Podium Preview: Super Start Batteries 400 at Kansas

The Super Start Batteries 400 at Kansas may lack fans, but it won't lack in action! (Photo Credit: Stephen Conley/TPF)

The Super Start Batteries 400 at Kansas may lack fans, but it won’t lack in action! (Photo Credit: Stephen Conley/TPF)

 

Podium Preview: Super Start Batteries 400 at Kansas
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Question 1
In this case, can Richard Childress Racing keep up their winning ways? (Photo Credit: Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

In this case, can Richard Childress Racing keep up their winning ways? (Photo Credit: Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

Richard Childress Racing has greatly improved since last year. With Austin Dillon’s victory at Texas and Tyler Reddick’s strong performances, what can we expect from this organization for the second half of 2020?

Sisoler :  I think we are definitely seeing a resurgence of Richard Childress Racing, and that form is going to just continue to get better. With their first 1-2 finish in 9 years, I would fully expect both RCR Camaros to make their way into the Cup Series Playoffs this year. 

Lambeth : As the season moves on, I fully expect Richard Childress Racing’s improved form to continue as the team makes significant gains with their program. Austin Dillon’s win should serve as a massive confidence boost for the entire organization. With the No. 3 team securing their playoff berth, do not be surprised if Tyler Reddick’s No. 8 squad finds victory lane at some point in the second half of the season.

The two-time XFINITY champion and Cup Series rookie has been very impressive at stock car racing’s top level. Without a doubt, there is plenty to smile about within the RCR organization. They have the right drivers to lead them into a bright future of competitiveness and race victories.

Tiongson :  The Nos. 3 and 8 teams will be in the field as the best of the rest for midfield contenders. By midfield in NASCAR, I can see this bunch contending for top-10 or top-15 finishes with the opportunities to contend for wins or top-fives as seen last Sunday at Texas.

Austin Dillon has benefitted from his reunion with crew chief Justin Alexander. By all means, I remain baffled as to why this duo split up after 2018. Still, Dillon seems to be a sneaky spoiler in mixing it up with the usual weekly race contenders.

That said, Tyler Reddick remains the top choice to me with RCR’s Cup program. He’s driven the wheels off his No. 8 car and he’s not afraid to push his car beyond its capabilities. Moreover, he knows how to push the limits but he maximizes each race with brilliance, aggression, and courage. Kansas and Michigan seem to be his prime opportunities to join Dillon in the NASCAR Playoffs.

Shoppe :  Whenever I predict the limits of RCR this year, the historic race team has always exceeded them! My first thought to this question is, I doubt they will get another win this year. But hey, I didn’t see them getting this one-two in Texas!

It has been such a pleasant surprise to see a resurgence by RCR in 2020. And now I expect both cars to continue to perform well. I see both making the playoffs. Whether that is with a win by Reddick or just on points is hard to say. But I think at this point and perhaps moving forward, this team as a whole may be the best Chevy team! 

Luttrell :  I strongly believe we will see Tyler Reddick get his first Cup victory sooner than expected. As I stated in my answer to last week’s question, Tyler has been consistently strong and fast all season. Now that RCR has seen its first 1-2 finish of the year, this will bring both teams the much-needed momentum and motivation that they need to continue on a hot streak. I look forward to seeing both the 3 and the 8 car do well throughout the rest of the season.

Question 2
No doubt, Ryan Blaney winks at you. (Photo Credit: Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)

No doubt, Ryan Blaney winks at you. (Photo Credit: Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)

Given the short turnaround timespan between Texas and Kansas, which driver and team will likely maximize with their opportunity in the Super Start Batteries 400 on Thursday night?

Marcheschi :  Tyler Reddick finished second behind teammate Austin Dillon at Texas, and visits Kansas for the second time in his Cup career. Reddick ran the No. 31 for Richard Childress Racing and finished ninth in only his second career Cup start. With momentum on his side, he and crew chief Randall Burnett look poised for a strong run at Kansas.

Jones :  I’m going to say Team Penske’s No. 12 team maximizes. I think Ryan Blaney and Todd Gordon will be really to claim what they missed out on after dominating the first two stages Sunday at Texas. 

Beecy :  I think Kyle Busch and the No. 18 team will maximize on Thursday night. Kyle was on a roll last weekend, so he has some momentum heading into Thursday. If they can keep the momentum up, he should do really well.

Raynor : I think Kevin Harvick will maximize Thursday night. They seem to always take a bad running car and finish in the top spots. Kevin has always been good at this track and they seem to be able to turn around great cars quickly.

Two laps around Kansas proves quite enjoyable in a midsummer’s evening drive! Next, we review our recent Texas race and points reports!
Yours truly sat pretty at his home track!

Yours truly sat pretty at his home track!

As a result, the points have shaken up again!

As a result, the points have shaken up again!

Next, Ashley Hobbs sets things by Crunching the Numbers: Super Start Batteries 400 at Kansas style!
First, check out how your favorite team fares at Kansas.

First, check out how your favorite team fares at Kansas.

Next, here's how each manufacturer fares in the Super Start Batteries 400.

Next, here’s how each manufacturer fares in the Super Start Batteries 400.

Since 2011, the Super Start Batteries 400 winner has an average starting spot of 8.4, led an average of 54.1 laps, started within the top-five 55.56 percent of the time, and started within the top-10 66.67 percent of the time.

Since 2011, the Super Start Batteries 400 winner has an average starting spot of 8.4, led an average of 54.1 laps, started within the top-five 55.56 percent of the time, and started within the top-10 66.67 percent of the time.

Certainly, MTJ reigns supreme at Kansas.

Certainly, MTJ reigns supreme at Kansas.

Here, check out the trends at Kansas since 2011.

Here, check out the trends at Kansas since 2011.

Certainly, here's the trends for the Super Start Batteries 400 since 2015.

Certainly, here’s the trends for the Super Start Batteries 400 since 2015.

More than likely, our machine loves Kevin Harvick.

More than likely, our machine loves Kevin Harvick.

Last but not least, here’s our picks for Thursday night’s action at Kansas!
Pick one, buy four free at Kansas!

Pick one, buy four free at Kansas!

Beecy :  Kevin Harvick‘s had solid results at Kansas, so I’d be surprised if he didn’t do well again this week.

Hobbs :  Sure, the younger kids have won recently, but that does not make Kevin Harvick any less capable. He has the stats at Kansas to take them down. The only thing stopping him would be strategy.

Jones :  It’s been a few weeks since Kevin Harvick did his thing, but I think he will put a hurting on the field this Thursday night.

TPF Stats :  Status: In a relationship with Kevin Harvick.

Lambeth :  After a strong 1-2 finish at Texas for Richard Childress Racing, the organization will earn back-to-back victories with Tyler Reddick joining Cole Custer as the second rookie to win in the NASCAR Cup Series in 2020.

Marcheschi :  With Cole Custer and Austin Dillon winning the last couple races and another mile-and-a-half looming at Kansas, I’m thinking we’ll get another new winner in Tyler Reddick. While Reddick has never won at Kansas in any series, he does have XFINITY Series wins at three similar tracks: Kentucky, Charlotte, and Las Vegas.

He also finished ninth at Kansas in the Cup Series last May, his second and final Cup start of 2019. Look for Reddick to join Custer as a rookie winner in 2020!

Luttrell :  I am officially going with Tyler Reddick for the win at Kansas. Coming off the momentum from the RCR 1-2 finish at Texas, I believe Tyler will continue to do well and get his car to the front. With strategy and a fast car, we could easily see the 8 in victory lane.

Shoppe :  This panelist has chosen Erik Jones.

Sisoler :  Over the past couple of races, Denny Hamlin has been the best driver at Kansas, and I’m thinking we will see the streak of upset winners come to an end with the longest-tenured driver for Joe Gibbs Racing grabbing the flag in Kansas.

Tiongson :  Kyle Busch, or KFB, is all you need to know.

Race fans, thanks for joining us for our preview of the Super Start Batteries 400!

We’re ready for some racing. How about you? What do you think are the biggest storylines heading into this Thursday night’s race? Who is your favorite to win?  Tweet us now @ThePodiumFinish and tell us now!

Thanks as always to the TPF team for their amazing efforts this week!  Let’s stay connected as we focus on getting back together on the track soon!  Please stay safe and wear a mask if you must go out!

The opinions and thoughts expressed in Podium Preview are solely of the authors. They do not reflect any organizations affiliated with the participants and author outside of TPF. This weekly feature is strictly for entertainment purposes. Ultimately, they are not indicative of TPF, the organization, and its staff.

Rob Tiongson

30-something motorsports journalist who enjoys sports like baseball, basketball, football, soccer, track and field, and hockey. A Boston native turned Austinite, racing was the first sport that caught my eye. From interviews to retrospective articles, if it's about anything with an engine and four wheels, it'll be here on TPF, by me or by one of my talented columnists who absolutely have a passion for racing.

Currently seeking a sports writing, public relations, or sports marketing career, particularly in motorsports. I enjoy editing and writing articles and features, as well as photography.

Graduated from Southern New Hampshire University with a Bachelor of Arts in Communication. Proud to be from Massachusetts, just as happy to be a Texan.

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