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Drivers aim to expand Kentucky Speedway winners’ club

Sparta, Ky. • Kentucky Speedway’s winners club is looking for new contributors.

The greatest problem is a tough screening procedure.

Just 4 NASCAR Cup Series drivers have gained the seven 400-mile occasions on the 1.Five-mile tri-oval. Brad Keselowski and Kyle Busch have mixed for 5 wins and had been preferred right here remaining July, however Martin Truex Jr. were given the victory at the approach to the sequence championship. Matt Kenseth, the 2003 Cup champion, gained right here in 2013.

Considering how issues chief Busch, second-place Kevin Harvick — who has 5 consecutive top-10 Kentucky finishes — and Truex have mixed for 13 wins this season, the Kentucky Speedway club may keep the similar Saturday night time.

At the similar time, Erik Jones’ victory at Daytona gives hope new face may emerge if the whole lot falls proper.

“We ran well here last year finishing sixth and you can look back on your notes and say, ‘OK, this is what we did to get to this point,’ or that point and that makes things quite a bit easier from a driver’s standpoint,” Jones stated Friday. “Just having that notebook mentally and physically has been a pretty big advantage.”

Whether it’s sufficient to triumph over the Kentucky dominance of Busch and Keselowski stays to be noticed.

Busch, Jones’ teammate with Joe Gibbs Racing, has seven victories throughout all 3 NASCAR nationwide sequence at Kentucky. He gained maximum not too long ago in 2015 at the approach to the Cup name. He has the highest driving force ranking (125.nine) at Kentucky, with two wins, 5 top-fives and 6 top-10s within the Cup races. And he enters tied with Harvick with a season-best 5 wins this season.

Keselowski in the meantime is taking a look to proceed his development at Kentucky in even-numbered years, successful in 2012, ‘14 and ‘16.

“I didn’t know how many people believed in numerology in this sport or in this world until I came to Kentucky this year,” Keselowski joked. “I’m not a numerology person, but I appreciate those that are.”

Truex is searching for extra of the similar from remaining yr, when he led 152 of 274 laps and gained underneath warning. He has gained 3 times already this season and is simply 120 issues in the back of Busch in 3rd position.

“To be able to come here last year and get our first win at this track was huge,” Truex stated. “We’ve been strong here the last couple of years and hopefully we can figure out how to race up front again all night tomorrow night and have a shot at winning at the end.”

Several different drivers additionally may get within the combine.

Harvick has 5 top-10s at Kentucky. Joey Logano has 4 top-10s in six begins, together with 8th remaining yr. Busch wouldn’t be surprised if Ryan Blaney, 11th in issues and hungry for his first win this season, breaks thru.

“I’ve enjoyed this race track, whether it was before it got repaved or now,” Blaney stated. “They’re a lot different, the two, and it’s pretty neat that Brad and Kyle have been able to win on both configurations pretty easily. I feel like our team is pretty close to where it needs to be.”

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