NASCAR - Sprint Cup - Hollywood Casino 400 Preview

From The Sports Network

DATE: Sunday, October 21st
SITE: Kansas Speedway (2001) -- Kansas City, Kansas
TRACK: 1.5-mile oval - 2,685 feet (Frontstretch); 2,207 feet (Backstretch)
CAPACITY: 74,000 (Grandstand Seating)
ANNUAL: 12th
ANNOUNCERS: Allen Bestwick, Dale Jarrett, Andy Petree
RADIO: Motor Racing Network (MRN)/SIRIUS NASCAR Radio
START TIME: 2 p.m. (ET)/Green Flag: 2:16 p.m. (ET)
RUNNER-UP: Kasey Kahne
POLE WINNER: Greg Biffle (Finished 8th)
LAPS: 267
MILES: 400.5
QUALIFYING RECORD: Matt Kenseth, 2005 (180.856 m.p.h.)
RACE RECORD: Greg Biffle, 2011 (138.077 m.p.h.)
TOTAL PURSE: $5,906,054 (2010 figures)
PAYOUTS: 1st Place - $331,336; 2nd Place - $227,083; 3rd Place - $192,433
2011 Finish
1Jimmie Johnson196Kevin Harvick14
2Kasey Kahne57Clint Bowyer24
3Brad Keselowski128Greg Biffle1
4Matt Kenseth49Marcos Ambrose21
5Carl Edwards210Mark Martin9
2011 Hollywood Casino 400 Facts and Figures
AVERAGE SPEED: 137.181 m.p.h.
TIME OF RACE: 2 hours, 58 minutes, 27 seconds
MARGIN OF VICTORY: 0.548 second
CAUTION FLAGS: 6 for 25 laps
LEAD CHANGES: 19 among 9 drivers
POLE WINNER: Greg Biffle (174.877 m.p.h.)
Past Hollywood Casino 400 Winners (Starting Position) Car -- Speed
2011 -- Jimmie Johnson (19th) -- Chevrolet -- 137.181 m.p.h.
2010 -- Greg Biffle (5th) -- Ford -- 138.077 m.p.h. (race record)
2009 -- Tony Stewart (5th) -- Chevrolet -- 137.144 m.p.h.
2008 -- Jimmie Johnson (1st) -- Chevrolet -- 133.549 m.p.h.
2007 -- Greg Biffle (7th) -- Ford -- 104.981 m.p.h.
2006 -- Tony Stewart (21st) -- Chevrolet -- 121.753 m.p.h.
2005 -- Mark Martin (19th) -- Ford -- 137.774 m.p.h.
2004 -- Joe Nemechek (1st) -- Chevrolet -- 128.058 m.p.h.
2003 -- Ryan Newman (11th) -- Dodge -- 121.630 m.p.h.
2002 -- Jeff Gordon (10th) -- Chevrolet -- 119.394 m.p.h.
2001 -- Jeff Gordon (2nd) -- Chevrolet -- 110.576 m.p.h.
NOTE: Formerly called Protection One 400 (2001-02), Banquet 400 (2003-06),
Lifelock 400 (2007), Camping World RV 400 (2008). Price Chopper 400
Past Hollywood Casino 400 Pole Winners (Finish)
2011 -- Greg Biffle -- 8th
2010 -- Kasey Kahne -- 37th
2009 -- Mark Martin -- 7th
2008 -- Jimmie Johnson -- 1st
2007 -- Jimmie Johnson -- 3rd
2006 -- Kasey Kahne -- 33rd
2005 -- Matt Kenseth -- 5th
2004 -- Joe Nemechek -- 1st
2003 -- Jimmie Johnson -- 7th
2002 -- Dale Earnhardt Jr -- 6th
2001 -- Jason Leffler -- 28th
Last Race Results
RACE: Bank of America 500 (October 13th)
SITE: Charlotte Motor Speedway -- Concord, North Carolina
MILES: 501
LAPS: 334
WINNER: Clint Bowyer
RUNNER-UP: Denny Hamlin
THIRD: Jimmie Johnson
FOURTH: Greg Biffle
FIFTH: Kyle Busch
POLE WINNER: Greg Biffle (Finished 4th)
TIME OF RACE: 3 hours, 14 minutes, 1 second
AVERAGE SPEED: 154.935 m.p.h.
MARGIN OF VICTORY: 0.417 second
CAUTION FLAGS: 5 for 23 laps
LEAD CHANGES: 20 among 8 drivers
LAP LEADERS: G. Biffle 1-2; M. Martin 3-4; G. Biffle 5-37; B. Keselowski
38-41; M. Ambrose 42-43; B. Keselowski 44-71; J. Johnson 72-83;
J. Gordon 84-85; B. Keselowski 86-97; J. Johnson 98-134; D.
Hamlin 135-167; B. Keselowski 168; J. Johnson 169-172; G. Biffle
173-179; B. Keselowski 180-220; C. Bowyer 221-222; B. Keselowski
223-275; C. Bowyer 276-277; D. Hamlin 278-280; G. Biffle 281-309;
C. Bowyer 310-334.
Hollywood Casino 400 Entry List
CarDriver, HometownCar/Name
1Jamie McMurray (Joplin, MO)Chevrolet/Bass Pro Shops
2Brad Keselowski (Rochester Hills, MI)Dodge/Miller Lite
5Kasey Kahne (Enumclaw, WA)Chevrolet/Farmer's Insurance
9Marcos Ambrose (Launceston, Australia)Ford/Black & Decker
10Danica Patrick (Roscoe, IL)Chevrolet/
11Denny Hamlin (Chesterfield, VA)Toyota/FedEx Freight
13Casey Mears (Bakersfield, CA)Ford/Geico
14Tony Stewart (Columbus, IN)Chevrolet/Mobil 1/Office Depot
15Clint Bowyer (Emporia, KS)Toyota/5-Hour Energy
16Greg Biffle (Vancouver, WA)Ford/3M/Sherwin Williams
17Matt Kenseth (Cambridge, WI)Ford/Zest
18Kyle Busch (Las Vegas, NV)Toyota/M&M's Halloween
19Mike Bliss (Milwaukie, OR)Toyota/Plinker Tactical
20Joey Logano (Middletown, CT)Toyota/Dollar General
21Trevor Bayne (Knoxville, TN)Ford/Motorcraft/Quick Lane Tire
22Sam Hornish Jr. (Defiance, OH)Dodge/Shell/Pennzoil
24Jeff Gordon (Vallejo, CA)Chevrolet/DuPont
26Josh Wise (Riverside, CA)Ford/MDS Transport
27Paul Menard (Eau Claire, WI)Chevrolet/Menards/Certain Teed
29Kevin Harvick (Bakersfield, CA)Chevrolet/Budweiser
30David Stremme (South Bend, IN)Toyota/Inception Motorsports
31Jeff Burton (South Boston, VA)Chevrolet/Caterpillar
32Timmy Hill (Port Tobacco, MD)Ford/Southern Pride Trucking
33Cole Whitt (Alpine, CA)Chevrolet/
34David Ragan (Unadilla, GA)Ford/Client One Securities
36Dave Blaney (Hartford, OH)Chevrolet/Tommy Baldwin Racing
37J.J. Yeley (Phoenix, AZ)Chevrolet/TBA
38David Gilliland (Riverside, CA)Ford/Long John Silver's
39Ryan Newman (South Bend, IN)Chevrolet/Code 3 Associates
42Juan Pablo Montoya (Bogota, Colombia)Chevrolet/Target/Taylor Swift
43Aric Almirola (Tampa, FL)Ford/Farmland
47Bobby Labonte (Corpus Christi, TX)Toyota/Kingsford Charcoal
48 *Jimmie Johnson (El Cajon, CA)Chevrolet/Lowe's
51A.J. Allmendinger (Los Gatos, CA)Chevrolet/Phoenix Construction
55Mark Martin (Batesville, AR)Toyota/Aaron's Dream Machine
56Martin Truex Jr. (Mayetta, NJ)Toyota/NAPA Auto Parts
78Kurt Busch (Las Vegas, NV)Chevrolet/Furniture Row
79Kelly Bires (Mauston, WI)Ford/Team Kyle
83Landon Cassill (Cedar Rapids, IA)Toyota/Burger King
87Joe Nemechek (Lakeland, FL)Toyota/AM FM Energy Wood&Pellet
88Regan Smith (Cato, NY)Chevrolet/Diet Mt. Dew/Nat Guard
91Reed Sorenson (Peachtree City, GA)Chevrolet/Plinker Tactical
93Travis Kvapil (Janesville, WI)Toyota/Burger King
95Scott Speed (Manteca, CA)Ford/TBA
98Michael McDowell (Glendale, AZ)Ford/Phil Parsons Racing
99Carl Edwards (Columbia, MO)Ford/Fastenal
* - Defending champion
Leading Contenders (Finish the last nine years)
Jimmie Johnson7th32nd6th14th3rdWon9th2ndWon
Kasey Kahne---12th19th33rd9th21st6th37th2nd
Brad Keselowski------------------13th23rd3rd
Matt Kenseth36th17th5th23rd35th5th39th7th4th
Carl Edwards---22nd3rd6th37th2nd10th6th5th
Kevin Harvick6th35th24th15th6th6th24th3rd6th
Clint Bowyer---------9th2nd12th21st15th7th
Greg Biffle12th3rd2nd12thWon3rd3rdWon8th
Mark Martin20th20thWon3rd12th18th7th14th10th
Kyle Busch---37th21st7th41st28th12th21st11th
Tony Stewart4th14th4thWon39th40thWon4th15th
Denny Hamlin------32nd18th29th11th5th12th16th
Ryan NewmanWon33rd23rd24th43rd16th22nd9th18th
Jeff Gordon5th13th10th39th5th4th2nd5th34th
Martin Truex Jr---------11th38th43rd16th20th36th
Mover of the Week
Tony Stewart - Started in the 32nd position and finished 13th
Sports Network Selections
Pick to Win - Jimmie Johnson
Darkhorse - Ryan Newman
Last Week's Pick to Win (Kyle Busch) - Finished 5th
Last Week's Darkhorse (Greg Biffle) - Finished 4th
With only five races remaining, Brad Keselowski saw his lead cut in half last week, as Jimmie Johnson finished third and climbed to within seven points of Keselowski. After a string of six straight top-10s, including a pair of wins, Keselowski finished 11th in North Carolina.

Johnson certainly is the driver to beat this week, as he defends his title at Kansas Speedway. In fact, Johnson has two wins and five straight top-10s at this race.

Last season, Johnson put on a dominating performance but had to hold off Kasey Kahne during a green-white-checkered finish to win the Hollywood Casino 400. The five-time Sprint Cup champion led 197 of 272 laps. The overtime finish was setup due to Jeff Gordon's engine failure. After the restart, Johnson pulled away from Kahne and then beat him at the finish line by a half-second .

Winning this race does not guarantee the victor the Sprint Cup championship. In fact, the Kansas winner has captured the championship just once during the Chase era, Johnson in 2008. Reigning champion Tony Stewart was 15th in last year's race and ranked seventh, 19 points behind Chase leader at the time, Carl Edwards

Greg Biffle continued his impressive run at Kansas Speedway in 2010, as he raced to victory for his second win in the last four at the Midwest track. Biffle, who placed 8th last season, ranks sixth on the points list, 43 behind Keselowski.

Along with Johnson, Biffle might be the man to beat, as he has recorded seven top-10 finishes at this race in the past eight seasons, including two wins. Biffle reclaimed the lead in 2010 with 29 laps to go and held on to defeat Jimmie Johnson by 7.6 seconds.

In 2009, Tony Stewart gambled with a two-tire stop late in the race. He exited the pits first and grabbed the lead with 30 laps remaining. The two-time Cup Series champion then held off a hard-charging Jeff Gordon in the closing laps for his fourth win of the season and the 37th of his Cup career. Stewart, who also won at Kansas in 2006, joined Gordon and now Biffle as the only repeat winners. Stewart's win total now stands at 47.

Jimmie Johnson became the second pole sitter in the history of this race to take the checkered flag, as he defeated the hard-charging Carl Edwards by 0.280 of a second in 2008. Johnson dominated the race, leading five times for a race-high 124 laps. Edwards started 34th on the grid and led for 31 laps, but was overtaken by Johnson on lap 220.

In 2007, Greg Biffle led the final 37 laps, as he defeated Clint Bowyer under the caution for the 12th of his 18 career Sprint Cup titles. Pole sitter Jimmie Johnson led only for the first lap and placed third. Kurt Busch, who was fairly dominant during the middle of the race, led three times for a race- high 76 laps.

When Tony Stewart won in 2006, he led only for five laps, but it was the last five, as he finished well ahead of Casey Mears for the title. Starting in the 21st position, Stewart inched his way to the top and took the lead on lap 263 to post a whopping 12.422 seconds win over Mears. Pole sitter Kasey Kahne, who led the first 11 laps, finished a distant 33rd. Jimmie Johnson, who led three times for a race-high 105 laps, placed 14th. Stewart finished the race coasting across the finish line, as he was out of fuel.

In 2005, Mark Martin, starting from the 19th position, recorded his first win of that season, as he crossed the finish line 0.557 of a second ahead of teammate Greg Biffle. Winless since Dover 2004, Martin registered his 35th of 40 career Sprint Cup titles. Before a crowd of 125,000, Martin reclaimed the lead on lap 220 of the 267-lap event and held on for the win. Overall, Martin led three times for a total of 139 laps, while Biffle led twice for 47 laps. Pole sitter Matt Kenseth led for 71 laps and finished fifth.

Back in 2004, Joe Nemechek raced to victory, as he fought off Ricky Rudd at the finish line to win by just 0.081 seconds for his fourth and last career win. Nemechek captured both races that year at Kansas Speedway, winning the NASCAR Nationwide Series event on Saturday prior to the NASCAR Sprint event on Sunday.

THIS AND THAT FROM KANSAS: The top-5 position has won this race five times in the 11-year history, twice coming from the pole. The furthest back a driver has come to win this race was from the 21st position on the grid, when Tony Stewart won in 2006. Eight of the 10 races that ended under green had a margin of victory under one second. The 2007 race ended under caution. There have been 11 NASCAR Sprint Cup races in Kansas, all at Kansas Speedway. The only other Kansas track to hold a NASCAR national series race was Heartland Park in Topeka, which hosted five NASCAR Camping World Truck Series races from 1995-99.

Danica Patrick will make her eighth 2012 Sprint Cup start this week. Her best finish was 25th at the GEICO 400 one month ago.

The Chase for the Sprint Cup championship moves on to Martinsville Speedway for the October 28 Tums Fast Relief 500. Tony Stewart won last year's race there.

10/16 17:24:09 ET

As of October 16, 2012, at 05:24 PM ET
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