MENCS: Quaker State 400 Preview

After a crazy Saturday night at Daytona, the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series heads to Kentucky Speedway for the Seventh Annual Quaker State 400.

40 drivers are slated to arrive at Kentucky Speedway for the event.

There have only been six events at Kentucky. Only three times has the race had a different pole winner and a different race winner. Only two races have been won from the pole with Brad Keselowski being the last one to do so in 2014. In 2012, Keselowski set the race record at 145.607 mph. Keselowski also set the qualifying record in 2014 at 188.791 mph.

This is the first time in two years that NASCAR is not testing out a new aero package to be run for the next season at Kentucky.

Teams will have four seats of tires for practice, one set for qualifying, and eight sets for the race. Teams will run the same led-side tire code as last year, but will receive a new right side code. Goodyears goal is to provide more grip and introduce more tire wear.

Drivers are excited about returning to Kentucky Speedway.

“I’m really looking forward to Kentucky this weekend. It has been a good track for us in the past. We have made some gains on our intermediate program so I think our Fords should show some speed this weekend. We will carry our momentum from our win at Daytona and hopefully can leave Kentucky with another strong run in our Fifth Third Ford,” said last week’s winner, Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

“I really enjoy racing at Kentucky and I’m looking forward to making my first-career Cup start there this weekend. We’ve had some good runs there in the truck and XFINITY series over the years, so hopefully some of that can translate over to this weekend. We are coming off a good weekend in Daytona, and while we didn’t get the finish I think we deserved, I feel like we really built some momentum as a team heading into this weekend. I’m looking forward to getting on the track on Friday and hopefully coming away with a good finish on Saturday night for everyone involved with this ARRIS team, “ said Daniel Suarez.

“We only go to Kentucky once a year so it’s a little different from a lot of the other tracks that we go to. It’s a little busier schedule this weekend because of the two-day show but we’re excited to unload and get on track. Since the repave, Kentucky has changed a ton and really only has one groove. It’s hard to race single file so we’re going to have to make the most out of restarts and qualify as good as possible,” said Matt DiBenedetto.

Teams will have two practice sessions at 10:00 a.m. EDT and 1:00 p.m. EDT on the NBC Sports App. Teams will qualify at 6:15 p.m. EDT on Friday on NBCSN and Performance Racing Network. The Quaker State 400 will be broadcasted on NBCSN and Performance Racing Network at 7:30 p.m. EDT.

Caleb Whisler
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