WHERE HE STANDS: After dropping two places in the standings after New Hampshire, Kevin Harvick regained those spots and moved back into fourth place - tied with Jeff Gordon - after Sunday's race at Dover. Harvick and Gordon trail points leader Matt Kenseth by 39 points, are 27 points behind third-ranked Kyle Busch and lead sixth-ranked Greg Biffle by two points.
KANSAS RECORD: 15 career starts, 0 wins, 1 top-fives, 6 top-10s, 0 poles. Best career finish: Third in fall 2010. Was 11th in this race last year and 12th in this year's spring race there.
LOOKING AHEAD: If Harvick is to make a move upward in the standings and truly contend for the championship, he has to do so both this Sunday in Kansas and next Saturday at Charlotte, both 1.5-mile tracks. He typically does well on those types of tracks, but has not had the kind of success he'd like at Kansas. Here's his thoughts on this weekend's race: "Kansas will be a little different this time because of the tire change Goodyear is making for this race. Because of the tire change we have an open test day at the track (Thursday) before the race weekend begins, so we'll have some extra time to get used to the racing surface and what's going on with the aging and wear. The asphalt they use to pave these racetracks now is made to last a long time on roads and it's really not the right asphalt to use for a racing surface. Tracks seem to age a little slower than they did in the past and it's not really what we're used to."
LOOKING BACK: Harvick was competitive and stayed with the leaders at Dover, but was unable to finish any higher than sixth.
ETC.: Harvick has completed 97.2 percent (3,843) of the 3,953 total laps contested in 15 career starts at Kansas. His average start is 19.7 and average finish is 12.8. He has one DNF there.
24 JEFF GORDON, Chevrolet
Team: Hendrick Motorsports
WHERE HE STANDS: Jeff Gordon climbed four positions, from eighth to a tie for fourth with Kevin Harvick, after Dover. The pair trails series leader Matt Kenseth by 39 points, is 27 points behind third-ranked Kyle Busch and leads sixth-ranked Greg Biffle by two points.
KANSAS RECORD: 15 career starts, 2 wins, 8 top-fives, 10 top-10s, 0 poles. Best career finish: First in 2001 and 2002. Was 10th in this race last year and 13th in this year's spring race there.
LOOKING AHEAD: Gordon won the first two races held at Kansas Speedway back in 2001 and 2002. Since then, while he's had numerous decent finishes, he's been unable to get back to victory lane there. There's a lot riding on this race for him and his team, Gordon says: "If Matt (Kenseth) and Jimmie (Johnson) continue to post wins and good finishes, it's going to be difficult to catch them. But I like how our team has stepped up during the Chase and we need to be ready to take advantage if they have a bad race. When running the way we are right now, you really look forward to the next race."
LOOKING BACK: It was almost a 1-2-3 Hendrick Motorsports sweep at Dover. Jimmie Johnson finished first, Dale Earnhardt Jr. was second and Gordon, who led three laps, finished fourth.
ETC.: Gordon has completed 99.0 percent (3,913) of 3,953 total laps contested in 15 career starts at Kansas. His average start is 13.7 and average finish is 11.1. He has two DNFs there.
16 GREG BIFFLE, Ford
Team: Roush Fenway Racing
WHERE HE STANDS: After jumping six places in the standings after New Hampshire (from 11th to fifth), Greg Biffle lost one spot after Dover, falling to sixth place. He trails points leader Matt Kenseth by 41 points, is two points behind the fourth-place tie of Kevin Harvick and Jeff Gordon, and leads seventh-ranked Ryan Newman by seven points.
KANSAS RECORD: 14 career starts, 2 wins, 7 top-fives, 9 top-10s, 1 poles. Best career finish: First in fall 2007 and fall 2010. 2008. Was 27th in this race last year and 19th in this year's spring race there.
LOOKING AHEAD: Kansas has been one of Biffle's better tracks, but not of late, having finished 27th and 19th in his last two starts there. He says he's looking to turn things around and climb back in the Chase standings this Sunday: "I feel really good about Kansas this weekend. We've got a lot of speed in our cars and 1.5-mile tracks are our favorite type of tracks. I like Kansas and have a couple of wins there. We've been running well and we have a strong opportunity to get our first win of the Chase. Even though the tire for this weekend is different than what we tested a little while back, I think we still learned a lot. We've got to get a win this weekend to get back in the Chase."
LOOKING BACK: While teammate Carl Edwards did miserably, falling seven places in the standings after finishing 35th, Biffle was decent, settling for a ninth-place finish.
ETC.: Biffle has completed 93.7 percent (3,453) of 3,686 total laps contested in 14 career starts at Kansas. His average start is 14.9 and average finish is a strong 10.1. He has one DNF there.
39 RYAN NEWMAN, Chevrolet
Team: Stewart-Haas Racing
WHERE HE STANDS: Ryan Newman is the highest he's been thus far in the Chase, climbing two spots from ninth to seventh place in the Sprint Cup standings after Dover. He trails series leader Matt Kenseth by 48 points, is seven points behind sixth-ranked Greg Biffle and leads eighth-ranked Clint Bowyer by three points.
KANSAS RECORD: 15 career starts, 1 wins, 3 top-fives, 4 top-10s and 0 poles. Best career finish: First in 2003. Finished 30th in this race last year and was 14th in this year's spring race there.
LOOKING AHEAD: Newman needs a big boost this Sunday for two reasons. First, he needs to build upon the momentum that raised him to seventh in the standings for the first time in this year's Chase. Second, he's failed to finish in the top 10 in each of the last five races there. Here's Newman's thoughts on Sunday's race: "I think it is a three-man race (Kenseth, Johnson and Kyle Busch) right now, but I don't think it can't be a four-, five- or six-man race by the time we get to Homestead. We didn't have a great race at New Hampshire a few weeks back, so we gave up quite a few points right there. Who's to say those guys won't find themselves having an off-race like that just the way we did? It's not over until it's over. There is so much racing left. There are so many laps, so many opportunities for guys to make mistakes that I feel like it's too early to be talking about it."
LOOKING BACK: Newman led six laps and ultimately finished eighth at Dover.