By: Becca Cottingham
Headline Photo Credit: NASCAR
A Saturday night race at Kansas Motor Speedway. We saw eleven cars have to go to thirty or back due to failing pre-race inspection. There was no common factor really with the drivers who failed inspection. However, there is a common factor of drivers being lose on entry. We saw Kyle Busch even struggle with being extremely loose. Kevin Harvick was able to take off and get at least a three second lead or more over second place. We saw a great battle between William Byron and Brad Keselowski. We did get a competition caution that changed up the order. We seen several drivers take only two pit stops for pit strategy. We also got to see some four wide racing, but that could of been disastrous with drivers with just two new tires. We did see a huge issue with the pit stop for William Byron with multitasking. He left his pit with the jack still attached to the car. Kevin Harvick showed the way for all of stage one and how fast his car was for the race. His stage one win gave him his third stage win for the season.
Stage two stayed pretty calm and we still got to watch Kevin Harvick stay fairly dominant at Kansas. Chase Elliott was chasing Kevin Harvick but was not able to catch Kevin. They did cycle through green flag pit stops. Multiple drivers stayed out so it took sometime for drivers to come back from being a lap down. Chase Elliott then made a huge move and was able to pass Kevin Harvick for the leas with about fifteen to go. Chase Elliott’s car did end up a little lose and he almost got into the wall. But he was able to make the needed correction and maintain the lead.
We opened stage three by going four wide. After multiple cars wide in pit road at one time as well, the drivers transferred that over to the track. Kevin Harvick was still one of the most dominating cars on the track. The speed he was able to carry was amazing. However, due to what appeared to have been tear off he picked up plus a possible loose front right, he had to give up the lead for service. This allowed Alex Bowman to take over the lead. We also saw that two tire pit stops are not in general working well for drivers. They are losing spots on the track or tightening the cars up too much for the drivers. While it gives pit road advantages it is costing drivers on the track. As drivers were going through green flag pit stops a tire from Ryan Newman’s pit got lose and caused a caution to be thrown.
This put several cars down a lap as they had already pitted. However, several drivers had not yet pitted and this left roughly seven drivers on the lead lap. This caution by far helped to mix things up with this race. Kyle Busch then got hit with a pit road penalty for passing through to many pit boxes. You are allowed three and Kyle clipped one and passed through three additional boxes. We are four wide trying to get back in order for the restart after multiple drivers went one lap down. Then the free pass around cars along with the penalty car. We then had some great racing between teammates. However, due to couple additional cautions things had to go into overtime. Clint Bowyer and Erik Jones did not have a great agreement on moves completed. Brad Keselowski was able to get his third win of the season as they battled it out behind him.
Saturday, May 18 at Charlotte Speedway @ 6pm for NASCAR All-Star Race