Due to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series schedule at Talladega Superspeedway, Kyle Busch will not be competing at Kansas this weekend, leaving the points lead up for the taking. While it’s mathematically possible for drivers in second through eighth place to take the lead, it’s a safe bet that either Todd Bodine (No. 30 Ventrilo Toyota), Ron Hornaday Jr. (No. 33 Copart Chevrolet) or Mike Skinner (No. 5 Toyota) will walk away the new leader following the O’Reilly Auto Parts 250 on Saturday.
Todd Bodine has shown right out of the gate this season that he is going to be a factor every race. With his win at Daytona, he became the series’ first repeat winner in ten races at the track. He followed his win with a second-place finish at California and a solid third at Atlanta. The 2006 winner at Kansas, he thinks he can become its first repeat winner, too.
“We have a good truck and we’re on a roll as a team,” Bodine said.
He’ll have to contend with the other two right behind him in the standings.
“We’re going to go there to win the race and if we can’t win the race, we’ll go for the best finish we can get,” Bodine added. “And if that’s the case, hopefully it’s better than Hornaday and Skinner.”
Ron Hornaday Jr. trails Bodine by only 33 points. While he’s yet to win this year, he’s finished no lower than seventh and is coming off a second-place finish at Martinsville. He’s also Kansas’s defending race winner.
“I’m excited to go back to Kansas,” Hornaday said. “I think it would be cool to become the first repeat winner. I always say my favorite tracks are the ones I win at, so Kansas would be right up there with one of my favorites.”
He wouldn’t mind the points lead, too, although he knows it’s early in the season and the battle for the title could come down to the final race at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
“We would love to come out of Kansas with a win and the points lead, but our goal right now is to consistently have our truck running up front and contending for wins,” Hornaday said. “If we have the right mind set, I think the points will take care of themselves.”
Only five points separate Hornaday from Mike Skinner who sits fourth in the standings. The 1995 series champion hasn’t won at Kansas, but has two poles and has finished fifth the last three trips to the track.
“My team has been working really hard on this effort for Kansas and I really think that we are going to run well,” Skinner said. “You know it’s a little too early for the points standings to show up on my radar screen. But at the same time, Eric Phillips (crew chief) and everyone at Randy Moss Motorsports has been putting me in awfully good stuff and we have been running good. We are just going to go do what we have been doing and just keep on digging. This is a really good race team and I am blessed to be able to drive for them.”