The NASCAR Monster Energy Cup Series continues this weekend, with a trip to Kentucky Speedway.
It will be the ninth edition of the race, which joined the championship’s schedule in 2011.
Since then, Kentucky hasn’t seen an awful lot in variety when it comes to race winners.
A total of four drivers have made trips to victory lane in those eight previous editions.
Through those eight years, there is one noticeable trend.
Chevrolet remains the only manufacturer without a win at Kentucky Speedway in a Cup Series race.
Toyota leads with five, followed by Ford with two and a single one going to the now-extinct Dodge program.
Chevy is coming off a strong showing and a good win in the latest round at a 1.5-mile track.
The 1-2 finish at Chicagoland shows that the Camaro might finally have found the pace at the cookie-cutter ovals.
While Kentucky and Chicago are fundamentally different tracks, it’s possible for Chevy to translate its performance.
Let’s take a look at what may happen this weekend.
What: Quaker State 400
Where: Kentucky Speedway in Sparta, KY
When: Saturday, July 13th at 7:30 PM EST
How: NBC Sports (TV) | Performance Racing Network (Web radio) | NBC Sports App
Kentucky is a 1.5-mile track with the classic cookie-cutter, D-shape.
As is the case for the vast majority of the newer tracks, the turns have progressive banking.
This is where Kentucky’s uniqueness comes through.
When it comes to progressive banking, it usually means that drivers have multiple racing lines available.
Kentucky Speedway, however, is largely a single-groove track.
The banking on the inside is slightly lower, trading in speed for a shorter travel distance.
The high side meanwhile allows drivers to carry over more speed, at the cost of a longer traveling distance.
When it comes to Kentucky, however, the trend is a single groove.
Unlike the other 1.5 mile ovals, there is a clear line of rubber along the track.
With most of the dirt going towards the high side, it slowly becomes unusable.
When aero wash gets thrown into the mix, this often leads to a single file of cars.
At first glance, Kentucky once again doesn’t seem like a favorable scenario for the Bowtie.
With only one groove, this means that traffic will play a key role in the race.
Aero has been the Camaro’s weakest point, as the car struggled due to excessive drag.
Chevy’s biggest strength is arguably its solid top speed, as evidenced by its pace at superspeedways.
That being said, it’s not as if Chevrolet does not have a shot at winning.
Qualifying will likely play a key role this weekend.
Four of the last five races at Kentucky Speedway have been won from the front-row, twice from the pole.
Chevy is carrying momentum from a dominant showing at Chicago, where it scored the pole and won.
Should the form shown last time out at a 1.5-mile track, the Bowtie could show up to fight for its first-ever victory at Kentucky.
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