Race: Friday, June 27, 2014 in Sparta, KY
Title Sponsor: John R. Elliott HERO Campaign for Designated Drivers
Scheduled Green Flag (approx): 7:46pm/et
Television Race Coverage: ESPN - 7:00pm/et
Announcers: Allen Bestwick, Dale Jarrett, Andy Petree
Pit Reporters: Dave Burns, Jamie Little, Mike Massaro
Studio: Nicole Briscoe, Rusty Wallace, Brad Daugherty
Motor Racing Network (MRN) and SiriusXM Satellite NASCAR Channel 90
Times are local to the Track
Wednesday, June 25th
7:00 AM NNS HAULERS ENTER
7:30 AM NNS GARAGE & REGISTRATION OPENS
9:00 AM-11:30 AM NNS TESTING
1:00 PM-4:00 PM NNS TESTING
4:00 PM NNS & NCWTS REGISTRATION CLOSES
6:00 PM NNS & NCWTS GARAGE CLOSES
Thursday, June 26th
7:00 AM NNS GARAGE & REGISTRATION OPENS & INSPECTION BEGINS
5:30 PM NNS ROOKIE & SPOTTER MEETINGS & RANDOM DRAWING
6:30 PM-7:25 PM NNS PRACTICE
7:00 PM NNS REGISTRATION CLOSES
8:30 PM NNS GARAGE CLOSES
Friday, June 27th
7:00 AM NNS GARAGE & REGISTRATION OPENS
9:00 AM-10:20 AM NNS FINAL PRACTICE
3:40 PM NNS QUALIFYING
5:15 PM NNS DRIVER / CREW CHIEF MEETING (BLUEGRASS HALL)
7:00 PM NNS DRIVER INTRODUCTIONS
7:30 PM NNS RACE (200 LAPS, 300 MILES)
8:00 PM NNS REGISTRATION CLOSES
Harvick wins at Kentucky: #5-Kevin Harvick won the John R. Elliott HERO Campaign 300 at Kentucky Speedway. #22-Brad Keselowski finished second followed by #54-Kyle Busch, #33-Paul Menard, #12-Ryan Blaney, #62-Brendan Gaughan, #3-Ty Dillon, #2-Brian Scott, #42-Kyle Larson, and #11-Elliott Sadler.
There were 7 cautions for 30 laps and 8 lead changes among 6 leaders. Complete results are on the Kentucky race results page (pdf).
See OFFICIAL race results & points standings on the Official Kentucky Race & Points Report (pdf).(6-27-2014)
Kentucky Race Fast Facts:
Kevin Harvick(i) won the 14th Annual John R. Elliott HERO Campaign 300 presented by Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over, his 42nd victory in 309 NASCAR Nationwide Series races.
This is his second victory and eighth top-10 finish in 2014.
This is his second victory and fifth top-10 finish in five races at Kentucky Speedway.
Brad Keselowski(i) (second) posted his seventh top-10 finish in seven races at Kentucky Speedway. It is his fifth top-10 finish in 2014.
Kyle Busch(i) (third) posted his fifth top-10 finish in seven races at Kentucky Speedway.
Ty Dillon (seventh) was the highest finishing rookie.
Elliott Sadler leads the point standings by 4 points over Chase Elliott #.
(NASCAR Integrated Marketing)(6-27-2014)
Driver standings following Kentucky:
1) #11-Elliott Sadler 541
2) #9-Chase Elliott 537, -4
3) #7-Regan Smith 533, -8
4) #3- Ty Dillon 512, -29
5) #2-Brian Scott 494, -47
6)#6-Trevor Bayne 482, -59
7) #62-Brendan Gaughan 448, -93
8) #99-James Buescher 418, -123
9) #60-Chris Buescher 414, -127
10) #01-Landon Cassill 399, -142
See complete standings on the driver standings page (pdf).(6-27-2014)
Owner Standings following Kentucky are posted (pdf).(6-27-2014)
Lucky Dogs - Who got a lap back on each caution at Kentucky: (and their finish)
Caution 1: #60-Buescher, 18th
Caution 2: #98-LaJoie, 16th
Caution 3: #43-Armstrong, 20th
Caution 4: #42-Larson, 9th
Caution 5: none, #16-Reed was involved in the caution.
Caution 6: #16-Reed, 17th
Caution 7: #44-Koch, 19th
Keselowski on pole at Kentucky: #22-Brad Keselowski won the Coors Light Pole for the John R. Elliott HERO Campaign 300 at Kentucky Speedway with a speed of 175.313mph. #54-Kyle Busch will start second followed by: #33-Paul Menard, #20-Matt Kenseth, #2-Brian Scott, #9-Chase Elliott, #5-Kevin Harvick, #3-Ty Dillon, #12-Ryan Blaney, and #11-Elliott Sadler.
Fastest in the second round of qualifying was #12-Ryan Blaney.
#33-Paul Menard was quickest in the opening qualifying session at 175.867mph.
Did Not Qualify: #84-Chad Boat, #74-Kevin Lepage, and #76-Tommy Joe Martins. The starting lineup is posted on the Kentucky starting lineup page (pdf).(6-27-2014)
Kentucky Qualifying Notes:
Brad Keselowski won the Coors Light Pole Award for the 14th Annual John R. Elliott HERO Campaign 300 presented by Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over with a lap of 30.802 seconds, 175.313 mph.
This is his 15th pole in 209 NASCAR Nationwide Series races.
This is his first pole in five races at Kentucky Speedway.
Ryan Blaney(i) posted his sixth top-10 start of 2014.
Chase Elliott (fourth) was the fastest qualifying rookie.
(NASCAR Integrated Marketing)(6-27-2014)
Harvick fastest in happy hour: #5-Kevin Harvick was quickest during final practice for the John R. Elliott HERO Campaign 300 with a speed of 176.910mph. He was followed by: #3-Ty Dillon, #33-Paul Menard, #6-Trevor Bayne, #16-Ryan Reed, #22-Brad Keselowski, #62-Brendan Gaughan, #12-Ryan Blaney, #42-Kyle Larson, and #11-Elliott Sadler. 42 drivers participated in the session. See complete results on the Kentucky practice 2 speeds page (pdf).(6-27-2014)
Busch fastest in first practice: #54-Kyle Busch was fastest during opening practice at Kentucky Speedway with a speed of 174.729mph. #12-Ryan Blaney was second, followed by:#2-Brian Scott, #33-Paul Menard, #98-Corey LaJoie, #42-Kyle Larson, #5-Kevin Harvick, #3-Ty Dillon, #62-Brendan Gaughan, and #22-Brad Keselowski. All 44 drivers practiced during the session. See complete results on the Kentucky practice 1 speeds page (pdf).(6-26-2014)
Bayne fastest in second test session: #6-Trevor Bayne was quickest during the final test session with a speed of 174.137mph. He was followed by: #2-Brian Scott, #33-Paul Menard, #62-Brendan Gaughan, #22-Brad Keselowski, #12-Ryan Blaney, #5-Kevin Harvick, #9-Chase Elliott, #3-Ty Dillon, and #7-Regan Smith. 35 drivers participated in the session. See complete results on the Kentucky test 2 speeds page (pdf).(6-25-2014)
Menard fastest in first test session: #33-Paul Menard was fastest during the opening test session at Kentucky Speedway with a speed of 173.969mph. #2-Brian Scott was second, followed by: #12-Ryan Blaney, #9-Chase Elliott, #22-Brad Keselowski, #7-Regan Smith, #5-Kevin Harvick, #20-Matt Kenseth, #3-Ty Dillon, and #6-Trevor Bayne. 28 drivers practiced during the session. See complete results on the Kentucky test 1 speeds page (pdf).(6-25-2014)
Entry List:There are 47 cars on the preliminary entry list for Friday's John R. Elliott HERO Campaign 300 at Kentucky Speedway. A few notes:
Kevin Harvick returns to the JR Motorsports #5;
Ryan Blaney will be in the #12 for Team Penske;
John Wes Townley and the #25 team return;
Kevin Lepage will be in the Mike Harmon #74;
The #86 is TBA;
Corey Lajoie will be in the #98.(6-23-2014)
UPDATE: Josh Reaume will drive the #23.(6-24-2014)
UPDATE 2: Jake Crum will be in the #86.(6-25-2014)
UPDATE 3: Ruben Garcia Jr. will be in the #87. The teams of #13-Carl Long, #72-Matt Carter, and #89-Morgan Shepherd have withdrawn. There are 44 teams at the track.(6-26-2014)
See the complete list on the Kentucky entry list page.
Nationwide Series in Prime Time on ESPN: The NASCAR Nationwide Series races in prime time on Friday night, June 27, at Kentucky Speedway near Cincinnati and ESPN will have a live telecast of the 300-mile race on the 1.5-mile track. NASCAR Countdown airs at 7:00pm./et with the green flag at 7:45pm. All NASCAR programming on ESPN networks is available on computers, smartphones, tablets, Xbox 360, Xbox One, Apple TV, Roku and Amazon Fire TV via WatchESPN, accessible to fans who receive ESPN's linear networks as part of their video subscription from an affiliate provider. The race telecast also will air live in Canada on TSN2 and will air in Spanish on ESPN Deportes on June 28 at 4:00am.(ESPN)(6-23-2014)
Tire: Goodyear Eagle Speedway Radials
Set limits: Nationwide: 4 sets for Wednesday test sessions and 7 sets for the rest of the event
Tire Codes: Left-side -- D-4614; Right-side -- D-4440
Tire Circumference: Technical Inspection Inflation: Minimum Recommended Inflation: Notes: While teams in all three NASCAR series in action at Kentucky this week will run the same right-side tire code (D-4440), teams in the Nationwide and Camping World Truck Series will run a slightly different left-side code (D-4614) than those in the Sprint Cup Series . . . this the same combination of left- and right-side tires that Nationwide and Truck teams ran at Dover four weeks ago . . . this right-side has been run at Kentucky by teams in these two series since 2011 . . . this tire set-up came out of a Goodyear test at Kentucky on May 20-21 . . . Nationwide drivers at that test were Trevor Bayne and Regan Smith, while Truck drivers included Matt Crafton and Ben Kennedy . . . as on all NASCAR ovals greater than one mile in length, teams are required to run inner liners in all four tire positions at Kentucky . . . air pressure in those inner liners should be 12-25 psi greater than that of the outer tire.
Left-side -- 87.40 in. (2,220 mm);
Left Front -- 30 psi; Left Rear -- 30 psi;
Right Front -- 48 psi; Right Rear -- 45 psi
Left Front -- 22 psi; Left Rear -- 20 psi;
Right Front -- 46 psi; Right Rear -- 42 psi
Technical Inspection Inflation:
Minimum Recommended Inflation:
Notes: While teams in all three NASCAR series in action at Kentucky this week will run the same right-side tire code (D-4440), teams in the Nationwide and Camping World Truck Series will run a slightly different left-side code (D-4614) than those in the Sprint Cup Series . . . this the same combination of left- and right-side tires that Nationwide and Truck teams ran at Dover four weeks ago . . . this right-side has been run at Kentucky by teams in these two series since 2011 . . . this tire set-up came out of a Goodyear test at Kentucky on May 20-21 . . . Nationwide drivers at that test were Trevor Bayne and Regan Smith, while Truck drivers included Matt Crafton and Ben Kennedy . . . as on all NASCAR ovals greater than one mile in length, teams are required to run inner liners in all four tire positions at Kentucky . . . air pressure in those inner liners should be 12-25 psi greater than that of the outer tire.
Richard Childress Racing Is Back In The Saddle Again
They're back. Back to their old ways, back in the championship discussion, back in Victory Lane.
Richard Childress Racing?s mid-season push has them staring at a possible three-race win streak following Paul Menard?s victory at Michigan and Brendan Gaughan?s triumph last weekend at Road America.
"When I came to RCR, I told Richard (Childress) that all I wanted to do was prove I could still win races, and ever since then it has been the best racing of my life," said Gaughan. A three-peat win streak, while tough to pull off, is a real possibility considering RCR?s success at Kentucky. The No. 3 team swept the 2012 Kentucky season at the 1.5-mile track, and finished runner-up last fall with driver Austin Dillon. This season Ty Dillon, who won at Kentucky in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series last season, commands the famed No. 3 Chevrolet and leads the RCR contingent to the blue-grass state.
All three of RCR's drivers are in the top 10 in the series points standings; including two in the top five ? Dillon (fourth) and Brian Scott (fifth). Gaughan (seventh) is five points back from Trevor Bayne in sixth.
Gaughan?s good luck could linger this weekend; he has the eighth best pre-race Driver Rating (105.9) in the NNS at Kentucky in part by finishing third there in 2012.
Who's Up? First Time Winners Welcome
Of Kentucky Speedway's 15 previous NASCAR Nationwide Series races, five were won by first-time winners, David Gilliland (2006), Stephen Leicht (2007), Joey Logano (2008), Austin Dillon (2012) and Ryan Blaney (2013). That begs the question: Which lucky hopeful will be number six?
Sunoco Rookie of the Year candidate, Ty Dillon tops the list of possible first-time winners. Dillon has been consistent this season posting 10 top-10 finishes in 14 starts. Though this will be Dillon's series debut at the track, his team's experience at Kentucky might give him the edge. The No. 3 team swept both races in 2012 from the Coors Light pole, and has yet to finish worse than sixth at the 1.5-mile speedway.
Another Sunoco Rookie standout the cusp of victory is Chris Buescher. Despite missing the season-opener at Daytona, he is eighth in the series standings after posting five top-10 finishes this season including a runner-up finish at Talladega. Two of his five top 10s were on 1.5-mile speedways (ninth at Las Vegas and Charlotte). His average finish in 13 starts this season in 14.2.
Despite a slow start, Dylan Kwasniewski could surprise this weekend. A champion in both the K&N Pro Series East and West, Kwasniewski is currently 12th in the NNS standings with one pole and one top-10 finish.
Smith Hangs On, While Elliott Closes Standings Fissure
Regan Smith might be breathing a sigh of relief for making it out of Road America with the NASCAR Nationwide Series points lead over second-place Elliott Sadler (-10) ? but both front-runners need to watch a rebounding Chase Elliott, who is closing in fast.
Elliott continues to craft a championship run. At Road America, his first attempt at a road course in the NASCAR Nationwide Series, he finished fourth and now sits just one point behind second-place Sadler as they head to Kentucky.
Elliott continues to excite those witnessing his rookie campaign. In 14 starts this season he has posted two wins (Texas, Darlington), seven top fives and 11 top 10s. His season-to-date Driver Rating (108.1) and Average Running Position (7.772) lead the series among championship contenders. Between him and Smith, JR Motorsports drivers have led the series? driver standings this entire season.
Smith posted his first series career pole at Kentucky in 2007 and though this will be Elliott?s series debut at Kentucky, he has logged laps in the ARCA/REMAX Series there last season. Plus, Elliott has excelled on 1.5-mile tracks this season. He won in his series debut at Texas Motor Speedway earlier this season.
Of the top three in points, Elliott Sadler has had the most success at Kentucky. He has made five starts posting three top fives, including a runner-up finish in this race last season.
NASCAR Nationwide Series Etc.
Today, the NASCAR Nationwide Series will hold the second of two test sessions this season. NASCAR let teams choose which two tracks they would prefer to spend the extra testing time, and Iowa and Kentucky were chosen. The sessions will run from 9 to 11:30 a.m. and then 1 to 4 p.m. (ET). ? NASCAR Next participant and NASCAR Mexico Toyota Series driver Ruben Garcia Jr. will be making his return to the NNS this weekend. Garcia has previously made two starts in the NNS this season with a best finish of 25th (Bristol). ? Greg Ives, crew chief for Chase Elliot and the No. 9 team, returns to series after he and his wife, Jessica, welcomed the arrival of their son, Parker Rogers Ives last weekend. ? Corey LaJoie will be making his return to the series at Kentucky; he has one previous series start to his credit, at Homestead-Miami last season.
Congratulations 2015 Champ Kyle Busch
(Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)