Race: Quaker State 400
Date: July 5th @ 2:30pm
Venue: Kentucky Speedway
2019 Winner: Kurt Busch (2:51:37)
Kentucky Speedway. Opened in 2000, this 1.5 mile asphalt tri-oval speedway hosts the Quaker State 400 each year for the Monster Energy Cup Series. It has four turns with the first two at a 17 degree banking and the last two at a 14 degree banking. The track is an above average size tri-oval akin to Kansas’s track. Side note: I don’t feel like this race gets a ton of notoriety but I really enjoy the optics of the course and racing on it, tends to be a competitive consumer oriented race.
Kyle Busch (7th selection this year) — It feels to me like every other race Busch is excelling and then floundering. With that said, he probably has the best track record here recently with top five finishes each of the last three years. He’s also been great at Kansas which is also a tri-oval track just .035 miles longer.
Denny Hamlin (4th selection this year) — Hamlin had top five finishes in two of the last three years at Kentucky. In addition to that he was in the top 10 at Kansas last year. I’m willing to overlook his 28th place finish last week after previously finishing in the top five at Homestead, Talladega and both Poconos races.
High Risk/High Reward
Kurt Busch (5th selection this year) — After a dominating stretch when we returned to racing (where he had six consecutive top 10 finishes), he’s hit an average stride with a handful of finishes in the teens. He has top seven finishes three of the last four years at Kentucky. It’s not just here either, Kansas, being a similar track has also worked well for him with three consecutive top 10 finishes.
Erik Jones (4th selection this year) — Erik has a track record of success at Kentucky and Kansas. The last time this season he finished worse than 30th he rebounded the next week with a 3rd place finish. I wouldn’t be surprised if we see the same here.
The Dark Horse
Tyler Reddick (3rd selection this year) — Tyler finished 8th at Indianapolis last week after struggling at the Poconos with two consecutive finishes worse than 30th. He did well at Kansas last year and he does well with the slightly above average length oval tracks such at Homestead and Charlotte (where he finished 4th, 8th and 14th this season.
Fun Fact: The winner of this race receives a trophy shaped like a Crosley Jukebox, this has been in effect the last five years.
Favorite: Avg Finish 12th (29th Percent)
High Risk/High Reward: Avg Finish 18th (45th Percent)
Dark Horse: Avg Finish 15th (37th Percent)