Kentucky Checkered and Black Flags

Kentucky

Martin Truex Jr. takes the checkered flag in the Quaker State 400. (Photo: Getty Images)

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Pete Pistone issues his weekly checkered and black flags following the Quaker State 400 at Kentucky Speedway.

Checkered Flags 

Martin Truex Jr.
Yes, it was a good old fashioned wood shed whooping by Truex Jr. and the Furniture Row Racing team on Saturday night. He swept all three stages, led 152 laps and was never really challenged until the final overtime restart, which Truex Jr. made short order of on his way to Victory Lane.
 
Kyle Larson
Had to go from the back of the field to the front not once but twice. After starting in the rear because he missed qualifying not getting through inspection, a pit road speeding penalty on Saturday dropped Larson back again. Both times he was able to dice his way through the field before coming in second.
 
Erik Jones
Not to be lost in the Furniture Row Racing story is Jones’ recent performances with his latest a top-10 run in Kentucky. Although his future with the team is still not decided, there’s no question Jones will be a mainstay in the NASCAR world for years to come.
 
Jamie McMurray
Like Jones with Furniture Row, McMurray gets overshadowed by his teammate in the form of Kyle Larson at Chip Ganassi Racing. McMurray's seventh-place finish at Kentucky was his 11th top-10 finish this season.
 
Joey Logano
It’s been a horrendous two months for Logano who needed a good performance in Kentucky to get things headed in a better direction. He got one with a solid, if not flashy, top-10 run in the Quaker State 400.

Black Flags 

Brad Keselowski
Rough night for Brad K. who was involved in an early race accident that knocked him and Jimmie Johnson out of the event. Keselowski was understandably frustrated and made some pointed comments after the race about the current Cup car and the ability to pass. He walked back some of his anger but in reality made some very valid points.
 
Kasey Kahne
The speculation about Kahne’s future at Hendrick Motorsports won’t dissipate after yet another dreadful outing in Kentucky when he crashed and finished 38th.
 
Trevor Bayne
He was involved in a pair of accidents including one that swept up Kahne. But unlike his Roush Fenway Racing teammate Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Bayne has been trending downward in recent weeks and any hopes of giving the organization two drivers in the playoffs seems fleeting.
 
Kurt Busch
His engine exploded late in Saturday night’s race to send things to overtime. Busch’s regular season has imploded since he won the Daytona 500 to start the year.
 
The Racing
Or more specifically the lack of it at Kentucky. Sure Truex Jr. dominated and that happens. But there wasn’t much else to watch even through the pack except during restarts. Most drivers felt like aero push and a single groove track just didn’t allow much in the way of passing, although Kyle Larson seemed to have no problem. But generally speaking except for Truex Jr. fans, there wasn’t much in the way of memorable moments in Kentucky.

The opinions expressed here are those of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the positions of the Motor Racing Network.

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