NASCAR is in Kansas
Goin’ to Kansas City, Kansas City, here we come. Well, just outside of K.C. on the Kansas side lies Kansas Speedway home of this week’s NASCAR Cup Series race. We’ll have it on the air at 92.5 WBKR and online radio at www.wbkr.com Sunday. But, right now Blake Smith is here with this week’s:
Weekend Preview: STP 400
After a weekend sweep by Kyle Busch last weekend in Texas, the series roars into Kansas this weekend for the STP400. This will be the 13th year that NASCAR has visited Kansas Speedway, dating back to the inaugural race in 2001. Jeff Gordon swept the first 2 events at Kansas and hopes for a good weekend following a hub failure in last weekend’s NRA 500.
As mentioned last week, Brad Keselowski and the #2 team visited President Obama at the White House on Tuesday. Following the meeting, Keselowski and his team mate were both punished for violating section 12-1; 12-4J and 20-12*. The crew chief of both Keselowski and Logano were both fined $100K and suspended for the next 6 races. Both of the teams car chiefs have also been suspended for the next 6 events. Keselowski, Logano and their owner, Roger Penske were also fined 25 driver and owner points. Team owner, Roger Penske plans to appeal the fines according to the NASCAR rule book. The #56 of Martin Truex was also found to be in violation of the NASCAR rulebook. Crew chief, Chad Johnston was fined $25K and placed on NASCAR probation. Truex and team owner, Michael Waltrip were also fined 6 driver and owner points.
Kansas speedway told ESPN that fans attending this weekend’s racing events at Kansas can expect longer waits to get inside of the track. There is a heightened level of security following the events on Monday at the Boston Marathon. “We’ve had several meetings with our local contact with the Kansas police department which inter-phases with Homeland Security and the FBI,” track president Pat Warren said on Tuesday. “We don’t discuss publicly the things we do because we don’t want somebody who might do something bad to know what our plans, policies and procedures are. What I would say is that we treat every event seriously, and we treat the safety and security of our fans seriously. Probably it’s a good idea for people to plan on a little more time getting through the gates, having their backpacks checked, their coolers checked, those kind of things.” Warren said track security policies and procedures are the same now that were put in place after the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks. Hendrick Motorsports, Roush Fenway Racing and Michael Waltrip Racing will all have decals on their cars this weekend honoring the victims of the Boston Marathon Tragedy.
Forty-five teams are entered for this weekend’s STP 400 at Kansas Speedway. Veteran drivers, Sam Hornish Jr. and Elliott Sadler will be making their first starts of the season. Hornish will be driving the #12 Ford for Roger Penske while Elliott Sadler will be debuting in the #81 Toyota for Joe Gibbs Racing. Both drivers will have to make the race based on their qualifying time due to having no series points to fall back on.
Teams will take to the track today for practice and qualifying for Sunday’s race. There are also 2 more practices scheduled for Saturday. Teams will be welcomed to a call 51 degree high upon arriving today with a warmer temperature of 62 degrees on Saturday. There is a chance for scattered rain showers on Sunday with a high of 65 degrees.
Jimmie Johnson and crew chief, Chad Knaus have elected to bring a new chassis this weekend for the STP 400. Clint Bowyer will be bringing MWR Chassis # 758 for this weekend’s event which he last ran at California and finished 35th after mechanical problems. Kasey Kahne will have a special paint scheme for this weekend, the maroon and gold #5 Chevrolet will be commemorating the 85th anniversary of sponsor, Farmer’s Insurance. The #5 team has elected to bring a new chassis to this weekend’s event. The #99 Aflac team will be bringing Roush Fenway Chassis #808 to the track this weekend. Carl Edwards finished 5th at Las Vegas with this chassis. The Kansas Speedway can be compared to Homestead Miami Speedway, a place where Edwards has excellent results. After a strong performance last weekend at Texas, a proven car and skill at a track like Kansas, Carl Edwards is my pick for Sunday’s STP 400.
Sunday’s STP400 can be heard on WBKR and WBKR.com beginning at 11 AM. Tune into a complete recap of Sunday’s event at 6PM on Tuesday for NASCAR LIVE on WBKR and WBKR.com!
* All suspension systems and components must be approved by NASCAR. Prior to being used in competition, all suspension systems and components must be submitted, in a completed form/assembly, to the office of the NASCAR Competition Administrator for consideration of approval and approved by NASCAR. Each such part may thereafter be used until NASCAR determines that such part is no longer eligible. All suspension fasteners and mounting hardware must be made of solid magnetic steel. All front end and rear end suspension mounts with mounting hardware assembled must have single round mounting holes that are the correct size for the fastener being used. All front end and rear end suspension mounts and mounting hardware must not allow movement or realignment of any suspension component beyond normal rotation or suspension travel.
Thanks for reading my review, and thanks, Hank! — Blake Smith