2018 NASCAR Preview: Week 32 – Kansas

Last call for the Round of 8..

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Some late-race excitement at Talladega (with many running out of fuel) opened the door for Aric Almirola — not the unlikeliest of winners but certainly “unlikeliest adjacent” — now advancing to the Round of 8.  Chase Elliott booked his flight a week prior at Dover, and now we’ve got a must-win situation for a bunch of talented drivers.  Four head home today (well, they’ll still race next week but you get the picture) and the field is truncated once more.

Here’s what to look for:

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Joey Logano poses with the Busch Pole Award flag after earning his first pole of the 2018 season. (Photo Credit: Brian Lawdermilk | Getty Images)

Joey Logano captures his first Pole of the season, and at an elimination race no less.  Statistically, his worst track on the entire circuit — 18.1 average finish, but somehow eeked out two Wins.  This’ll be a very interesting race to watch with the 22.

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Kevin Harvick gets ready to make some laps. (Photo Credit: Jonathan Merryman | NASCAR Digital Media)

Kevin Harvick will start 2nd, and he won at this track back in May (after starting from Pole).  That’s got to be a solid boost to his confidence heading in here.  Harvick did exceptional at ‘Dega before his tank ran dry; we’ve seen fuel mileage wins here before, expect them to keep Harvick and the #4 well nourished.

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Ryan Blaney led Friday’s first practice at Kansas. (Photo Credit: Chris Graythen | Getty Images)

Ryan Blaney calls this his best track, and what a time for that to happen.  If the Round of 8 cutoff was last week, he’s be out, so you know he’ll be up on the wheel today.  Blaney has four Top 10s in seven attempts here, but has yet to taste victory.  Today could be that day; he starts 4th.

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KANSAS CITY, KS – OCTOBER 22: Martin Truex Jr., driver of the #78 Bass Pro Shops/Tracker Boats Toyota, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Hollywood Casino 400 at Kansas Speedway on October 22, 2017 in Kansas City, Kansas. (Photo by Sarah Crabill/Getty Images)

Martin Truex Jr. won this race in 2017, and ran runner-up in May.  He hasn’t been quite as hot as he was last year, but he’s still quite a talent.  Not quite as safe as he was at this point last year, Truex needs to avoid drama today and simply deliver.

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Chris Buescher will start 21st in the No. 37 JTG Daugherty Racing Chevrolet (Photo Credit: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

Chris Buescher ran 6th at this race in 2017, and has surprised other times before.  He’s got some work to do starting 21st.  Silver lining — he’s already halfway to the front.

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Martin Truex Jr., driver of the #78 Bass Pro Shops/Tracker Boats Toyota, and Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Jimmy John’s Ford, lead the field prior to the start of the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Hollywood Casino 400 at Kansas Speedway on October 22, 2017 in Kansas City, Kansas. (Oct. 21, 2017 – Source: Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images North America)

Coverage of the race starts on NBC at 2:30pm, green flag scheduled for 2:37pm.

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