Racing returns this month at the Kansas Speedway with the ARCA Racing Series on Oct. 14, the NASCAR XFINITY Series (Kansas Lottery 300) on Oct. 15, and the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (Hollywood Casino 400, the fifth race in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup) on Oct. 16.
Take a walk down memory lane as we revisit the past with the:
Top 5 Moments at Kansas Speedway
(according to the Kansas Speedway)
#5- Biffle out of fuel wins in 2007
With weather playing a factor during the day, the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race in 2007 was cut short. As Greg Biffle and Kansas native Clint Bowyer were heading through Turn 4 with the yellow flag and checkered flag displayed, it appeared Biffle ran out of fuel and slowed, while Bowyer passed him to earn his first victory at Kansas Speedway. But it wasn’t meant to be as Biffle crossed the start/finish line and NASCAR maintained that Biffle kept the mandatory speed and earned his 12th series victory.
For Bowyer, the heartbreak is still very much alive as he is still waiting for his first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series win at his home track.
#4- New surface ushers in new era
The number four moment on our countdown began a new era at Kansas Speedway.
Immediately following the 2012 spring NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race, Kansas Speedway prepared to repave and reconfigure the existing track surface like so many other tracks have done. However, Kansas Speedway had a unique take on how to begin the demolition – use equipment from the Kansas National Guard.
The Kansas National Guard brought an Armored Combat Excavator (ACE) and D7R to kick off the demolition and NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Brad Keselowski wanted to help. After meeting with the Kansas National Guard, Keselowski climbed into a tank to take a few laps around the original surface of Kansas Speedway while the D7R and ACE started work on pit road.
Drivers usually aren’t fans of changes or track repaves, Kansas Speedway’s new surface has gotten favorable reviews in recent years.
“Gotta hand it to the folks who remodeled Kansas Speedway into what it is today,” said Dale Earnhardt Jr on Twitter. “Quickly rising up my list of favorite tracks.”
#3 -First Spring Cup night race in 2014
Moment #3 includes a couple of firsts.
In May 2014, Kansas Speedway hosted its first NASCAR night races with the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series making their debuts under the lights at the track. And, wouldn’t you know it – two more firsts happened that weekend too. Jeff Gordon, who won the first Cup race at Kansas Speedway in 2001 and became the first two-time winner the following year, won his third race at the facility on May 10 and became the first three-time winner in the Cup Series at Kansas Speedway. However, history was also made the night before as Matt Crafton became the first two-time NASCAR Camping World Truck Series winner at Kansas Speedway.
Can Gordon add his name to the history books at Kansas Speedway one more time this fall?
#2- Johnson fends off Edwards bonsai move
For moment #2, we go back to Sept. 28, 2008.
With Jimmie Johnson leading on the final lap heading into Turn 4, Missouri native Carl Edwards decided he needed to try something he had done in a video game – a bonzai-move where he would use his momentum to lightly hit the wall and slingshot to the lead. Unfortunately for Edwards, who was looking to get his first win at his home track, the move didn’t go exactly as planned as he hit the wall harder than anticipated and finished second to Johnson.
It’s definitely a move that gets revisited each time the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series returns to Kansas Speedway. as Edwards is still looking for that first Cup win at Kansas.
#1-Gordon wins Inaugural Cup race soon after 9/11
And now, we go back to when it all started for moment #1.
Sept. 30, 2001 shortly after the 9/11 attacks, the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series made its debut at Kansas Speedway. On what was an emotional day for the fans in the grandstands and watching on TV, the race provided an escape for a few hours and it didn’t disappoint, as there were 19 lead changes among 12 drivers. On lap 246, then-three time Cup champion Jeff Gordon took the lead from Mark Martin and went on to win the inaugural NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Kansas Speedway. The win helped Gordon go on to win his fourth NASCAR championship later that year.
Don’t miss any of the moments at Kansas Speedway as racing returns this October with the ARCA Racing Series on Oct. 14, the NASCAR XFINITY Series (Kansas Lottery 300) on Oct. 15, and the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (Hollywood Casino 400, the fifth race in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup) on Oct. 16, and tickets are currently on sale at www.ticketsforless.com.