FYI WIRZ: NASCAR Point Lead Shrinks, Drivers Return to Left Turns in Kentucky

Dwight Drum@@racetakeCorrespondent IIIJune 25, 2013

Martin Truex Jr. talks to media before a Daytona practice.  Credit: Dwight Drum
Martin Truex Jr. talks to media before a Daytona practice. Credit: Dwight Drum

FYI WIRZ: NASCAR point lead shrinks, drivers return to left turns in Kentucky

The exciting, slippery road course in Sonoma shook up the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series point battle last week. The change brought on by right turns shifted momentum going into race 17 at Kentucky Speedway.

Drivers will return to the intermediate 1.5-mile racetrack in Sparta, Kentucky this weekend for the Quaker State 400 presented by Advance Auto Parts, Saturday night, June 29th. Fans who view the action via television can tune in to TNT at 7:30 p.m. for green flag moments.

Select comments from top performers coming out of Sonoma and going into Kentucky might give fans a hint as to how the points could shake up after this race. Jeff Gordon, Martin Truex Jr., Kasey Kahne , Carl Edwards, Greg Biffle and Clint Bowyer have renewed momentum.

Jeff Gordon has described his season in the familiar No. 24 Chevrolet (how did he describe his season?), but he looked a lot like his old self with a strong second place showing in Sonoma.

“There was a bunch of wrecks that happened right in front of me that I was able to avoid,” Gordon said. “We just had a really good race car and were able to drive up through. That part was a lot of fun.”

Martin Truex Jr. and the No. 56 Toyota have been ever so close to winning during multiple seasons, but he broke the drought spell with a speedy win at Infineon Raceway.

“We’ve had some tough luck," Truex said. “That’s part of racing. I’m just proud of these guys working hard. Got to thank everybody that stood behind me for 200 and something races without a win. We’ve been close a lot. It feels damn good to get one.”

Kasey Kahne has had some good and bad moments since moving to the No. 5 at Hendrick Motorsports, but overall he is within range of a Chase berth.

“We had a good day,” Kahne said. “We need the points. We have been struggling to get points. We have been pretty good, but we have been struggling to get points. The Farmers Insurance guys did that today.”

Carl Edwards finally showed good reason why he and the No. 99 have clung to the No. 2 spot behind Jimmie Johnson for so long.

“I’m really proud of my Aflac guys,” Edwards said. “We ended up with a good position. I didn’t think our car was that good, so I’m happy with it.”

Greg Biffle and the No. 16 team continue to slide under the radar by gliding over the start/finish line ahead of many. They are also contending for a Chase spot.

“It was a great day,” Biffle said. “I’m happy with a top 10. We wanted to stay on the track all day because we knew that would lead to a good finish and that’s what we did. We’re pretty happy with it.”

Clint Bowyer and the No. 15 Toyota team continue to show why they deserved their second place finish last year in NSCS points.

“It was a good run,” Bowyer said. “We had the fastest car-it’s just that jinx, man. I think if we could have got in the lead we would have been dangerous. Just wasn’t our day. Another top-five. Another strong run for the boys.”

It will be interesting to see after Kentucky if these six drivers can keep their solid efforts on the fast path to the Chase for the Sprint Cup.

FYI WIRZ is the select presentation of topics by Dwight Drum at Racetake.com. Unless otherwise noted, information and all quotes were obtained from personal interviews or official release materials provided by sanction and team representatives.


The latest in the sports world, emailed daily.