Race: Camping World RV 400 presented by Coleman
Date: Sunday September 28, 2008
Track: Kansas Speedway
Time: 1 pm ET
With only 7 races in the history books, Kansas Speedway is set to be one of the most unpredictable races this year. Theres a bunch of reasons for this. Number one, were racing a new car. Number two, were into the third race of the Chase and things are sure to get a little crazy. Number three, theres been few drivers who have dominated this year, leaving the door open for a new guy every week.
This tracks history lends itself yet again to the Roush drivers. Its an intermediate track at 1.5 miles long. This d-shaped oval has 15 degree banking in the turns and 10 degree banking on the front stretch. The backstretch boasts only 5 degree banking. The front stretch and the backstretch are relatively equal in length at 2685 feet and 2207 feet respectively.
With not much history, its hard to make a prediction based on past winners, but lets just say Greg Biffle is the defending champion. The Nationwide winner is Kyle Busch, so we know he knows his way around. In its short history, theres only been on repeat winner and thats Jeff Gordon. But despite having what most thought was the best car of the race in Dover, Gordon is sure to disappoint again if things keep going the way theyre going for him.
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This seems to be one of those tracks where starting position means very little as with most intermediate tracks. This is good for drivers like Tony Stewart, the 2006 winner, who like to lie in the back and make a late race charge. Its also obviously good for those drivers starting on the pole, like Joe Nemecheck who sat on the pole in 2004 and came away with the win.
Needless to say, its going to be another unpredictable race this weekend if things continue like they have been. Dovers race definitely had us on the edge of our seats, especially at the end with a three way battle for the lead. I would think this race is going to be much of the same. Look for seriously different pit strategies and for crew chiefs like Chad Knaus to take risks. This is the time to start doing that. Although the Chase drivers are in a situation where you have to be cautious, you also cant be afraid to take risks. This is how Jimmie Johnson has won two championships in a row. His crew chief took risks where other drivers, i.e. Jeff Gordon, took the safe road. If youre going to win the Chase, now is the time to do something about it.
The points are so close as it is right now, and there are so many drivers within the top 12 who have a very legitimate chance of winning that someone needs to be the guinea pig and take the risk. Someone is going to have to put their nose out there and make a move, a move that could potentially crown a new champion.
That being said, heres your current top 12 after the Dover race:
1. Carl Edwards
2. Jimmie Johnson
3. Greg Biffle
4. Jeff Burton
5. Kevin Harvick
6. Clint Bowyer
7. Tony Stewart
8. Jeff Gordon
9. Dale Earnhardt Jr.
10. Matt Kenseth
11. Denny Hamlin
12. Kyle Busch
Busch is theoretically knocked out the championship run at this point. While Im sure most of you are cheering, Im going to pretend not to hear it only because I dont really agree with the system. Thats another article though. Anyway, this is the point where guys get desperate and realize that they have to make some changes and do something different to pull in some wins. Bonus points are where its at right now since these guys are so close.