SPARTA, KY – Chevrolet has struggled as a whole during the 2018 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series season. While the year started off as good as it could with Austin Dillon winning the Daytona 500 for them, unfortunately, they haven’t reached victory lane in the 17 races since.
Yes, Chevy has one win in 18 races this year.
With a 1.5-mile track this weekend at the Kentucky Speedway, the odds of them contending for a win already weren’t too high. But, after two practice sessions and qualifying to set the field for Saturday night’s Quaker State 400 (7:30 p.m. ET/NBCSN/PRN/SiriusXM NASCAR Radio) it’s showing that unless something drastic happens, a Chevy driver won’t be winning this weekend’s race either.
In the first practice session, Kyle Larson led the way among the 39 driver field, but he was the only Chevy in the top six of the speed chart. In fact, there were only two Chevy’s in the top 13 overall and both were among the Chip Ganassi Racing camp. In final practice, there were just three Chevy’s in the top 14.
That’s why it wasn’t surprising that only one Chevy driver made it to the third and final round of knockout qualifying on Friday evening.
None of the four Hendrick Motorsports cars made it to the final round nor did the CGR camp. In fact, Hendrick has struggled all weekend.
Alex Bowman was the top qualifier for the four car team as he’ll start his No. 88 Chevrolet 15th. He was only 22nd and 28th respectively in the two practice sessions. Chase Elliott is next best in 16th. The Georgia native was 17th and 10th respectively in practice himself. William Byron (21st) and Jimmie Johnson (27th) will roll off in the back half of the field as both were there in practice too.
Larson and McMurray will start 18th and 22nd themselves and were 25th and 26th respectively in final practice too.
The team carrying the Chevy flag this weekend is actually Richard Childress Racing. Ryan Newman made the final round and will start 10th his No. 31 Chevrolet. Austin Dillon will start 13th. Dillon, was fifth fastest in final practice while Newman was 14th and 15th respectively in the two sessions himself.
Overall, if you look at Chevy on 1.5-mile tracks as a whole in 2018, they’ve led just 17 laps in Atlanta, five laps in Texas, 105 laps in Kansas, 23 laps at Chicago and no laps at both Vegas and Charlotte.