November 28, 2023

Everything you need to know for Sunday’s NASCAR Cup Series race at Kansas Speedway, the 13th regular-season event of the 2022 campaign.


Race-day info 📝

Where: Kansas City, Kansas
Approximate start time: 3 p.m. ET  | Full weekend schedule
TV/Radio: FS1, TSN, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio | Full TV schedule
Forecast: A chance of showers and thunderstorms. Partly sunny, with a high near 78 degrees, according to | Weather tracker
Race distance: 267 laps | 400.5 miles
Stages: 80 | 165 | 267
Pit-road speed: 45 mph
Caution car speed: 55 mph
The purse: $7,117,591
Kansas 101: Get the full lowdown
Starting lineup: Where each driver will start | How qualifying works in 2022
Pit stalls:
See where drivers will pitExpert pit analysis

Key things to watch 🔑

Big story line

What will it take to win at Kansas Speedway on Sunday? So far this season we have seen it all: spectacular strategy, door-to-door dust-ups in the closing laps, and, most recently, a bump-and-run for the win. Through the first 12 races of the season, only Ross Chastain (Circuit of The Americas and Talladega Superspeedway) and William Byron (Atlanta Motor Speedway and Martinsville Speedway) have hung crooked numbers in the win column. With the playoffs creeping closer, a number of drivers who have come close but not yet sealed the deal will be itching to punch their tickets to the 2022 NASCAR Playoffs. Based on recent history, Kansas has emerged as a wild-card track, with eight different winners in the last nine races. But in the Cup Series’ 32-race history here, the track has surprisingly never produced a first-time Cup winner. Something has to give. Will we finally see the expected rise of the routine dominators? Or will the whirlwind start to the 2022 season continue? | Full Kansas Speedway analysis

Who’s hot? Who’s not? 

The No. 9 team has been on a tear lately. Chase Elliott has finished top 10 in the last five races and has seven top 10s in his last eight. Not to mention the Dover Motor Speedway win and that he sits atop the regular-season points standings. In a season that has proven hard to be consistent, Elliott and crew have been just that. And they’re rolling into a track that they have thrived at, with three consecutive top-six finishes and stage points in 15 of the 20 stages at Kansas Speedway. Don’t expect him to cool off this weekend.

Youthful counterpart Ryan Blaney has been trending in the opposite direction. Blaney’s blistering pace to start the season, and three pole awards, had him lined up to win multiple races early, but the No. 12 team missed out on some key opportunities. In the last three races, Blaney has yet to find his way back into the top 10 at the checkered flag and has five finishes of 20th or worse in the last six Kansas races. Sunday will be a test of how far the No. 12 bunch has come — but don’t be too surprised if they find a gritty, statement win.

Driving under the radar

Ricky Stenhouse Jr. has been surging lately, posting back-to-back top 10s at Dover Motor Speedway and Darlington Raceway. Stenhouse is heading to Kansas where he led the fifth-most laps out of any driver in 2021 and he has qualified very well at times in his career. In a season full of unknowns, the No. 47 JTG Daugherty Racing team has seemingly found a nice stride in recent weeks. Aside from four DNFs sprinkled throughout various points this season, Stenhouse and company have really started to pick up the pace. Another top-10 result in the books this weekend and they could very well be in the mix with some of the fringe playoff contenders. He will have to do so from the rear of Sunday’s field after an incident in Saturday’s practice session saw his Chevrolet crash into the outside wall. | Cup Series standings

Saturday’s sessions

Like we have seen in previous weeks, practice proved to be a handful in the early going. Darlington Raceway winner Joey Logano spun and hit the wall, Chris Buescher also made heavy contact and Denny Hamlin damaged his rear diffuser. As the afternoon went on, drivers found better grip and made solid progress in the two-round qualifying session. The team who found the best handle: No. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota and wheelman Christopher Bell. Bell continued his hot qualifying streak with his third pole of the season, tying Ryan Blaney for most in the series. A pair of quick Chevrolets in Tyler Reddick and Kyle Larson trailed Bell before Austin Cindric, Kurt Busch and Kyle Busch rounded out the first three rows. If the early sessions showed us anything ahead of Sunday’s race, the most notable of them was the ability to drive in different grooves. Some ran the bottom, others drifted towards the top and a few found comfort right in the middle. A great sign for Sunday. | Full practice recap | Starting lineup


Kansasspeedway Wideshot Grandstands
Getty Images

Race-day staples ✅

Our biggest pieces of the week — get covered for race day from all angles.

• Paint Scheme Preview: Super shiny schemes for the Sunflower State | Pick a favorite
• Power Rankings:
Strong stats, extra motivation have Byron primed for Kansas | Updated driver rankings
• Fantasy Fastlane:
Going Chevy heavy at Kansas Speedway | See why Chevrolet is the expert’s pick
• NASCAR betting:
Odds, favorites for Sunday’s race | BetMGM betting odds
• Backseat Drivers:
Does William Byron owe Joey Logano a bump-and-run? | Watch the debate

Catch the pack 💨

Read up on the top headlines from the week leading up to Sunday’s race.

• Team changes: Team Penske, Wood Brothers tweak pit-crew lineup ahead of Kansas | More details
• Best to move on?:
Joey Logano speaks on the incident with William Byron at Darlington | Hear what he said
• Analysis:
Harvesting new trends at Kansas with Next Gen momentum | Read more
• Babies are born: Kyle, Samantha Busch welcome new child | Pettys’ new arrival
• New podcast:
Jeff Burton, Mark Martin team up with Mamba Smith | More details
• Jack of all trades: Kyle Larson dominates at Charlotte dirt track | Full story
• All-Star Race:
Fan Vote heats up as top 10 drivers emerge | Read more
• Appeal:
ThorSport gets Darlington DQ overturned after appeal | Read more
• NASCAR Salutes:
Honoring Jamie ‘Montana’ Price, hauler driver and Coast Guard veteran | Watch now
Garrett Lowe, Wood Brothers win Coca-Cola iRacing Series race at Kansas | Race recap
• Nominations open:
2022 Comcast Community Champion of the Year | Learn more

Get in on the action 💰

Think you know NASCAR? Put your mettle to the test with gaming, fantasy.

• BetMGM: Ross Chastain is bouncing back on betting boards | Read more
• The Action Network:
Focus on the favorites this weekend at Kansas | Full analysis
• Featured Matchup:
How to bet Erik Jones vs. Aric Almirola on Sunday | Learn more
• Play it LIVE:
Full guide to 2022 NASCAR Fantasy Live game | Get the FAQ
• Going all the way:
NASCAR betting: 2022 Cup Series championship odds | See them here

Sunflowers and success 🌻

Before NASCAR returns to the Sunflower State, look back at some track history and previous winners.

• Victory Lane: All-time winners at Kansas Speedway | See the list
• Do you remember?:
Memorable moments at Kansas Speedway | Relive them here
• Last year:
Kyle Busch wins last spring at Kansas on 36th birthday | Full race recap
• Scanner Sounds:
Relive some of the sights and sounds from Kansas in 2021 | Listen now

Fast facts ⏩

Hard-hitting, race-relevant statistics, brought to you by the experts at Racing Insights.

The driver who led the most laps won three of the last five Kansas races.
Kyle Larson won by a margin of 3.619 seconds at Kansas last fall, larger than the margin of the seven previous races combined (2.784 seconds).
There was a green flag stretch of 70 or more laps in seven of the last nine Kansas races.
The Stage Two winner finished outside the top-10 in eight of 12 races in 2022.
Kansas was repaved and reformatted between races in 2012, this will be the 20th race on the new surface.

Say what? 🎙

Notable quotes from the stars of the sport heading into Sunday’s race.

“I’m excited about the weekend. We’ve been to pretty much every type of track that we’re going to see, so now we have some notes and data points that we can build off of. That helps us a ton with setups and finding a direction to work in. I feel like our team has been looking forward to this race since Las Vegas because of how strong our car was there, and this is the first true mile-and-a-half we’ve been to since then. As a company, we have been bringing great cars to the track lately and just haven’t been able to get the finish we deserved, but I’m confident that we can do that this weekend in Kansas.” — Denny Hamlin, driver of the No. 11 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota

“It’s a big challenge. Probably a bigger challenge than what’s conveyed, just watching the races and what the fans would see at home. There’s a huge amount of unknowns and there’s a lot of pressure and focus for us to get the car right off the truck, because with just 15 minutes of practice there’s really few things you can do. And then I think for the drivers too, there’s a lot of pressure.” — Alan Gustafson, crew chief of the No. 9 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet

“I think it’s really beneficial to get all of these different track types not out of the way, but you get a notebook on every single type of race track.  Now we’re going to places that you can relate to other places and when we first started with the car it was Daytona, California, Vegas, Phoenix, all different tracks and every time we went there it was kind of a guess, and now we’ve hit a lot of tracks that, quite frankly, I think race teams were worried about.  They were really worried about Dover being really hard to kind of get set up right and maybe it was for some guys, I think us included.  I crashed in Lap 2 of practice, so I guess some of those fears were right, but then we got through it and got better throughout the weekend, so the diversity of the schedule early has been, I think, good for the fans because they get to see a lot of different things and see how the Next Gen car performs, and it’s been really good for the teams because now we have a notebook of kind of every kind of racetrack that you could think of and we can go try to build off of that and show up off the truck closer than what we have been in the past.” — Harrison Burton, driver of the No. 21 Wood Brothers Racing Ford


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