The 5 drivers with the best chance to win at Kansas
The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series heads to America's heartland this weekend with the running of Saturday night's SpongeBob SquarePants 400 at Kansas Speedway (7 p.m. ET, FOX Sports 1). Here are the five drivers with the best chance to go to Victory Lane, starting with who we believe is least likely to win among the five. Don't stop at Driver No. 1, however. There's a 'honorable mention' driver among this week's group of contenders.
NASCAR via Getty ImagesChris Trotman
5. Dale Earnhardt Jr.
Dale Earnhardt Jr. has never won in 17 starts at Kansas Speedway, but NASCAR's most popular driver does have a pole and eight top-10 finishes at the 1.5-mile venue. Junior led 45 laps here last October before a tire failure sent his car into the wall and ended his day. But, perhaps most importantly of all, Earnhardt comes into the weekend riding the momentum of his big win last Sunday at Talladega, where he went to Victory Lane for the first time in 2015 and locked up a berth in the Chase for the Sprint Cup.
Getty ImagesJerry Markland
4. Joey Logano
With a dominant win at Kansas Speedway last fall, Joey Logano punched his ticket to the Eliminator Round of the Chase for the Sprint Cup. The Team Penske driver has finished no worse than fourth in his past three Kansas starts after finishing no better than 15th in his first eight outings here. Logano has been strong in 2015, opening the season with a triumph in the Daytona 500 and recording eight top-10 finishes -- including five top fives -- in 10 outings.
NASCAR via Getty ImagesBrian Lawdermilk
3. Jeff Gordon
With three wins at Kansas Speedway -- 2001, 2002 and last year's spring race -- Jeff Gordon stands alone as the all-time victories leader at the track. Prior to last weekend's last-lap wreck and 31st-place finish at Talladega, the four-time Sprint Cup Series champion had posted six consecutive top-10 results. Kansas is as good of a place as any for him earn a win and with it a spot in the 2015 Chase for the Sprint Cup.
NASCAR via Getty ImagesTodd Warshaw
2. Kevin Harvick
Kevin Harvick's only win at Kansas Speedway came in the fall of 2013, but the reigning Sprint Cup Series champion has to be among the favorites this weekend based simply on the speed he has consistently demonstrated on the intermediate tracks this season. With his eighth-place finish last Sunday at Talladega, Harvick has now finished in the top 10 a remarkable nine times in the season's first 10 races. Don't expect any less at Kansas.
1. Jimmie Johnson
No driver is on more of a roll right now than Jimmie Johnson, the six-time Sprint Cup Series champion. With a runner-up finish to teammate Dale Earnhardt Jr. this past weekend at Talladega, Johnson has come home no worse than third in the past four events. He's the prohibitive favorite on Saturday night when he will be seeking his third Kansas win and first since the fall of 2011.
NASCAR via Getty ImagesSarah Glenn
While it seems unlikely that Danica Patrick will pick up her first career Sprint Cup Series win this weekend at Kansas, given the competition she faces, anything is possible. One year ago, the Stewart-Haas Racing driver finished a then-career-best seventh at Kansas and impressed with some bold moves throughout the race. Patrick already has two top-10 finishes this year, and is eager to lure a new primary sponsor after last week's news that GoDaddy won't return to her No. 10 Chevrolet next season.