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5 Best Races at Kansas Speedway

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To some, it is hard to believe that Kansas Speedway has been on the NASCAR schedule for over 20 years now. In those 2 decades + of racing, NASCAR has seen its' fair share of great races at the 1.5 mile midwestern track. From fuel mileage gambles, to surprise winners, to playoff drama, Kansas has seen a little bit of everything.

To some, it is hard to believe that Kansas Speedway has been on the NASCAR schedule for over 20 years now. In those 2 decades + of racing, NASCAR has seen its’ fair share of great races at the 1.5 mile midwestern track. From fuel mileage gambles, to surprise winners, to playoff drama, Kansas has seen a little bit of everything.

Here are the top five best races in the history of Kansas Speedway.

5. Joe Nemechek Completes Surprise Kansas Sweep (2004 Banquet 400 Presented by Conagra Foods)

During the first “Chase” for the NASCAR Nextel Cup in 2004, Joe Nemechek spoiled the party at Kansas Speedway. After winning the Busch Series race on Saturday, “Front Row Joe” sat on the pole, led the final 37 laps, and held off a hard charging Ricky Rudd by 0.081 seconds. It was Nemechek’s fourth and final career win, one no one saw coming.

4. Jeff Gordon Holds off Young Ryan Newman (2001 Protection One 400)

The inaugural race at Kansas Speedway was nothing short of chaotic featuring 13 caution flags for 70 laps. Rusty Wallace led the most laps, but it was Jeff Gordon taking the lead for good from Mark Martin with 22 laps to go.

However, Ryan Newman gave fans and drivers a glimpse into his raw, yet immense talent giving Gordon a hard charge in the final laps. Gordon would win by .413 seconds en route to his 4th career championship at seasons end.

3. Tony Stewart Coasts to Victory (2006 Banquet 400 Presented by Conagra Foods)

Jimmie Johnson dominated the later stages of the 2006 Banquet 400 leading 88 of the final 102 laps. However, a rough final pit stop along with clever strategy opened the door for Tony Stewart.

Stewart, on an alternate fuel strategy, took an almost 20 second lead over Casey Mears. Stewart ran out of fuel on the last lap but found a way to coast around the final turns for an unexpected win.

2. Joey Logano vs Matt Kenseth Round 1 (2015 Hollywood Casino 400)

When people think of Matt Kenseth vs Joey Logano, most think of Martinsville. The saga truly started in the waning laps of second race of the 2015 Round of 12. Logano, already locked into the Round of 8 via a win at Charlotte the previous week, spun out Kenseth in turn one for the lead with only 4 laps to go.

Logano would hold off Denny Hamlin on an overtime restart to take home the win, but the win would cost Logano 2 weeks later at Martinsville. Kenseth would get his revenge by wrecking Logano intentionally, taking Logano out of championship contention.

1. Carl Edwards Slide Job Gone Wrong (2008 Camping World RV 400 Presented by Coleman)

Carl Edwards slowly inched towards Jimmie Johnson in the closing laps of the 2008 Camping World RV 400. Edwards only had one lap to make his move for the win, so he took inspiration from video games. Call it a “Hail Melon” before the “Hail Melon” was a thing if you will.

Edwards slid underneath and in front of Johnson in turn three, right into the outside wall. He failed to keep his speed up, and Johnson swooped in to take home the win.

The 1.5 mile track just outside of Kansas City has played host to some iconic moments throughout the years. This weekend could be another one.

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Joshua Lipowski

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