Answered questions at Kansas - NASCAR Notes by Lugnut - Tucson News Now

NASCAR NOTES: Answered questions at Kansas

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Photo Credit: Tyler Barrick/Getty Images Photo Credit: Tyler Barrick/Getty Images
Glenn Campbell - "The Lugnut Cowboy" Glenn Campbell - "The Lugnut Cowboy"
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KANSAS CITY, KANSAS -

There are always a lot of questions on the table at any NASCAR event and this week's contest at Kansas Speedway was no exception.

The first question on everyone's list was the newly paved racing surface. Usually, the first event on a new surface does not present a lot of side-by-side racing but that wasn't the case this weekend. The hard racing produced 14 cautions and a lot of extra work for the pit crews.

The most obvious was with the No. 17 team of race winner Matt Kenseth as he crashed early in the event but went on to victory.

"I flat-sided it pretty bad," said Kenseth of his encounter with the outside wall. "It ended up working in our favor. They fixed the body as good as it was when we started, and we had to take less gas in that last pit stop, and the pit crew put me out front."

Danica Patrick made another Cup Series start in preparation for running the full Cup schedule next season. She has been pushed around a lot this season in her Cup competitors, posing the question as to when she would stand up for herself. That question was answered on Lap 156 when she unsuccessfully tried to take out Landon Cassill.

"The bummer here is that I'm out of the race and he's not," said Patrick after crashing her car in the attempt.

Her efforts caught the attention of some drivers that she might finally be fed up with the pushing and shoving that she has received. However, Cassill made the observation that she has a little more learning to do before her efforts carry a lot of weight.

"Rule No. 1 is to learn how to wreck someone without wrecking yourself," commented Cassill on his car radio after the encounter.

AJ Allmendinger, who was in his second ride in James Finch's No. 51 car, had some unanswered questions at the start of the day that involved his future at the Cup Series level. He left with some answers even after a failed right front tire sent him into the wall and relegated another good run into a 35th-place finish.

"The guys really made me feel like they wanted me here and were excited to have me at the race track," said Allmendinger. "That, for me, did more than anything, even more than driving the race car."

Then finally, there was the question of who is going to take control of this Chase event. Jimmie Johnson made a statement that even a crash was not going to take his title hopes away.

"All-in-all, a good day, but it could have been a lot better," said Johnson regarding his wreck. "I think we could have been in Victory Lane and stretched some points on these guys."

Brad Keselowski didn't have a good day either and as we leave Kansas, the point question will have to follow us to Martinsville next week. I'm sure that more questions will arise that need answering - and we'll be there to report the answers.

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