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NASCAR: Who to watch at Kansas Speedway

Can Clint Bowyer cap off his busy week with a trip to victory lane at Kansas Speedway
Can Clint Bowyer cap off his busy week with a trip to victory lane at Kansas SpeedwayNASCAR Media

Michael Waltrip Racing driver Clint Bowyer has had a busy week so far – he’s announced a contract extension with MWR and announced that he and his wife are expecting their first child later this year. Saturday night at Kansas Speedway – which happens to be his home track – Bowyer will make his 300th start in the 5-Hour Energy 400 – that being his primary sponsor – benefitting Special Operations Warrior Foundation – an organization which will also be on his No. 15 Toyota Camry. Can Bowyer cap off this week with his first win of the season – actually, his first win since October 2012 at Charlotte?

Bowyer has five top 10 finishes in 11 starts at his home track, with a best finish of second in 2007 with Richard Childress Racing. Bowyer has just three top 10 finishes in this season’s first 10 races – including his season-best third place finish at Talladega last weekend – and sits 18th in points. He looks to become the sixth driver to earn a win in his 300th career Cup Series start, a list that already includes Ned Jarrett, Rusty Wallace, Kasey Kahne, Kyle Busch and Denny Hamlin, who won in his 300th start last Sunday at Talladega.

Third-generation race car driver Ryan Blaney will be busy this weekend as the Camping World Truck Series returns to the track at Kansas Speedway. Not only will the son of Cup veteran and World of Outlaws champ Dave Blaney be racing in the Truck Series for Brad Keselowski Racing, he’ll attempt to make his Sprint Cup Series debut driving the No. 12 Ford for Team Penske. If the two Blaneys make the race on Sunday, it will be the first time since 2005 that a father and son will compete in the same Cup Series event; they did race against each other last season in the inaugural dirt-track Truck Series race at Eldora Speedway.

Among the many drivers still looking for their first wins of the season are five drivers who account for wins in 10 of the 16 races previously held at Kansas: Greg Biffle, Jeff Gordon, Jimmie Johnson, Matt Kenseth and Tony Stewart each have two wins at the 1.5-mile track, and are winless in 2014. Kenseth won the pole and the race last spring at Kansas. Recent Cup Series winners Hamlin and Kevin Harvick also have wins at Kansas Speedway.

The Truck Series qualifies for the SFP 250 Friday, May 9th at 3:35 p.m. CT, followed by the green flag at 7:30 p.m. CT. The Sprint Cup Series qualifies Friday at 5:30 p.m. CT, with the 5-Hour Energy 400 going green at 6:30 p.m. CT on Saturday, May 10th. Follow the action at www.nascar.com.

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