There was a tremendous amount of anticipation for the second Sprint Cup race at Kentucky Speedway. Traffic flow and parking disasters left fans fuming in 2011. With multiple assurances from the the race track’s owner, Bruton Smith, and the Kentucky Highway Patrol, there was cautious optimism that 2012 would be a fantastic experience for everyone.
I was at Kentucky Speedway this weekend and based upon what I witnessed, the track is headed in the right direction. It’s far from perfect, but if Smith and his team can continue to build upon what they’ve established, Kentucky Speedway will become a gem. This shouldn’t be a difficult task. Smith owns multiple race tracks that have near-perfect race weekends multiple times each year. Hopefully, Kentucky will continue to become more like its sister tracks.
Blue Deuce’s Bluegrass Success
As for the race, Brad Keselowski collected his Sprint Cup series-leading third win. The 2 Miller Lite Dodge team has now guaranteed itself a spot in The Chase For The Sprint Cup. Technically, this isn’t true, but last night’s win provides Keselowski with an incredible advantage for a Wild Card spot should he fall outside the Top Ten in points. His three victories will be hard for any other WIld card contender to overcome, as there are only nine more races until The Chase begins.
Should Keselwoski finish the regular season inside the Top Ten, his three wins will provide crucial bonus points for setting the stage for a run at The Sprint Cup. There’s no reason to think Keselwoski can’t be a legitimate threat in The Chase. He and his team can be as dominating as anyone.
Since it’s nearly 3:00AM ET, I’m going to jump right into the Lug Nuts section of my NASCAR race rewind blogs:
- Kasey Kahne had an incredible night. He went from being a lap down to running down Keselowski in the final laps of the race. He has given himself a great shot at a Wild Card spot.
- All four Hendrick drivers finished in the top six. Along with Kahn’s second place finish, Dale Earnhardt, Jr. was fourth, Jeff Gordon was fifth and Jimmie Johnson was sixth.
- Kyle Busch’s horrific streak continued. Despite dominating from the drop of the Green Flag and leading the most laps (118), Busch had a broken shock almost ruin his night. He rebounded to finish tenth, so not all was lost.
- Tony Stewart had electronic fule injection problems early in the race. The 2011 champion limped his car to a thirty-second place finish.
- Denny Hamlin announced via Twitter that he re-signed with Joe Gibbs Racing. He said in an interview that he wanted to show appreciation to his loyal followers. Hamlin gave his fans more excitement during the race. He led for 58 laps before finishing in third place.
It’s back to Daytona next Saturday for restrictor plate racing under the lights. TNT’s coverage starts at 6:30 ET.