What to Expect From NASCAR’s Ford Performance Drivers at Kansas This Weekend

 

Last week at Talladega, Ford had a successful outing yet again thanks to young standout Ryan Blaney, who was able to hold off fellow Ford driver Ryan Newman by a thrilling .007 second margin of victory.

 

This weekend, the Ford Performance drivers of the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series will be looking for another victory to add to the impressive dominance shown by Ford thus far in the 2019 MENCS Playoffs. Let’s take a look at the remaining Ford playoff drivers’ chances at Kansas Speedway, and discuss which drivers may be in the best position to win the championship in just four weeks’ time.

Joey Logano 

 

Following last week’s performance, Team Penske member and driver of the No. 22 Ford Mustang, Joey Logano finds himself sitting right on the cutoff line headed into the Hollywood Casino 400 this weekend. 

 

Logano hasn’t looked particularly strong since the last elimination race at the Charlotte Roval. Since then, he hasn’t finished higher than 11th. As a result, the defending MENCS Champion finds himself in a tough, practically must-win situation heading into Kansas this Sunday 

 

Although Logano has won this exact race twice before, his past five finishes here indicate that he’s little more than a mixed bag as it pertains to this tri-oval. Logano did score a pair of top-10 finishes at this track last year, but this past May he only managed 15th, and in 2017, he was unable to crack the top-20. This puts Logano’s three-year average finish here at 16.8. Which makes him far too risky of a bet come race day.

Brad Keselowski

 

Following a not-so-great 25th place finish at Talladega last weekend, Brad Keselowski also finds himself in the hot seat come Sunday. The driver of the No. 2 Team Penske Mustang has had success at Kansas in the very recent past though, and that alone makes him worthy of discussion here. 

 

Despite his below average finish at Dega, Keselowski has still been on a serious hot streak for the better part of this season. So far this year he’s managed 17 top-10s, 12 top-5s, and has found the winner’s circle three times, including one victory at Kansas already this past May. Altogether, Brad has put together a three-year average finishing position of 7.2 at Kansas.

 

Even with this success, Keselowski will need to bounce back with a great run, if not a win, to still be considered a prime candidate come this year’s championship race at Homestead-Miami.

Kevin Harvick

 

Kevin “Happy” Harvick wasn’t too happy following his mediocre 17th place finish at Talladega last week, even if his No. 4 Stewart-Haas Ford Mustang was one of the few cars to actually cross the finish line at the end of the day. That said, his remarkable success so far this year is definitely something to write home about. While he’s tied with Bad Brad in top-5s and wins this season, Harvick has been more consistent with his 21 top-10s. 

 

When it comes to Kansas though, Harvick’s record shines especially bright. Since his switch to Ford in 2017, Harvick hasn’t finished lower than 13th at Kansas and also owns a victory at the track’s 2018 May race. 

 

Harvick will look to further improve his already impressive three-year track average finishing position of 7.4 with yet another win at Kansas. If he is able to pull it off, he’ll be locked into the next round and in a prime position to pounce on his second-ever MENCS Championship.

Ryan Blaney

 

Following last week’s gutsy victory, no one would blame you for claiming that Ryan Blaney already has his title in the bag, especially since he’s already locked in to the Round of 8. However, in reality, Blaney has had an up-and-down season this year. 

 

While there’s little doubt that the second-generation driver of the No. 12 Team Penske Mustang has certainly improved since his full-time MENCS debut in 2016, he still has a lot of convincing to do if he expects to take home a championship title this season.

 

His record at Kansas may add even more fuel to the fire though, as the young gun is typically very successful at this track. While he’s never scored a victory here, Blaney remains one of the most consistent finishers at Kansas, especially in recent years, where he’s finished in the top-10 three out of five times. 

 

If Blaney can carry his momentum from last week into Kansas this Sunday however, there will be little and less anyone can do to stop him from finding himself in Victory Lane yet again.


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