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Monday October 3rd, 2022 6:48AM

Will time and tires shift the balance of power at Kansas Speedway?

By Reid Spencer-NASCAR Wire Service
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When the NASCAR Cup Series visited Kansas Speedway on May 15, Toyota drivers dominated. Kurt Busch won the race, and Camrys occupied five of the top six finishing positions.

The top Ford in that race, driven by Austin Cindric, came home 11th, but Joey Logano , Cindric’s teammate at Team Penske, expects the results to be different in Sunday’s Hollywood Casino 400, the second race in the Cup Series Playoffs.

“So many things have changed since we were here the last time,” Logano said before Saturday’s practice at Kansas. “It was fairly early in the year. We all were still learning about the cars a lot. Left-rear tires were blowing out as teams were learning what they can and can’t do with the Goodyear tire.

“I think everyone’s kind of figuring those things out. Coming back with a brand new car, it’s going to be quite a bit different than it was the first time because there’s still low-hanging fruit with this car, as we’re trying to develop and figure it out.”

As the cars have evolved, so have the tires. Goodyear is providing different right- and left-side tire codes from the combination NASCAR Cup drivers ran at Kansas in May.

“We obviously started 2022 with a new car, and all those involved in the sport have learned a lot over the ensuing months,” said Greg Stucker, Goodyear’s director of racing. “The loads generated on this Next Gen car are quite different than the past, so we evaluated what we saw early in the season and designed some construction updates that we were able to test on track before we unveiled the right-side enhancements at the Pocono and Michigan races earlier this summer.”

Logano acknowledged the new tire combination is a wild card entering the Kansas race.

“We’re all guessing,” he said. “Without being out there on the race track, you’re kind of guessing how big an effect it’s going to have and at what parts of the corners do we think that’s going to affect the car the most. And then you try to adjust to it.”

After Darlington Incident, Christopher Bell Will Be Wary Of Daniel Suarez

Joe Gibbs Racing driver Christopher Bell acknowledged he made a mistake at Darlington that adversely affected Daniel Suarez.

“Just a non-intentional mistake from me to slide up and crowd him into the wall,” Bell said of the lap 266 incident. “Honestly, I didn’t think anything of it at the time and had no idea that he was upset until he spoke out.

“Once I learned he was upset, I did reach out and texted him. I apologized for getting into him, and he let me know that he was going to race me the same way I raced him going forward. I’ll just have to make sure to watch my back whenever he’s around me.”

In fact, Suarez considered himself fortunate that his car didn’t suffer more significant damage. He and Bell had restarted fifth and sixth, respectively at the beginning of the race’s final stage before the contact occurred.

Suarez, who had raced his way into the top five before his brush with the outside wall, was nicked for speeding on pit road under caution on lap 280 and finished 18th, a result that left him 12th in the Playoff standings.

“You make decisions as a racecar driver,” Suarez said. “You have to live with those, and that’s the way he races. Something that is very, very general in the Cup garage is that you’re going to race people and you have to expect those people to race you the same way back.

“If that’s 100 percent clean, with a little bit of respect but aggressive, that’s the rule of the game and I feel like it’s going to be no different this time. I’m not thinking about it too much, but I definitely won’t forget what happened last week, because it could have been way, way worse. I feel like I got very lucky.”

WDUN will carry live MRN Radio coverage of Sunday's NASCAR Cup Series Hollywood Casino 400 from Kansas Speedway at 2 pm on 102.9 FM, AM 550 and streaming live on AccessWDUN.

NASCAR Cup Series
Kansas Speedway – Kansas City, KS
Hollywood Casino 400 – September 11, 2022

Sunday’s Starting Line Up

Pos Car Driver Team Time Speed
1. 8 Tyler Reddick (P) Guaranteed Rate Chevrolet 29.899 180.608
2. 22 Joey Logano (P) Shell Pennzoil Ford 29.936 180.385
3. 48 Alex Bowman (P) Ally Chevrolet 29.964 180.216
4. 20 Christopher Bell (P) DeWalt Toyota 30.057 179.659
5. 1 Ross Chastain (P) Advent Health Chevrolet 30.066 179.605
6. 45 Bubba Wallace (P) ROOT Insurance Toyota 30.124 179.259
7. 5 Kyle Larson (P) HendrickCars.com Chevrolet 30.142 179.152
8. 2 Austin Cindric # (P) Snap on Ford 30.158 179.057
9. 24 William Byron (P) Liberty University Chevrolet 30.180 178.926
10. 17 Chris Buescher Fastenal Ford 30.266 178.418
11. 3 Austin Dillon (P) Get Bioethanol Chevrolet 30.051 179.695
12. 19 Martin Truex, Jr. Bass Pro Shops Red White Blue Toyota 30.105 179.372
13. 14 Chase Briscoe (P) Magical Vacation Planner Ford 30.129 179.229
14. 4 Kevin Harvick (P) Rheem Ford 30.177 178.944
15. 99 Daniel Suarez (P) CommScope Chevrolet 30.200 178.808
16. 23 Ty Gibbs(i) McDonald’s Toyota 30.362 177.854
17. 12 Ryan Blaney (P) Menards/Richmond Water Heaters Ford 30.396 177.655
18. 21 Harrison Burton # Menards/MasterForce Ford 30.419 177.521
19. 7 Corey LaJoie Circle B Diecast Chevrolet 30.434 177.433
20. 18 Kyle Busch (P) M&M’s Toyota 30.479 177.171
21. 42 Ty Dillon SunseekerResorts.com Chevrolet 30.493 177.090
22. 9 Chase Elliott (P) NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet 30.517 176.951
23. 34 Michael McDowell WISE-EV Ford 30.576 176.609
24. 43 Erik Jones FOCUSfactor.com Chevrolet 30.630 176.298
25. 11 Denny Hamlin (P) Acumatica Toyota 30.633 176.280
26. 6 Brad Keselowski Solomon Plumbing Ford 30.645 176.211
27. 31 Justin Haley LeafFilter Gutter Protectioni Chevrolet 30.658 176.137
28. 16 Noah Gragson(i) Cure Token Chevrolet 30.673 176.051
29. 41 Cole Custer HaasTooling.com Ford 30.745 175.638
30. 51 Cody Ware Nurtec ODT Ford 30.885 174.842
31. 77 Landon Cassill(i) Voyager: Crypto for All Chevrolet 30.901 174.752
32. 38 Todd Gilliland # CITGARD Ford 30.913 174.684
33. 15 J.J. Yeley(i) RWR Ford 31.064 173.835
34. 78 B.J. McLeod(i) Circle B Diecast Ford 31.528 171.276
35. 47 Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. SunnyD Chevrolet 31.906 169.247
36. 10 Aric Almirola Farmland Ford 0.000 0.000

(i) Ineligible for driver points in this series, (P) Playoff driver

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