October 03, 2005|By PETER BLAIR



Banquet 400

Site -- Kansas City, Kan.

When, TV -- Sunday, 1:30 p.m., Ch. 11

Track -- Kansas Speedway (1.5-mile tri-oval)

Distance -- 267 laps, 400.5 miles

Last year -- Joe Nemechek edged Ricky Rudd by 1 1/2 car lengths after the two drivers raced side by side for most of the final two laps. The victory, Nemechek's only Nextel Cup win of the season, came a day after he won the Busch Series race at the same track. Of the 10 drivers in this season's Chase for the Championship, only Greg Biffle (third), Jeremy Mayfield (fifth) and Kurt Busch (sixth) posted a top-10 finish last year at Kansas.

Drivers to watch -- Jimmie Johnson, who is fourth in the standings, set the track qualifying record in 2003. Mark Martin, who needs desperately to rebound from his 41st-place finish yesterday at Talladega, has finished no better than 20th at Kansas the past three years.

Quotable -- " The fans are the only ones who can do something about this [dangerous style of racing]. No one else can - the drivers can't, the owners can't, and NASCAR is not going to do anything about it. I doubt the fans can, either, but they can sure try. ... I don't care what you say, the drivers can't control it. The cars today have outgrown these racetracks [superspeedways]." - Martin, on the bumping and banging among drivers during yesterday's restrictor-plate race at Talladega.




Next race -- Toyota Indy 400

Site -- Fontana, Calif.

When -- Oct. 16




Next race -- World Grand Prix of Ansan

Site -- Ansan, South Korea

When -- Oct. 16



Japanese Grand Prix

Site -- Suzuka, Japan

When, TV -- Sunday, 12:30 a.m., SPEED (replay at 4 p.m.)

Track -- Suzuka International Racing Course (3.61-mile, 18-turn circuit)

Distance -- 53 laps, 191.33 miles

Last year -- 2004 series champion Michael Schumacher got his 13th and final victory of the 18-race season, beating his brother, Ralf, to the line by 14 seconds.

Drivers to watch -- With two races left, Fernando Alonso has already won the drivers' world championship. Juan Pablo Montoya and Kimi Raikkonen have combined to win the past five races in the series.

Baltimore Sun Articles
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.