Playoff intensity ratchets up for Matt Kenseth, other former champions
For former champion Matt Kenseth, a good season has not been a winning one. He may have to get to Victory Lane at Kansas on Sunday to advance to the semifinals of the playoffs. But he's not alone as the intensity rises with just five races left.
Dale Jr.'s final ride: Kansas
Dale Earnhardt Jr. likes Kansas Speedway, and not just for the great barbecue nearby. He's run well there at times and sees the potential to do it again Sunday.
2017 playoffs: Breaking down the chances to advance past Kansas
Kansas is the NASCAR playoffs' second elimination race. With two drivers safely into the third round, what are the chances of advancing for the 10 drivers still hoping to be among the eight in the NASCAR semifinals? Even Jimmie Johnson is sweating it out.
Failed inspection puts Blaney at back of field
After qualifying third for Sunday's NASCAR Cup elimination race at Kansas Speedway, Ryan Blaney thought he had the best position among drivers on the playoff bubble. But a failed post-qualifying inspection now has him starting last in the 40-car field.
Christopher Bell grabs first NASCAR Xfinity win
Christopher Bell -- a regular in the Truck Series who is not eligible for the series playoffs -- secured his first NASCAR Xfinity Series win on Saturday at Kansas Speedway.
U.S. Olympic speedskater Brian Hansen chats with Modern Family actor Eric Stonestreet, a Kansas City native, prior to the Xfinity Series race at Kansas Speedway.
Ryan Blaney, who has to start from the rear Sunday after failing postqualifying tech, was the fastest in final practice Saturday at Kansas.
Dale Earnhardt Jr., who announced Monday that his wife Amy is pregnant, said he is trying to soak up all the experiences of being an expectant father.
Dale Earnhardt Jr. talks about hearing the news of his wife being pregnant and the heartbeat. His wife, Amy, is due to give birth to their first child May 2.
Ryan Blaney, who was third in NASCAR Cup qualifying Friday at Kansas, had his qualifying time disallowed after his car failed postqualifying tech. He will start last in the 40-car field Sunday. Blaney sits seventh in the standing, nine points ahead of the current cutoff heading into the playoff elimination race Sunday.
Martin Truex Jr. on his pole-winning lap at Kansas Speedway: "The commitment level was high."
Truex takes pole for elimination race at Kansas
Martin Truex Jr. continued his winning ways at Kansas Speedway on Friday night by capturing the pole for this weekend's NASCAR Monster Energy Cup Series playoff elimination race.
Kevin Harvick will start beside polesitter Martin Truex Jr. on Sunday at Kansas. Harvick has a 22-point edge on the current playoff cutoff and feels he has done everything so far at Kansas to put him in position to keep from being among the four drivers eliminated Sunday.
Martin Truex Jr. has won the pole for the race Sunday at Kansas Speedway. It is huge for the race next week at Martinsville as he will get the first selection of pit stall for that race, too, because both qualifying and the race are the same day. The first pit stall at Martinsville is a bigger advantage there than at most tracks.
Clint Bowyer has cooled off since Talladega blowup
Clint Bowyer wasn't happy with his crew chief, Mike Bugarewicz, after a wreck late in last Sunday's race at Talladega, and he let him know it right on pit road. Both say it's behind them now, but changes may be on the horizon for Stewart-Haas Racing.
Kyle Busch will wear this helmet the next two weeks and will raffle it off through his foundation website. The helmet, created by noted helmet designer Jason Beam, actually glows in the dark.
Clint Bowyer says the frustration he displayed at Talladega includes the safety concerns of racing there. Bowyer, who got out of his car on pit road and yelled at his crew chief, said he didn't think the car could continue and his race was over.
What would give Matt Kenseth fans confidence he could win this weekend? Kenseth gives his outlook of what it would take:
Jimmie Johnson said mistakes come from a desire to win. Last week, his spotter accidentally gave the team the OK to resume work on the car but the red flag had not been lifted. It cost him a few spots.
Scary lid: Kyle Busch has a Halloween-themed helmet to go along with his paint scheme this week.
First tests at Charlotte road course show much work to be done
The first tests at the Charlotte Motor Speedway "roval" show there's a lot of work to be done and input to get from drivers, teams, the track and Goodyear. But it's a start, and next season it will be the finish to the first round of the playoffs.
Kansas Speedway has advised its fans that lines to get into the speedway grandstands could be longer because of increased screenings. The message on its website notes it will also screen fans who enter the fan walk area and the pedestrian tunnel. It will do random x-rays of cars entering the infield tunnel. The speedway, as a matter of policy, doesn't comment on security measures.
Dave Pericak will leave his role as head of Ford Performance after the NASCAR season to move to a role as Ford's engineering director for North American unibody applications – a major role in mainstream passenger-car production. Mark Rushbrook, who has been the lead engineer for global racing programs the past three years under Pericak, will replace him in directing Ford's racing efforts. Motorsport.com first reported the news of Pericak's upcoming departure.
Turn 4: Talladega's toll, playoff hopes and more
Was Talladega a good race if only 14 cars finished it? Will former champions Matt Kenseth, Kyle Busch and Jimmie Johnson advance in the playoffs? Should a plate race even be in the playoffs? Who is the biggest threat to Martin Truex Jr.?
Kurt Busch explains where he thinks the best passing zones could be on the 2.42-mile Charlotte "roval" road course that will be used in the NASCAR playoff first-round elimination race next year:
NASCAR Paint Schemes Chart & Links
NASCAR news, race updates, results, schemes, stats & links from Jayski.