Joey Logano, Kyle Busch and Greg Biffle each talk about the success of the changes in the aero package at Kentucky Speedway and the continued tweaks toward better racing.
In episode two of The Dirty Air Podcast, Chuck Bush, Matthew Dillner and Jonathan Merryman review the racing at Kentucky , pick which songs would make their jukebox trophies and talk a little Loudon as NASCAR heads to New Hampshire.
News and notes from around the garage RELATED: New rules for Darlington, 3 more tracks this season NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Dale Earnhardt Jr . said a lot will be learned from this weekend's race at Kentucky Speedway , but the Hendrick Motorsports driver doesn't expect the different aero package to "reveal a lot of obvious answers on the way we need to go." The Kentucky package will feature a shorter spoiler as well as changes to the splitter and splitter extension panel (radiator pan), moves that will lessen the amount of downforce on the cars by approximately 1,000 pounds, and, it is hoped, create an improved product on the track. Earnhardt, speaking Saturday at Daytona International Speedway , said not having a tire to match up with the low downforce package is the issue. Sprint Cup Series teams will compete in the Quaker State 400 Presented by Advance Auto Parts on Saturday night (7:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN, PRN, SiriusXM NASCAR). "The tire is a bit better, but not quite enough," he said. "I think that is understood amongst NASCAR, ourselves and Goodyear. The Kentucky weekend won't be a weekend we take a ton of stock in as far as what this package is really going to be able to lend us and if it would work somewhere else." Goodyear officials already had produced the 2,200 tires needed for Kentucky before the decision to use the low downforce package was finalized. The tire that will be used does have more grip but was not used specifically with this package when teams tested there in April. Steve O'Donnell, Executive Vice President and Chief Racing Development Officer for NASCAR, told SiriusXM NASCAR that officials believe the change will be effective for the 1.5-mile track. "We're going to look at the measurements we look at every day: were there more passes, who was able to compete, how did the field look throughout the race, obviously fan measurements post-race," he said. Goodyear Prepped for Darlington Goodyear officials returned to Darlington Raceway on June 30 for a one-day tire test featuring NASCAR Sprint Cup Series cars running a low downforce package related to that which is being used this weekend at Kentucky . Three drivers -- Tony Stewart ( Stewart-Haas Racing ), Brad Keselowski ( Team Penske ) and Matt Kenseth ( Joe Gibbs Racing ) -- took part in the test at the 1.366-mile track. "The goal was to evaluate the low downforce package, similar to what is going to be run at Kentucky , and see if we couldn't match a tire to that package," Greg Stucker, Director of Race Tire Sales for Goodyear, said Sunday at Daytona International Speedway . "When I say match, I mean replace aero grip with mechanical grip. Try to basically do it one for one and we feel like we did that. It was between three quarters of a second and a second slower just with aero downforce reduction and we feel like we gave about three-fourths to a second back. That was our goal, to do it one for one." Tuesday, NASCAR's Steve O'Donnell announced that a low-downforce package would indeed be used at Darlington. However, the changes doesn't mirror those being used this weekend at Kentucky -- the spoiler will be 3-1/2 inches instead of 3-inches and the splitter will have a 1/4-inch leading edge. The tire tested at Darlington features a softer compound as well as a construction change. Stucker said it was similar to the Kentucky right-side tire and the left-side tire used at Indianapolis. "I think the drivers felt like they had plenty of grip," Stucker said. "We got them together about noon and made sure that it seemed like we were moving in the right direction ... we left there feeling pretty good about our part of it. I think wear might be up a little bit with a softer package ... but you would expect that." Infractions Aplenty at Daytona There were a season-high 65 penalties doled out during Sunday night’s Coke Zero 400 at Daytona International Speedway , with the majority (35) for pitting before pit road was open. That infraction isn't unusual when multi-car crashes leave plenty of cars with damaged sheet metal, which definitely was the case at Daytona. The overall total eclipsed the previous high mark of 43 set earlier this year at Martinsville Speedway . FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
Catch up before the start of Saturday's Quaker State 400 (7:30 p.m. ET) What: Fifth annual Quaker State 400 presented by Advance Auto Parts Where: Kentucky Speedway , 1.5-mile D-shaped oval in Sparta, Ky. When: Saturday, July 11, 2015 TV/Radio: NBC Sports Network, PRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio Distance: 267 laps (400.5 miles) Green Flag: 7:45 p.m. ET Competition Caution: Lap 25 Pit Road Speed: 45 mph Caution Car Speed: 55 mph Fuel Window: 50 laps On the front row " Complete lineup (Coors Light Pole Qualifying rained out; lineup set according to 2015 NASCAR Rule Book, based on opening practice speeds) 1. Kyle Larson , Chip Ganassi Racing No. 42 Chevrolet 2. Brad Keselowski , Team Penske No. 2 Ford Failed to qualify Ryan Blaney , Wood Brothers Racing No. 21 Ford; Michael McDowell , Leavine Family Racing No. 95 Ford; Travis Kvapil , The Motorsports Group No. 30 Chevrolet. Fastest in practice First Practice: Kyle Larson , Chip Ganassi Racing No. 42 Chevrolet (182.537 mph) Final Practice: Kyle Larson , Chip Ganassi Racing No. 42 Chevrolet (178.412 mph) Rules recap In case you missed it, Saturday's 400-miler will mark the first appearance of a new, lower-downforce rules package in race conditions. A shorter spoiler, a front splitter with less overhang, and a reduction in the length of the splitter extension panel (radiator pan) are expected to raise the demands on driver control. WATCH: Breaking down Kentucky's new rules package Dillon ready to return Austin Dillon proclaimed himself a little sore but in fine physical shape to race Friday afternoon, on the eve of his first event since his Richard Childress Racing No. 3 Chevrolet took a wild tumble into the Daytona catch fencing at the end of the Coke Zero 400 . Dillon emerged unhurt and will start 11th in the Quaker State 400. "I feel pretty comfortable," Dillon said after opening Sprint Cup practice. "I think when you take a crash like that and you're as healthy as I feel, you feel pretty confident in the safety equipment that you have around you that you're ready to go, and run fast." RELATED: No. 88 crew recalls frenzy to reach Dillon Keselowski's corral In just four NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races in Kentucky Speedway's history, Brad Keselowski has managed to win two, making him the only multiple winner at the 1.5-mile track. He was consistent in Friday's pair of practices, placing second on the leaderboard both times. And he won Friday night's XFINITY Series event. "So far, I think we're off to a good start," Keselowski said after opening practice. "Of course, that's a little self-serving because we're fast, but I'm looking forward to finding out fully when we get to race time." MORE: Keselowski wins XFINITY race, gets coveted jukebox Gordon's void Four-time premier series champion Jeff Gordon has won at 22 of the 23 tracks currently on the Sprint Cup calendar, save for Saturday's venue at Kentucky Speedway . With his last chance to convert a victory for a clean career sweep of the schedule, Gordon has some extra motivation as his farewell tour continues. "It would be pretty cool if we pulled it off," said Gordon, who will start third in his Kentucky finale. GORDON: Close miss would be a heartbreaker History lesson NASCAR's premier series began racing at Kentucky Speedway in 2011, when Kyle Busch captured the inaugural checkered flag from the pole position. The 1.5-mile track has been a regular stop for other NASCAR national series, hosting the XFINITY tour since 2001 and the Camping World Truck Series since 2000. Speedway Motorsports, Inc., took ownership of the facility in 2008. Driver Rating Best driver rating average at Kentucky based on past four years: 1. Kyle Busch , 124.3 2. Jimmie Johnson , 116.6 3. Brad Keselowski , 116.1 Defending race winner Brad Keselowski , Team Penske No. 2 Ford Former Kentucky winners in the field Brad Keselowski (2); Kyle Busch , Matt Kenseth (1). FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
NASCAR Chairman and CEO: 'Definitely an improvement' RELATED: What we learned from Kentucky race, rules package NASCAR Chairman and CEO Brian France said the sanctioning body "saw some things that we liked" during Saturday night's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series with a new rules package at Kentucky Speedway . He told SiriusXM NASCAR Radio on Monday that he's looking forward to the package being run at Indianapolis Motor Speedway this month as the sport seeks tighter racing for talented drivers. A lower downforce package at Kentucky led to a track-best 22 green-flag passes for the lead and more than double the green-flag passes throughout the field from last season, from 1,147 to 2,665. France credited the NASCAR Research and Development Center for taking risks by running a new package in a race as the series reached the halfway point of its season. RELATED: Inside the R&D Center "Our group at the R&D Center did a really good job, and they're taking some risks that are a little bit outside the box of NASCAR," France said. "We typically wouldn't be changing packages in mid-stream like this in the middle of our season. But we want to make sure that we're delivering the absolute best racing that we can. They felt -- and I agree with them -- the only way to sort that out is not to test it in sort of isolated tests but to do it in real racing time." Last week, NASCAR Executive Vice President and Chief Racing Development Officer Steve O'Donnell announced a high-drag package would be run at Indianapolis and Michigan International Speedway . France noted that this package will help solve for some of the other aspects of racing that weren't seen at Kentucky . RELATED: New rules package at Indianapolis, Michigan "We're going to try some things coming up here at Indy where we'll go the other way," France said. "I'll tell you what we didn't see (at Kentucky ) that we'd like to see more of is more drafting. (We) didn't see as much of that as we would have liked. And more pack racing. You saw that on the restarts but not quite as much as we wanted. So there were a lot of things that we liked. Definitely an improvement on races that have happened at Kentucky ." France credited NASCAR Senior Vice President of Innovation and Racing Development Gene Stefanyshyn with leading the charge at the R&D Center as NASCAR combines technology with traditional ways of evaluating racing to provide the best product for fans. "I said a couple of years ago that we were going to use science and stop everybody guessing," France said. "We use our institutional, been-at-this-60-years knowledge for sure. But you've got a group of people now that have filtered it all out. They'll come up with the right package that rewards the drivers that are working the hardest, have the most talent. "(Our fans) want tight racing. They want to see close finishes. They want to see multiple leaders, and they don't want to see a certain package that doesn't provide that. That's what we're striving for. It's hard to do. Hard to get right. But we're working at it every day." A driver who took advantage of the new package but also excelled on the road course at Sonoma Raceway was Kyle Busch , who has won two of the seven races he's run and has climbed to 35th place in the points standings since his return from a compound fracture of his right leg and a fracture of his left foot suffered in the season-opening XFINITY Series race at Daytona International Speedway . Sitting 87 points out of the 30th place, a requirement to be eligible for the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup , Busch has a fan in France. But he'll need to deliver on the track over the next eight races to make NASCAR's postseason. "His determination is quite amazing to already have two wins, especially on the road course where you knew that he had to be a warrior to get through that constant using your feet to break and all that," France said. "He's been impressive, and he'll be a story. "I would be surprised, frankly, if he doesn't get in the Chase. I think he might win some more. There's not many drivers out there that have as much talent as he has. So on the one hand, it's not even surprising, but given the mountain he's had to climb, that's pretty impressive. "I can personally root for all kinds of things to happen. I just can't do anything about it. I'm rooting for him, but at the end of the day, this is where the individual drivers and teams have to do it. But I'm rooting for him." FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
No. 24 driver has won at every other Sprint Cup track RELATED: Full race lineup " Complete Kentucky preview SPARTA, Ky. -- Jeff Gordon has recorded 92 wins in his storied NASCAR Sprint Cup Series career and has celebrated in Victory Lane at every track -- except one. Kentucky Speedway . "It wouldn't mean so much to me if I hadn't won on all the other ones," Gordon said with a smile on Friday after NASCAR Sprint Cup Series practice at Kentucky . "It's the newest track that has been added on the schedule, so we haven't been able to come here for a long time. It would just mean a lot to win it." Sunday's Quaker State 400 (7:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN, PRN, Sirius XM) is Gordon's final chance to seal the deal at the asphalt oval before his retirement at the end of the 2015 season. In four starts at Kentucky , the No. 24 Chevrolet has put on strong performances, pulling off four top-10 finishes. But for Gordon, close just isn't good enough in his final Kentucky foray. "It's not if we don't win that I'm going to be super disappointed," Gordon said. "I'm going to be disappointed if we finish second. To come that close, yeah, that would be a little disappointing as far as the stats go. But I would like to have a good, strong finish here and just have a shot at it." For the No. 24 team, making it to the front will be its biggest battle. Despite Gordon's solid finishes, he's yet to lead a lap around the 1.5-mile track. The zero in his "Laps Led" column puzzles the Hendrick Motorsports driver, as he has paced the field at every track for at least 182 laps, his best track being Martinsville with an impressive 3,744 laps led. "This is just a tough race track," Gordon said. "I'm not really sure. I feel like we have always run well toward the end of the race, but maybe didn't always start off as strong. Maybe it's a qualifying thing, too. We just haven't qualified up front. "Hopefully, that changes this weekend." Gordon's third-place starting position, set by opening practice times due to inclement weather, could give him the leverage he needs to make a strong run to the front. And while growing pains may come with the new rules package debuting this weekend -- which Gordon reserves most opinions about until he runs a little more -- bumpy Kentucky already causes Gordon physical pain. Perhaps it's a good pain -- it takes him back to the early days. "When I think of this track, I just think of how challenging it is and how rough it is, how much my back hurts and how much I'd like to win here because we never have," Gordon said. "I love that fact that when we came here, especially the first time, the way that racing is supported in this part of the country. "It reminded me of Indiana. I used to race in Evansville -- not to far from here -- I raced sprint cars, and it just didn't surprise me how when we come here, there's a lot of huge race fans, not just NASCAR fans, but just huge race fans, that want to see a great race and came out to support us here." That's just what Gordon will look to do on Sunday, as he climbs into his No. 24 for the last time at Kentucky : Give fans a great race. No matter the outcome, to Gordon's longtime fans, he'll always be celebrated. "When I heard the crowd applaud on race day (at Sonoma) for driver introductions, it really hit me and stuck with me, and it was cool," Gordon said. "The cheers and the support have been overwhelming everywhere we've gone. "Other than that, the only place that I think it's really going to hit me like, 'Wow, this is really happening,' is (his final race) in Homestead." FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
Wet weather moves practice time to Thursday from 11 a.m. to 12:55 p.m. NASCAR Sprint Cup Series practice for Wednesday at Kentucky Speedway was washed out by wet weather at the 1.5-mile track and will now happen on Thursday from 11 a.m. to 12:55 p.m. ET. Originally, there were two two-hour sessions scheduled, one from 3-5 p.m. ET and another from 6-8 p.m. ET. However, wet weather delayed the start of the first session leading to a revised schedule that called for a three-hour practice to start at 5 p.m. ET or as soon as the track was ready. However, a little after 7:20 p.m. ET, the planned practice was called. Air Titans took to the track around 3:20 p.m. ET to begin drying the 1.5-mile oval but more rain close to the revised start time of 5 p.m. ET delayed practice some more and eventually was called. There are 10 Air Titans at the track, per a NASCAR spokesperson. The extra practice time had been added to the schedule as the Quaker State 400 Presented by Advance Auto Parts (Saturday, NBC Sports Network, NBC Sports Live Extra, PRN, SiriusXM) will be the first race with a new aeropackage. The Kentucky package will feature a shorter spoiler as well as changes to the splitter and splitter extension panel (radiator pan), moves that will lessen the amount of downforce on the cars by approximately 1,000 pounds, and, it is hoped, create more passing on the track. Steve O'Donnell, Executive Vice President and Chief Racing Development Officer for NASCAR, told SiriusXM NASCAR Radio that officials believe the change will be effective for the 1.5-mile track. "We're going to look at the measurements we look at every day: were there more passes, who was able to compete, how did the field look throughout the race, obviously fan measurements post-race," he said. Teams will also be on-track for two practices on Friday as well as Coors Light Pole Qualifying. Kentucky is not the only track to see new rules packages this season. On Tuesday, NASCAR announced plans for a similar rules package in September at Darlington Raceway and new rules packages for the Sprint Cup races at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in July and Michigan International Speedway in August. FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
All four of team's cars place in top five in Quaker State 400 SPARTA, Ky. -- Winning a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race is a proud accomplishment for any team in the league. But to take the checkered and land all four of a team's drivers in the top five is an even bigger success. It's a feat so impressive that it hadn't been done since Roush Fenway Racing in August 2008 at Michigan International Speedway . That is, until Joe Gibbs Racing rewrote record books Saturday night at Kentucky Speedway . JGR's four-car powerhouse was led by Saturday's Quaker State 400 race winner Kyle Busch , followed by teammates Denny Hamlin , Carl Edwards and Matt Kenseth in third through fifth, respectively. "What a great night for Joe Gibbs Racing ," Kenseth said after the race. "I am really happy for all those guys and the organization, and I think we all learned a lot of stuff. You know, we were kind of off all night, but we kept fighting and had some great pit stops and good strategy and got a decent finish out of it." As Kenseth alluded to, the task wasn't an easy one for the team, as all four cars were dealt a heavy hand with the new rules package debut atop of the standard trickiness of Kentucky Speedway's uneven surface. Busch's win among the difficulties was another feather in the No. 18 team's hat, as the group has been battling the odds since the driver's return to full-time competition in May following his early-season injuries. "Obviously, the night went real well for us," Busch said in a post-race winner's press conference. "But in general, man, it was really, really good to get out there and race like that tonight and to run up front and put on a good show ... but most importantly I can't say enough about (crew chief) Adam Stevens, my team, everyone that did such a great job for me and gave me a great race car to go out there and perform like I did and just to be able to put it all together throughout 400 miles." For Edwards, the top-five finish was the defeat of a frustrating battle he had been fighting throughout the weekend. "I talked to Carl today on the phone for quite awhile, right before I flew over," team owner Joe Gibbs said. "And we were kind of ‑‑ and to be quite truthful, he was worried. He said, 'you know, I just didn't feel good with the package, I thought some of our other cars were better than me' and we had a long discussion on it." The newest member of the Joe Gibbs Racing clan, Edwards joined the organization at the beginning of the 2015 Sprint Cup season. While he won the Coca-Cola 600 in May at Charlotte, the No. 19 driver's performance this season has been mediocre the remainder of the year, only recording one other top 10 besides his win before Kentucky . "I got to tell you, I was, I had a big applaud when I saw that 19 come roaring up through there," Gibbs said of Edwards. "It was really a big deal." Edwards and the rest of his teammates seemed to have found something strong in the new rules package this weekend, an achievement that stumped other big-name teams such as Stewart-Haas Racing and Hendrick Motorsports . It's an aerodynamic change that awarded a plethora of control to the driver -- and exposed any flaws in driving ability. "We've been working on it," No. 20 crew chief Jason Ratcliff said after the race. "As soon as we knew it was coming, we know that if you put it back in the driver's hands, it's going to be good for JGR. We've got what I think is four of the best in the business and it showed tonight. So we've been working on it hard and it's just one of those weekends where it paid off for us." While raw talent has proven beneficial in the Sprint Cup Series, another crucial element is the ability to work with one another, despite the notion that stock car racing is often considered a solo sport. This weekend, the Joe Gibbs drivers seem to work as a cohesive unit, evident in each of their improvements throughout the weekend. "We have just been working very well together as a group," Edwards said. "Denny (Hamlin) was basically my counselor the other day after practice. I was so frustrated, I thought my car was terrible. I went straight over and talked to him and he helped me a little bit. "... It's a good group and it's cool to be a part of it. These guys, they really push me a lot. It's cool when your teammates are this fast. It's really neat for me." Hamlin agreed, adding, "Any time you have a driver of caliber of when Kyle (Busch) came in, Matt (Kenseth), and now Carl (Edwards), it just continues to push you to go faster. And push you to do your job better and that's what ‑‑ when you can feed off each other like that, that's typically how you get to an elite level." Saturday night's showdown in the Bluegrass State saw the JGR drivers rise to the occasion, battling to the front. And while the group works together melodiously off the track, the race even witnessed the teammates battling one another for the lead. It was a sight that showed the drivers' competitiveness, but probably also set owner Gibbs' nerves awry, according to Ratcliff. "I would say when they were three-wide, he was probably hiding his eyes," Ratcliff said with a chuckle. "I would be." FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
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
Complete news and notes on all 43 cars in the Quaker State 400 RELATED: Full race results " Series standings " Chase Grid Breaking down how the full 43-car field fared at Kentucky Speedway . 1. Kyle Busch , No. 18 Toyota, Joe Gibbs Racing . Busch led a race-high 163 laps to win his second Cup event of the year and is 87 points outside the top 30. " MORE: How is Busch positioned for the Chase 2. Joey Logano , No. 22 Ford, Team Penske . Logano paced the field 23 laps late on Saturday night, but couldn't hold on for his first Kentucky victory. " MORE: See the updated Chase Grid and where Logano is on it 3. Denny Hamlin , No. 11 Toyota, Joe Gibbs Racing . A cut tire, an unexpected pit stop and a subsequent speeding penalty didn't deter Hamlin, who rallied from two laps down to earn his eighth top 10 of the year. " MORE: Kentucky rules package earns rave reviews 4. Carl Edwards , No. 19 Toyota, Joe Gibbs Racing . "My Minions didn't like M&Ms," Edwards radioed his team after lining up next to teammate and leader Kyle Busch for the Lap 157 restart. " RELATED: Sign up for RaceView for in-car audio during race. 5. Matt Kenseth , No. 20 Toyota, Joe Gibbs Racing . Kenseth reported early in the race that he had an alternator going down, but restarting the car seemed to fix the issue. " MORE: JGR pulls off rare feat at Kentucky 6. Brad Keselowski , No. 2 Ford, Team Penske . The outside pole sitter struggled on pit road, notably dropping nine spots after hitting his front-tire carrier during a stop under the fifth caution flag. 7. Jeff Gordon , No. 24 Chevrolet, Hendrick Motorsports . Gordon was shut out in his final Kentucky appearance, and despite a fifth straight top-10 result, the track will remain the only one where the four-time Cup champion is winless. " MORE: Gordon's track record 8. Kevin Harvick , No. 4 Chevrolet, Stewart-Haas Racing . The points leader endured a late-race tight-handling condition to claim his Series-leading 16th top 10 of the year. 9. Jimmie Johnson , No. 48 Chevrolet, Hendrick Motorsports . "You're back in this game, homeboy," crew chief Chad Knaus told Johnson, who lined up seventh for the Lap 157 restart after some major early changes to his car dropped him deep in the lineup. " RELATED: Sign up for RaceView for in-car audio during race. 10. Kurt Busch , No. 41 Chevrolet, Stewart-Haas Racing . Busch was loose running 10th and crashed into the Turn 4 wall on Lap 99 after asking his team to undo the changes they had made on a previous stop. 11. Ricky Stenhouse Jr ., No. 17 Ford, Roush Fenway Racing . Stenhouse just missed his second top 10 of the year after traveling up the track and into the side of Jeb Burton on Lap 143 to bring out the seventh caution. 12. Aric Almirola , No. 43 Ford, Richard Petty Motorsports . Despite radio communication issues, Almirola held on to earn his best Kentucky result. 13. Trevor Bayne , No. 6 Ford, Roush Fenway Racing . Bayne earned the Lucky Dog on the fourth caution flag and rallied to sixth for the final restart. 14. Jamie McMurray , No. 1 Chevrolet. Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates. McMurray overcame an early lugnut issue and used a little pit strategy to score his second-best Kentucky result. 15. Paul Menard , No. 27 Chevrolet, Richard Childress Racing . Menard brushed the wall on Lap 81 and left debris to bring out the third caution flag. 16. Greg Biffle , No. 16 Ford, Roush Fenway Racing . Biffle's team tried a variety of adjustments on Saturday in an attempt to help the turning of the No. 16 Ford. 17. Martin Truex Jr ., No. 78 Chevrolet, Furniture Row Racing . Despite a car that was "plowing," Truex held on to maintain fifth in the points standing. 18. David Ragan , No. 55 Toyota, Michael Waltrip Racing . Ragan ran in the top 10 early before his team started chasing the handling of his No. 55 Toyota. 19. Clint Bowyer , No. 15 Toyota, Michael Waltrip Racing . "This new package is awesome," radioed Bowyer, who earned his best 1.5-mile result of the season. "You have to drive your (rear) off, but it's fun." " RELATED: Sign up for RaceView for in-car audio during race. 20. Ryan Newman , No. 31 Chevrolet, Richard Childress Racing . Newman, in his fifth Kentucky outing, stayed out to inherit the lead briefly for the Lap 192 restart. 21. Dale Earnhardt Jr ., No. 88 Chevrolet, Hendrick Motorsports . Earnhardt, complaining of a lack of brakes, smacked the wall on Lap 136 to bring out the sixth caution flag. After subsequently bumping Danica Patrick , Earnhardt spent time on pit road where his crew tried again to fix the issue. " WATCH: Danica, Dale Jr. tussle on pit road . 22. Sam Hornish Jr ., No. 9 Ford, Richard Petty Motorsports . Hornish struggled with drive-off, but posted his fastest lap of the night just prior to the eighth caution flag on Lap 152. 23. Casey Mears , No. 13 Chevrolet, Germain Racing . Mears was named the Lucky Dog after Jeb Burton tagged the wall on Lap 143 to bring out the seventh caution flag 24. Justin Allgaier , No. 51 Chevrolet, HScott Motorsports . Allgaier had just returned to the lead lap after the Lap 122 caution when he was penalized for passing before the restart. 25. Austin Dillon , No. 3 Chevrolet, Richard Childress Racing . Handling was an ongoing issue for Dillon, who reported to his team on Lap 220, "I feel like I'm trying to turn a bulldozer down into the corner." 26. AJ Allmendinger , No. 47 Chevrolet, JTG Daugherty Racing . Allmendinger's team continually tinkered on the No. 47 Chevy, and he finished as the last car on the lead lap. 27. Kasey Kahne , No. 5 Chevrolet, Hendrick Motorsports . Kahne was running in the top 10 by the halfway point, but noticeably fell off the pace with 30 laps to go. 28. Landon Cassill , No. 40 Chevrolet, Hillman Smith Motorsports. Patience paid off for Cassill, who posted his best 1.5-mile result of the 2015 season. 29. David Gilliland , No. 38 Ford, Front Row Motorsports . Gilliland asked his team to check out his grille because his gauges were running hot on Lap 161. 30. Michael Annett , No. 46 Chevrolet, HScott Motorsports . Annett lined up 29th in his second Kentucky appearance. 31. Alex Bowman , No. 7 Chevrolet, Tommy Baldwin Racing . Bowman had to play catch-up after his team was penalized for going over the wall too soon during the competition caution on Lap 32. 32. Brett Moffitt , No. 34 Ford, Front Row Motorsports . Moffitt, a Kentucky newcomer, earned the Lucky Dog pass heading into the Lap 192 restart. 33. Tony Stewart , No. 14 Chevrolet, Stewart-Haas Racing . Stewart locked down his brakes briefly on Lap 143 and hit the wall while trying to avoid wrecking competitors in front of him. 34. Danica Patrick , No. 10 Chevrolet, Stewart-Haas Racing . Patrick spun on Lap 207 thanks to contact from a brake-less Earnhardt to bring out a record-tying 10th caution flag. She retaliated by hitting Earnhardt as the two entered pit road. " ALL ACCESS: Danica frustrated with Dale Jr. 35. Kyle Larson , No. 42 Chevrolet, Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates. A smoking left-rear tire prompted the pole sitter to pit unexpectedly with 52 laps to go. Upon returning to the track, he hit the wall to bring out a record-setting 11th caution flag. 36. Reed Sorenson , No. 62 Chevrolet, Premium Motorsports. Sorenson drove the No. 62 for the first time this year in his first 1.5-mile start of the season. 37. Cole Whitt , No. 35 Ford, Front Row Motorsports . Whitt was running 35th when left-rear tire rub prompted his car to start smoking around Lap 110. 38. Will Kimmel III , No. 32 Ford, Go FAS Racing. Kimmel lined up 40th in his Sprint Cup debut. 39. J.J. Yeley, No. 23 Toyota, BK Racing . A loose-handling condition prompted Yeley to spin in Turn 4 on Lap 122 and bring out the fifth caution flag of the night. 40. Alex Kennedy , No. 33 Chevrolet, Circle Sport . Kennedy picked up a few spots after lining up 43rd in his first career Kentucky start. 41. Jeb Burton , No. 26 Toyota, BK Racing . The rookie was pushed into the wall by Ricky Stenhouse on Lap 143 to bring out the seventh caution flag. 42. Matt DiBenedetto , No. 83 Toyota, BK Racing . DiBenedetto sustained damage during the Lap 143 wreck and retreated to the garage so his team could make repairs. 43. Josh Wise , No. 98 Ford, Premium Motorsports. Wise brought out the first caution on Lap 19 after J.J. Yeley pushed him into the wall. FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule