Everything you need to know about Saturday’s Quaker State 400 at Kentucky Speedway, in three minutes:
Three things to watch
1. Plenty of variables to look out for in this race. Kentucky Speedway was recently repaved and reconfigured, with the banking increased in Turns 1 and 2. NASCAR is also testing a lower downforce aerodynamic package that will likely be used in 2017.
2. Qualifying was canceled due to rain Friday, so the field was set by owners points. That means Kevin Harvick is on the pole with Brad Keselowski also starting on the front row.
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3. Tony Stewart slipped into the 30th spot in the standings after last week’s race at Daytona, meaning he’s eligible to qualify for the Chase as of now. But it’s a tenuous spot still: he’s only three points ahead of Brian Scott in 31st.
▪ Jimmie Johnson hit the wall in Saturday morning’s practice (before it was shortened due to severe weather) and will drive a backup car. “I just got wide and evidently the track is dirty wide,” Johnson said. “I didn’t have anything go wrong, I just got wide and the car just started going straight and it wouldn’t turn. I was in the marbles. I couldn’t see the line where the track was clean and dirty and it just kept going straight and straight and straight and hit the wall.”
▪ Kentucky Speedway and NASCAR observed a moment of silence Friday afternoon for the police officers who were shot Thursday night in Dallas.
▪ NASCAR announced Thursday that its postseason banquet for the Cup series will return to Las Vegas on Dec. 2 and the Xfinity and Truck series will be back in Miami Beach, Fla., Nov. on 21.
▪ Twelve drivers (one per team) will test July 12-13 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway: Joey Logano, Team Penske; Brian Scott, Richard Petty Motorsports; Chris Buescher, Front Row Motorsports; Trevor Bayne, Roush Fenway Racing; Jimmie Johnson; Hendrick Motorsports; Kyle Larson, Chip Ganassi Racing; Matt Kenseth, Joe Gibbs Racing; Paul Menard, Richard Childress Racing; Martin Truex Jr., Furniture Row Racing; Kevin Harvick, Stewart-Haas Racing; Clint Bowyer, HScott Motorsports; Ryan Blaney, Wood Brothers Racing. The Brickyard 400 is scheduled for July 24.
Three picks for your fantasy team:
Kevin Harvick: He will start on the pole thanks to his top spot in owners points (qualifying was called off due to rain). He hasn’t won since Phoenix, so it seems like he’s due.
Brad Keselowski: He’s coming off a victory at Daytona and is also a two-time winner at Kentucky.
Kyle Busch: Two-time Kentucky winner, including in 2015 as he won four of five races during one stretch.
He said it
“It’s a beautiful surface. It’s really smooth.” – Carl Edwards, on Kentucky’s repaved track.
Quaker State 400
Where: Kentucky Speedway, Sparta, Ky.
Track type: 1.5-mile oval.
Race distance: 400 miles, or 267 laps.
Green flag: Saturday, 7:44 p.m.
Weather: Partly cloudy, high of 81. Zero percent chance of rain.
TV: NBC Sports Network.
Radio: Performance Racing Network.