NASCAR’s ever being adjusted Cup Series schedule, thanks to pandemic restrictions, returns the series to mid-week night action Thursday at Kansas Speedway with the Super Start Batteries 400.
NASCAR Super Start Batteries 400 Preview
Cup Series points leader Kevin Harvick (5.5-1) heads back to the Midwest looking to extend his lead at the top of the series standings at a track he’s had plenty of success at.
Harvick is a three-time winner at Kansas with his last victory at the track coming May 2018.
From October 2013 to May 2018 Harvick put together a string of 10 events at Kansas that saw him win three times, finish second three times and finish third once. Overall Harvick has 15 top-10’s in 28 starts at Kansas going back to 2001. Harvick has just one DNF at Kansas and has completed 98.5 percent of the laps run there during his career. Of the 7,329 laps Harvick has run at the track he has been in the lead for 855 of them, so looks to be the man to beat in the Super Start Batteries 400.
Chase Elliott’s steamy run through May and June has tempered in July with finishes of 11th, 23rd and 12th in the three most recent points races. Though Elliott did win the non-points All-Star event last week at Bristol Motor Speedway.
Kansas has proved to be a place Elliott (6.5-1) typically finds the fast way around. He won the October 2018 event at the track and he has finished in the top-four in four of the last five races there. He was fourth and second in Cup Series events at the track in 2019. Over eight starts at the track dating back to 2016 Elliott has an average finish of 11.5 with top-10’s in five of his eight starts.
Denny Hamlin (8-1) carried a streak of two wins, a second and a fourth in four events leading into July, but went from red hot to cooled in July. Over the last three events Hamlin has finishes of 28th, 12th and 20th.
Hamlin won the last Cup Series event at Kansas in October 2019. He also had a Kansas win in 2012. Over 23 Cup Series starts at Kansas Hamlin has struggled with consistency at Kansas, shown by his average finish of 15.1. He has eight top-10’s at the track, but also 11 finishes of 15th or worse.
Eighteen races into the Cup Series season the biggest surprise thus far has been reigning series champion Kyle Busch (9-1) going winless this deep into the year. Busch has just eight top-five finishes and sits 10th in the series standings as he continues to look for a breakout event.
For years Kansas was a place Busch seemed to loathe. Over his first 14 Cup Series starts at the track from 2004 to 2014 he had no top-five finishes and just two top-10’s. But the stats swung the other way beginning in 2015. Busch has seven top-five and nine top-10 finishes over his last 10 starts at Kansas including a win May 2016. Overall Busch has an average finish of 16.3 over 24 career starts at the track, so at these odds, could be worth a look for the Super Start Batteries 400.
Martin Truex Jr. (7-1) swept victories in both Cup Series events at Kansas in 2017. In 23 starts at Kansas Truex has 10 top-10 finishes, which includes five in the last six events there.
Brad Keselowski (11-1) won the first of two Cup Series events at Kansas in 2019. It was his second win at the track over 20 starts since 2009. He got his second of 32 career Cup Series wins at Kansas in 2011. It was his first victory driving for Penske Racing. At Kansas Keselowski has an average finish of 12.5 with top-six finishes in three of the last six events.
That’s all for our preview of the Super Start Batteries 400, good luck with your online bets, no matter who you pick.