When the Kansas Speedway was reconfigured prior to last October’s race there, they created a track that could feature some action-packed and intense racing. The drivers attempted to figure-out their way around the mile and a half track last October, but they left with some knowledge and mainly torn up sheet-metal. The race featured multiple incidents and it went down in the history books as one of the most exciting races in the history of the Kansas Speedway. Fans are hoping for a repeat performance when the cars take to the track this weekend and they likely won’t be disappointed.
The STP 400 will be taking place on Sunday, April 21, 2013 and the green-flag is scheduled to wave at 1:16 PM EST (12:16 PM CT). 267 Laps and 400.5 miles will make up the race distance and with the favorable weather forecast for race day; all 267 laps will likely get in the books. Sunday’s weather will be cloudy with a high of 62 F and only a 10% chance of rain. You can catch the TV broadcast of the race on FOX and you can listen to the race via MRN’s radio coverage.
Last time we were at Kansas in April was when a fierce battle closed out the race. Denny Hamlin and Martin Truex Jr. put on a show for the fans and the battle for the win went down to the final laps. Hamlin was able to hold off Truex Jr. for the win and another second-place finish for Truex Jr. left him without his second career Cup win. Following last week’s race at Texas, where a similar battle between Truex Jr. and Hamlin’s teammate, Kyle Busch, took place, Truex Jr. was left just one position shy of his second Cup win. Being that close could motivate Truex Jr. to come out this weekend and go after the victory and it will be exciting to see if he can do so. A win for him this weekend would definitely create some headlines.
As the season continues to progress, the storylines from each race continue to grow. Last week’s race at Texas had its fair share of headlines and even more will develop following the race this weekend. Most notable from last weekend was the dominant performance Kyle Busch put on which led him to his second victory of the season. The win proved Busch is here to compete this season and he has visions to go all the way. Some stories that came out of last week weren’t as good as Busch’s and they included penalties for both Penske cars.
Both of the Penske Racing cars had an illegal rear-end housing and had to make a change prior to last week’s race. Penalties for that were handed down by NASCAR and they most notably included suspensions for both crew chiefs. They did indeed appeal the penalty, but if the appeal isn’t dealt with before this weekend’s race, both the No.2 and No.22 cars will be with new crew chiefs. Penske Racing also is making news for this weekend’s race since they have entered Sam Hornish Jr. in a third Penske car. Joe Gibbs Racing has also entered another car for this weekend and their extra car will be driven by Elliot Sadler. Hornish Jr. and Sadler could easily be threats on Sunday and we’ll have to watch out for them.
Jimmie Johnson will be the point’s leader heading into this weekend and he hopes to maintain it after the race, but that will be difficult due to the fact that drivers like Brad Keselowski, Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Kyle Busch will be gunning for that position. A fight for the points lead will surely be a part of the STP 400 this weekend and it will be a fight that you don’t want to miss.
NASCAR has been waiting since the checkered flag fell last October for another race on Kansas’ reconfigured surface. The new surface created lots of action and overall great racing which is what fans enjoy best. The wait will be over once the cars hit the track this weekend and the learning game with the Gen 6 car on Kansas’ surface will begin. With last year’s winner of this race not competing this year, the field is wide-open and we’ll likely see a new winner of the STP 400. Your eyes will be glued to the TV on Sunday because this race is shaping up to be one heck of an event which will easily be considered one of the best races so far this season.
12:00-1:30 PM CT (1:00-2:30 PM EST) (Friday) Sprint Cup Series Practice, televised on SPEED
3:40 PM CT (4:40 PM EST) (Friday) Sprint Cup Series Qualifying, televised on SPEED
9:00-9:55 AM CT (10:00-10:55 AM EST) (Saturday) Sprint Cup Series Practice, televised on SPEED
11:30 AM- 12:20 PM CT (12:30-1:20 PM EST) (Saturday) Final Sprint Cup Series Practice, televised on SPEED
12:00 PM CT (1:00 PM EST) (Sunday) the Sprint Cup Series’ race, the STP 400, televised on FOX
Next Race- the Toyota Owners 400 at the Richmond International Speedway in Richmond, Virginia