Kyle Busch may be the best driver so far in the five year history of the Quaker State 400, but his Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Matt Kenseth is right there with him. Kenseth, won the 2013 race at the Kentucky Speedway, but he also has finished in the top seven in literally all five tries as well.
Kenseth’s finishes at the 1.5-mile Northern Kentucky track are sixth, seventh, first, fourth and fifth respectively, as I would be shocked with how well he’s running and how well he’s done at Kentucky over his career to not extend that streak another year.
The one thing against Kenseth at Kentucky is his qualifying, as yes he’s finished in the top seven in all five races there, but his qualifying efforts are 13th, 20th, 16th, 14th and 16th. With the track getting a new repave this offseason, track position may be key this weekend, and if he doesn’t start up front, he may have a rougher time getting to the front this year.
Also, Kenseth has only led once in those five races despite all those good finishes, as the only time he led was for 38 laps in his win there three years ago.
So, can he qualify good enough to merit a sixth straight top 10 finish, or will he struggle in his No. 20 Toyota?
I sense he will be quite fine as JGR has been extremely good at Kentucky recently. In fact, they put all four cars in the top five of last year’s final finishing order and with how well they’re doing this year in the low downforce package, I think they will be okay this weekend.
That means Kenseth is in store for potentially his second career Kentucky Speedway victory.