NASCAR STP 400
Kansas Mot0r Speedway – Kansas City, Kansas
1.5 Mile D-shaped oval, 15 degree banking, turns, 10.4 degree frontstretch, 5 degree backstretch
Sunday, April 22, 2012, 1:00 pm Eastern, TV: Fox
Defending Champion: Brad Keselowski
All Odds Courtesy of Bovada
Last season, the spring race at Kansas was in early June. This year it is in mid-April when it isn’t as hot or humid in the Midwest. It will be interesting to see how this affects the cars and tires. That will be up to team engineers much smarter than I to figure out. After this race, the 11 year old track will be repaved before the October race. I don’t know why they didn’t do it during the off-season, because it will be two completely different tracks once it is repaved.
Here is a look at this year’s STP 400 at Kansas, with some favorites and dark horses. All odds are courtesy of Bovada. Here is a complete look at the starting grid.
Jimmie Johnson (5/1)
Johnson doesn’t have a win this season but that could change this week at a track he loves. Johnson has 3 top 5’s and 2 other top 10’s this season. He got his second runner up finish of the year last week at Texas. He is currently 8th in points for the Chase.
Johnson has 6 straight top ten’s at Kansas, including a win in the fall race last season. He also won here in 2008, and came in second in 2010. Johnson has 3 other top tens in 11 career starts at Kansas. Johnson is worth a play in every race he enters. He qualified 15th this week.
Greg Biffle (13/2)
Biffle continued the Roush Fenway trend at Texas last week as he won his first race since 2010. He hasn’t finished lower than 13th in any race this season. Biffle has 3 other top 5 finishes, and another top 10.
Biffle has had success at Kansas including wins in 2007 and 2010. He has six straight top tens at Kansas. He also has 4 top 5’s and 2 other top 10’s at Kansas. Biffle qualified 17th for this race. He is worth a play as hot as he has been this season, and in his career at this track.
Tony Stewart (7/1)
Stewart is 7th in points with wins at Las Vegas and California and another top 10 finish at Martinsville. He had a disappointing 24th place finish last week at Texas.
Stewart has wins in 2006 and 2009 at Kansas along with 3 other top 5’s and 3 top 10’s. Stewart has been a little inconsistent this year but He is still worth a play. Stewart qualified 23rd for this race.
Kevin Harvick (8/1)
Harvick is 5th in points this season with 2 top fives and 2 other top tens. His best finish was a runner up at Phoenix, but he hasn’t finished lower than 19th in 7 races this season.
Harvick hasn’t had much success at this track with only one top 5 and 4 other top 10’s. His best finish was third in 2010. Ironically, he finished 6th in the fall race, the fourth time he has finished sixth at Kansas. I don’t see him contending this week. Harvick did qualify second though.
Matt Kenseth (8/1)
Kenseth is second in points, 19 points behind Roush teammate Biffle. He won the Daytona 500, and also has a runner up at Bristol. Kenseth has back to back top 5’s at Martinsville and Texas, and hasn’t finished lower than 16th in any race so far.
Kenseth has never finished higher than 4th at Kansas but does have top 10’s in 4 of the last 5 races at Kansas. Overall, he has 6 top tens including 3 top 5’s. Kenseth is running really well this season, and this could be his chance to break through for his first win at the track. He qualified 18th.
Carl Edwards (10/1)
Edwards is currently 11th in the points. He has 2 top 5’s and 2 other top 10’s this season. Edwards had a disastrous 39th place finish at Bristol that damaged his standing in the Chase.
Edwards has never won at Kansas but does have 5 straight top 10’s including a runner up in 2008. He came in 5th in both Kansas races last year. Overall, Edwards has 4 top fives and 3 other top tens in 9 career races at the track.He qualified 21st and barring an accident or engine problems should be there at the end.
Jeff Gordon (10/1)
Gordon has struggled so far this season but did get his first top five of the season last week at Texas with a 4th place finish. He only has one other top 10 this year at Phoenix. He is currently in 17th place in the points standings.
Gordon won the first two races at Kansas but hasn’t won since. Until last year’s fall race where a blown engine led to a 34th place finish, Gordon had 5 straight top 5’s at the track. I know he has struggled this year, but I think last week’s race got him back in the groove. Gordon won the first race on this surface, and I think he wins the last one too. He is my pick.Gordon qualified 20th
Denny Hamlin (11/1)
Hamlin is sixth in the points. He has a win at Phoenix, a top five at Daytona, and a top 10 at Martinsville. He hasn’t finished lower than 20th in any race this season.
Hamlin had his best ever finish at Kansas in the fall race last year as he came in third. He only has one other top 5 at the track in 8 career starts. Hamlin qualified fourth, but I don’t see him contending.
Brad Keselowski (12/1)
Keselowski won at Bristol and also has another top 5 at Phoenix and a top 10 at Martinsville. He is 15th in points though, because he has 4 finishes of 18th or worse.
Keselowski has only raced here four times but he had top fives in the two Kansas races last year. Keselowski won the spring race and came in third in the fall race. He could be worth a play despite being inconsistent this season.He qualified 11th.
Dale Earnhardt, Jr. (14/1)
Earnhardt is third in the points standings, but he is tied with Matt Kenseth for second. Kenseth holds the tie breaker because he has a win this season. Earnhardt has 3 top 5’s and 2 other top 10’s this season. He still hasn’t won a race since 2008.
Earnhardt was the runner up in the Spring race at Kansas last year, for his first ever top 5 finish at the track. He does have 4 other top 10’s finishes here though. Junior qualified 7th.
Kyle Busch (14/1)
Kyle Busch is 14th in the points. He was the runner up at California, and had a top 10 at Phoenix. Busch finished 11th at Texas last week, but has had a lot of bad finishes this season.
Busch hasn’t done well at Kansas with only one top ten finish in 9 career starts at the track. Busch qualified 25th, and I don’t see him being a factor at the end of the race.
Kasey Kahne (15/1)
Kahne has gotten off to a slow start in his first year for Hendrick Motorsports. He got his first top 10 of the year with a seventh place finish last week at Texas. He hasn’t finished better than 14th in any other race,a dn is 27th in points.
Kahne was the runner up in the fall race at Kansas last year, his first ever top five finish at the track. He has two other top 10 finishes in 9 career starts at the track. Kahne qualified 9th but he needs to run a lot more consistently fro me to place money on him to win.
Mark Martin (15/1)
Martin is 20th in the points, despite racing in only 5 races this season. He finished third last week at Texas, and also has top tens at Daytona and Phoenix.
Martin qualified 5th at Kansas this week. Martin won here in 2005, and also has another top 5 and 3 other top 10’s in 12 starts at Kansas. He finished 10th in the fall race here last year. He could be a dark horse to contend here.
Martin Truex, Jr. (15/1)
Truex is 4th in points, with 2 top fives and 3 other top tens this season. He has 4 straight top 10’s and hasn’t finished lower than 17th in any race.
Truex has never finished higher than 11th at Kansas, and that was in his first start at the track in 2006. He qualified 6th, and could get another top ten this week. However, I don’t seem him winning, but stranger things have happened.
Clint Bowyer (20/1)
Bowyer is #10 in the points standings. He has one top 5 at Bristol along with top tens at Las Vegas and Martinsville. He finished 17th at Texas.
Bowyer qualified 8th this week at Kansas. Bowyer was the runner up at Kansas in 2007, and has two other top ten finishes. He finished 7th in the fall race last year.
A.J. Allmendinger (25/1)
Allmendinger is 19th in points. He has a runner up finish at Martinsville, but hasn’t finished higher than 15th in any other race.
Allmendinger took the pole for this race at Kansas. He has 2 top tens in five starts at Kansas. The pole sitter hardly ever wins the race, and I don’t see Allmendinger breaking that trend.
Here is a complete list of the betting odds for the race. It should be another exciting race.