Friday, July 08, 2016

The Frontstretch Newsletter: Sprint Cup Qualifying Cancelled Due to T-Storm, Hamlin Fastest in Short Practice

Presented by
The Best Seat at the Track, The Best View on the Net!
Jul. 8, 2016
Volume X, Edition CXII


What to Watch: Friday

- Sprint Cup Qualifying, which was scheduled to be held at 6:30 p.m. and aired live on the NBC Sports app, has been cancelled due to thunderstorms.  As a result, the grid has been set by owners points (as per the rule change announced last week).  Kevin Harvick will start Saturday night's Quaker State 400 from the pole.  NASCAR officials are hoping to get a short practice session going until 4:25 p.m.  However, the chances of that happening are not great

- XFINITY Series Qualifying is still on for today since teams got four separate practice sessions on Thursday.  It will start at 4:45 p.m. and air on NBCSN, weather permitting.  Sprint Cup Happy Hour will run from 6:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.  Given the pre-existing TV conflict, Happy Hour would be exclusive to and the NBC Sports app.


Aaron Bearden (@AaronBearden93)
Zach Catanzareti (@ZachRacing)
and our own Twitter page, @Frontstretch as well for updates!

Also, don't forget to follow our Twitter page, @Frontstretch as well for updates!

This weekend's TV Schedule can be found

Top News
by The Frontstretch Staff

Denny Hamlin Leads as Downpour Halts Sprint Cup Practice in Kentucky

On Friday, the Sprint Cup Series was supposed to have two practice sessions and qualifying.  That is now one abbreviated session as heavy rains put a stop to the action.  Before the rains came, Denny Hamlin was fastest in the brief session, followed by Jimmie Johnson before he wrecked (see below).  Kevin Harvick was third, followed by Ty Dillon and Kyle Larson.  Read more

Jimmie Johnson Goes to Backup Car After Practice Crash

As noted above, Jimmie Johnson was second quickest in practice on Friday at Kentucky Speedway.  However, Johnson got loose in turn 4 and smacked the wall, damaging his Lowe's Chevrolet and forcing the team to pull out the backup.  With qualifying cancelled, it is unclear whether or not he will have to start in the rear on Saturday night.  Read more

William Byron Holds Off Challengers for Kentucky Victory

On Thursday night, William Byron took the lead during the final caution when Timothy Peters had a mishap in the pits.  The 18-year old then held off charges from John Hunter Nemechek and Daniel Hemric to claim his fourth win of the year in the Buckle Up in Your Truck 225.  Nemechek was second, followed by Hemric, Christopher Bell and Johnny Sauter.  Read more

Carl Edwards Paces Lone Thursday Cup Practice

Sprint Cup Series teams took to the reconfigured Kentucky Speedway for one 90 minute practice session.  For many teams, the focus in the heat of the day was scuffing tires.  However, there were some good lap times set.  Carl Edwards was fastest with a lap of 28.962 seconds (186.451 mph).  Kyle Busch was second, followed by Martin Truex, Jr., Denny Hamlin and Jimmie Johnson.  Read more

Eddie MacDonald to Make 2016 Debut at New Hampshire

Go FAS Racing announced on Thursday that Northeast racer Eddie MacDonald will drive the No. 32 Ford next weekend in Loudon, temporarily replacing Jeffrey Earnhardt.  It will be his third appearance for the team in Cup.  Read more

Kyle Busch, Spencer Gallagher Collide in Kentucky Truck Race

Looking at the top 5 above in Thursday night's Camping World Truck Series race, a certain Sprint Cup regular/team owner who was competing is missing.  Kyle Busch crashed out of Thursday night's race after contact with Spencer Gallagher.  He wasn't exactly pleased about it.  Read more

Parker Kligerman Disappointed After Issue-Plagued One-Off in Kentucky

Prior to the race, everything was looking up for Parker Kligerman during his one-off appearance for Athenian Motorsports.  He'd qualified well and looked like he could contend for a win.  Then, the race started.  Read more

Brad Keselowski Analyzes Truck Team, Caution Clock

Prior to Thursday night's Buckle Up in Your Truck 225, Brad Keselowski answered some questions about the development of his Camping World Truck Series team, Brad Keselowski Racing.  He's not content yet.  Work still needs to be done.  Read more


Frontstretch Folio: Quaker State 400
by Phil Allaway

This weekend, the Sprint Cup Series travels to Gallatin County in Northern Kentucky for their one and only visit of the season to Kentucky Speedway.  Coverage of the Quaker State 400 can be seen on NBCSN starting at 6 p.m. with NASCAR America Saturday, followed by Countdown to Green. The green flag is scheduled to drop around 7:50 p.m. Saturday night.  The race can also be heard on PRN Radio and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio (Channel 90).

Records and facts

In last year's race, Kyle Busch led a race-high 163 laps.  However, the event came down to a duel between him and Joey Logano.  Busch ran down the Team Penske driver and passed him with 20 laps to go.  From there, Busch pulled away to take the win over Logano.  It was a 1-3-4-5 finish for Joe Gibbs Racing as Denny Hamlin, Carl Edwards and Matt Kenseth rounded out the top 5.

There have only been five Sprint Cup races at Kentucky Speedway.  These races have been won by three drivers.  Both Kyle Busch and Brad Keselowski have two victories a piece at Kentucky Speedway.  Matt Kenseth is the only other driver to win, claiming victory in 2013 when the race was postponed to Sunday afternoon due to rain.

Track Facts
Track / Race Length: 1.5-mile tri-oval, 267 laps (400.5 miles)
Banking: 17 degrees in turns 1-2, 14 degrees in turns 3-4

Frontstretch: 1,662 ft., banked 10 degrees

Backstretch: 1,600 ft., banked 4 degrees

Grandstand Seating: 107,000
Pit Road Speed: 45 mph
Pace Car Speed: 55 mph
Opened: 2000, first Cup race in 2011




Remaining Pre-Race Schedule:

Happy Hour: Friday, July 8, 6:30 - 7:30 p.m. on NBC Sports App

Say What?!

"I think it's too early in the process to know what the character of the track is going to be, but it'll be your typical new asphalt type race. You're going to want to stay in the groove and the restarts are going to be challenging. New tires are going to be challenging. I think you're going to have all of those same characteristics. It's a pretty big difference in how you enter turn one and how you enter turn three, so just getting the balance between the two corners is definitely going to be the hardest part.

"You won't leave with a headache. That's the best part about it, in my opinion. Before, the drainage was probably the biggest issue in terms of drying the racetrack, not losing track time and making the fans sit around for no reason. I think that part of it is important and they did a great job with that and fixed that. Really putting in the effort and the money to do something like this is really exciting and shows the commitment that Kentucky Speedway and (Speedway Motorsports Inc.) have. It's different. We run in a lot places that have new asphalt – Kansas being one of those places and Michigan being one of those places, especially since we just ran there with this same aero package – where you figure out what you can do. It's going to take a little time for everyone to get a handle on it." - Kevin Harvick

"The bumps were extremely bad at Kentucky – it was rough. The corners were great, and I think a lot of drivers would have liked to keep the corners 'as is,' just because they were aged and slick, and provided a lot of opportunity and different lines to run. But, the front straightaway was pretty severe and no amount of grinding was really going to improve things. I'm sure it's a great surface. All of the tracks that have been repaved recently have been very smooth and very well-done. They also used a new process to develop a coarse asphalt to increase the aging process, or at least the track will hopefully age quicker. I'm excited to go there and check it out. For the first couple of races, the asphalt is going to have a lot of grip, so the cars are going to run in a narrow groove and passing may be a bit of a challenge, but as the track ages, it should be incredible." - Dale Earnhardt, Jr.

"Kentucky will be completely new with the repave. We'll have some test data from when we tested there a couple weeks ago. I remember being there last year for XFINITY and I liked the character that the place had. It was a little rough, but no worse than a lot of places we go to. So, everything's up in the air. But we're all in the same boat. We're all going to see it for the first time and wonder what we did right in how well it drives right off the truck or what we did wrong to try to get around the race track that is now smooth and has more banking.

"I like the character in these race tracks. A lot of these places we go to are a lot of fun just because the asphalt has aged. There is a limit between asphalt losing grip and just having bumps that are hard to handle. When it gets to the point where you can't get around a race track because of bumps, sometimes something does have to be done." - Chris Buescher

Phil Allaway is the Newsletter Manager and a Senior Writer for  He can be reached via e-mail at

by Zach Catanzareti
by Sean Fesko

Tracking the Trucks: William Byron Scores 4th Career Win at Kentucky Speedway
by Beth Lunkenheimer

Q: Speaking of Kurt Busch's rookie year in trucks, partway through the season, his sponsorship situation changed and Roush Racing was forced to take on co-sponsors on Busch's truck.  What happened to Exide Batteries, his primary sponsor at the beginning of the season?

Check back Monday for the answer, here in the Frontstretch Newsletter!

Thursday's Answer:
Q: The Camping World Truck Series made their debut at Kentucky Speedway as part of the track's first major race weekend in 2000.  It was not a great race for Kurt Busch.  What happened that ended his night?

A: Busch had a bad weekend in general.  He took a provisional, worked his way up the order, then spun.  After a long rain delay, Busch was progressing once again when he lost control in turn 3, overcorrected, then shot hard into the outside wall.  Busch was ok, but his Exide Batteries/Tractor Supply Co. Ford was done for the night.
In The Frontstretch Newsletter:
We'll have recaps of the Sprint Cup and XFINITY Series races from Kentucky.

We'll have a series of post-race commentaries analyzing this weekend's action in Kentucky.

Talk back to the Frontstretch Newsletter!
Got something to say about an article you've seen in the newsletter? It's as easy as replying directly to this message or sending an email to We'll take the best comments and publish them here! 

Feel free to forward this newsletter if you have any friends who loves
NASCAR and great NASCAR commentary. They can subscribe to the Frontstetch by visiting
If you want to stop your Frontstretch Newsletter subscription, we're sorry
to see you go. Just send an email to from the address that you
recieve the Frontstretch Newsletter.

You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups "The Frontstretch" group.
To unsubscribe from this group and stop receiving emails from it, send an email to
For more options, visit

No comments:

Post a Comment