By: Becca Cottingham Quimby
Photo Courtesy: NASCAR Twitter Page
We head to the great plains of America, Kansas Speedway. Today the teams get 8 sets of tires along with the set they qualified with. Tire wear and tire fall off will play a big part in today’s strategy along with temperature change with the rain that came in right before the race. There has been a 20-degree temperature change between qualifying and the start of the race. Christopher Bell and Tyler Reddick will lead us to the green flag and the battle for the lead for the start. The first caution at lap 5 with Chase Briscoe hit the wall in turn 4 and slide down into the grass. We get back to racing on lap 9, Christopher Bell was leading losing two spots by going to the top of the track. As more drivers start going to the top the track wills start collecting more rubber on the track. Tyler Reddick gets the lead on the restart and he goes to battle with Kyle Larson. Kyle Larson will take over until we see a caution for BJ McLeod. There are multiple issues during the caution on pit road. Austin Cindric had an uncontrolled tire, Denny Hamlin and Equipment interference, and Austin Dillion had equipment leave the pit box. Justin Haley had his car catch fire and a tire come off. Kyle Larson will lose the lead with an extremely slow pit stop. This will set Christopher Bell up to take up the lead once again. Until Daniel Suarez blows a left rear and hits the wall. This will bring out a timely caution for Christopher Bell as he was also losing a tire. Kyle Busch will take over the lead on the restart. Kyle Busch will keep the lead and win stage one.
Just before going back to green, we had major pit road issues once again. Denny Hamlin, Chase Elliott, and Bubba Wallace all having issues and being sent to the rear. William Byron will shoot to the rear and clear two cars for the lead. William Byron in the lead loses a rear tire and he just does make it around to the pit. Then Tyler Reddick hits the wall due to a tire issue. He radios in thinking something is broken. They looked over the car and still put new tires on and send him back out. We get back to racing after an extended caution. NASCAR was trying to figure out a scoring issue. Alex Bowman was ahead and had to give his lap back. Due to multiple cars on pit road at the time of caution. This did give time for Erik Jones’s team to get his rear tire off. We will get back to racing and Kurt Busch will take over the lead. He will not look backward even will Martin Martin Truex Jr has a tire-shredding. Kurt Busch will win stage two.
We get back to racing for the third stage. It started with two drivers scraping the wall. Both Austin Cindric and Kyle Larson both scraped the wall. Things seemed to have evened out until Chase Elliot blew a tire and spun out. There are issues with pit road again with multiple drivers. Bubba Wallace was sent to the back for an uncontrolled tire. Kevin Harvick was speeding on pit road. We got back to green and there is a three-wide race for green. Kyle Larson continues to have issues and hits the wall twice. Everything seems to be going fairly smooth and drivers racing for position until something happens to Kevin Harvick. They throw caution for fluid on the track. The leads pit because everyone should be good to go on fuel now. This will probably be everyone’s last set of sticker tires as well. The battle for the lead happens but Kyle Larson wins the battle. This battle is not over yet as Kyle Larson has a fast Kurt Busch quickly approaching him. Kurt Busch will get both his brother and Kyle Larson. This will get Kyle Larson loose once again and he will scrape the wall. This will be enough to slow Kyle Larson down and put enough space between the two that Kurt Busch will just have to run his race. Kurt Busch will pass a couple of lap cars to become the unofficial winner at Kansas.