Jul 22, 2011

The NASCAR Sprint Cup drivers have one final weekend to refuel and recharge for the final 17 races of the 2011 season. 

While some drivers will use the off weekend to regroup for the rest of the season, others have their weekend booked with activities.

Carl Edwards, who has a victory in the truck series at Kansas Speedway, and STP 400 winner Brad Keselowski will be in Nashville this weekend to race with the NASCAR Nationwide Series

Past Kansas Speedway winners Kasey Kahne and Tony Stewart will take to the dirt tracks. Both drivers will travel with their World Of Outlaw Sprint Car Series teams during the off weekend and race throughout the East Coast.

Kyle Busch, who won at Kansas Speedway in the Nationwide Series in 2007, will not be trying for his 101st NASCAR victory this weekend and is instead entered in the Late Model event at Oxford Plains Speedway in Oxford, Maine.

Two-time Kansas winner Jeff Gordon will use the time off to travel for a charitable cause. He will spend his last free weekend with a group put together by the Clinton Global Initiative on a goodwill fact-finding trip to the Congo in Africa, where he will visit a refugee camp.

“My expectations are to see some jaw-dropping, eye-opening experiences that will change my life forever,” said Gordon, before leaving on the trip. “Hopefully we can do some good things to change that in the future. The government has a tough enough time controlling and keeping things safe (in the Congo), so there’s definitely a little bit of fear. But it’s a very valuable trip, important to what our cause is about. If we’re really going to stand behind our work, how can we do it without getting in there and truly understanding it?”

Kansas native Clint Bowyer will return to his hometown of Emporia, Kansas to play host to his annual charity golf tournament at the Emporia Municipal Golf Course.

Whatever the Cup drivers decide to do with their final off weekend of the season one thing is for certain- in the back of their mind, they will be thinking about the work that still needs to be done to secure their team a spot in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup, as the series heads to the historic Indianapolis Motor Speedway next weekend.