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
See the full list of drivers competing at Kansas RELATED: Follow your picks in the Perfect Chase Grid Challenge for chance at $100,000 prize Entry # Driver Owner Crew chief Manufacturer Sponsor 1 1 Jamie McMurray Felix Sabates Keith Rodden 14 Chevrolet Cessna/Monopoly 2 2 Brad Keselowski Roger Penske Paul Wolfe 14 Ford Miller Lite 3 3 Austin Dillon Richard Childress Gil Martin 14 Chevrolet American Ethanol 4 4 Kevin Harvick Tony Stewart Rodney Childers 14 Chevrolet Budweiser 5 5 Kasey Kahne Linda Hendrick Kenny Francis 14 Chevrolet Farmers Insurance 6 7 Michael Annett Tommy Baldwin Kevin Manion 14 Chevrolet Accell Construction 7 9 Marcos Ambrose Richard Petty Drew Blickensderfer 14 Ford STANLEY 8 10 Danica Patrick Tony Stewart Tony Gibson 14 Chevrolet Aspen Dental 9 11 Denny Hamlin J D Gibbs Darian Grubb 14 Toyota FedEx Office 10 13 Casey Mears Bob Germain Bootie Barker III 14 Chevrolet No. 13 GEICO Chevrolet SS 11 14 Tony Stewart Margaret Haas Chad Johnston 14 Chevrolet Rush Truck Centers / Mobil 1 12 15 Clint Bowyer Rob Kauffman Brian Pattie 14 Toyota Pink Lemonade 5-hour Energy Benefiting LBBC 13 16 Greg Biffle Jack Roush Matt Puccia 14 Ford 3M Filtrete 14 17 Ricky Stenhouse Jr John Henry Michael Kelley 14 Ford Cargill/Sam's Club 15 18 Kyle Busch Joe Gibbs Dave Rogers 14 Toyota M&M's 16 20 Matt Kenseth Joe Gibbs Jason Ratcliff 14 Toyota Dollar General 17 22 Joey Logano Walter Czarnecki Todd Gordon 14 Ford Shell Pennzoil 18 23 Alex Bowman Ron Devine Dave Winston 14 Toyota Dr. Pepper Toyota Camry 19 24 Jeff Gordon Rick Hendrick Alan Gustafson 14 Chevrolet Drive To End Hunger 20 26 Cole Whitt Anthony Marlowe Randy Cox 14 Toyota Moen Toyota 21 27 Paul Menard Richard Childress Slugger Labbe 14 Chevrolet Quaker State / Menards 22 31 Ryan Newman Richard Childress Luke Lambert 14 Chevrolet Caterpillar 23 32 Joey Gase(i) Frank Stoddard Jr Ben Leslie 14 Ford Donate Life 24 33 TBA Joe Falk Mike Hillman Jr 14 Chevrolet Little Joe's Autos 25 34 David Ragan Bob Jenkins Jay Guy 14 Ford DOCKSIDE LOGISTICS 26 36 Reed Sorenson Allan Heinke Todd Parrott 14 Chevrolet TBA 27 37 Mike Bliss(i) Tommy Baldwin Tommy Baldwin 14 Chevrolet TBA 28 38 David Gilliland Brad Jenkins Frank Kerr 14 Ford MDS TRANSPORT 29 40 Landon Cassill(i) Michael Hillman Mark Hillman 14 Chevrolet Snap Fitness 30 41 Kurt Busch Gene Haas Daniel Knost 14 Chevrolet Haas Automation 31 42 Kyle Larson Chip Ganassi Chris Heroy 14 Chevrolet Target 32 43 Aric Almirola Richard Petty Trent Owens 14 Ford Farmland 33 47 A J Allmendinger Tad Geschickter Brian Burns 14 Chevrolet Clorox 34 48 Jimmie Johnson Jeff Gordon Chad Knaus 14 Chevrolet Lowe's 35 51 Justin Allgaier Harry Scott Jr Steve Addington 14 Chevrolet BRANDT Professional Agriculture 36 55 Brian Vickers Michael Waltrip Billy Scott 14 Toyota Aaron's Dream Machine 37 66 Mike Wallace(i) Jay Robinson Scott Eggleston 14 Toyota 435 Overland Park Place Hotel 38 78 Martin Truex Jr Barney Visser Todd Berrier 14 Chevrolet Furniture Row 39 83 Travis Kvapil Ron Devine Joe Williams 14 Toyota Burger King Toyota 40 88 Dale Earnhardt Jr Rick Hendrick Steve Letarte 14 Chevrolet Diet Mountain Dew 41 95 Michael McDowell Bob Leavine Wally Rogers 14 Ford LFR 42 98 Josh Wise Mike Curb Gene Nead 14 Chevrolet Westside Vapor/Vapor Station 43 99 Carl Edwards Jack Roush James Fennig 14 Ford Fastenal MORE: READ: Latest Chase news PLAY: Monitor your Chase Grid Game picks WATCH: Latest NASCAR video FOLLOW LIVE: Get RaceView
Kevin Harvick to again start on pole RELATED: Follow your picks in the Perfect Chase Grid Challenge for chance at $100,000 prize Pos. Car Driver Speed 1 4 Kevin Harvick 197.621 2 55 Brian Vickers 196.307 3 43 Aric Almirola 196.150 4 22 Joey Logano 196.050 5 24 Jeff Gordon 196.050 6 2 Brad Keselowski 196.021 7 18 Kyle Busch 195.972 8 88 Dale Earnhardt Jr. 195.702 9 14 Tony Stewart 195.518 10 5 Kasey Kahne 195.362 11 16 Greg Biffle 194.974 12 99 Carl Edwards 194.721 13 27 Paul Menard 195.270 14 1 Jamie McMurray 195.164 15 78 Martin Truex Jr. 195.080 16 3 Austin Dillon # 195.059 17 31 Ryan Newman 195.016 18 42 Kyle Larson # 194.918 19 15 Clint Bowyer 194.868 20 47 AJ Allmendinger 194.833 21 51 Justin Allgaier # 194.679 22 9 Marcos Ambrose 194.609 23 17 Ricky Stenhouse Jr. 194.259 24 41 Kurt Busch 194.021 25 11 Denny Hamlin 193.736 26 13 Casey Mears 193.653 27 20 Matt Kenseth 193.611 28 95 Michael McDowell 192.678 29 10 Danica Patrick 192.096 30 36 Reed Sorenson 191.993 31 38 David Gilliland 191.198 32 48 Jimmie Johnson 191.123 33 23 Alex Bowman # 190.988 34 98 Josh Wise 190.840 35 40 Landon Cassill(i) 190.799 36 7 Michael Annett # 190.725 37 34 David Ragan Owner Points 38 83 JJ Yeley Owner Points 39 26 Cole Whitt # Owner Points 40 33 Timmy Hill Owner Points 41 37 Mike Bliss(i) Owner Points 42 32 Joey Gase(i) Owner Points 43 66 Mike Wallace(i) Owner Points MORE: READ: Latest Chase news PLAY: Monitor your Chase Grid Game picks WATCH: Latest NASCAR video FOLLOW LIVE: Get RaceView
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.
Life is good for first-time series points leader CONCORD, N.C. -- In theory, Joey Logano can rest easy over the next two races. His Hollywood Casino 400 victory in the opening race of the Contender Round of the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup at Kansas Speedway advanced him to the Eliminator Round that begins on Oct. 26 at Martinsville Speedway . But don't tell the 24-year-old that. "Right now, we are thinking about Charlotte," Logano said Thursday at Charlotte Motor Speedway . "We are thinking about our Martinsville test we've got coming up this week. ... These next two (races) are all about keeping the momentum going, keeping the ball rolling." Logano later simplified it even more. "My goal is still to win," he said. "I might be greedy, but I want to win." Still, the Kansas victory does bring a bit of relief for the Connecticut native. "It's nice to know you're in because I think everyone was very nervous about this round," Logano said. "Knowing that it's not a round that is going to win you the championship, but it's a round that could keep you from winning it, when you think of Kansas and Talladega being in this round." Logano's five wins this year have come at a variety of tracks -- from the short tracks at Bristol and Richmond to the "Magic Mile" of Loudon to the intermediate ovals of Texas and Kansas. Clearly, the Team Penske driver is thriving like never before. In addition to more than doubling his win total entering this season (he came in with three career victories and has five in 2014), he has the most top-fives in one season (14) and has led more laps this year (916) than he had from 2009-2013. (660). On top of that, shortly after his win at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in the Challenger Round of the Chase, he inked a multiyear extension with Team Penske, the team he's been with since 2013. One of the year's biggest thrills is also a career first for him: Holding the points lead, which he has now. "One of the coolest things about winning last week is that we are the points leader now," Logano said. "That's never happened for me before. Seeing your truck parked in the first spot, having that first garage stall, obviously it doesn't mean much at this point, but it is something special." At Kansas, Logano was able to avoid the tire woes that claimed several Chase contenders such as teammate Brad Keselowski , as well as six-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson and Dale Earnhardt Jr . Those three drivers occupy the lowest three spots in the standings among the Chase field coming into Charlotte. With his teammate currently on the wrong side of the Chase bubble, Logano says there are no plans to do anything differently this weekend. "We're going to do what we normally do," Logano said. "We normally go out and try and help each other. As a two-car team, we have to work very tight together to make sure both our cars are fast. I feel like that's something we applied to Team Penske a long time ago. "We'll pretty much do the same things we are already doing. Working together throughout practice, throughout qualifying, sharing our notes, talking about our race cars and then race each other as hard as we know how to on the race track." Logano is enjoying arguably the best stretch of his career, with three wins in the past seven races, four top-five finishes to start the Chase and no finish worse than 14th in his past 11 Sprint Cup races. The Bank of America 500 at Charlotte Motor Speedway (Saturday, 7:30 p.m. ET, ABC) could very well keep the momentum going. He has three top-fives, six top-10s and a series-best average finish of 10.5 in 11 starts. Still, despite having his spot in the next round locked up, Logano knows things could change, and next time it could be him instead of Keselowski or the other favorites who is in a tough position come the Eliminator Round. "We are fortunate enough that it is not going be us this time," Logano said. "But like Roger (Penske) likes to say, 'You can't trip up over your own press clippings.' " 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
Relive all of the actions from Sunday's Hollywood Casino 400 at Kansas Speedway.
See where each driver finished at Kansas and why RELATED: Track your picks in the Perfect Chase Grid Challenge and Chase Battle Grid Presented by Toyota Editor's note: Drivers in italics are in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup 1. Joey Logano , No. 22 Ford, Team Penske Under the first caution flag, Logano lost seven positions on pit road. But he took four tires instead of two, and the strategy worked out for the No. 22. Logano's pit crew remained one of the best in the series, topping the charts for fastest pit stop on both the first green-flag stop and the stops that cycled through under caution on Laps 160-163. Their speed, combined with the speed of the No. 22 Ford they put together, puts Logano firmly into the next round of the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup. Get more pit data with RaceView. 2. Kyle Larson , No. 42 Chevrolet, Chip Ganassi Racing As his Target Chevrolet pulled in to pit road following the race, Larson held up his thumb and index finger an inch apart. The rookie was that close to his first NASCAR premier series win, and with each race seems to be getting closer. But he was just short of Logano in the Hollywood Casino 400 -- in speed, on pit road, and when crossing the checkered flag. Get more pit data with RaceView. 3. Kyle Busch , No. 18 Toyota, Joe Gibbs Racing If you asked, based on statistics, which Chase drivers would be least likely to perform well at Kansas, Kyle Busch may have been the top answer. But after winning the Nationwide Series race, the No. 18 driver came ready for a Chase race at one of his least favorite tracks knowing he could conquer it. With several contenders wrecking early in the race, Busch's third-place finish puts him in a great position to advance in the Chase. See what he had to say after the race. 4. Martin Truex Jr ., No. 78 Chevrolet, Furniture Row Racing Are things finally turning around for the Furniture Row Racing team that has seen so much bad luck this year? Truex crossed the start/finish line at the end of the race to earn his first top-five of the year. The turnaround comes much too late in the season to have a big impact on this year, but finishing out the year with a proven strategy can help 2015 look more promising for the one-car team. 5. Carl Edwards , No. 99 Ford, Roush Fenway Racing Edwards finished just where he should have in the Hollywood Casino 400 . Both his average lap time and average speed were fifth-fastest among the competitors, precisely where he wound up. He'll head to Charlotte in third place in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup standings. Get more driver data with RaceView. 6. Ryan Newman , No. 31 Chevrolet, Richard Childress Racing Newman's six laps led at Kansas Speedway tied his second-most this season. He's only had more laps out front once, at Michigan in August, when he led 14 laps. His last two finishes have been top-10s, and if he extends that stretch next week, he'll have his best streak of top-10s this season. 7. Denny Hamlin , No. 11 Toyota, Joe Gibbs Racing Hamlin reported over the radio just after the race was halfway completed that there was fire underneath his dashboard. His team advised him to turn off the switches to see if that would help the problem. It must have, because Hamlin continued to pilot the No. 11 into the top 10, putting him 11 points behind round leader Joey Logano heading into Charlotte. Get more in-race audio with RaceView. 8. Austin Dillon , No. 3 Chevrolet, Richard Childress Racing Dillon's accomplishments seem often overshadowed by those of fellow rookie Kyle Larson . But Dillon's top-10 is also impressive, given that the rookie was competing for positions against drivers competing for a title. Dillon started 16th, and drove a nearly flawless race to bring the No. 3 home with its fourth top-10 of the season. 9. Paul Menard , No. 27 Chevrolet, Richard Childress Racing Rounding out a strong day for RCR, Menard followed the team's rookie past the checkered flag to put all three cars in the top 10. After brushing the wall, Menard needed some repair to the right side, but was able to get the work done in 38.2 seconds, only losing two positions. The top-10 is Menard's 12th of the season, and a significant improvement over his 17th-place finish at Kansas earlier in the year. Get more pit data with RaceView. 10. Brian Vickers , No. 55 Toyota, Michael Waltrip Racing Vickers started the Hollywood Casino 400 on the front row, but couldn't make the inside line work and fell back quickly. He moved all the way back to 21st by Lap 105, and continued his onward march forward until the checkered flag fell on his ninth top-10 of the season. 11. AJ Allmendinger , No. 47 Chevrolet, JTG Daugherty Racing It was hard for Allmendinger to miss the first cut of the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup by only a couple of points in last week's elimination at Dover. It must be even harder to know that now, as Allemendinger finished ahead of most of the drivers still in contention for the Chase this week at Kansas. 12. Kevin Harvick , No. 4 Chevrolet, Stewart-Haas Racing Once again, a good day went bad for Harvick. He had led 47 laps when he thought he lost a right front tire. Turns out his tires were OK, but the unscheduled trip to pit road was followed by a caution, and the driver apologizing to his team after learning they would be three laps short of fuel. Thanks to several other drivers seeing tire issues, Harvick's 12th-place run puts him in sixth place in the Chase standings, 15 points behind leader Joey Logano . Get in-race driver audio with RaceView. 13. Matt Kenseth , No. 20 Toyota, Joe Gibbs Racing After seeing several other drivers suffer tire issues, Kenseth and his team decided to bring the No. 20 down to pit road under green as a reaction to a vibration. Unfortunately for the Joe Gibbs Racing crew, a caution flag came out not much later. The No. 20 took the wave-around, restarting 22nd. "A lot of adversity today, way to fight through it," crew chief Jason Ratcliff said as Kenseth passed the start/finish line. Get in-race driver audio with RaceView. 14. Jeff Gordon , No. 24 Chevrolet, Hendrick Motorsports "It's just not our day, is it?" Gordon asked over the radio during the Hollywood Casino 400 . A loose tire that rolled off of pit road and into the infield brought Gordon back to pit road as a penalty. But as his Hendrick Motorsports teammates know, it could have been much worse. "Well we're going to have to do better than that guys," Gordon said to his team after the race. He's currently in the final position to make the next round of the Chase. Get in-race driver audio with RaceView. 15. Greg Biffle , No. 16 Ford, Roush Fenway Racing After a bottleneck caused by Jeff Gordon and Jamie McMurray , Biffle got into the back of Jimmie Johnson and sent the pair of them spinning on Lap 85. Biffle was able to keep the No. 16 out of the wall, preventing any serious damage, and his team was able to get him back on track and keep him on the lead lap. That is, until a Lap 229 caution sent Biffle sliding along the wall. Get more pit data with RaceView. 16. Danica Patrick , No. 10 Chevrolet, Stewart-Haas Racing It must feel like a successful day if you beat your boss, but Patrick's finish at Kansas was something of a disappointment when considering her top-10 finish at the track earlier this year. Patrick is yet to score a top-five finish, and with her seventh-place run in the books, Kansas would've been a natural place to earn it. Compared to her qualifying effort of 29th, however, 16th place is a big improvement. 17. Tony Stewart , No. 14 Chevrolet, Stewart-Haas Racing Despite starting in the top 10, Stewart was a lap down when the Stewart-Haas Racing No. 41 hit the wall. The team's boss would get the free pass, getting Stewart's No. 14 back on the lead lap. Stewart hasn't had a top-10 finish since stepping away from racing in the wake of Kevin Ward Jr.'s death. Perhaps as the season's end nears and as the healing process continues, Stewart will return to championship form. 18. Clint Bowyer , No 15 Toyota, Michael Waltrip Racing It wasn't very long into the Hollywood Casino 400 when the No. 15 went down a lap. Not long after, on Lap 70, a caution put Bowyer right back at the end of the lead lap. He'd do his best to move forward, especially on restarts, but couldn't get much done. A bit of damage in the wreck on Lap 85 didn't help, and Bowyer would end his first race as a dad mired in the middle of the pack. 19. Ricky Stenhouse Jr ., No. 17 Ford, Roush Fenway Racing It's been two weeks in a row where Stenhouse has finished in 19th. However, the driver took the blame for an early mistake that put the No. 17 team two laps down, making the lead-lap finish something they had to work for. Stenhouse's takeaway was that the team is gaining every week, so we'll see how the Roush Fenway Racing team fares in the coming weeks. 20. Marcos Ambrose , No. 9 Ford, Richard Petty Motorsports Now that Ambrose knows his time in NASCAR is limited, it seems a burden has been lifted off of him. He spent several laps in the top 10 at Kansas, earning his 15th top-20 finish of the season and improving on his earlier Kansas finish of 24th. He may have ruffled some feathers, however, making contact with Greg Biffle before the driver hit the wall. 21. Landon Cassill , No. 40 Chevrolet, Hillman Racing Cassill's 21st-place finish at Kansas was his third-best of the season, and best finish since May at Talladega. Cassill started in 35th, making his way up as high as 18th in the Hollywood Casino 400 . He finished 42nd at Kansas earlier this year. 22. Kasey Kahne , No. 5 Chevrolet, Hendrick Motorsports The Hendrick Motorsports driver held the lead on the Lap 166 restart, but couldn't hold off the speed of Kevin Harvick and Joey Logano , barely keeping the front position as the pack passed the green flag. He'd bang the wall several times on Lap 235, spending over a minute and a half on pit road for damages, finishing the race two laps down and falling 25 points behind Joey Logano in the Chase standings. Get more pit data with RaceView. 23. Cole Whitt , No. 26 Toyota, BK Racing Despite finishing the race three laps down, Whitt earned his best finish since visiting Pocono in August, where he ended the race in 21st. He improved 16 positions on his starting spot of 39th, making him the third biggest mover of the Hollywood Casino 400 . Get more in-race driver stats with RaceView. 24. Michael Annett , No. 7 Chevrolet, Tommy Baldwin Racing With 3 DNFs in the past eight races, Annett has seen some difficult competitions. Yet when he has a good car, he shows he can do a lot with it -- he has 10 top-25 finishes this season, yet an average finish of 29.3, showing the inconsistency of the team. They should see potential, however, in the fact that their driver had the seventh-most positions gained with 12. Get more in-race driver stats with RaceView. 25. Jamie McMurray , No. 1 Chevrolet, Chip Ganassi Racing After starting 14th, Jamie McMurray took the lead from Kevin Harvick on Lap 44. "I have a weird noise in here, like a tire's coming apart," McMurray reported on Lap 50. A caution on Lap 70 would give the No. 1 team a chance to reinforce a side panel and still get their driver back out in first, but he couldn't hold on to the front spot. Continuous troubles left the McDriver finishing laps down after 27 laps led. Get in-race driver audio with RaceView. 26. Reed Sorenson , No. 36 Chevrolet, Tommy Baldwin Racing With an average finish of 30.4, Sorenson should be more than satisfied with a finish of 26th. His earlier outing at Kansas resulted in a 32nd-place finish, though some of the positions gained can be attributed to bad luck by some of the series' top drivers. 27. David Ragan , No. 34 Ford, Front Row Motorsports His best finish since visiting Atlanta Motor Speedway five races earlier, Ragan's 27th-place effort is more impressive when considering his starting position of 37th. He also started in 37th last week at Dover, but was only able to earn a 31st-place finish. 28. Casey Mears , No. 13 Chevrolet, Germain Racing Mears' outing at Kansas was mediocre at best. Despite several drivers ahead of him spending time in the garage and giving up positions, Mears finished two places behind where he started, five laps down. 29. J.J. Yeley, No. 83 Toyota, BK Racing With his first effort in the 20s, Yeley earned his best finish of the season at Kansas. He qualified in 38th, giving him nine positions gained in the race -- 11th-best in the race. Get more in-race driver stats with RaceView. 30. David Gilliland , No. 38 Ford, Front Row Motorsports Improving seven positions from his earlier trip to Kansas Speedway , Gilliland put down a performance perfectly in line with his average finish of 30.8. 31. Aric Almirola , No. 43 Ford, Richard Petty Motorsports Almirola's trip to the Chase was short lived, but even if he had made it to the second round, his performance at Kansas certainly would have made it difficult to go any farther. He qualified third, but by Lap 120 fell to 35th and would spend the rest of the race battling to get back up the pack. Unfortunately, he wouldn't get far. 32. Alex Bowman , No. 23 Toyota, BK Racing After an initial fall from 33rd to 40th, Bowman would lead a steady charge for track position, making his way up to 32nd. His finish is right on par with his average for the season, which is 32.1. 33. Timmy Hill , No. 33 Chevrolet, Circle Sport In his eight starts, Hill has four DNFs, making even just a finish an achievement for the team. It was even better this weekend at Kansas, however; his 33rd-place effort is his best of the season. 34. Mike Wallace , No. 66 Toyota, Jay Robinson Racing In his third start of the season in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, Wallace tied his season-best finish, a 34th-place finish at Loudon. However, he did so this time with his worst starting position of the season, 43rd. 35. Michael McDowell , No. 95 Ford, Leavine Family Racing What goes around, comes around didn't seem to work for McDowell at Kansas Sunday. Despite working to help get debris off both the No. 22 and No. 41 grilles, McDowell was showered in unfortunate incidents, including contact with the wall and a pit road speeding penalty. He wasn't able to come back from it, finishing several positions off of his average of 30.7. 36. Brad Keselowski , No. 2 Ford, Team Penske Keselowski also fell victim to a right-front tire issue. "Damn, my steering wheel's almost straight," Keselowski commented to his team over the radio. The No. 2 team brought the car down pit road on Lap 149 hoping to fix the Miller Lite Ford, but the damage was too much, and they became the third Chase contender to head to the garage in the first race of the second round. He sits in 10th in the Chase standings, 39 points behind teammate Joey Logano . Get more in-race driver audio with RaceView. 37. Joey Gase , No. 32 Ford, Go FAS Racing Gase was able to say he beat drivers like Jimmie Johnson and Dale Earnhardt Jr . in only his second Sprint Cup Series start. It could have been even better had he not spun out between Turns 3 and 4, sending him several laps off the leader's pace. 38. Josh Wise , No. 98 Chevrolet, Phil Parsons Racing Though he saw the least damage, Wise got caught up in the Lap 85 wreck as Justin Allgaier got turned into his path. The incident follows a disappointing week at Dover International Speedway , where Wise suffered a DNF due to a suspension issue. Before these last two weeks, Wise had a 12-race stretch of finishing better than he had started. Let's hope that these two bad races were an anomaly and not the new trend. 39. Dale Earnhardt Jr ., No. 88 Chevrolet, Hendrick Motorsports After leading 45 laps, Earnhardt Jr. lost a right front tire and took a hard hit into the wall. The driver was fine -- "I'm happy about that," he said over the radio, noting the significant force with which he hit the wall -- but the No. 88 headed to the garage. If there's a silver lining in the incident, it was the way Junior handled the damage, complimenting his team for the solid race car they provided instead of lamenting the damage. He'd make it back to the track on Lap 181, but is second-to-last in the Chase standings. Get more in-race driver audio with RaceView. 40. Jimmie Johnson , No. 48 Chevrolet, Hendrick Motorsports Johnson's starting position of 32nd tied his worst of the season in the season-opener at Daytona. He finished fifth in that race and was moving up in the field this time when contact from Greg Biffle sent the six-time champion into the path of Justin Allgaier , and later the wall. As the worst finisher in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup's Contender Round, Johnson will have to do some serious work in the next two races to keep himself in title contention. "We've got to be on our game at Charlotte and Talladega," Johnson said as members of his and other Hendrick crews worked on the No. 48 in the garage. He's in last place among Chase contenders. Get more in-race driver audio with RaceView. 41. Justin Allgaier , No. 51 Chevrolet, HScott Motorsports Allgaier's involvement in the Lap 85 wreck sent the No. 51 to the garage after what looked to be a solid run by the team. He was running 24th when the incident happened, but couldn't make it any higher than 40th while dealing with the aftermath -- a damaged car. 42. Kurt Busch , No. 41 Chevrolet, Stewart-Haas Racing In the opening laps of the race, Kurt Busch couldn't find a car to help him get debris off the grille of his No. 41 Chevrolet. After several laps of monitoring the water temperature and pressure, the team gave it one more shot. "Let me know if it drops," crew chief Daniel Knost said. "If it doesn't, we need to pit." Things went from bad to worse when Busch was issued a speeding violation and had to serve a pass-through penalty. He'd restart in 42nd, and later hit the wall on Lap 78 due to a tire rub, sending him to the garage and ending his day. Get more in-race driver audio with RaceView. 43. Mike Bliss , No. 37 Chevrolet, Tommy Baldwin Racing Out of Bliss' seven starts in the Sprint Cup Series this season, five have been DNFs. He only completed 17 laps of the Hollywood Casino 400 , which, unfortunately, is not a low -- he only completed six laps in July at Loudon. MORE: READ: Latest Chase news PLAY: Monitor your Chase Grid Game picks WATCH: Latest NASCAR video FOLLOW LIVE: Get RaceVie FULL CHASE COVERAGE • Chase hub page • Chase Grid games • #MyChaseNation
Get all the on-track times for the weekend's NASCAR action RELATED: Track your picks in the Perfect Chase Grid Challenge and Chase Battle Grid Presented by Toyota All times ET TV LISTINGS / BUY TICKETS FOR KANSAS / WEEKEND TRACK EVENTS This week, the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and the NASCAR Nationwide Series head to Kansas Speedway. SUNDAY, OCTOBER 5: RACE-DAY RUNDOWN 12 p.m.: Driver/Crew Chief Meeting ( Watch live ) 1 p.m.: ESPN on air 1:19 p.m: Intro Honorary Starter: Chris McGivern, Vice President of Human Resources, Hollywood Casino at Kansas Speedway 1:19:30 p.m.: Intro Miss Sprint Cup: Kim Coon 1:20 p.m.: Drivers Introductions with NASCAR Special Awards 1:50 p.m.: Black Daggers Skydivers jump 2:02 p.m.: Presentation of Colors by: Kansas Army National Guard [accompanied on on stage by: Special Forces Operational Detachment Alpha 5312, from the 5th Special Forces Group (Airborne), located at Fort Campbell, KY] 2:02:20 p.m.: Invocation by: Reverend Tom Curran, President of Rockhurst University 2:02:45 p.m.: Intro National Anthem 2:03 p.m.: National Anthem: Stephanie Ramos, KMBC and KCWE Morning News Anchor & U.S. ARMY Reserve Captain 2:04:30 p.m.: Fly-by TOT: 10 RVs from the KC Flight Team 2:09:30 p.m.: "Drivers, start Your Engines" introduced by: Bob Sheldon, Vice President & General Manager, Hollywood Casino at Kansas Speedway VIDEO of Ned Yost, Manager, Kansas City Royals 2:18 p.m.: Start of the Hollywood Casino 400 (267 laps, 400 miles) ON TRACK -- 2 p.m.: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Hollywood Casino 400 (267 laps, 400 .5 miles), ESPN ( Get results ) PRESS CONFERENCES ( Watch live ) -- 5:30 p.m.: Post-NSCS race SPECIAL EVENTS ( Watch live ) -- Noon: Driver's meeting FRIDAY, OCTOBER 3: ON TRACK -- noon-12:50 p.m.: NASCAR Nationwide Series practice, FOX Sports 1 CANCELED -- 1-2:30 p.m.: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series practice, FOX Sports 1 ( Get results ) -- 4-5:30 p.m.: NASCAR Nationwide Series final practice, ESPN2 ( Get results ) -- 5:45 p.m.: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coors Light Pole Qualifying, ESPN2 ( Get results ) PRESS CONFERENCES ( Watch live ) -- 11 a.m.: Regan Smith -- 11:30 a.m.: Betty Jane France Humanitarian Award finalist announcement -- 11:45 a.m.: Dale Earnhardt Jr . -- Noon: Clint Bowyer -- 12:15 p.m.: Jimmie Johnson -- 2:30 p.m.: Carl Edwards -- 6:30 p.m.: Post-NSCS qualifying GARAGECAM PRESENTED BY MOBIL 1 ( Watch live ) -- 12:30 p.m.: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series GarageCam -- 3:30 p.m.: NASCAR Nationwide Series GarageCam SPECIAL EVENTS ( Watch live ) -- 11:15 a.m.: Miss Sprint Cup's live chat with Joey Logano SATURDAY, OCTOBER 4: ON TRACK -- 11-11:50 a.m.: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series practice, FOX Sports 1 ( Get results ) -- 12:15 p.m.: NASCAR Nationwide Series Coors Light Pole Qualifying, FOX Sports 2 ( Get results ) -- 2-2:50 p.m.: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series final practice, FOX Sports 2 ( Get results ) -- 3:30 p.m.: NASCAR Nationwide Series Kansas Lottery 300 (200 laps, 300 miles), ESPN ( Get results ) PRESS CONFERENCES ( Watch live ) -- 6:15 p.m.: Post-NNS race MORE: READ: Latest Chase news PLAY: Monitor your Chase Grid Game picks WATCH: Latest NASCAR video FOLLOW LIVE: Get RaceView