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Kansas 101: Starting lineup, track history, betting favorites, more

The NASCAR Cup Series heads to Kansas Speedway for the fan-named Buschy McBusch Race 400 on Sunday at 3 p.m. ET (FS1, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio).

This week’s 101 gives you the important details you should know before this weekend’s action. Take a look.

LEADING THE FIELD TO GREEN

Two-time Kansas winner Brad Keselowski starts from the pole position Sunday, after securing his first victory of the season at Talladega Superspeedway. William Byron starts alongside the No. 2 Team Penske driver, while Michael McDowell and Kevin Harvick file in to complete Row 2. See Sunday’s full starting grid.

RELATED: Full Kansas schedule | Pit-stall selections

CUP HISTORY AT KANSAS

— Kansas has hosted a race every season since 2001 and has hosted two races a season since 2011. The May 2 race is the 31st in Cup Series history.

— Six drivers won the last seven Kansas races. Denny Hamlin is the only repeat winner during that time.

— Last July, the Kansas race had 10 DNFs, tying the record for the most in the last 16 races at the track.

Source: Racing Insights

BETTING FAVORITES, SLEEPER PICK

Series points leader Denny Hamlin, still searching for the elusive first win of 2021, remains oddsmakers’ 5-1 favorite to break through at Kansas — a place he has won at twice in the last three trips. Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Martin Truex Jr. is close behind at 6-1, followed by Kyle Larson (7-1), Keselowski (17-2) and Chase Elliott (9-1) rounding out top of the table.

Looking for a sleeper pick? Alex Bowman (18-1) might pose a big threat to the usual contenders. In the last five races at Kansas, Bowman has finished 11th or better each time. With one win already this season, he may be primed to shake up the standings this weekend.

How do the other drivers stack up? Take a look at the full BetMGM Kansas spring odds.

RELATED: All-time wins at Kansas

BYRON CHASING HISTORY

Hendrick Motorsports’ William Byron is on the verge of history at Kansas with a chance at becoming the youngest driver ever with a nine-race top-10 streak. The record is currently held by Jeff Gordon at 24 years and 22 days. Byron enters the weekend with a three-race streak of top 10 finishes at Kansas.

Source: Racing Insights

RULES PACKAGE

The NASCAR rules package for intermediate-sized tracks will be in effect with a tapered spacer used to achieve a target of 550 horsepower. The cars will use aero ducts in addition to other aerodynamic devices to increase downforce.

GOODYEAR TIRES

Tire allotment for the weekend is nine sets of Goodyear Eagle Speedway Radials per team for the 167-lap, 250.5-mile race. The minimum recommended inflation is 18 psi for the left-side tires, 50 psi for the right front and 48 psi for the right rear.

Last repaved in 2012, the surface at Kansas Speedway has aged and offers an estimated 1.5-second fall-off over the course of one run. Sticking with the track-type trend, teams are required to run inner liners because the track length exceeds one mile.

RELATED: Paint Scheme Preview 

FANTASY LIVE

Want to manage a team and race your way to the top of the leaderboards? Check out NASCAR Fantasy Live. The free-to-play game lets you choose your drivers each week and show off your crew-chief instincts. It’s not too late to join in on the competition.

The 2021 Fantasy Live points leaders are Denny Hamlin (446), Martin Truex Jr. (359) and William Byron (351).

ALSO ON NASCAR.COM

Get additional camera views by logging on to NASCAR Drive, where each week a select number of in-car cameras will be available – as well as a battle cam and an overhead look.

New for this season, NASCAR has partnered with LiveLike to add fan engagement in the NASCAR Mobile App. Log in to the mobile app during the race for polls, quizzes, the cheer meter and more – and see instant results from NASCAR fans like you.