Brad Keselowski has two wins in the Quaker State 400 at Kentucky Speedway.
His race notes that helped get him there? They’d be better served as confetti should he win tonight.
“The approach is to take all the Kentucky notes and run them through the shredder and start from scratch,” Keselowski said Friday about the track’s changes that include a repaved racing surface and reconfigured Turns 1-2.
“What’s worked here in the past isn’t even close to what is going to work here this weekend.”
Keselowski starts on the front row next to NASCAR Sprint Cup Series points leader Kevin Harvick. Rain canceled qualifying Friday and the starting grid was set by owner points.
Kurt Busch and Joey Logano fill out row two with Carl Edwards and Kyle Busch in row three. Among other notables: Jimmie Johnson starts ninth, Dale Earnhardt Jr. 13th and Tony Stewart 22nd.
Three drivers have won the first five Kentucky races: Keselowski and Kyle Busch have two and Matt Kenseth has one.
“I think this weekend is a little bit of an unknown,” Harvick said.
“I think you’re definitely cautious because you don’t know where the limits are. You start gathering that notebook in your mind how far you can push things. Every time out you’re gathering information.”
Honoring Dallas: Those at Kentucky Speedway observed a five-minute moment of silence starting at 1 p.m. Friday. The observance honored the five police officers killed and those wounded in Dallas on Thursday night.
Harvick addressed the topic, saying, “You’re definitely in a role to try and make people happy. The situation we just had in Dallas, with everybody worried and frightened about the things that are going on in their city, all of a sudden, for four hours we can get their minds off of things.”
Added Keselowski: “I think it’s a balancing act. You don’t want to be, maybe the right term is unworldly, and ignore what’s going on. … But I also understand that a lot of the attraction that our fans have to this sport is to help them get out of those moments or get out of that mental space. … In some ways I am an entertainer as a race car driver … (and) help brighten people’s day and make them smile.”
Celebrating Smoke: Tony Stewart makes his 600th career Cup start, which makes him the 23rd driver to reach that level.
Stewart is 30th in the driver standings and holds a spot in the Chase championship playoffs — as long as he finishes 30th or higher — thanks to his win at Sonoma Raceway.
Smoke traditionally heats up in the summer months. Since returning from a back injury that kept him out of the first eight races, the Eldora Speedway owner has an average finish of 18.1.
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