What can be taken away from Kansas this week? First, NASCAR brings a new tire that ran in Atlanta, one that used new technology. Second, it was only the third race on the new pavement. Third, temperatures were much cooler than any of the practices leading up to the race.
It equaled out to a race that was filled with cautions, accidents, and strategies.
A record number of cautions at Kansas occurred, and many attributed to spinouts and loose conditions, snapping loose on occasion.
The new tire did work in Atlanta, but that track had a lot of give up in the tires due to the older pavement. It did not do that here, not rubbering in as expected. It was a matter of survival at that point, as what was to be a 400-mile event became a marathon.
Yet in the end, the man that started the race out front would be the one that finished out front. Kevin Harvick outright said heading into the season that he was a "lame duck," leaving his team at season's end. But he still ran hard, and could still win. When his No. 29 was out front, no one could catch him.
At the end of the day, he would take his first win at Kansas, and move up in the standings.
The writers, meanwhile, had rather mediocre weeks. Only one top-10 finish came among the 12 participants, but along with that came many shuffles in the points, making them closer than they have been all season.
Here's where the writers now stand after the Hollywood Casino 400:
Rob Tiongson (2155) Kasey Kahne finished 15th (3)
Misan Akuya (2153) Matt Kenseth finished 11th (2)
Sal Sigala Jr. (2153) Matt Kenseth finished 11th (1)
Rob Blount (2147) Matt Kenseth finished 11th (2)
Kelly Crandall (2147) Matt Kenseth finished 11th (1)
Ryan O'Hara (2144) Matt Kenseth finished 11th (1)
Patti Rodisch (2143) Kasey Kahne finished 15th (0)
Billy Fellin (2142) Matt Kenseth finished 11th (2)
Dustin Parks (2139) Clint Bowyer finished 14th (0)
Kara Martin (2127) Jimmie Johnson finished 6th (1)
James Broomhead (2109) Matt Kenseth finished 11th (2)
Michael Hirshbein (2103) Kyle Busch finished 34th (3)
Next Race: Another new wrinkle happens next week in the Chase. The midway point of the Chase will be the only night race on the schedule. Sure that changed a bit when Chicagoland was delayed due to rain and finished under the lights, but from the get-go this race was a classic shootout, under the lights, on a cool October night.
NASCAR heads home this week to Charlotte, and will make it's second stop at the Charlotte Motor Speedway. It makes an easy trip for teams, and everyone wants to win at the home of the sport.
Writers, it may be a Saturday night race, but the deadline has not changed. Have your picks for the Bank of America 500 sent in by Thursday, October 10, at 10 p.m. ET.