Matt McLaughlin · Wednesday September 26, 2007
Driver Handicaps – Kansas Speedway
Jeff Gordon – Gordon won the first two Cup races at Kansas and finished fifth in his third start at the track. He hasn't had a Top 5 here since then, though, and last year suffered a mechanical DNF.
Tony Stewart – Stewart won this race last year, coasting to the finish line out of gas. But it’s not just luck that leaves Stewart a favorite out on the prairie; in six Cup starts at Kansas, Stewart has finished outside the Top 10 just once.
Jimmie Johnson – Johnson has three Top 10 finishes, but no Top 5s after five Cup starts at Kansas. He did lead this race late in the going last year until having to make a final pit stop for fuel.
Kyle Busch – After struggling in his first two Kansas Cup starts, Busch did manage a credible seventh place finish here last year, leading 64 laps during the race.
Clint Bowyer – A Kansas native, Bowyer finished ninth here last year in his only Cup start at his hometown track.
Carl Edwards – Edwards has Top 10 finishes in the last two Kansas Cup races after finishing 22nd here back in 2004.
Martin Truex, Jr. – Truex's only Kansas Cup start was last year's event; in that race, he finished eleventh.
Jeff Burton – Burton scored his first Top 10 finish at Kansas in six starts with a fifth place run here last year.
Kevin Harvick – Harvick has just one Top 10 and an average finish of eighteenth after six Kansas Cup starts. He did win the Busch race here last year, though.
Matt Kenseth – Fresh off a blown engine at Dover, Kenseth’s luck may not get much better; he is averaging a twentieth place finish at Kansas since races began back in 2001.
Kurt Busch – Ditto for Busch; he’s averaging a 21st place finish and even less sleep then Kenseth. Don’t expect him to run up front at Dover, though; he has led just three laps here to date.
Denny Hamlin – Hamlin made his first career Cup start at Kansas back in 2005… with less than memorable results. He improved slightly to finish eighteenth here last year.
Dale Earnhardt, Jr. – In a statistical quirk, Dale Earnhardt Jr. has finished in the Top 10 in three Kansas Cup starts, all during even-numbered years. So, what about the odds? Finishes of 33rd, 18th, and 34th packaged within three ho-hum races to forget. Hmm…lest I need to remind you, 2007 is an odd-numbered year.
Ryan Newman – Newman finished second here in 2001 and 2002, finally breaking through to win the 2003 Kansas Cup race. But in the three Cup events run here since, he's averaged a 23rd place finish. As our friend Buddy Baker might say, “I do believe he's done licked all the red off his candy.”
Greg Biffle – Biffle hasn't finished worse than twelfth in the last four Cup races at Kansas. No wins, but The Biff was runner-up way back in 2005.
Casey Mears – Mears finished second here last year – coasting in on fumes – and eighth in the race the year before. His first two Cup starts at the track before that? Less than memorable.
Bobby Labonte – Labonte has a less than stellar record at Kansas. His best finish here is sixteenth, and his average finish is just 23rd with six Kansas starts under his belt.
Jamie McMurray – McMurray crashed out at Kansas last year and finished 42nd…but he's also got two Top 10 finishes here in four starts.
Juan Pablo Montoya – This will be Montoya's first NASCAR start at Kansas.
J.J. Yeley – Yeley finished 41st last year after wrecking his car two-thirds of the way through the race.
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