All three NASCAR Series galloped into Kentucky Raceway this weekend. The NASCAR Camping World truckers hit the track Thursday night for the Buckle Up in Your Truck 250, which was won by Ben Rhodes. Friday night saw Christopher Bell putting on a show in the NASCAR XFINITY Alsco 300. The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup drivers took over the track Saturday night for the Truex-dominated Quaker State 400.
Pit Strategy Gives Hometown Hero Truck Win
Ben Rhodes’ Number 41 ThorSport Racing team brought him in for a fuel-only pit stop late in Thursday night’s Buckle Up in Your Truck 250. This decision paid off, allowing the Sparta, Kentucky native to win at his home track. Rhodes also won the first stage, while the second stage was won by pole sitter Noah Gragson. Stewart Friesen came from 14th for second while Matt Crafton came from 30th starting position to take third. Noah Gragson set a new track record in qualifying with a lap of 183.955 MPH.
Bell Overcomes Qualifying Spin to XFINITY Win
Christopher Bell went for a spin in his Joe Gibbs Racing Number 20 during the final round of qualifying for the XFINITY Alsco 300. He was forced to start at the back of the field as a result of changing tires before the race. Kyle Busch drove the first stage win and John Hunter Nemechek took the second stage. During this time, Bell was methodically working his way through traffic toward the front. He passed Kyle Busch and Daniel Hemric for the lead with ten to go and never looked back.
Truex Dominates Kentucky Again
With very few exceptions Saturday night, you could have gone to the kitchen for drinks and snacks at any point during the Quaker Stater 400 and the only differences would have been who was trailing Martin Truex, Jr in the Furniture Row Racing Number 78 and how far back they were. Truex is still the only Cup driver to win a stage at Kentucky after sweeping both. Ryan Blaney took second and Brad Keselowski fought back from adversity for third.
Kyle Larson provided most of the night’s excitement and drama. Fans saw him running across the grass in front of the stage during driver introductions prior to the race. He ended up starting at the back of the field for that slipup. After apologizing to his team he went about making up for it. He was in eight place and he’d worked himself up to fifth when the second stage flag fell. Then things fell apart. The bottom dropped out of his trackbar adjuster. His crew got one good chance to work on it during a yellow flag late, adding a total of 14 rounds of wedge in an attempt to compensate. Kyle still held on to finish in ninth.