The Ford’s looked dominant once again in the restrictor plate race this past weekend at Daytona. Brad Keselowski held onto the lead for the entire first stage before getting caught back in the pack due to pit strategy and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. won his second restrictor plate race is a row this year. Dale Earnhardt Jr., who was the sentimental favorite, got caught up in two different crashes that eventually took him out of the race in his last full-time season and he ended up 32nd.
QUAKER STATE 400
After a road-course race and a restrictor plate race the series heads to the Kentucky Speedway for the running of the Quaker State 400. This is another of the mile-and-a-half tracks that are on the schedule though this will only be the seventh time the Cup series has visited this track. We can still look at who has been good on these types of tracks lately and we know that this is a night race so the sun won’t be a major factor in raising the track temperatures this Saturday night.
Brad Keselowski: Brad won three races here in the Cup series and won three times in the Xfinity series too. He has only finished one race out of the top ten at this track in either of those series in fifteen starts and so I am giving him the nod to win the race here this Saturday night. This team has had some horrible luck lately, but they have been fast every week and I think it all comes back together for them this weekend. Plus when you win three out of six times in the top series you know how to get the job done.
Joey Logano: Speaking of a driver who has had bad luck lately and might not be running as well as they expect to besides the luck, Joey has been really good at Kentucky in both series in his career. He won his first three races here in the Xfinity series and was runner-up in this race two years ago. Both of these Penske drivers seem to have a pretty good handle on this track and their cars have been fast all season.
Kyle Busch: Kyle won this race last two years ago and has finished in the top ten in five of his six starts here with his worst finish being a twelfth place finish in the race here last year. He has come so close so many times this year that eventually he is going to break into the win column. We never heard anything from him at Daytona last weekend as he never even came close to trying to run at the front of the pack. This could be his week to get his first win of the season.
Matt Kenseth: Matt is the only driver to finish in the top ten in every Cup race run here. He has one win in those six starts with an average finish at 5.17. Those are impressive stats and Matt looked very good last week at Daytona. Maybe his luck is starting to change and he can pull out a win on the type of track he loves to race on. His patience always comes into play and helps him and his crew make the right changes to their car as the track changes throughout a race.
Kevin Harvick: Kevin is still looking for his first win at this track. He sat on the pole here last year and led almost half of the laps in that race before finishing a disappointing ninth. He has finished in the top ten in each of his last four starts at Kentucky and won at Sonoma a couple of weeks ago. This team looks like they are ready to go on a roll as we close in on the playoffs.
Kurt Busch: Kurt is another driver still looking for his first win here too. He has finished every lap that has been run here and has never finished outside the top twenty. He has four top ten finishes in his six starts with his best finish coming last year when he finished fourth. Hopefully he is feeling alright after taking a vicious head on crash into the outside wall at Daytona late in last week’s race.
Jimmie Johnson: Jimmie has a string of five straight top ten finishes here until he was involved in an accident in last year’s race and finished thirty-second. This team has looked really good at these types of tracks all year and they are running much better and more consistent lately. Jimmie is always a threat to win a race at any mile-and-a-half track on the circuit and this week will be no different.
Austin Dillon: Austin has finished every lap he has run here in the Cup series in his four starts, but he is still looking to crack the top ten. However, in the Xfinity series he has two wins and two runner-up finishes in five starts which tells us that he really knows how to get around this track and how to convey what he needs for adjustments to his car. He will be a dark horse here once again this weekend.
Martin Truex Jr.: Martin is yet another driver who has finished every lap in his six starts here, but is looking for his first win. This team has really looked great on these types of tracks lately and will really be looking forward to this week’s race after having two poor finishes in a row the last two weeks when they lost an engine at Sonoma and then got caught up in a wreck at Daytona. They could just start out up front and dominate this race once again this weekend.
Chase Elliott: Chase had a rough time here last year in his rookie season, but this team is too good to not consider every week when they come to an intermediate track. I thought they would have a win by now and I still believe that his first win is going to come very soon. He just needs to have a little luck go his way late in a race and he will be visiting victory lane in this series for the first of many times.
YAHOO! FANTASY NASCAR PICKS FOR KENTUCKY SPEEDWAY
Yahoo Driver Group A
- Brad Keselowski
- Matt Kenseth
Yahoo Driver Group B
- Chase Elliott
- Kurt Busch
- Austin Dillon
- Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
Yahoo Driver Group C
- Erik Jones
- Darrell Wallace Jr.
MY TOP-5 OVERALL AT KENTUCKY SPEEDWAY
- Brad Keselowski
- Matt Kenseth
- Martin Truex Jr.
- Kevin Harvick
- Kyle Busch
Dark Horse: Austin Dillon
Stay Away From: Dale Earnhardt Jr.
Big 18: Brad Keselowski