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Pre-Race Notes and Quotes: Kentucky

Hendrick Motorsports | Race Preview Published 6/25/2014
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RACE: Quaker State 400
DATE: Saturday, June 28, 2014
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

POINT STANDINGS: Last weekend at Sonoma Raceway, Dale Earnhardt Jr. drove his No. 88 Chevrolet SS to a third-place finish, marking his first career top-five result at the California track. With the result, he remains third in the NASCAR Sprint Cup championship standings, trailing leader and teammate Jeff Gordon by 25 points.

SEASON-TO-DATE STATS: In the first 16 Cup events of 2014, Earnhardt has scored two wins, eight top-five finishes, 11 top-10s and led 202 laps. The driver of the No. 88 National Guard Chevrolet SS has scored more top-five results this season than any other Cup competitor.

NICKELODEON KIDS’ CHOICE SPORTS: Voting for Nickelodeon’s inaugural Kids’ Choice Sports awards – which gives kids from across the nation the chance to choose their favorite athletes in 15 categories – is officially open. This year, Earnhardt is a candidate for “Best Male Athlete,” joining Tom Brady, LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Derek Jeter, Peyton Manning, Dwayne Wade and Tiger Woods in the category. Kids’ Choice Sports 2014 will air live on Thursday, July 17 at 8 p.m. ET from UCLA’s Pauley Pavilion in Los Angeles. Visit www.nick.com/kids-choice-sports/ to vote.

EARNHARDT AT KENTUCKY: This Saturday, Earnhardt will make his fourth career Sprint Cup start at Kentucky Speedway, a track that first made its debut on the NASCAR Sprint Cup circuit in 2011. Earnhardt has one pole position, one top-five finish and two top-12s at the 1.5-mile tri-oval.

KENTUCKY CHASSIS: Crew chief Steve Letarte will unload Hendrick Motorsports Chassis No. 88-877 for this weekend’s Cup event at Kentucky. Earnhardt most recently raced this chassis to a fifth-place finish at Kansas Speedway in May.

INTERMEDIATE TRACK STATS: In 251 Cup starts on intermediate tracks that range from one to two miles in length, Earnhardt has recorded six wins, eight pole positions, 52 top-five finishes and 104 top-10s. On 1.5-mile tracks like Kentucky, he ranks sixth among active, full-time drivers in the top-10s category (48).

HENDRICK AT KENTUCKY: In 12 starts at Kentucky, Hendrick Motorsports has posted four top-five finishes, eight top-10s and led 213 laps. The organization also is the sole Cup team to have won the pole position at the 1.5-mile tri-oval, with Earnhardt winning in 2013 and Jimmie Johnson in 2012. Kentucky Speedway, which began hosting NASCAR’s premier series in 2011, is the only active track where Hendrick Motorsports has not produced a win in the Sprint Cup Series.

30TH ANNIVERSARY: In 2014, Hendrick Motorsports is celebrating its 30th anniversary in NASCAR. The organization began in 1984 with five employees and 5,000 square feet of work space. It has grown to more than 500 employees with a 430,000-square-foot facility that sits on 140 acres. Driver Geoff Bodine won the Martinsville Speedway spring race on April 29, 1984, marking Hendrick Motorsports’ first victory in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.

Quotes

DALE EARNHARDT JR. (ON KENTUCKY SPEEDWAY.): “I think we are pretty confident when we go to Kentucky that we can be competitive. We sat on the pole last year and were leading the race when we had a little bit of trouble and ran over something on the racetrack. The car should be fast, should be quick. It’s a fun place to run at. It’s got some bumps and some characteristics that are unique to that track. I can’t wait to get there and see what condition the racetrack is in.”

Standings
After GEICO 500
Rank +/- Driver Points Behind
1 -- Joey Logano 3121 0
2 +1 Kevin Harvick 3117 -4
3 +1 Ryan Newman 3117 -4
4 +3 Denny Hamlin 3100 -21
5 +4 Matt Kenseth 3099 -22
6 -1 Carl Edwards 3099 -22
7 -1 Jeff Gordon 3093 -28
8 -- Kasey Kahne 3090 -31
9 -7 Kyle Busch 3086 -35
10 -- Brad Keselowski 3085 -36
11 -- Jimmie Johnson 3053 -68
12 -- Dale Earnhardt Jr. 3045 -76
Full Standings