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What to Watch For: Kansas

Final Race in Round of 12; Champs on the Bubble

- Sunday marks the final race in the Round of 12. The championship contenders will be cut down to 8 following the race.

- There are five former Cup Series champions still alive in the playoffs. Brad Keselowski has clinched a spot in the Round of 8 while Kevin Harvick appears safe sitting in 4th.

- Jimmie Johnson, Kyle Busch and Matt Kenseth occupy the 8th, 9th and 10th spots and are separated by just 8 points.

- Only the top 8 in the playoffs standings remain in title contention after this week. Let's see why each of the three former champions currently on the bubble WILL or WON'T make it to the next round.

JIMMIE JOHNSON

WILL
- Three wins at Kansas in his Cup Series career, tied with Jeff Gordon for the most all-time.

- Finished in the top 10 in 77% of his Cup Series races at Kansas (17/22). Seventeen top-10 finishes are the most all-time at Kansas.

WON'T
- Led a total of 9 laps since the start of July, 2nd-fewest of remaining playoffs drivers in that span.

KYLE BUSCH

WILL
- Won five poles and four races in the last 12 races overall, both the most of any driver in that span.

- Five top-10 finishes in last five races at Kansas including a win.

WON'T
- Fewer career wins, top-10s and lowest average finish at Kansas between Johnson, Kenseth and himself.

- Can only guarantee spot in Round of 8 with a win; needs help

MATT KENSETH

WILL
- Eight top-10 finishes in last 13 races. Six top-10 finishes in first 18 races this season.

WON'T
- Has not won a race this season

- Can only guarantee spot in Round of 8 with a win; needs help

For clinching scenarios for each driver in the playoffs, click here

Martin Truex Jr. Dominates 1.5-Mile Tracks
- Truex Jr. sits comfortably on top of the playoffs standings at the moment. He stands a good chance of expanding on his 19-point lead at Kansas, where he won in the spring.

- Truex Jr. has a MENCS-best six wins this season, five of which have come on 1.5-mile tracks including Kansas in May. No other driver has more than one win at those tracks.

- In the last two seasons, Truex Jr. has seven wins and led more than 30 percent of laps at 1.5-mile tracks.

- This all speaks to a career renaissance for Truex Jr. He has won 10 of his last 55 races after winning just 3 times in his first 381 career Cup Series races.

Who's Hot and Who's Not - Kansas (Playoff Driver Edition)

HOT
• Ryan Blaney: 3 top-10s in 5 career races at Kansas
• Kyle Busch: 5 straight top-5 finishes at Kansas
• Kevin Harvick: 3 straight top-3 finishes at Kansas including win last year
• Jimmie Johnson: 9.6 average finish at Kansas, best of any driver in the field (min. 2 races)
• Matt Kenseth: led 774 laps in career at Kansas, most of any driver in the field
• Martin Truex Jr: won Kansas race in May

NOT
• Denny Hamlin: 25.0 average finish at Kansas in last 2 seasons despite starting in top 10 in each race
• Jamie McMurray: 20.4 average finish at Kansas is 2nd-worst of any track in his career (Daytona - 23.3)
• Ricky Stenhouse Jr.: no top-10 finishes in 9 career starts at Kansas

--- ESPN Stats & Info ---