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NASCAR America: How the wind impacts racing at Kansas Speedway

Drivers can drive in any spot at Kansas Speedway, but the wind always plays a role in their strategy.

This weekend’s Cup Series race at Kansas Speedway will be the first points race of the year under the lights.

But the night-time atmosphere won’t be the only thing that influences teams as they prepare for Saturday night’s race. The wind that circulates around the 1.5-mile track also will be a factor.

“The best thing to do about the wind is understand it,” NASCAR America analyst Steve Letarte said. “Be very clear in your notes, be very clear as a driver which direction the wind is coming. There’s not a lot of personality to Kansas versus a Texas or Atlanta. ... The corners are reasonably close for loading and grip purposes. Normally, your balance issue really is the wind.”

Greg Biffle addressed how the wind influences strategy in qualifying.

“You’re sitting there looking at a flag, I’m asking the spotter what direction is the wind,” Biffle said. “It is so critical now. I remember we had a practice where the wind’s blowing across one direction. We go to qualify later in the evening and it’s blowing in almost the opposite direction. It can catch you off-guard because you have to enter the corner slower, turn down earlier.”

Watch the video for the full discussion about how racing at Kansas changes at night.