Monday, May 16
Speedway Digest Staff

Speedway Digest Staff

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It’s time for the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series to celebrate the 10th anniversary of Whelen Engineering’s title sponsorship with a record season. The official European NASCAR series  will kick off on May 14-15 at the legendary Circuit Ricardo Tormo in Valencia, Spain with a record-setting 37 cars entered for the 1st event of the 2022 season. 

With 22 countries represented in the field, NWES stands out once again for its varied and international grid. In both championships – EuroNASCAR PRO for professional and semi-professional drivers and EuroNASCAR 2 for semi-professional and amateur drivers – the battles for the titles promise to be thrilling as never before. 

Alongside the battle for the European NASCAR title, in EuroNASCAR PRO 7 drivers will hunt for the Junior Trophy for drivers aged 25 and under, while the Challenger Trophy – reserved for silver and bronze drivers in EuroNASCAR’s top tier championship – will have a record grid of 17 participants. In EuroNASCAR 2, all trophies are also setting new records: 15 drivers will compete in the Rookie Trophy, 14 in the Legend Trophy for entrants aged 40 and over and 5 will battle for the Lady Trophy. 

Who will become the new EuroNASCAR PRO Champion?

With reigning Champion Loris Hezemans fully committed to the NASCAR Cup Series in the USA, three-time Champion Alon Day is the clear favorite in the clash for the title and will be the lone past EuroNASCAR PRO Champion on the grid. The Israeli will be back with PK Carsport to chase a record-breaking fourth EuroNASCAR championship ring. 

The 30-year-old Ashdod-native will face strong competition:  2022 runner-up and Junior Trophy winner Gianmarco Ercoli, former EuroNASCAR 2 Champion Vittorio Ghirelli, veterans such as three-time vice-champion Frederic Gabillon, Nicolo Rocca, Marc Goossens, Alexander Graff, Romain Iannetta and Sebastiaan Bleekemolen, but also rising stars like Giorgio Maggi and Tobias Dauenhauer and newcomers the caliber of Lucas Luhr.

In the Junior Trophy, 7 drivers will fight for glory: Giorgio Maggi, Tobias Dauenhauer, Aliyyah Koloc, Gustas Grinbergas, Thomas Krasonis, Jonne Rautjärvi and the series’ youngest driver Leonardo Colavita.

The Challenger Trophy will see a record grid of 17 entries. The winningest driver in the special classification is Henri Tuomaala, who will race for Team Bleekemolen in 2022. The reigning Champion will face former champions Davide Dallara and Dario Caso, EuroNASCAR 2 champion Martin Doubek and a long list of potential winners.

Hot topics in EuroNASCAR 2

Pulling double duties in 2022, Martin Doubek will be on the grid with his #7 Mustang to defend his 2021 title against an explosive mix of newcomers and experienced veterans in the most unpredictable NASCAR Whelen Euro Series championship. Former Champion Ulysse Delsaux, NWES veterans Gil Linster and Advait Deodhar and established competitors like Alberto Panebianco, Leevi Lintukanto and Francesco Garisto will for sure have a say in the 2022 Championship battle, but the season, as always, will deliver plenty of surprises.

With no less than 15 competitors, the Rookie Trophy will also be a wonder bag, with many drivers potentially also aiming at the overall win: newcomers like Liam Hezemans – Loris’ younger brother – Leonardo Colavita, Christoph Lenz, the Koloc twins and YouTube star Alberto Naska are set to surprise thousands of fans at the track and in front of the TVs. Five ladies – reigning and four-time Champion Arianna Casoli, Alina Loibnegger, Yasmeen and Aliyyah Koloc as well as Luli Del Castello – will set a new record in the Lady Trophy ranks.

The EuroNASCAR 2 is not only dedicated to young and promising talents but also to Gentleman drivers. All drivers aged 40 and more are battling for the Legend Trophy. Current Champion Max Lanza stepped up to EuroNASCAR PRO and will hand over the scepter to his successor. Michael Bleekemolen – at the age of 72, the Dutchman is the oldest driver on track – and his teammate Melvin de Groot, former Champions Casoli and Ian Eric Waden, but also the Marko Stipp Motorsport duo of Yevgen Sokolovskiy and Miguel Gomes will give their best to be in the mix. But never count out the strong EuroNASCAR newcomers …

EuroNASCAR PRO

A new record in the making – Alon Day could become the first driver to win 4 EuroNASCAR PRO Championships. The Israeli is back at PK Carsport, the Belgian Powerhouse that helped him win the 2020 NWES Championship. 

Another star joins EuroNASCAR – Endurance racing ace Lucas Luhr from Germany will make his EuroNASCAR debut with Racingfuel Motorsports. The Swiss rookie team will rely on Luhr talent and experience to hit the ground running in EuroNASCAR.

Ten race winners on track – Ten different drivers on the EuroNASCAR PRO grid boast wins in one of the two NWES championships. Seven of them won in EuroNASCAR PRO, led by Alon Day with 27 wins.

EuroNASCAR 2 

A new Hezemans arrives – While reigning EuroNASCAR PRO Champion Loris Hezemans races in the NASCAR Cup Series in the US, his younger brother Liam Hezemans will turn his first laps in NASCAR at the wheel of the #50 Hendriks Motorsport Ford Mustang.

Buggyra joins NWES  – International powerhouse Buggyra ZM Racing will make its NASCAR debut in Valencia fielding two Mustangs for twin sister Aliyyah and Yasmeen Koloc. The two will race head-to-head in EuroNASCAR 2. 

Double duties for five – Five drivers will pull double duties in Valencia, racing both EuroNASCAR PRO and EuroNASCAR 2: Martin Doubek, Yevgen Sokolovskiy, Leonardo Colavita, Aliyyah Koloc and Yannick Panagiotis. 

NWES PR

Fresh off her career-best finish in the premier ARCA Menards Series, rookie Amber Balcaen looks to deliver her Rette Jones Racing team a strong top-10 finish in Saturday afternoon’s Dutch Boys 150 at Kansas Speedway.

 
 

After finishing a respectable 16th in the season-opening race at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway, Balcaen set a goal to improve on her first superspeedway race. Mission accomplished.

 

 

A competitive No. 30 ICON Direct Ford Fusion kept Balcaen hovering inside the top-15 for a majority of the race. A late-race surge vaulted her to inside the top-10, but an untimely caution that ultimately froze the field, left Balcaen and her Mark Rette-led team with a season-high 12th place finish at the demanding 2.66-mile superspeedway.

 

 

Reflecting on her Talladega finish, Balcaen said it is important to continue to improve behind the wheel of her No. 30 ICON Direct Ford Fusion

 

“It's really important for me as a rookie to keep progressing forward each race,” explained Balcaen.

 

“Seeing my improvement from Daytona to Talladega helps increase my confidence and builds positive momentum going into Kansas.

 

“The goal is always to be better and better every race, and if we can keep doing that then we will be on the right path to success.”

 

With a strong finish in the books and the superspeedway program completed for the season, Balcaen and her Mooresville, N.C. team look ahead to Saturday’s first intermediate race of the ARCA Menards Series season hoping the momentum continues in the fourth race of the year.

 

“I am really excited for Kansas,” said Balcaen. “It will be my first time on a mile and a half-track but I am ready for it.”

 

 

Set to embrace her first of several mile-and-a-half tracks of the 2022 ARCA season, Balcaen has been taking a calculated approach over the past two weeks to make sure she can execute at Kansas beginning with a combined practice and qualifying session on Saturday morning.

 

“I’ve been preparing for Kansas but watching videos of past ARCA races, studying in-car camera videos, practicing on iRacing and staying consistent in the gym,” she explained. “All of these elements are important for my debut in Kansas to be as seamless as possible.

 

 

“We have just forty-five minutes of track time on Saturday before the race starts, so it’s important for me to take advantage of that track time and apply it and give my team good feedback so we can post a fast lap and start as close to the front as possible.”

 

Kansas will also be the site of a new partner aboard her No. 30 Rette Jones Racing Ford Fusion. 1st Phorm headquartered in St. Louis, Missouri is a high-performance supplement and nutrition that has been a long-time partner of Balcaen’s, however, this weekend, 1st Phorm will increase its commitment and serve as an associate marketing partner for the 100-lap race.

 

“1st Phorm and I have been partnered for the last eight years but this is the first time they will be on my race car in a larger way. Their brand and core values really align with mine, so it’s the perfect fit. I am a big advocate for fitness and health, so I am excited to have them on the car this weekend.”

 

As far as the race, Balcaen believes her Rette Jones Racing No. 30 ICON Direct Ford Fusion can contend for a top-10 finish or better.

 

“A good goal for our team on Saturday is a top-10 finish, but I would be really happy with a top-five,” she said. “I want to have fun like I did at Talladega and keep progressing forward as a driver.”

 

For crew chief and co-team owner Rette, he is confident that his rookie driver will adapt and find her groove and continue a solid pace in her ARCA Menards Series quest.

 

“Amber did a terrific job at Talladega,” added Rette. “I am excited to see what she can do on some of these cookie-cutters tracks on the ARCA Menards Series schedule. Kansas is a good placemat to get us ready for Charlotte at the end of the month.

 

“She’d like a top-10 on Saturday and that would be a good booster for our Rette Jones Racing team and give us even more momentum for the upcoming races.”

 
 

ICON Direct will continue to adorn the primary positions on Balcaen’s race car in their fourth of 20 races this season.

 

 

ICON Direct is a manufacturer of high-quality plastic component parts for the RV industry, located in Manitoba, Canada. ICON aftermarket replacement parts are available through RV Dealers and Distributors across North America and directly through their website IconDirect.com.

 

The Winnipeger’s new endeavor at Rette Jones Racing will also be supported by Glenn McLeod and Sons – cementing a full Canadian roster of partners for her ARCA Menards Series rookie season.

 

Longtime RJR partners Ford Performance, Goodridge Fluid Transfer Systems, Jones Group Demolition and Abatement and JRi Shocks will continue their relationship with the team in 2022 and serve as associate partners on Balcaen’s No. 30 ICON Direct Ford Fusion.

 

RJR is co-owned by Canadian entrepreneur and former race car driver Terry Jones. 2022 and serve as associate partners on Balcaen’s No. 30 ICON Direct Ford Fusion. 

 

RJR is co-owned by Canadian entrepreneur and former race car driver Terry Jones.

 

For more on Amber Balcaen, please visit amberbalcaenracing.com, like her on Facebook (AmberBalcaenRacing) and follow her on Instagram (@amberbalcaen10) and Twitter (@amberbalcaen10).

 

For more on Rette Jones Racing, please visit RetteJonesRacing.com, like them on Facebook (Rette Jones Racing) or follow them on Instagram (@RetteJones30) and Twitter (@RetteJones30).

 

The Dutch Boy 150 (100 laps | 150 miles) is the fourth of 20 races on the 2022 ARCA Menards Series schedule. A combined practice and qualifying session begins on Saturday, May 14, 2022, from 9:45 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. The event will be televised live on FOX Sports 1 (FS1) with the Motor Racing Network (MRN) managing the radio waves beginning at 1:00 p.m. ARCARacing.com will also stream live timing and scoring throughout the entire weekend festivities. All times are local (CT).

 

RJR PR

Looking for a Rebound … Chase Purdy returns to Kansas Speedway for the fourth time in his career looking for a rebound. The driver of the No. 61 BAMA Buggies Toyota Tundra TRD Pro is eager to deliver a resilient performance on Saturday night after being collected in an accident last weekend at Darlington Raceway. Kansas' wide, sweeping 1.5-mile layout could be perfect antidote for Purdy as he has two top-15 finishes in three previous starts.
 
Raising the Bar … In his six starts this season, Purdy has recorded track-best finishes in half of them. The Meridian, Miss. native’s career-high at Kansas was a 10th-place finish in the second race of a doubleheader in July 2020. Given Purdy’s track record of elevating his career-best performances this year, another run to top a track-best result would earn him the best finish of the young season.
 
HRE Salutes … Both of HRE’s No. 16 and 61 teams will recognize military veterans close to team members during the NASCAR Salutes campaign in the month of May. Purdy will carry Paul Baker on board the right-side door at Kansas on Saturday night, a close family friend and mentor of Andrew Diehl, tire specialist on Purdy’s No. 61. Baker’s first duty station was in Iwakuni, Japan when he joined the Marines in 1980. In 1997, Baker was the test team lead on the V22 Osprey based in Pax River, Maryland. He retired as a Master Sergeant in 2000.
 
Chassis Selection … Crew chief Matt Lucas and the BAMA Buggies team have prepared chassis No. 018 for Saturday’s 200-miler at Kansas. Purdy most recently drove this chassis to a 14th-place finish at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in March.
 
Tune In … All on-track activity will be carried live on FOX Sports 1 on Saturday at Kansas, beginning with practice and qualifying at Noon ET, followed by the green flag at 8:00 p.m. ET. Stay connected with the No. 61 BAMA Buggies team by following @Hattori_Racing on Twitter, @hattoriracing on Instagram, and Hattori Racing Enterprises on Facebook. 
 
Chase Purdy Quote:
On making his fourth start at Kansas Speedway:
“Kansas looks like a typical 1.5-mile track, but it’s developed a lot of character. There are so many options of lanes to run with the progressive banking, so you have a few things you can try to change the way your truck drives. We’re bringing the same BAMA Buggies Toyota Tundra TRD Pro that we finished top-15 with at Las Vegas even after we had some damage, so I have a lot of confidence in Matt (Lucas) and the guys that we’ll have some raw speed this weekend. We’ve had several races where we’ve been fast, but we’d like to keep elevating our game and get our first top-10 of the year this weekend.”
 
HRE PR
Making Some Noise … Tyler Ankrum is beginning to make some noise as the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series invades Kansas Speedway for the first of two visits this season. The driver of the No. 16 LiUNA! Toyota Tundra TRD Pro enters the “Sunflower State” on the strength of three top-10 finishes in the last four races. In those three races, Ankrum has earned career-best finishes at each venue, including Circuit of the Americas (COTA) (seventh), Martinsville Speedway (10th), and Darlington Raceway (eighth). This marks the first time since September of 2020 that Ankrum has posted three top-10’s in four races, and another such result on Saturday night in Kansas would be the first time in his career top earn four top-10’s in five races.
 
Just Plain Fast … The No. 16 HRE team has had immense success over the years in the Kansas plains. Since 2017, the team has earned one victory (Austin Hill – July 2020), four top-five and six top-10 finishes in seven starts with three different drivers, and has just one finish worse than sixth at Kansas during that stretch. Ankrum owns five Kansas starts in his Camping World Trucks career, and earned a best finish of 11th in his debut in 2019.
 
Season to Date … Through seven of 23 events, Ankrum is closing on the provisional playoff cutline and sits 12th in the drivers’ championship point standings, just 21 markers out of 10th. He scored a season-best seventh-place finish at COTA has compiled four top-10 finishes.
 
HRE Salutes … Both the No. 16 and 61 team members are recognizing personal military veterans during the NASCAR Salutes campaign in the month of May. Ankrum’s No. 16 will display John Charles Stevens Sr. aboard the right-side door. Stevens is the grandfather of team mechanic Dustin Onufrak and served in the Navy from 1958-1960. Stevens served on the USS Blandy and was on board the ship when it transported the remains of an Unknown service member to Arlington Cemetery where he stood guard at the tomb.
 
Chassis Selection … Crew chief Scott Zipadelli and the No. 16 team have prepared chassis No. 007 for its first appearance of the season. This Toyota Tundra TRD Pro most recently finished 12th at Darlington Raceway last September with Austin Hill and finished fifth at Pocono Raceway last June.
 
Tune In … Fox Sports 1 will carry live coverage from Kansas all day on Saturday, beginning with practice and qualifying at Noon ET, followed by the green flag at 8:00 p.m. ET. Stay connected with the No. 16 LIUNA team by following @Hattori_Racing on Twitter, @hattoriracing on Instagram, and Hattori Racing Enterprises on Facebook.
 
Tyler Ankrum Quote:
On returning to a 1.5-mile track:
“We’re starting to string some finishes together, and it feels good to keep building everyone’s confidence on this team. I’m excited to go to Kansas because of the track record this team has had over the years, and I think we’ll have a strong LIUNA Toyota Tundra TRD Pro on Saturday. There is a ton of room at Kansas to move around and find what works best for you throughout a race. It seems like the more age that’s on the surface, the more beneficial the higher lane is. You’re definitely going to have to work every inch of the racetrack on Saturday night, so hopefully we can put ourselves in the right position and make the right decisions to be towards the front.”
 
HRE PR

When the USAC/CRA Sprint Car Series and California Lightning Sprint Cars converge on the Bakersfield Speedway this Saturday night, May 14th, one of the busiest guys on the premises will be Jeff Dyer.   The longtime open-wheel racer will be driving a car in each class and will be hopping back and forth between the two all night long.

Dyer comes into the CLS portion of Saturday’s show ranked fourth in the championship standings.  That is despite missing one event when the two series were racing on the same night at different tracks, and he opted to run his 410.  While he is fourth in the standings, his 2.75 finishing average is the best of the series regulars with four or more main event starts.  In his four CLS starts in 2022, he has not finished worse than fourth with two runner-up finishes, a third, and a fourth.  His two starts with the CLS at Bakersfield produced the third and fourth-place results.

When Dyer, who resides in Yucca Valley, California, hits the track in the Cal Smith/Dyer Motorsports #39 on the USAC/CRA side of Saturday’s program, he will be 22nd in series points.  His last outing came at the Mohave Valley Raceway on April 23rd.  In that race, he was running a new engine that came out of Missouri.  However, he lost his brakes in the B Main and was done for the night.

Fans who would like to attend Saturday’s open-wheel show in Bakersfield can find the track at 5001 N. Chester Ext., in Bakersfield (93308).  The track website is http://www.bakersfieldspeedway.com/ and the office phone number is (661) 393-3373.  The pit gate will open at 2:00 p.m., spectator gates at 4:00, and racing will start at 6:00.  Adult tickets are $20.00.  Seniors and military get in for $18.00.  For kids 6-12 it is $5.00 and children 5 and under are free.

As usual, Dyer is not the only member of the family racing on Saturday.   His teenage son Seth will be back in action at John Aden’s Wheel2Wheel Raceway on the San Bernardino County Fairgrounds in Victorville. Racing a Speedway Sprint Car, Seth enters Saturday’s event fifth in the restrictor class standings.

If you wish to catch Seth in action at Wheel2Wheel, the track is located on the San Bernardino County Fairgrounds at 14800 Seventh Street in Victorville (92395).  Gates will open at 5:00 p.m. and racing will follow at 6:00.  The website for  W2W is http://wheel2wheelraceway.com/ and the phone number is (760) 247-3987.

Dyer is racing in memory of his grandfather Glenn Sels throughout the 2022 season. He has contested four of the first eight series races this year and has a best finish of 13th at Perris Auto Speedway on March 26th.

Dyer would like to thank the following for making the 2022 season possible in the #4 Lightning Sprint Car.  Dependable Machine Inc., Haircuts By Susie, Jobu Racing, LBA Investigations, and Dyer Motorsports.

For the USAC/CRA #39 sprint car, Straight Time Stirrups, Dependable Machines Inc., Hair Cuts By Susie, Jobu Racing, Justice Brothers, and Specialty Fasteners make it all possible.

If you would like to be a part of Dyer Motorsports in 2022, call (760) 267-0298 or send an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Jeff Dyer PR

Leading automotive test solution supplier AB Dynamics partnered with NASCAR to conduct a driverless, on-track crash test of its Next Gen race car that is running in the 2022 Cup Series. The test vehicle was driven at high speed to a pre-programmed course by driving robots into the banking wall at Talladega Superspeedway.

The aim was to test the safety of the vehicle and the impact on the driver in this type of accident, which is a common crash scenario in the series. The race car was fitted with sensors and a crash test dummy to create valuable and accurate data that NASCAR was able to use for crash simulation validation.

“The challenge was trying to get this extremely complex machine to do a very precise test without a human driver piloting the car,” said Craig Hoyt, AB Dynamics Business Development Manager. “A major hurdle NASCAR faced was finding a crash test facility which could conduct such high-speed crash testing. AB Dynamics robots allowed NASCAR to use a fully running race car and conduct the test at a real race track, at real race speeds. There is no better data than replicating crash tests in a real environment and our robots enable us to do that accurately and repeatedly.”

The test requirement was to drive the race car at 130 mph to a precise impact point into the SAFER (Steel And Foam Energy Reduction) barrier, hitting it at an angle of 24 degrees. To control the vehicle’s speed and direction it was fitted with steering, shifting and pedal (throttle, brake and clutch) robots. The inputs to the robots were provided by AB Dynamics’ path following software, which can use pre-recorded driving information and geometric GPS data to accurately navigate a predetermined route. This package ensured the vehicle was positioned to within 2cm of the impact point, hitting the wall at precisely 130.015 mph and was within 1 degree of the prescribed angle.

The driving robots used were AB Dynamics’ SR60 for steering, CBAR600 for pedals and its Gearshift Robot. The off-the-shelf products required minimal modification to fit in the vehicle. Importantly, the robots are unobtrusive so did not interfere with the positioning or results from the crash test dummy.

“Our robots are largely used for the development of passenger and commercial vehicles and are regularly used for durability, misuse and driver assistance system testing,” said Hoyt. “This is one of the highest speed crash tests we have ever conducted and the robots only suffered minor damage. It really is a testament to the safety of the vehicle, the barriers and the ruggedness of our products.”

“This is a truly innovative way to test the safety of vehicles in motorsport,” said John Patalak, Managing Director, Safety Engineering of NASCAR. “The data we obtained from the test was extremely important and was not possible to get from any crash test facilities at the time. The test provided valuable information for correlation with our computer crash simulations and confirmed that the predicted vehicle impact performance from the simulation was duplicated in this real-world crash test.”

The test was conducted in October 2021.

AB Dynamics PR

NASCAR Cup Series

Next Race: AdventHealth 400

The Place: Kansas Speedway

The Date: Sunday, May 15

The Time: 3 p.m. ET

The Purse: $7,117,591

TV: FS1, 1:30 p.m. ET

Radio: MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio

Distance: 400.5 miles (267 laps); Stage 1 (Ends on Lap 80),

Stage 2 (Ends on Lap 165), Final Stage (Ends on Lap 267)

 

NASCAR Xfinity Series

Next Race: SRS Distribution 250

The Place: Texas Motor Speedway

The Date: Saturday, May 21

The Time: 1:30 p.m. ET

The Purse: $1,630,383

TV: FS1, 1 p.m. ET

Radio: PRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio

Distance: 250 miles (167 Laps); Stage 1 (Ends on Lap 40),

Stage 2 (Ends on Lap 80), Final Stage (Ends on Lap 167)

 

NASCAR Camping World Truck Series

Next Race: Heart Of America 200

The Place: Kansas Speedway

The Date: Saturday, May 14

The Time: 8 p.m. ET

The Purse: $716,932

TV: FS1, 7 p.m. ET

Radio: MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio

Distance: 201 miles (134 Laps); Stage 1 (Ends on Lap 30),

Stage 2 (Ends on Lap 60), Final Stage (Ends on Lap 134)

 

NASCAR Cup Series

 

Kansas Speedway sets the stage for the NASCAR Cup Series

The 2022 NASCAR Cup Series season and the introduction of the Next Gen car are a quarter of the way through the 36-race schedule, and already the competition has produced eight different pole winners and 10 different race winners – making this season tied with the 2001, 2014 and 2019 seasons for second-most race winners through 12 races in the Modern Era (1972-Present); behind 2000, 2003 with 11 different winners. Now the series turns its attention to Kansas Speedway for this Sunday’s AdventHealth 400 at 3 p.m. ET on FS1, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.

 

Groundbreaking for Kansas Speedway was held on May 25, 1999. The official opening of Kansas Speedway was in 2001, with the first NASCAR Cup Series race being held on September 30, 2001. The event was won by Hendrick Motorsport’s driver and NASCAR Hall of Famer Jeff Gordon (Chevrolet). Gordon would actually win the first two NASCAR Cup Series races held at Kansas (2001, 2002).

 

During the 2012 season, between the April and October events, the 1.5-mile Kansas Speedway track underwent a repave, adding variable banking in the corners bringing them to 17-20 degrees.

 

In total, there have been 32 NASCAR Cup Series races at Kansas Speedway; one event from 2001 - 2010 and two races per year since 2011. The 32 Cup Series races have produced 16 different pole winners and 16 different race winners (2001-2021).

 

Stewart-Haas Racing’s Kevin Harvick leads the series in poles at Kansas Speedway with five (fall 2013, 2014 sweep, spring 2018, spring 2019).

 

This weekend, six of the 16 NASCAR Cup Series Kansas pole winners are active this weekend.

 

Active Kansas Pole Winners (6)

Poles

Seasons

Kevin Harvick

5

2019, 2018, 2014 sweep, 2013

Joey Logano

2

2018, 2015

Martin Truex Jr

2

2017, 2016

Ryan Blaney

1

2017

Brad Keselowski

1

2015

Kurt Busch

1

2011

 

Jeff Gordon (2001, 2002, 2014), Jimmie Johnson (2008, 2011, 2015), Kevin Harvick (2013, 2016, 2018), Joey Logano (2014, 2015, 2020) and Denny Hamlin (2012, 2019, 2020) lead the NASCAR Cup Series in wins at Kansas Speedway with three victories each.

 

This weekend, eight of the 16 NASCAR Cup Series Kansas winners are active.

 

Active Kansas Race Winners (8)

Wins

Seasons

Denny Hamlin

3

2020, 2019, 2012

Joey Logano

3

2020, 2015, 2014

Kevin Harvick

3

2018, 2016, 2013

Kyle Busch

2

2021, 2016

Brad Keselowski

2

2019, 2011

Martin Truex Jr

2

2017 sweep

Kyle Larson

1

2021

Chase Elliott

1

2018

 

This weekend’s AdventHealth 400 at Kansas Speedway is scheduled for 267 laps (400 miles) and will be broken up into three stages. The first stage is 80 laps, the second stage is 85 laps and the final stage will be 102 laps.

 

The NASCAR Cup Series on-track activity at Kansas Speedway is scheduled to begin on Saturday, May 14 with practice from 5 – 5:35 p.m. ET directly followed by Busch Light Pole Qualifying at  5:35 p.m. ET – both events will be televised on FS1.

 

Hendrick Motorsports looks to win third consecutive race on 1.5-mile track this season

Next up for the NASCAR Cup Series is the AdventHealth 400 at Kansas Speedway, this Sunday, May 15 at 3 p.m. ET on FS1, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio. The series is a quarter of the way through the 36-race season and Kansas marks the third time in 2022 the Next Gen car will compete on a 1.5-mile speedway. The previous two 1.5-mile tracks on the schedule this season were won by Hendrick Motorsports drivers – Alex Bowman (Las Vegas) and William Byron (Atlanta) – and this weekend at Kansas the organization will look to keep the streak alive and get their third win of the year. 

 

Hendrick Motorsports won the first two NASCAR Cup Series races at Kansas Speedway with NASCAR Hall of Fame driver Jeff Gordon (2001, 2002). The organization actually leads the NASCAR Cup Series in wins at Kansas with eight victories among four drivers: Jeff Gordon (three: 2001, 2002 and 2014), Jimmie Johnson (three: 2008, 2011 and 2015), Chase Elliott (one: Playoffs 2018) and Kyle Larson (one: Playoffs 2021).

 

2021 NASCAR Cup Series champion, Kyle Larson, is the most recent NASCAR Cup Series winner at Kansas Speedway, taking the checkered flag in last season’s Playoff race.

 

Kansas offers one last chance before Texas to earn a spot in the All-Star Race

This weekend at Kansas Speedway is the last chance for a driver to win their way into the 2022 All-Star Race by virtue of a points-paying race victory before the NASCAR Cup Series heads to Texas Motor Speedway for the special event next weekend.

 

Drivers eligible for the 2022 NASCAR All-Star Race consist of:

  • Cup Series drivers who have earned a points-paying race victory in either 2021 or 2022.
  • Previous NASCAR All-Star Race winners who are competing full-time this season.
  • Previous NASCAR Cup Series champions who are competing full-time this season.

 

Drivers who currently have clinched a starting spot (through Darlington) and making return visits to the NASCAR All-Star Race are AJ Allmendinger, Aric Almirola, Christopher Bell, Ryan Blaney, Alex Bowman, Chase Briscoe, Kurt Busch, Kyle Busch, William Byron, Ross Chastain, Chase Elliott, Denny Hamlin, Kevin Harvick, Brad Keselowski, Kyle Larson, Joey Logano, Michael McDowell, Martin Truex Jr., Austin Cindric and Bubba Wallace.

 

After Kansas this weekend, drivers who have not already secured their spot in the All-Star race will have four more shots at Texas next weekend. The NASCAR Open will immediately precede the NASCAR All-Star Race and will consist of three stages (20 laps / 20 laps / 10 laps). Each segment winner will advance to the NASCAR All-Star Race as will the winner of the Fan Vote. Fans can vote for their favorite driver who has not qualified for the NASCAR All-Star Race by visiting NASCAR.com for details.

 

Joey Logano adds name to the Playoffs; 10th different driver to win this season

Team Penske’s Joey Logano was not going to be denied the win last weekend at Darlington Raceway as he shoved William Byron out of the way in the closing laps of the race. Logano grabbed his first series win at Darlington, first of the 2022 season and 28th of his NASCAR Cup Series career. The win also cemented Logano in the postseason joining his rookie teammate Austin Cindric who clicked his ticket to the Playoffs with his season-opening win in the Daytona 500. Logano is the 10th different winner this season, leaving just six spots still up for grabs in the Playoffs.

 

This season is the 11th consecutive year in the NASCAR Cup Series Logano has put up a victory (2012-2022). Through 12 races this season, he has amassed one win (Darlington), four top fives and six top 10s. He is currently fourth in the driver standings, 79 points behind Chase Elliott in the standings lead.

 

Logano heads to Kansas Speedway this weekend as one of the eight former winners in the field. Logano has made 25 series starts at Kansas posting two poles, three wins, eight top fives and 10 top 10s.   

 

Winless winners a quarter of the way through 2022

A quarter of the way through the 2022 NASCAR Cup Series season and 15 drivers are riding winless streaks that date back to prior to the start of the year and three of the 15 are former Kansas Speedway winners heading into Sunday’s AdventHealth 400 at 3 p.m. ET on FS1, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.

 

NASCAR Cup Series Drivers On A Winless Streak That Started Prior To 2022

Rank

Driver

Track

Date

Races Since

Attempts Since

1

Chris Buescher

Pocono

Monday, August 01, 2016

207

207

2

Ricky Stenhouse Jr

Daytona

Saturday, July 01, 2017

175

175

3

Justin Haley

Daytona

Sunday, July 07, 2019

102

45

4

Erik Jones

Darlington

Sunday, September 01, 2019

95

95

5

Cole Custer

Kentucky

Sunday, July 12, 2020

67

67

6

Austin Dillon

Texas

Sunday, July 19, 2020

66

65

7

Kevin Harvick

Bristol

Saturday, September 19, 2020

55

55

8

Michael McDowell

Daytona

Sunday, February 14, 2021

47

47

9

Christopher Bell

Daytona RC

Sunday, February 21, 2021

46

46

10

Brad Keselowski

Talladega

Sunday, April 25, 2021

38

38

11

Kurt Busch

Atlanta

Sunday, July 11, 2021

27

27

12

Aric Almirola

Loudon

Sunday, July 18, 2021

26

26

13

Ryan Blaney

Daytona

Saturday, August 28, 2021

22

22

14

Martin Truex Jr

Richmond

Saturday, September 11, 2021

20

20

15

Bubba Wallace

Talladega

Monday, October 04, 2021

17

17

 

Among the three drivers that have previously won at Kansas Speedway in the NASCAR Cup Series currently riding a winless streak that dates back before the start of 2022, Stewart-Haas Racing’s Kevin Harvick has the longest winless streak to overcome this weekend at 55 races; dating back to Bristol Motor Speedway in 2020. But Kansas is one of his best tracks. In 32 starts, he has put up a series leading five poles, tied for the series-most wins at three and also has 12 top fives and 19 top 10s. He also leads every single pre-race Loop Data category at Kansas – Average Finish of 7.750, series-best, Average Running Position of 8.529, series-best, Driver Rating of 109.9, series-best, 649 Fastest Laps Run, series-best, 6,126 Laps in the Top 15 (82.3%), series-most, and 1,124 Quality Passes, series-most.

 

Next on the list of former Kansas winners riding a large winless streak is RFK Racing’s Brad Keselowski, who hasn’t won in the series since Talladega (April) last season – 38 races ago. Keselowski is hoping to get his first win with his new team – RFK Racing. Keselowski has made 24 series starts at Kansas posting one pole, two wins, seven top fives and 13 top 10s.

 

Martin Truex Jr. is the third different driver to formerly win at Kansas and is currently riding a winless streak that dates back to prior to the start of the season. Truex’s last win was at Richmond Raceway last season (Sept.) – 20 races ago. Now the New Jersey native returns to Kansas to snap his winless streak. Truex has made 27 series starts at Kansas posting two poles, two wins, nine top fives and 14 top 10s.

 

Loop Metrics loving the Next Gen car

A quarter of the way through the 2022 NASCAR Cup Series season and the Next Gen car has producing some great racing and the stats back it up.

 

The Next Gen car has produced some close, action-packed competition. Looking at the racing at the front of the field, with the exception of Richmond, every race (i.e. all but one of the NASCAR Cup Series 12 races thus far) has had a tighter gap between the car leading the race and the car running in second – not just at the checkered flag, but throughout the entire race. In fact, the Median Time Differential Between 1st and 2nd in 2022 is just half of what it was in the previous five-year average of races at these same tracks (0.6 seconds vs. 1.2 seconds).

 

Not only are the competitors much tighter throughout an event, but it’s never been closer at the finishes too. The average Margin of Victory of the first 12 races of the 2022 NASCAR Cup Series season is 0.420-second, the closest average Margin of Victory through the first 12 races of a season since advent of electronic scoring in 1993. The next closest margin of victory was 2014 with 0.651-second. Plus, the first 12 races of the 2022 season have produced a Cup Series record of 10 races concluding with a Margin of Victory of less than a second.

 

On top of all that, the level of competition at the front of the pack has been raised as well. The 2022 NASCAR Cup Series season has produced 637 green flag passes for the lead; the series-most through the first 12 races of a season since the Loop Data statistic was initially tabulated in 2007 (the last 16 seasons).

 

NASCAR Cup Series, Etc.

 

NASCAR Cup Series Featured Matchups: 2022 AdventHealth 400 – Below is a close look at the featured matchups fans can bet on heading into this weekend’s event.

 

Joey Logano vs. William Byron

This matchup almost writes itself, as Logano put Byron into a wall to secure his first win of the season at Darlington. Joey called it revenge for Byron allegedly pushing him up the track earlier in the race, but nonetheless Byron was none too pleased with how the final lap of the race went down. Byron’s car fell off quick in the last five laps, and Joey took advantage – closing a one-second gap in that span. Byron had plenty to say about Logano’s move in his post-race interviews, calling him a moron and saying that, “he does this stuff all the time.” We expect these two to get tangled up again this season, so Byron will get his first chance at bettering Logano this week. He only has one top-five finish here, but given his consistency, he’ll be a driver to watch out for as he looks to secure his third win of the season. Logano, on the other hand, heads to one of his stronger tracks, with a win and two top fives in his last eight races at Kansas. 

 

Kyle Larson vs. Denny Hamlin

One could argue that these two had the fastest cars at “The Lady in Black” last week, but both had disappointing finishes. Larson finished last in the race after his engine blew as he was battling back in the top 10 from an early spin. Hamlin had to start from the rear of the field but worked himself all the way up to the lead with 70 laps left. Another mistake in the pits, this time a gun malfunctioning on his lug nut, put Hamlin in the 18th position on a restart. From there, he got caught up in a big wreck that ended his chances of winning. Looking to this weekend, Kansas has been a friendly track to both of these drivers. Hamlin has posted two wins in his last eight races, while Larson is coming off a dominating win in the most recent race there. Can either of these drivers find some good luck and get themselves their second win of the season this week? If they both can, you can expect a thrilling battle for the checkered flag between two championship contenders.

 

Aric Almirola vs. Erik Jones

Erik Jones was fast once again at one of his best tracks last week at Darlington. He was contending in the top five all day until late trouble halted his chances at his first win of the season. Almirola took a different approach in racing to an 11th-place finish. He was his usual self, racing clean and smart, ultimately finding himself in contention later in the race. Almirola seems to find himself in or near the top 10 every week, no matter what kind of track they are at. As Jones leaves Darlington disappointed his hot rod didn’t post a better result, he heads to Kansas, where he owns three top fives in his last eight races. Both of these drivers have shown they have a fast car this year and will be looking to put all the pieces of the puzzle together this week. 

 

Kevin Harvick vs. Tyler Reddick

If this race was two years ago, Harvick would be the odds-on favorite for the race at Kansas. He has been nothing less than dominant at one of his favorite tracks. He owns a win and five top fives in his last eight races here. While he hasn’t broke through for his first win yet this year, he has been consistently improving off a slow start. Coming off a fourth-place finish at Darlington, he has the momentum he needs to prevail at one of his best tracks. Tyler Reddick had another week where he so easily could have won, but ultimately finished second. It’s been a theme that Reddick would like to forget in search of his first career win in the NASCAR Cup Series. Both of these drivers will be hungry to find a much needed checkered flag on Sunday.

 

 

NASCAR Xfinity Series

 

JR Motorsport’s Justin Allgaier conquers Darlington once again

JR Motorsport’s driver Justin Allgaier was riding a 34-race winless streak before last weekend’s race at Darlington Raceway, but after a dominant performance at the 1.366-mile track the veteran has now made his way back to Victory Lane and in the process clinched his spot in the 2022 Xfinity Series Playoffs.

 

It was only a matter of time before Allgaier posted his 17th series win considering his runner-up finish the week before in Dover and his four consecutive top-10 finishes at the start of the season. His history at Darlington Raceway (one win, four top fives and nine top 10s in 13 starts) only added to his odds.

 

Allgaier will have this weekend off to soak up his Darlington win before returning to the track at Texas Motor Speedway for the SRS Distribution 250 on May 21 at 1:30 p.m. ET (FS1, PRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio) where he posted two top-five finishes in last season’s races.

 

Xfinity Playoff Bubble: Fewer and fewer spots available

Seven drivers have already clinched their spots in this season’s Playoffs with their respective wins - Ty Gibbs, Noah Gragson, AJ Allmendinger, Justin Allgaier, Josh Berry, Brandon Jones and Austin Hill – leaving just five spots left with 15 races to go in the regular season.

 

Although yet to post a win this season, JR Motorsport’s Sam Mayer currently sits in the eighth-place position with a 69-point cushion ahead of the Playoff cutoff. Mayer has had a top-five finish in all but one of the last six races this season and could very well work his way to a win joining JRM teammates Gragson, Allgaier and Berry.

 

In the ninth-place position is Stewart-Haas Racing’s Riley Herbst who is 54 points ahead of the cutline. Just one point shy in the 10th-place position is RSS Racing’s Ryan Sieg who is 53 points up on the Playoff cutline. Sieg has posted one top five and seven top 10s in 11 starts this season.

 

Rounding out the last two slots in the current Playoff outlook are Landon Cassill (+35) and defending series champion Daniel Hemric (+22).

 

Just outside the postseason cutoff is driver of No. 23 Our Motorsports Chevrolet, Anthony Alfredo (-22). The 23-year-old has yet to post a series win, but he’s posted one top five, three top 10s and eight top 15s this season.

 

Alfredo is the only driver outside the Playoff cutline currently within striking distance of the postseason. Jeb Burton (-62), Sheldon Creed (-68), Brett Moffitt (-72), Brandon Brown (-80), Myatt Snider (-127) and Jeremy Clements (-127) are all more than 60 points back from Daniel Hemric in the 12th and final Playoff transfer position.  

 

Sunoco Rookie of the Year Update: Hill opens up points lead

Not much has changed for this season’s rookies in these first 11 races, except Austin Hill continues to open up his points lead on his rookie competitors.

 

Richard Childress Racing’s Austin Hill still leads the way in the 2022 NASCAR Xfinity Series Sunoco Rookie of the Year standings after posting one win (Daytona), four top fives and five top 10s on the season. Hill is the only rookie with a win this season. Hill currently holds an 84-point lead over his RCR teammate and fellow rookie Sheldon Creed.

 

Although Sheldon Creed suffered some engine trouble early on in last weekend’s race at Darlington that left him in last place, he remains in second in the battle for the Sunoco Rookie of the Year honors. He’s posted five top 10s this season and currently sits in 15th-place in the series driver standings.

 

Kyle Sieg is third in the NASCAR Xfinity Series rookie standings following Darlington; 203 points back from Austin Hill. Sieg has posted a best finish of 16th (Las Vegas) this season. He’s ineligible for the Playoffs as he isn’t competing full time in the series but racked up 99 points in his eight starts this season.

Jesse Iwuji has posted four starts this season and has accumulated 24 points he is currently ranked fourth in the rookie standings.

 

 

NASCAR Camping World Truck Series

 

Camping World Truck Series prepares to race ‘under the lights’ at Kansas Speedway

The 2022 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series season has lifted off with a plethora of robust competition producing six different winners in the first seven races. Now the Truck competitors set their sights on Kansas Speedway for the Heart of Americas 200 the eighth race of the season this Saturday, May 14 at 8 p.m. ET on FS1, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.

 

The 1.5-mile Kansas Speedway has hosted 23 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series races, dating back to the inaugural event on July 7, 2001. The first Camping World Truck Series race at Kanas was won by Ricky Hendrick driving a Chevrolet for Hendrick Motorsports.

 

The 23 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series races at Kansas Speedway have produced 15 different pole winners and 19 different race winners.

 

NASCAR Hall of Famer Ron Hornaday Jr. leads the series in poles at Kansas with three. ThorSport Racing’s Matt Crafton is the only active driver this weekend with a series pole at Kansas (2019).

 

Kyle Busch (2014, 2017, 2021) and Matt Crafton (2013, 2015, 2020) are tied for the NASCAR Camping World Truck series-most wins at Kansas Speedway with three each. Crafton is the only active driver this weekend that has won at Kansas.

 

Camping World Truck Series practice will run from 12 p.m. - 1:30 p.m. ET, directly followed by Cometic Gaskets Pole Qualifying at 1:30 p.m. ET – both events will be televised on FS1.    

 

John Hunter Nemechek gets first win of 2022; locks into Playoffs

Kyle Busch Motorsport’s driver John Hunter Nemechek grabbed his first win of the 2022 season last weekend at Darlington Raceway. The big victory helped him jump three spots in the championship driver standings – from fifth to second – and in the process joined his KBM teammate Chandler Smith by securing his spot in the Playoffs.

 

Nemechek is the fourth different driver to secure his spot in the Playoffs by virtue of a win this season joining Zane Smith, Ben Rhodes and Chandler Smith.

 

Currently, Nemechek sits runner-up in the series driver standings; 30 points back from Ben Rhodes in the lead. Nemechek’s season has started off slow in comparison to last year where at this time he had already won two of his five victories. This season, Nemechek had put up one win and four top fives in seven starts. He also has led the second-most laps with 154 laps out front (16.74%) just behind Rhodes with most at 166 laps in the lead (18.04%).

 

Watch for Nemechek to try to make it back-to-back wins this weekend at Kansas now that he has kicked open the gate to Victory Lane this season. Nemechek has made four Truck Series starts at Kansas collecting three top-five finishes. He finished fifth in this race last season.

 

Playoff Bubble: Kansas Speedway the halfway point of regular season

Kansas Speedway marks the eighth race on the 2022 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series season and the halfway point of the 16-race regular season. This year has been a feverish pace with four different drivers locking themselves into the postseason by virtue of wins, leaving just six spots left up for grabs.

 

Following Darlington, Zane Smith (Daytona, COTA), Ben Rhodes (Bristol), Chandler Smith (Las Vegas) and John Hunter Nemechek (Darlington) have all earned a spot in the Playoffs with their wins.

 

Heading into Kansas, Halmar Friesen Racing’s Stewart Friesen currently sits fifth in the Playoff outlook, the highest ranked driver without a win this season. Friesen is currently 75 points up on the post season cutline. Kansas has been a bit of a struggle for Friesen in the past. In six starts at Kansas he has just one top-five finish (2018). He finished 14th in this race last season.

 

The other five drivers above the Playoff cutline are Carson Hocevar (+56 points above postseason cutline), Ty Majeski (+54), Christian Eckes (+52), Grant Enfinger (+35) and Tanner Gray (+21).

 

Tyler Ankrum is the first driver outside the Playoff cutoff, 21 points behind Tanner Gray in the 10th and final postseason transfer position.  Ankrum is hoping to make some points up on his competitors this weekend at Kansas, his only career victory came at a similarly shaped 1.5-mile track – Kentucky Speedway. Ankrum has made five starts at Kansas posting a best finish of 11th in 2019.

 

Of the drivers below the Playoff cutline heading into this weekend at Kansas, expect the spotlight to be shining the brightest on ThorSport Racing’s Matt Crafton. The veteran two-time series champion is currently outside postseason cutline, 23 points behind Tanner Gray in 10th.

 

Looking to Kansas, Crafton is the only driver in the series to compete in all 23 of the previous Kansas Speedway races. He also is the only former Kansas Speedway winner entered this weekend; he has three victories (2013, 2015, 2020) at the 1.5-mile speedway.     

 

First-time winners happen at Kansas Speedway

First-time winners are always fun to see, and Kansas Speedway has been producing them since the 1.5-mile track opened its gates to the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series in 2001 with Ricky Hendrick winning the inaugural event.

 

Five of the 19 different NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Kansas Speedway winners were first-time winners in the series (26.3%). The most recent was Niece Motorsport’s Ross Chastain who grabbed his first Camping World Truck Series win in 2019.

 

First-Time Winners

Dates

Ross Chastain

Friday, May 10, 2019

William Byron

Friday, May 6, 2016

James Buescher

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Erik Darnell

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Jon Wood

Saturday, July 5, 2003

Ricky Hendrick

Saturday, July 7, 2001

 

Of the 35 drivers entered this weekend at Kansas Speedway, 22 different drivers are looking for their first career NASCAR Camping World Truck Series victory.

 

NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, Etc.

 

Jesse Iwuji returns to the Trucks – Reaume Brothers Racing has tapped Jesse Iwuji to pilot the No. 43 Toyota this weekend at Kansas Speedway. Iwuji will be paired with crew chief Gregory Rayl. Iwuji will be attempting to make series season debut this weekend. Iwuji last raced in the series on October 30, 2021 at Martinsville Speedway. 

 

Iwuji made his series track debut at Kansas in 2021; he started 38th and finished 38th

 

Deegan back to where it started in the Trucks – Hailie Deegan returns to Kansas Speedway, the track where she made her Camping World Truck Series debut back in 2020. Deegan busted on the scene of the Truck in 2020 at Kansas starting 34th and racing her way up to a 16th-place finish setting a new record for best finish by a female making her series debut.

 

Fast forward to this season, Deegan is 28th in points having put up an average finish of 26.4 through seven races.

 

Watch for Deegan to bounce back this weekend from her slow start to 2022. Kansas is one her better tracks. In two starts at the 1.5-mile facility she has put up an average finish of 14.5. And last season tied Jennifer Jo Cobb (2014) for the best finish by a female at Kansas Speedway in the Truck Series with her 13th-place finish.

NASCAR PR

Follow the Yellow Brick Road

Overall, RFK has started 175 races across the three national series, earning nine wins, 41 top-five finishes, 76 top-10 finishes and has an overall average finish of 14.8.

Winning at Kansas

RFK swept both the NASCAR Xfinity Series and NCS races at Kansas in the fall of 2012 with Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and Matt Kenseth. Stenhouse became the sixth driver to win at the track for the organization via his Xfinity victory.

NASCAR Hall of Famer Mark Martin earned RFK’s first NCS win at Kansas in 2005 and former driver Greg Biffle bested the 1.5-mile track in 2007 and 2010. RFK’s first overall win at Kansas came in 2002 via Jeff Burton in the NASCAR Xfinity Series. Three drivers (Jon Wood in 2003, Carl Edwards in 2004 and Erik Darnell in 2007) have won in the NCWTS at Kansas for RFK.

Tale of the Tape

RFK has started 106 NCS races at Kansas, recording four victories, 20 top-five finishes, 36 top-10 finishes, an average finish of 16.5 and has led 970 laps. Kenseth earned the most recent victory at Kansas in the fall of 2012.

JGR PR

No. 19 Auto-Owners Insurance Toyota Camry TRD News and Notes

  • TRUEX AT KANSAS: Martin Truex Jr. is a two-time NASCAR Cup Series winner at Kansas Speedway. The Mayetta, New Jersey native swept the track’s races during his 2017 championship campaign. Overall, Truex has posted five consecutive top-10 finishes and nine top-10s in his past 10 starts at the 1.5-mile track.
  • DARLINGTON RECAP: Truex finished 24th in last weekend’s race at Darlington Raceway after being involved in a multi-car accident late in the race. The day started off strong for Truex and the No. 19 team as they posted top-five finishes in both stages. On a late-race restart, Truex found himself in the middle of a three-wide battle exiting turn two. Unfortunately for Truex, his No. 19 Camry ended up spinning across the track in front of the majority of the field. The resulting damage ended his day prematurely.
  • AUTO-OWNERS: Auto-Owners Insurance will be featured as the primary sponsor of Truex’s No. 19 Camry TRD for Sunday’s race at Kansas Speedway. The Lansing, Michigan-based company offers multiple lines of insurance, including life, home, auto and business to customers in 26 states. 2022 marks Auto-Owners’ fourth year with Joe Gibbs Racing as they will once again be featured for eight races on the No. 19 Camry TRD. To learn more about Auto-Owners, visit www.auto-owners.com.
  • JGR AT KANSAS: Joe Gibbs Racing has earned seven NASCAR Cup Series wins at Kansas Speedway. In 107 combined starts at the 1.5-mile tri-oval, the organization has tallied 28 top-five finishes, 46 top-10s, two pole awards and 1,325 laps led. Kyle Busch, Denny Hamlin, Matt Kenseth, and Tony Stewart have all taken JGR to victory lane in Kansas.
  • TUNE IN: Coverage of this weekend’s NASCAR Cup Series race at Kansas Speedway begins Sunday, May 15, at 3 p.m. ET on FOX Sports 1, MRN Radio, and Sirius XM NASCAR Radio.

 

Martin Truex Jr., Driver of the No. 19 Auto-Owners Insurance Toyota Camry TRD

Talk about going to Kansas this weekend…

“Kansas has been a good place for us the last handful of years, so I think we’re all excited to go there. James (Small, crew chief) and the guys have been bringing great cars to the track and that has been promising with how well we’ve ran the last few weeks. We just need to avoid the mistakes that have cost us a good finish at the end of the day, but I’m excited about the progress we have made the last few weeks. If we continue to do that, we’ll be able to put ourselves in contention.”

JGR PR

No. 11 Sport Clips Toyota Camry TRD News and Notes

  • HAMLIN AT KANSAS: Denny Hamlin is a three-time NASCAR Cup Series winner at Kansas Speedway. After picking up his first win at the track in 2012, Hamlin earned back-to-back victories at Kansas in October 2019 and July 2020. He has posted three top-five finishes in his last five starts at the track, including a fifth-place run last fall. Hamlin also claimed a NASCAR Xfinity Series victory at Kansas in 2008.
  • DARLINGTON RECAP: Hamlin finished 21st in last weekend’s race at Darlington Raceway. After starting from the rear of the field, he earned top-10 results in both stages. A great pit stop after stage two vaulted him to the lead to begin the final segment and he led 42 laps before an issue on a late pit stop dropped him to 18th for a restart with less than 35 laps remaining. On the restart, Hamlin was unable to avoid a multi-car accident and suffered significant damage to his No. 11 Camry. Despite the damage, he managed to finish the race in the 21st position.
  • CUP DEBUT: In October 2005, Kansas Speedway played host to Hamlin’s NASCAR Cup Series debut. The Chesterfield, Virginia native started seventh and finished 32nd that weekend.
  • SPORT CLIPS: Sport Clips will be featured as the primary sponsor of Hamlin’s No. 11 Camry TRD for Sunday’s race at Kansas Speedway. The sports-themed haircutting franchise based in Georgetown, Texas is a longtime supporter of Joe Gibbs Racing dating back to 2009 and has more than 1,850 stores in the United States and Canada.
  • JGR AT KANSAS: Joe Gibbs Racing has earned seven NASCAR Cup Series wins at Kansas Speedway. In 107 combined starts at the 1.5-mile tri-oval, the organization has tallied 28 top-five finishes, 46 top-10s, two pole awards and 1,325 laps led. Kyle Busch, Matt Kenseth, and Tony Stewart join Hamlin on the list of drivers who have taken JGR to victory lane in Kansas.
  • TUNE IN: Coverage of this weekend’s NASCAR Cup Series race at Kansas Speedway begins Sunday, May 15, at 3 p.m. ET on FOX Sports 1, MRN Radio, and Sirius XM NASCAR Radio.

 

Denny Hamlin, Driver of the No. 11 Sport Clips Toyota Camry TRD

What is your mindset going into this weekend at Kansas?

“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.”

JGR PR

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