KANSAS CITY, Kan. – NASCAR Sprint Cup drivers came to Kansas Speedway last weekend to take on the 267-lap Go Bowling 400 race. Activities started on Friday with qualification runs for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series and the Monster Energy Go Bowling 400 car race. Conditions were perfect for race fans with temperatures in the low 80's.
KANSAS CITY, Kan. – NASCAR Sprint Cup drivers came to Kansas Speedway last weekend to take on the 267-lap Go Bowling 400 race. Activities started on Friday with qualification runs for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series and the Monster Energy Go Bowling 400 car race. Conditions were perfect for race fans with temperatures in the low 80’s.
Qualifications for the Toyota Tundra 250 would take place first for the truck series. They would use the two lap single car method of qualifying on the 1.5 mile circuit. The early group of trucks would develop speeds in the low to middle 160 mph. The further into qualifications the speeds increased. Christopher Bell, driving the No. 4 Toyota Tundra owned by Kyle Busch, would take the Pole position with a speed of 177.8 mph.
Later in the afternoon the Sprint Cup cars would take the track for qualifications. They would use the multi-car format similar to that used by Formula One drivers. This is run in three segments with slower cars eliminated in each segment. This trial saw 12 cars not take the final run as a strategy to save tires for the race. Ryan Blaney took the Pole with a speed of 189.6 mph driving the Motorcraft/Quicklane Ford.
At the start of the Camping World Truck Series race Bell took the green flag from the outside lane. The race would be run in three stages with automatic cautions at the end of laps 42 and 82. Top 10 cars score points at the end of each stage. In the first stage Christopher Bell and Kyle Busch would swap the lead several times. It seemed as though the caution flag was out every other lap because of minor incidents on the track. Busch won both stage 1 and 2. Ben Rhodes in the No. 27 Toyota would trade the lead several time with Kyle Busch in the final stage. On lap 160 Busch would take the lead for the final time, winning the race with an average speed of 108.4 mph.
On Saturday Ryan Blaney started the Go Bowling 400 from the outside lane exchanging the lead with three other drivers in the first stage of the race. Kyle Busch would win the stage of 82 laps scoring top points. Stage one had a few caution flags but was mainly green flag racing. Blaney took top honors in stage 2 exchanging the lead with Bowyer, Kyle Busch and Truex.
At about lap 200 a multi-car fiery crash occurred in turn 1 and 2. Joey Lagano in the No. 22 Ford hit the right rear quarter of the Danica Patrick’s No. 10 Wonder Woman Ford sending her car straight into the barrier causing her car to burst into flames. She then slid back into the left rear side of Logano’s car causing more flames. Aric Almirola would then be caught up in the firestorm by running head on into the side of Logano, raising the rear of the No. 43 straight up in the air and bursting into flame. Amazingly Danica Patrick would climb out of the mangled No. 10 shaken but not hurt. It would take crash crew members about 30 minutes under red flag conditions to extricate Almirola from the Smithfield Ford. They had to use the Jaws-of-Life to remove the windshield and roof of the car. Aric was airlifted from the track, his condition not yet known. He would later be diagnosed with a compression fracture to his spine.
There were four more cautions to the end of the race, the last being on lap 264. This led to a two lap sprint to the checkered flag. Martin Truex Jr. outran the field finishing 1.1 seconds ahead of Brad Keselowski. Truex’s average speed for the 267 lap race was 117.6 mph.