The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series heads to the Bluegrass State for a Saturday night showdown at the 1.5-mile tri-oval at Kentucky Speedway.
Heading into Saturday’s Quaker State 400 Presented by Walmart (7:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN/NBC Sports App, PRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio), here’s the rundown.
RELATED: Full weekend schedule for Kentucky
Kentucky Speedway is a 1.5-mile tri-oval which opened in 2000 and was first introduced to the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series schedule in 2011. The 72-feet wide asphalt racing surface has a 1,600-foot backstretch with a 17-degree banking in Turn 1 and 2 and a 14-degree banking in Turn 3 and 4. The inaugural race took place in July 2011, and was won by Kyle Busch and Joe Gibbs Racing.
The Kentucky Speedway rules package will mirror the setup used at other 1.5-mile tracks this season — the same package most recently at Chicagoland in the race won by Alex Bowman. The engine will be fitted with a tapered spacer generating an expected horsepower of about 550. Cars will also feature aero ducts.
Each Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series team will get 12 sets of Goodyear Eagle Speedway Radials — three sets for practice, one set for qualifying, and eight sets for the race (7 sets plus one transferred from qualifying or practice). The tire features a new compound change that adjusts for a relatively newer and smoother racing surface, as Kentucky was repaved before the 2017 race.
- Brad Keselowski has dominated the 1.5-mile track, picking up three career wins in eight starts — more than any other driver in the track’s history. That tops Kyle Busch and Martin Truex Jr., who are tied with two wins apiece.
- A Chevrolet driver has never won at Kentucky — only claiming a trio of runner-up finishes. A Toyota team has hoisted the trophy in five out of the eight races at the track.
- Despite being winless in 2019, Jimmie Johnson boasts the longest active streak of top-10 finishes at 1.5-mile tracks with four. The longest top-10 streak of his career is six, spanning from the late 2015 to early 2016 season. The seven-time Cup Series champion also has the most 1.5-mile wins is NASCAR history at 28 — 11 more than former teammate Jeff Gordon (17).
- Dating back to the track’s inaugural race in 2011, Kentucky Speedway has the highest percentage of wins from the pole position with drivers starting first winning 37.5 percent of the time. That’s nearly 2.5 percent better than second-highest Michigan International Speedway (35.29 percent).
RELATED: Kentucky TV schedule
Saturday night’s Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race will be televised live on NBCSN and streamed live on NBC Sports App. For the radio broadcast, tune in to coverage on PRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio. Navigate to NASCAR.com for the live leaderboard and interactive options, including in-car cameras on Drive and in-car audio on RaceView.
2018 RACE WINNER
Martin Truex Jr. started on the pole and made his way across the finish line to take home the checkered flag in last year’s edition. Truex Jr. led 174 of 267 laps en route to a dominant performance that landed him his fourth and final win of the 2018 campaign. He also reached Victory Lane at Kentucky in 2017 — will Truex make it a three-peat?
ACTIVE KENTUCKY WINNERS
Brad Keselowski (three), Kyle Busch (two) and Martin Truex Jr. (two).