straight off the corner. You have to look at it a little bit different then you would say Charlotte or Fontana or really any of the other intermediate tracks. It kind of stands out. A lot of people compare it to Chicago, and there are some similarities there, but you can’t take exactly what you take to Chicago and run it at Kansas. I’ve always had pretty good luck there, and I think I’ve just been more fortunate than anything there. The biggest thing is have your car where it’ll turn really quick in turns 3 and 4 and get back to the gas.”

MATT KENSETH ON RACING AT KANSAS: “Kansas is very similar to Chicagoland Speedway, but Kansas is just a little flatter in the banking than Chicago. Kansas is a good track, but it’s gotten to be a difficult place to pass during the race. It is a wide and flat track, but with the new car design, our challenge is making sure we can work on the set-ups to combat the fact that we can get pretty tight due to the aerodynamics of these cars. We’re just going to keep building upon what we’ve learned the past few weeks, and focus on making sure we make the right adjustments Sunday afternoon.”

KENSETH CREW CHIEF JIMMY FENNIG OF KANSAS AND CHASSIS CHOICE: “We’re bringing our car from Richmond and plan to run some of the set-ups that the No. 99 team ran at Chicago earlier this year since they had a great handling car. Our plan is to also use our settings from Dover since we felt we had a good car this past weekend as well and we’ll build off of those set-ups. Kansas is a typical 1.5-mile track but it’s a place that’s tough to pass with this new car because you find the car being aero-tight, so qualifying will be a main focus of ours on Friday. We’ll do a few runs in race trim and then switch over to work on qualifying.”

MARTIN TRUEX JR. ON TEAMING UP WITH SUSAN G. KOMEN FOR THE CURE: “This weekend I hope to have another good run to be excited about because our NAPA Toyota has a splash of pink on it to promote a very important program. NAPA is once again working with Susan G. Komen for the Cure to help raise awareness as well as raise money. It’s the first time I have taken part in the program and I must say, I’m not one to wear pink, but for this cause, I will be happy to sport the color. The NAPA team is kicking everything off this weekend. We’ve got blue and pink hats available for race fans to purchase at their local NAPA AUTO PARTS store or AutoCare Center. Fans can also get the name of a loved one who’s been affected by breast cancer on our NAPA Signature Toyota. That special paint scheme will run at Texas Motor Speedway and we are hoping to raise an additional $56,000 with this special project.

“For me, it’s amazing to find out how many people I know who have been touched by breast cancer. I am proud to be associated with this program and the more people we can get involved the better. NAPA is making a generous contribution to help find a cure and I hope that by running the special paint schemes, offering up the Signature car promotion and selling hats that we can raise even more money. I also want to thank all the NASCAR fans in advance for stepping up and helping with this cause. I saw a guy last week at our NAPA Race Day Experience in Dover who had already purchased his All Out for the Cure hat. That’s awesome and I think it’s great that all of us — sponsors, teams and fans work together for a good cause. I look forward to driving our No. 56 NAPA All Out for the Cure Toyota and have a good run for all those people.”

TONY STEWART ON THE POSSIBILITY OF JOHNSON WINNING FIVE STRAIGHT TITLES: “If anybody can do it, that’s the team that can do it. But I think this is probably the best shot that 11 guys have had in four years to keep those guys from doing that. It’s the most competitive Chase field we’ve ever had. It’s still anybody’s game right now. There’s a lot of racing that has to go on. There are a lot of variables out of our control each week. They have just as good a shot this year as they’ve had the last four years of winning a championship. It’s not whether they can do it five times in a row. It’s can they do it this year? That’s the big thing.”

JAMIE McMURRAY CHASSIS CHOICE: Chassis #1006. The No. 1 Bass Pro Shops / Tracker Boat team will bring chassis #1006 to Kansas Speedway this weekend. This chassis has been used three times this season capturing the pole position twice at Chicagoland and Darlington and has two top-five finishes of second and fifth. It was also used in August at Michigan where the No. 1 started 19th and finished 20th. McMurray has led 143 laps with this chassis.

JUAN PABLO MONTOYA CHASSIS CHOICE: Chassis #910. Pattie and the No. 42 Target team are bringing chassis #910 to Kansas Speedway this weekend. This chassis has been used three times in 2010 at both Pocono events and at Las Vegas. Montoya has started in the top-10 in all three events, including the outside pole at the Pocono event in August and has a best finish of seventh at the first Pocono event in June.

Jimmie Johnson Kansas Price Chopper 400 Preview

RACE NOTES Kansas Speedway
  • Johnson has made eight Sprint Cup Series starts at Kansas Speedway, where he has earned one win, two top-five and six top-10 finishes.
  • Johnson has completed 98.6% (2050 of 2079) of competition laps at the 1.5-mile oval and has led 304.
  • He has an average start of 5.6, his lowest average of all Sprint Cup Series tracks.
  • His average finish is 10.2.
  • Johnson last piloted chassis No. 592 to a third-place finish at Atlanta Motor Speedway in September.
  • Backup chassis No. 553 was driven to Victory Lane by Johnson at Auto Club Speedway in February.
QUOTES JIMMIE JOHNSON: TALK ABOUT GOING TO KANSAS: “For a mile-and-a-half, I think that Chicago and Kansas are pretty similar. In years past, mile-and-a-halfs have been our bread and butter and have been really good for us. And Kansas has a really cool transition in and off the corners where you can run second and third lane. It is pretty friendly and you can search around and try to find a line. The asphalt has aged pretty quick there too which has allowed us to run multiple lanes and move around. So in general, it is a track with options. For a mile-and-a-half race track, it has a lot of options and I have enjoyed racing there over the years and have been able to get a win there.”
CHAD KNAUS: CAN YOU SAY WHAT YOU’VE LEARNED AS FAR AS THE CHASE IN THE FIRST TWO RACES OR YOU DON’T LEARN ANYTHING TILL THE MILE-AND-A-HALFS? “I feel good about it. If you go back and look at our performance in Chicago, we qualified respectable. We led a good portion of that race. I think if you go back and you look at how we ran at Charlotte Motor Speedway, we ran very competitive there. We basically took ourselves out of both of those races.”
I think leading into that with Kansas being very similar to Chicago, looking forward to it. I think the performance we had in Atlanta was definitely a direction that you can see where we’re headed toward going into Charlotte Motor Speedway, Homestead, and definitely Fontana, we’re always excited to go there. We obviously won there in the spring. I think our big track stuff is pretty close. We’re excited about it. We know we’re never as good as what we want to be. We’re definitely going to be continuing to work on it, trying to improve our product, but I’m looking forward to it, definitely.”
  • Johnson has 53 wins in his Sprint Cup Series career, his most recent coming at Dover International Speedway on Sept. 26, 2010.
  • The El Cajon, Calif.-native is currently 10th on NASCAR’s all-time wins list, one victory behind Lee Petty.
  • He is second in total wins among active drivers, behind Jeff Gordon (82).
  • Johnson needed only 296 starts to hit the 50 mark. Only three drivers have reached 50 victories quicker – Gordon (232), Darrell Waltrip (278) and David Pearson (293).
  • Johnson has won at least three Cup races a season since he posted his first victory in 2002. He is the only driver in the modern era to win at least three races in each of his first eight full-time seasons.
  • Johnson has won Sprint Cup Series races at all but four (Michigan, Chicago, Watkins Glen, Homestead) of the 22 tracks on which the series competes.
  • Johnson was the first driver to win three of the first five races in The Chase.
  • Johnson’s 10 wins in 2007 was the highest number recorded in a single season since Jeff Gordon posted 13 victories in 1998.
  • The four-consecutive wins scored by the No. 48 team in the 2007 Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup ties a modern-era NASCAR record.
Career Poles
  • Johnson has collected 25 poles in his Sprint Cup career.
  • The championship driver has earned at least one pole a year since his first full-time season in 2002.
  • He had a career-high six poles in 2008.
  • Johnson’s most recent pole position was at Dover International Speedway on Sept. 24, 2010.
Career Starts
  • In 28 2010 starts, Johnson has collected six wins, 11 top five and 15 top-10 finishes.
  • Johnson has finished in the top five in the Sprint Cup Series point standings each year since his first full season in 2002.
  • Johnson is the only driver to qualify for the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup every year since the format was adopted in 2004.
  • In 319 Sprint Cup Series starts, Johnson has posted 128 top-five and 195 top-10 finishes.
  • He has a top-five finish at every track on the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series circuit.
  • Johnson has led a total of 10,955 laps (of 91,826) in his Sprint Cup career, covering over 122,979 miles.
  • He has finished on the lead lap 245 times.

Primary Car History – Chassis No. 592

Backup Car History – Chassis No. 553
Race 3 of The Chase
Points ComingStartingFinishingPoints After
YearInto EventPositionPositionEvent
Jimmie Johnson – Kansas Speedway

Jimmie Johnson – Year-by-Year Cup Statistics
YearStartsWinsTop 5Top 10PolesFinal
* to date

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Las Vegas Hilton Super Book Odds To Win Kansas Price Chopper 400



Kansas Price Chopper 400 Odds & Ends

compiled by Mike Forde
NASCAR Media Services

·      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 nine NASCAR Sprint Cup races at Kansas
      since the track opened in 2001.
·         All of the races have been scheduled for 267 laps.
·         13 drivers have competed in all eight races at Kansas.
·         Jeff Gordon won the first two NASCAR Sprint Cup races.
·         Jason Leffler won the first pole in September 2001.
·         Seven different drivers have won poles, led by Jimmie Johnson with three.
·         Seven different drivers have posted victories, led by Jeff Gordon and Tony Stewart (each with two).
·         There have been seven different winners.
·         Six of the nine 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 race winner started was 21st, by Tony Stewart in 2006.
·         Points leader Denny Hamlin made his first career NASCAR Sprint Cup start at Kansas – a 32nd-place finish in 2005.
·         Two active drivers with more than one start have averaged a top-10 finish: Greg Biffle (9.0) and Jeff Gordon (8.9).
·         Jeff Gordon leads all drivers in top fives (six) and top 10s (seven). Gordon’s only two non-top 10s were a 39th in 2006 and a 13th in 2004.
·         Seven of the eight races that ended under green had a margin of victory under one second. The 2007 race ended under caution.
NASCAR in Kansas
·         There have been nine 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:
Clint Bowyer
Jim Roper
Kansas Speedway Data
Race #: 29 of 36 (10-3-10)
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
Jimmie Johnson            122.6 
Greg Biffle                    119.6
Jeff Gordon                  104.7
Mark Martin                   100.1
Tony Stewart                 99.0
Carl Edwards                94.2
Matt Kenseth                 93.7
Brad Keselowski            93.4
Clint Bowyer                  93.4
Casey Mears                 88.4
Note: Driver Rating compiled from 2005-2009 races (5 total) at Kansas.
Qualifying/Race Data
2009 pole winner: Mark Martin (175.758 mph, 30.724 seconds)
2009 race winner: Tony Stewart, 137.144 mph, 10-4-09)
Qualifying record: Matt Kenseth (180.856 mph, 29.858 seconds, 10-8-05)
Race record: Mark Martin (137.774 mph, 10-9-05)
Estimated Pit Window: Every 40-44 laps, based on fuel mileage.