NASCAR wraps up a triple header weekend at Kentucky Speedway. William Byron won in Thursday night’s Buckle Up in Your Truck 225, Kyle Busch won Friday’s Alsco 300, and Brad Keselowski won Saturday’s Quaker State 400. Here are five takeaways from this weekend in Kentucky:
1. Tires: Tires were a main concern coming into this weekend’s events at Kentucky Speedway after blistering was found in a tire test in June. Although tires were not a main issue in the Sprint Cup Series race, they were an issue in the Xfinity Series. Whenever the drivers came down to change tires on pit stops, the tires were blistering. This is probably due to the fact that the Xfinity cars have more downforce than the Cup cars. If Goodyear had an ample amount of time to reconfigure the tire after the June test, tire wear would probably not have been an issue. Teams were asked by Goodyear to scuff the tires during practice to help with tire wear
2. Repave/Reconfiguration: The repave and reconfiguration was a great collaborative effort from SMI and NASCAR. I applaud the organizations for making the effort to make sure that the track will not be like any other repave with only one groove. The repave and reconfiguration also brought new strategy to the race. The speedway spent two weeks running tires on the track to help “age” and widen the groove. If the speedway had time to get the whole racetrack, we probably would have seen a multi-groove repave.
3. Fuel mileage: The Quaker State 400 ended in fuel mileage. I personally don’t mind fuel mileage race, but would not want to see them every week. Fuel mileage adds another element to the multi-element event in NASCAR.
4. Low downforce package: The “2017” lower downforce package provided another element into the weekend’s event in Kentucky. According to drivers, it had significant impact on how they raced. The question is, Does NASCAR have enough data to sift through to continue on with this package.
5. Race Weekends: Race weekends need to be shorter. The NASCAR Xfinity Series had four practice sessions on Thursday. Instead of making this a four day weekend, three days would have sufficed if NASCAR would have combined the Camping World Truck Series and the Xfinity Series races into one day, like Atlanta. I know this has been a topic for NASCAR and the Driver’s Council. It will be interesting to see what happens after those discussions.
What are your takeaways from this weekend at Kentucky Speedway?