CONCORD, N.C. – Toto, we’re not in North Carolina anymore. Hendrick Motorsports and the NASCAR Cup Series travel to Kansas Speedway this weekend for the first of two events on the 2023 schedule at the 1.5-mile track. 

RELATED: Byron finishes fourth at Dover, crosses 2,000 laps led

Taking out Atlanta Motor Speedway due to it’s drafting package that produces superspeedway-style racing, Kansas is now one of only five tracks (Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Charlotte Motor Speedway, Texas Motor Speedway and Homestead-Miami Speedway) that is considered a traditional 1.5-mile layout. The turns at Kansas have 17-20 degrees of variable banking with 9-11 degrees of variable banking on the frontstretch and five degrees of banking on the backstretch. With the second race at the Midwest facility taking place as the middle race in the opening round of the playoffs, utilizing the spring event to its full potential can prove pivotal in the run to the championship. 

Since opening in 2001, Hendrick Motorsports has won eight times at Kansas. Vice chairman Jeff Gordon took home three checkered flags in his career (including the inaugural and second-ever races at the facility), while Jimmie Johnson also earned three wins with his No. 48 group. Outside of these two Hendrick Motorsports legends, Chase Elliott and Kyle Larson have each found victory lane once at Kansas with the Rick Hendrick-owned team. 

RELATED: Every Kansas winner from Hendrick Motorsports

For William Byron, the driver of the No. 24 Liberty University Chevrolet,  Kansas has been a track of steady improvement throughout his Cup Series career. Through his first three races at the 1.5-mile track, his best finish was 20th. Since then, Byron has only finished outside the top 10 once in seven starts and in that start, he was leading when a flat tire in turn one caused a significant loss of time. Kansas is one of tracks where Byron has six top 10s, which are his most in the series at any one venue. He has won the only race contested on a traditional 1.5-mile track this season with his March victory at Las Vegas

Josh Berry will continue to fill in for Alex Bowman, who is expected to be sidelined for 2-3 more weeks. Bowman suffered a fractured vertebra in a sprint car event in Iowa on April 25. Berry, who drives for Hendrick Motorsports affiliate JR Motorsports in the NASCAR Xfinity Series, was the substitute driver for five of the races that Elliott missed earlier this season. The 32-year-old Henderson, Tennessee, native earned a career-best second-place finish while subbing for Elliott at Richmond Raceway. He also drove the No. 48 Ally Racing Chevrolet to his third top-10 finish in the Cup Series on Monday afternoon at Dover Motor Speedway.

RELATED: Latest top-10 finish puts Berry in unique club

Elliott heads to the Kansas City, Kansas, venue looking for his first victory of 2023. While his last two finishes at the track have not yielded the results Elliott and his team are looking for, the Dawsonville, Georgia, native has been quick at Kansas in the past. With six top-five results (including a victory) since 2017, the 27-year-old driver knows how to run up front at this racetrack. Since returning from a fractured tibia last month, he has not finished outside the top 12 in the last three races. The No. 9 UniFirst Chevrolet Camaro ZL1's green and white colors will be displayed for the second time this season. 

Since joining Hendrick Motorsports ahead of the 2021 campaign, Larson has posted a win, two top-five finishes, three top-10s and led 27.25% of the laps run (291 of 1,068) at Kansas. Overall at the venue, he has five top-five finishes and eight top-10s in 16 starts. In the most recent races at a 1.5-mile track (Las Vegas in March), he finished second to Byron. On traditional 1.5-mile tracks since 2021, he has led 34% of the laps run (1,705 of 5,014). To date, 10 of his 21 wins in the Cup Series have come on tracks 1.5-to-2-miles in length. With the speed he has shown all year at nearly every track type, Larson is primed to be a factor in Sunday's race. 

RELATED: Larson presents Hendrick Family Foundation donation to UYRS 

Here’s what you need to know to catch this weekend’s action. 


On-track activity will begin with group practice starting at 5:05 p.m. ET on Saturday, May 6, and will be broadcast on FS1. Qualifying will immediately follow practice at 5:50 p.m. ET with coverage also available on FS1.

Elliott, Berry and Byron are in Group A, while Larson will be in Group B. 


The 400-mile Cup Series main event is scheduled to begin at 3 p.m. ET on Sunday, May 7, with coverage on FS1


Cup Series broadcast will be on MRN Radio and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio (Channel 90).


Yes. Download the FOX Sports Live app for online coverage. Fans can also keep up with the action on Twitter by following @TeamHendrick.  


It varies by location, but this link allows viewers to find the channels by entering their zip code and selecting their television provider.  

Data provided by Racing Insights

5: Larson's average finish at Kansas last season. He is one of seven drivers to finish in the top 10 in both races last year at the 1.5-mile track.

6: Elliott's six top-five finishes at Kansas are second to Dover Motor Speedway (nine) for his most top-fives at one track on the circuit.

12: Berry is one of 12 drivers with at least three top 10s in his first six starts with Hendrick Motorsports.

111: Byron's total number of stage points in 2023, which are the most in the series. His six stage wins are also the best in the series. 

1,126: The number of laps led by Hendrick Motorsports through 11 races. That is the team's fifth-highest total to start a season and its most laps led at this point in the season since 2010.