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STP 400

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Who Will Win?

Johnson
Johnson Jimmie Johnson: Aside from a 42nd-place finish at Daytona, a race in which he got wrecked on Lap 2, Johnson's only finished outside the top 10 once this season, and that came at Martinsville in a race he had a chance to win until Clint Bowyer wiped out him and Jeff Gordon. So yeah, Johnson is already in championship form, especially on the intermediate tracks where he's finished 2nd, 10th and 2nd this season. – Jay Hart

Jimmie Johnson: Here it is, win No. 200 for Hendrick Motorsports. Kansas is one of Johnson's best tracks – he won the fall race last year – and he hasn't finished outside the top 10 at the tri-oval since 2006, when he finished 14th. In fact, if you remove his crash in 2004, that's his lowest finish at the track. Johnson will be one of the fastest cars as soon as practice starts on Friday and he'll be in victory lane on Sunday. – Nick Bromberg

Greg Biffle: Hey, strike while the iron's hot, right? And Biffle is rolling right now. Since 2002, he's never finished lower than 12th at Kansas, and he's got two wins there. Everything is clicking right now for him, so we'll be riding along in the 16. Hopefully he'll cut us in on the winnings. – Jay Busbee

Top storyline

Intermediate-track hell. Another week, another 1.5-mile tri-oval. After the pleasantly relaxing outing that was Texas, really the last thing NASCAR needs is another routine race. But Kansas has the potential to be exactly that. If Greg Biffle or another driver leads a parade again, expect the cries for change (what kind of change? who knows?) to grow louder. – Jay Busbee

If it sounds like an echo in here, that's because the topic that will dominate the discussion Sunday – at least on our raceday chat – will be boring, intermediate track racing. There really isn't much chance the STP 400 will be an eventful race, unless fuel-mileage comes into play, and we know how much everyone looooves fuel-mileage races. This is the hole NASCAR has dug and subsequently thrown itself in when it built and then added onto these 1.5-mile events. There will be no sympathy here, or anywhere for that matter, until NASCAR bites the bullet and starts shedding these races from its schedule. – Jay Hart

This is the last race at Kansas in its current configuration as the track will immediately start the repave process after the race in order to be ready for the Cup Series' return visit in October. The usual intermediate track suspects should be up front this week, but there's going to be no carryover whatsoever for the October race as the track installs progressive banking in the corners. – Nick Bromberg

From The Source

Tony Stewart, on visiting the President earlier this week: "He got a couple of good wisecracks in during his speech. That's the stuff that makes it fun to me. You can tell they do their homework before we get here."