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The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series is back in action at Kansas Speedway for some Saturday night racing under the lights. While races are typically held on Sundays, it is NASCAR tradition to bump the race up a day during Mother’s Day weekend to allow those around the sport to celebrate with their families.

Drivers are looking to join pole-sitter Kevin Harvick, Joey Logano, Kyle BuschClint BowyerMartin Truex Jr. and Austin Dillon in the playoffs. While Busch, winner of three races this season, entered Sunday’s race as the points leader it is Harvick that leads the series in checkered flags with four. Harvick’s most recent trip to Victory Lane came in dominating fashion last week at Dover

This weekend also marks the return of former champion Matt Kenseth, who stepped away from the sport after being replaced by Erik Jones at Joe Gibbs Racing following the 2017 season.

For updates on Kenseth’s return and much more, we encourage you to follow along with our live blog. We will be providing updates, highlights and analysis as it happens on Saturday night.

KC Masterpiece 400 qualifying results

  1. Kevin Harvick
  2. Ryan Blaney
  3. Kyle Busch
  4. Aric Almirola
  5. Brad Keselowski
  6. Denny Hamlin
  7. Martin Truex Jr.
  8. Kurt Busch
  9. Joey Logano
  10. Chris Buescher
  11. Paul Menard
  12. Erik Jones
  13. William Byron
  14. Daniel Suarez
  15. Ryan Newman
  16. Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
  17. Chase Elliott
  18. AJ Allmendinger
  19. Alex Bowman
  20. David Ragan
  21. Darrell Wallace Jr.
  22. Kyle Larson
  23. Jimmie Johnson
  24. Jamie McMurray
  25. Austin Dillon
  26. Ty Dillon
  27. Corey LaJoie
  28. Ross Chastain
  29. Gray Gaulding
  30. Reed Sorenson
  31. Landon Cassill
  32. BJ McLeod
  33. Clint Bowyer
  34. Kasey Kahne
  35. Matt Kenseth
  36. Michael McDowell
  37. Matt DiBenedetto
  38. Timmy Hill

How to watch the Cup Series KC Masterpiece 400

Location: Kansas Speedway
Date: Saturday, May 12
Time: 8 p.m. ET (qualifying scheduled for Friday at 6:45pm ET on FS1)
Length: 267
Stage 1: Ends on lap 80
Stage 2: Ends on lap 160
Final stage: Scheduled for lap 267
TV: FS1
Live stream: fuboTV (Try for free) 

Now here’s some of the top storylines we’re watching out for:

Reigning champ looking to three-peat at Kansas

NASCAR: Hollywood Casino 400

Can Martin Truex Jr. make it three straight at Kansas?
USATSI

2017 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series champion Martin Truex Jr. is hoping for a third consecutive trip to Victory Lane at Kansas on Saturday. Truex swept both races at the track last season, including the playoff race in October. In addition to that, Truex has two poles out in the midwest, starting from the top position in both the 2016 spring race and 2017 fall race.

Truex desperately needs a little bit of Kansas cooking after a choppy start to the season. The No. 78 driver had three finishes of 26th or worse in four of the past five races but the good news for Truex fans is that he finished fourth last week at Dover.

“Our performance so far this season has been up and down a little bit,” Truex said in a release to NASCAR. “But speed-wise we’ve been there each and every week. We’ve had really fast cars and I feel like we’re right there in speed where we were last year.

Back where it all began

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Matt Kenseth returns to action this weekend
Roush Fenway Racing

We neglected to mention in the previous storyline that Martin Truex Jr. is second among active drivers in laps led at Kansas with 713. Prior to this weekend, he would have been in sole possession of that number but unfortunately for him Matt Kenseth is making his return to the NASCAR Cup Series on Saturday.

Kenseth will be suiting up for Roush Fenway Racing, the team that he won Rookie of the Year for way back in 2000 and then later a Cup championship in 2003. Kenseth is expected to split time with Trevor Bayne in the No. 6 car and we also expect him to contend immediately. 

We mentioned the laps led earlier, but that’s not all Kenseth has done in Kansas. He also has two wins there, having done it back-to-back in 2012 and 2013 during his final seasons with Roush. Kenseth’s 11 top-10 finishes also rank third among active drivers with Jimmie Johnson (17) and Kevin Harvick (13) ahead of him. Adding to that, Kenseth won the pole at Kansas in 2016 and has finished in the top three in his last four races there.

“My hope is it goes smoothly on Friday and I get comfortable fast,”http://www.cbssports.com/” Kenseth told NBC Sports. “I’ve been reading a lot of notes and looking at a lot of stuff, so I’m somewhat up to speed. As much as I can be without driving yet.”

Why not make it five?

NASCAR: AAA 400 Drive for Autism

Kevin Harvick is chasing his series-leading fifth win on Saturday.
USATSI

Let’s face it, Kevin Harvick has been unreal to start the season. Like we noted earlier, his four wins lead the Cup Series and three of them came basically unchallenged. Harvick hasn’t finished lower than fifth (seventh at Bristol) since mid-March and there’s little reason to believe he won’t keep that pace up this weekend either. Oh yeah, and he’s starting first on Saturday.

So what has Harvick accomplished at Kansas lately? The No. 4 driver owns two wins, a track-four pole awards and seven top five finishes all of which are second to seven-time champ Jimmie Johnson. To add to that, he’s had five top-10 finishes in his last six races at Kansas and seven in his last nine. Last spring he finished third.

“It’s been a fun place to go to. I feel like we should’ve won more races there than we have, but I think you can say that at a lot of places, and sometimes the circumstances dictate that,” Harvick explained in a release.

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