Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Kentucky NASCAR Cup Series Notes: 2017 Quaker State 400

Brad Keselowski won at Kentucky last season, his third at the 1.5-mile track.
Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series
Next Race: Quaker State 400 Presented by Advance Auto Parts
The Place: Kentucky Speedway
The Date: Saturday, July 8
The Time: 7:30 p.m. ET
TV: NBCSN, 7 p.m. ET
Radio: PRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio
Distance: 400.5 miles (267 laps); Stage 1 (Ends on lap 80),
Stage 2 (Ends on lap 160), Final Stage (Ends on lap 267)

Next Race: Alsco 300
The Place: Kentucky Speedway
The Date: Friday, July 7
The Time: 8 p.m. ET
TV: NBCSN, 7:30 p.m. ET
Radio: PRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio
Distance: 300 miles (200 laps); Stage 1 (Ends on lap 45),
Stage 2 (Ends on lap 90), Final Stage (Ends on lap 200)

NASCAR Camping World Truck Series
Next Race: Buckle Up In Your Truck 225
The Place: Kentucky Speedway
The Date: Thursday, July 6
The Time: 7:30 p.m. ET
TV: FS1, 7 p.m. ET
Radio: MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio
Distance: 225 miles (150 laps); Stage 1 (Ends on lap 35), 
Stage 2 (Ends on lap 70), Final Stage (Ends on lap 150)

Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series

Stenhouse Surges To Second Victory
NASCAR might have a new restrictor-plate ace. Nearly two months after visiting Victory Lane at Talladega, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. surged past David Ragan in overtime of Saturday’s Coke Zero 400 Powered by Coca-Cola at Daytona International Speedway to win his second career race.
Stenhouse joins Jimmie Johnson, Martin Truex Jr., Kyle Larson and Brad Keselowski as the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series drivers with multiple victories this season. The Roush Fenway Racing driver is having a career year. He’s tied his career best with four top fives and already claims a career-high seven top 10s.
The No. 17 Ford driver will attempt to continue his momentum in Saturday’s Quaker State 400 at Kentucky Speedway (8 p.m. ET on NBCSN, PRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio). He has a high finish of 11th in four starts at the 1.5-mile track.

Kentucky Fried King: Keselowski Goes For Record Fourth Win In The Bluegrass State
Kentucky Speedway has hosted six Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series races. Brad Keselowski has won a track-record three of them, including last year’s race.

Keselowski will go for a fourth career win at Kentucky in Saturday’s Quaker State 400 Presented by Advance Auto PartsIn addition to his four victories, the No. 2 Team Penske driver claims three top fives, five top 10s and an 8.2 average finish. He’s led a track record 483 laps.
Keselowski currently ranks fifth in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series standings, 132 points behind leader Kyle Larson. He is tied with Larson for third in playoff points with 13 (via his two wins and three stage wins).

Busch Hopes To Grab First Win Of Season At Kentucky
Kyle Busch sits third in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series points standings, 108 points behind leader Kyle Larson, but he still hasn’t won a race this season. He’ll try to change that this weekend at Kentucky Speedway where he’s visited Victory Lane twice (2011, 2015).

In addition to his two Kentucky wins, Busch boasts four top fives, five top 10s and a 5.2 average finish in six starts there. He has never finished lower than 12th.

Busch’s streak of three consecutive top-10 finishes was snapped last weekend at Daytona after finishing 20th. He has four stage wins, four playoff points, six top fives, nine top 10s and a 13.1 average finish this season.

Larson Looks To Extend Points Lead
Kyle Larson continues to prove the future is now for NASCAR’s young stars. Seventeen races into the season, the 24-year-old Californian leads the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series standings by 18 points over Martin Truex Jr.

Larson’s 10.2 average finish is tops in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series. He ranks second in average running position (8.9) and driver rating (105.8). The No. 42 Chevrolet driver is third in laps led (721, 14.6%).

Larson has struggled at Kentucky throughout his Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series career. In three starts at the 1.5-mile track, he has never finished higher than 19th.

Playoff Watch: Nine Races Left For Drivers To Earn Postseason Berths
Nine races remain for drivers to earn berths in NASCAR’s playoffs.

The following drivers would get in if the season ended today: Jimmie Johnson (three wins, 16 playoff points), Kyle Larson (two, 13), Martin Truex Jr. (two, 21), Brad Keselowski (two, 13), Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (two, 10), Kevin Harvick (one, eight), Ryan Blaney (one, eight), Kurt Busch (one, five), Ryan Newman (one, five), Austin Dillon (one, five), Kyle Busch (117 points above Joey Logano on the cutoff line, four playoff points), Chase Elliott (+82, two), Jamie McMurray (+62), Denny Hamlin (+56, 2), Clint Bowyer (+27), Matt Kenseth (+3, two).

The first four out would be: Logano (three points below Matt Kenseth on the cutoff line), Erik Jones (-56), Daniel Suarez (-88) and Trevor Bayne (-91).

Remember, a win gets a driver into the playoffs. Below is a list of winless drivers who have visited Victory Lane at upcoming tracks:

Kentucky: Ky. Busch, Kenseth
New Hampshire: Ky. Busch, Kenseth, Bowyer, Hamlin, Kasey Kahne
Indianapolis: Ky. Busch, McMurray, Paul Menard
Pocono: Hamlin, Kenseth, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Kahne, Chris Buescher
Watkins Glen: Hamlin, Ky. Busch, AJ Allmendinger
Michigan: Ky. Busch, Hamlin, Earnhardt Jr., Kenseth, Kahne
Bristol: Ky. Busch, Hamlin, Kenseth, Earnhardt Jr., Kahne
Darlington: Ky. Busch, Hamlin, Kenseth
Richmond: Ky. Busch, Hamlin, Kenseth, Bowyer, Earnhardt Jr., Kahne

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