Ryan Blaney’s fifth-place finish Saturday night at Kansas Speedway marked the fourth time in the last five races that a rookie has placed in the top five.
The streak started at Texas with Chase Elliott finishing fifth. Elliott was fourth at Bristol. No rookie was in the top five at Richmond (Elliott was the top rookie, placing 12th). Elliott placed fifth at Talladega, while Blaney was ninth. And then Kansas.
“When you can run with the best guys, you learn a lot,’’ Blaney said. “That was a great learning experience.”
Elliott has seven top-10 finishes to lead all Hendrick Motorsports drivers. He also has three top-five finishes. Blaney has one top-five and four top-10 finishes for the Wood Brothers this season.
— Kyle Busch’s victory not only was his series-high third win of the year but also tied him with Tony Stewart for career victories at Joe Gibbs Racing with 33.
That ranks sixth among current teams in most wins with the same organization. Jeff Gordon is first with all 93 of his Sprint Cup victories at Hendrick Motorsports.
Stewart is the only driver who either has or is tied for the most wins at more than one organization. He also has the most wins at Stewart-Haas Racing with 15.
Here’s a look at the current Sprint Cup teams and the driver with the most wins at that organization.
Chip Ganassi Racing — Jamie McMurray … 5 wins
Front Row Motorsports — David Ragan … 1 win
Furniture Row Racing — Regan Smith and Martin Truex Jr. … 1 win
Hendrick Motorsports — Jeff Gordon … 93 wins
Joe Gibbs Racing — Tony Stewart and Kyle Busch … 33 wins
JTG Daugherty — A.J. Allmendinger … 1 win
Richard Childress Racing — Dale Earnhardt … 67 wins
Richard Petty Motorsports — Marcos Ambrose and Kasey Kahne … 2 wins
Roush Fenway Racing — Mark Martin … 35 wins
Stewart-Haas Racing — Tony Stewart … 15 wins
Team Penske — Rusty Wallace … 37 wins
Wood Brothers Racing — David Pearson … 43 wins
— Denny Hamlin nearly has equaled the number of speeding penalties he had last year with 25 races remaining in the Sprint Cup season.
Hamlin’s two speeding penalties Saturday at Kansas give him six for the season. He had seven last year.
While Brad Keselowski rallied from a speeding penalty to win at Las Vegas, 15.2 percent of drivers assessed a speeding penalty came back to finish in the top 10 this season. Only 6.1 percent of those assessed a speeding penalty this year scored a top-five finish. Keselowski has done it twice with his Vegas win and a fifth-place finish at Martinsville.
Drivers with the most speeding penalties this year:
6 – Denny Hamlin
5 – Kyle Larson
4 – Greg Biffle
4 – Austin Dillon
3 – Brad Keselowski
3 – Casey Mears
3 – David Ragan
3 – Brian Scott
3 – Regan Smith
— Only three drivers have scored top-10 finishes in each of the four races on 1.5-mile tracks this season.
Kansas winner Kyle Busch also won at Texas, the most recent 1.5-mile race before Kansas, and was third at Atlanta and fourth at Las Vegas. His average finish at 1.5-mile tracks this season is 2.3.
Kevin Harvick, who finished second at Kansas, placed sixth at Atlanta, seventh at Las Vegas and 10th at Texas for an average finish of 6.3 at those tracks.
Kurt Busch, who finished third at Kansas, was fourth at Atlanta, ninth at Las Vegas and ninth at Texas. His average finish at those tracks is 6.3.
— There have been six different winners in the first 11 races of the season. That’s the fewest number of different winners at this point in a season since 2007 when there also were six winners.
In 2007, Jimmie Johnson (four wins), Kevin Harvick (one) and Kyle Busch (one) combined for six of those 11 wins. In 2016, Johnson (two), Harvick (one) and Busch (three) also combined for six wins.