Kansas Likely To Feature Playoff Winner, Finish In Regulation, See Winner Come From Up Front

Last week I wrote the complete opposite of what I’m about to write about this week. Last week, I wrote how the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at the Talladega Superspeedway could easily have been won by a non playoff driver and also end in overtime. If not for a late red flag, both could have been true.

This week, I’m changing my tune. This week, trends show that the Hollywood Casino 400 (3 p.m. ET/NBCSN/MRN) at the Kansas Speedway not only will be won by one of the 12 remaining playoff eligible drivers, but the race will also end on the 267th and final scheduled lap.

Only three non-Playoff drivers have ever won the Playoff race at Kansas Speedway, Joe Nemechek in 2004 (21st in the points), Tony Stewart 2006 (11th in the points) and Greg Biffle 2007 (14th in the points) are the only three non playoff drivers to accomplish that feat at Kansas. As you can see, it happened in three of the first four years of the playoff format, but hasn’t happened in the 10 years since. 

KANSAS CITY, KS – MAY 06: Martin Truex Jr., driver of the #78 Bass Pro Shops/TRACKER Boats Toyota Toyota, drives during qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Go Bowling 400 at Kansas Speedway on May 6, 2016 in Kansas City, Kansas. (Photo by Brian Lawdermilk/Getty Images)

With who’s left eligible right now, I don’t see it happening again this year anyways.

Also, speaking of playoffs, the race winner likely won’t win the championship at the Homestead-Miami Speedway either. Some of you may be saying, how does this guy know that? Well, out of the 10 year history of this event being in the playoffs, just once has the fall race winner at Kansas gone on to win the championship in the same season. Jimmie Johnson did that in 2008. It hasn’t been done since.

Then, don’t expect the winner to come from outside the top 15, or even the top 20 starting position either.

13 of the 23 Cup races at Kansas have been won from a top 10 starting spot. That’s 56.5-percent of the time. Even further, 91.3-percent of the time has the winner come from the top 20 starting positions. That’s 21 out of 23. Tony Stewart (started 21st in 2006) and Brad Keselowski (started 25th in 2011) are the only two drivers to win from a starting spot of outside the top 20.

Plus, the race winner will likely cross the finish line on Lap 267. Here’s why.

Only twice in 23 races has the Cup race at Kansas gone to overtime. It happened in 2011 and again in 2015. That’s it.

So, what do these trends show overall?

The race winner will be one of the 12 playoff drivers, he will come from a starting position inside the top 20 and he won’t win the championship. He will also win the race in regulation too.

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