KANSAS CITY, Kan. — Columbia, Mo., native Carl Edwards has won at Kansas Speedway with a Truck Series victory in 2004. But he has never won on his home track in a Sprint Cup Series car and that remains No. 1 on his bucket list heading into today’s STP 400.
After being fast in practice and earning a front row start for the race, Edwards has reason to believe that today is the day that he’ll finally visit Victory Lane.
“We’ve talked about it a lot, but a win here would be huge and this is a heck of a start,’’ said Edwards, currently fourth in points with a win and four top-fives in seven starts. “We had a great test. All of our (Roush Fenway) cars are fast.
“I think having that good starting spot, good pit stall, all that stuff makes a big difference in the race.’’
After qualifying second for today’s race, Edwards was No. 5 in Saturday’s first practice. Former Roush Fenway teammate Matt Kenseth will start on the pole.
Kenseth, now with Joe Gibbs Racing, went out next to last and set a track record with a lap of 191.864 miles per hour, while Edwards was just a tick behind at 191.748.
SPRINT CUP: Denny Hamlin could return to the series next weekend at Richmond for the first time since a crash March 24 at California left him with a compound fracture in his back.
Doctors told Hamlin he would miss at least five races when he suffered the injury in a last-lap accident. But he told reporters on Saturday at Kansas Speedway that there’s a chance he could return at his home track, where he’s a two-time winner.
Brian Vickers will start 16th for today’s race in the No. 11 Toyota.
TRUCK SERIES: Matt Crafton charged to the lead in a crash-filled race at Kansas Speedway, and then held off a late run by Joey Coulter to pick up his third career win.
Crafton and Coulter were engaged in a spirited game of cat-and-mouse over the final 20 laps, but Crafton held onto his truck-length lead as they crossed the start-finish line, allowing him to celebrate his first win since Iowa in 2011 with a burnout that tore up one of his rear tires.
Coulter chased him across to finish second. Ryan Blaney got around Brendan Gaughan on the final lap to finish third, and Johnny Sauter rounded out the top five.
INDYCAR: In Long Beach, Calif., Dario Franchitti won the pole for today’s race at Long Beach.
Franchitti’s last lap was 1:07.2379 and bounced Ryan Hunter-Reay off the pole.
FORMULA ONE: In Sakhir, Bahrain, Mercedes’ Nico Rosberg took the pole at the Bahrain Grand Prix, beating Sebastian Vettel, of Red Bull, and Fernando Alonso, of Ferrari.
It is only the second pole of Rosberg’s career but the second in a row for Mercedes.