John Hunter Nemechek will split the 2015 NCWTS season with his father Joe Play: NASCAR Fantasy Live " Vote: Ultimate Daytona Challenge DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- John Hunter Nemechek might not have years of experience propelling him into NASCAR's national ranks, but he may have something better -- the lessons handed down from his father, entering his 26th year competing in NASCAR's top divisions. But Joe Nemechek , 51, has shown he's not just a grandstand-watching dad with a vested interest in his 17-year-old son's budding career. He's still getting his fingers dirty under the hood and taking his turn in the driver's seat, making his father-son mentorship more hands-on than most. "He's the hardest worker that you'll find around, the hardest-working driver, I should say," the younger Nemechek said. "Luckily, he's passed that off to me and I've learned a great deal from him. If you want to do something, you've got to work hard at it and you can't give up. I think his drive and motivation to win races and make me successful before he retires is something that he really wants me to do." The elder Nemechek's independent spirit hasn't skipped a generation, as John Hunter Nemechek prepares for his third partial season in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. The father-son duo will split the schedule in 2015, with Joe Nemechek racing on the circuit's larger tracks until John Hunter turns 18 on June 11, at which point his NASCAR-mandated age restriction to tracks 1.25 miles or shorter will be lifted. That time frame would clear John Hunter Nemechek to get his first whirl at an intermediate track at 1.5-mile Kentucky Speedway on July 9. "I definitely feel like I'm ready for it," he said. "I feel like getting to those bigger tracks is something I've wanted to do for a while. Last year, sitting on the sidelines when Dad was running the big tracks and I was running the short tracks was kind of frustrating, just because, 'OK, I know I can do this. When am I going to get the chance?' Definitely we're counting down the days." In the meantime, the younger Nemechek has methodically begun to add his name to a stellar group of second-generation speedsters such as Chase Elliott and Ryan Blaney, both a few years older and with more experience on their side. John Hunter's 10-race slate on smaller tracks in the Camping World Truck Series last season yielded a career-best fifth place at New Hampshire Motor Speedway and four other finishes of sixth and seventh, efforts he hopes are building blocks to more strides in 2015. Those first steps, plus an offseason victory in the prestigious Snowball Derby race for Late Model cars, have helped John Hunter exceed his father's expectations thus far -- sometimes surprisingly so. "You look at a lot of the kids that are sons of dads that raced, they've all grown up around the sport," Joe Nemechek said. "I think the biggest thing that helps them is just listening to all of us dads just talk about what our cars are doing and this and that, and they learn all that. The first time he was in the car, he's like, 'yeah, it's doing this, this and this,' and I looked at him like, 'how do you know that?' They've heard us talk, our body language and all that other stuff, and they just know." John Hunter Nemechek has certainly picked up on the mechanical know-how, helping his father in the shop by running parts, changing tires and becoming handy with a wrench around the family shop. But the influence has transcended the nuts-and-bolts side of things, as the teenager has also learned by example how to carry himself in the garage. For that, John Hunter Nemechek is grateful. "It means everything to me," the younger Nemechek said. "Without him, I wouldn't be here right now. He's put his time and effort and pretty much his life into making my career jump-start. I can't thank him enough for it." MORE: READ: Latest NASCAR news PLAY: Sign up for Fantasy Live WATCH: Latest NASCAR video FOLLOW LIVE: Get RaceView today FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
No. 29 car failed post-qualifying inspection, shuffling lineup RELATED: Play NASCAR Fantasy Live " Sign up for RaceView today Joe Nemechek 's qualifying time for the GEICO 500 (Sunday, 2 p.m. ET, ESPN) was disallowed, NASCAR officials said after Coors Light Pole Qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series . Nemechek's No. 29 car, which had qualified 24th, failed post-qualifying inspection for an improperly sealed oil tank encasement. Reed Sorenson , who was initially thought to have missed the race, was replaced in the field based on his qualifying speed. Sorenson posted a speed of 189.305 mph in the opening round of group qualifying. The driver of the No. 36 Tommy Baldwin Racing Chevrolet will line up 36th in Sunday's field. Sorenson has one top-10 finish at the 2.66-mile track, which came in 2007. By making the GEICO 500 grid, Sorenson has now been in the starting lineup for every race this year. Nemechek has made 15 Sprint Cup Series starts this year but has failed to make it into the field in both of his tries in the No. 29 Toyota. Nemechek joined Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and Justin Allgaier as the drivers who failed to make the 43-car field at Talladega. MORE: READ: Latest Chase news PLAY: Monitor your Chase Grid Game picks WATCH: Latest NASCAR video FOLLOW LIVE: Get RaceView FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
Joe Nemechek spins and creates a close call for Trevor Bayne and Austin Dillon.
Opening practice leader Kasey Kahne posted top-five speed in final session RELATED: Final practice results " First practice results After posting the a speed just shy of a top-five in Friday's opening practice at Charlotte Motor Speedway , Erik Jones topped the leaderboard in the night's final session. The No. 4 driver wheeled his Kyle Busch Motorsports ride at 180.693 mph around the 1.5-mile oval. Behind Jones was NTS Motorsports' Scott Lagasse Jr. , who is in the No. 31 ride this weekend. Lagasse Jr. posted a high speed of 180.668 mph late in practice to move to the second-fastest position on the leaderboard. Jones' KBM teammate Matt Tifft was third-fastest, recording a high speed of 180.608 mph in his No. 51 Toyota. Kasey Kahne , the top performer in the opening practice session, continued to post fast lap times, using a high speed of 180.493 mph to nab the fourth spot on the leaderboard. BK Racing 's Tyler Reddick completed the top five with a high speed of 180.228 mph. After posting the 13th-fastest speed in the opening practice, reigning series champion Matt Crafton climbed the leaderboard in the second session, posting the sixth-fastest speed in the field. The trucks are back on track Friday at 5:45 p.m. ET for Keystone Light Pole Qualifying at Charlotte Motor Speedway (coverage on FOX Sports 1). MORE: Complete weekend schedule for Charlotte and Iowa Practice 1 Related: Full Practice 1 results Propelling his No. 00 truck around the track at 180.258 mph, Kasey Kahne soared to the top of the leaderboard during Thursday's opening three-hour practice for the NC Education Lottery 200 at Charlotte Motor Speedway . The Sprint Cup Series veteran will be making his fifth career start in the Camping World Truck Series on Friday -- his first since 2012 -- in the newly minted No. 00 JR Motorsports Chevrolet. NEMCO Motorsports' Joe Nemechek made a late run to grab the second-fastest spot on the leaderboard, wheeling his No. 8 truck at 179.856 mph around the 1.5-mile oval. Rounding out the top five were NTS Motorsports' Daniel Hemric (179.581 mph), GMS Racing's Spencer Gallagher (179.485 mph) and Kyle Busch Motorsports' Justin Boston (179.313 mph). Boston's teammate Erik Jones just missed the mark, his 179.152 mph-lap qualifying him for the sixth spot on the leaderboard. Sprint Cup veteran Brad Keselowski posted the 10th-fastest speed of 178.501 mph. The Team Penske driver will be making his second Truck Series start of the season on Friday night at Charlotte. Reigning Truck Series champion Matt Crafton wheeled his No. 88 ride around the 1.5-mile track at a high speed of 177.626 mph, qualifying him for the 13th spot on the leaderboard. Thursday's opening practice saw a pair of cautions in the first hour for debris, but no wrecks. FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
In 2004 “Front Row” Joe Nemechek swept the weekend at the Kansas Speedway with two close and thrilling victories.
Recently turned 17-year-old leads first career laps in Truck Series
Young driver has four top-10 finishes in six series starts this season
A stats-based look ahead to the 11th race of the Sprint Cup season MORE: See the Chase Grid entering Kansas DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (May 4, 2015) – Below is a look at some of the top statistical performers at Kansas Speedway in Kansas City, Kansas going into the SpongeBob SquarePants 400 on May 9 (7:30 p.m. ET on FOX Sports 1). KANSAS-SPECIFIC STATISTICS Greg Biffle (No. 16 Cheez-It/SpongeBob SquarePants Ford) · Two wins, seven top fives, nine top 10s; one pole · Average finish of 10.9 · Average Running Position of 10.0, fourth-best · Driver Rating of 102.8, fourth-best · 207 Fastest Laps Run, fourth-most · 900 Green Flag Passes, ninth-most · Average Green Flag Speed of 167.679 mph, sixth-fastest · 2,868 Laps in the Top 15 (77.8%), third-most · 526 Quality Passes (passes of cars in the top 15 under green), fourth-most Dale Earnhardt Jr . (No. 88 Nationwide Chevrolet) · Two top fives, eight top 10s; one pole · Average finish of 16.6 · Driver Rating of 91.3, 10th-best · 133 Fastest Laps Run, ninth-most · 887 Green Flag Passes, 10th-most · Average Green Flag Speed of 167.349 mph, 11th-fastest · 2,103 Laps in the Top 15 (61.5%), 10th-most · 442 Quality Passes, eighth-most Carl Edwards (No. 19 STANLEY Toyota) · Six top fives, 11 top 10s · Average finish of 10.1 · Average Running Position of 12.2, eighth-best · Driver Rating of 96.8, seventh-best · 132 Fastest Laps Run, 10th-most · 956 Green Flag Passes, sixth-most · Average Green Flag Speed of 167.562 mph, seventh-fastest · 2,552 Laps in the Top 15 (69.2%), sixth-most · 538 Quality Passes, third-most Jeff Gordon (No. 24 American Red Cross Chevrolet) · Three wins, 10 top fives, 12 top 10s · Average finish of 10.3 · Average Running Position of 9.9, third-best · Driver Rating of 100.5, fifth-best · 157 Fastest Laps Run, fifth-most · 866 Green Flag Passes, 12th-most · Average Green Flag Speed of 167.910 mph, third-fastest · Series-high 3,064 Laps in the Top 15 (83.1%) · 571 Quality Passes, second-most Kevin Harvick (No. 4 Jimmy John’s/Budweiser Chevrolet) · One win, three top fives, eight top 10s; three poles · Average finish of 11.5 · Average Running Position of 11.3, sixth-best · Driver Rating of 100.4, sixth-best · 226 Fastest Laps Run, third-most · Series-high 1,000 Green Flag Passes · Average Green Flag Speed of 167.769 mph, fourth-fastest · 2,667 Laps in the Top 15 (72.4%), fifth-most · 487 Quality Passes, fifth-most Jimmie Johnson (No. 48 Lowe's Chevrolet) · Two wins, six top fives, 14 top 10s; three poles · Average finish of 9.5 · Average Running Position of 9.4, second-best · Series-best Driver Rating of 112.1 · Series-high 478 Fastest Laps Run · 969 Green Flag Passes, fifth-most · Average Green Flag Speed of 167.998 mph, second-fastest · 3,045 Laps in the Top 15 (82.6%), second-most · Series-high 619 Quality Passes Kasey Kahne (No. 5 Great Clips Chevrolet) · Four top fives, seven top 10s; three poles · Average finish of 13.8 · Average Running Position of 13.2, ninth-best · Driver Rating of 92.7, ninth-best · 155 Fastest Laps Run, sixth-most · 989 Green Flag Passes, third-most · Average Green Flag Speed of 167.483 mph, eighth-fastest · 2,434 Laps in the Top 15 (66.0%), seventh-most · 473 Quality Passes, sixth-most Matt Kenseth (No. 20 Dollar General Toyota) · Two wins, six top fives, 10 top 10s; two poles · Average finish of 14.2 · Average Running Position of 10.7, fifth-best · Driver Rating of 105.6, second-best · 240 Fastest Laps Run, second-most · Average Green Flag Speed of 167.723 mph, fifth-fastest · 2,775 Laps in the Top 15 (75.3%), fourth-most · 453 Quality Passes, seventh-most Brad Keselowski (No. 2 Avaya Ford) · One win, two top fives, four top 10s · Average finish of 13.1 · Average Running Position of 14.3, 12th-best · Driver Rating of 88.1, 12th-best Kyle Larson (No. 42 Target Chevrolet) · One top five, one top 10 · Average finish of 7.0 · Series-best Average Running Position of 9.3 · Driver Rating of 103.9, third-best · Series-best Average Green Flag Speed of 168.679 mph Tony Stewart (No. 14 Bass Pro Shops/Mobil 1 Chevrolet) · Two wins, six top fives, nine top 10s · Average finish of 13.1 · Average Running Position of 11.6, seventh-best · Driver Rating of 95.3, eighth-best · 142 Fastest Laps Run, seventh-most · Average Green Flag Speed of 167.416 mph, 10th-fastest · 2,213 Laps in the Top 15 (64.7%), eighth-most · 439 Quality Passes, 11th-most Martin Truex Jr . (No. 78 Furniture Row/Visser Precision Chevrolet) · Four top fives, four top 10s · Average finish of 18.2 · Average Running Position of 14.1, 10th-best · Driver Rating of 90.4, 11th-best · 134 Fastest Laps Run, eighth-most · Average Green Flag Speed of 167.442 mph, ninth-fastest · 2,060 Laps in the Top 15 (60.3%), 11th-most The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series 2015 Top 16 at Kansas Speedway Rank Driver Races Poles Wins Top Fives Top 10s DNFs Average Finish Driver Rating 1 Kevin Harvick 18 3 1 3 8 1 11.5 100.4 2 Martin Truex Jr . 13 0 0 4 4 1 18.2 90.4 3 Jimmie Johnson 17 3 2 6 14 1 9.5 112.1 4 Joey Logano 11 0 1 3 3 1 19.8 79.7 5 Dale Earnhardt Jr . 17 1 0 2 8 2 16.6 91.3 6 Brad Keselowski 10 0 1 2 4 0 13.1 88.1 7 Jamie McMurray 16 0 0 0 3 2 20.3 73.4 8 Matt Kenseth 18 2 2 6 10 2 14.2 105.6 9 Kasey Kahne 15 3 0 4 7 1 13.8 92.7 10 Denny Hamlin 13 0 1 3 4 0 14.5 87.9 11 Paul Menard 12 0 0 1 5 0 15.6 80.3 12 Aric Almirola 6 0 0 0 3 1 18.2 84.4 13 Jeff Gordon 18 0 3 10 12 2 10.3 100.5 14 Ryan Newman 18 0 1 3 5 3 18.0 71.9 15 Kurt Busch 18 1 0 1 4 2 19.0 83.7 16 Danica Patrick 5 0 0 0 1 2 24.6 59.0 * – Based on last 14 races at Kansas Speedway . Kansas Speedway Data Season Race #: 11 of 36 (05-10-15) Track Size : 1.5-miles Banking/Turn 1 & 2 : 17 to 20 degrees Banking/Turn 3 & 4 : 17 to 20 degrees Banking/Frontstretch : 10 degrees Banking/Backstretch : 5 degrees Frontstretch Length : 2,685 feet Backstretch Length : 2,207 feet Race Length : 267 laps / 400 miles Top 10 Driver Ratings at Kansas Jimmie Johnson ........................ 112.1 Matt Kenseth ............................. 105.6 Kyle Larson ............................... 103.9 Greg Biffle ................................ 102.8 Jeff Gordon .............................. 100.5 Kevin Harvick ............................ 100.4 Carl Edwards .............................. 96.8 Tony Stewart ............................... 95.3 Kasey Kahne .............................. 92.7 Dale Earnhardt Jr . ....................... 91.3 Note: Driver Ratings compiled from 2005-2014 races (14 total) among active drivers at Kansas Speedway . Qualifying/Race Data 2014 pole winner : Kevin Harvick , Chevrolet 194.252 mph, 27.799 secs. 05-08-14 2014 race winner : Jeff Gordon , Chevrolet 128.149 mph, (03:07:31), 05-10-14 Track qualifying record: Kevin Harvick , Chevrolet 197.773 mph, 27.304 secs. 10-3-14 Track race record: Denny Hamlin , Toyota 144.122 mph, (02:59:51), 04-22-12 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 18 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Kansas Speedway , one NSCS event from 2001 - 2010 and two races per year since 2011. · 117 drivers have competed in at least one NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Kansas; 89 in more than one. · Five drivers have started all 18 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 Kevin Harvick , 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 and fall 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). · 12 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). · Four manufacturers have won at Kansas Speedway in the NSCS; led by Chevrolet with nine victories, Ford with four, Toyota and Dodge each have two. · Four of the 18 (22.2%) 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 18 (27.7%) NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Kansas Speedway have been won from the front row: four from the pole and one from second-place. · 11 of the 18 (61.1%) NASCAR Sprint Cup races at Kansas Speedway have been won from a top-10 starting position. · Two of the 18 (11.1%) 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: Joey Logano (10/05/2014 – 24 years, 4 months, 11 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) and Carl Edwards (11). · Joey Logano leads all active drivers in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in average starting position at Kansas Speedway with an 10.818. · Kyle Larson (7.000) leads the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in average finishing position at Kansas Speedway – Jimmie Johnson (9.529) is the only other driver with an average finish inside the top 10. · 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 18 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 (13). · 2011 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series champion and 2013 NASCAR Nationwide Series champion Austin Dillon (10/09/2011), Ryan Blaney (5/10/2014) 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 18. · 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 17 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 29 16 10/5/2014 Danica Patrick 9 7 5/10/2014 Danica Patrick 29 43 10/6/2013 Danica Patrick 25 25 4/21/2013 Danica Patrick 40 32 10/21/2012 NASCAR in Kansas · There have been 18 NASCAR Sprint Cup races in Kansas. Track Name City NSCS Kansas Speedway Kansas City 18 · 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 MILESTONES - KANSAS DRIVER HAS NEEDS MILESTONE Kyle Larson 49 1 50th NSCS Start - Larson is tied with Boris Said and Justin Allgaier for 272nd on the all-time NSCS starts list with 49 starts. Justin Allgaier 49 1 50th NSCS Start - Allgaier is tied with Boris Said and Kyle Larson for 272nd on the all-time NSCS starts list with 49 starts. Tony Stewart 48 2 50th NSCS Win - Stewart is 12th on the all-time NSCS wins list. Matt Kenseth 32 1 33rd NSCS Win - Kenseth is tied with Dale Jarrett for 22nd on the all-time NSCS wins li
The 16-year-old will make his first Truck Series start of 2014 at Martinsville on March 29
Get caught up for the SpongeBob SquarePants 400 (Sat., 7:30 p.m. ET, FS1) SHOP: NASCAR gear of all your favorite drivers What: 5th Annual SpongeBob SquarePants 400 When: Saturday, May 9, 2015 Where: Kansas Speedway , Kansas City, Kansas TV/Radio: FOX Sports 1, MRN/SiriusXM Distance: 267 laps (400.5 miles) Time: 7:30 p.m. ET Pit Road Speed: 45 mph Caution Car Speed: 55 mph Competition Caution: Lap 25 On The Front Row " Full starting lineup " See all 43 cars 1. Joey Logano , Team Penske No. 22 Ford (192.397 mph) 2. Kasey Kahne , Hendrick Motorsports No. 5 Chevrolet (191.911 mph) Failed To Qualify Brendan Gaughan , Premium Motorsports No. 62 Chevrolet Fastest In Practice First Practice: Kevin Harvick , Stewart-Haas Racing No. 4 Chevrolet (190.772 mph) " Results Final Practice: Erik Jones , Joe Gibbs Racing No. 18 Toyota (191.306 mph) " Results Driver Rating Best driver rating average at Kansas based on past 14 races: Jimmie Johnson , Hendrick Motorsports No. 48 Chevrolet (112.1) Matt Kenseth , Joe Gibbs Racing No. 20 Toyota (105.6) Kyle Larson , Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates No. 42 Chevrolet (103.9) Greg Biffle , Roush Fenway Racing No. 16 Ford (102.8) Jeff Gordon , Hendrick Motorsports No. 24 Chevrolet (100.5) Defending SpongeBob SquarePants 400 Champion Jeff Gordon , Hendrick Motorsports No. 24 Chevrolet Former Kansas Winners In Field Jeff Gordon (3); Greg Biffle , Jimmie Johnson , Matt Kenseth , Tony Stewart (2), Denny Hamlin , Kevin Harvick , Brad Keselowski , Joey Logano , Ryan Newman (1) Happy and Sad Former Kansas winner Kevin Harvick had an interesting Friday at Kansas Speedway , topping the first practice session with a speed of 190.722 mph, then inexplicably placed 35th in the final session at 185.471 mph. The Mentee Teaches Carl Edwards has a new teammate this weekend in 18-year-old Erik Jones , filling in for the injured Kyle Busch in the No. 18 Toyota. Jones just happened to top final practice — heading into what will be his first Sprint Cup Series start. "I haven't talked with Erik (Jones) much. I talked to him a little bit today. As fast as he is … the advice will be going the other direction it seems like. He's very good and it's really exciting to see someone that fast. A Racetrack Under the Sea? Saturday’s forecast calls for heavy rain, putting the status of throwing the green flag into question. Thankfully, SpongeBob SquarePants – whom the race is named after – is, you know, a sponge, so hopefully he can aid the Air Titans in drying the track if it's necessary. RELATED: Live weather updates from Kansas Coming From the Back Brad Keselowski holds the distinction of winning after qualifying deepest in the field, winding up in Victory Lane after starting 25th in 2011. The race has been won from the pole four times ( Joe Nemechek , 2004; Johnson, 2008; Kenseth, 2013; Harvick 2013). Home Sweet Home? Three Sprint Cup Series drivers consider Kansas/Missouri home, but not all three consider Kansas Speedway their home track. Here's what Clint Bowyer (Emporia, Kansas), Carl Edwards (Columbia, Missouri) and Jamie McMurray (Joplin, Missouri) said what a win would mean for them. Bowyer: "It would be awesome to win here. We're going to need a hospital if we win here. … If we win, there could be a flamethrower in Victory Lane." Edwards: "The thought of winning here, winning that ( Camping World Truck Series) race here, I could hear the crowd over the engine – I'd never heard that before. I never had anything like that happen. There's so many people from my hometown and so many people that I've raced with that are going to be here, to run well here would be special." McMurray: "This isn't a home track because we've all raced here the same amount of times. It's not like we grew up racing here. It would be special to win here, but it would be special to win anywhere." FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule