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What to watch in today's NASCAR Cup race at Kansas Speedway

Only four drivers have won the last seven Cup races heading into today’s event at Kansas Speedway (3 p.m. ET on FS1). Will that dominance by a few continue?

Denny Hamlin has won three of the last seven races. William Byron has won twice in that stretch. Chase Elliott and Tyler Reddick each have a victory in the last seven races.

NASCAR Cup Series AdventHealth 400 - Practice
NASCAR Cup Series AdventHealth 400 - Practice

Christopher Bell tops field at Kansas for first Cup pole of the season

Christopher Bell wins his 11th career NASCAR Cup pole.

Among those looking for their first victory of the season are reigning Cup champion Ryan Blaney and former series champions Martin Truex Jr., Kyle Busch, Joey Logano and Brad Keselowski, among others.

Here’s a look at three things to watch in today’s race:

1. Can 23XI Racing keep its Kansas streak going?

The team co-owned by Hamlin and Michael Jordan has won three of the last four races at Kansas (Hamlin has the other win). 23XI Racing has won with Kurt Busch, Bubba Wallace and Reddick, who won last fall’s playoff race.

Those victories, though, came with the older Toyota body. Toyota teams have a new body this season.

“I think so far this year, at the mile-and-a-halves, we’ve been really strong,” Reddick said Saturday. “Atlanta is a little bit different, but Texas, Las Vegas, we were very fast. I didn’t lead a lot of laps at Las Vegas, but we were right there with (Kyle) Larson.”

Reddick was fourth at Texas and second at Las Vegas. He was the top Toyota in both races.

It will be a challenge for Reddick and teammate
Bubba Wallace to continue the team's success. Reddick starts 15th and Wallace 23rd.

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NASCAR: Daytona 500

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The co-owner of 23XI Racing expressed his opinion in an article by The New York Times.

2. Will the race be as spectacular as last year?

Last year’s race was generally regarded as one of the best, if not the best race of the season last year.

The event featured 37 lead changes and 11 cautions in 267 laps of action.

After the race, Noah Gragson and Ross Chastain had an altercation that ended with Chastain punching Gragson.

This track has benefitted from the Next Gen car. Restarts are mesmerizing, as the field spreads out. Cars can run multiple lanes on this track and do.

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NASCAR: Cup Practice & Qualifying

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Noah Gragson has posted four top-10 finishes in the first 11 races this season.

3. The start of a big month for teams

The month of May features races at Kansas, Darlington and Charlotte — all intermediate style tracks.

While each has its unique principles, teams will have a good idea of how they stand with the competition after these races. That will be important.

Darlington is the regular season finale in September and the playoffs features three 1.5-mile, non-drafting tracks, including a return visit to Kansas in late September.

NASCAR Cup Series
NASCAR Cup Series

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