This week NASCAR is headed to my old stomping grounds, Kansas City and the Kansas Speedway. Having grown up about a half an hour from where the track now sits, its amazing to see the transformation the area has undergone. Not just the track, but the baseball stadium, Sporting KC's soccer field and all the restaurants and shopping. Plus a casino that will open next year. It's truly a unique track on the circuit.
As for the racing this weekend, midwest race fans will get to get a look at Danica Patrick this weekend. She is running the Nationwide race on Saturday.
This is is also the first, second race of the year for the track. But really this is the race the track has always had. Drivers say their notes from before will be more useful this weekend then in June.
Kevin Harvick and Carl Edwards come into this weekend virtually tied for the points lead, though the lead is technically Harvicks based on wins this season. Tony Stewart, who is usually very good at Kansas, already has two wins in the 2011 chase. And Jimmie Johnson is well, Jimmie Johnson. As I have said many times before, he's the champ until someone else is able to prove they want it more.
"It's just been one of those places that from the first time we've run at Kansas on, it's been a track that we've been very comfortable with," said Stewart. "We always seem to know at the end of happy hour where the balance is that we need to be really good during the race"
Looking back to the first race at Kansas this year, a suprise driver made a trip to victory lane, Brad Keselowski. Little did we know it would start two summer trends: BK running up front a lot and races being won on fuel mileage. Don't be surprised if Sunday's race isn't another fuel mileage affair.
Three drivers consider Kansas their home track: Edwards (Columbia, MO), Clint Bowyer (Emporia, KS) and Jamie McMurrary (Joplin, MO). None have ever won at the mile and a half track. But all three are good at that style of track.
"This race for our team is an opportunity to capitalize on one of our strong points and that's mile and a half race tracks,' said Edwards. So I'm hoping that we can do that, hoping that we can run as well as we have historically at these type of tracks."