The Backstretch Blog's Race Day: Kentucky's three horse race
There are few places that we come to on the NASCAR circuit that have less drama than the Kentucky Speedway. Nothing against the fine folks in Kentucky, they are all super nice and the track treats the media very well. But there is not a lot of drama to be had when only three drivers have won in the seven year history of your track holding Cup races. Basically if your name is not Kyle Busch, Brad Keselowski or Matt Kenseth, no one is expecting much of you this season.
"I look forward to going back every year," said Busch. "It's pretty challenging racetrack. Fast times at Kentucky come from momentum."
So far the pattern seems to be holding up, with all three of those drivers starting inside the top ten and Busch on the pole. Martin Truex, Jr starts second, Kenseth third, Jamie McMurrary and Virginia native Denny Hamlin round out the top five. Keselowski starts tenth and Tennessee native Trevor Bayne rolls off 19th.
"Kentucky will be interesting for sure this weekend," said Bayne. "We had a pretty good run there last season, and I'm confident we can improve on that and get a better result this year."
Kentucky has gone through a number of repaves and aero packages on the cars over the past few years, which makes this track even more of a challenge, because you are always sort of chasing it. And there has already been efforts this weekend to try and widen out the middle groove using the same tire dragon technology they used at Bristol back in April.
"As the track ages from the repave last year, the racing grooves will continue to widen out," said Austin Dillon. Last year with the way the tire was, it turned into a fuel mileage race, but we'll have a little bit different tire for this race so we'll see how that turns out."
The green flag is set to drop on the Quaker State 400 at 7:45pm. You can watch the race on the NBC Sports Network.