Did NASCAR bring back the old Bristol, except expand the track to three times it's length and put down asphalt instead of concrete?
That is what fans got to see on Sunday at Kansas. In 267 laps, the newly repaved Kansas Speedway saw a track record 14 caution flags, something that is normally reserved for a short track rather than a 1.5-mile speedway. And the cautions came after restarts, as if drivers were trying too hard to get positions, or just fluke luck among some of the best drivers.
Guys like Kyle Busch, Greg Biffle, Jimmie Johnson all had problems with the track conditions, getting into the wall and costing them spots. Although, Johnson was able to rally with a damaged car and finish ninth.
Surprising drivers on this day were Paul Menard, who ran in the top-10 for most of the day, eventually finishing third. The toughest break went to Aric Almirola, who himself admitted it was the best car he's ever had in his life, and on two occasions had a right-front tire go down putting him in the wall, with the second knocking the wind out of him and causing the engine to catch fire. Such a strong run ended in a disappointing finish.
In the end, a familiar face went to victory lane, and it was one who also met the wall during the race. But in the end, Matt Kenseth was feeling "Zestfully Clean" in victory lane, his second win in three races and third overall on the year.
No victory was had by the writers, but some shuffling in the standings happened thanks to a wild afternoon. Here's the standings after the Hollywood Casino 400:
Rob Tiongson (2241) Brad Keselowski finished 8th (4)
Ryan O'Hara (2235) Kasey Kahne finished 4th (2)
James Broomhead (2226) Brad Keselowski finished 8th (3)
Dustin Parks (2226) Brad Keselowski finished 8th (2)
Kelly Crandall (2221) Brad Keselowski finished 8th (4)
Sal Sigala Jr. (2221) Greg Biffle finished 27th (3)
Patti Rodisch (2204) Clint Bowyer finished 6th (2)
Kara Martin (2197) Jimmie Johnson finished 9th (3)
Misan Akuya (2197) Jeff Gordon finished 10th (1)
Christopher Leone (2192) Martin Truex Jr. finished 2nd (3)
Michael Hirshbein (2187) Clint Bowyer finished 6th (1)
Billy Fellin (2185) Greg Biffle finished 27th (5)
Next Race: If the amount of cautions at the newly repaved 1.5-mile Kansas Speedway is an indication of what's to come, next week's race could last all afternoon.
The reason why...this track is one mile shorter, the corners are tighter, speeds are slower, and aggression will definitely be higher. It's the oldest speedway on the circuit, as well as the shortest. Get the hot dogs ready, as NASCAR is heading back to Virginia to run the final short-track race of the season at the Martinsville Speedway.
Writers, the beating and banging will be intense. But have those picks for the Tums Fast Relief 500 submitted by Thursday, October 25, at 10 p.m. ET.