This past weekend the Kentucky Speedway in Sparta, Kentucky hosted night racing for all NASCAR divisions. On Thursday evening, the Camping World Truck Series featured the UNOH 225. Friday night, the Nationwide Series took their turn at the speedway with the Feed the Children 300. The Sprint Cup Series drivers took the track on Saturday night for the Quaker State 400.
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
Jimmie Johnson received a $3,400 check for winning the Coors Light Pole Award. He put up a new track record 181.818 mph lap to start up front. This is the No. 48 Chevrolet driver's 26th pole in 380 NSCS races. It is his first pole and 11th top-10 start in 2012. This is his first pole in two races at Kentucky Speedway. Johnson led 21 laps and finished in sixth place. He moved up one spot to third in the 2012 NSCS point standings.
Did Not Qualify:
No. 49 J.J. Yeley and No. 52 Mike Skinner.
Brad Keselowski won the Quaker State 400, his seventh victory in 106 NSCS races. This is his third victory and seventh top-ten finish in 2012. The No. 2 Dodge driver started eighth, led 68 laps and scored his first victory and second top-ten finish in two races at Kentucky Speedway. Keselowski is currently tenth in the 2012 NSCS point standings.
Rookie of the Race:
Josh Wise, the No. 26 Ford driver, started 30th and finished 37th. This was ahead of the rest of the 2012 Rookie of the Year contenders earning him the Rookie of the Race award. Wise, who made 15 of the 17 races so far this season, moved up one spot to 40th in the points.
- Kyle Busch won the $5,400 3M Lap Leader Award for leading the most laps (118 of 267). Busch started the No. 18 Toyota second in the lineup and finished the race in tenth. He is currently 12th in the point standings.
- Penske Engines won the $5,000 Mahle Clevite Engine Builder of the Race award (Keselowski’s No. 2).
- Denny Hamlin won the $5,000 American Ethanol Green Flag Restart award for recording the fastest average speed on restarts and finishing the race on the lead lap. Hamlin started the No. 11 Toyota third in the lineup and finished third. He moved up three spots to fifth in the point standings.
- Hamlin’s crew chief, Darian Grubb, won the DIRECTV Crew Chief of the Race award. The $5,000 cash award is presented to the crew chief of the driver who demonstrates the best qualifying and race finish for each event.
- Alan Gustafson, crew chief on the No. 24 Chevrolet driven by Jeff Gordon wins the Moog Problem Solver of the Race award. The $5,500 award goes to the crew chief that improves the most from first half of the race to the second half utilizing the 40 best lap times (improved 0.266 seconds). Gordon started the race in ninth and finished in fifth. He is 18th in the point standings.
- Kasey Kahne won the $5,000 USG Improving the Finish Award which goes to the driver who improves the most from start to finish. The No. 5 Chevrolet driver improved 17 places from 19th in the lineup to a second place finish. Kahne moved up three spots to 14th in the standings.
- Denny Hamlin won the $5,000 Mobil 1 Command Performance Driver of the Race award given to the winner of the race or the next-highest finishing driver displaying the Mobil 1 decal.
Matt Kenseth leads the point standings by eleven points over Dale Earnhardt Jr.
NSCS Top 12 (G/L):
1. Matt Kenseth 0
2. Dale Earnhardt Jr. +1
3. Jimmie Johnson +1
4. Greg Biffle -2
5. Denny Hamlin 3
6. Kevin Harvick 0
7. Clint Bowyer 0
8. Martin Truex Jr. +1
9. Tony Stewart -4
10. Brad Keselowski 0
11. Carl Edwards 0
12. Kyle Busch 0
Next NSCS Race:
Coke Zero 400, (Saturday night) July 7th at Daytona International Speedway.
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NASCAR Nationwide Series
Austin Dillon received a $3,400 check for winning the Coors Light Pole Award at Kentucky Speedway. He put up a 172.199 mph lap in the No. 3 Chevrolet to start up front. This was his second Nationwide Series career pole in 26 starts. He led 192 of 200 laps and won the race.
Did Not Qualify:
No. 72 John Jackson.
Austin Dillon won the Feed the Children 300, his first victory in 26 NNS races. The No. 3 Chevrolet driver, who started on the pole, led 192 of the 200 lap event. He now leads the NNS point standings by two points over Elliott Sadler.
- Michael Annett makes the most improvement in the series since his fourth place finish was 22 places better than his last NNS finish. This earned the No. 43 Ford driver a $2,600 check and the Featherlite “Most Improved Driver” award. Annett is currently 7th in the point standings.
- Besides winning the race, Austin Dillon’s team won the rest of the contingency race awards. Dillon won the $2,200 3M Lap Leader award for leading the most laps (192 of 200), the $2,000 Mobil 1 Driver of the Race award and the Sunoco Rookie of the Race award. Earnhardt-Childress Racing Engines won the $2,100 Mahle Clevite Engine Builder of the Race award.
Austin Dillon leads the point standings by two points over No. 2 Chevrolet driver Elliott Sadler.
NNS Top 10 (G/L):
1, Austin Dillon +1
2. Elliott Sadler -1
3. Ricky Stenhouse Jr. 0
4. Sam Hornish Jr. 0
5. Justin Allgaier +1
6 Cole Whitt -1
7. Michael Annett 0
8. Mike Bliss 0
9. Danica Patrick +1
10. Brian Scott -1
Next NNS Race:
Subway Jalapeno 250, Friday, July 6th at Daytona International Speedway.
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NASCAR Camping World Truck Series:
Matt Crafton received a $2,300 check for winning the Keystone Light Pole Award at Kentucky Speedway with a lap of 173.288 mph. This is the No. 88 Chevrolet Silverado driver's seventh pole in 280 NCWTS races. It is his first pole and fifth top-ten start in 2012. This is Crafton's first pole in 13 races at Kentucky Speedway. He led 27 laps and finished the race in fourth place. Crafton moved up one spot to sixth in the 2012 NCWTS points.
Did Not Qualify:
No. 10 Jennifer Jo Cobb, No. 38 Johnny Chapman, No. 57 Norm Benning and No. 0 Chris Lafferty.
James Buescher won the UNOH 225, his second victory in 80 NCWTS races. This is the No. 31 Chevrolet Silverado driver's second victory and fifth top-ten finish in 2012. It is first victory and fourth top-ten finish in five races at Kentucky Speedway. Buescher is fourth in the 2012 NCWTS point standings.
Rookie of the Race:
Ty Dillon won the Sunoco “Rookie of the Race” award since his third place finish in the No. 3 Chevrolet Silverado was better than the rest of the 2012 ROTY contenders. Dillon is currently third in the point standings.
- In addition to winning the race, James Buescher’s team won all three contingency race awards. Hendrick Engines, supplier of the engine in the No. 31 Chevrolet, won the $1,900 Mahle Clevite Engine Builder of the Race award. Buescher, who started 3rd, won the $1,500 Mobil 1 Driver of the Race award. He also won the $2,200 Featherlite “Most Improved Driver” award for finishing 14 places better than his last NCWTS race.
Timothy Peters leads the point standings by four points over Justin Lofton.
NCWTS Top 10 (G/L):
1. Timothy Peters +1
2. Justin Lofton -1
3. Ty Dillon 0
4. James Buescher 0
5. Parker Kligerman 0
6. Matt Crafton +1
7. Joey Coulter +1
8. Ron Hornaday Jr. +1
9. Nelson Piquet Jr. -3
10. Miguel Paludo +2
Next NCWTS Race:
American Ethanol 200, July 14th (Saturday) at Iowa Speedway.