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'My old Kentucky home' against Jimmie Johnson

June 25, 2013 3:07 AM by Micah Roberts

Nascar Quacker State 400 winner Kyle BuschThe Sprint Cup series visits Kentucky Speedway for the third time this Saturday night in what should provide for some great NASCAR racing.

Kentucky’s layout has a 1.5-mile tri-oval with only 14 degrees of banking in the turns. It’s like a smaller version of Michigan, or close to what the old layout in Las Vegas had.

Things might have been real interesting had the Joe Gibbs cars still been saddled with less horsepower like we saw at Pocono and Michigan, but they should be back to being fast again, and if that’s the case, we may see the same results like we saw at Las Vegas, California, Charlotte, and Texas: another Gibbs win.

Matt Kenseth and Kyle Busch have combined to win five times on fast tracks this season and both should be considered the drivers to beat Saturday night. Busch won the inaugural race in 2011 and finished 10th last year. He also has won this season at Fontana and Texas.

Kenseth finished sixth and seventh at Kentucky while driving for Jack Roush, but has been the best this season on fast tracks, winning at Las Vegas, Kansas and Darlington.

The one driver that has been the closest to the Gibbs cars this season has been Kasey Kahne, whose only win on the season came on the short track at Bristol. Kahne has been second plenty of times on tracks that are comparable to Kentucky. He was runner-up at Las Vegas, Kansas and Charlotte.

There are only five tracks that Jimmie Johnson hasn’t won at and Kentucky is one of them. He fiinshed third in 2011 and was sixth last year. Surprisngly, Johnson’s three wins this season have come at tracks like Martinsville, Daytona and Pocono and not on any of the 1.5-mile or 2-mile tracks, places that he’s dominated at over his career, which is a perfect example of strong the Gibbs cars have been.

Look for the Gibbs cars, including Denny Hamlin, to have a good night with Kahne and Johnson chasing them. A driver we should also consider to run well that will have high odds is Kevin Harvick.

Micah Roberts is a former Las Vegas race and sports book director, and longtime motorsports columnist and sports analyst at GamingToday. Follow Micah on Twitter @MicahRoberts7 Contact Micah at

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