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Pre-Race Notes and Quotes: Kentucky

Hendrick Motorsports | Race Preview Published 6/25/2013

EVENT: Quaker State 400
TRACK: Kentucky Speedway
LENGTH: 1.5-mile tri-oval
TV: TNT (Coverage begins at 6:30 p.m. ET)
RADIO: PRN (Coverage begins at 7 p.m. ET)

News & Notes

NATIONAL GUARD YOUTH FOUNDATION: The National Guard Youth Foundation will adorn the hood of Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s blue-and-white Chevrolet SS this weekend in Kentucky. The National Guard Youth Foundation assists adolescents, who drop out of school, with the opportunity to improve their life skills, education and employability, creating the next generation of skilled workforce in America. The Foundation also works to raise awareness of the growing dropout crisis in the nation and its impact on our economy and national security. For more information visit

POINT STANDINGS: Earnhardt ranks seventh in the NASCAR Sprint Cup championship standings after finishing 12th last week at Sonoma, Calif. He trails leader and teammate Jimmie Johnson by 94 points after the 16th race of the season.

QUALITY PASSES: According to NASCAR's loop data statistics, Earnhardt ranks first among drivers this season with 799 quality passes. A quality pass is passing a car running in the top 15 while the track is under green-flag conditions.

EARNHARDT AT KENTUCKY: Earnhardt will make his third career Sprint Cup start this Saturday at Kentucky Speedway, a 1.5-mile tri-oval added to the schedule in 2011. Earnhardt averaged a 6.599 running position (ranked fifth among his peers) during the 2012 content and finished fourth to record his first top-10 result at the track.

KENTUCKY CHASSIS: Crew chief Steve Letarte will unload Hendrick Motorsports Chassis No. 88-726 for this weekend’s Cup event at Kentucky. Earnhardt last ran this chassis in the 600-mile race at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway.

INTERMEDIATE TRACK STATS: In 233 Cup starts on intermediate (one- to two-mile) tracks, Earnhardt has recorded six wins, six pole positions, 44 top-five finishes and 92 top-10s. On 1.5-mile tracks, such as Kentucky, he ranks seventh among active, full-time drivers in the top-10s category (43).

HENDRICK AT KENTUCKY: All four Hendrick Motorsports drivers finished inside the top 10 last year at Kentucky Speedway, boosting the organization’s overall average finish to 10.2 at the recently added 1.5-mile oval. Johnson scored Hendrick Motorsports’ first pole position there during the 2012 contest, but Kentucky remains the only track where the team has yet to visit Victory Lane.

HENDRICK ON 1.5-MILERS: Johnson leads Cup drivers all-time with 14 victories at 1.5-mile racetracks, while Jeff Gordon ranks third with 11. Gordon leads all-time with 52 top-five finishes and 69 top-10s, while Johnson ranks first with 3,516 laps led at 1.5-mile tracks. Overall, Hendrick Motorsports has totaled 33 wins, 144 top-five finishes, 237 top-10s and 34 pole positions at Charlotte Motor Speedway, Chicagoland Speedway, Homestead, Kansas Speedway, Kentucky Speedway, Las Vegas Motor Speedway and Texas Motor Speedway.

NATIONAL GUARD YOUTH FOUNDATION PRESS CONFERENCE: Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the No. 88 National Guard Youth Foundation Chevrolet SS, will be available to members of the media on Friday at 10:45 a.m. local time in the media center at Kentucky Speedway.


DALE EARNHARDT JR. (ON KENTUCKY SPEEDWAY.): “Kentucky is a little rough, and the groove is not real distinct. So it lends itself to good side-by-side racing. The exit to Turn 4 is really, really wide so you just kind of play around and find a groove that works for you. Every time you change tires you kind of have to be ready to move around a little bit and find out where your car is fast and where that set of tires wants to run on the racetrack.”

After Ford EcoBoost 400
Rank +/- Driver Points Behind
1 +3 Kevin Harvick 5043 0
2 +1 Ryan Newman 5042 -1
3 -2 Denny Hamlin 5037 -6
4 -2 Joey Logano 5028 -15
5 -- Brad Keselowski 2361 -2682
6 -- Jeff Gordon 2348 -2695
7 -- Matt Kenseth 2334 -2709
8 +2 Dale Earnhardt Jr. 2301 -2742
9 -- Carl Edwards 2288 -2755
10 -2 Kyle Busch 2285 -2758
11 +2 Jimmie Johnson 2274 -2769
12 +2 Kurt Busch 2263 -2780
Full Standings