Quaker State 400

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Quaker State 400
Quaker State 400 logo (2016).png
Kentucky Speedway.svg
Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series
Venue Kentucky Speedway
Location Sparta, Kentucky, United States
Corporate sponsor Quaker State
First race 2011
Distance 400.5 mi (644.5 km)
Laps 267 (Stage 1: 80
Stage 2: 80
Stage 3: 107)
Previous names Quaker State 400 (2011–present)
Most wins (driver) Brad Keselowski (3)
Most wins (team) Joe Gibbs Racing
Team Penske (3)
Most wins (manufacturer) Toyota (3)
Circuit information
Surface Asphalt
Length 1.5 mi (2.4 km)
Turns 4

The Quaker State 400 presented by Advance Auto Parts is a 400.5-mile (644.5 km) annual Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race held at Kentucky Speedway in Sparta, Kentucky. The inaugural event was held on July 9, 2011 and was won by Kyle Busch. From 2012 to 2014, the race was held the week before the Coke Zero 400 at Daytona International Speedway on Independence Day weekend. Beginning in 2015, the event moved back two weeks, preceding Daytona and New Hampshire. Brad Keselowski, who won the race three times, is the defending winner.

NBC returned to NASCAR broadcasting with the 2015 running of the Quaker State 400 after four years on TNT.


The event eventuated following a lawsuit in which Kentucky Speedway claimed NASCAR had violated federal antitrust laws in 2005. In 2008, the speedway was sold to Bruton Smith, hoping that the track could hold a race by 2011 and after four years, the former speedway owners abandoned the lawsuit.[1] In August 2010, NASCAR announced that the track could hold a Cup Series event in 2011.[2] Seven months later, Royal Dutch Shell's Quaker State brand was announced as sponsor and the 267 lap[3] race held on July 9, was won by Kyle Busch. The race was plagued by a massive traffic problem where many of the fans who expected to attend the race were turned away after several hours on Interstate 71. Following the problem, Kentucky Speedway announced that they bought more land for parking and began to work with the state government to improve traffic around the speedway in time for the 2012 race.[4][5][6][7]

New aero package for 2015[edit]

On June 16, 2015, NASCAR announced that a new aero package would be used for the 2015 race.[8] The changes include a smaller rear spoiler and other adjustments that significantly reduced aerodynamic downforce.[8] The spoiler was decreased to 3.5 in (8.9 cm) tall.[8] There was also a 25 in (64 cm) wide splitter extension.[8] In addition, tires supplied by Goodyear provided drivers with more grip.[8] "We want to see more lead changes on the racetrack," NASCAR Executive Vice-President and Chief Racing Development Officer Steve O'Donnell said in a media teleconference. "We'll evaluate that and a number of different factors coming out of Kentucky, see what we can learn and implement down the road."[8] Originally, the package was to be used at this year's All-Star Race, but the plan was scrubbed and NASCAR opted to use the package for a points race.[8] "Let me be clear. This is not a test, this is a race," O'Donnell said of the rules package that will be in effect for the 18th round of the 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. "We've had an extensive testing plan with the industry over the last 18 months. We wouldn't implement this if we didn't feel confident as an industry to implement it at Kentucky."[8]

Past winners[edit]

Year Date No. Driver Team Manufacturer Race Distance Race Time Average Speed
Laps Miles (km)
2011 July 9 18 Kyle Busch Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota 267 400.5 (644.542) 2:55:00 137.314 Report
2012 June 30 2 Brad Keselowski Penske Racing Dodge 267 400.5 (644.542) 2:45:02 145.607 Report
2013 June 30* 20 Matt Kenseth Joe Gibbs Racing (2) Toyota 267 400.5 (644.542) 3:02:07 131.948 Report
2014 June 28 2 Brad Keselowski (2) Team Penske (2) Ford 267 400.5 (644.542) 2:51:59 139.723 Report
2015 July 11 18 Kyle Busch (2) Joe Gibbs Racing (3) Toyota 267 400.5 (644.542) 3:05:42 129.402 Report
2016 July 9 2 Brad Keselowski (3) Team Penske (3) Ford 267 400.5 (644.542) 3:06:55 128.58 Report
2017 July 8 Report


  • 2013: Race moved back from Saturday night to Sunday afternoon because of rain.

Multiple winners (drivers)[edit]

# Wins Team Years Won
3 Brad Keselowski 2012, 2014, 2016
2 Kyle Busch 2011, 2015

Multiple winners (teams)[edit]

# Wins Team Years Won
3 Joe Gibbs Racing 2011, 2013, 2015
Team Penske 2012, 2014, 2016

Manufacturer wins[edit]

# Wins Manufacturer Years Won
3 Toyota 2011, 2013, 2015
2 Ford 2014, 2016
1 Dodge 2012

Notable moments[edit]

  • 2011: It was marked the first Sprint Cup Series event at Kentucky Speedway, The race was won by Kyle Busch for the Joe Gibbs Racing team. David Reutimann finished second, and Jimmie Johnson clinched third, The race, the 18th in the season, began at 7:30 pm EDT and was televised live in the United States on TNT.[9] The conditions on the grid were dry before the race with the air temperature at 81 °F (27 °C).[10] Raceway Ministries pastor John Roberts began pre-race ceremonies, by giving the invocation. Next, Nick Lachey performed the national anthem, and Steve Beshear, Kentucky's Governor, gave the command for drivers to start their engines. Two drivers had to start at the end of the grid because of changes that were not approved during practice; they were Hamlin and Dave Blaney.[10]
  • 2012: The race, the 17th of the 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season began at 7:48 EDT. The race was televised live in the United States on TNT. Jimmie Johnson started on pole position. The Kentucky Army National Guard and the Boone County Sheriff's Office presented the flag. The invocation was offered by Pastor John Roberts of Raceway Ministries. Laura Bell Bundy performed the national anthem. The grand marshal was Quaker State Official Steve Reindl.
  • 2013: The race was scheduled to start Saturday at 8:00 p.m., but pushed to Sunday afternoon due to rain, at 12:00 p.m. E.T., This prompted NASCAR to have a competition caution on Lap 30. The third caution of the race flew on lap 48 for a huge crash in the front straightaway, Brad Keselowski, Greg Biffle, Kurt Busch and others were involved in the incident, it started with Brad Keselowski spinning in the grass, and took out multiple cars, The red flag was displayed with Jimmie Johnson the race leader, it was lifted after 5 minutes and 3 seconds.
  • 2014: The race served as the last year on TNT, before the acquisition of the $10.1 billion deal for NBC Sports, Prior to the start of the race, there was a downpour that soaked the track. This prompted NASCAR to schedule a competition caution at lap 30. Logano led the field to the restart on lap 85, before Keselowski was able to retake the lead two laps later. Another lengthy green-flag run ensued, before debris forced the third caution of the race, on lap 125. Prior to the caution, Matt Kenseth suffered a flat right-front tire, and had to pit from sixth position. Logano retook the lead during the pit cycle, while Jeff Gordon suffered a slow pit stop due to a malfunctioning air hose; he lost a total of 16 positions, dropping from 7th to 23rd. Logano and Keselowski swapped the lead positions once again, prior to the fourth caution, on lap 153, for a multi-car wreck on the backstretch involving Aric Almirola, Alex Bowman, Kasey Kahne and Jamie McMurray. Bowman locked up his brakes and tires, causing a large cloud of smoke that made it difficult for trailing cars to see what was in front of them. When the smoke cleared, Almirola swerved to his right to avoid Bowman, but in the process got into the left side of McMurray's car.
  • 2015: NBC returned with the fifth running of the Quaker State 400, aired live on NBCSN, The race had a new track record of eleven caution flag periods for 49 laps, Carl Edwards went three wide underneath his teammate to take the lead with 54 laps to go. He got loose in turn 1 and Hamlin took back the lead with 53 laps to go. Kyle Larson made an unscheduled stop for a tire rub with 51 laps to go. Kyle Busch took back the lead with 50 laps to go. The left-rear tire rub on Kyle Larson's car wasn't fixed. It went flat and sent the car into the wall in turn 1.
  • 2016: The race aired on NBCSN for a second year, A multi-car wreck on the backstretch brought out the seventh caution of the race on lap 94. Exiting turn 2, Brian Scott got loose, saved the car, got turned by Kyle Larson and got t-boned by Chris Buescher. A. J. Allmendinger, Buescher, Ty Dillon, Larson, Danica Patrick, Regan Smith, Scott and Cole Whitt were all collected in the melee.,[11] In the final 10 laps, a number of cars began pitting so to have enough fuel to make the finish. Kenseth briefly took the lead from Keselowski before he pitted with four laps to go and handed the lead back to Keselowski. Keselowski decreased his speed dramatically to conserve fuel. This allowed Carl Edwards to pull to within a car-length with one lap remaining. He blocked Edwards's advance as he re-fired his engine and drove on to score the victory.[12]

Television broadcasters[edit]

Year Network Lap-by-lap Color commentator(s)
2011 TNT Adam Alexander Wally Dallenbach
Kyle Petty
2015 NBCSN Rick Allen Jeff Burton
Steve Letarte


  1. ^ "Former Kentucky Speedway owners abandon NASCAR lawsuit – ESPN". Sports.espn.go.com. 2009-12-18. Retrieved 2011-03-06. 
  2. ^ "Kentucky Speedway Announces 2011 Sprint Cup Race – Sports News Story – WLWT Cincinnati". Wlwt.com. 2010-08-10. Retrieved 2011-03-06. 
  3. ^ "News". Kentucky Speedway. Retrieved 2011-03-06. 
  4. ^ Jensen, Tom. What now, Kentucky? Archived May 12, 2012, at the Wayback Machine.. Speed, 2011-07-10.
  5. ^ Hembree, Mike. Kentucky Speedway To Add Parking Area Archived May 12, 2012, at the Wayback Machine.. Speed, 2011-07-10.
  6. ^ Kentucky Speedway apologizes to fans Archived May 12, 2012, at the Wayback Machine.. Speedway Motorsports, 2011-07-11.
  7. ^ Blount, Terry. Kentucky Speedway gets a mulligan. ESPN, 2011-07-12.
  8. ^ a b c d e f g h Pistone, Pete (June 16, 2015). "New Rules for Kentucky". MRN.com. Motor Racing Network. Retrieved July 7, 2015. 
  9. ^ "Sprint Cup Series Schedule". ESPN. Retrieved July 5, 2011. 
  10. ^ a b "Race Summary". NASCAR. Retrieved July 9, 2011. 
  11. ^ Goheen, Kevin (July 10, 2016). "Brad Keselowski wins his third Quaker State 400 at Kentucky Speedway". The Cincinnati Enquirer. Sparta, Kentucky: Gannett Company. Retrieved July 10, 2016. 
  12. ^ Graves, Gary (July 10, 2016). "Keselowski wins for 3rd time at Kentucky Speedway". Associated Press. Sparta, Kentucky: AP Sports. Associated Press. Archived from the original on July 10, 2016. Retrieved July 10, 2016. 

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