NASCAR Quaker State 400 preview and picks
The NASCAR drivers will battle it out in the Bluegrass State this Sunday, July 12 in the Quaker State 400 from Kentucky Speedway (2:30 p.m., FS1).
Kevin Harvick, who has won two of the last three Cup Series races (Pocono Day 1 and Indianapolis, respectively), was installed as the tepid +450 favorite for this event. He seeks his series-leading fifth win of the season, while second-choice Kyle Busch (+500) has yet to make a trip to Victory Lane in 2020.
Nascar Cup Series - Quaker State 400 2020 - Winner
Sun, July 12 2020, 6:50 PM
Martin Truex Jr
It looks like there’s value to be had in siding against these two favorites – here are our top three selections for the Quaker State 400.
Martin Truex Jr. (+650)
A spark plug malfunction occurred just minutes after the green flag dropped on Sunday’s race at Indianapolis for Martin Truex Jr., resulting in a 38th-place finish. But prior to that debacle, Truex had an average finishing position of 9.64 in the 11 races since NASCAR returned in May.
The No. 19 Toyota driver has dominated recent proceedings at Kentucky, winning two of the last three races while leading 326 laps. No active driver can boast more than Truex’s 10 victories on intermediate tracks (greater than one mile but less than two) dating back to February of 2017 (43 races).
By virtue of random draw, Truex will begin the Quaker State 400 in ninth place.
Denny Hamlin (+600)
Denny Hamlin seeks a Cup Series-leading fifth victory on the season on Sunday. He looked home free at Indianapolis last week but shockingly crashed with just a few laps to the finish, checking in 28th instead. That broke up a streak of four straight top fives, highlighted by two victories.
Hamlin is 0-for-9 lifetime at Kentucky but has an average finishing position of 8.6 over his last five races at the 1.5-mile oval. He owns three wins over his last 10 visits to intermediate tracks with 304 laps led. The No. 11 Toyota driver is not to be underestimated despite the unlucky 12th-place draw for starting position here.
Brad Keselowski (+700)
Brad Keselowski seeks his third win of 2020 and his first since May 31 at Bristol, but it’s not like he’s been driving poorly of late – his average finishing position during this seven-race winless streak is a solid 9.29.
Keselowski leads all active drivers in wins at Kentucky (three), most recently taking the checkered flag here in 2016. His 524 laps led at this oval are second only to Kyle Busch (621). Keselowski will roll off the grid in sixth place.