By the numbers: The 2013 Chasers at Kansas

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The Chase for the Sprint Cup heads into America’s Heartland this weekend for the Hollywood Casino 400 at Kansas Speedway, marking a return to the intermediate tracks that make up the majority of NASCAR’s playoff run.

Last weekend at Dover, Chase leader Matt Kenseth came back to Earth with a seventh-place finish but will likely be the favorite at Kansas, where he triumphed over fellow Chaser Kasey Kahne in the spring. Dover winner Jimmie Johnson came up third behind the pair and may be up for another strong run as well this weekend.

The one to watch may well be Kyle Busch, who has had many struggles on this particular 1.5-mile oval. This past spring was particularly brutal for him at Kansas; during that weekend, he wrecked his primary car in practice, crashed out of a Camping World Truck Series event, and spun twice in the Sprint Cup race – with the second spin ending in a collision with Joey Logano.

At the risk of stating the obvious, he can’t afford another struggle here versus his main title rivals – Kenseth, his Joe Gibbs Racing teammate, and Johnson, the five-time Cup champion. Here are the Kansas statistics for each of the 13 Chase contenders, as provided by NASCAR.

MATT KENSETH (LEADER, 2,149 points)
Two wins, six Top-5s, nine Top-10s
Average Finish: 14.8 in 15 races
Average Running Position: 9.5, third-best

JIMMIE JOHNSON (Second, -8 points)
Two wins, six Top-5s, 12 Top-10s
Average Finish: 7.6 in 14 races
Average Running Position: 7.4, Series-best

KYLE BUSCH (Third, -12 points)
Two Top-10s
Average Finish: 22.4 in 12 races
Average Running Position: 18.4, 19th-best

KEVIN HARVICK (Fourth, -39 points)
One Top-5, six Top-10s
Average Finish: 12.8 in 15 races
Average Running Position: 12.7, ninth-best

JEFF GORDON (Fifth, -39 points)
Two wins, eight Top-5s, 10 Top-10s
Average Finish: 11.1 in 15 races
Average Running Position: 9.7, fourth-best

GREG BIFFLE (Sixth, -41 points)
Two wins, seven Top-5s, nine Top-10s
Average Finish: 10.1 in 14 races
Average Running Position: 8.2, second-best

RYAN NEWMAN (Seventh, -48 points)
One win, three Top-5s, four Top-10s
Average Finish: 18.1 in 15 races
Average Running Position: 20.9, 24th-best

CLINT BOWYER (Eighth, -51 points)
Two Top-5s, five Top-10s
Average Finish: 13.1 in 10 races
Average Running Position: 15.2, 15th-best

KURT BUSCH (Ninth, -55 points)
Three Top-10s
Average Finish: 17.9 in 15 races
Average Running Position: 14.8, 14th-best

DALE EARNHARDT JR. (10th, -57 points)
One Top-5, six Top-10s
Average Finish: 16.4 in 14 races
Average Running Position: 16.1, 17th-best

CARL EDWARDS (11th, -65 points)
Four Top-5s, eight Top-10s
Average Finish: 11.3 in 12 races
Average Running Position: 12.5, seventh-best

JOEY LOGANO (12th, -66 points)
Average Finish: 26.1 in eight races
Average Running Position: 24.2, 32nd-best

KASEY KAHNE (13th, -78 points)
Three Top-5s, six Top-10s
Average Finish: 13.9 in 12 races
Average Running Position: 13.9, 11th-best

Ferrari junior Ilott victorious in Macau F3 qualification race

Theodore Racing
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Ferrari Driver Academy member Callum Ilott will start the 64th Macau Grand Prix from pole position after beating his Formula 3 rivals to victory in Saturday’s qualification race.

Ilott, 19, started third on the grid on Saturday behind pole-sitter Joel Eriksson and McLaren junior Lando Norris, but made a good start to rise to second early on.

Ilott hounded Eriksson for position for much of the race before battling past at Mandarin on Lap 7 as his Swedish rival struggled to keep his tires alive.

With Eriksson unable to respond, Ilott ultimately crossed the line more than seven seconds clear to take his first Macau win and secure pole for Sunday’s main event.

“We started quite strong as I got up to second from third which was not too bad. Then in the middle part of the race I had a good pace and I got past Joel for P1,” Ilott said.

“After that I managed to pull away. It was a good race, even quite relaxing at the end. I’m really happy for the result. Thank you SJM Theodore Racing by Prema, they did a great job and it should be good for tomorrow too.”

Eriksson held on to second ahead of Sergio Sette Camara, who completed the podium ahead of Maximilian Günther in P4.

Ferdinand Habsburg finished fifth ahead of Pedro Piquet, while Norris was left to settle for a lowly P7 after a clutch issue off the line caused him to drop down the order.

You can see full results from the Macau F3 qualifying race here.