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The Backstretch Blog's Race Day: There's no place like home

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This week NASCAR is at the Kansas Speedway. I know it comes as no shock to anyone reading this blog, that Kansas City is my home town. But when I was growing up, this area where the track sits was nothing but a bunch of empty fields and Kansas City, Kansas was a place no one went to on purpose. My how times have changed. Now not only is there a race track, but also an outlet mall, a soccer stadium, a baseball stadium and oh the racing here is pretty good as well.

"Man, I love Kansas," said Austin Dillon. "I had a really good run there two years ago and we blew a right-front tire. It's fun you can ride up by the fence or right on the bottom. Everybody kind of moves around there quite a bit, it's a fun, fast track."

And while not all mile and a half race tracks are created the same, Kansas is exactly what you think of when you think of an intermediate track. It's fast, it's wide and for the drivers, it's fun to drive

"The secret is to just have a fast hot rod," said Kansas native Clint Bowyer. "It has to unload off the truck fast. It;s an incredible racetrack with a lot of grip since the repave. Qualifying, track position and everything that leads up to that race are going to be really important."

This week though, Bowyer will have his work cut out for him. He is one of several drivers that got caught in pre-qualifying inspection and never made a lap. He will start 30th. And he's not the only big name in that same boat. Jimmie Johnson (29th), Kasey Kahne (31st) and Dale Earhardt, Jr. (33rd) are all in the same boat.

Ryan Blaney grab his first cup pole at Kansas.

'I didn't know during the first two rounds if we would have enough," said Blaney. "The 18 and 4 were really fast. We got our car better and better each round and that is what you want. That is what we did. We have improved a lot on that this year."

Joey Logano, Martin Truex, Jr, Ricky Stenhouse, Jr and Kyle Busch round out the top five. There are eight former race winners in tonight's field.

The green flag is set to drop on the Go Bowling 400 at the Kansas Speedway at around 7:50pm. You can watch the race on FOX Sports 1.

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