In recent years, the Quaker State 400 at Kentucky Speedway was best described asÂ dominated by a single driver.
But this year, with the new aero package in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series and the traction compound applied to the racing surface at Kentucky Speedway, it stands to reason fans will see a different type of race Saturday night.Â
Martin Truex Jr., driver of the No. 19Â Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota: âI think itâs too early to tell. âŠ Itâll be interesting to see what (the track) does at night. Is itÂ going to grip up? Is the bottom going to be better? Thereâs still a lot of questions.â
Kyle Busch, driver of the No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota: “Restarts will be restarts. You’ll see some guys trying to make some bold moves and see what they get and then from there it’ll start to spread out. I was trying to gain on guys in practice today and I couldn’t get within five lengths of them. So, it’s going to be a struggle.”
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the No. 48 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet: “With the grip compound being down, itâs given us some more options and be a better race, but, so far, itâs been par for the course. So far weâre already wider than weâve ever been here, so I think thatâs leaning in the right direction.”
Chase Elliott, driver of the No. 9 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet: “I think itâll be stretched out. The way turns three and four are designed, youâre asking a lot out of the car without a lot of banking help. When that happens, youâre asking a lot of the car and the guy in front of you is always going to have the advantage with the air.”
Daniel Hemric, driver of the No. 8 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet: âI think the nighttime is going to open the window of versatility in some peopleâs cars and mask some of the flaws, but where the grip-strip is applied, thereâs so much grip. The only thing about it is when you lose it, you lose it quick.â
Aric Almirola, driver of the No. 10 Stewart-Haas Racing Ford: âI thought the outside would be at such a disadvantage, but now it seems like itâs the preferred line. It seems like that bottom lane is going to be at such a huge deficit, I feel like the guys on the bottom are going to be at such a big disadvantage.â
David Ragan, driver of the No. 38 Front Row Motorsports Ford: âYouâre going to see it be tight and in packs at the restarts and then youâre going to see the fastest guys separate from the middle-of-the-pack guys and the middle-of-the-pack guys are going to separate from the slow guys. So, weâll hopefully be able to use the second groove some.â
1. (41) Daniel Suarez, Ford, 184.590 mph.
2. (10) Aric Almirola, Ford, 183.799.
3. (2) Brad Keselowski, Ford, 183.443.
4. (1) Kurt Busch, Chevrolet, 183.355.
5. (4) Kevin Harvick, Ford, 183.312.
6. (8) Daniel Hemric, Chevrolet, 182.890.
7. (14) Clint Bowyer, Ford, 182.834.
8. (19) Martin Truex Jr., Toyota, 182.587.
9. (3) Austin Dillon, Chevrolet, 182.556.
10. (18) Kyle Busch, Toyota, 182.426.
11. (22) Joey Logano, Ford, 182.309.
12. (24) William Byron, Chevrolet, 182.278.
13. (48) Jimmie Johnson, Chevrolet, 182.149.
14. (21) Paul Menard, Ford, 182.020.
15. (12) Ryan Blaney, Ford, 181.996.
16. (17) Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Ford, 181.904.
17. (34) Michael McDowell, Ford, 181.500.
18. (11) Denny Hamlin, Toyota, 181.433.
19. (42) Kyle Larson, Chevrolet, 181.354.
20. (9) Chase Elliott, Chevrolet, 181.336.
21. (20) Erik Jones, Toyota, 181.080.
22. (88) Alex Bowman, Chevrolet, 180.759.
23. (6) Ryan Newman, Ford, 180.681.
24. (95) Matt DiBenedetto, Toyota, 180.517.
25. (38) David Ragan, Ford, 180.313.
26. (37) Chris Buescher, Chevrolet, 180.276.
27. (13) Ty Dillon, Chevrolet, 180.090.
28. (43) Bubba Wallace, Chevrolet, 179.952.
29. (32) Corey LaJoie, Ford, 179.916.
30. (47) Ryan Preece, Chevrolet, 179.862.
31. (36) Matt Tifft, Ford, 178.974.
32. (51) Bayley Currey, Ford, 177.708.
33. (15) Ross Chastain, Chevrolet, 177.509.
34. (00) Landon Cassill, Chevrolet, 176.858.
35. (52) BJ McLeod, Chevrolet, 174.396.
36. (77) Quin Houff, Chevrolet, 174.020.
Cincinnati Bengals head coach Zac Taylor follow in Marty Brennaman’s footsteps as pace car driver at the Quaker State 400 in July. Provided, Kentucky Speedway