Saturday, September 25, 2021

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Where they finished: Hollywood Casino 400

In a race which saw the highest amount of caution flags of the 2012 Sprint Cup season, it just so happened that one of those cars with damage took the checkered flag.

Leading twice for 78 laps, Matt Kenseth took his third win of the 2012 season and his second in the past three races.

Here’s how the field finished Sunday at Kansas and how exactly they got there.

  1. Matt Kenseth- In no way did Kenseth have the best car during the race, but as if that’s mattered before in his career. After brushing the wall when Aric Almirola spun, Kenseth came to pit road for repairs and fuel. On the final round of stops, his team got him out first which resulted in victory. 
  2. Martin Truex Jr.– A quiet day for the New Jersey native, but it resulted in his second-straight second-place finish at Kansas Speedway. Unlike April, Truex Jr. didn’t dominate the race, but he did spend the majority of the race near the top-10. Like Kenseth, his final pit stop put him in his finishing position.
  3. Paul Menard- Sunday’s race may have been Menard’s best run of the 2012 season. Leading the race for six laps, Menard was able to keep pace with the frontrunners at the end. With the checkered flag in site, he held off a hard-charging Kasey Kahne for third. Sunday was Menard’s first top-five finish since his win in the 2011 Brickyard 400.
  4. Kasey Kahne- Starting the day off on the pole, Kahne dropped back quickly as handling issues plagued him for nearly half of the 267-lap race. But as the race neared its end, the No.5 began to turn some of the fastest lap times on the track after a miscue under caution forced him to give up second position, falling back to sixth. 
  5. Tony Stewart- – When he spun off the second corner on lap 166, the day looked to be a wash for Stewart with passing proving difficult on the new Kansas surface. But, as the cautions fell, the No.14 moved up through the field after the final pit stop of the race put him towards the front of the field.
  6. Clint Bowyer- Spending the majority of the day towards the front of the field, Bowyer was in position for a win at his home track in the closing stages of the race. Although he only led the race for 5 laps, Bowyer was one of the cars constant at the front of the field on Sunday, keeping his championship hopes alive.
  7. Regan Smith- In his final race substituting for Dale Earnhardt Jr., Smith made the most of his opportunity by taking his 39th-place starting position and changing it into a top-10 finish. A solid car, Smith wasn’t quite able to advance much higher than sixth as he struggled on restarts throughout the race.
  8. Brad Keselowski- Coming from the middle of the pack on multiple occasions, it was a long day for the No.2 team. They didn’t have a car that could contend for the win, but they played the strategy card to the best of their ability and in the process maintained their points lead.
  9. Jimmie Johnson- – If there’s one word to sum up the day for the No.48 team, it would be “amazing”. After leading 44 laps early, Johnson was caught by a caution flag after a green-flag pit stop, falling to the back of the field. From there, Johnson made a rare mistake in turn four, damaging the rear of his car. After numerous stops for repair, the No.48 wound up setting some of the fastest lap times at the end of the race.
  10. Jeff Gordon- Unlike his Hendrick Motorsports counterparts, it was a quiet day or sorts for Gordon. He didn’t have a car that was able to contend for a win, and he didn’t particularly have a car that could finish top-10. But, he avoided the melee and kept his car in one-piece which put him inside the top-10 on the final run of the race.
  11. Kevin Harvick- After sustaining damage after contact with Carl Edwards, Harvick looked to be on his way to his first top-10 finish of the 2012 Chase. But as the checkered flag drew closer, Harvick was bypassed by Johnson, dropping him out of the top-10.
  12. Marcos Ambrose- Somehow, Ambrose was able to bounce back after being involved in the lap 170 crash with Trevor Bayne, damaging the rear-end of the No.9 car. With the benefit of late cautions, like so many others, Ambrose found his way back inside the top-15 of the running order.
  13. Denny Hamlin- Battling and ill handling car the entire race, the No.11 team made constant adjustments to the car to try to get the best finish possible. Running fifth before their final pit stop, Aric Almirola’s crash with 55 laps to go pinned Hamlin a lap down. Although he took the wave around to get back on the lead lap, all was lost for Hamlin on the day.
  14. Carl Edwards- For a time capsule of the No.99 team’s 2012 season, a look at Sunday’s race at Kansas would be a good image of it. Running inside the top-10 at points of the race, it looked as though Edwards was in store for a good day. However, the final green flag laps of the race saw Edwards fall through the pack with handling issues.
  15. Jamie McMurray- Earlier in the year, McMurray said that he and his teammate, Juan Pablo Montoya, tend to have good runs and tracks with a lot of grip. Sunday was no different. The No.1 team played the fuel game well to keep their driver out of harms way and recorded their first top-10 finish since Michigan in August.
  16. Juan Pablo Montoya- Driving a Taylor Swift themed car, Montoya was anything but mean on Sunday as he like many others who finished in the back-half of the top-20 kept out of the craziness. This is Montoya’s best finish since Bristol in August.
  17. Travis Kvapil- The top-finishing BK Racing car, Kvapil stayed out under an early caution to pick up a bonus point for leading a lap. From there, the team made adjustments to the car throughout the race. By finishing in the top-20, it marks the first time both BK Racing cars finished in the top-20.
  18. Landon Cassill- Although Danica Patrick attempted to end his day on lap 156, Cassill was able to rebound after some snark over his radio for a top-20 finish. Surely an interesting day for the Iowa native.
  19. Joey Logano- If there was a good way to describe what happened to Logano at the end of the race, check his Twitter account. “Ummmm I don’t know what to say about that. We will have to figure out what went wrong.” From running inside the top-10, Logano dropped like a rock through the field at the end of the race.
  20. David Ragan- Despite having handling issues with his Ford at the high speeds, Ragan’s team was able to adjust on his car throughout the day to help him avoid the melee that ensued in front of him. This is his second top-20 finish in the past three races.
  21. Trevor Bayne- Starting the race in the 32nd-position, Bayne drove inside the top-20 for the better part of the first-half of the race. However, a crash on lap 170 with Ambrose hampered Bayne’s efforts at a possible top-15 finish. In the process, Bayne made 17 pit stops after the lap 170 crash.
  22. Timmy Hill- Making his second start with the FAS Lane Racing team, Hill stayed clear of the wrecks throughout the day. By race’s end, that found Hill running just outside the top-20 to record his best career finish in the Sprint Cup Series.
  23. David Gilliland – It was a quiet day of sorts for Gilliland on Sunday. After making contact with Bobby Labonte in turn three, Gilliland would dodge the spinning Danica Patrick off the second corner. Staying mostly out of trouble, it was a solid day for the California native.
  24. Mark Martin- With 60 laps to go, Martin looked to be on his way to victory. Leading 60 of the race’s 267 laps, Martin was pinned at the back of the field after a caution fell after he made his green flag pit stop. From there, the engine let go on his Toyota, failing even more in the final three laps.
  25. Kurt Busch- Despite being involved in a crash, Busch still kept his Chevrolet running inside the top-20, even challenging in the top-five at one point in the race. At the end of the race, thought, Busch’s car suffered a flat right-front tire which, to his disadvantage, didn’t bring out a caution flag.
  26. Sam Hornish Jr.- Running inside the top-20, Hornish Jr. was collected in the lap 183 crash with the Busch brothers and Newman. Although his team got the car repaired, Hornish Jr. would eventually bring out the final caution of the race after blowing a right-front tire.
  27. Greg Biffle- Although Biffle was hopeful for a win, his chances at victory were cut short after he pounded the turn four wall on lap 176. After the crash, Biffle reported that the track bar broke on the car when it hit the wall. He finished 40 laps down.
  28. Jeff Burton- If Burton didn’t have bad luck this season, he would have no luck at all. Crashing on lap 84 after contact with Tony Stewart, Burton’s crew was able to repair his car, but finished the race 53 laps down.
  29. Aric Almirola- Without a doubt, Sunday’s race was the best of Almirola’s Sprint Cup career. Leading 69 laps, his car remained fast even after he hit the turn one wall. However, his day was ended with a lap 215 crash which put his car in flames.
  30. Ryan Newman- Running inside the top-10 for most of the day, Newman was collected in a crash on the front stretch with Kyle Busch, Kurt Busch and Sam Hornish Jr. which left Newman’s car with heavy damage. He was forced to retire from the race.
  31. Kyle Busch- A spin while running in second place on lap 41 but Busch deep in the field, but he would eventually get back to the front before destroying his Toyota on a lap 183 accident in the same spot he spun earlier.
  32. Danica Patrick- Running near the top-20 before her race was ended, Patrick was locked into a battle with Landon Cassill throughout the race which ended with Patrick running into the back of the No.83 into turn one, wrecking herself in the process.
  33. Bobby Labonte- Over recent weeks, the No.47 team had been making steady improvements in their race finish. However, that wasn’t the case on Sunday after Labonte crashed his Toyota in turn three on lap 143 which ended his day.
  34. Scott Speed- With sponsorship from B&D Electrical, you wouldn’t expect this team to have issues in that department. That was the case though as the No.95 was parked for the day after 77 laps.
  35. AJ Allmendinger- Running in the top-five early, Allmendinger looked to be on his way to a good finish before a cut right-front tire ended his race on the race’s 69th lap.
  36. Mike Bliss- As the race neared its 50-lap mark, Bliss was forced to park his Toyota after he reported the car had a vibration on lap 47.
  37. Casey Mears- After having issues during testing earlier in the week, the race went no better for Mears after he blew a right-front tire on lap 29, causing him to retire from the race.
  38. Kelly Bires- Starting the race from 43rd, Bires was able to advance his way through the field before problems with the rear gear on his Ford forced him behind the wall.
  39. Dave Blaney- With how fast speeds where at the newly repaved Kansas Speedway, brakes are something that each driver would need. Blaney lost his on the 25th lap of the race, though and eventually ended his day.
  40. Joe Nemechek- Turning fast laps takes it’s toll on equipment and Nemechek would be able to attest to that as a rear gear failure ended his day early.
  41. Reed Sorenson- With the warmest temperatures of the weekend coming on race day, it caused overheating issues for the No.91 on lap 18.
  42. JJ Yeley- Only completing 11 of the 267 laps, Yeley parked the MaxQ Motorsports Chevrolet with reports of a vibration.
  43. Michael McDowell- Being the first car to retire during the race, McDowell was forced to park his No.98 after 7 laps with a vibration.

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