COMMENTARY | NASCAR Sprint Cup Series stars Brad Keselowski and Kyle Busch are the only two drivers to have wins in the Cup Series at Kentucky Speedway, which is hosting the third annual Quaker State 400 on Saturday night, June 29. This weekend, both drivers will be racing in all three national series - Cup, Nationwide and Camping World Trucks - something that Busch has had significant luck with over the past few years.
Brad Keselowski - The 2012 Sprint Cup champion has the best average finish in the Cup Series through the two Kentucky races: 4.0, based on his win last season and his seventh-place finish in 2011. In five Nationwide Series races, Keselowski has five top 10 finishes, including a win in 2011. In the Truck Series, Keselowski had two early-career starts - 2005 and 2006 - with less-than-spectacular results of 18th and 30th, respectively; returning in 2012 with his own team, he brought home a runner-up finish.
Keselowski sits ninth in points currently in the Cup Series, but has been shut out of the win column - not a good omen if he were to fall out of the top 10 as far as the Chase for the Sprint Cup is concerned. He has just one win on the season so far, a Nationwide Series win at Richmond.
Kyle Busch - In August 2010 at Bristol Motor Speedway, Busch became the first - and so far only - driver to win in all three NASCAR national series in one weekend, a feat he nearly duplicated in 2011 at Kentucky, when he won the Cup and Truck races and finished third in the Nationwide Series event. Busch's Cup Series finishes at Kentucky are first and 10th, while in the Nationwide Series, he has one win and three top 10 finishes in five races. In the Truck Series, Busch has three top 10 finishes in three races, including a win in his last race there in 2011.
In 2013, Busch has already added 10 wins to his already-impressive resume - two each in Cup and Trucks and six in the Nationwide Series. Currently sitting eighth in points, his two wins put him in a good spot as far as the Chase goes, even if he were to fall out of the top 10. Unfortunately, Toyota still seems to be working out its engine issues, which have been responsible for two of his three DNFs this season - the same problem that kept Busch from the Chase last season.
Outlook: Keselowski v. Busch - In the world of triple-duty - and the 2013 race for "The Chase" - Busch has the edge on Keselowski.
Others to watch at Kentucky - Busch's Joe Gibbs Racing teammates Matt Kenseth and Denny Hamlin have had good luck at Kentucky: Kenseth has two top 10 finishes at the track (sixth and seventh), while Hamlin has finishes of 11th and third. The Hendrick Motorsports duo of Jeff Gordon and Jimmie Johnson also have two top 10 finishes each at Kentucky, but Gordon is in need of a win - he currently sits 14th in points without a win - or, at this point, a shot at the Chase.
Sources: "Statistical Advance: Analyzing the Quaker State 400 at Kentucky Speedway," NASCAR Media, June 24, 2013
"Storylines: Kentucky Speedway," NASCAR Media, June 24, 2013
Paula is a freelance writer and photographer specializing in motorsports. She also covers NASCAR at Examiner.com and Skirts & Scuffs.
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