More than many tracks, Kansas Speedway is a place where a handful of drivers tend to dominate.
While no driver has ever won more than three Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series races at the 1.5-mile Kansas track, eight drivers entered in Saturday night’s Go Bowling 400 (7 p.m. ET, FS1) have won here before, including four drivers who have won more than once.
But rather than just list the obvious driver favorites, this week we’re going to give you the five teams that have the best chance of winning under the lights at Kansas at Saturday night.
Getty ImagesJerry Markland
Joe Gibbs Racing
JGR is the big question mark. On the plus side, Kyle Busch is the defending Kansas race winner and has four consecutive top fives here, while Matt Kenseth is a two-time Kansas winner and Denny Hamlin has won here, too. But the team is winless so far in 2017 after winning 12 races last year and 14 in 2015.
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Although they have just two cars vs. some of the four-car super teams, Penske drivers Joey Logano and Brad Keselowski both have been fast at almost every track they’ve been to this season, winning three times between them so far in 2017. Twice in the last five Kansas races, Logano has come home a winner, and Keselowski has one victory here, too. They will almost certainly be in the mix.
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Obviously, any discussion of Hendrick Motorsports begins with Jimmie Johnson, one of just two three-time Kansas winners, the other being his former teammate Jeff Gordon. Johnson leads active drivers at Kansas with 601 laps led and an average finish of 8.905. None of the team’s other three drivers — Dale Earnhardt Jr., Kasey Kahne and Chase Elliott — has ever won here, though Earnhardt and Kahne have finished second.
Furniture Row Racing
Like Team Penske, Furniture Row has just two cars instead of four and like Team Penske they are both fast. Martin Truex Jr. was fastest in Friday morning’s practice, while rookie teammate Erik Jones was third in the session. Three times, Truex has led at least 95 laps here but failed to win. This team is poised to win after Truex won earlier this year on the 1.5-mile Las Vegas track.
SHR has a group of drivers that run well at Kansas. Kevin Harvick won here the last time the Cup teams raced at this track, and has finished first or second in five of the last seven Kansas races. Kurt Busch has finished eighth or better in three of the last four Kansas races, and Kansas native Clint Bowyer is ready to bust out of his 159-race winless streak. Danica Patrick finished seventh here in 2014, one of the best finishes of her career.