NASCAR Playoff Drivers Racing for a Win in the Winds of Kansas

NASCAR Cup Cars racing at Kansas Speedway 05-15-22
NASCAR Cup Cars racing at Kansas Speedway 05-15-22 (Photo credit: YouTube)

This week the NASCAR Cup Series Playoff Drivers will be hoping to score a win at Kansas Speedway in the Hollywood Casino 400 Presented by Barstool Sportsbook.

Last week’s post-season opening race demonstrated that the 16 drivers on the Playoff grid will not necessarily be the dominant cars throughout the Playoffs. Many had issues and none scored the win.

NASCAR Cup Series Playoff Standings Heading to Kansas Speedway (9/11)

RankPlayoff DriversPointsRace WinsStage WinsPlayoff PtsPts From Cutoff
1Joey Logano2,065252538
2William Byron2,059241532
3Denny Hamlin2,057231330
4Christopher Bell2,055121128
5Tyler Reddick2,050221223
6Ryan Blaney2,047051320
7Kyle Larson2,044231917
8Ross Chastain2,042252015
9Chase Elliott2,041454014
10Alex Bowman2,03711610
11Kyle Busch2,03513118
12Daniel Suarez2,0291272
13Austin Cindric2,027116-2
14Austin Dillon2,025105-4
15Chase Briscoe2,019149-10
16Kevin Harvick2,0162012-13
*Drivers from 13-16 currently below cutline and in danger of elimination from Playoffs

The Kansas Speedway has multiple grooves to race in allowing for cars to get three and possibly four-wide at times. That can allow for advancing on the track OR crashing on the track. If the day is windy (which is often the case in Kansa), there will be a factor that teams and drivers really cannot account for in the set-up of the cars.

Here is the data for the track and race that the teams and drivers can account for.

Kansas Speedway Data:
Track Size: 1.5-miles
Banking/Turns: 17 to 20 degrees
Banking/Frontstretch: 10 degrees
Banking/Backstretch: 5 degrees
Frontstretch Length:  2,685 feet
Backstretch Length:  2,207 feet

Hollywood Casino 400 Data:
Season Race #: 28 of 36 (10-11-22)
NCS Playoff Race #: 2 of 10
Race Length: 267 laps / 400.5 miles
Stage 1 Length: 80 laps
Stage 2 Length: 85 laps
Final Stage Length: 102 laps

Here are how the 16 NASCAR Cup Series Playoff drivers stack up at Kansas Speedway.

RankDriverRacesPolesWinsTop FivesTop 10sDNFsAverage FinishDriver Rating  
1Joey Logano2623810417.187.7  
2William Byron90015216.185.1  
3Denny Hamlin28031011213.792.0  
4Christopher Bell51013014.887.7  
5Tyler Reddick60002017.785.6  
6Ryan Blaney151036216.995.0  
7Kyle Larson150157214.6101.1  
8Ross Chastain70001122.459.2  
9Chase Elliott130168011.297.9  
10Alex Bowman140026116.975.5  
11Kyle Busch29021014415.294.0  
12Daniel Suárez110001222.364.0  
13Austin Cindric20000016.575.7  
14Austin Dillon180005116.373.8  
15Chase Briscoe3000002155.9  
16Kevin Harvick3353121919.1108.5  
 * – Based on last 28 races at Kansas Speedway (2005 – 2022).

Will one of the Playoff drivers earn that automatic advance to the next round by scoring the win in Kansas?

Will there be another “spoiler” with a driver not playoff eligible winning the race?

Will more Playoff drivers have issues and make things harder to advance in the post-season as a result?

These questions and more will be answered when the winds blow and cars race at Kansas Speedway this Sunday, September 11th starting at 2 p.m. central time (3 p.m. eastern time) in the Hollywood Casino 400 Presented by Barstool Sportsbook

By: Buck Stevens

Buck Stevens