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Last Updated Wednesday, Jul 20, 2005 5:27 pm, EDT

Banquet 400

Status: Final Kansas Speedway

Race Capsule

Kansas Speedway
  • What:

    Race 30 of 36 on Sprint Cup circuit

  • Where:

    Kansas Speedway, Kansas City, KS

  • When:

    October 5, 2003 1:00 pm EDT

  • Laps:

    267

  • Track Length:

    1.5 miles

  • Race Length:

    401.00 miles

  • Purse:

    $5,286,510

Drivers to Watch

Jimmie Johnson Engine woes and a spin were the reasons for a 34th-place finish at Talladega, the lowest result in last 16 races; dropped one position to fourth in standings, 92 points behind Earnhardt Jr.; has been among the top 10 in standings for 29 weeks and is only driver in the top 10 all season; dating to last season, has been ranked in the top 10 for 62 consecutive race weeks; strong in Kansas Speedway debut last season, starting on the outside pole and finishing 10th.
Jeff Gordon Two-time defending champion; an increased horsepower engine allowed him to a victory over Ryan Newman for the second straight year; took lead from Bill Elliott on lap 147 and led all but five laps the rest of the way in the 267-lap event; at Talladega last Sunday, finished fifth for the second straight race; has not qualified lower than seventh in the last four races; 10 top-fives and 14 top-10s are good for sixth place in the standings; but 520-point gap is probably too large to contend for championship in the last seven races.
Bill Elliott Will make third start at Kansas Speedway; started third here in 2001, but did not finish due to engine problems; started and finished fifth here last year; is the only driver with two top-five starts at this track; recorded his fifth top-five finish of the year at the Sylvania 300 in New Hampshire; has not had six top-five finishes in a year since 1992, when he had 14; is 15th in the points standings, 194 out of 10th.
Ryan Newman Runner-up to Jeff Gordon in both races held at this new venue; continued tremendous second-half run at Talladega with a fourth-place result for his series-best 12th top-five finish of the year; won previous race at Dover, his series-leading seventh victory of year and eighth career; swept both events at Dover this year; has scored 14 top-10 finishes, six of them victories, in the last 17 races; improved from 27th in the points to fifth.
Tony Stewart Defending Winston Cup champion followed up the third-place finish at Dover with another at Talladega; was fifth top-three performance of the season and third in the last seven races; moved ahead of Terry Labonte for ninth place in points standings, his highest position since being ranked the same after New Hampshire in July; qualified and finished among the top 10 in both career starts at Kansas Speedway; started seventh and finished eighth in 2001, followed by a start and finish of eighth last year.
Kurt Busch Rebounded from worst season finish of 38th at Dover to take sixth at Talladega last Sunday; remained eighth in points, exactly 700 behind leader Matt Kenseth; posted two top-10s in last seven starts, including a win at Bristol, fourth of this year; completed 206 laps in last year's stop at Kansas to finish 31st.
Kevin Harvick Seventh-place finish at Talladega was seventh top-10 in the last nine races, half his season total; led four laps at Talladega to extend his streak to seven consecutive races of leading laps and collecting bonus points; second in standings for the second week in a row and gained 82 points on Kenseth; is 354 points behind Kenseth, the closest anyone has been to the points leader since Dale Earnhardt Jr. trailed by 351 points following Bristol on August 23; has not recorded a top-10 finish in two career starts at Kansas, but had a solid outing in his last appearance.
Michael Waltrip Solid run down the final laps to hold off charge from DEI teammate Dale Earnhardt Jr. to win Sunday's EA Sports 500 for career victory No. 4 four; averaged 156.045 miles per hour in ninth restrictor plate win for team in last 12 such races on the circuit; opened season with win at Daytona 500; still could not break back into the top 10 in the standings; remained 11th, 10 points behind fellow veteran Terry Labonte.
Terry Labonte Placed 22nd at Talladega for his lowest finish since a 25th at Sonoma in late June; stayed in the top 10 for fourth race week in a row (Tony Stewart moved past him into ninth); finished 12th in last year's race at Kansas, but did not finish inaugural event in 2001.
Matt Kenseth Winston Cup points leader failed to finish a race for the first time this season at the Talladega race; the engine on his Ford failed on lap 158 and ended up in 33rd place; had not finished lower than 22nd in previous 29 races; still a comfortable 354-point lead over Kevin Harvick and 384 more than Earnhardt with seven races left; this is the closest any pursuer has been to Kenseth since he led Earnhardt Jr. by 351 following Bristol on August 23; leader for the 26th consecutive race week, dating to Atlanta in early March; has one top-10 finish in two starts at Kansas Speedway, finishing seventh last season; if able to win at Kansas, will earn a record $300,000 Winston leader bonus; 22 top-10s recorded this year tops the series.