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Brrrrrrr! Where's the heat? Oh, yeah, over in the Hollywood Casino!

 Clint Bowyer's home-state track, Kansas Speedway, now boasts a big new casino over in the second turn. (Photo: Kansas Speedway)


   By Mike Mulhern


   KANSAS CITY, Kansas
   Is it going to snow?  
   Man, it's a chilly Friday morning here at Kansas Speedway.
   Wonder if it's any hotter over at the Hollywood Casino, by the second turn?

   Feels like Rockingham weather…without the smudge pots.
   It was a balmy 77 degrees Thursday afternoon, but after the front moved through overnight – fortunately without any violent weather – it's turned chilly.
   And this track, a flat 1-1/2-mile, is notoriously fickle with the weather. It's only 15 degrees in the corners, and that's not much different than California's Auto Club Speedway at 14 degrees.
   Leonard Wood always said to be sure and pack a heavy jacket on the tour until Daytona in July, and this Friday start to the NASCAR weekend proves his point. Where are the gloves?
   Teams are very interested in how this track will change with the upcoming redesign and repaving, set to start at 4:15 pm CT Sunday, just moments after the finish of the Kansas STP 400. To make it a celebration, an M1A1 Abrams tank and an Armored Combat Earthmover will lead the sledgehammer brigade.
   The new layout will be a big wild card in this fall's NASCAR championship playoffs Oct. 21, as the sixth race of the 10-race chase.
   And drivers might even be lining up and offering their services for the Goodyear tire tests just ahead of that event.
   The new layout will feature variable banking, curved up in the corners from 17 degrees up to 20 degrees, almost identical to the banking at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
   One big question: will this fall's 400 here, on the new asphalt, still wind up with a gas mileage finish? Three of the last four Sprint Cup events here have featured gas-mileage battles to the line, with drivers running out before making it.


    Clint Bowyer throwing dice at the crap table, with Kasey Kahne waiting on the roll (Photo: Kansas Speedway)



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