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

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

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).

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

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 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

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)


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