In the wildest race in Kansas Speedway’s six-year history, Tony Stewart’s Home Depot Chevrolet coasted out of fuel for the final half-lap of the race, yet still managed to beat out Casey Mears to the line to win Sunday’s Banquet 400. Mears, who ran out of gas himself coming to the checkers, came home second, with Mark Martin third and Dale Jarrett fourth on fuel mileage gambles.
Unfortunately, in the battle for the Top 35, the race was basically running on empty. Only two drivers moved up or down in the standings in our bubble watch, simply changing positions with each other. The other competitors gained or lost points in their battle to stay in a locked-in spot, but didn’t do enough to change their place in the standings. Still, there were several drivers who put themselves in better positions after Sunday’s action. Let’s take a closer look.
It was business as usual for Kevin Harvick Saturday afternoon; he scored his seventh Busch Series win of the season at Kansas Speedway, and once again, he found his way to Victory Lane even without the fastest car. Matt Kenseth dominated the day, but a slow pit stop under caution on lap 165 cost him the top spot, losing him an advantage he could never get back. Harvick took advantage of Kenseth’s mistakes and came out in second with four fresh tires. That would prove to be the difference, as after two more caution flags, Harvick got by Kyle Busch on lap 185 and never looked back.
KANSAS CITY, Kan. — Kasey Kahne picked up the pole for Sunday’s Banquet 400 at the Kansas Speedway, making it his fifth pole of the season (tying Kurt Busch for most poles in 2006). Kahne, looking for his sixth victory of the season, will line up beside his Evernham Motorsports teammate, Scott Riggs. This is the second 1-2 sweep of the front row for Evernham.
Friday’s schedule at the Kansas Speedway was jam packed, with Nextel Cup practice and qualifying, Busch Series practice, and USAC Silver Crown Series practice and qualifying.
Using the cleverest and most versatile invention ever to be thought of by mankind, statistics, I have come up with a new way to evaluate those that are lucky enough to be in the Chase. I say lucky enough because the particular statistic that I am using in this evaluation is what is affectionately known as the Lucky Dog.
A 1.5-mile D-shaped oval is a great place to see a race. It is a big track that lets the 800 horsepower engines really stretch their legs and hit some high speeds. It doesn’t make you dizzy watching short laps from high above. It allows the sounds to escape so that the fans aren’t deafened by the end of the race. These are the majority of the reasons that these new tracks were all built in the same size and style. Unfortunately, the high speeds mean one very bad thing and that is high dependency on aerodynamics.
News came down this week that Bobby Labonte would be taking over driving duties for Kevin Harvick Inc.’s No. 77 Dollar General Chevrolet for the remaining companion events of the 2006 Busch Series season. This means that rookie driver Burney Lamar will have only one more run in the car in the Busch Series standalone event at Memphis. The reason given for the change involves the performance of the car or rather the lack thereof. It seems the team has not seen the progress or improvement they were hoping for and are putting a veteran behind the wheel to evaluate the program in an effort to see where they might need to make improvements for next season. Although he hasn’t technically been completely relieved of his driving duties, Lamar is basically the next rookie being sidelined.
The Banquet 400 is the 29th race on the 36-race NASCAR Nextel Cup Series schedule and the third in the Chase for the Nextel Cup. The Cup Series visits the 1.5-mile Kansas Speedway for the only time in 2006.
After last week’s race at Dover, there was plenty of movement in the point standings thanks to ill-timed cautions, poorly calculated fuel mileage, and simply some plain, good ol’ fashion bad luck. All was not all doom and gloom at Dover, though… especially if your name was Jeff. So, who will follow the yellow brick road to glory this weekend, and who will get caught up in a tornado of disaster? Let’s figure out the right picks for your fantasy team.