CONCORD, N.C. - This weekend, Hendrick Motorsports and the NASCAR Cup Series head to Kansas Speedway for the first of two trips to the 1.5-mile track. This season, Rick Hendrick's team has won both events on mile-and-a-half tracks (Kyle Larson at Las Vegas Motor Speedway and Chase Elliott at Texas Motor Speedway).

RELATED: See every Cup Series win for Hendrick Motorsports at Kansas

Kansas' configuration comes as an outgrowth of NASCAR's expansion to tracks of this nature in the late 1990s. From a layout standpoint, the track utilizes progressive banking similar to Las Vegas Motor Speedway and Homestead Miami Speedway. Because the banking is more intense the higher up the racing surface, the track provides several lanes for drivers to run in the corners and attempt to get around their fellow competitors. 

Sunday's race will also be an important event for teams to gather as much data as possible before the series returns in September for the opening race in the Round of 12. While the weather will likely be different for the playoff race, a good run this weekend could indicate future success in the postseason.

Since the track's opening event in 2001, Hendrick Motorsports has earned eight victories at Kansas. Vice chairman Jeff Gordon took home three checkered flags in his career (including the first and second-ever races at the facility), while Jimmie Johnson also earned three wins. Of the current drivers on the team, Elliott (2018) and Larson (2021) have each found victory lane at the track for the organization.  

RELATED: How Larson's 2024 start looks similar to title-winning '21 campaign

The 2023 spring race saw Larson lead the way with a runner-up finish after Denny Hamlin and he made contact, battling for the lead on the final lap. That concluded what was a wild day as Larson had already been spun out from the lead in stage one and would see the driver of the No. 5 lead a race-high 85 laps. Closely behind Larson was pole sitter William Byron. The driver of the No. 24 rebounded from a speeding penalty that put the group two laps behind the leader. Elliott, who led five circuits on the day, finished seventh. Josh Berry (driving for the injured Alex Bowman) finished 25th after a spinning stage three took away the team's track position. Larson was one of two drivers to finish in the top five in both Kansas races last year, while Elliott was one of five drivers to finish in the top 10 in both events. 

Data provided by Racing Insights

Larson, No. 5 team
Through the first 11 races, Larson has a Cup Series record-tying six stage victories. While this will certainly help in the playoffs, it also shows the speed of the No. 5 team on a weekly basis. Larson has already won on a 1.5-mile track once this season (Las Vegas) and his 258 laps led on that track length this year are the most in the series by 205 circuits.

Elliott, No. 9 team
In his career, Elliott has earned six top-five finishes and 10 top-10s at Kansas. Couple that with a recent victory at Texas and the No. 9 team should be listed as a contender on Sunday. Last season, Elliott paced the field for 52 circuits (fourth-most among all drivers) at the Kansas City, Kansas, track. Over the last five races of 2024, the driver of the No. 9 NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 has a series-best average finish of 5.8 and four top-five finishes. 

Byron, No. 24 team
With a 6.5 average finish in the first two 1.5-mile races, Byron has been strong on this type of circuit to begin the season. Along with Larson, the Hendrick Motorsports teammates are two of the four drivers with multiple wins on 1.5-mile tracks in the Next Gen era. At Kansas, the driver of the No. 24 RAPTOR Chevy has earned seven top-10 finishes in the last nine races. 

Bowman, No. 48 team
While a win has yet to materialize at Kansas for Bowman, the facility has been good for the Tucson, Arizona, native. In his career, the driver of the No. 48 Ally Racing Chevrolet has led 183 circuits (third-most at any track) and scored three top-five finishes (tied for his second-most at any track). This season, his four top-five results are the most he's had through 11 races in his career. 

Hendrick Motorsports
With one more top-five finish, Hendrick Motorsports will hit 1,250 top-five finishes in the Cup Series and will be the first team to hit that milestone. 

RELATED: All the information to know for 'Hendrick Homecoming'

Hendrick Motorsports' seven wins on 1.5-mile tracks in the Next Gen era (since 2022) are more than double that of the next closest teams (three wins each). All four drivers have won (Larson-three wins, Byron-two wins, Bowman-one win and Elliott-one win) over that time.


Saturday, May 4
5 p.m. ET: Practice - FS1 
5:50 p.m. ET: Qualifying - FS1

Byron, Bowman and Elliott are in Group A, while Larson is in Group B. 

Sunday, May 5
3 p.m. ET: Cup Series race - FS1

RELATED: Register for 'Hendrick Homecoming' autograph sessions raffle

Cup Series race
Stage 1: Lap 80
Stage 2: Lap 165
End of Race: Lap 267

Yes, listeners can find both events on MRN Radio and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio (Channel 90).

Fans can watch all the action with the FOX Sports Live app. For live updates and additional content during the race, head over to X and follow @TeamHendrick for the most accurate and up-to-date information.   

The channel number may vary depending on the location. Use this link to enter your zip code and select your television provider for assistance in finding what channel number FS1 is on your provider.