“In the Know”
There have been 31 NASCAR Cup Series races at Kansas Speedway, one event from 2001 – 2010 and two races per year since 2011. Three drivers have started all 31 NASCAR Cup Series races and lead the series in starts at Kansas Speedway – one of those is our own Kevin Harvick.
Kansas Speedway is the final 1.5-mile track on the 2021 NASCAR Cup Series schedule. Check out the Hollywood Casino 400 on Sunday, October 24, at 3 p.m. ET on NBCSN, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.
NASCAR Cup Series Overview
● Event: Hollywood Casino 400 (Round 33 of 36)
● Time/Date: 3 p.m. EDT on Sunday, Oct. 24
● Location: Kansas Speedway
● Layout: 1.5-mile oval
● Laps/Miles: 267 laps/400.5 miles
● Stage Lengths: Stage 1: 80 laps / Stage 2: 80 laps / Final Stage: 107 laps
● TV/Radio: NBCSN / MRN / SiriusXM NASCAR Radio
NASCAR Xfinity Series Overview
● Event: Kansas Lottery 300 (Round 31 of 33)
● Date: Saturday, Oct. 23
● Location: Kansas Speedway in Kansas City
● Layout: 1.5-mile oval
● Time/TV/Radio: 3 p.m. EDT on NBC/MRN/SiriusXM NASCAR Radio
What Our Drivers are Saying:
Aric Almirola, Driver of the No. 10 Farmland/Hy-Vee Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing
What goals do you have for the remaining three races of the season?
“We’re sitting 14th in the standings right now, so finishing here or a spot better would be better than last year and the year before. Overall, our goal is to have a few more clean races without any issues or bad luck. Last weekend at Texas, we didn’t really get to see what kind of speed we had after all the damage in the first stage. We were lucky to make it through the way we did, but we’re usually really good at Texas and didn’t get to show that. Kansas will provide some good redemption if we can run a clean race.”
Chase Briscoe, Driver of the No. 14 DEKALB Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing:
You were having a good run at Texas last weekend, one of your best on an intermediate track this year. Can you carry that over to Kansas this weekend?
“We’ve come a long way since the last race at Kansas. Just last weekend, we were able to show we can come into the 550 (horsepower) races with top-10 speed. I think that can for sure transfer over to this weekend and we’ll try to go pick up where we left off. Kansas is a place where you can move around and find your line – the opposite of Texas, really. I’ve always enjoyed racing there, reminds me a lot of dirt racing and having those options to find what you need as the track and car change.”
Cole Custer, Driver of the No. 41 Feeding America®/Wow Wow Classic Waffles Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing
This will be your final race of the season on a mile-and-a-half tri-oval. What can you carry over from this year’s previous races on the intermediate tracks?
“Every single track is different. You can’t bring the same thing to them. We struggled a little bit at some of those races earlier this year, but I think we have a really good idea on what we need to bring to Kansas this weekend. We’ve been working hard to put in all the preparation we can, but it all still comes down to making our best educated guess because we don’t have practice or anything to work our cars in before the race. You just have to hope you hit it right.”
Kevin Harvick, Driver of the No. 4 Subway Delivery Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing
Your history at Kansas is impressive. Three wins, five second-place finishes, 10 top-threes, 11 top-fives, 18 top-10s and 949 laps led across 31 career NASCAR Cup Series starts. What makes you so good there?
“I think Kansas has been a great racetrack and, really from a driver’s standpoint, a fun racetrack because of the fact that it’s worn in so well. You can race at the top of the racetrack, which is the preferred groove as the tires wear out. It’s faster at the bottom of the racetrack on new tires. But as a driver, having options is something that is a lot of fun. As they repave Atlanta and you look at some of the other racetracks, really Kansas is going to be one of the more unique racetracks because of the fact the asphalt and the shape of the racetrack is so driver-friendly as far as where you can drive on the racetrack. You can literally drive from the wall to the apron all the way around the racetrack. So, it’s a fun racetrack. It’s been good to us and, hopefully, we can continue that trend on Sunday in our Subway Delivery Ford Mustang.”
Riley Herbst, Driver of the No. 98 Monster Energy Ford Mustang (Xfinity Series)
You’ve had some strong runs at Kansas in the past. Talk about your experience at the 1.5-mile oval.
“Kansas has been good to me in the past. I got my best finish in July 2020. The No. 98 team’s intermediate-track package is really good, and they’re the defending winners at Kansas, too. We’ve had an up-and-down season on the 1.5-mile tracks, but I have high hopes for Kansas. I’m hoping we can be in contention to win at the end.”
Sunday’s 400-mile race will be Cole Custer’s 73rd Cup Series start and his fourth at Kansas. The 23-year-old from Ladera Ranch, California, had solid runs in both Kansas outings last year, finishing seventh in July and 14th in October. The seventh-place finish in July was his fourth Cup Series top-10 in 19 starts. His bid for a second-consecutive Kansas top-10 last October was thwarted by a late-race speeding penalty on pit road. He finished 24th when the series last visited Kansas the first weekend in May. Custer has four Kansas appearances in NASCAR Xfinity Series competition, the most recent three in the No. 00 SHR Ford, with a best finish of 11th in the 2019 event after leading a race-high 85 laps.
In his last two NASCAR Cup Series races at Kansas, Kevin Harvick has finished second. In his most recent visit to the 1.5-mile oval back in May, Harvick finished .336 of a second behind race winner Kyle Busch. In last year’s Hollywood Casino 400, Harvick finished .312 of a second behind Joey Logano. Harvick scored his first NASCAR Cup Series win at Kansas in the 2013 Hollywood Casino 400 with a massive 1.140-second margin over runner-up Kurt Busch. Harvick scored his next Kansas win in the 2016 Hollywood Casino 400 with another impressive performance, crossing the stripe 1.183 seconds ahead of next best Carl Edwards. Harvick’s most recent Kansas victory came in May 2018 when he beat Martin Truex, Jr., by .390 of a second. Harvick, Denny Hamlin, Joey Logano, Jimmie Johnson and Jeff Gordon lead the NASCAR Cup Series in wins at Kansas with three victories apiece. Only Harvick, Hamlin and Logano are still active, and only eight of the 15 Cup Series winners at Kansas are active. Sunday’s Hollywood Casino 400 marks the 32nd Cup Series race at Kansas. Harvick’s 11 top-fives at Kansas are the most among active drivers, as are his 18 top-10s, and he leads nearly every Loop Data category: Average Finish of 7.9 (series-best); Average Running Position of 8.644 (series-best): Driver Rating of 109.7 (series-best); 642 Fastest Laps Run (series-best); 5,863 Laps in the Top-15 (81.7 percent, series-most) and 1,055 Quality Passes (series-most).
In May, Chase Briscoe and the No. 14 Ford Mustang team for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) earned a 20th-place finish at Kansas but have since finished inside the top-15 five times at intermediate tracks with a best of 11th earned twice – in May at Darlington (S.C.) Raceway in and in August at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn.
In 19 starts, Aric Almirola has seven top-10 finishes and has led 69 laps at Kansas Speedway.
The Kansas Lottery 300 will mark Riley Herbst’s third career Xfinity Series start at Kansas. His best finish at the 1.5-mile oval is ninth, earned in his first Xfinity Series start at the track in July 2020. In addition to his Xfinity Series starts at Kansas, the third-generation racer from Las Vegas also has one NASCAR Camping World Truck Series start and four ARCA Menards Series starts. His best Kansas finish is fourth in the 2018 ARCA race.
Of Special Interest
Be sure to check out our merch hauler at Kansas Speedway this weekend! If you can’t attend in person, you can shop anytime at store.stewarthaasracing.com