FORD PERFORMANCE NASCAR: KANSAS PLAYOFF ADVANCE
There will be four drivers eliminated from the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs this weekend at Kansas Speedway while the NASCAR XFINITY Series kicks off its Round of 8. Ford has eight drivers in the two series combined still in title contention. Here’s a look at where each one stands going into their respective races.
FORD IN THE MONSTER ENERGY NASCAR CUP SERIES AT KANSAS
· Ford has eight all-time Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series wins at Kansas.
· Brad Keselowski goes for the season sweep after winning in the spring.
· Logano, Ryan Newman, Kevin Harvick and Brad Keselowski all have at least one Kansas win.
ROUND OF 12 MENCS PLAYOFF STANDINGS (Top 8 Advance After Kansas)
4th – Kevin Harvick (+40 ahead of cutoff)
5th – Brad Keselowski (+20 ahead of cutoff)
6th – Joey Logano (+18 ahead of cutoff)
9th – Ryan Blaney (Clinched spot in Round of 8 after Talladega win)
11th – Clint Bowyer (-24 from final transfer spot)
FORD IN THE NASCAR XFINITY SERIES AT KANSAS
· Ford has three NASCAR XFINITY Series wins at Kansas.
· Jeff Green won the inaugural series race in 2001 while Jeff Burton won the following year.
· Ricky Stenhouse Jr. has Ford’s last series win at the track (2012).
ROUND OF 8 NXS PLAYOFF STANDINGS (Top 4 Advance After Phoenix)
2nd – Cole Custer (+36 ahead of cutoff)
4th – Austin Cindric (+3 ahead of cutoff)
6th – Chase Briscoe (-4 from final transfer spot)
KESELOWSKI GOING FOR CUP SWEEP
Brad Keselowski registered his third win of the season when he prevailed in overtime during the first visit to Kansas Speedway this season. Keselowski led only 12 of the 271 laps, which was extended four laps past the scheduled distance, but he was able to outduel Alex Bowman by passing him under green on Lap 261 and then holding him off with fresher tires in overtime. Keselowski will try to become the second Cup driver to win both Kansas races in the same season since the track started hosting two events in 2011.
HARVICK CONTINUES 2018 ROLL
Kevin Harvick passed Martin Truex Jr. coming to the white flag and held on to capture his fifth victory of the season after winning last year’s KC Masterpiece 400. Harvick, who started on the pole, had a competitive car all night as he led five times for 79 laps and finished second the first two stages. A series of late-race cautions set the stage for Harvick to rally after a red flag with 14 laps remaining reset the field. Even though Truex built a good-sized lead, Harvick was able to close the gap with three laps to go before making the decisive pass. The win gave Harvick back-to-back Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series wins for the second time in 2018, a year that saw him win eight times overall.
Joey Logano became the first driver to automatically advance to the Eliminator Round of the Chase in 2014 as he took the lead from Ryan Newman with 29 laps to go and held off Kyle Larson to get his career-best fifth win of the season. In 2015, Logano ended up dueling with Matt Kenseth in a well-documented battle that resulted in contact as the two entered turn one with five laps to go. That controversial finish marked Logano’s second straight win in the Chase and led to a sweep of the Contender Round as he took the checkered flag the following week at Talladega Superspeedway.
UNDER COVER OF DARKNESS
A couple of rain delays and impending darkness couldn’t keep Greg Biffle from winning a shortened Lifelock 400 on Sept. 30, 2007. The race was delayed for more than three hours and NASCAR decided to shorten the distance from 267 laps to 210 laps when it became evident there wouldn’t be enough daylight to finish the event. Biffle passed Kevin Harvick on lap 274, but when Juan Pablo Montoya blew a tire to bring out the caution with four laps to go it appeared he would have to survive a green-white-checker finish in order to win. NASCAR, however, decided to end the race under caution due to darkness. The win was Biffle’s first of the season and snapped a 32-race winless drought.
ON THE MARK
Ford went to victory for the first time at Kansas Speedway on Oct. 9, 2005 when Mark Martin took the checkered flag in what was a Roush Fenway Racing runaway with teammates Greg Biffle and Carl Edwards finishing second and third, respectively. Martin led a race-high 139 laps, including 81 of the final 83 circuits, to win by one-half second. It marked the second time in as many months that RFR swept the top three spots, a feat it did two more times during that season. In addition, the victory ended up being Martin’s last with Ford. His 35 series wins with the manufacturer ranks third all-time behind leader Ned Jarrett (43) and second-place Bill Elliott (40).
FORD MONSTER ENERGY NASCAR CUP SERIES WINNERS AT KANSAS
2005 – Mark Martin
2007 – Greg Biffle
2010 – Greg Biffle
2012 – Matt Kenseth (2)
2014 – Joey Logano (2)
2015 – Joey Logano (2)
2018 – Kevin Harvick (1)
2019 – Brad Keselowski (1)
FORD NASCAR XFINITY SERIES WINNERS AT KANSAS
2001 – Jeff Green
2002 – Jeff Burton
2012 – Ricky Stenhouse Jr.