Toyota drivers look to continue Next-Gen era dominance at Kansas

KANSAS CITY, KANSAS - MAY 04: Tyler Reddick, driver of the #45 Monster Energy Toyota, waits on the grid during qualifying for the NASCAR Cup Series AdventHealth 400 at Kansas Speedway on May 04, 2024 in Kansas City, Kansas. (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)

Ask Tyler Reddick to account for the recent success of 23XI Racing at Kansas Speedway, and he’ll give you a succinct answer.

“I think it’s our boss,” Reddick said, referring to team co-owner Denny Hamlin. “He’s just really great. I think that’s just a big part of it. Denny’s just great, so we’re
great, too.”

To Reddick’s point, Hamlin is the defending winner of Sunday’s AdventHealth 400 (3 p.m. ET on FS1, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio). Reddick is the most recent winner at the 1.5-
mile intermediate track, having triumphed in the Playoff race last fall.

In 2022, the first year of Next Gen race car in the NASCAR Cup Series, Kurt Busch and Bubba Wallace carried the 23XI banner into Victory Lane as the organization swept both
Kansas races.

Hamlin comes to Kansas as the series’ most recent winner, having taken the checkered flag last Sunday at Dover to tie William Byron in Cup victories this season with three.
Hamlin also boasts a record four wins at Kansas.

Hamlin predicted a victory for his No. 11 Joe Gibbs Racing team at Dover and delivered. But on Saturday at Kansas, he wasn’t ready to call his shot for a second straight week.

”I thought (crew chief) Chris (Gabehart) gave me the task of winning one of the next three races before we had the All-Star break, and we got the first week,” Hamlin said.
“Now, from here on out, I think we can be in a good mood once we get to the All-Star break.

“Certainly, these next two tracks (Kansas and Darlington) are set up really nicely for us. So, I’m certainly encouraged by it. You don’t want to use up all of your promises too
early on in the season, so I’ll try to save a few.”