The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series makes its way to the Kentucky Speedway for the 2nd annual running of the Quaker State 400. Start ‘N’ Park Blog is here to provide you with the inside track for the race by taking a look at historical statistics, driver’s past performance, breaking down the points, and providing random thoughts on the event and venue.
Kentucky Speedway Stat Line:
1 races have been run
0(0%) have been won from the pole
1 (100%) have been won from a top five starting spot
1 (100%) have been won from a top ten starting spot
0 (0%) have been won from a starting spot of 21st or worse
07/09/2011 was the first race
Kyle Busch won the first race
Kentucky Speedway Driver Ratings:
Kyle Busch: 145.6 rating, 1 win, 1 top five, 1 top ten
Jimmie Johnson: 119.8 rating, 1 top five, 1 top ten
Brad Keselowski: 118.6 rating, 1 top ten
Kurt Busch: 118.5 rating
Carl Edwards: 108.2 rating
David Reutimann: 105.8 rating
Matt Kenseth: 103.1 rating
Juan Pablo Montoya: 100.7 rating
Tony Stewart: 97.2 rating
Kasey Kahne: 94.6 rating
Top ten in NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver standings are 1 – Matt Kenseth, 2 – Greg Biffle (-11), 3 – Dale Earnhardt, Jr. (-14), 4 – Jimmie Johnson (-25), 5 – Tony Stewart (-63), 6 – Kevin Harvick (-64), 7 - Clint Bowyer (-67), 8 – Denny Hamlin (-73), 9 - Martin Truex, Jr. (-76), 10 - Brad Keselowski (-106). Kyle Busch (1 win) and Ryan Newman (1 win) lead the wild card to get into the Chase for the Sprint Cup.
Kentucky Speedway Firsts (Active Drivers):
First career starts: None
First career poles: None
First career wins: None
Recapping Last Week:
Clint Bowyer held off Tony Stewart and Kurt Busch to claim the title of King of the Road at Sonoma. Actually, not a real title, but great win for Michael Waltrip Racing and Bowyer. Bowyer’s last two wins had been at Talladega, thus I wasn’t giving him too much credit. Going out and leading 71 laps made a statement. This also made a statement about MWR being able to close out races they’re supposed to win.
Kudos to Kurt Busch for his third place finish, but this does not change his personality. He is a championship winning driver, he is supposed to do good. This just showed if he can keep the car under him and his emotions in check he can still get the job done.
Kudos part two for Brian Vickers, he finished 4th, giving him two top five finishes in three starts. Sign this guy before he goes away MWR!
Random Thoughts for the Quaker State 400:
This goes to show how much Tim Brewer meant to ESPN’s NASCAR coverage, apparently he hasn’t been on the broadcasts for some time. Wow, I honestly had no idea, I had thought I got that good at tuning him out when he came on the air. Apparently ESPN has done away with Brewer and the concept of the tech garage during the course of races. I read a few things online that pointed towards once you do the check in with him a few times during the year, its run its course. That’s not necessarily Brewer’s fault, as you can only explain “loose” and “tight” so many times. He has talent behind a wrench, I just never saw it behind the camera.
The big news of the week has been Matt Kenseth leaving Roush Fenway Racing. Living in the rearview mirror, we should have all seen Carl Edwards resigning at RFR as a big clue something else was going to happen. Edwards got such a payday (one that Ford had to step in and help) that it turned out to be too costly to try and keep the #17 going with limited sponsorship and reward Kenseth with a hefty amount of money too. In replacement Ricky Stenhouse, Jr., they get someone with a ton of talent but at a fraction of the price. This could lead to them using the #6 (provided they don’t just put Stenhouse in that number to begin with) for Trevor Bayne or another mystery driver. Don’t cry for Kenseth, he will get a bunch of money from Joe Gibbs Racing and finally have a stable sponsor in The Home Depot. What? That hasn’t been announced yet? Well, could have fooled me.
You say Kentucky I say TRAFFIC! Last year traffic was an absolute disaster, so much so some people never were able to make it into the track to watch the race. That’d be terrible and I personally wouldn’t ever come back if that happened to me. This year massive changes have happened and so far (through Wednesday night) it’s been smooth sailing. I guess we’re find out Saturday night.
Having only run one race at Kentucky has led to a lack of statistics to delve into and pull some nuggets out to share, this make me sad and leads to a shorter than desired preview!
Drivers to Watch at Kentucky Speedway:
Brad Keselowski: He finished 7th last year, last four Nationwide Series finishes at Kentucky were 1st, 3rd, 3rd, and 4th. Keselowski will also be running all three series this weekend.
Carl Edwards: Finished 5th last year. Has had spotty Nationwide Series finishes 8th, 2nd, 20th, 20th, and 33rd last five races. Won a CWTS race in 2003 and NNS race in 2005.
Joey Logano: Finished 14th last year. Has been dominating in the Nationwide Series, last four starts he finished 4th, 1st, 1st, and 1st.