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Kansas 400 Race Preview

Written by Gabriel Tsui, Edited by Sharifah Zaqreeztrina

Welcome to the month of May, as we march on with the 2024 NASCAR season, we now head to Kansas City for the 12th round. After a convincing win in Dover, will Denny Hamlin be able to keep the momentum going? Or will the Chevys take back the upper hand as we approach the all-star weekend?

Dover 400 Race Debrief

The race started off with Kyle Busch leading the field from the outside, with Ryan Blaney. Busch led for a significant amount of the first stage, before conceding the lead to Blaney on lap 34. Soon after Blaney takes the lead, Todd Gilliland spins on the exit of turn four after sliding up the track, bringing out the first caution flag of the race.

After a lengthened caution period due to a few fender benders on the pit road, the race restarted on lap 48 with Blaney leading. However, after tailing Blaney for 31 laps, William Byron made a move to pass Blaney for the lead. 

Byron was a few laps away from his first stage win of the season, but Martin Truex Jr had other thoughts, taking the lead with five laps to go in the stage and winning stage one.

After the stage break, Truex Jr led the way and held onto the lead until the green flag pit cycle, where Kyle Larson got a jump on Truex Jr in the pit road, taking the provisional lead. Corey LaJoie decided not to pit alongside most leaders, but was soon passed by Larson, who comfortably brought the car back to the start finish line for the stage win.

Hamlin took the lead after the pit cycle and led the way on the restart. On lap 315, the drivers started the green flag cycle, with Larson’s crew nailing the money stop, getting a jump over Hamlin for the provisional lead. 

However, after a caution due to a spin by Ricky Stenhouse Jr, Hamlin took the lead on the restart. Larson was on Hamlin’s bumper all the way up to the finish line, but Hamlin holds onto the lead and wins the race

Track Preview

The Kansas Speedway, located in Kansas City, Kansas, was built in 2001, which makes it a relatively new track. The track originally hosted one race per season in the first few seasons scheduled during the playoffs, but inherited a second race for the regular season as a part of the schedule realignment in 2011. 

The drivers will race on the tri-oval layout, with a length of 1.5 miles (2.414 kilometres), with a banking of 17 to 20 degrees on the turns, and a banking of 9 to 11 degrees on the front straight. They will drive 267 laps around the track, with 80 laps each in stages one and two, 107 laps in the final stage, totalling a distance of 400.5 miles driven around the track.

The weather report indicates the temperatures will fluctuate between 14 to 21 degrees Celsius, with a possibility of rain during the race weekend. The race will commence on Sunday, 5th of May, at 15:00 ET (12:00 PT, 21:00 CET).

Race Predictions

The current momentum resides with the Toyotas, as they have won two consecutive races, and they will be looking to extend this run into the all star weekend. They have Denny Hamlin who is mounting up for another run at the championship, while the other drivers such as Martin Truex Jr and Ty Gibbs are long overdue for a win. 

Even with the Chevrolets building up the pressure, Kansas historically has been a track where the Toyotas perform exceptionally. Therefore, I would be predicting that one of the Toyota drivers going to victory road, evening the win total between them and the Chevys this season.


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