NASCAR is entering its 13th Cup Series race of the season, and the drivers are looking to take things to the next level as the playoffs get closer. Sunday could be a turning point for a few drivers as NASCAR takes over Kansas Speedway for the AdventHealth 400. The race will start at 3 p.m. ET and air on FS1.
One of the biggest surprises this year is where Denny Hamlin is in the standings. The three-time Daytona 500 winner is currently in 22nd place, and while he has won a race this season, Hamlin has only one top 10 finish and is tied for first when it comes to races not finished (4). Regardless, Hamlin is looking forward to Sunday's race.
"I'm excited about the weekend," Hamlin said, per NASCAR.com "We've been to pretty much every type of track that we're going to see, so now we have some notes and data points that we can build off of. That helps us a ton with setups and finding a direction to work in. I feel like our team has been looking forward to this race since Las Vegas because of how strong our car was there, and this is the first true mile-and-a-half we've been to since then. As a company, we have been bringing great cars to the track lately and just haven't been able to get the finish we deserved, but I'm confident that we can do that this weekend in Kansas."
While Hamlin is looking to move up the rankings, Chase Elliott is looking to stay on top. The 2020 Cup Series Champion is in first place with a 65-point lead. He has won just one race but has nine top 10 finishes, three top-five finishes and two stage wins. Back in April before Elliott won the DuraMax Drydene 400 in early May, PopCulture.com spoke to him about being able to get that first win.
"We just got to put it all together, start to finish, on race day," Elliott said. "I think we're very capable of doing that. I feel like a lot of times we've done all of the hard parts throughout a weekend. We just haven't pieced together some of the essential pieces to a successful day."