2007 LifeLock 400
|Race 29 of 36 in the 2007 NASCAR Nextel Cup Series season|
Layout of Kansas Speedway
|Date||September 30, 2007|
|Official name||LifeLock 400|
|Location||Kansas Speedway, Kansas City, Kansas|
|Course||Permanent racing facility
1.5 mi (2.414 km)
|Distance||210 laps, 315 mi (506.943 km)|
|Scheduled Distance||267 laps, 400.5 mi (644.542 km)|
|Weather||Temperatures reaching a maximum of 86 °F (30 °C); wind speeds up to 22 miles per hour (35 km/h)|
|Average speed||104.981 miles per hour (168.951 km/h)|
|Most laps led|
|Driver||Kurt Busch||Penske Racing|
|No. 16||Greg Biffle||Roush Fenway Racing|
|Television in the United States|
|Announcers||Jerry Punch, Andy Petree and Rusty Wallace|
The 2007 LifeLock 400 is the 29th race in the 2007 NASCAR season and the third race of the ten in the 2007 Chase for the NEXTEL Cup Championship Series. The event, held at Kansas Speedway in Kansas City, Kansas, was run on September 30, 2007.
The new title sponsor of the race was LifeLock, a company that sells products that are designed to protect consumers from identity theft. It replaces ConAgra Foods, which had sponsored the race since 2003 under the Banquet brand name.
With a lap of 30.846 seconds at a speed of 175.063 mph, Chase driver Jimmie Johnson scored his second consecutive pole. "Rocketman" Ryan Newman was to have been alongside him, missing the pole position by .30 thousandths of a second, but his lap was disallowed after failing post-qualifying inspection. Out of his typical fashion of starting in the back, Matt Kenseth qualified a very uncharacteristic third. Of note, Scott Riggs posted his best starting spot this year in fourth, and all three Michael Waltrip Racing cars made the race. Points leader Jeff Gordon started fifth, Emporia native Clint Bowyer started 11th, and defending winner Tony Stewart started 20th.
Continuing with the craziness from Dover, Chase drivers again had trouble. During final practice, polesitter Jimmie Johnson spun and damaged his left front fender. His team will go to a backup car, but they will still be credited for the pole. Tony Stewart, who is already on probation for using an expletive at Indy, had another slip at Kansas. While talking to fellow driver Robby Gordon, an ESPN2 camera crew showed up. Stewart said "What? Get the expletive away from me." Stewart may face a points penalty similar to the one Carl Edwards had after winning Dover.
The race would be dominated by Kurt Busch who led 76 laps. However, Chase drivers immediately began to have trouble. Kyle Busch was tapped from behind by Dale Earnhardt Jr., the man who will replace Busch at Hendrick Motorsports in 2008. Jeff Burton, who was leading the points at this race last year, attempted to repair fender damage under red flag conditions, sending him to the tail end of the longest line. Burton's day would only get worse as he had starter trouble. Martin Truex Jr. and Matt Kenseth would be collected in a 15 car pileup. The red flag would wave for a second time due to rain.
The controversy begins after the rain stops and NASCAR attempts to dry the track. At 5 PM CT, ABC switches the broadcast over to local affiliates, and moves the race to ESPN2, which ended a practice in NASCAR in the past five years where race overrun stays on the broadcast network. When the race restarts at 6 PM, with one hour to go before darkness, NASCAR attempts to shorten the race to 225 laps (the track does not have lights). After numerous cautions following the resumption of racing, NASCAR officials shorten the race again, this time to 210 laps. Another Chase contender, Tony Stewart, had made a gamble before the previous red flag to coast to the end. However, that would not work as Stewart would come back in for fuel, and was later involved in the aforementioned "Big One". His day would only get worse from there, as he took fender damage on his left front tire. Crew chief Greg Zipadelli made the call to stay out on the racetrack, not wanting to risk track position. The call would not work as Tony's tire went flat and was accidentally punted by Kurt Busch, causing him to spin and collect chase contender Carl Edwards. While the Chasers struggled, 2005 runner-up Greg Biffle was also conserving fuel. The final caution would come out for the blown tire of Juan Pablo Montoya.
Darkness meant the race would end under caution (no green-white-checker finish). Controversy reigned in who had won the race. As the cars came around to the checkered flag, Biffle ran out of fuel. Coasting along the flat part of the track, Biffle slowed down, causing the car of Clint Bowyer to slow down. However, Jimmie Johnson did not, passing both Bowyer and Biffle under caution before handing second back to Bowyer. NASCAR declared Biffle the winner, breaking his 28 race losing streak.
NASCAR rules state on the final lap of a race, the car must finish on its own power, and following incidents in recent years (including one where Johnson was docked positions during a 2004 race for being slower than pace car speed during a pit road fake), stated a rule that the car must be at pace car speed (50 MPH) or it loses track position. Biffle was considerably slower than pace car speed, and the finish was protested over the procedure. All protests were denied.
Top Ten Results: (NOTE: Chase drivers are in bold italics.)
|1.||#16||Greg Biffle||Ford||Roush Fenway Racing|
|2.||#07||Clint Bowyer||Chevrolet||Richard Childress Racing|
|3.||#48||Jimmie Johnson||Chevrolet||Hendrick Motorsports|
|4.||#24||Jeff Gordon||Chevrolet||Hendrick Motorsports|
|5.||#25||Casey Mears||Chevrolet||Hendrick Motorsports|
|6.||#29||Kevin Harvick||Chevrolet||Richard Childress Racing|
|7.||#41||Reed Sorenson||Dodge||Chip Ganassi Racing|
|8.||#19||Elliott Sadler||Dodge||Gillett Evernham Motorsports|
|9.||#9||Kasey Kahne||Dodge||Gillett Evernham Motorsports|
|10.||#8||Dale Earnhardt Jr.||Chevrolet||Dale Earnhardt Incorporated|