Post-Race Reactions: Kentucky 225
Austin Dillon comments on his effort to catch Hornaday and James Buescher recaps his night in Kentucky .
Kentucky Speedway to add layer of asphalt
RELATED: Tire dragon goes to work at Kentucky Kentucky Speedway announced Monday that it will add another surface layer of asphalt to the 1.5-mile track this month. The Bluegrass State circuit underwent a full reconfiguration earlier this year that included a increased banking in Turns 1 and 2, improved drainage, additional energy-absorbing SAFER barrier and a total repave. The work was completed ahead of a tripleheader NASCAR weekend for all three national series July 7-9. "When our team examined the race track, portions of the paving performed earlier this year did not meet the construction specifications," Kentucky Speedway general manager Mark Simendinger said in a release provided by the track. "These deficiencies had no impact on this year's racing and would affect only the long-term viability of the surface if left uncorrected. In order to remedy these issues, an additional surface course of asphalt will be applied. The track will cure over the winter and be fully in use in the spring." The speedway indicated that all work would be complete in October. The track hosts two NASCAR weekends on the 2017 schedule, the first for all three national series July 6-8 and a return trip for the XFINITY Series in September.
KBM rookies ready for Kentucky
Erik Jones, Christopher Bell and Daniel Suarez looking for win When the Kyle Busch Motorsports haulers rolls up to Kentucky Speedway on Thursday, it will arrive with trucks that will be driven by a trio of talented young drivers. Erik Jones , 19, Christopher Bell, 20, and Daniel Suarez , 23, will try to capture the second consecutive KBM win in the Bluegrass State in Thursday’s UNOH 225 (7:30 p.m. ET on FOX Sports 1, MRN, SiriusXM). Team owner Kyle Busch took the checkered flag in last season’s event, leading a race-high 91 laps on his way to Victory Lane. Jones enters the race coming off his first NASCAR Camping World Truck Series win of the season at Iowa. He has never competed in a NASCAR event at Kentucky , but finished sixth at an ARCA race there in 2013. "Should be fun, Kentucky is a cool place with a lot of character," Jones said. "It's getting rougher and I haven’t been there in a few years so it should be pretty good and rough now." Jones' crew chief Randy Fugle added, "We finally put it all together and collected our first win. Now, we need to go out and get five or six more." Fresh off his NCWTS debut at Iowa where he finished fifth, Bell will make his first start at an intermediate track. The dirt standout is transitioning to stock cars and has already won four races in KBM's Super Late Model. "Obviously the top-five run at Iowa was awesome, so anything less is going to be a letdown, but we need to go there with realistic expectations of me never running at a track that size," Bell said. "First I need to finish the race, but also continue to be competitive as I gain more experience in these Tundras." Suarez seems closer and closer to getting his first NASCAR national series win every time he straps into the No. 51 truck. He finished second in his last two NCWTS races, at Texas and Dover. " Kentucky Speedway is a fun, interesting track that is really fast," Suarez said. "I'm excited about it, especially since I'm also competing in the NASCAR XFINITY Series race there. Running both events will help me figure the track out quicker and will hopefully lead to two positive results." FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
Matt Crafton wins wreck-shortened race at Kentucky
Ben Kennedy involved in spectacular wreck with five laps remaining RELATED: Complete NCWTS results " Updated standings SPARTA, Ky. -- In a race that ended five laps short of its scheduled distance, polesitter Matt Crafton was declared the winner of Thursday night’s UNOH 225 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series event after Ben Kennedy ’s Toyota damaged the catchfence at Kentucky Speedway beyond the track’s capacity to repair it expeditiously. With a shove from the Ford of Ryan Blaney , Crafton had taken the lead on Lap 145 moments before Kennedy was launched into the fence from contact with David Gilliland ’s Ford. The victory was the fourth of the season for the two-time defending series champion, who won for the first time at Kentucky and the ninth time in his career. The race was slowed for the seventh time on Lap 140, when contact from the No. 05 Chevrolet of John Wes Townley sent the No. 23 Silverado of Spencer Gallagher hard into the outside wall. NASCAR red-flagged the proceedings for 3 minutes, 28 seconds for track clean-up, leaving Jones in the lead for a restart on Lap 145. But Gallagher's wreck was nothing compared with the jolt Kennedy took on the restart lap after contact with Gilliland's Ford sent Kennedy's Toyota to the top of the SAFER barrier and into the catchfence. "I thought I was clear," Kennedy said on his radio. The driver of the No. 11 Tundra had moved up the track into Gilliland's Ford after being cleared by his spotter. "I heard 'Clear' on the radio, so I moved up to the wall and as soon as I went to the wall," Kennedy said after leaving the infield care center. "I guess Gilliland had a run on the outside and pretty much hit me in the right rear -- and I went up. "I guess I was on top of the wall. I remember being on top of the wall for quite some time. I didn't see much -- just a bunch of dust and debris flying. Then came down. The ride from the wall to the ground was pretty hard. But I’m OK. "Thank God for everything that NASCAR has done to keep this sport safe. 'Cause for me to get out of my car on my own power after a hit like that is pretty incredible." Blaney finished third, followed by Daniel Suarez and Timothy Peters . Two support poles in the catchfence had to be replaced, a process that would consume 90 minutes. Accordingly, NASCAR called the race with five laps left. It was the second straight race in one of NASCAR’s top three touring series in which a car has hit the fence protecting the grandstands. In last Sunday's Coke Zero 400 Sprint Cup Series at Daytona International Speedway, Austin Dillon 's Chevrolet was launched into the fence during a last-lap wreck in the tri-oval. Erik Jones finished second, followed by Ryan Blaney , Daniel Suarez and Timothy Peters . FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
Kentucky Camping World Truck pit assignments
See where every driver will pit at 7:30 p.m. ET, FOX Sports 1 RELATED: Full starting lineup When the Camping World Truck Series Keystone Light Pole Qualifying was cancled due to rain at Kentucky Speedway, the first 26 drivers in the field for Thursday's UNOH 225 (7:30 p.m. ET, FOX Sports 1) were set by owner's points. Two-time Truck Series champion Matt Crafton claims the pole for Thursday night's race and also claimed the first pit stall off pit road with an open pit box in front of him. Tyler Reddick , driver of the No. 19 Ford, lines up second and chose the 14th pit stall with two empty pit boxes in front of him. Ray Black Jr ., who is lining up 15th, chose the first stall onto pit road with an open box behind his stall. FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
Rain jumbles Friday's schedule at Kentucky
RELATED: Get live weather updates Inclement weather altered Friday's on-track schedule at Kentucky Speedway. Nearly 30 minutes into the day's first of two scheduled NASCAR Sprint Cup Series practices, a severe thunderstorm warning had officials sending Sprint Cup Series cars into the garage. Denny Hamlin had posted the fastest speed at the time, with Jimmie Johnson -- who later smacked the wall solidly -- sitting in second. Heavy rains followed, and the practice officially ended at 12:25 p.m. ET. Four other on-track events were planned, but altered. Here's what's new: The second Sprint Cup Series practice began at 3:45 when the track was dry and was scheduled to run until 4:25 p.m. ET. NASCAR XFINITY Series qualifying will follow at 4:45 p.m. ET, with Sprint Cup Series final practice running from 6:30-7:30 p.m. ET. NASCAR Sprint Cup Series qualifying is canceled and will be set per the rule book (owner points) -- that puts Kevin Harvick on the pole position with Brad Keselowski also on the front row. MORE " See the full lineup The NASCAR XFINITY Series Alsco 300 (8:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN, Live Extra, PRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio) will wrap up the day's events. RELATED: See the full weekend schedule Wet weather also altered Wednesday's original schedule, which had three NASCAR Camping World Truck Series practices on the books. That schedule was adjusted to have two practices, including an extended 175-minute session. The extra time had added importance as Kentucky underwent a repave and the 1.5-mile track has a fresh racing surface. Sprint Cup teams tested at the track last month over two days following the Michigan weekend and practiced here yesterday. XFINITY Series teams had four practices on Thursday. This story will be updated. &amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;lt;/p&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;gt;
Live chat: Kentucky
Chat with fans this weekend during the NASCAR action at Kentucky Speedway .
Catch fence repairs complete at Kentucky
Fences were significantly damaged in Thursday's Truck Series race SPARTA, Ky. -- Track officials completed repairs to a damaged catch fence at Kentucky Speedway early Friday morning after a severe crash in Thursday night's NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race. Ben Kennedy 's Red Horse Racing No. 11 Toyota made contact with two other trucks, then became airborne, clipping the catch fence and the energy-absorbing SAFER barrier as the truck rode along the outside retaining wall in Turn 1 before coming to rest. No debris was reported in spectator areas, and Kennedy emerged shaken but unhurt. The race was halted five laps short of the complete distance because of the damage, with two-time series champion Matt Crafton declared the winner. A Kentucky Speedway spokesperson said that track workers spent 3 1/2 hours making repairs. A NASCAR representative said that 35 feet of catch fencing and two support posts were replaced, as were 15 "pyramids" -- the impact-reducing foam blocks behind the steel-tubed exterior wall as part of the SAFER (Steel And Foam Energy Reduction) system. No other structural repairs were necessary for the SAFER barrier, the NASCAR spokesperson said. One invested viewer was Sprint Cup Series regular Kyle Busch , whose team fielded three trucks in Thursday night's UNOH 225 . Busch said he was entertained by the quality of the racing, hoping that Saturday night's Sprint Cup event emulated the slipping, sliding, multi-groove show. Busch also lauded the sanctioning body's progress in safety, but said that despite the improvements and extra measures, inherent danger still exists in the high-speed sport. Kennedy's crash came on the heels of Austin Dillon 's frightening wreck that severely damaged the Daytona International Speedway catch fence earlier in the week. "As far as the catch fence and everything, I'm glad they're there," Busch said. "I'm glad they're obviously doing their job, they're keeping the race cars or trucks on the race track and so it's a dangerous sport. We live it every day. Sometimes we take it for granted because of all the safety advancements we've gotten over the years that we feel invincible but there's certainly rare, opportune times that you can put yourself in a situation to get hurt. We saw it in Daytona with myself, we saw it in Daytona again with Austin Dillon and we probably saw it again last night among other times. Those times just seem to be the most severe, the most scary crashes that we've seen." MORE: Learn about the SAFER barrier system FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
Crafton claims Kentucky under red flag
Matt Crafton wins the UNOH 225 at Kentucky Speedway due to Ben Kennedy's late race wreck that caused enough damage to the catch fence for NASCAR to call the race.
Rain wreaks havoc on Thursday's Kentucky schedule
Air Titan 2.0 drying track for Camping World Truck race (7:30 p.m. ET, FS1) GALLERY: Best photos from a rainy Thursday at Kentucky After enduring a soggy day on Wednesday, NASCAR drivers across all three series were at the mercy of the weather once again on Thursday at Kentucky Speedway as rain canceled all Sprint Cup , XFINITY and Camping World Truck Series practice sessions along with Keystone Light Pole Qualifying for Trucks. NASCAR later said that XFINITY cars might get on track "if the track comes around in due time," according to a spokesman for the sanctioning body. Ten NASCAR Air Titans have been cirulating the track since 9:30 a.m. and are continuing their drying efforts in order to get the Camping World Truck Series UNOH 225 (7:30 p.m. ET, FOX Sports 1) on track to race. Since qualifying for the Truck race was canceled, the field will be set according to NASCAR Rule Book that states that the first 26 drivers in the field will be set by owner's points. This means two-time Truck Series champion Matt Crafton will start from the pole position in Thursday night's event, flanked by Tyler Reddick in the No. 19 Ford. Kyle Busch Motorsports teammates Erik Jones and Daniel Suarez will start second and third, respectively. Since Thursday's Sprint Cup Series practice session was added to the schedule because two practice sessions on Wednesday were rained out, teams continue to wait for their first chance to test the new Kentucky rules package on the track. The Sprint Cup Series has two practices scheduled for Friday, along with Coors Light Pole Qualifying. The XFINITY Series has qualifying and its race scheduled for Friday. Friday's schedule had not changed at the time this story was published. MORE: Complete weekend schedule for Kentucky FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule