Stats advance: Analyzing the Hollywood Casino 400
A statistical look ahead to the opening race of the Contender Round RELATED: Follow your picks in the Perfect Chase Grid Challenge for chance at $100,000 prize DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Below is a look at the 12 Contenders – and beyond – at Kansas Speedway in Kansas City, Kansas going into the Hollywood Casino 400 on Sunday, October 5. Coverage begins on ESPN at 1 p.m. ET and the race is scheduled for 2 p.m. ET. KANSAS-SPECIFIC STATISTICS 1 - Brad Keselowski (No. 2 Miller Lite Ford) • Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 105.0 2014 Rundown • Five wins, 13 top fives, 16 top 10s; five poles • Average finish of 12.4 • Led 23 races for 1,496 laps Kansas Speedway Outlook: • One win, two top fives, four top 10s • Average finish of 10.6 in nine races • Average Running Position of 13.8, 10th-best • Driver Rating of 89.2, 11th-best 2 - Joey Logano (No. 22 Shell Pennzoil Ford) • Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 106.5 2014 Rundown • Four wins, 13 top fives, 18 top 10s; one pole • Average finish of 12.2 • Led 19 races for 794 laps Kansas Speedway Outlook: • Two top fives, two top 10s • Average finish of 21.7 in 10 races • Average Running Position of 20.3, 24th-best • Driver Rating of 73.2, 21st-best 3 - Kevin Harvick (No. 4 Budweiser Chevrolet) • Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 108.8 2014 Rundown • Two wins, 10 top fives, 15 top 10s; seven poles • Average finish of 14.0 • Led 21 races for 1,592 laps Kansas Speedway Outlook: • One win, three top fives, eight top 10s; two poles • Average finish of 11.5 in 17 races • Average Running Position of 11.8, seventh-best • Driver Rating of 99.1, fifth-best • 202 Fastest Laps Run, fourth-most • Series-high 969 Green Flag Passes • 468 Quality Passes, fifth-most 4 - Jimmie Johnson (No. 48 Lowe's Chevrolet) • Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 100.8 2014 Rundown • Three wins, 10 top fives, 18 top 10s; one pole • Average finish of 13.4 • Led 15 races for 1,035 laps Kansas Speedway Outlook: • Two wins, six top fives, 14 top 10s; three poles • Average finish of 7.6 in 16 races • Series-best Average Running Position of 7.5 • Series-best Driver Rating of 117.4 • Series-high 478 Fastest Laps Run • Series-best Average Green Flag Speed of 167.549 mph • Series-high 3,042 Laps in the Top 15 (89.0%) • Series-high 614 Quality Passes 5 - Jeff Gordon (No. 24 Drive to End Hunger Chevrolet) • Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 110.4 2014 Rundown • Four wins, 11 top fives, 19 top 10s; two poles • Average finish of 10.0 • Led 20 races for 665 laps Kansas Speedway Outlook: • Three wins, 10 top fives, 12 top 10s • Average finish of 10.1 in 17 races • Average Running Position of 9.7, third-best • Driver Rating of 101.1, fourth-best • 147 Fastest Laps Run, fifth-most • 2,878 Laps in the Top 15 (84.2%), second-most • 536 Quality Passes, second-most 6 - Kyle Busch (No. 18 M&M’s Toyota) • Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 90.6 2014 Rundown • One win, six top fives, 12 top 10s; two poles • Average finish of 17.1 • Led 13 races for 411 laps Kansas Speedway Outlook: • Two top 10s • Average finish of 22.7 in 14 races • Average Running Position of 18.7, 19th-best • Driver Rating of 76.8, 19th-best • 864 Green Flag Passes, eighth-most • 404 Quality Passes, 11th-most 7 - Dale Earnhardt Jr . (No. 88 Diet Mountain Dew Chevrolet) • Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 97.2 2014 Rundown • Three wins, 11 top fives, 17 top 10s • Average finish of 11.0 • Led 12 races for 220 laps Kansas Speedway Outlook: • Two top fives, eight top 10s; one pole • Average finish of 15.2 in 16 races • Average Running Position of 14.5, 12th-best • Driver Rating of 91.5, ninth-best • 108 Fastest Laps Run, 11th-most • 855 Green Flag Passes, ninth-most • Average Green Flag Speed of 166.627 mph, eighth-fastest • 1,981 Laps in the Top 15 (62.8%), 10th-most • 424 Quality Passes, eighth-most 8 - Matt Kenseth (No. 20 Dollar General Toyota) • Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 93.5 2014 Rundown • 11 top fives, 18 top 10s; one pole • Average finish of 13.8 • Led 17 races for 467 laps Kansas Speedway Outlook: • Two wins, six top fives, 10 top 10s; two poles • Average finish of 14.3 in 17 races • Average Running Position of 10.4, fourth-best • Driver Rating of 107.4, second-best • 235 Fastest Laps Run, second-most • Average Green Flag Speed of 166.855 mph, third-fastest • 2,623 Laps in the Top 15 (76.7%), fourth-most • 418 Quality Passes, ninth-most 9 - Ryan Newman (No. 31 Caterpillar Chevrolet) • Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 85.1 2014 Rundown • Two top fives, 11 top 10s • Average finish of 14.0 • Led 4 races for 24 laps Kansas Speedway Outlook: • One win, three top fives, four top 10s • Average finish of 18.7 in 17 races • Average Running Position of 20.6, 25th-best • Driver Rating of 69.6, 25th-best • 908 Green Flag Passes, sixth-most 10 - Carl Edwards (No. 99 Fastenal Ford) • Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 82.5 2014 Rundown • Two wins, six top fives, 11 top 10s • Average finish of 14.8 • Led 10 races for 134 laps Kansas Speedway Outlook: • Five top fives, 10 top 10s • Average finish of 10.5 in 14 races • Average Running Position of 12.1, eighth-best • Driver Rating of 97.1, seventh-best • 131 Fastest Laps Run, eighth-most • 877 Green Flag Passes, seventh-most • Average Green Flag Speed of 166.689 mph, seventh-fastest • 2,352 Laps in the Top 15 (68.8%), sixth-most • 493 Quality Passes, fourth-most 11 - Denny Hamlin (No. 11 FedEx Office Toyota) • Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 90.8 2014 Rundown • One win, six top fives, 12 top 10s; two poles • Average finish of 15.5 • Led 12 races for 195 laps Kansas Speedway Outlook: • One win, three top fives, three top 10s • Average finish of 15.1 in 12 races • Average Running Position of 14.3, 11th-best • Driver Rating of 87.7, 14th-best • 69 Fastest Laps Run, 12th-most • 2,002 Laps in the Top 15 (63.5%), ninth-most • 399 Quality Passes, 12th-most 12 - Kasey Kahne (No. 5 Farmers Insurance Chevrolet) • Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 88.7 2014 Rundown • One win, three top fives, 10 top 10s • Average finish of 16.5 • Led 10 races for 204 laps Kansas Speedway Outlook: • Four top fives, seven top 10s; three poles • Average finish of 13.2 in 14 races • Average Running Position of 13.6, ninth-best • Driver Rating of 93.0, eighth-best • 147 Fastest Laps Run, fifth-most • 939 Green Flag Passes, second-most • Average Green Flag Speed of 166.619 mph, ninth-fastest • 2,208 Laps in the Top 15 (64.6%), seventh-most • 436 Quality Passes, sixth-most 13 - AJ Allmendinger (No. 47 Clorox Chevrolet) • Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 70.1 2014 Rundown • One win, two top fives, four top 10s • Average finish of 20.7 • Led 5 races for 68 laps Kansas Speedway Outlook: • Two top 10s; one pole • Average finish of 22.8 in nine races • Average Running Position of 22.7, 27th-best • Driver Rating of 68.2, 26th-best 14 - Kurt Busch (No. 41 Haas Automation Chevrolet) • Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 86.5 2014 Rundown • One win, six top fives, eight top 10s • Average finish of 19.3 • Led 11 races for 181 laps Kansas Speedway Outlook: • One top five, four top 10s; one pole • Average finish of 17.6 in 17 races • Average Running Position of 14.9, 14th-best • Driver Rating of 87.3, 16th-best • 121 Fastest Laps Run, 10th-most • 923 Green Flag Passes, fourth-most • 1,980 Laps in the Top 15 (57.9%), 11th-most • 405 Quality Passes, 10th-most 15 - Greg Biffle (No. 16 3M Filtrete Ford) • Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 79.4 2014 Rundown • Three top fives, 10 top 10s • Average finish of 15.8 • Led 6 races for 109 laps Kansas Speedway Outlook: • Two wins, seven top fives, nine top 10s; one pole • Average finish of 10.7 in 16 races • Average Running Position of 9.5, second-best • Driver Rating of 104.7, third-best • 205 Fastest Laps Run, third-most • 837 Green Flag Passes, 11th-most • Average Green Flag Speed of 166.836 mph, fourth-fastest • 2,755 Laps in the Top 15 (80.6%), third-most • 506 Quality Passes, third-most 16 - Aric Almirola (No. 43 Farmland Ford) • Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 73.5 2014 Rundown • One win, two top fives, seven top 10s • Average finish of 20.6 • Led 5 races for 23 laps Kansas Speedway Outlook: • Three top 10s • Average finish of 15.6 in five races • Average Running Position of 15.3, 15th-best • Driver Rating of 88.1, 13th-best • Average Green Flag Speed of 166.561 mph, 11th-fastest The 12 Challengers at Kansas Speedway Driver Races Poles Wins Top Fives Top 10s DNFs Average Finish Driver Rating 1 Brad Keselowski 9 0 1 2 4 0 10.6 89.2 2 Joey Logano 10 0 0 2 2 1 21.7 73.2 3 Kevin Harvick 17 2 1 3 8 1 11.5 99.1 4 Jimmie Johnson 16 3 2 6 14 1 7.6 117.4 5 Jeff Gordon 17 0 3 10 12 2 10.1 101.1 6 Kyle Busch 14 0 0 0 2 4 22.7 76.8 7 Dale Earnhardt Jr. 16 1 0 2 8 2 15.2 91.5 8 Matt Kenseth 17 2 2 6 10 2 14.3 107.4 9 Ryan Newman 17 0 1 3 4 3 18.7 69.6 10 Carl Edwards 14 0 0 5 10 1 10.5 97.1 11 Denny Hamlin 12 0 1 3 3 0 15.1 87.7 12 Kasey Kahne 14 3 0 4 7 1 13.2 93 * – Based on last 13 races at Kansas Speedway . Kansas Speedway: History · Groundbreaking was held on May 25, 1999. · The official opening of Kansas Speedway was in 2001, with the first events being an ARCA race and a NASCAR K&N Pro Series West race on the same day – June 2. · The first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race was on Sept. 30, 2001 – won by Jeff Gordon . · During the 2012 season, between the April and October events the 1.5-mile track underwent a repave adding variable banking in the corners. Notebook · There have been 17 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Kansas Speedway , one NSCS event from 2001 - 2010 and two races per year since 2011. · 116 drivers have competed in at least one NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Kansas; 86 in more than one. · Five drivers have started all 17 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Kansas Speedway – Jeff Gordon, Kevin Harvick , Kurt Busch , Matt Kenseth and Ryan Newman . · Jason Leffler won the inaugural Coors Light pole at Kansas Speedway in 2001 with a speed of 176.499 mph. · 11 drivers have Coors Light poles at Kansas, led by Jimmie Johnson and Kasey Kahne with three each. · Jimmie Johnson and Kevin Harvick are the only two drivers to win consecutive Coors Light poles at Kansas Speedway (Johnson – 2007, 2008 and Harvick – fall 2013, spring 2014). · Youngest Kansas pole winner: Jason Leffler (09/30/2001 – 26 years, 0 months, 14 days). · Oldest Kansas pole winner: Mark Martin (10/04/2009 – 50 years, 8 months, 25 days). · 11 different drivers have won at Kansas Speedway , led by Jeff Gordon with three. · Hendrick Motorsports leads the series in wins at Kansas with five: Jeff Gordon (three) and Jimmie Johnson (two). · Chevrolet leads the series in wins at Kansas with nine victories; followed by Ford with four wins. · Four of the 17 (23.5%) NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Kansas Speedway have been won from the Coors Light pole; Joe Nemechek (2004), Jimmie Johnson (2008), Matt Kenseth (spring 2013) and Kevin Harvick (fall 2013). · Five of the 17 (29.4%) NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Kansas Speedway have been won from the front row: four from the pole and one from second-place. · 10 of the 17 (58.8%) NASCAR Sprint Cup races at Kansas Speedway have been won from a top-10 starting position. · Two of the 17 (11.7%) NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Kansas Speedway have been won from a starting position outside the top 20. · The deepest in the field that a race winner has started at Kansas Speedway was 25th, by Brad Keselowski in the spring of 2011. · Youngest Kansas winner: Ryan Newman (10/05/2003 – 25 years, 9 months, 27 days). · Oldest Kansas winner: Mark Martin (10/09/2005 – 46 years, 9 months, 0 days). · Martin Truex Jr., Kasey Kahne and Ryan Newman are tied for the series most runner-up finishes at Kansas Speedway with two each. · Jeff Gordon leads the series in top-five finishes at Kansas Speedway with 10; followed by Greg Biffle with seven. · Jimmie Johnson leads the series in top-10 finishes at Kansas Speedway with 14; followed by Jeff Gordon (12), Edwards, Kenseth each have 10. · Jimmie Johnson leads all active drivers in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in average starting position at Kansas Speedway with an 11.000. · Jimmie Johnson (7.625) leads the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in average finishing position at Kansas Speedway – he is the only driver with an average finish in the top-10 at Kansas. · There has been one NSCS race resulting with a green-white-checkered finish at Kansas Speedway : fall of 2011 (267/272). · Only one of the 16 races at Kansas Speedway has been shortened due to weather conditions: fall of 2007. · Qualifying has never been cancelled due to weather conditions in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series at Kansas Speedway . · Denny Hamlin has participated in the most NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Kansas Speedway without posting a DNF (12). · 2011 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series champion and 2013 NASCAR Nationwide Series champion Austin Dillon (10/09/2011) and Denny Hamlin (10/09/2005) made their first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series career starts at Kansas Speedway . · Jeff Gordon and Matt Kenseth are the only two NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers that have posted consecutive wins at Kansas Speedway : Gordon (2001 and 2002 – the first two NSCS events at Kansas) and Kenseth (fall of 2012, spring of 2013). · Nine of the 10 active NASCAR Sprint Cup Series winners at Kansas Speedway participated in at least two or more races before visiting Victory Lane. Jeff Gordon won at Kansas in his first appearance. · Kevin Harvick competed at Kansas Speedway 15 times before winning last fall; the longest span of any the 10 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series winners at Kansas. · Kevin Harvick (15) and Matt Kenseth (13) have made 10 or more attempts before their first win at Kansas Speedway . · Kurt Busch leads the series with the most NASCAR Sprint Cup Series starts at Kansas Speedway without visiting Victory Lane at 17. · Since the advent of electronic scoring the closest margin of victory in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series at Kansas Speedway was the (10/10/2004) race won by Joe Nemechek with a MOV of 0.081 second. · Jimmie Johnson leads the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in laps led at Kansas Speedway with 586 laps led in 16 starts. · Danica Patrick is the only female driver that has competed at Kansas Speedway in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series: Driver Starting Position Finishing Position Date Danica Patrick 40 32 10/21/2012 Danica Patrick 25 25 4/21/2013 Danica Patrick 29 43 10/6/2013 Danica Patrick 9 7 5/10/2014 NASCAR in Kansas · There have been 17 NASCAR Sprint Cup races in Kansas. Track Name City NSCS Kansas Speedway Kansas City 17 · 17 drivers in NASCAR national series history have their home state recorded as Kansas. · Two drivers from Kansas have won at least one race in NASCAR’s three national series; both have won in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. Driver NSCS NNS NCWTS Clint Bowyer 8 8 3 Jim Roper 1 0 0 MORE: READ: Latest Chase news PLAY: Monitor your Chase Grid Game picks WATCH: Latest NASCAR video FOLLOW LIVE: Get RaceView FULL CHASE COVERAGE • Chase hub page • Chase Grid games • #MyChaseNation
Best in-car audio from the Hollywood Casino 400
Listen to the best in-car audio highlights from Kansas Speedway and the first race of the Contender Round in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup.
Post-Race Reactions: Hollywood Casino 400
Kasey Kahne and the top Chase contenders comment on a wild and chaotic race at Kansas.
Keselowski earns Coors Light Pole at Kansas
RELATED: Complete qualifying results KANSAS CITY, Kan. -- Brad Keselowski 's pole-winning run on Friday at Kansas Speedway was an early Christmas present to second-place qualifier Carl Edwards . Keselowski saved his best lap for the third and final round of knockout qualifying at the 1.5-mile track, touring the distance in 27.621 seconds (195.503 mph) to edge Edwards (195.454 mph) for the top starting spot by .007 seconds. But in claiming his second Coors Light Pole Award of the season, his first at Kansas and the 10th of his career, Keselowski didn't cash in on one of the primary perks that typically accrues to the pole winner. Because his No. 2 Team Penske Ford had accumulated four written warnings for minor infractions discovered during the at-track technical inspection process, Keselowski forfeits the traditional right of first pit selection, and the choice goes to Edwards for Sunday's Hollywood Casino 400 (2 p.m. ET on NBC), the fifth race in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup . "It's like getting a nice piece of cheesecake without the toppings," Keselowski said. "It's nice to be fast this week. We weren't anywhere near as fast as we wanted to be at Charlotte (last Sunday), which was frustrating. "And I'm not sure I could answer why we're faster this week, but sometimes that stuff just comes and goes, and you don't really understand why. But when you have speed, you've got to make the most of it." Getting the last pick of pit stalls won't help Keselowski's cause, but Edwards didn't seem to mind the unexpected bonus. "So we'll get that first pit stall (closest to the exit from pit road)," a delighted Edwards said after time trials. "That'll be huge. That's a gift -- and we'll take it." Both Keselowski and Edwards are among 12 Chase drivers vying for eight spots in the Eliminator 8 Round of NASCAR's 10-race playoff, with the cutoff looming Oct. 25 at Talladega Superspeedway . Only 14th-place qualifier Joey Logano , who with Dale Earnhardt Jr . (15th) was one of two Chase drivers who didn't make the top 12 on Friday, has already advanced to the Eliminator 8 Round, by virtue of last Sunday's victory at Charlotte. In addition to Keselowski, Edwards, Logano and Earnhardt, other Chase drivers will line up as follows: Kyle Busch , third; Kevin Harvick , fourth; Denny Hamlin , fifth; Jeff Gordon , sixth; Martin Truex Jr ., seventh; Kurt Busch , ninth; and Matt Kenseth , 10th. Ryan Blaney (eighth), running a limited schedule for Wood Brothers Racing , was the only non-Chase driver to crack the top 10. Blaney posted the fastest lap in the second round of qualifying at 195.164 mph. Harvick had difficulty getting up to speed during Friday's opening practice session, but the reigning series champion was relieved by his fourth-place qualifying effort. "That's a win for us," Harvick said. "We thought we were going to have to race our way from 25th, so to be fourth is a big improvement." Notes: Timmy Hill failed to make the 43-car field… Casey Mears ' No. 13 Chevrolet broke loose and slammed into the Turn 4 wall seven minutes into the first round of qualifying, forcing him to a backup car for Sunday's race.
Bruce: Will Kansas produce repeat Chase race winner?
Four Chase races in the books, four different winners and who knows what excitement, absurdity, chicanery, etc., will unfold when the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series moves to Kansas Speedway this weekend. Another 1.5-mile track, and one of the few located next to a casino . It's not the first, but it is the newest in that regard. Denny Hamlin didn't stomp the field at Chicagoland Speedway , home of the opening race in this year's Chase for the Sprint Cup . In fact, the Joe Gibbs Racing driver led only nine laps. But he raced with a torn ACL, and any injury that includes the word "torn" tells you all you want to know. Hamlin also found himself at the back of the field almost before the green flag had quit waving when his No. 11 Toyota spun barely two laps into the race. But he won, the Chase was on and the series moved to New Hampshire Motor Speedway , where defending series champion Kevin Harvick ran out of gas after nearly whipping the field into submission. Matt Kenseth , the last driver to win NASCAR's premier series title that didn't have a "Chase" stamped all over it, is a teammate of Hamlin. He had full use of both ACLs and more fuel in his tank and all of a sudden JGR had two of its four drivers guaranteed to move on to the next round. At Dover, the least likely person to have an issue that might prevent him from advancing to the next round had just that. A torn (there's that word again) rear axle seal doomed Jimmie Johnson , the 10-time Dover winner, and all of a sudden this year's Chase had a very different look to it. Fans have long complained that the grouping of Chase tracks favored Johnson and his Hendrick Motorsports No. 48 team. Given his series-leading 25 "playoff" victories, it's an easy assumption to make. But perhaps this new elimination format does not. Johnson's mechanical issues set the course for his eventual demise, but likely didn't alter the outcome of the Dover race. Harvick, his tank full of fuel, ripped through the field so impressively that folks began dissecting his winning burnout in hopes of finding clues for his performance. That's when you know you've got 'em whipped. A field of 12 advanced to open the Contender Round last week at Charlotte, where it rained hard enough and long enough to force officials to delay the race by a day. Joey Logano , never a winner at Charlotte but finding Victory Lane on a regular basis since moving over to Team Penske , did the destruction this time, leading 227 of 334 laps. Four Chase races, each with its own set of oddities, and four different winners. Almost before the checkered flag has unfurled, each winner has been described as "the team to beat." Logano, the winner of last year's Hollywood Casino 400 at Kansas, said his team pays no mind to what others are doing or how they are performing. "You've got to look at yourself," the 25-year-old said. "We just stay focused on doing what we know how to do. Don't go and reinvent the wheel and stay focused. "There are going to be cars that are dominant each week, and we've just got to be that car more times than not." Logano's No. 22 team hasn't been the most dominant, but it has been the most recent to show what it is capable of. Next comes Kansas and yet another opportunity. The Chase hasn't seen five different winners in the opening five races since 2010. Given the way this year's events have played out, five for five isn't only possible, it's also entirely likely.
GoBowling.com to sponsor Kansas spring race
RELATED: Buy tickets for the race KANSAS CITY, Kan. (Jan. 13, 2016) -- Kansas Speedway and GoBowling.com announced a partnership today for the May 7 GoBowling.com 400 , Kansas Speedway 's annual May NASCAR Sprint Cup Series night race. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed. "We're excited to announce our partnership with GoBowling.com for our May Sprint Cup Series night race," said Kansas Speedway President Patrick Warren. "I'm thrilled to be able to work with such a family-friendly brand at Kansas Speedway because NASCAR racing appeals to fans of all ages. I know this will be a great partnership with GoBowling.com and I can't wait to see their activation not only at Kansas Speedway but at bowling centers around the country." "Bowling is the number one participation game in the U.S. and NASCAR is one of the most popular fan-based sports making this a natural partnership," said Strike Ten Entertainment President John G. Harbuck. "We have very similar demographics so the exposure we get from this sponsorship -- both in the Midwest and nationally -- will allow us to promote bowling to current and potential bowlers, especially families and young bowlers. "We will use the race as a platform to remind people what a great game bowling is for all ages and drive them to our website where they can find bowling centers near them as well as connect with us via social media," he added. As part of the agreement, GoBowling.com has naming rights to the race that will be featured on a nationally-televised broadcast and other news media. In addition, GoBowling.com will have extensive signage throughout Kansas Speedway and the rights to execute on-site and online promotional activations including regional and national consumer promotions such as bowling leagues, prize promotions and other branding initiatives. GoBowling.com is the go-to website to learn more about the great sport of bowling including information about 3,000+ bowling centers throughout the country. Fans can learn about their local bowling centers, take advantage of promotional offers, watch bowling video tips and more. RELATED: See the full 2016 schedule "Bowling proprietors across America are proud of our relationship with Kansas Speedway ," said Tom Martino, Bowling Proprietors Association of America (BPAA) President. "After race fans enjoy a great race, we look forward to having them visit their local bowling center." Kansas Speedway tickets for all events in 2016 will be on sale soon. Kansas Speedway 's May 6-7, 2016 race weekend will include the Toyota Tundra 250 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race and the GoBowling.com 400 . In October, the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series returns with the Hollywood Casino 400 on Oct. 16. The Kansas Lottery 300 NASCAR XFINITY Series race will take center stage on Oct. 15, while the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards championship race will run on Oct. 14. Parking is always free at Kansas Speedway and fans can bring in one 14x14x14-inch soft-sided cooler with their favorite food and beverages. Fans can follow Kansas Speedway on Facebook at www.facebook.com/kansasspeedway or follow us on Twitter ( @kansasspeedway ).
No. 88, three others receive warnings post-Kansas
Four NASCAR Sprint Cup Series teams received warnings after post-race inspections for the Hollywood Casino 400 at Kansas Speedway , including the No. 88 Hendrick Motorsports team. The No. 88 team with Dale Earnhardt Jr . received a warning for failing pre-race inspection twice. The No. 7 Tommy Baldwin Racing team with Alex Bowman also received a warning for the same reason. The No. 83 BK Racing team with Matt DiBenedetto received a warning for failing pre-qualifying inspection twice. The No. 21 Wood Brothers Racing team with Ryan Blaney received a warning for the following infraction: Section 10.7.2.b. Blaney finished seventh at Kansas, while Earnhardt Jr. was 21st, DiBenedetto was 30th and Bowman was 31st. If any team or person accumulates six or more warnings in a six-month period from the first warning, a P2 penalty could be issued by NASCAR. P2 penalties can include point deductions, fines and suspensions that can carry over into the next season.
Watch: Live post-race inspection on Tuesday
RELATED: Watch the live stream here From 8-11 a.m. ET on Tuesday, NASCAR.com will live stream the post-race inspection process at the Research & Development Center in Concord, North Carolina. The three-hour look takes you behind the scenes as NASCAR officials inspect NASCAR Sprint Cup Series vehicles following Sunday's Hollywood Casino 400 at Kansas Speedway . The cars at the R&D Center this week are: the No. 22 Ford of Joey Logano (won Sunday's race), the No. 11 Toyota of Denny Hamlin (finished second in Sunday's race) and the No. 21 Ford of Ryan Blaney (the random car selected). For more information on what the inspection process entails, click here .
Almirola hopes late-season momentum carries over
KANSAS CITY, Kan. -- Post a couple of top-10 finishes and folks call it a coincidence. String several together, however, and it begins to look like a trend. That's what NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Aric Almirola is counting on these days. The Richard Petty Motorsports driver has posted four top-10 finishes in his last five outings, including a pair of top-five results. Almirola, 31, enters Sunday's Hollywood Casino 400 (2:15 p.m. ET, NBC, MRN, SiriusXM) at Kansas Speedway having failed to qualify for this year's Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup . But he's not out of contention for possible race wins. His recent efforts in the familiar No. 43 Ford have told him as much. A fourth at Richmond, 10th at Chicagoland, fifth at Dover and 10th again at Charlotte with only a 43rd-place finish at New Hampshire marring an otherwise consistent string of finishes. So do Almirola and his team see the competitive turn as a trend? "I do," he said Friday just before qualifying got underway. "I feel like we've really hit on some stuff that's really working for me, the cars have been driving good, we've had real good long-run speed for the last six weeks and that's paid off for us. "We still have to work on our cars to find some short-run speed, and really run some fast laps but ... the way our cars have been racing has been really good. I think we're on to something." Although he narrowly missed qualifying for the 10-race Chase, Almirola sits 17th in points -- highest among those who failed to earn one of this year's 16 berths. He finished 11th at Kansas when the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series visited the 1.5-mile track earlier this season. Talladega, Martinsville, Texas, Phoenix and Homestead round out the remaining races on this year's Sprint Cup schedule. "You hope it's a trend, right?" said crew chief Trent Owens. "Recently I think we've gotten maybe just a little bit more speed in our cars. It's not necessarily one thing I'm doing. "I think we were really bummed we didn't get in the Chase because we felt like we were in all year. We felt like we did what we were supposed to do to earn a spot on points if we didn't win. We had an unfortunate engine situation at Pocono, and a crash at Indy. ... A couple of events just put us out." Darlington, where Almirola finished 11th, was good even though it was with an aerodynamic package that won't be used again until 2016. At Richmond "we put our best effort in there," and scored a top-five, Owens noted. That momentum carried over into a test at Kansas where he said the team "found a few items that might help our cars on the mile-and-a -halves." Chicago was solid as was Charlotte, where the team had struggled. "That kind of said, 'yeah, we might be doing the right thing,' " said Owens. Beyond the Team Penske entries of 2012 champion Brad Keselowski (one win) and teammate Joey Logano (four wins), the 2015 season hasn't been particularly memorable for many of those in the Ford camp. Roush Fenway Racing failed to place one of its three teams in the Chase for the first time since the format debuted in 2004. And Sam Hornish Jr ., Almirola's teammate, has only three top-10 results on the year. Almirola's improved finishing positions have yet to include a surge in leading laps -- he's led only three all season. But he knows his team is getting better each week. "Honestly, you just compare yourself to the competition, right? And I think even the best car in the field probably has some issues. He's probably a little tight in the center or what have you," Almirola said. "But he's doing it running faster than everyone else. ... "I think relative to the competition we have improved the handling of our cars and the way our cars are performing ... during race conditions." The simple answer, Owens said, is that the team needs faster race cars to lead laps and to "get to that next level." "If you asked someone to name the race teams in order, we are a middle-of-the-road race team when you talk about people size, money, resources," he said. "It's hard to make that jump all the way to first. You can make that jump from 20th to 10th. But to get to fifth and to get to first, dominate races and lead laps, that's a pretty big step, not just people-wise, but money-wise and resources." Almirola will start 23rd Sunday. It's been 48 races since his last, and so far only, victory in the Sprint Cup Series. Progress has come slowly. But expectations are rising for Almirola and everyone on the team. "When you go through a stretch where you run 20th and you just can't seem to find the speed, every weekend you go to the airport and you're ... not necessarily excited but you're kind of hopeful," he said. "It's like, 'I'm not sure if Santa is real, but I hope he is.' "Then when you start running good, you get excited to get on the plane on Thursdays and go to the race track because you've got some momentum on your side. "You feel like you're just maybe a few small things away from being able to go up there and compete to win races."
Edwards: 'Restarts are going to be insanity'
KANSAS CITY, Kan -- The restart zone at Kansas Speedway is demarcated by yellow paint on the walls with two red stripes at the leading end and one red stripe at the end. It's still a hot zone for NASCAR Sprint Cup drivers as they prepare for Sunday's Hollywood Casino 400 some (2:15 p.m. ET, NBC, MRN, Sirius XM NASCAR Radio). Jamie McMurray , who was bumped from the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup after the Challenger Round, said he thought the expanded restart zone worked out well at Charlotte. "The one thing that I like that Charlotte did is they painted it across the race track," McMurray said. "So, when you were a guy further back in the pack, you could tell when the leaders were there so you have a pretty good idea of when they were going to go. Some of the tracks, Indy is probably the worst track because of how long the straightaway is and the fact that you're literally just going straight. You can't tell where the restart zone is." The restart zone at Kansas this weekend is 180 feet. It had been only 70 feet at Dover in the past, but was increased to 140 feet for the Oct. 4 race there as the rule evolved. The sanctioning body lengthened the restart zone for the 2015 season's remaining races post-Dover, generally taking pit road speed (in Kansas' case, 45 mph) times four. Carl Edwards added that restarts and track position will be crucial in Sunday's race. And Kansas is crucial in the Contender Round as tumultuous Talladega looms as the last race in this leg of the Chase. The top eight drivers move on to the Eliminator Round after next week's CampingWorld.com 500 at Talladega. RELATED: Is Kansas as much of a wildcard than Talladgea? "This race can be really tough because the restarts are going to be insanity," said Edwards, who enters Sunday's race at sixth place in the standings, nine points behind Charlotte winner Joey Logano . Fellow Chase driver Ryan Newman isn't as concerned about the restart zone itself. Newman sits on the Chase bubble in ninth place after Charlotte. "I don't really worry about it," Newman said after Saturday's second Sprint Cup Series practice session. "I don't usually see them." It is the leaders under the most scrutiny on restarts as Brad Keselowski found out at New Hampshire when he was black flagged for jumping the restart while Greg Biffle was leading. WATCH: Keselowski black flagged after restart at New Hampshire But some of the impetus for any rule changes on restarts was concerns about cars bunching up mid-pack as the leader waits, gaming the restart for any possible advantage. McMurray says that’s why it's a key concern when drivers can’t see the restart zone. "You're kind of basing on your spotter; and when you spotter says 'Go,' that's not when you go because it's delayed depending on where you are in the pack," McMurray said. "But, I think some of what you saw last week was because it was expanded a little bit and guys were just anticipating that. But I thought it worked out really well."