Good news for those involved in the Chase. Saturday’s practice times/speeds were faster for most than qualifying. Three of the top six times were the likes of Carl Edwards, Jimmie Johnson and Greg Biffle - the top three in the Chase standings.
Biffle’s No. 16 car posted the fastest time during the practice round, cutting up the Kansas Speedway at 167.385 MPH. Biffle is tied for second in the Chase standings, along with Johnson, who finished the practice round with a top speed of 166.528. Edwards posted the third-best top speed in the No. 99 car at 167.271.
So what are we looking at this afternoon? Well, the Kansas Speedway has been notorious for being extremely hard to win for those 12 drivers involved in the Chase. It’s all been almost expected to see a wreck that will impact the race standings. So, here’s my prediction. With the history of the track hard to ignore, I’m staying on the side of caution. Both Kevin Harvick and Tony Stewart looked impressive in practice Saturday, however both are starting near the back of the pack. With so much to make up, I don’t feel comfortable choosing either as a hands-down winner. But I do feel comfortable picking either Mark Martin or Jeff Gordon.
Martin starts alongside Johnson on the front row after Montoya was disqualified. Gordon will start in the 13th position. Yet, it’s hard to ignore Biffle and his chase for a third-straight win. So, here are my top three finishers for today’s race. Gordon will win, followed by Martin and Biffle fighting for second.
Now, time to sit back and wait for that green flag.
Jimmie Johnson received a nice gift Friday as Juan Pablo Montoya was disqualified from the pole position of Sunday’s race after NASCAR officials reported a technical violation from Montoya’s car.
Johnson is tied for second in the Chase for the Sprint Cup standings, trailing Carl Edwards by 10 points entering Sunday’s race in Kansas. Montoya thought he had earned his first pole position in NASCAR Sprint Cup before he was notified of the violation, which turned out to be improper gas pressure in his rear shocks. The ageless wonder, Mark Martin, will start next to Johnson on the front row Sunday.
The Kansas Speedway has been particularly tough on drivers in the Chase in the past. Many of the drivers involved in the Chase ran slow in qualifying. The Chase leader, Carl Edwards will start 34th, while third-place Greg Biffle will start 18th. The rest of the lineup for Sunday with cars involved in the Chase can be found below.
3. Matt Kenseth
11. Dale Earnhardt, Jr.
13. Jeff Gordon
24. Clint Bowyer
27. Kyle Busch
30. Denny Hamlin
36. Kevin Harvick
37. Jeff Burton
41. Tony Stewart