Revamped Kentucky Track Challenges Sprint Cup Drivers

Its the final race in a triple header weekend at Kentucky Speedway with the Quaker State 400.

What a night for racing. #ThisIsSPARTA

A photo posted by Kentucky Speedway (@kyspeedway) on

Kentucky Speedway is a mile and a half track and this is the first time the drivers have raced on this newly repaved and revamped track with higher banking. The drivers will make 267 laps around the track for 400 miles.

After qualifying was rained out the starting line up was set by owner points with Kevin Harvick sitting on the pole

NASCAR will be throwing a competition caution on lap 25.

In his final year behind the wheel of a Sprint Cup car, Tony Stewart makes his 600th race start tonight at Kentucky.

The starting line up for the Quaker State 400:
Author’s Note: the exact order of the starting line up is not completely accurate due to satellite feed interuption.

Kevin Harvick
Carl Edwards
Martin Truex Jr
Brad Keselowski
Jimmie Johnson
Matt Kenseth
Chase Elliott
Ryan Blaney
Kyle Busch
Ryan Newman
Joey Logano
Denny Hamlin
Trevor Bayne
Dale Earnhardt Jr
AJ Allmendinger
Austin Dillon
Jamie McMurray
Greg Biffle
Kasey Kahne
Paul Menard
Kyle Larson
Clint Bowyer
Danica Patrick
Tony Stewart
Ty Dillon
Landon Cassill
David Ragan
Ricky Stenhouse Jr
Aric Almirola
Brian Scott
Matt DiBenedetto
Chris Buescher
Michael Annett
Casey Mears
Regan Smith
Kurt Busch
Cole Whitt
Josh Wise
Jeffrey Earnhardt
Reed Sorenson

Choosing the outside line, Kevin Harvick brings the field to the green flag start of the race and takes the lead.

On lap 10 Kevin Harvick maintains his lead of the race.

The first caution of the race comes out on lap eleven when Ricky Stenhouse Jr hits the wall for a second time. He takes his car to the garage. Some drivers come down pit road for service but cannot fuel their cars until the competition caution flag.

Kevin Harvick brings the field down for the green flag restart on lap 15 and pulls out in front to lead the race.

On lap 22 Kevin Harvick and second place driver Martin Truex Jr have a near two second lead over the rest of the field.

NASCAR throws the competition caution on lap 26. There is no “lucky dog” since all of the drivers on the track are on the lead lap. Only Ricky Stenhouse Jr is off the track after his crash. The teams may now fuel the cars.

NASCAR throws a competition caution after the track has been cleaned of rubber that has been put down (a green track) after a rain storm so that the teams can check tire wear.

After pitting during the first caution and staying out on the second, Kurt Busch brings the field down for the green flag restart on lap 33.

Right after the restart, Jimmie Johnson brings out the third caution flag of the race when he gets loose and the car got away from him. Johnson hits the wall hard and has to take his car to the garage. Johnson had crashed and hit the wall during one of the practice sessions and was in a backup car for the race.

Kurt Busch brings the field down for the green flag restart on lap 37 and takes the lead.

Kevin Harvick retakes the lead of the race on lap 38.

On lap 48 Kevin Harvick still leads the race. Of the cars on the track only Casey Mears is laps down.

Joey Logano brings out the fourth caution of the race when he hits the wall. Logano takes his car to the garage. Drivers come down pit road for service.

Kevin Harvick leads the race off of pit road, but Brad Keselowski stayed out and brings the field down for the green flag restart on lap 60. Brad Keselowski takes the lead of the race.

On lap 63 Martin Truex Jr takes the lead of the race.

Matt DiBenedetto brings out the fifth caution flag of the race after hitting the wall and takes his car to the garage.

Kevin Harvick wins the race off of pit road and will lead the field to the restart. Ryan Blaney and Cole Whitt make contact on pit road.

Harvick brings the field down for the green flag restart on lap 88 and pulls out in front of the field.

On lap 89 Ryan Blaney gets loose and hits Chase Elliott, both drivers hit the wall bringing out the sixth caution flag of the race.

A truck has caught on fire in the parking lot behind the grand stands. The cause of the fire is unknown.

Kevin Harvick brings the field down for the green flag restart on lap 92.

Brian Scott brings out the seventh caution flag of the race when he gets loose and makes heavy contact with Chris Buescher and AJ Allmendinger. The back wheels of Scott’s car come off the track before he hits the wall. Danica Patrick, Ty Dillon and Regan Smith also sustain damage from the wreck. Chris Buescher’s car requires a tow truck to get his car to the garage.

Kevin Harvick brings the field down for the green flag restart on lap 103 and pulls out in front of the field to lead the race.

On lap 112 Harvick has pulled out to a lead of nearly one second.

On lap 126 Kevin Harvick continutes to lead the field.

On lap 141 drivers begin making green flag pit stops. Matt Kenseth briefly takes the lead when Kevin Harvick brings his car down pit road. When Harvick made his pit stop, he overshot his pit box and had to be pushed back into the pit box before the crew could service the car. The mishap caused Harvick to have an extended pit stop and put him back in the field.

Regan Smith brings out the eighth caution of the race when he hits the wall and his car starts smoking.

The drivers are using a lot of brakes on the newly configured track – a lot more than anticipated.

Martin Truex Jr brings the field down for the green flag restart on lap 158 and pulls out in front.

Clint Bowyer gets loose and spins out on lap 161 bringing out the ninth caution of the race.

Martin Truex Jr brings the field down for the green flag restart on lap 166.

On lap 168 Martin Truex Jr leads the field by half a second.

On lap 171 Truex has increased his lead to nearly a second. There are 27 cars on the lead lap.

AJ Allmendinger brings out the tenth caution flag of the race on lap 172 when he tries to come back on the track after making repairs from a previous crash and those repairs do not hold. He was 68 laps down at the time of the caution. A very frustrated AJ is shaking his hand as he storms to the ambulance for the ride to the infield care center.

Martin Truex Jr brings the field down for the green flag restart on lap 177 but Kevin Harvick takes over the lead of the race.

On lap 191 Kevin Harvick is still leading the race.

On lap 194 Landon Cassill brings out the eleventh caution flag of the race – tying the track record – when he gets loose and hits the wall.

Martin Truex Jr was penalized for passing on the inside on pit road and had to go to the back of the field; he made an additional pit stop and packed his fuel cell. Fuel consumption has become an issue for some drivers and whether or not they will have enough to make it to the end of the race.

Kevin Harvick brings the field down for the green flag restart on lap 199. On lap 200 Brad Keselowski takes over the lead of the race.

With 50 laps to go, Keselowski is out in front of the field by over two seconds.

On lap 230 of 267 Keselowski still holds the lead of the race.

After making that second pit stop during caution, Martin Truex Jr’s team packed his fuel cell and Truex is mowing down cars, he has moved up 20 spots and is now less than five seconds behind leader Brad Keselowski.

With 26 laps to go, the teams are talking fuel conservation and how much they need to make it to the end of the race. Some of the drivers are a number of laps short on fuel. The Sprint Cup cars get about four miles to a gallon of fuel – a little over two laps around the Kentucky Speedway.

Lap 250 Brad Keselowski is still out in front. Martin Truex Jr gives up third place to come down pit road for fuel. Several other drivers also make a green flag pit stop for fuel.

With seven laps remaining in the race Matt Kenseth passes Brad Keselowski for the lead and then comes down pit road for fuel giving the lead back to Keselowski who has a nine second lead over second place driver Carl Edwards.

With three laps to go, Keselowski’s lead is down to less than six seconds.

Brad Keselowski takes the white flag with Carl Edwards on his bumper.

Brad Keselowski crosses the finish line for his third win at Kentucky – half of the six races run on the track. When he stopped at the starter stand to get the flags he was out of fuel and needed a push from the tow truck to get to victory circle.

This makes 6 years in a row that Brad Keselowski has celebrated in Victory Lane at Kentucky!

A photo posted by Kentucky Speedway (@kyspeedway) on

The unofficial results of the Quaker State 400:
Brad Keselowski
Carl Edwards
Ryan Newman
Kurt Busch
Tony Stewart
Greg Biffle
Jamie McMurray
Matt Kenseth
Kevin Harvick
Martin Tuex Jr
Trevor Bayne
Kyle Busch
Dale Earnhardt Jr
Kasey Kahne
Denny Hamlin
Austin Dillon
Danica Patrick
Paul Menard
Kyle Larson
Aric Almirola
Cole Whitt
David Ragan
Clint Bowyer
Josh Wise
Ty Dillon
Michael Annett
Reed Sorenson
Jeffrey Earnhardt
Landon Cassill
Casey Mears
Chase Elliott
Jimmie Johnson
Brian Scott
Regan Smith
Ryan Blaney
AJ Allmendinger
Chris Buescher
Matt DiBenedetto
Joey Logano
Ricky Stenhouse Jr


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