By: Becca Cottingham
Headline Photo Courtesy: NASCAR Twitter Page
We head to Kansas for the first race of the round of eight. Today they honor Clint Bowyer by allowing him to lead the pace laps. Chase Elliott will lead us to green, and it did not take long for drivers to go three-wide. Today’s race will be different as it is the coldest race of the season. Drivers will have cold tires as they cannot heat the tires. Chase Elliott lead all of the laps heading into competition caution but lost the lead to his teammate. Kevin Harvick got out to lead multiple laps and Chase Elliott made a move after Kevin Harvick lost grip. Brad Keselowski got around Kevin Harvick and gets to Chase Elliott’s back bumper. Lap traffic is playing a role in who will stage one for the last couple of laps. Chase Elliott just does hold off Brad Keselowski’s advances to win stage one.
Stage two Denny Hamlin brings us to green next to Chase Elliott. Denny Hamlin wins that battle, but Ryan Blaney seems to have the speed and is quickly catching the leader. Denny Hamlin and Ryan Blaney have continued to compete against each other, while Chase Elliott stayed in third. Green flag pit stops started happening but before it could cycle an accident happens. Matt Kenseth thought he was clear and was not and collected by Erik Jones. This allowed the few drivers who had completed green flag pit stops to stop without losing time. This allowed Denny Hamlin to cycle back to the front. The two heavy hitters of this season Denny Hamlin and Kevin Harvick battle it out for the stage two win. Denny Hamlin just does keep his car in front of Kevin Harvick for the stage two win.
Kyle Busch brings us to the green for the final stage beside Joey Logano. We have four-wide racing throughout the field at the start of the final stage. Kevin Harvick caught and passed Joey Logano. Denny Hamlin made contact with the right side and had to make an unscheduled pit stop. This will more than likely will keep him from winning today. Kurt Busch is having a power issue on the track and they are trying to diagnose the car. Kurt Busch loses his engine just outside the pit window. Tyler Reddick brings out another caution and everyone comes down pit road to make sure they have enough fuel. Joey Logano gets to the front to lead laps with less than forty to go. Brad Keselowski has made multiple moves to get to third and he is trying to get to the front himself. Lap traffic is playing a huge role in how the front runners are racing. The battles between Joey Logano and Kevin Harvick keep heating up. Kevin Harvick would get tight or have dirty air effect his car coming up being Logano and could not close the deal. Joey Logano is our unofficial winner and as long as he clears post-race inspection he will have punched his ticket for the championship race.