This weekend's running of the STP 400 marks the first time Kansas Speedway has held a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event outside of the fall. Its first of two races this season marks the 13th event of the 2011 season and the 11th at the facility just outside Kansas City. It is the first of two inaugural events on the 2011 calendar, with the other being the new race at Kentucky Speedway next month. Kansas picked up a Sprint Cup date from the Auto Club Speedway of Southern California to get its second race.
Over the past ten races, there have been seven different winners, with no driver recording more than two. Greg Biffle's win in the most recent Kansas event last September, along with his 2007 victory, tied him with Jeff Gordon (2001, the track's inaugural year, and 2002) and Tony Stewart (2006, 2009) as the only drivers with multiple wins at Kansas.
Other victors include Ryan Newman (2003), Joe Nemechek (2004), Mark Martin (2005), and Jimmie Johnson (2008). Johnson and Nemechek are the only drivers to win the race from the pole, while Stewart has the deepest starting position for a winner (21st in 2006).
Times and stations for coverage of the STP 400, as well as practice and qualifying sessions, can be found below:
Friday, 1:30 p.m. on SPEED
Friday, 4:30 p.m. on SPEED
Saturday, 12 p.m. on SPEED
Sunday, 1 p.m. on FOX (Pre-Race at 12:30)
Fans looking for a favorite to win might want to bet on local hero Carl Edwards. A native of Missouri, the Kansas Speedway is his home track and a facility he wants to win at most. He proved that by driving his Ford into the wall in a fuitle attempt to overtake Johnson in the last turn of the 2008 race. The current point leader stands to benefit from Roush-Fenway Racing's newfound dominance and could be looking at his first Sprint Cup win at Kansas and his second there overall, as he won a Camping World Truck Series race there in 2004.
No driver has gotten his first win at Kansas, but that could change Sunday with the likes of David Ragan, Paul Menard, A.J. Allmendinger, and Marcos Ambrose all seeking their first wins and heading to a track where each has posted solid runs.