The NASCAR Cup Series celebrates a decade of competition at Kentucky Speedway when the series hits the track for the Quaker State 400 presented by Walmart on Sunday.
NASCAR Quaker State 400 Preview
The list of previous winners at the track includes just five names, all of whom are currently active.
Brad Keselowski (three wins), Kyle Busch (two wins), Martin Truex Jr. (two wins), Matt Kenseth and Kurt Busch are the former winners of Cup Series events at the 1.5-mile Sparta, Ky track.
Kyle Busch (7.5-1) won the inaugural event at the facility in 2011 and also picked up a victory there in 2015.
Busch has a series best eye-popping average finish of 4.7 at the track. In nine starts he has only finished outside the top-10 one time, which was a 12th place finish. In addition to his two wins he has two runner-up finishes and seven top-five’s overall.
Busch, the reigning Cup Series champion, is winless through 16 in events in 2020.
Over nine starts at Kentucky, Brad Keselowski (9-1) has been up and down with his finishes. He won at Kentucky in 2012, 2014 and 2016 and has six top-10’s overall, but also has three finishes of 20th or worse including a 33rd and a 39th place finish. Keselowski’s average finish of 12.3 is just seventh best of active drivers.
Kentucky Speedway is a place where Martin Truex Jr. (8-1) has struggled to find consistency. He has a pair of wins at the track (2017, 2018) and five top-10 finishes overall, but he also has four finishes of 17th or worse, including a 19th place finish in last year’s event.
Kurt Busch (21-1) won last year’s Kentucky event and has six top-10 finishes in nine starts at the track. His average finish of 10.8 ties Kevin Harvick as fourth best of active drivers with the series so looks worth a bet online at these odds.
Matt Kenseth (36-1), who came out of retirement earlier this year, won in 2013 at Kentucky. From 2011 to 2016 Kenseth’s worst finish at Kentucky was an eighth place. His average finish of 8.4 is third best of active drivers at the track, so definitely worth considering for the Quaker State 400 this week.
Harvick (5.5-1) saw a string of six consecutive top-10 finishes at Kentucky snapped in 2019 with a 22nd place run. Harvick, the current series points leader, is rolling into Kentucky off the momentum of last of a victory at Indianapolis Motor Speedway last Sunday. Harvick is tied with Denny Hamlin with a series leading four victories this year over 16 starts. He has a series leading 13 top-10 finishes in 2020.
Hamlin (8-1) has struggled to find a rhythm at Kentucky over nine starts there. He has four top-five finishes, but also has four finishes of 15th or worse over his career there. He has never finished better than third at the track. Hamlin saw a string of four consecutive top-four finishes snapped at Indianapolis, where he was 28th.
Seven-time Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson (21-1) returns to action this week after missing the race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway after testing positive last week for the COVID-19 virus. Johnson was cleared to return earlier this week and goes to Kentucky looking to add the track to his long win list before his pending retirement at the end of this season. Though Kentucky has never been a happy place to visit for Johnson, who has just one top-five finish at the track in nine starts.
Erik Jones (26-1) has made just three career starts at Kentucky, but he’s shown every time to know the fast way around the track. He was third in last year’s Cup Series visit there and also had a sixth place in 2017 and a seventh in 2018. His average finish of 5.3 is second best of active drivers.
That all for our preview of the Quaker State 400 in Kentucky, good luck, whoever you decide to back.