William Byron Leads The NXS Into The Round Of Eight

William Byron

Last season, William Byron led the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series the majority of the season, racking up a rookie-record seven wins. When the Playoffs came around, his engine blew with a late lead in the penultimate race of the year, eliminating him from championship contention.

Byron has carried his success into the NASCAR XFINITY Series this season. He enters the Round of 8 opener – Saturday’s Kansas Lottery 300 at Kansas Speedway – first on the Playoff Grid. He sits 19 points above Cole Custer on the cutoff line as a result of his three victories, three stage wins and third-place regular season points finish.

The 19-year-old Charlotte native has never made an XFINITY Series start at Kansas, but won the Camping World Truck Series race there last season.

“Kansas Speedway is a fun race track to go to. The last time I was there, I was fortunate enough to win my first NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race and I can’t wait to get back and have a good run in the XFINITY Series,” Byron said. “It is an important race to start out this round of the playoffs, so we plan on having a strong day and executing well.”

TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!

Kyle Busch Faces Elimination At Kansas

Kyle Busch
The four-round elimination-style Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs can chew a driver up and spit him out in no time whatsoever!

Kyle Busch knows this as well as anyone.

The No. 18 Toyota driver entered the Playoffs third in the points standings and looked like the favorite to take the series crown after winning twice in the Round of 16.

But his situation changed rapidly in the Round of 12. Busch finished 29th at Charlotte, followed by a 27th-place performance at Talladega. Now, he sits on the brink of elimination – seven points behind Jimmie Johnson for the final Round of 8 transfer spot going into Sunday’s Hollywood Casino 400 at Kansas Speedway.

“We are still some points out but we can go out there and try and get as many stage points as possible and, if we get a good run, we still have a shot to make it through,” Busch said. “We’ll just have to do what we’ve been doing all year and see where that puts us.”

Luckily for Busch, Kansas has treated him well recently. Although struggling at the 1.5-mile track early in his career, Busch has finished no lower than fifth in his last five starts there. His run includes a Kansas win in the spring of 2016.

“We’re going to do the same things we’ve always done – same preparation, nothing different,” Busch said. “I think we need to go in there and do our best to be prepared and when it comes to race time, try to limit our mistakes. I think that helped out there over the years and that has turned our team into a contender every time we race there, now. We’ll just do the same things this time around.”

The only way Busch can advance to the Round of 12 without the help of other drivers is to win Sunday’s race!

TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!

Ryan Blaney Thinks That Kansas Speedway Works In His Favor

If Ryan Blaney and his No. 21 Omnicraft team had their pick of race tracks to run the elimination race of the Round of 12 of the Monster Energy Cup playoffs, they’d likely pick Kansas Speedway, the site of Sunday’s Hollywood Casino 400.

Blaney made his Cup debut at Kansas in 2014, driving a Team Penske Ford. Since moving to the Wood Brothers No. 21 the next season, Kansas has statistically been his best track.

He has three finishes of seventh or better in four Kansas starts in the No. 21 Fusion with an average finish of 7.5. He won his first Cup pole there in May, and set a career record for points earned in a single race with 51.

In that Go Bowling 400, he led 83 laps, finished third in Stage One and won Stage Two before finishing fourth at the checkered flag.

Blaney, who will carry the colors of Omnicraft for the second time this season, enters this weekend’s 400-miler seventh in the points standings, two points ahead of eighth-place Jimmie Johnson and nine ahead of ninth-place Kyle Busch. The bottom four drivers in the playoff standings will be eliminated from championship contention after Sunday’s race.

Team co-owner Eddie Wood said he’s happy to have come this far in the playoffs and hoping to make it to the third round.

Wood said the team will be focusing on earning stage points, beginning with practice and qualifying on Friday. A top starting spot means there are fewer drivers to pass to be among the top 10 and thereby earn points in the first stage.

Stage points have been key to the success Blaney and the No. 21 team have enjoyed throughout the season.

Through Talladega, Blaney has earned 193 stage points. He’s won four stages, plus a win at Pocono Raceway, and scored 17 top-five stage finishes and 36 top-10s.

“We saw how important stage points are last week at Talladega, and it’ll be the same this week at Kansas,” Wood said. “The 18 points Ryan earned in the first two stages at Talladega allowed us to move up four spots in the standings even after wrecking out of the race.”

Wood also said he believes his team’s battle for a spot in the Round of Eight will bring extra attention to Omnicraft, which is Ford Motor Company’s new brand of quality replacement parts for non-Ford and non-Lincoln vehicles.

The Omnicraft brand, which made its debut in January, is Ford’s first new parts brand in 50 years and will give its dealers and the Quick Lane Tire and Auto Centers access to quality parts for any vehicle brought in for service.

“One of the perks of being in the playoffs is that it brings more attention to our car and its sponsor, and this weekend’s media coverage will raise awareness for the Omnicraft brand,” Wood said, adding that he’s cautiously optimistic about the upcoming weekend. “Hopefully we can build on our run at Kansas in May and make it to the Round of Eight.”
TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!

Harvick Rolls Into Kansas With A 22 Point Cushion

Kevin Harvick

 Kevin Harvick is heading to Kansas Speedway in Kansas City for the Hollywood Casino 400, the third and final race in the Round of 12 of the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series playoffs, with a 22-point cushion over the ninth-place driver.

The driver of the No. 4 Jimmy John’s Ford Fusion for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) scored two stage wins and a third-place finish to open the Round of 12 at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway and a 20th-place finish last weekend at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway to open up his points advantage.

Martin Truex Jr. of Furniture Row Racing won two weeks ago at Charlotte and Brad Keselowski of Team Penske followed suit last weekend at Talladega to secure their spots in the Round of 8. Now, 10 drivers are in contention for the final six positions with the 1.5-mile Kansas Speedway as the stage for the final showdown. Kyle Larson of Chip Ganassi Racing holds a 29-point advantage over ninth place as the only non-secured driver ahead of Harvick. Kyle Busch, Matt Kenseth, Rickey Stenhouse Jr. and Jamie McMurray all sit below the cutoff line heading into the weekend.

Harvick has reason for optimism heading into Kansas.

The 2014 NASCAR Cup Series champion won at Kansas Speedway in October 2016, when he started 11th, led 74 laps and beat runner-up Carl Edwards to the finish line by 1.183 seconds and it came in a must-win situation during that year’s NASCAR playoffs. After Harvick suffered a mechanical failure the week before in the Bank of America 500 at Charlotte that resulted in a 38th-place finish, he was 12th in the standings. He trailed Denny Hamlin by eight points for the final transfer position into the Round of 8 with Talladega looming the following week.

It was the second Cup Series win for Harvick. He also won the NASCAR Cup Series race at Kansas in October 2013, when he started from the pole position, led 138 of 267 laps and beat current SHR teammate Kurt Busch to the finish line by 1.140 seconds to score his first Cup Series victory at the 1.5-mile oval.

The Bakersfield, California native also owns the Cup Series qualifying record at Kansas, which he set May 9, 2014 with a lap of 27.799 seconds at 194.658 in the second round of qualifying. It was Harvick’s second of three consecutive Cup Series poles at Kansas from October 2013 through October 2014.

He also has three runner-up finishes in six Cup Series starts at Kansas since joining SHR in February 2014.

Harvick knows that the best way to finish up front is to start up front, which he has done four times so far in 2017. He has scored four Cup Series pole awards – three coming on 1.5-mile racetracks. He scored his first of the season at Atlanta Motor Speedway with a lap of 29.118 seconds at 190.398 mph. His second of the season came at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth, when he made a lap at 27.217 seconds at 198.405 mph. His third came at Charlotte for the Coca-Cola 600 with a lap of 27.918 seconds at 193.424 mph. The most recent came at Darlington (S.C.) Raceway, where he posted a lap of 27.669 seconds at 177.730 mph.

Harvick also has four poles at Kansas, which are tied with Jimmie Johnson, Matt Kenseth and Kasey Kahne for most all-time at the 1.5-mile track. Harvick and Johnson are the only two drivers to win consecutive poles at Kansas Speedway. Johnson completed the task in 2007 and 2008, while Harvick scored three in a row starting in the fall of 2013 followed by a sweep of 2014.

While Harvick has raced up front and scored five stage wins this year, he is still in search of his first Cup Series race win at a 1.5-mile track this season. However, he has scored the second-most points of any driver over the last 10 races on a 1.5-mile track by knocking down five top-five finishes, nine top-10s and four poles.

This weekend, Harvick and the No. 4 Jimmy John’s team hope to repeat their performance from last October and return to victory lane in pursuit of a second NASCAR Cup Series championship.

KEVIN HARVICK, Driver of the No. 4 Jimmy John’s Ford Fusion for Stewart-Haas Racing:
You’ve performed much stronger at Kansas the last couple of years. Is that because of the repave, or did you find something you were missing previously?

“The repave is definitely what changed and turned things around for us at Kansas. Really, I liked the racetrack the way it was before with the asphalt really worn out and cars sliding all over. But, once the repave happened, we were able to really hit on some things and, for whatever reason, it kind of fits my driving style and we have gotten some good results out of it. It has been a really good-performing racetrack for us and one that we look forward to going to and hopefully continue to get good results out of it because it’s been so good for us in the past.”

Take us on a lap around Kansas.

“It’s definitely a little bit different just for the fact the (corner) entries are a little different than at most places. Turns three and four remind me of turns three and four at Chicagoland Speedway, but there’s a lot more grip and fresher asphalt than what Chicagoland has nowadays. It’s a very high-speed racetrack. You run the middle to the bottom of the racetrack. But I’m sure, as time goes on, that the groove will move back up. But, for right now, it’s very fast and very sensitive to your line and, with all the speed and how tricky the entrance is into turn one, you can miss your line easily. So, you have to be very specific about where you put your car and pay attention to what you’re doing.”

 

Jimmy John’s Racing Team Report

Round 32 of 36 – Hollywood Casino 400 – Kansas

At-Track PR Contact: Ryan Barry, True Speed Communication (704-500-1553, Ryan.Barry@TrueSpeedCommunication.com)
Primary Team Members:

Driver: Kevin Harvick

Hometown: Bakersfield, California

 

Crew Chief: Rodney Childers

Hometown: Mooresville, North Carolina

 

Car Chief: Robert Smith

Hometown: Whitewater, Wisconsin

 

Engine Builder: Roush-Yates Engines

Headquarters: Moorseville, North Carolina

 

Engine Specialist: Robert Brandt

Hometown: Mobile, Alabama

 

Spotter: Tim Fedewa

Hometown: Holt, Michigan

Over-The-Wall Crew Members:

Gas Man: Justin White

Hometown: Lynnville, Tennessee

 

Front Tire Changer: Eric Maycroft

Hometown: Algonquiin, Illinois

 

Second Gas Man: Marc Wulf

Hometown: Omaha, Nebraska

 

Front Tire Carrier: Matt Holzbaur

Hometown: New Egypt, New Jersey

 

Windshield: Matthew Custer

Hometown: Bedford, Pennsylvania

 

Rear Tire Changer: Daniel Smith

Hometown: Concord, North Carolina

 

Jackman: Stan Doolittle

Hometown: Ninety Six, South Carolina

 

Rear Tire Carrier: Mike “Shrek” Morneau

Hometown: Oxford, Maine

Road Crew Members:

Truck Drivers: Rick Hodges and Stephen Mitchell

Hometowns: Raleigh, North Carolina, and Woodville, Ohio, respectively

 

Tire Specialist: Dustin Keath

Hometown: Reading, Pennsylvania

 

Shock Specialist: Mike McCarville

Hometown: Kensington, Prince Edward Island, Canada

 

Engineers: Dax Gerringer and Billy Kuebler

Hometowns: Gibsonville, North Carolina, and Saline, Michigan,respectively

 

Mechanics: Richie Bean and Allen Mincey

Hometown: Bradford, Vermont, and Fort Lauderdale, Florida,respectively

 

Fuel Runner: Chris Clayton

Hometown: Modesto, California

Chassis Information – Chassis No. 4-986:
Kevin Harvick will pilot the No. 4 Jimmy John’s Ford Fusion built on Chassis No. 4-986 in the Hollywood Casino 400 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race Sunday at Kansas Speedway in Kansas City. Built new in 2016, Chassis No. 4-986 made its NASCAR Cup Series debut in April at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth, where it started 22nd, led one lap and finished 10th. In its second appearance, Harvick started first after rain cancelled qualifying at Kentucky, led 128 laps and finished ninth. In its final start of 2016, Harvick started fourth, finished fifth and led 33 laps at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn in August. Chassis No. 4-986 finished sixth at Phoenix International Raceway in March in its lone start of 2017.

 

Kansas Speedway Notes of Interest:
· Earning It Since 2014: Harvick is in his 17th Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series season and his fourth at Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) with crew chief Rodney Childers at the helm. Since joining forces in 2014, Harvick and Childers combined to produce 13 victories, 14 poles, 64 top-five finishes and 93 top-10s; led 6,590 laps; won the 2014 Cup Series title; finished runner-up in 2015 to champion Kyle Busch and eighth in 2016.

 

· Points Position: Harvick arrives at Kansas Speedway for the Hollywood Casino 400 ranked fourth in the driver standings with 3,089 points after his 20th-place finish Sunday at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway. He maintains a 22-point advantage ahead of ninth in the standings heading into the final of three Round of 12 races this weekend.

 

· Playoff Qualifier: Harvick clinched his position in the 2017 playoffs as he scored his first Cup Series win of the season at Sonoma (Calif.) Raceway in June. He started 12th, led 24 laps and had more than a five-second cushion when the final yellow flag waved to end the race under caution.Harvick and the No. 4 team scored one race win and three stage wins to account for eight playoff points. They finished fourth in regular-season points to pick up an additional seven points to earn the sixth seed for the 2017 playoffs. The No. 4 team scored two additional stage wins at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway in October for two playoff points.

 

· 11,000 Laps Led: Harvick led 149 laps at Charlotte and has now led 11,016 laps in his NASCAR Cup Series career, becoming just the 17th driver in Cup Series history to surpass 11,000 laps led for his career. Johnson, Busch and Matt Kenseth are the only active drivers to accomplish the feat.

 

· Harvick at Kansas since Joining SHR:Harvick has seven Cup Series starts at Kansas since joining SHR at the beginning of the 2014 season and has one win, won the pole for two of the six races, finished runner-up three times and third in his most recent start. He won the NASCAR Cup Series race at Kansas in October 2016, when he started 11th, led 74 laps and beat runner-up Carl Edwards to the finish line by 1.183 seconds. In May 2014, he won the pole with a speed of 194.252 mph, led 119 laps and finished second to Jeff Gordon by .112 of a second. He won the pole with a speed of 197.621 mph, led 61 laps and finished 12th in October 2014. He started sixth, led 53 laps and finished second to Johnson by .487 of a second in May 2015. In October 2015, Harvick started fourth, led 21 laps and finished 16th. In May 2016, he started 26th and raced his way to a runner-up finish, trailing race-winner Busch by 1.112 seconds at the finish line.

 

· Harvick in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series at Kansas: The Hollywood Casino 400 will mark Harvick’s 24th career Cup Series start at Kansas. He has two wins (October 2013 and 2016), three poles (October 2013, May and October 2014), seven top-five finishes and 12 top-10s at the 1.5-mile oval. The 41-year-old driver has led 559 laps, has an average starting position of 15.4, has an average finish of 10.0 and has completed 98.2 percent (5,980 of 6,091) of the laps he’s contested there.

 

· Track Record: Harvick set the track qualifying record at Kansas Speedway on October 3, 2014 with a lap of 27.304 seconds at 197.773 mph in Cup Series qualifying. Harvick’s four poles at Kansas are tied with Johnson, Kenseth and Kasey Kahne for most all-time at the 1.5-mile track. Harvick and Johnson are the only two drivers to win consecutive poles at Kansas Speedway (Johnson in 2007 and 2008, Harvick in the fall of 2013 followed by a sweep of 2014).

 

· Never Missed a Cup Series Start at Kansas: Harvick is one of four drivers to participate in every Cup Series race at Kansas Speedway. The other four drivers to have started all 23 Cup Series events are SHR teammate Kurt Busch, Kenseth and Ryan Newman.

 

· Three-Time Runner-Up: In addition to Harvick’s two wins at Kansas, he also leads the series in runner-up finishes there with three. Edwards, Kahne, Martin Truex Jr. and Newman each have two.

 

· Harvick in the NASCAR Xfinity Series at Kansas: Harvick has made 11 starts in the Xfinity Series at Kansas. He has one win (October 2006), one pole (October 2008), six top-five finishes and seven top-10s. He has led 208 laps, has an average starting position of 9.5, an average finish of 9.3 and has completed 94.4 percent (2,080 of 2,204) of the laps he’s contested there.

 

· On The Pole: Harvick has scored four Cup Series pole awards in 2017 – three coming on 1.5-mile racetracks. He scored his first of the season at Atlanta Motor Speedway with a lap of 29.118 seconds at 190.398 mph. His second of the season came at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth, when he made a lap at 27.217 seconds at 198.405 mph. His third came at Charlotte for the Coca-Cola 600 with a lap of 27.918 seconds at 193.424 mph. The most recent came at Darlington (S.C.) Raceway, where he posted a lap of 27.669 seconds at 177.730 mph.

 

· All-Time Wins List: Harvick scored his 36th career Cup Series win at Sonoma in June, which is ranked 22nd on the all-time wins list. His next Cup Series win will move him into a tie with Bobby Isaac for 21st on the all-time list. Among active drivers, Harvick ranks fourth behind leader Johnson’s 83 career wins, Kyle Busch’s 42 and Kenseth’s 38 wins.

 

· Career NASCAR Cup Series Totals: Harvick has 36 wins, 164 top-fives, 302 top-10s and 21 poles in 605 career Cup Series starts heading into Sunday’s race at Kansas.

 

· Personal Announcement: On Tuesday, July 11, Harvick kicked off his SiriusXM Radio show “Happy Hours” by announcing that he and wife DeLana are expecting to add a daughter to their family around the first of the year.

 

· Harvick’s Happy Hours on SiriusXM Radio: On March 14, Harvick announced that he will hostHappy Hours on SiriusXM Radio. The show debuted March 28 and airs on Tuesdays from 7 to 9 p.m. ET, featuring Harvick’s distinctive perspective on his sport and life outside the track. Harvick and co-host Matt Yocum take calls from listeners and give NASCAR fans a unique view on the driver’s life and interests when he is away from the racecar.

TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!

Kansas Has Turned Into A Major Challenge For Kyle

Kyle Busch

 If one were to look at Kyle Busch’s last seven Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series races at Kansas Speedway in Kansas City, the difference for the driver of the No. 18 M&M’s Halloween Toyota Camry for Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) couldn’t be any more stark.

The 1.5-mile oval built in 2001, which originally featured a constant 15 degrees of banking in the turns, underwent a massive renovation project leading into its October 2012 Cup Series event. The changes included repaving of the existing track surface, reconfiguration of the oval, and the addition of a new infield road course. The oval’s geometric shape also was changed to feature variable banking of 17 to 20 degrees in the turns.

To say that Busch didn’t take well to the new surface would be quite the understatement. From October 2012 to 2013, Busch had three consecutive DNFs (Did Not Finish) there, with accidents ending his day each time for final results of 31st, 38th and 34th.

Feeling snakebit on the new Kansas surface, Busch and his M&M’S Halloween team took a different approach starting with the April 2014 race there by starting from scratch with a brand new car. They attacked the track in the Heartland of America with hope that a fresh outlook would produce vastly different results. While a pit-road speeding penalty cost them precious track position and an even better finish in the race, the result was still much different than the three previous trips. They began to turn the corner in terms of competitiveness and results.

Starting with the October 2014 Cup Series race at Kansas, Busch brought home his first ever top-five finish at the track. Anyone who has ever followed Busch’s career knows the 2015 Cup Series champion never cared much for moral victories. However, the momentum carried over from the October 2014 top-five to his next Kansas race in October 2015, when he finished a solid third. It was a finish that helped vault him through to the next round of the Cup Series playoffs and eventually to the championship stage.

Busch keeps making strides each time he goes back to the Heartland, where he broke through for his first Cup Series win at the 1.5-mile oval in May 2016 as the surface finally started to wear and become more agreeable to Busch’s driving style.

Sunday afternoon in Kansas, Busch and the M&M’S Halloween team will look to tackle the final race of the Round of 12 of the 2017 Playoffs. Busch is looking to overcome a seven-point deficit to the all-important eighth-place spot in the playoff standings after bad luck struck when he was collected in a multicar accident Sunday at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway. The Las Vegas hopes for a strong run at Kansas in order to advance to the Round of 8.

So, as the Cup Series heads to the Heartland of America Sunday, a sixth top-five finish in a row at Kansas could be just what Busch needs to move on to the next playoff round. And even though Halloween is fast approaching, Kansas isn’t as scary as it used to be for Busch and his colorful M&M’S Halloween Toyota.

KYLE BUSCH, Driver of the No. 18 M&M’S Halloween Toyota Camry for Joe Gibbs Racing: 
With a seven-point deficit to eighth place coming into Kansas, what is the mindset going into this weekend as you go to place you have improved so much over the last three years?

“We’re going to do the same things we’ve always done – same preparation, nothing different. I think we need to go in there and do our best to be prepared and when it comes to race time, try to limit our mistakes. I think that helped out there over the years and that has turned our team into a contender every time we race there, now. We’ll just do the same things this time around. It’s no different than what we typically do each and every week, though. I know Adam (Stevens, crew chief) will have a good M&M’S Halloween Camry and we will keep doing what we’ve been doing well all year long and see where the points fall for us if we can’t get a win.”

What difference have the bonus points for stage wins and race wins made for you so far in the playoffs?

“We’ve obviously had a terrible round and we are still within striking distance. If we didn’t have those bonus points, we wouldn’t have much shot going into this weekend. So I’m thankful that the system is in place that rewards the good runs we had during the regular season. We are still some points out but we can go out there and try and get as many stage points as possible and, if we get a good run, we still have a shot to make it through. We’ll just have to do what we’ve been doing all year and see where that puts us.”

You won at Kansas in 2016 after all the trouble and so many close calls and so much bad luck. Does it help your confidence at all that you’re going into Kansas knowing that you finally hit on something there?

“It certainly did. Not that long ago I probably wouldn’t say those words but, you know, it’s suddenly become a really good place for us recently. We’ve had a good string of top-fives so, hopefully, we can go there and have another good run to give us a shot of making it to the next round. We just have to move on from the last two weekends, try to score the most points possible.”

Kansas had been a frustrating place for you during your career, but have you and your team turned the corner there with five top-five finishes in a row there?

“I think so. We ran third there in the fall of 2014. I wasn’t there in the spring race of 2015 since that was the last race I was recovering from my injury, but (Erik) Jones ran up front until he ended up wrecking. Last fall, Adam (Stevens, crew chief) and the M&M’S guys did an awesome job and we ran top-five again. The last few several races there, the track really has started to change and the groove is starting to spread out, and it makes me more comfortable when a track gets worn in. Adam and the guys have been bringing really good racecars to the track every weekend and, when you have great cars and run up front, good things are going to happen.”

M&M’S Halloween Racing

Race 32 of 36 – Hollywood Casino 400 – Kansas

Car No.: 18 – M&M’S Halloween Toyota Camry

 

Teammates:  Denny Hamlin – No. 11 Toyota Camry; Daniel Suarez – No. 19 Toyota Camry; Matt Kenseth – No. 20 Toyota Camry.

 

At-Track PR Contact: Bill Janitz, True Speed Communication (704-875-3388 ext. 803 or Bill.Janitz@TrueSpeedCommunication.com).

Primary Team Members:

Driver: Kyle Busch

Hometown: Las Vegas

 

Crew Chief: Adam Stevens

Hometown: Portsmouth, Ohio

 

Car Chief: Nate Bellows

Hometown: Fairfax, Vermont

 

Race Engineer: Ben Beshore

Hometown: Hometown York, Pennsylvania

 

Engine Specialist: Mike Johnson

Hometown: Bozeman, Montana

 

Spotter: Tony Hirschman

Hometown: Northampton, Pennsylvania

Over-The-Wall Crew Members:

Gas Man: Kenneth Purcell

Hometown: Savannah, Georgia

 

Front Tire Changer: Clay Robinson

Hometown: Simi Valley, California

 

Jackman: Trey Burklin

Hometown: Charlotte, North Carolina

 

Front Tire Carrier: Kevin Harris

Hometown: Winter Springs, Florida

 

Rear Tire Carrier: Matt Ver Meer

Hometown: Montezuma, Iowa

 

Rear Tire Changer: Adam Hartmann

Hometown: Oxford, North Carolina

 

Pit Support: Marcus Bonicelli

Hometown: Colorado Springs, Colorado

 

Pit Support: Jeff Koons

Hometown: Greenfield, Indiana

Road Crew Members:

Truck Drivers: Brendan Greene and Jamie Price

Hometowns: Midland, North Carolina, and Choteau, Montana, respectively

 

Tire Specialist: Jon Desrocher

Hometown: Plattsburgh, New York

 

Interior Mechanic: Wesley Lape

Hometown: Sinking Spring, Pennsylvania

 

Race Engineer: Tyler Allen

Hometown: Seattle, Washington

 

Ride and Handling Engineer: Chris Chase

Hometown: Nichols, New York

 

Rear End Mechanic: Chris Jones

Hometown: Smith Mountain Lake, Virginia

 

Mechanic: Todd Foster

Hometown: Birmingham, Alabama

 

Front End Mechanic: Brandon Griffeth

Hometown: Pittsfield, Illinois

Notes of Interest:
  • The Hollywood Casino 400 at Kansas Speedway in Kansas City will mark Kyle Busch’s458th career Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series start and his 20th NASCAR Cup Series start at Kansas.
  • Busch has career totals of 42 wins, 27 poles, 159 top-five finishes, 237 top-10s and 14,035 laps led in 457 career Cup Series racesHis most recent Cup Series win came three weekends ago at Dover (Del.) International Speedway. Busch’s most recent pole, the 27th of his career, came last month at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon. He has eight poles this season, a career high.
  • Busch has one win, five top-five finishes and seven top-10s and has led a total of 215 laps in 19 career Cup Series starts at Kansas. Busch’s average Kansas finish is17.7.
  • Clean Sweep Times Two: For the second time in his career, Busch swept a weekend in all three of NASCAR’s National Series –Cup, Xfinity, and Camping World Truck –in August at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway. The first time Busch completed the feat also happened to be at Bristol back in 2010, and the 2015 Cup Series champion is the only driver to do so –now twice – in NASCAR history.
  • Starting Up Front: Busch captured another pole last month at New Hampshire, which was the eighth of 2017 for the Las Vegas native. Eight poles is the most Busch has captured during any season of his career with 29.6 percent of his career poles coming this season alone. In fact, prior to 2017, the most poles Busch had captured in a season was three, which he did on two different occasions –2013 and 2014.
  • 42 Career Cup Series Wins: With his Cup Series win at Dover, the 42nd points-paying win of his career, Busch now sits alone in 17th on the all-time Cup Series win list.With his 40th Cup victory coming at Bristol in August, Busch became the fourth-youngest driver to reach 40 Cup wins at 32 years, 109 days, behind only Richard Petty, Jeff Gordon, and Herb Thomas.
  • Trimming the List: With wins at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway and Kansas added to the list last season, and Pocono (Pa.) Raceway crossed off the list in July, Busch has won Cup Series points races at 22 of the 23 tracks at which the series competes. The only track remaining to conquer in the Cup Series is Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway. Busch, of course, was the winner of the All-Star non-points race at Charlotte back in May but is still chasing a points-paying Cup Series victory there. During his 2015 Cup Series championship season, Busch checked off Indianapolis Motor Speedway and Homestead-Miami Speedway. Of the 22 different tracks where Busch has won, he has multiple wins at 11 of them.
  • All-Time JGR Wins Leader: With his Brickyard 400 win in July 2016, Busch passed three-time Cup Series champion Tony Stewart for most all-time Cup Series wins for JGR. Busch now has 38 wins for JGR to Stewart’s 33 following his most recent win at Dover.
  • 182 and Counting: Busch enters Kansas with 182 career wins among NASCAR’s top three divisions – Cup (42), Xfinity (91) and Truck (49) following his Cup Series win three races ago at Dover.

TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!

David Ragan: “You Can Run All Over The Place At Kansas”

David Ragan

Ragan on Kansas

“The Goodyear tires have been a little more consistent and grippy as the Kansas track surface has aged over the last couple years. You can run all over the place — you can run the middle, run the top. It’s always a good event. A lot of race fans come out to Kansas. It’s always a fun weekend for us.

“It’s another mile-and-a-half track, and we finish our season on a mile-and-a-half at Homestead. So, for our Front Row Motorsports team, we want to keep trying to push it as hard as we can to get better on these intermediate tracks. We want to make sure we finish off the season on a high note. We had a top-20 at Kansas in the spring race, but there are always things we can improve on.”
Meet David
Sunday,  Oct. 22, 11am – Fanatics Ford Merchandise Hauler (Kansas Speedway Fan Zone)

TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!

Landon Cassill Feels Really Good About Going To Kansas

Landon Cassill

Cassill on Kansas

“We had a pretty good car at the first Kansas race. We just got bit by some other things. A blown tire set us back, and then I think we had to pit under green for a loose wheel. But the car raced well, and we still wound up with a decent, lead-lap finish, so I definitely think we can run well again.

“Our Love’s Travel Stops Ford will have a little different look this week. Speedco is a new member of the Love’s family. They do quick lube and inspection services for the trucking industry, and they were recently purchased by Love’s. So, Love’s now has an even bigger network of tire and lube locations across the country, and we’re happy to have them on the car and welcome them to the team.”

Meet Landon
Sunday, Oct. 22, 10:45am – Ford Performance Display (Kansas Speedway Fan Zone)

TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!

Cole Custer Returns To His Wheelhouse, 1 1/2 Mile Tracks

Cole Custer

Event: Kansas Lottery 300 (Round 30 of 33)

Date: Oct. 21, 2017

Location: Kansas Speedway in Kansas City

Layout: 1.5-mile oval

 

Cole Custer Notes of Interest
 

●  The Kansas Lottery 300 is the fourth of seven races in the NASCAR XFINITY Series Playoffs and the first race in the second playoff round. Four drivers will be eliminated at the conclusion of the three-race round, narrowing the field to four drivers who will compete for a winner-take-all championship battle in the season finale Nov. 18 at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

 

●  Cole Custer is fifth in the XFINITY Series Playoffs with 3,007 points, 19 points behind series leader William Byron. Custer starts the second round of the playoffs with two bonus points, earned by his two stage wins in the Sept. 23 race at Kentucky Speedway in Sparta.

 

●  Kansas Speedway is the ninth of 11 1.5-mile tracks on the 2017 XFINITY Series schedule. Custer leads the 2017 XFINITY Series regular season drivers in points at 1.5-mile tracks with 303, he leads the series with a 7.8 average finish at 1.5-mile tracks, and he has led the most laps at 1.5-mile tracks this season with 90.

 

●  Custer is competing for his fifth consecutive top-10 finish. He has earned 10 top-10s in the last 13 races and three top-10s in the first three playoff races.

 

●  In 12 XFINITY Series starts and nine NASCAR Camping World Truck Series starts at 1.5-mile ovals, Custer has four top-five finishes and 12 top-10s. Custer has earned two top-fives this season at 1.5-mile tracks – Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth on April 8 (fifth) and Kentucky Speedway in Sparta on Sept. 23 (fifth) – and finished in the top-10 at three other venues – Atlanta Motor Speedway on March 4 (10th), Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway on May 27 (seventh) and Oct. 7 (sixth), and Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, Illinois on Sept. 16 (seventh).

 

●  Custer’s best finish in the 29 XFINITY Series races run this season is fourth, earned in the 11th race of the year June 3 at Dover (Del.) International Speedway. The result equaled Custer’s best career XFINITY Series finish, which he earned in his series debut at Charlotte in May 2016.

 

●  Custer has six top-fives and 18 top-10s in 34 career XFINITY Series starts.

 

●  At 19 years and 8 months old, Custer is the youngest driver in the playoffs.

 

●  Custer’s best qualifying effort in the 29 XFINITY Series races run this season is third, earned three times – April 22 at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway, June 10 at Pocono (Pa.) Raceway and Sept. 23 at Kentucky. Custer has 21 top-10 starts and nine top-five starts this season.

 

●  Custer is third in the XFINITY Series Rookie of the Year standings, 51 points behind leader William Byron and 15 points behind second-place Daniel Hemric. Custer has earned eight Rookie of the Race awards this season, three having come at 1.5-mile tracks (fifth at Texas, 11th Las Vegas Motor Speedway and sixth at Charlotte). Rookie of the Race awards are given to the highest-finishing rookie.

 

●  The Kansas Lottery 300 will mark Custer’s 35th career XFINITY Series start and his third XFINITY Series start at Kansas.

 

Cole Custer, Driver of the No. 00 Haas Automation/Code 3 Associates Ford Mustang
 

You lead the XFINITY Series at 1.5-mile tracks and there are still three more of them to visit in the playoffs. Are you confident that you will perform well at the remainder of the intermediate tracks, and does this give you an advantage on the others?

 

“Mile-and-a-half tracks are what our Haas Automation/Code 3 Associates team looks forward to the most, and there’s no reason why we can’t go out and compete for wins at all of them. It’s going to be a tough round, so having some mile-and-a-half tracks will help us a lot.”

 

Not only are you in the playoffs for the first time, but you have advanced to the second round. How does a 19-year-old rookie feel after starting the season at Stewart-Haas Racing?

 

“It’s been pretty crazy to see how hard everyone has worked throughout the season to get us to where we are now. It would mean the world to our whole team to get to the final round in Homestead.”

 

Is it tough being a single-car team with minimal help in the majority of the races this season?

 

“Being a single-car team makes it a little bit harder on us. You don’t have a lot of teammates to rely on. Kevin (Harvick) runs the XFINITY car from time to time, so that helps a lot and we’ve learned a ton from it. I rely on Kevin the most. I ask him for advice going into pretty much every weekend about the track and what to expect going into it, especially these playoff races. I’ve never been in the playoffs before, so I asked him about what to expect. These guys have definitely helped me a ton and I don’t know if we would be as good without them.”

 

Jeff Meendering, Crew Chief of the No. 00 Haas Automation/Code 3 Associates Team
 

What are your expectations heading to another intermediate track where the team has run so well?

 

“We are bringing the car we ran really well with at Chicago, Chassis No. 1044. We feel that we have a good shot at winning this race. Cole has a lot of confidence in himself and that particular racecar. This round of the playoffs is tough. We know that we have to run up front in the next three races if we want to have a shot at a championship.”

Cole Custer Kansas Performance Profile
 

 

No. 00 Haas Automation Team Roster
Primary Team Members:

 

Driver: Cole Custer

Hometown: Ladera Ranch, California

 

Crew Chief: Jeff Meendering

Hometown: Concord, North Carolina

 

Car Chief: Eddie D’Hondt Jr.

Hometown: East Islip, New York

 

Lead Engineer: Bruce Schlickler

Hometown: Clarksburg, West Virginia

 

Engine Specialist: Craig Herrmann

Hometown: Albany, New York

 

Spotter: Eddie D’Hondt Sr.

Hometown: East Islip, New York

Over-The-Wall Crew:

Front Tire Changer: Ryan Mulder

Hometown: Sioux City, Iowa

 

Front Tire Carrier: Tyler Bullard

Hometown: King, North Carolina

 

Rear Tire Changer: Chris JacksonHometown: Fort Mill, South Carolina

 

Rear Tire Carrier: Jeremy Howard

Hometown: Dalhant, Texas

 

Gas Man: Andrew Migliozzi

Hometown: West Borough, Massachusetts

 

Jackman: Sean Cotten

Hometown: Mooresville, North Carolina

Road Crew Members:

 

Truck Driver: Jason Gray

Hometown: Concord, North Carolina

 

Mechanic: Daren VanderLey

Hometown: Mobile, Alabama

 

Mechanic: Michael Brill

Hometown: Woodsville, New Hampshire

 

Tire Specialist: Bryan Honeycutt

Hometown: Asheboro, North Carolina

 

Shock Specialist: Dave Hansen

Hometown: York, Maine

 

Pit Support: Chris Justice

Hometown: Greensboro, South Carolina

H​aas Automation Notes of Interest
 

The No. 00 Haas Automation/Code 3 Associates Ford Mustang will feature decals on the lower-rear quarter panel for:

 

●  State Fair Community College– Located at 3201 West 16th Street in Sedalia, Missouri, State Fair Community College (SFCC) provides relevant and innovative learning experiences that successfully prepare students for college transfer, career development and lifelong learning. SFCC is committed to being accessible and affordable; values collaborative partnerships; and strengthens and enriches the intellectual, economic and cultural vitality of the community it serves.

 

●  Haas Factory OutletKansas City, a division of NYMAT Machine Tool Corporation –Based at 15661 South Mahaffie in Olathe, Kansas, Haas Factory Outlet, Kansas City serves all of Kansas and Western Missouri. It is dedicated to providing the best service possible to ensure the Haas machines it sells provide the best overall value of any machine tool brand.

Code 3 Associates Notes of Interest
 

The No. 00 Haas Automation/Code 3 Associates Ford Mustang will feature Code 3 Associates on both sides of the car.

 

●  Code 3 Associates – Code 3 Associates is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization specializing in animal rescue and recovery in disaster areas. Formed in 1985, Colorado-based Code 3 Associates is a national response team that, at the request of local government officials, provides animal rescue and recovery in times of disaster. The organization has evolved from one unpaid volunteer to approximately 75 professional responders and thousands of members around the country, which include animal welfare, law enforcement, fire, EMS and veterinary specialists from the United States and Canada. While its focus is animals and their owners, Code 3 Associates trains its responders to the standards of human rescue, and Code 3 Associates also provides training to conduct thorough investigations into animal welfare issues, all of which is accredited by Colorado State University and the school’s Veterinary Teaching Hospital.

Playoff Standings (first race, Round of 8)  
 

1.        William Byron (3,026 points)

2.        Justin Allgaier (3,023 points, -3)

3.        Elliott Sadler (3,020 points, -6)

4.        Daniel Hemric (3,009 points, -17)

5.        Cole Custer (3,007 points, -19)

6.        Brennan Poole (3,006 points, -20)

7.        Ryan Reed (3,005 points, -21)

8.        Matt Tifft (3,004 points, -22)

TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!

Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Announces Their 2018 Driver Lineup

James Hinchcliffe
Schmidt Peterson Motorsports announced today its lineup for the 2018 Verizon IndyCar Series season. Oakville, Ontario native James Hinchcliffe has renewed his contract with the Indianapolis-based team in a multi-year extension, and the 2011 IndyCar Rookie of the Year’s teammate will be countryman and friend Robert Wickens, a native of Guelph. The duo marks the first all-Canadian lineup in North American open-wheel racing since 2004 (Champ Car; Forsythe Racing: Paul Tracy, Patrick Carpentier).

“Not only am I really excited to be able to say I’ll be back with SPM for next year and beyond, but I am also really looking forward to being teammates with one of my oldest friends,” the 30-year-old Hinchcliffe commented. “Robbie and I grew up racing against one another, eventually took different paths, me staying in North America in open-wheel cars and him going off to Europe in sports cars, but it’s pretty neat that we both ended up here and we get to live our dream of being professional racing drivers, together on the same team. I think 2018 is going to be a great year for the SPM organization, from having Robbie here to the team’s new partnership with Honda and the 2018 aero kit; I just can’t wait to get back on track and bring some good results home for the Arrow Electronics crew.”

The Season 23 Dancing with the Stars runner-up has thus far captured five wins (St. Pete, Sao Paulo, Iowa 2013; New Orleans 2015; Long Beach 2017), 14 podium finishes and one pole position (Indianapolis 500, 2016) in his six full seasons of IndyCar competition. Hinchcliffe has led 691 laps to date.

With two Formula Championships under his belt (Formula BMW USA, 2006; Formula Renault 3.5, 2011) as well as a season as a Formula One test driver (Marussia Virgin Racing), Wickens will make his return to open-wheel racing following six seasons of competing in Europe for Mercedes Benz in Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters (DTM). During his time in sports cars, the 28-year-old clinched six wins, five pole positions and 15 podium finishes.

“This is an entirely new chapter to add to my racing career, and I am really excited for this opportunity that Schmidt Peterson Motorsports has given me,” Wickens noted. “I think everyone knows the story by now that James and I grew up racing against one another in go karts, and to make it to the largest open-wheel racing series in North America together as teammates, it’s crazy to think about. I am very thankful for the six years I had with everyone at Mercedes and DTM; those are memories I will cherish forever. I can’t wait to truly see what the Verizon IndyCar Series is all about!”

“We’re all very pleased to have Robert on board, and not just because he’s another Canadian,” added SPM co-owner and fellow Canadian, Ric Peterson. “He’s obviously someone who has been on our radar for some time now, and we’re excited about this new chapter in the SPM organization. We’ve been building a lot of momentum within the team and hope this latest addition will be a great next step as we move forward. I’m also really proud that we’ll be able to represent ‘Team Canada’ and be able to showcase two great Canadian athletes.”

#TeamCanada will be available to media tomorrow, October 19 at Goodwood Kartways (5200 Concession 2 Road, Whitchurch-Stouffville) from 3:30 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. with a media vs. drivers karting race immediately following. (Please RSVP your attendance to SPM Press Officer Veronica Knowlton.) A free, public meet and greet with the IndyCar drivers will then take place from 4:15 p.m. – 5:15 p.m.

You can keep up with the latest news from SPM and its 2018 lineup via Twitter/Facebook/Instagram at @SPMindycar, @Hinchtown and @RobertWickens.

TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!

Kurt Busch Would Like To Matriculate His Car To Victory Lane

Kurt Busch

Hank Stram always liked Kansas City.

The Gary (Ind.) Lew Wallace High School and Purdue University graduate was head coach of the Kansas City Chiefs from 1963 to 1974.

Stram led the Chiefs to two Super Bowls, winning Super Bowl IV 23-7 over the Minnesota Vikings.

He was made famous by wearing a microphone for NFL Films during the winning Super Bowl and telling the offense, “Just keep matriculating the ball down the field, boys.”

And, with the Chiefs on the goal line, calling for his favorite play, “65 toss power trap.”

So what does all this have to do with Kurt Busch?

Nothing.

But Busch would like to matriculate his No. 41 Haas Automation/Monster Energy Ford Fusion for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) all the way to victory lane Sunday at Kansas Speedway in Kansas City.

 

It’s one of only eight tracks on the schedule where he has not seen victory lane in his great career.

 

He’s won 29 career Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series races and his first came at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway. Driving the No. 97 Ford, he found his way to the winner’s circle in just his third start at the .533-mile oval. It took 32 attempts at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway to find his way to victory lane, but he was finally able to do so in the 2017 season-opening Daytona 500.

 

At the eight mile-and-a-half venues where the NASCAR Cup Series competes, Busch has earned a total of six victories. They’ve come at four tracks – three at Atlanta Motor Speedway and one apiece at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway, Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth and Homestead-Miami Speedway. Busch is still searching for victory lane at four – Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, Illinois, Kentucky Speedway in Sparta, Las Vegas Motor Speedway, and Kansas.

 

Busch has been running at the end of all but two of the races in which he’s competed at the 1.5-mile oval, the first non-finish coming prematurely with an engine failure in 2003, the other due to an accident in October 2014. And in addition to a pair of top-five finishes and seven top-10s in 23 starts there, Busch owns one pole at Kansas, having scored the top starting spot in June 2011. The Kansas pole was the first of three consecutive poles Busch scored that month.

 

So while “65 toss power trap” won’t do much for Busch at Kansas, he’s hoping he can formulate a big play to find victory lane.

 

KURT BUSCH, Driver of the No. 41 Haas Automation/Monster Energy Ford Fusion for Stewart-Haas Racing: 
Kansas hasn’t always been a strong racetrack for you but, as of late, that seems to be changing. Do you agree?

 

“Kansas has been a good track and a tough track. It’s fun to go race there and, with the way the tires change and the downforce has changed, I haven’t quite found that perfect combination to win. But, as of late, we consider it one of our strong tracks.”

 

What has been the key to your three top-10 finishes in three of your five most recent starts at Kansas?

 

“I think it’s a matter of being on the right pit strategy and understanding when to pit for the final time. Track position becomes so important at these fast mile-and-a-half tracks that, if you are stuck around 10th or 12th, there is no way to crack that top-five. You’ve got to be there before the final sequences start. But, honestly, a big part of it has been having this great car setup by Tony Gibson and everyone on the Haas Automation/Monster Energy team.”

 

What is one part of the racetrack or your driving style that you’ve had to work on at Kansas over the years?

 

“It always seems like turn four is the toughest part about Kansas, whether it’s the wind angle or the sharper corner exit with the SAFER Barrier jumping out at the cars. You either lose a lot of time or gain a lot of time in turn four at Kansas.”

Haas Automation/Monster Energy Racing Team Report
Round 32 of 36 –  Hollywood Casino 400 – Kansas

 

Car No.: 41 – Haas Automation/Monster Energy Ford Fusion

 

PR Contact: Joe Crowley, True Speed Communication (704-875-3388, ext. 808, Joe.Crowley@TrueSpeedCommunication.com)

Primary Team Members:
Driver: Kurt Busch
Hometown: Las Vegas
Crew Chief: Tony Gibson
Hometown: Daytona Beach, Florida
Car Chief: Chad Haney
Hometown: Fairmont, West Virginia

Engine Builder: Roush-Yates Engines
Headquarters: Mooresville, North Carolina

 

Engine Specialist: Todd Hamm
Hometown: Kutztown, Pennsylvania

 

Spotter: Tony Raines
Hometown: LaPorte, Indiana

Over-The-Wall Crew Members:
Gas Man: Rick Pigeon
Hometown: Fairfax, Vermont
Front Tire Changer: Shane Pipala
Hometown: Frankfort Square, Illinois

Second Gas Man: Matt Schlytter

Hometown: Ponte Vedra, Florida

Front Tire Carrier: Jon Bernal
Hometown: Holland, Michigan
Windshield: Jay Guarneri (also serves as interior mechanic)
Hometown: Naples, Florida
Rear Tire Changer: Coleman Dollarhide
Hometown: Hickory, North Carolina
Jackman: Sean Cotten
Hometown: Mooresville, North Carolina
Rear Tire Carrier: Dwayne Moore
Hometown: Griffin, Georgia
Road Crew Members:
Truck Driver: Todd Cable and Rocky Boggs
Hometowns: Shelby, North Carolina, and Burlington, North Carolina
Tire Specialist: Jeff Zarrella
Hometown: Southington, Connecticut
Shock Specialist: Brian Holshouser
Hometown: Charlotte, North Carolina
Engineers: Johnny Klausmeier and Mike Cook
Hometowns: Perry Hall, Maryland, and Annapolis, Maryland

Mechanic: J.D. Frey
Hometown: Ferndale, California

 

Mechanic: Andy Spenner
Hometown: Hoyleton, Illinois
Chassis No. 003:
Chassis No. 003 is only the third chassis Stewart-Haas Racing has built completely in-house and the first in-house chassis used by the No. 41 team. It was built at the beginning of 2017 and turned its first laps during a Goodyear tire test May 9 and 10 at Kentucky Speedway in Sparta. Chassis No. 003’s first race came later that month in the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway, where it qualified 12th and ran inside the top-10 all night before finishing sixth. Chassis No. 003 returned to Kentucky for the July race, where Busch started 15th but finished 30th after experiencing engine trouble. This chassis was last used in September at Darlington (S.C.) Raceway, where Busch started seventh and finished third.
Kansas Notes of Interest:
·   The Hollywood Casino 400 will mark Busch’s 608th career Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series start and his 24th at Kansas Speedway in Kansas City. Busch has two top-five finishes and seven top-10s at the 1.5-mile oval. Additionally, the 39-year-old driver has led 263 laps, has an average starting position of 16.0, an average finish of 17.0 and has completed 94.3 percent (5,741 of 6,091) of the laps he’s contested there.

 

·   Busch has career total totals of 29 wins, 21 poles, 130 top-fives, 256 top-10s and 8,877 laps led in 607 starts.

 

·   His most recent Cup Series win came 31 races ago in the Daytona 500 at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway (Feb. 26).

 

·   His last Cup Series pole came 63 races ago at Las Vegas Motor Speedway(March 4, 2016).

 

·   Busch’s best finish at Kansas is second in October 2013 after he started in the rear of the field in a back-up car. 

 

·   The Las Vegas native has one pole to his credit (June 2011) at Kansas. Busch has 21 career NASCAR Cup Series poles.

 

·   Thus Far in 2017 – Busch has accumulated one win, five top-five finishes and 13 top-10s in 31 starts.

 

·   Get to the Points – With his 25th-place finish last Sunday at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway, Busch is 16th in the NASCAR Cup Series championship standings with 2,089 points.

 

 

·   The No. 41 Haas Automation/Monster Energy Ford Fusion will carry decals on the lower-rear quarter panel for:

 

Creative Blow Mold Tooling – 2350 N.E. Independence Ave., in Lees Summit, Missouri 64064 –www.creativeblowmold.com

 

Creative Blow Mold Tooling was founded in 1984. Creative began with a focus on the design, manufacture, and repair of tooling for the blow mold industry. From concept to finished product, Creative delivers with innovation and quality. Plastic blow molds and plastic bottle mold tooling are its specialties. Creative works closely with its customers from initial concept and product design through the creation of high-quality blow-molded parts in the customer’s plant. Throughout its manufacturing process, Creative maintains an unwavering commitment to quality, on-time delivery, and customer service.

 

Haas Factory Outlet Kansas City – 15661 South Mahaffie in Olathe, Kansas 66062 –www.haascncoutlet.com/contact.cfm

 

Haas Factory Outlet, Kansas City, a division of NYMAT Machine Tool Corporation, serves all of Kansas and Western Missouri. It is dedicated to providing the best service possible to ensure the Haas machines it sells provide the best overall value of any machine tool brand.