The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series makes its fourth ever visit to Kentucky Speedway for the 17th race of the season, the Quaker State 400. Rotoworld.com’s Brian Brown took a look at past performances, season trends, and spoke with NASCAR contacts to predict how the field should finish on Saturday.
When: Saturday, June 28; 7:45 p.m./et.
Weather: Partly cloudy with a high of 82; wind out of the WNW at 7 mph. There is a 30% chance of precipitation on race day.
The Track: Kentucky Speedway
Kentucky Speedway is a 1.5 mile quad-oval. It has 14 degree banking in the corners, 10 degree banking in the tri-oval and four degree banking on the straight-aways.
Key to Race: ANOTHER 1.5 MILE OVAL
Kentucky is the fifth 1.5 mile oval of this season. Joey Logano, Brad Keselowski, Jeff Gordon, and Jimmie Johnson have won the previous 1.5 milers. Matt Kenseth has been the best driver in the previous three races at Kentucky, but has just one top five finish on a 1.5 mile track this season.
ONLY 42 cars will attempt to qualify for 43 spots (The last time the Sprint Cup Series had less cars entered then the maximum was the September ’96 race at Dover).
Fantasy Cheat Sheet:
No. 20 Matt Kenseth: Kenseth won at Kentucky last season. He is our top choice to win on Saturday.
No. 48 Jimmie Johnson: Kentucky Speedway is one of four tracks Johnson has never won at. With the speed Hendrick Chevys are bringing right now and how well Jimmie is driving it is almost stupid to pick against him.
No. 2 Brad Keselowski: Keselowski won at Kentucky in 2012 and is a great driver on intermediate tracks. Use him in all leagues.
No. 4 Kevin Harvick: Harvick has been awesome on 1.5 mile ovals this season. He will use his engine supplied by Hendrick Motorsports to be very fast.
No. 88 Dale Earnhardt Jr.: Junior has been great on intermediate tracks the past three seasons. Get him active this weekend.
6 to 10
No. 24 Jeff Gordon: Gordon has cracked the top 10 in all three Kentucky races. He is a great option.
No. 5 Kasey Kahne: Kahne cruised to a second place finish at Kentucky in 2012. He is driving a Hendrick Chevy and should be used in most leagues.
No. 18 Kyle Busch: Rowdy dominated the inaugural race at Kentucky and led the most laps last in 2012. He should be cranking again this visit to the Bluegrass State.
No. 22 Joey Logano: Logano has won three Nationwide Series races at Kentucky and he has been great this season on 1.5 mile ovals. He is terrific pick.
No. 41 Kurt Busch: Busch was great at Kentucky last year and has a Hendrick engine in his ride this season.
11 to 20
No. 15 Clint Bowyer: Bowyer finished third last year at Kentucky. He is a decent pick this trip to the track.
No. 99 Carl Edwards: Edwards is usually a good-shoe on 1.5 mile ovals. He is one of our picks to finish inside the top 15 in Kentucky.
No. 11 Denny Hamlin: Hamlin is usually awesome at Kentucky, but he struggled last year. He will miss the top 10 again this weekend.
No. 31 Ryan Newman: Newman has averaged a 17th place finish in the previous three races at Kentucky. He will finish near his average this visit.
No. 14 Tony Stewart: Stewart is just a top 15 choice this weekend. He has struggled a bit the first three Kentucky races.
No. 78 Martin Truex Jr.: Truex Jr. was awesome at Kentucky last season. He is worth using as a fourth driver this weekend.
No. 9 Marcos Ambrose: Ambrose has driven very well in the first three races at Kentucky. He is an option in most leagues.
No. 27 Paul Menard: Menard hasn’t been great in the first three trips to Kentucky, but he should improve on his 22nd place average this visit.
No. 16 Greg Biffle: Biffle has struggled in all three previous races at Kentucky. We don’t like him this weekend.
No. 43 Aric Almirola: Double-A finished 15th at Kentucky Speedway last year. We don’t think he will match that finish this year, but he should wind up in the top 20.
21 to 30
No. 3 Austin Dillon: Dillon finished 24th last season at Kentucky while piloting the No. 51 car. He will be just a bit faster this visit in the No. 3.
No. 17 Ricky Stenhouse Jr.: Ricky been decent on intermediate tracks so far during his career. He is worth using in most leagues.
No. 42 Kyle Larson: Larson has driven well so far this year on 1.5 mile ovals. We like him to finish just outside the top 20.
No. 47 A.J. Allmendinger: Allmendinger has averaged a 20th place finish at Kentucky. He will finish just a tad bit slower than his average.
No. 1 Jamie McMurray: McMurray led zero laps at Kentucky last year, but he snuck in for a second place finish. He won’t be nearly as fast this weekend.
No. 55 Brian Vickers: Vickers has struggled so far at Kentucky. He isn’t a great choice.
No. 10 Danica Patrick: Danica wasn’t terrible at Kentucky last year, but she won’t help your fantasy team.
No. 13 Casey Mears: Mears has been just okay this season on intermediate tracks. He isn’t much of a choice.
No. 51 Justin Allgaier: Allgaier is not someone to use unless you are very desperate.
No. 7 Michael Annett: Annett has moved ahead of Ragan this week as the last of the Non-Field Fillers.
No. 34 David Ragan
No. 23 Alex Bowman
No. 38 David Gilliland
No. 26 Cole Whitt
No. 36 Reed Sorenson
No. 83 Ryan Truex
No. 98 Josh Wise
No. 32 Travis Kvapil
No. 33 David Stremme
No. 40 Landon Cassill
No. 44 J.J. Yeley
No. 66 Joe Nemechek
My Yahoo! Fantasy NASCAR Team for this Week:
A. Matt Kenseth
B. Joey Logano