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Who’s hot, who’s not as NASCAR Cup Series hits Kansas

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This weekend, the NASCAR Cup Series enters the Heartland for its first of two visits in 2022 to Kansas Speedway (Sunday, 3 pm ET on FS1).

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From our friends at Racing Insights, here’s a handful of drivers who are hot going into Sunday’s race – and a handful of drivers who are not and need to make a turnaround.

WHO’S HOT

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Chase Elliott (No. 9 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet)

  • Finished 5th at Darlington (crashed in practice and went to backup car without making qualifying run; spun coming off pit road on Lap 240)
  • 5 straight Top 10s (won’t at Dover)
  • 7 Top 10s in last 8 races (1 win)
  • Last 10 races: 8 Top 10s (1 win) and 2 finishes of 11th or worse
  • 12 starts in 2022: 9 Top 10s (1 win) and 3 finishes of 11th or worse
  • Scored stage points in 17 of 24 stages in 2022 (2 stage wins)
  • Led laps in 5 of last 11 races (349 laps led in span)
  • 6 finishes of 6th or better in last 7 Kansas races, including October 2018 win
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Joey Logano (No. 22 Team Penske Ford)

  • Won last week’s race at Darlington
  • 3 Top 3s in last 5 races (1 win)
  • Last 5 races: 3 Top 3s (1 win) and 2 finishes of 29th or worse (1 DNF)
  • Last 7 races: 3 Top 3s (1 win) and 4 finishes of 17th or worse (1 DNF)
  • 12 starts in 2022: 6 finishes of 9th or better (1 win) and 6 finishes of 14th or worse (1 DNF)
  • Scored stage points in 17 of 24 stages in 2022 (1 stage win)
  • Led laps in 8 of 12 races in 2022 (142 laps led in span)
  • Three-time winner at Kansas… but has finished 15th or worse in four of last six Kansas races

Kyle Larson (No. 5 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet)

  • Engine failure at Darlington (finished 36th) snapped streak of 3 straight finishes of 6th or better
  • 4 finishes of 6th or better in last 6 races
  • 12 starts in 2022: 6 finishes of 6th or better (won at Auto Club) and 6 finishes of 19th or worse (4 DNFs)
  • Scored stage points in 16 of 24 stages in 2022 (1 stage win)
  • Led laps in 9 of 12 races in 2022 (167 laps led)
  • Four finishes of 8th or better in last six Kansas races, including 2021 Playoff win

Kyle Busch (No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota)

  • 33rd-place finish at Darlington (DNF-Crash) snapped streak of 5 straight Top 10s (won on Bristol Dirt)
  • Last 8 races: 5 Top 10s (1 win) and 3 finishes of 28th or worse (2 DNFs)
  • 12 starts in 2022: 8 finishes of 9th or better (1 win) and 4 finishes of 14th or worse (2 DNFs)
  • Scored stage points in 11 of 24 stages in 2022
  • Led laps in 8 of 12 races in 2022 (225 laps led in span)
  • Two-time winner at Kansas (won last year’s spring race)… 11 top-10 finishes in last 14 Kansas races

Alex Bowman (No. 48 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet)

  • 29th-place finish at Darlington (DNF-Crash) snapped streak of 3 straight Top 10s
  • 6 Top 10s in last 8 races
  • 7 Top 10s in last 10 races (won at Las Vegas)
  • 12 starts in 2022: 7 Top 10s (1 win) and 5 finishes of 12th or worse (1 DNF)
  • Scored stage points in 9 of 24 stages in 2022 (1 stage win)
  • 18 laps led in 12 races this season
  • 4 top-10 finishes in last 7 Kansas races

WHO’S NOT

Denny Hamlin (No. 11 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota)

  • Finished 21st at Darlington (involved in crash, Lap 261), his fifth straight finish of 18th or worse
  • 12 starts in 2022: Won at Richmond, 11 finishes of 13th or worse (4 DNFs)
  • 24.3 average finish in 11 starts other than win
  • Scored stage points in 8 of 24 stages in 2022 (2 stage wins)
  • Led laps in 7 of last 10 races (158 laps led in span)
  • Three-time winner at Kansas… Five top-5 finishes in last nine Kansas races (including two wins)

Ryan Blaney (No. 12 Team Penske Ford)

  • Finished 17th at Darlington, his third straight finish of 11th or worse following 4 straight finishes of 7th or better
  • 5 finishes of 7th or better in last 9 races
  • 12 starts in 2022: 6 finishes of 7th or better and 6 finishes of 11th or worse (1 DNF)
  • Scored stage points in 14 of 24 stages in 2022 (4 stage wins)
  • Led laps in 10 of 12 races in 2022 (370 laps led
  • Five finishes of 20th or worse in last six Kansas races

Bubba Wallace (No. 23 23XI Racing Toyota)

  • Finished 27th at Darlington (DNF-Crash), his 11th straight finish of 13th or worse (two DNFs) after runner-up in Daytona 500
  • Scored stage points in 6 of 24 stages in 2022 (1 stage win)
  • Has never finished better than 14th in eight Kansas starts

Kurt Busch (No. 45 23XI Racing Toyota)

  • Finished 28th at Darlington (DNF-Crash; wheel came off in pit box earlier in race at Lap 32)
  • 4 straight finishes of 16th or worse (2 DNFs)
  • 6 finishes of 16th or worse in last 7 races (2 DNFs)
  • Last 10 races: 3 finishes of 6th or better and 7 finishes of 13th or worse (2 DNFs)
  • 12 starts in 2022: 4 Top 10s and 8 finishes of 13th or worse (2 DNFs)
  • Scored stage points in 5 of 24 stages in 2022
  • 9 laps led in 12 starts in 2022
  • Four top-10 finishes in last six Kansas races

Cole Custer (No. 41 Stewart-Haas Racing Ford)

  • Finished 26th at Darlington (DNF-Crash)
  • 12 straight finishes of 11th or worse to start season (4 DNFs)
  • Scored stage points in 3 of 24 stages in 2022
  • 1 lap led in 12 races in 2022
  • Has never finished better than 7th in four Kansas starts (three straight finishes of 14th or worse)



Source: nascar.nbcsports.com

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