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Race 19 of the 2018 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series: Quaker State 400 at Kentucky Speedway Race Review

Welcome to Race 19 of the 2018 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Season.

We transition from Daytona to Kentucky as we’re all set of 267 laps of thrills and spills for only one spot for the Quaker State 400 win.

Let’s find out as we go green at Kentucky Speedway.

Stage 1

Martin Truex Jr. leads last week’s Daytona winner Erik Jones at the start of the green flag.

Erik Jones looks like he were out of the groove when his car feels tight.

But he’s still running free at the back as he tries to regain a front row spot in 7th.

Let’s move on to another Michigan native running in 2nd right now, Brad Keselowski.

He’s a three-time Cup winner at this track before.

But Keselowski hasn’t yet won a race so far in 2018, so he hopes that his No.2 Ford Fusion can stay up front for the entire time tonight.

Despite an early solid run, Keselowski had to serve a penalty for exiting too fast during his first green flag pit stop.

Kevin Harvick makes a late move on the inside line of Kyle Busch up to 2nd with eight laps in Stage 1.

And on the leader up front right now, Martin Truex Jr. takes the Stage 1 win.

Results

  1. Martin Truex Jr.
  2. Kevin Harvick
  3. Kyle Busch
  4. Ryan Blaney
  5. Paul Menard
  6. Clint Bowyer
  7. Daniel Suarez
  8. Kyle Larson
  9. Aric Almirola
  10. Chase Elliott

Stage 2

Good two-tire stop gamble from both Kurt Busch & Alex Bowman during the first pit break.

Ku. Busch did win the race off pit road while Bowman snuck into 3rd behind Truex.

But if you think a two-tire gamble play has worked, not yet as Truex got by Ku. Busch for the lead.

Alex Bowman heavily tags the wall.

The first incident caution comes out with 51 laps to go as Alex Bowman makes contact with the wall.

He made a massive gamble up front with only two tires.

But his long-term run home didn’t work well as Bowman picked up rear side damage of the No.88 Chevrolet.

Ultimately he ended his day early in the No.88 Hendrick office.

Front-runners’ battle before the halfway point.

Kyle Busch still holding on Blaney in 2nd spot as Blaney’s still running a little loose behind the two Toyota cars.

Never mind both Kyle Busch & Martin Truex Jr., Kevin Harvick who fans know as the last of the “BIG THREE” runs in 4th place.

Let’s see how the battle heats up in the last stage as Truex wins Stage 2.

Results

  1. Martin Truex Jr.
  2. Kyle Busch
  3. Ryan Blaney
  4. Kevin Harvick
  5. Kyle Larson
  6. Clint Bowyer
  7. Kurt Busch
  8. Joey Logano
  9. Erik Jones
  10. Paul Menard

Stage 3

What a save by the No.18 of Kyle Busch by keeping himself away from the wall.

There was a push and shove with the No.14 of Clint Bowyer towards Turn 4.

But he’s falling way back in 9th so he plenty of work to do.

On Kyle Larson, he had made up lost time when he had to start from the back row after missing out on the drivers’ introductions.

Larson finished 2nd seven times at 1.5-mile tracks.

But he hasn’t yet won at these types of track conditions.

Let’s look at the front-row pack for the race lead.

Though, Truex gets by Larson back for the 2nd spot as he tries to close down Keselowski for the race lead.

Brad Keselowski tries to hold on the top spot with two new tires & excellent speed in the No.2 Ford Fusion.

With 67 laps left, Brad Keselowski runs loose on the high line while Truex’s fresh four tires get the job done for the race lead.

The second caution comes out with one car’s engine comes out with smoke.

The second incident caution comes out with 60 to go when J.J Yeley has his engine expired & stopped near the wall.

It’s tough times for BK Racing as the administrator takes control of the organization until a new buyer changes hands.

Let’s see if the race strategy will change the level playing field as leaders head to pit road.

Once again Kurt Busch wins off pit road the second time ahead of Truex.

Race Restart on Lap 214 of 267.

Nice save from Daniel Suarez at Turn 3 as he maintains 10th ahead of Aric Almirola.

Erik Jones had a vibration earlier tonight, and now he rebounds in 7th spot.

When Kurt Busch’s two-tire strategy didn’t arrest his lead, Truex once again regains the edge ahead of his No.41 car.

Final few laps before the finish.

Behind Truex in the runner-up position is Ryan Blaney, his No.12 car feels 100% active with no issues at all.

Though, he’s feeling tight at the final two corners.

It took a lot more time for Kyle Larson to get that track bar fixed as race resumes on Lap 214.

But he quickly regained a couple of spots back in 10th place so adding extra points is crucial for Larson when it comes to the Playoffs time.

No other driver shares the Stage wins tonight.

Only one driver who swept the first two segments is now on the verge of winning his 4th race of 2018.

That name is Martin Truex Jr. who wins tonight’s Quaker State 400 at Kentucky.

Results

  1. Martin Truex Jr.
  2. Ryan Blaney
  3. Brad Keselowski
  4. Kyle Busch
  5. Kevin Harvick
  6. Kurt Busch
  7. Erik Jones
  8. Aric Almirola
  9. Kyle Larson
  10. Joey Logano
  11. Paul Menard
  12. Clint Bowyer
  13. Chase Elliott
  14. Jimmie Johnson
  15. Daniel Suarez
  16. Denny Hamlin
  17. Jamie McMurray
  18. David Ragan
  19. Matt Kenseth
  20. William Byron
  21. Ryan Newman
  22. Austin Dillon
  23. Chris Buescher
  24. Michael McDowell
  25. Kasey Kahne
  26. Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
  27. Bubba Wallace
  28. Ross Chastain
  29. Ty Dillon
  30. AJ Allmendinger
  31. Corey LaJoie
  32. BJ McLeod
  33. Landon Cassill
  34. Timmy Hill
  35. Jesse Little
  36. Garrett Smithley
  37. Matt DiBenedetto
  38. JJ Yeley
  39. Alex Bowman

Post-Race

It’s the second time that he won July’s Kentucky event with one win down from the most victories achieved by Brad Keselowski.

Once again, Truex still dominates the Top 3 of drivers that NASCAR fans see right now alongside Harvick & Ky. Busch.

And this topic will dominate the talk when it comes to Playoffs time from Las Vegas in September.

Luckily he jumped off his car before letting it move by itself.

Team Penske made a great run tonight with two Top 5 finishes handed to two drivers.

Ryan Blaney finished 2nd which is his best finish so far this year.

Meanwhile, Brad Keselowski’s pit strategy call in the lead up towards the final stage reaped the rewards in 3rd place.

It’s nearly 11 PM local time in Kentucky as race fans leave the track for a well deserved Sunday rest.

What’s next?

Don’t forget it’s Race 20 of the 2018 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Season.

This time they’re heading to New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon.

Remember Rick Allen won’t be calling next week’s race.

Instead, two ex-racers & a former crew chief will have NBC’s NASCAR turn of all-ex professionals booth broadcast.

Will the fans give Steve, Dale & Jeff a 10/10 by next Sunday?

Let’s find out at 2 PM ET LIVE on NBCSN.

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