By Jerry Bonkowski and Bob Moore
Capsules for all drivers competing in the Chase for the Sprint Cup.
20 MATT KENSETH, Toyota
Team: Joe Gibbs Racing
WHERE HE STANDS: Matt Kenseth still remains atop the Sprint Cup standings after the first three races in the Chase for the Sprint Cup championship. He leads former points leader Jimmie Johnson by eight points, and is 12 points ahead of Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Kyle Busch.
KANSAS RECORD: 15 career starts, 2 wins, 6 top-fives, 9 top-10s, 2 poles. Best career finish: First in fall 2012 and spring 2013. Finished first in this race last year and also won this year's spring race there.
LOOKING AHEAD: Kenseth is looking for his third consecutive win at Kansas this Sunday. In his last eight starts there, he has two wins, three other top-five finishes and two other top-seven showings. Needless to say, Kansas is one of his favorite tracks. Here's his thoughts on Sunday's race: "I feel good about this stretch. Kansas and Charlotte (next week) have been great tracks I really enjoy (and) that our performance has been pretty good at it. I'm looking forward to getting there."
LOOKING BACK: Kenseth fell short in his bid to win a third straight race to start the Chase this past Sunday at Dover, finishing seventh.
ETC.: Kenseth has completed 94.6 percent (3,739) of the 3,953 total laps contested in 15 career starts at Kansas. His average start is 12.9, while his average finish is 14.8. He has two DNFs there.
48 JIMMIE JOHNSON, Chevrolet
Team: Hendrick Motorsports
WHERE HE STANDS: After being in third place following the first two Chase races, former points leader Jimmie Johnson moved up to second place after his win at Dover this past Sunday. He trails points leader Matt Kenseth by eight points, and is four points ahead of third-ranked Kyle Busch.
KANSAS RECORD: 14 career starts, 2 wins, 6 top-5s, 12 top-10s, 3 poles. Best career finish: First in fall 2008 and fall 2011. Finished ninth in this race last year and was third in this year's spring race there.
LOOKING AHEAD: Johnson has Matt Kenseth, not to mention a sixth Sprint Cup championship, in his sites. And with back-to-back 1.5-mile tracks at Kansas this Sunday and Charlotte next Saturday, Johnson could make a big swing in the standings if he has success at both places. Here's his thoughts on Sunday's race: "(During last Sunday's race at Dover) I was thinking about ... just how tough this championship's going to be. They're bringing their best and doing their best. You've got to deliver."
LOOKING BACK: Johnson made history by winning his eighth race at Dover, breaking the record of seven wins held by both Richard Petty and Bobby Allison. Johnson dominated the Dover race, leading 243 of its 400 laps.
ETC.: Johnson has completed 99.2 percent (3,657) of the 3,686 total laps contested in 14 career starts at Kansas. His average start there is 11.4 and his average finish is an outstanding 7.6. He has one DNF there.
18 KYLE BUSCH, Toyota
Team: Joe Gibbs Racing
WHERE HE STANDS: After being ranked second following the first two Chase races, Kyle Busch dropped one spot to third after last Sunday's race at Dover. He trails points leader Matt Kenseth by 12 points, is four points behind second-place Jimmie Johnson and leads the fourth-place tied duo of Kevin Harvick and Jeff Gordon by 27 points.
KANSAS RECORD: 12 career starts, 0 wins, 0 top-fives, 2 top-10s, 0 poles. Best career finish: Seventh in fall 2006. Finished 31st in this race last year and was 38th in this year's spring race there.
LOOKING AHEAD: Busch is hoping to change his luck at Kansas, which has become one of his worst tracks on the Sprint Cup circuit, a place he doesn't have even one top-five finish at. Why does Busch feel Kansas been so tough? "It's not that you might not like a track or might not like a race, or something like that, it's just a matter of trying to figure it out. Once you kind of get it figured out or get the right situations kind of lined up, you can have a shot. I look at this place a lot like Michigan. That's a place where I struggled for a long time, but we finally were able to break through there for a win two years ago. Of course, just like Michigan, as soon as I figure it out, they repaved it along with Kansas."
LOOKING BACK: Although he led 30 laps there, Busch couldn't hold on to the lead with how strong Jimmie Johnson was and settled for a fifth-place finish.
ETC.: Busch's overall record at Kansas is one of his worst. He's completed just 86.4 percent (2,722) of the 3,152 total laps contested in 12 career starts there. His average start is 16.3, while his average finish is a terrible 22.4. He has three DNFs there.
29 KEVIN HARVICK, Chevrolet
Team: Richard Childress Racing
WHERE HE STANDS: After dropping two places in the standings after New Hampshire, Kevin Harvick regained those spots and moved back into fourth place - tied with Jeff Gordon - after Sunday's race at Dover. Harvick and Gordon trail points leader Matt Kenseth by 39 points, are 27 points behind third-ranked Kyle Busch and lead sixth-ranked Greg Biffle by two points.
KANSAS RECORD: 15 career starts, 0 wins, 1 top-fives, 6 top-10s, 0 poles. Best career finish: Third in fall 2010. Was 11th in this race last year and 12th in this year's spring race there.
LOOKING AHEAD: If Harvick is to make a move upward in the standings and truly contend for the championship, he has to do so both this Sunday in Kansas and next Saturday at Charlotte, both 1.5-mile tracks. He typically does well on those types of tracks, but has not had the kind of success he'd like at Kansas. Here's his thoughts on this weekend's race: "Kansas will be a little different this time because of the tire change Goodyear is making for this race. Because of the tire change we have an open test day at the track (Thursday) before the race weekend begins, so we'll have some extra time to get used to the racing surface and what's going on with the aging and wear. The asphalt they use to pave these racetracks now is made to last a long time on roads and it's really not the right asphalt to use for a racing surface. Tracks seem to age a little slower than they did in the past and it's not really what we're used to."
LOOKING BACK: Harvick was competitive and stayed with the leaders at Dover, but was unable to finish any higher than sixth.
ETC.: Harvick has completed 97.2 percent (3,843) of the 3,953 total laps contested in 15 career starts at Kansas. His average start is 19.7 and average finish is 12.8. He has one DNF there.
24 JEFF GORDON, Chevrolet
Team: Hendrick Motorsports
WHERE HE STANDS: Jeff Gordon climbed four positions, from eighth to a tie for fourth with Kevin Harvick, after Dover. The pair trails series leader Matt Kenseth by 39 points, is 27 points behind third-ranked Kyle Busch and leads sixth-ranked Greg Biffle by two points.
KANSAS RECORD: 15 career starts, 2 wins, 8 top-fives, 10 top-10s, 0 poles. Best career finish: First in 2001 and 2002. Was 10th in this race last year and 13th in this year's spring race there.
LOOKING AHEAD: Gordon won the first two races held at Kansas Speedway back in 2001 and 2002. Since then, while he's had numerous decent finishes, he's been unable to get back to victory lane there. There's a lot riding on this race for him and his team, Gordon says: "If Matt (Kenseth) and Jimmie (Johnson) continue to post wins and good finishes, it's going to be difficult to catch them. But I like how our team has stepped up during the Chase and we need to be ready to take advantage if they have a bad race. When running the way we are right now, you really look forward to the next race."
LOOKING BACK: It was almost a 1-2-3 Hendrick Motorsports sweep at Dover. Jimmie Johnson finished first, Dale Earnhardt Jr. was second and Gordon, who led three laps, finished fourth.
ETC.: Gordon has completed 99.0 percent (3,913) of 3,953 total laps contested in 15 career starts at Kansas. His average start is 13.7 and average finish is 11.1. He has two DNFs there.
16 GREG BIFFLE, Ford
Team: Roush Fenway Racing
WHERE HE STANDS: After jumping six places in the standings after New Hampshire (from 11th to fifth), Greg Biffle lost one spot after Dover, falling to sixth place. He trails points leader Matt Kenseth by 41 points, is two points behind the fourth-place tie of Kevin Harvick and Jeff Gordon, and leads seventh-ranked Ryan Newman by seven points.