(www.sportsdayjax.com) Snapping a 54-race winless streak at Dover Motor Speedway on Monday, Joe Gibbs Racing’s Martin Truex Jr. has become the eighth different driver this season to earn a spot in the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs and NASCAR All-Star Race at North Wilkesboro Speedway on May 21.
As the latest winner this season, Truex has joined the postseason bound Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (Daytona), Kyle Busch (Fontana, Talladega), William Byron (Las Vegas, Phoenix), Joey Logano (Atlanta), Tyler Reddick (Austin), Kyle Larson (Richmond, Martinsville) and Christopher Bell (Bristol Dirt).
With eight drivers having already secured their spot in the postseason, plus points leader Trackhouse Racing’s Ross Chastain guaranteed a spot, which leaves just seven positions still up for grabs as the series heads to Kansas Speedway for the AdventHealth 400 on Sunday, May 7 at 3 p.m. ET on FS1, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.
The Dover win will usher Truex into his 10th appearance in the Playoffs, tying him with Brad Keselowski and Carl Edwards for the eighth most Playoff appearances all-time (since 2004).
In 11 starts this season, Truex ranks fourth in the driver point standings having posted one win (Dover), two top fives and four top 10s.
Don’t expect Truex to slow his pace at all this weekend at Kansas Speedway. In 29 NASCAR Cup Series starts at 1.5-mile track he has accumulated two poles, two wins (2017 sweep), 10 top fives and 16 top 10s. He has also led 827 laps there and has an average finish of 12.2.
Kansas Speedway sets the stage for the NASCAR Cup Series
On a short week following the postponement of the Dover Motor Speedway race to Monday, May 1, the NASCAR Cup Series turns its attention to Kansas Speedway for this Sunday’s AdventHealth 400.
In the heartland of America, groundbreaking for Kansas Speedway was held on May 25, 1999. The official opening of Kansas Speedway was in 2001, with the first NASCAR Cup Series race being held on September 30, 2001.
The first Kansas Cup event was won by Hendrick Motorsport’s driver and NASCAR Hall of Famer Jeff Gordon (Chevrolet). Gordon would actually win the first two NASCAR Cup Series races held at Kansas (2001, 2002).
During the 2012 season, between the April and October events, the 1.5-mile Kansas Speedway track underwent a repave, adding variable banking in the corners bringing them to 17-20 degrees. The advancement has opened up racing lanes from the apron to the wall and has become a driver favorite.
“I think Kansas has been a great race track and from a driver’s standpoint, a fun race track because of the fact, it’s worn in so well,” said veteran Kevin Harvick, the Stewart-Haas Racing driver who has competed in every Cup race since the track opened.
“Kansas has become one of the more unique race tracks because of the fact the asphalt and the shape of the race track is so driver-friendly, as far as where you can drive on the race track,” he continued. “You can literally drive from the wall to the apron all the way around the race track. So, it’s a fun race track.”
In total, there have been 34 NASCAR Cup Series races at Kansas Speedway; one event from 2001 – 2010 and two races per year since 2011. The 34 Cup Series races have produced 18 different pole winners and 18 different race winners (2001-2022).
Stewart-Haas Racing’s Kevin Harvick leads the NASCAR Cup Series in poles at Kansas Speedway with five (fall 2013, 2014 sweep, spring 2018, spring 2019).
This weekend, eight of the 16 NASCAR Cup Series Kansas pole winners are active this weekend.