Three Things to Watch
1. There should be a lot of speed, with records broken in qualifying and a relatively new surface at Kansas Speedway (it was redone before last falls race).
2. Points-leader Jimmie Johnson loves Kansas. Hes won twice and his average finish of 5.5 in his last 10 races is better than any other driver.
3. Although he qualified 23rd, Kyle Busch figures to be a factor. Hes got five consecutive top-five finishes, including a victory last week at Texas.
Just the facts
Where: Kansas Speedway, Kansas City, Kan.
Track type: 1.5-mile, paved, banked tri-oval.
Race distance: 267 laps or 400 miles.
Green flag: 1:17 p.m.
Weather: Partly cloudy with high of 67. Chance of rain 20 percent.
Radio: Motor Racing Network
Fantasy racing picks
Matt Kenseth, Carl Edwards, Jimmie Johnson
-- Carl Edwards is from nearby Columbia, Mo., and would love to win at what he considers his home track.
I want to be on top of the sheet as badly as ever every time I get in the race car here, said Edwards. Its a special place. A Cup win here, truly, would be as big as the Daytona 500 or any other race for me. Its a really special place for me.
Edwards has never won at Kansas in 11 starts. He finished second in 2008, which is as close as hes come.
-- Kansas Speedway is increasing its police presence this weekend in the wake of the Boston Marathon explosions. NASCAR is supportive of the tracks security decisions, but doesnt play a direct part in them.
Each track handles its own security, with NASCAR checking in each week on what is being done. There was a meeting Friday morning at Kansas Speedway to go over the tracks plans.
They didnt change anything about how theyre doing things, but we wouldnt be saying anything about it if they did, said Kristi King, NASCARs director of competition communications. Were comfortable with what theyre doing.
-- Denny Hamlin told reporters in the garage Saturday that theres a 50-50 chance he will return to racing next week at Richmond and is virtually certain hell be back the following week at Talladega.
Hamlin has a compression fracture of the lower back from a wreck at California on March 24. He was expected to miss at least six weeks.
I feel Ive gotten stronger, Hamlin said. Everything is a lot better. Last week, I would have said probably not. But this week I feel a lot better.
-- Jeff Gordon starts at the rear of the field Sunday after he tapped the wall in Fridays qualifying.
For a second I thought I was going to save it, Gordon said. I lit the tires up to keep it from hitting too hard and now we have a car and an engine that are pretty much done. Its been a while since I wrecked qualifying.
-- Joe Nemechek didnt make the field for Sundays race, and things didnt get much better for him afterward. His hauler apparently broke down on the way back to Mooresville. It was pulled to the side of Interstate 70 in Kansas City, Mo., early Friday evening with the hood up.
-- Victor Gonzalez Jr. will drive Tommy Baldwin Racings No. 36 Chevy at the Sprint Cup races in Sonoma, Calif., in June at Watkins Glen in August. Gonzalez, a native of Puerto Rico who now lives in the Dominican Republic, became the first Caribbean driver to race in a Nationwide race in 2009 at Montreal. He made his oval-track debut in 2010 at Phoenix.