Published: Sun, May 14, 2017
USA | By Kelli Rowe

Ryan Blaney takes Kansas pole as 11 fail to pass inspection


The best of the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series will race for a win in the Go Bowling 400 at Kansas Speedway on Saturday night. "Everybody kind of moves around there quite a bit, it's a fun, fast track".

It's the Go Bowling 400 from Kansas Speedway.

· Jimmie Johnson (8.905) is the only active Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series driver with more than one start at Kansas Speedway with an average finishing position inside the top 10.

Of the dark horse drivers, Regan Smith is someone I think has a shot. That was the only time we got rained out from a night race and had to come back Sunday during the day.

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New contenders like Ryan Blaney, who sits on the pole, and Ricky Stenhouse Jr., from a suddenly revitalized Roush Racing, have to be taken into account. This is the 11th of 36 races this season. He's finished second in the last two May races. Fantasy owners should be taking a close look at him this week. It's now time to fly out for our next race and this weekend we're racing in Kansas City at Kansas Speedway. His average start is 11.6 and his average finish is 16.8.

"Any win this year, right, would be good".

O'Donnell said the only minor tweak NASCAR already is considering involves the beginning of stage two and no counting the caution laps after stage one as part of that second stage. Joe Gibbs Racing is still looking for their first win, but will it come at Kansas? Although he finished 23rd at Talladega Superspeedway on Sunday, he was coming off of three consecutive top-five finishes. It's not a whole lot different than the Cincinnati Reds. Look for all four teams to run well this season with veteran Kenseth leading the pack.

Mile And Half Master Harvick.: There hasn't been a driver with more laps led at mile and half tracks than Kevin Harvick. Patrick's series career-best finish is sixth (Atlanta), and the best finish by a female driver in the MENCS is Sarah Christian's fifth-place finish (Heidelberg) in 1949.

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Historically, Harvick has been one of the series' top drivers at Kansas. Truex and the #78 team have been Toyota's best performing combination in 2017 and they have been up front all year. Points leader Kyle Larson starts inside the top 10 and was fast in practice too.

Larson has been a model of consistency all season and that should continue this weekend at Kansas. I know it comes as no shock to anyone reading this blog, that Kansas City is my home town. It's impossible to overlook that level of dominance at intermediate tracks.

It shouldn't come as a surprise that five of the six Cup Series drivers with multiple stage wins this season now sit in the top seven in points standings, including all of the top four drivers. "We've led a lot of laps here and had a really good track record running well and haven't been able to win yet".

Three laps after a restart on Lap 139 of 167, Rhodes won a sustained side-by-side battle against Busch and pulled ahead. Jones qualified 12th in that race and was running in fourth place when he crashed in turn four. That being said, you still can't ignore the dominator categories, but I don't think you can afford to roster more than two drivers starting up front.

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Meanwhile, those who failed to even get on the track in time for the first 20-minute qualifying period included a Who's Who of NASCAR, including seven-time Cup champion Jimmie Johnson and Hendrick teammates Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Kasey Kahne, as well as Clint Bowyer of Emporia. Teams only go through a quick safety and fuel cell check prior to practice, though they can voluntarily go through any of the four technical areas, so many don't know they're out of compliance until they're trying to get on the track for qualifying.

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