Capsules for the top 20 drivers in the Sprint Cup standings, plus five additional drivers of note.
By Jerry Bonkowski and Bob Moore
24 JEFF GORDON, Chevrolet
Team: Hendrick Motorsports
WHERE HE STANDS: Jeff Gordon remained in first place for the fourth consecutive week after Talladega. He leads second-ranked Matt Kenseth by three points and third-ranked Kyle Busch by four points.
KANSAS RECORD: 16 career starts, 2 wins, 9 top-5s, 11 top-10s, 0 poles. Best career finish: First in 2001 and 2002. Finished 13th in this race last year and was third in the fall Chase race there.
LOOKING AHEAD: Even though he had a rough race at Talladega, so did most of his closest challengers. That's why Gordon remains atop the standings. And now he and the rest of the circuit race under the lights for the first time this Saturday at Kansas. Here's Gordon's thoughts on the race: "There's something about Kansas that really suits my driving style - even after the repave a few years ago that created some new challenges. Even with the new surface, the groove has widened out the last few races. It's a smooth track that's very fast, and I love the transitions and how you transfer from the flatter straightaways into those banked corners. I'm really excited about this weekend because this team has been strong on mile-and-a-half tracks this year."
LOOKING BACK: Gordon led just one lap and was involved in a crash with just over 30 laps remaining at Talladega, ultimately leaving him with a 39th-place finish, his worst thus far this season as well as the first time he's finished lower than 13th in the 2014 season.
ETC.: Gordon has completed 99.1 percent (4,180) of the 4,220 total laps contested in 16 career starts at Kansas. His average start there is 13.8 and average finish is an impressive 10.6. He has two DNF's there.
20 MATT KENSETH, Toyota
Team: Joe Gibbs Racing
WHERE HE STANDS: For the fifth consecutive week, Matt Kenseth remained in second place in the Sprint Cup standings. He trails points leader Jeff Gordon by just three points and leads third-ranked Kyle Busch by only one point.
KANSAS RECORD: 16 career starts, 2 wins, 6 top-5s, 9 top-10s, 2 poles. Best career finish: First in fall 2012 and spring 2013. Finished first in this race last year and was 11th in last fall's Chase race there.
LOOKING AHEAD: Like points leader Jeff Gordon, Kenseth continues to look for his first win of the season. At this time last season, Kenseth already had three wins. He has an outstanding record at Kansas, which enhances his chances to get that first "W" of the 2014 season.
LOOKING BACK: Like a number of drivers, Kenseth was involved in a late crash at Talladega, relegating him to a disappointing 37th-place finish. Here's his thoughts on what happened: "Really unfortunate - everyone on this team did a great job this week. I thought we had a pretty fast car, but we just couldn't get going there on restarts. Just tried to get that lane moving and Brad (Keselowski, who caused the wreck that knocked out Kenseth) was getting that lane up towards the front. We were trying to get up there and get back to safety and we just didn't make it."
ETC.: Kenseth has completed 94.9 percent (4,006) of the 4,220 total laps contested in 16 career starts at Kansas. His average start there is 12.5 and his average finish is 14.6. He has two DNFs there.
18 KYLE BUSCH, Toyota
Team: Joe Gibbs Racing
WHERE HE STANDS: After gaining two places and improving from sixth to fourth, Kyle Busch gained yet another position after Talladega, moving into third. He trails points leader Jeff Gordon by just four points, is one point behind second-ranked Matt Kenseth and leads Carl Edwards and Dale Earnhardt Jr., who are tied for fourth-place, by 15 points.
KANSAS RECORD: 13 career starts, 0 win, 0 top-5s, 2 top-10s, 0 poles. Best career finish: Seventh in 2006. Finished 38th in this race last year and was 34th in the fall Chase race there.
LOOKING AHEAD: Busch has struggled throughout his career at Kansas, and continues to be mystified by the place. Of course, four DNFs in 13 starts hasn't helped. Last Friday (May 4) was Busch's birthday. Does he feel a belated birthday present is in store for him at Kansas? "I think anyone who knows me or has followed me knows that it doesn't matter if it's my birthday or whatever it is. I love to win and love to be able to add to the trophy case. That's what we do, what it's all about, and the focus each week. I think you do learn over the years that you can't win them all, but that sure doesn't stop us from trying. Winning is huge for our sponsors, too. It's what drives all of us to get better each week."
LOOKING BACK: Even though he finished 12th at Talladega, Busch was able to climb one place in the standings because so many other drivers - including Jeff Gordon and Matt Kenseth - were involved in wrecks that ended their races early.
ETC.: Busch has completed just 85.4 percent (2,921) of the 3,419 total laps contested in 13 career starts at Kansas. His average start there is 16.5 and average finish is 23.3. He has four DNFs there.
99 CARL EDWARDS, Ford
Team: Roush Fenway Racing