Kansas Speedway: Friday Notebook


Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M's Toyota, drives on track during practice for the NASACAR Sprint Cup Series 400 at Kansas Speedway on April 20, 2012 in Kansas City, Kansas. (Photo by John Harrelson/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Kansas City, Kan.—Kurt Busch was the only car with issues in Sprint Cup practice one for Sunday’s STP 400 at Kansas Speedway spinning out of Turn 3 and down through the infield grass.

The top five speeds in practice one belonged to Kyle Busch, Carl Edwards, Kasey Kahne, Landon Cassill, and Dale Earnhardt, Jr.

Fast on Friday may not be fast on raceday
With cooler temperatures meeting teams in Kansas the difference between practice, and qualifying could be quite diverse.

Greg Biffle said practicing in conditions that do not necessarily compare to raceday is difficult, and described it as “the worst scenario.”

“When we first show up on Friday the race track is what we call ‘green’ because it doesn’t have a lot of rubber down,” Biffle said. “It tends to be the fastest then.”

Biffle went on to say that compounding a green track with cooler temperatures the amount of grip is greater causing speeds to be faster. However, Sunday will be completely opposite.

“It’ll be slick and hot and not a lot of grip, so it is difficult to get your car set up for those conditions – doing a lot of our practice today,” said Biffle. “The one thing is tomorrow will help us some because the track will be a little closer to what it’s going to be [on Sunday].”

No cautions? No problem—sometimes
Long green flag runs at Texas Motor Speedway were a topic of conversation follow Roush Fenway Racing’s win. Matt Kenseth said whether cautions wave or not, really depends on the situation.

“If you’re like it was last year at Texas when we were leading the race by four or five seconds, you love the long green flag runs,” said Kenseth. “You don’t want anybody to get caught up and take a chance of losing the race, but when you’re not the leader or you’re not the second-place guy, those guys were quite a ways ahead of everybody, I think most of the rest of the field would like to see a caution and get another shot at making an adjustment on a pit stop and getting caught up to everybody and catching your breath so you can make another run at it.”

Kenseth added he likes races with extended green flag runs because “you can’t pass anybody under caution, so it’s always fun to be racing and have those long runs and concentrate on that.”

Earnhardt Consistent and Confident
The recent consistency of Dale Earnhardt, Jr., has propelled the Hendrick Motorsports driver to second place in the Sprint Cup standings—the highest of the HMS stable, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that Earnhardt is the big man on campus.

“There is definitely a pecking order when it comes down to just what you’ve done and what you’ve done for the company,” said Earnhardt, who added there has never been a feeling that the No. 88 team has done more with less because, “everything there [at HMS] is just so good.”

“I felt like I have everything they [Jeff Gordon and Jimmie Johnson] have and I have the same resources and the same ability to make everything I can out of the team that they have,” Earnhardt said. “I’ve had the same opportunity and I’ve never really felt like Jimmie’s car was better than mine or his team was better than mine or somebody was getting something I wasn’t getting.”

Although Earnhardt is quick to credit Gordon and Johnson on the prolonged success of the organization Earnhardt is also quick to think he’s better than Johnson.

“He’s a hell of a race car driver, but I feel like I’m the best,” said Earnhardt. “I think that’s the way you have to feel. I feel that I’m smarter than everybody and I can drive better than everybody and I know a lot of people ain’t going to agree with that, but I feel pretty strong about it.”


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