|Jimmie Johnson not favored at Kansas, but is in Chase despite deficit|
Kenseth has won the past two Kansas races and is part of the reason he's the 7-to-2 favorite to win Sunday's Hollywood Casino 400. Kenesth has also been the most dominant driver on the 1.5-mile tracks this season with the new Gen-6 car, winning four of the six races, including the first race of the Chase at Chicagoland.
The other part of the reason Kenseth is favored this week is that Jimmie Johnson and crew chief Chad Knaus haven't figured out the new car yet on these types of tracks as the Joe Gibbs Racing drivers have gobbled up most of the wins. Johnson still comes in at 4-to-1 odds, but grabbing only two top-5 finishes in seven starts on 1.5-mile tracks this season is somewhat alarming.
The positive for Johnson is that things are looking brighter. A great sign for the team was finishing fifth at Chicago to kick off the Chase. They've finished in the top-5 in all three Chase races and Kansas is a track where no one has been better than Johnson since it opened. He sports a 7.6 average finish there with two wins, the last coming during the 2011 Chase. He also has 23 wins in 93 Chase races (24.7 percent).
Kyle Busch has never won at Kansas. He doesn't even have a top-5 finish there in 12 starts, but because of being affiliated with the JGR program, he's still considered one of the drivers to beat at 6-to-1 odds. Busch has won at the 1.5-mile tracks of Texas and Atlanta this season, which are faster, higher banked layouts. He also took the checkered flag on the 2-mile track at Fontana.
Kasey Kahne also comes in at 6-to-1 odds, averaging a fourth place finish over his last four Kansas starts. He's never won there in 12 career starts, but on the basis of being runner-up in three of the 1.5-mile tracks this season, including Kansas in April, he figures to have a strong run Sunday.
Jeff Gordon currently sits tied for fourth in the standings, 39 points out, and is posted at 30-to-1 odds to win the Sprint Cup. He's still looking for his first win of the season, but there may be some hope for Gordon as he heads to a track he christened with the first two trophies Kansas ever handed out in the Cup series.
The hope also rests with past Chase history where in 2006, his teammate Johnson was sitting eighth in points after three races and went on to win the first of his five Cup titles. Gordon would like to join the five-timers club as well, and at least knows it can be done from his current position. He has an 11.1 average finish in 15 Kansas starts and is 12-to-1 to win this week.
Kurt Busch is 18-to-1 this week and should be expected to perform well Sunday. In 15 career Kansas starts, Busch has never come away with a top-5 finish, but this season on 1.5-mile tracks, he's been one of the best. From late May at Charlotte, he's finished sixth or better on each of the four 1.5-mile tracks run at. He also finished third at Michigan in August.
Martin Truex Jr. is also 18-to-1 to win this week. He finished fourth in the spring race and was runner-up in both Kansas races last season.
Greg Biffle is a two-time winner at Kansas, the last in 2010, and has a 10.1 average finish in 14 starts, which is third best behind Johnson and Brad Keselowski (9.3). Keselowski won the 2011 spring race and is posted at 15-to-1 odds.
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