The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series and NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series are off to Kansas Speedway this weekend, their first visit to the 1.5-mile track this season, site of Saturday nightâs Digital Ally 400.
Here are all the things you need to know for Saturdayâs event under the lights.
Kansas Speedway is a 1.5-mile tri-oval with 17-20 degrees of variable banking in the turns, 9-11 degrees of variable banking on the frontstretch and 5 degrees of banking on the backstretch. The track has an asphalt surface.
The track held its inaugural Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race on Sept. 30, 2001 where NASCAR Hall of Famer Jeff Gordon took the checkered flag.
Since then, there have been 15 different race winners in 26 held at the Kansas track. Speeding has been an issue since 2016 at the track, totaling 36 penalties in the last six races.
With another night race ahead of us, five drivers have 15 or more top-five finishes in night races since 2015. Kevin Harvick has 20, Joey Logano has 19, Denny Hamlin has 17, Kyle Busch has 16 and Martin Truex Jr. has 15.
HORSEPOWER, AERO DUCTS, GOODYEAR TIRES
Teams will use the 2019 rules package with a target horsepower of 550 and aero ducts as part of the aerodynamic devices.
The return of single-car qualifying began last weekend at Dover International Speedway for all three national series, including the Xfinity Series and Gander Outdoors Truck Series. The rules change was announced last week, ending a run of five-plus years for multi-car, multiple-round qualifying for all three circuits.
RELATED:Â Single-car qualifying at all oval tracks
The track surface at Kansas has weathered over the years, made obvious by the Cup Series teams experiencing two seconds of tire fall-off over the course of a fuel run in both races in 2018. The 2019 rules package with higher downforce has resulted in slightly less tire fall-off this season because of less slide in the corners. Four-tire stops should still be the goal in the race.
While both the Cup Series and Gander Trucks will run the same right-side tire code at Kansas, each series will run its own left-side code. Cup Series cars will use the same code they used last weekend in Dover, while the right-side code is what was used at Las Vegas and Texas earlier in 2019. Teams are required to run inner liners in all four tire positions, as they do on all oval tracks greater than one mile in length. Air pressure in those inner liners should be 12-25 psi greater than that of the outer tire.
This weekend will mark the first time Truck teams have run the left-side tire code. This code features a construction update to align with other speedway and a compound upgrade to give the Truck more grip. They did, however, run this right-side code at Texas, which features an update and moves the trucks from a multi-zone tread to a single treat tire. Gander Trucks teams are also required to run inner lines in all four tire positions.
Cup Series teams will have three sets of Goodyear tires for practice, one set for qualifying and nine sets for the race. Gander Trucks teams will have six sets for the race weekend.
FACTS AND FIGURES
PHOTOS: Memorable Kansas moments
The Digital Ally 400 will air on FS1, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio at 7:30 p.m. ET on Saturday, May 11. Fans can also follow along on the live leaderboard on NASCAR.com, get in-car audio onÂ RaceViewÂ and watch in-car cameras onÂ NASCAR Drive. Be sure to set yourÂ Fantasy LiveÂ lineup and sub in your garage pick (if needed) before the end of Stage 2 when rosters lock for good.
The Digital Ally 250 will air on FS1, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio at 8:30 p.m. ET on Friday, May 10.
2018 RACE WINNER
Kevin Harvick started on the pole and led 79 of the 267 laps last May to score his third Kansas victory. There were six cautions for 31 laps with 13 lead changes. Harvick and Stewart-Haas Racing have not yet won in 2019.