The NASCAR Cup Series completes its July run through the midwest with the running of the Super Start Batteries 400 at Kansas Speedway on Thursday night. The action has been thrilling the last couple weeks, with two unlikely drivers earning their way to victory lane. In doing so, rookie Cole Custer and Austin Dillon secured their spots in the postseason field.
Kansas will offer NASCAR fans the thrilling combination of midweek racing and ever-growing intensity as the postseason draws closer. Read on for a full guide and betting preview for the final Cup Series race of July.
Super Start Batteries 400 Betting Info
Location: Kansas City, KS
Date: Thursday, July 23rd
Start Time: 7:30pm E.T.
Length: 400 miles (267 laps)
Stages: Stage 1 Laps 1-80; Stage 2 Laps 81-160; Stage 3 Laps 161-267
Pole Sitter: Kevin Harvick
Defending Champion: Brad Keselowski
Super Start Batteries 400 Driver Stats
Last week’s race at Texas was one to remember. Austin Dillon managed to hold off Richard Childress Racing teammate Tyler Reddick to earn the win, but it was far from a dominant performance. In fact, 12 different drivers led at least 1 lap in the race, with Ryan Blaney topping the list with 150. Stewart-Haas teammates Kevin Harvick and Aric Almirola led 40 and 35 laps respectively on their way to top-10 finishes while Dillon and third-place finisher Joey Logano each led 22 circuits.
Texas showed us once again the importance of running in clean air. Despite opting not to take new tires on his final pit stop in order to gain track position, Reddick was able to earn a second-place finish thanks to being up front alongside Dillon on a series of late restarts. Of course, had Reddick managed to win, it would’ve been the second straight race won by a rookie driver after Cole Custer’s improbable victory at Kentucky two weeks ago. The past two weeks just go to show that anything can happen as the push for the NASCAR playoffs heats up. With just eight races remaining in the regular season, more wild action could be on the horizon under the lights at Kansas.
Several noteworthy driver statistics as they stand heading into Kansas can be found in the lists below.
Top 5 Finishes in 2020
7-Ryan Blaney, Chase Elliott
4-Kurt Busch, Erik Jones, Joey Logano
3-Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Martin Truex Jr.
2-Alex Bowman, Clint Bowyer, Cole Custer, Matt DiBenedetto, Austin Dillon, Jimmie Johnson, Tyler Reddick
1-Christopher Bell, Chris Beuscher, Matt Kenseth
Laps Led in 2020
- Kevin Harvick-691
- Joey Logano-560
- Ryan Blaney-497
- Denny Hamlin-466
- Chase Elliott-451
- Brad Keselowski-414
- Martin Truex Jr.-410
- Alex Bowman-381
- Aric Almirola-253
- Kyle Busch-150
Average Finishing Position in 2020
(Drivers with full time Cup Series status)
- Kevin Harvick-6.6
- Brad Keselowski-9.3
- Denny Hamlin-10.8
- Kurt Busch-11.2
- Aric Almirola-12.7
- Ryan Blaney-13.4
- Chase Elliott-13.8
- Joey Logano-13.9
- Kyle Busch-14.0
- Matt DiBenedetto-14.6
Average Finishing Position at Kansas
(Drivers with 4+ starts at the track)
- Kevin Harvick-9.8
- Jimmie Johnson-10.3
- Chase Elliott-11.5
- Brad Keselowski-12.5
- Martin Truex Jr.-13.9
- Matt Kenseth-15.0
- Denny Hamlin-15.1
- Kurt Busch-15.4
- Clint Bowyer-15.7
- Ryan Blaney-15.7
Driver Rating in 2020
*The Driver Rating formula combines Wins, Finishes, Top-15 Finishes, Average Running Position While on Lead Lap, Average Speed Under Green, Fastest Lap, Led Most Laps and Lead-Lap Finish. Maximum score per race is 150 points*
Kansas Speedway Overview
Opening in 2001, Kansas Speedway has been the annual home of a pair of Cup Series races since 2011. One interesting note about the tri-oval track is the discrepancy in stated length between the two major series that run on it annually. NASCAR scores the track as a 1.5-mile course while the IRL lists it as running 1.52 miles in length. The surface was last repaved in 2012, leading to a cleaner ride and less tire wear than many of the other 1.5-mile tracks on the NASCAR circuit. From a surface standpoint, Kansas most closely resembles Kentucky Speedway.
Kansas Speedway Betting Trends
The pole-sitter for Thursday night’s race just so happens to be the best driver in terms of average finishing position, wins, and average driver rating at Kansas. It’s none other than Kevin Harvick, who also already has 4 wins and 11 top-5 finishes in his pocket on the 2020 season. Chase Elliott, who won the fall race at Kansas in 2018, has recorded a top-5 finish in each of the last three races at the track. The 2019 race winners at the track were Brad Keselowski and Denny Hamlin, while Martin Truex Jr. won both Kansas outings in 2017. Like Kentucky, Kurt Busch is in play as a sleeper pick at Kansas. One final handicapping note for Kansas is the more aggressive corner speed that is required compared to Kentucky. As a result, drivers who excel at driving “loose” cars will have the odds in their favor.
Super Start Batteries 400 Best Bets
Odds courtesy of DraftKings Sportsbook
Race Winner: Chase Elliott | +650
After a run of 8 top-10 finishes in ten races, Chase Elliott and his Hendrick Motorsports team have cooled off a bit as of late. The No. 9 team has recorded just one top-10 result over the last six races, but they did manage to triumph in the All-Star race held last Wednesday under the lights at Bristol. Elliott’s lone points race win was also a midweek night affair at Charlotte. Perhaps a little night racing action at Kansas bodes well to get him back on track. Throw in a career average finish of 11.5 at Kansas, the second-best driver rating on the 2020 season (102.2), and a decent return at the +650 price point and I’m on board. Lock in Elliott to emerge victorious on Thursday night.
Top 10 Finish: Aric Almirola | -143
Top 5 Finish: Brad Keselowski Yes | +170
Best Finishing Position Matchup: Kurt Busch (vs. Alex Bowman) | -109
Top Ford Car: Kevin Harvick | +170
Best Finish in Group: Clint Bowyer (vs. Tyler Reddick, Matt DiBenedetto, Christopher Bell) | +250