The NASCAR Sprint Cup series makes its second visit to the Bluegrass State with Saturday night’s event at Kentucky Speedway, a 1.5-mile facility with 14 degrees of banking.
Last season’s event, won by Kyle Busch, was filled with all kinds of pre-race anticipation. The only problem for fans was actually getting there. Thousands missed the race due to being stuck in traffic, a problem the track and state troopers vowed to have fixed this year.
Because there hasn’t been enough data accumulated at Kentucky to give us a good read on past history, we have to incorporate a few similar tracks like Kansas and Chicagoland, both of which have similar banking at the same distance.
In the Kansas race back in April, Denny Hamlin held on for the final 30 laps to get the victory. However, it was Martin Truex Jr. who dominated the afternoon leading 173 of the 267 laps.
Truex Jr. settled for runner-up and was followed by Jimmie Johnson, Matt Kenseth and Greg Biffle.
In Johnson’s case, the No. 48 team hadn’t hit their stride on the season yet, but they are on a full throttle boogie right now. Since winning at Darlington, Johnson has won the All-Star race, won at Dover and is on a streak of four straight top-five finishes.
Kenseth and Biffle are sitting 1-2 in the standings and this type of track has been Roush Racing’s bread and butter over the years. The duo finished in the top-5 at Kansas this year and have been fast on all 1.5-mile tracks this season with Biffle grabbing a Texas win.
The Michael Waltrip Racing drivers come off their first win of the season on the road course at Sonoma and could make it two in a row this week because they have shown to have perhaps the most consistent power among all the Toyota’s despite getting the same information as the Joe Gibbs drivers.
Clint Bowyer won last week, but look for Truex Jr. to be the star Saturday night. He should have very attractive odds this week that make the play very worthwhile despite not winning a race since 2007.