Home sweet Kansas. This week the NASCAR Sprint Cup series is in our backyard at the Kansas Speedway. It is one those “cookie cutter” mile and a half track, but there is really nothing cookie cutter about it.
“"I think Kansas is a track all its own,” said Ryan Newman. “With the new asphalt and the different aggregates they have at the different race tracks now, even if it's a 1.5-mile track, there is a lot of difference between them and you have to really approach each track as its own unique entity."
One that seems to be to the liking of two drivers of late. Matt Kenseth has won two of the last three races here in Kansas. Kevin Harvick won the race last fall at Kansas and will start up front for Saturday night’s race.
“My qualifying record hasn’t been great, but (the team) has don’t a really good job at getting our qualifying stuff situated after the first four or five weeks of the season to come here and sit on the pole,” said Harvick.
Other Kansas Speedway winners include Jeff Gordon (who won the first two Kansas races) along with Tony Stewart, Jimmie Johnson, Greg Biffle and Kenseth who also have two wins each. Denny Hamlin, Ryan Newman, Brad Keselowski and Harvick have the single wins at Kansas. But no one has what they are handing out on Saturday night, a win under the lights.
"I'm looking forward to racing in Kansas on Saturday,” said Paul Menard. “Kansas is a fun track to race on with the new pavement. I think it's one of the fastest tracks we race on all year. It'll be interesting to see what the winter has done to the surface and what it will be like at night. Our No. 27 team is ready for anything, so it will be a good weekend."
Also keep your eye on the three local drivers at the Kansas Speedway. Of course we all know Emporia’s Clint Bowyer, from the Missouri Side there is also Carl Edwards from Columbia and Jamie McMurrary from Joplin.
“May 10th is going to be a big day for Kansas Speedway,” said Edwards. “To have a night race and especially to have a night race in the heart of racing in the mid-west. I mean Saturday night racing is what we all grew up doing. Clint, myself, Jamie McMurrary all the guys from around here. A Saturday night race at Kansas Speedway that epitomizes what we all dreamed of.”
The green flag is set to drop at 6:47 central time. You can follow along with me @KWCHHeather for updates though out the race.