What to Watch: 2023 Kansas-1


AdventHealth 400 at Kansas Speedway
(โฐ 3 p.m. ET | ๐Ÿ“บ FS1, FOX Sports App | ๐Ÿ“ป MRN, SiriusXM)

Everything you need to know for Sunday’s NASCAR Cup Series race in Kansas, the 12th regular season race of the 2023 Cup Series campaign.

Weekend schedule | TV schedule | Weather tracker | Kansas 101

๐Ÿ“ Location: Kansas City, Kansas
๐Ÿ“ Track length: 1.5 miles
๐ŸŽŸ๏ธ Buy tickets: Find weekend passes, seats for the race
๐Ÿ’ฐ Cup Series race purse: $7,536,752
๐Ÿ“ Race distance: 267 laps | 400.5 miles
๐Ÿ”ข Stages: 80 | 165 | 267

๐Ÿšช Entry list: Drivers, teams heading to race
๐Ÿ“‹ Starting lineup: Where drivers will start on Sunday
๐Ÿš— Pit stall assignments:
Where drivers will pit on Sunday
๐Ÿ† Most recent winner: Bubba Wallace

Key things to watch ๐Ÿ”‘

Top story line

Toyota’s time to shine? It was the 23XI Racing show in Kansas a season ago, with Kurt Busch and Bubba Wallace each reaching Victory Lane in impressive fashion. In fact, Toyota has five wins in the last seven races at the Kansas City track, including a pair from Denny Hamlin – who is still searching for his first victory of the season. After his latest runner-up result to Wallace at Kansas in 2022, the Joe Gibbs Racing driver has an astounding 5.7 average finish in the seven-race span dating back to his 2019 win. Add Martin Truex Jr.’s newfound momentum and Christopher Bell’s hot start to the season, and the Toyota group should have a handle of drivers contending for the checkered flag on Sunday.

๐Ÿ““ Analysis: For Denny Hamlin, Kansas presents the good – and the bad

History tells us…

Qualifying on Saturday is as important as ever. In the last seven races on 1.5-mile tracks, the eventual race winner started from sixth or better every time. While not an absolute guarantee, that trend puts an enormous weight on Saturday’s sessions. Drivers who start up front and lead laps early will have a big advantage with gathered knowledge for later in the race. And the last two winners at this track length swept both stages en route to their win.

He may not be the betting favorite to win, but watch out for…

Brad Keselowski. At 40-1, the No. 6 Ford is an interesting story line this weekend. Keselowski has been executing well lately, with his eighth-place finish at Dover Motor Speedway giving him back-to-back top 10s for the first time since joining RFK Racing. He has also been pretty solid in qualifying at a handful of difficult tracks but will start middle-of-the-pack on Saturday in 20th. No, he didn’t have strong finishes last season at Kansas, but his place on the oddsboard presents very good value for where he is capable of running. Keselowski still hasn’t won a race this season, so expect the urgency to pick up as the playoffs begin creeping closer. | ICYMI: Kes named to 75 Greatest Drivers

โš ๏ธ Pit-road stats: Keselowski’s crew making a big jump after Dover

Saturday’s sessions

While it looked like Toyota had the upper hand, led by Denny Hamlin’s impressive form in practice, it was Hendrick Motorsports that prevailed with a front-row sweep in qualifying. William Byron blitzed the field for his 10th Busch Light Pole Award, joined by teammate Kyle Larson in P2. Ross Chastain followed in third with a handful of Toyota drivers – Martin Truex Jr. (fourth), Tyler Reddick (fifth), Ty Gibbs (seventh) and Denny Hamlin (eighth) – split by Joey Logano leading the charge for Ford. | Read full practice, qualifying recap | Nos. 45, 15 penalized after inspection

Inside the Race ๐Ÿ”

NBC’s Steve Letarte and MRN’s Todd Gordon break down Kansas Speedway and say if they think Toyota and 23XI Racing come away with the win.

Familiar favorites โญ๏ธ

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

– Fantasy Fastlane: Will 23XI make it a Kansas trifecta? | Full lineup tips
– Paint Scheme Preview:
Sparkling schemes for the ‘Sunflower State’ | Pick a favorite
– Power Rankings: Reaching a turning point for 23XI Racing? | Latest driver rankings
– Betting odds: See which driver is the favorite for Sunday’s race | Top bets, underdog picks
– Stacking Pennies:
Corey LaJoie reacts to on-track incident at Dover | Listen to the podcast

๐Ÿ’Ž NASCAR 75: Honoring NASCAR’s 50 Greatest Drivers … then revealing 25 more | Check out the list

Hot off the press ๐Ÿ“ฐ

Key stories and breaking news from the week leading up to the race.

– Busch brothers: Kurt, Kyle join elite list of 75 Greatest Drivers | Read more
– Penalty update:
Appeals panel upholds fine, suspension issued to No. 3 RCR team | Read more | Officials explain
– Tyler Reddick:
Hopeful that tribulations will prepare him when playoffs arrive | Read more
– Ryan Newman:
Veteran driver returning to make starts with Rick Ware | Read more
– NASCAR 75:
Brad Keselowski joins Greatest Drivers list | Read more, see others
– Legacy Motor Club:
Organization moving to Toyota in 2024 | Read more | Toyota drivers speak
– Larson vs. Chastain:
Elton Sawyer gives his take on potential action | Watch video
– NASCAR Salutes:
Honoring the military through annual initiative | Read more
– Untold Story: Tim Flock’s amazing monkey who ran races with him | Watch video
– Photo Memories:
John Hunter Nemechek remembers Victory Lane with dad | Watch video
– Mission 600:
Denny Hamlin visits Arlington National Cemetary | Read more
– Darlington:
Teams begin unveiling throwback schemes | Check them out

Get in on the action ๐Ÿ’ฐ

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

– Fan Rewards: New in 2023, get rewarded for your participation | Learn more
– Fantasy Live: Still time to get on the leaderboard and win big this season | Tips for 2023
– NASCAR BetCenter: Don’t miss your chance to make picks each week | Visit the BetCenter
– Going the distance:
2023 Cup Series championship odds | See them here
– The Action Network: Daniel Suárez might be poised for a bounceback | Expert analysis
– The Action Network: Expert picks for Denny Hamlin’s Bracket Challenge | Expert analysis

Kickin’ it in Kansas ๐Ÿ‘Ÿ

Lots of history is tucked into the two-decade run at this unique Kansas City venue.

– Do you remember?: Memorable moments at Kansas Speedway | Relive them
– Winner, winner:
All-time wins at Kansas Speedway | See the full list
– Race Rewind:
Bubba Wallace holds off boss Denny Hamlin | Best highlights from 2022
– Scanner Sounds:
Listen to key moments from the ’22 spring race | Watch the video

Take some notes ๐Ÿ“

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

The last six Kansas race winners started in the top 10.
A driver led over 100 laps in 13 of the last 15 Kansas races, including each of the last four.
Ford has only one win in the last 14 races on 1.5-mile tracks.
Three of the last four Kansas winners got their first win of the season.
The last two 1.5-mile track winners swept both stages.

๐Ÿ”ฎ Predicting the winner: Using data to set a projected finishing order

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