Five drivers to watch at Kentucky


Keep an eye on these drivers during Saturday night’s Quaker State 400 at Kentucky Speedway on NBCSN.

Martin Truex Jr.

Truex hasn’t been especially great at Kentucky (two top 10s, average finish of 13.8), but 1.5-milers have been his sweet spot in 2016. Of his series-leading 820 laps led, 739 of them – 90 percent – have come on 1.5-mile tracks. He’s led the most laps in the last three races on 1.5-milers, including a dominant victory in the most recent, the Coca-Cola 600.

Kyle Busch

The reigning Sprint Cup champion has had lots of success at Kentucky with five national series wins, including two in the Sprint Cup Series. Over the five Cup races at Kentucky, he leads all drivers in laps led (437) and average finish (3.8). Two of his three wins this season have come on 1.5-mile tracks (Texas, Kansas).

Brad Keselowski

Similar to Kyle Busch, Keselowski has: A pair of Cup wins, five national series wins, and more than 400 laps led (408) at Kentucky in Cup. Throwing out a 33rd-place finish in 2013, his average NSCS finish there is an impressive 3.8. He also has been consistently strong as of late with seven top-10 finishes in the last eight races.

Austin Dillon

Kentucky was one of Austin Dillon’s best tracks in the Xfinity Series (two wins and four top-10 finishes in four starts). While his Cup stats there haven’t been as good (best Cup Kentucky finish: 16th in 2014), he’s been much faster this season. His average finish over the five races so far on 1.5-mile tracks is a respectable 10.6. With the field tackling an essentially new track this weekend, he could contend if he adapts quickly.

Joey Logano

Logano lost out at Kentucky one year ago after a thrilling duel for the win with Kyle Busch, but he should be considered again after winning at Michigan last month in the debut of the lower downforce package returning this weekend. He’s riding a streak of five consecutive top-10 finishes, and he’s had some success on repaved tracks in the past. He won the first race at a repaved Pocono in June 2012.