After a rain-shortened race at Daytona International Speedway last weekend, the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series continues their circuit as they head into Kentucky Speedway this weekend for the Quaker State 400. At Daytona last week, Justin Haley would secure the win for his first career victory and would do so at 20-years-old. Despite the magic, however, it’s Martin Truex Jr. who comes in as the favorite to take the victory at Kentucky.
According to the NASCAR betting sites, it’s Truex Jr. with the top spot in the odds placed at +375, followed by Kyle Busch in second place at +500. After that, we have Kevin Harvick in third with a figure of +550. Then we have Brad Keselowski at +900 in fourth place, and rounding out the top five in a tie with Keselowski is Joey Logano at +900. Afterwards, Kyle Larson (+1000) and Chase Elliott (+1100) give us a top seven for the favorites to win the Quaker State 400 at Kentucky Speedway.
NUMBERS DON’T LIE
Martin Truex Jr. (+375) and Brad Keselowski (+900) are certainly your safest bets to make in the Quaker State 400 at Kentucky Speedway, and it’s for a great reason, well, two: 1. Together, they’ve won five out of the last eight races. And 2. They’ve won four out of the past five. On top of that, manufacturers Toyota and Ford have dominated at Kentucky as well, winning seven of the past eight races at Kentucky.
And also consider this: Out of the six 1.5-track races held on the circuit this year, both Toyota and Ford have won five of those races. Obviously, that makes any favorite driving those cars a solid bet to make at Kentucky this weekend.
WHEN AND WHERE TO WATCH THE RACE
You can catch the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Quaker State 400 at Kentucky Speedway on Saturday, July 13 with the first green flag being waved at 7:30 PM ET — that’s right! We have a night race! You can watch the action on national television on NBCSN with announcers Rick Allen, Jeff Burton, Steve Letarte, and Dale Earnhardt Jr. If you’re not able to be around a TV, you can also catch the Quaker State 400 on the radio on PRN with announcers Doug Rice, Mark Garrow, and Wendy Venturini. The 19th race (out of 36) on the NASCAR Cup schedule is a total of 267 laps for an amount of 400.5 miles (640.8 km).
Let’s go over the favorites to win the Quaker State 400 at Kentucky Speedway, and then view the rest of the field slated to be in Saturday’s action.
Martin Truex Jr. wouldn’t have the best showing last weekend at Daytona — he would finish in 22nd place — but he would have a solid stretch of consecutive top 10 finishes beforehand, three to be exact. At Chicago, he would just get himself in the top 10 with a ninth-place finish, and before that, it would be pure elite. At the road course of Sonoma, he would secure his fourth win of the 2019 campaign, and the week prior, it would be a beautiful third place tally at Michigan. In his other finish in the last five races, you can go ahead and dismiss that one as a failure. He would do horrible at Pocono with a 35th place finish.
But remember what I’ve already mentioned: He’s won back-to-back races at Kentucky Speedway, and is going for a third straight this weekend. He also gets progressively more dominant as well, leading more and more laps with each passing year. (Ex.: 2016: 46, 2017: 152, 2018: 174) It doesn’t matter what his recent numbers are, you have to ride with his history at Kentucky on this one, and the history is telling us that Martin Truex Jr. should come away with a third consecutive victory.
After back-to-back-to-back top-five performances, Kyle Busch has struggled a bit in the past two weeks. Last week at Daytona, he would crack the top 15, but a 14th place finish is obviously below Busch’s standards. The week before, it would be a bit worse for Busch, taking a 22nd place tally at Chicago. Before those two starts, however, Busch was on a roll placing himself in the top five in each of the previous three starts. At the road course of Sonoma, Busch would land himself a top two finish placing in second, and the week prior, it would be a top-five fifth-place finish at Michigan. Things would go the best they could at Pocono the race before, that’s where Busch would earn his fourth victory of the season.
After struggling the past two weeks, I expect Kyle Busch to be back in the fold this week among the favorites, especially considering his history at Kentucky Speedway. In his past eight races at the track, he’s led at least 30 laps in five of them. He’s also secured wins at Kentucky, including the inaugural race in 2011 and another victory in 2015. Also: Out of the eight races, he’s placed himself in the top five in six of them. Unlike the next person that we’re about to go over in the odds, Kyle Busch definitely deserves his high-ranked second favorite position.
Coming in with no wins in the 2019 campaign, Kevin Harvick also hasn’t done his best in the past five races — though in his defense, he does have two top 10 finishes in that stretch. Last weekend at Daytona, he would nearly fall out of the top 30 with a 29th place finish. The week prior, it would be a bit better, but still a bit of a struggle with a 14th place tally at Chicago. Before then, he would have two consecutive top 10 finishes — sixth at Sonoma and seventh at Michigan. In the last race of the bundle of his most recent, this at Pocono, he would struggle in that one as well finishing in 22nd.
Here’s where the majority of the confusion comes from though in regards to his third-place position in the odds: When you look at his history at Kentucky Speedway, in particular, you notice that Harvick isn’t the best. In every race at Kentucky in his career, he’s never landed himself a top-five finish, and he’s been a lap-leader in just one race. I have no good explanation for why Kevin Harvick is this high in the odds. I’m assuming it’s because he’s, well, Kevin Harvick, and he’s also placed eighth in the points standings. That’s all I have. With that being said, don’t put your money anywhere near the 43-year-old.
Last weekend at Daytona, NASCAR’s annual Fourth of July race, Brad Keselowski would have an absolutely dismal day putting himself in 39th place — if you didn’t know, that was one spot from dead last. He would be recorded with a DNF tally when everything was said and done. The week before at Chicago, he would do superb, placing himself in the top five with a fifth-place tally. Before that, he would struggle a bit with an 18th place finish at Sonoma, but that would the last of his struggles in his past five races. At Michigan, he would put himself in the top 10 with a sixth-place finish, and the week before, it would be an elite performance falling just short of the victory with a second-place tally.
If it were up to me, I would have Brad Keselowski listed above Kevin Harvick in the odds. He has a total of three career victories at Kentucky Speedway, and he’s led at least 30 laps in six of the past eight races held at the track. On top of that, he’s a great qualifier at Kentucky as well, starting out in the top 10 in every race at Kentucky Speedway throughout his career. When he doesn’t lead a lap at Kentucky, however, he has a reputation of falling apart from there — including falling out of the top 30 and finishing laps down. With that being said, Keselowski is one of those bets to take with caution. Still, I’d place Brad Keselowski above Kevin Harvick.
Joey Logano would struggle in two of his last five races, but he was nothing but magnificent in the other three. Last week during July 4th weekend, Logano would nearly fall out of the top 25 with a 25th place finish at Daytona. His other struggle would come at Sonoma, a road course, with a 23rd place finish. Before Daytona, he would put himself in the top three with a third-place finish, and he would have another top 10 finish after a seventh-place tally at Pocono. At Michigan, that’s where Logano would achieve ultimate glory. Not only would he earn the pole, but he would also claim the victory when the checkered flag was waved.
As far as his history at Kentucky Speedway, even though Logano doesn’t have a victory at the track, he’s done very well for himself. Out of eight races at Kentucky, he’s claimed top 10 finishes in five of them — he would also have two top-five finishes, including a near-win in second place in 2015. With all of these results, you have to think that Joey Logano may be overdue for a victory at Kentucky Speedway, which makes him a solid bet for this weekend.
Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment.