Seven drivers to watch in Sunday’s NASCAR Cup Hollywood Casino 400 at Kansas Speedway



Kyle Larson, by winning last week at Texas, has clinched a spot as one of the four NASCAR Cup championship finalists next month at Phoenix.

Here are the remaining drivers who can move on to the final by winning the Hollywood Casino 400 on Sunday at Kansas Speedway.

Fun fact: Six of these guys already have victories at Kansas on their résumé.

Ryan Blaney, No. 12 Ford

Blaney, 28, ranks second in the standings to Larson and is 17 points above the Championship Four cutoff. Blaney, son of former Cup veteran Dave Blaney, has finished 10th or better in 12 of the last 16 races, including back-to-back wins at Michigan and Daytona for Team Penske. But Blaney has yet to win in 13 career starts at Kansas Speedway, where he finished seventh last fall and 21st in spring 2021.

Denny Hamlin, No. 11 Toyota

Hamlin, 40, is one of five three-time winners at Kansas Speedway, including the summer race in 2020. Hamlin, considered the best active driver not to have won a Cup championship, is nine points above the cutline and has won two races this season, at Darlington and Las Vegas for Joe Gibbs Motorsports. He finished 11th at Kansas in the spring.

Kyle Busch, No. 18 Toyota

Busch, the 2015 and 2019 Cup champion, is eight points above the cutline to advance. Busch, 36, owns two Cup victories at Kansas Speedway, including last spring when he swept both the Cup and trucks races for Joe Gibbs Racing, giving him nine career victories (two Cup, four Xfinity and three trucks) across NASCAR’s three national series at Kansas, most of any driver.

Chase Elliott, No. 9 Chevrolet

Elliott, who has replaced his father, Bill, and former Hendrick Motorsports teammate Dale Earnhardt Jr., as the Cup series’ Most Popular Driver, is the reigning series champion. But right now he’s eight points below the cutline to advance to the final round. Elliott, 24, won the fall race at Kansas in 2018, and was fourth and second in the two 2019 races and fifth last spring.

Brad Keselowski, No. 2 Ford

Keselowski, the 2012 Cup champion, has won twice at Kansas Speedway, both in the spring of 2011 and 2019 and was second in July 2020. Keselowski, 37, in his final year with Team Penske before moving on to a driver-partnership role at Roush Fenway in 2022, is 15 points behind fourth-place Busch for the final Championship Four spot, but he has finished fourth or better in four of his last five starts at Kansas.

Martin Truex Jr., No. 19 Toyota

Truex, the 2017 series champion, is the only driver to sweep both Cup races in a season at Kansas Speedway — he pulled off the double in 2017. Truex, 41, has won four races this season for Joe Gibbs Racing, but a crash and 25th-place finish at Texas last week left him 22 points below the cutline to advance. He finished sixth in the spring race at Kansas and was third and second in the 2020 events.

Joey Logano, No. 22 Ford

Logano, 31, will be looking for his second straight Kansas playoff victory and fourth overall for Team Penske. Logano, the 2018 Cup champion, is 43 points below the final transfer spot … but a year ago, he took the lead from Kevin Harvick with 45 laps to go and won this event to advance to the Championship Four. Logano’s three wins at Kansas are tied for a personal best at one track with Michigan and Talladega.


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