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Joe Gibbs Racing: 2014 Quaker State 400 weekend preview

Kyle Busch won the inaugural Cup race at Kentucky in 2011
Kyle Busch won the inaugural Cup race at Kentucky in 2011
Getty Images: Sean Gardner

In three Sprint Cup Series races at Kentucky Speedway, Joe Gibbs Racing has two wins: in 2011, Kyle Busch won the inaugural event, and last year, Matt Kenseth took home one of his seven wins on the season. Will JGR return to victory lane in 2014? With the parity this season, it’s anybody’s guess, but the statistics look good.

Busch, in the No. 18 M&Ms Toyota Camry this Saturday night at Kentucky, has three top 10 finishes in three events at Kentucky in the Cup Series, with an average start of 2.3 and an average finish of 5.3. He’s more than a triple-threat at Kentucky, where he’ll also compete in the Nationwide and Camping World Truck Series races this weekend – he’s won in all three top NASCAR series plus the ARCA Racing Series. In Friday night’s Nationwide Series race, Busch will pilot the No. 54 Monster Energy Toyota Camry; he won in his first Nationwide Series start at Kentucky in 2004, and has finished in the top 10 four times in six starts.

Kenseth, in the No. 20 Dollar General Toyota on Saturday night, also has three top 10 finishes in three starts, with an average finish of 4.7; his qualifying efforts – 13th, 20th and 16th – aren’t nearly as good as the end results. He’ll also be making his first career Nationwide Series start at the 1.5-mile track in the No. 20 Reser’s Fine Foods Toyota.

Denny Hamlin, in the No. 11 FedEx Office Toyota, has just one top 10 finish at Kentucky, which came in 2012. Last season, he was involved in a wreck just past the half-way point of the race and finished 35th.

Elliott Sadler, who will be in the No. 11 OneMain Financial Toyota Friday night in the Nationwide Series John R. Elliott HERO Campaign presented by Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over 300, has four top 10 finishes in five starts in the series at Kentucky, with a top finish of second in June 2013.

Qualifying for the Nationwide Series John R. Elliott HERO Campaign presented by Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over 300 takes place Friday at 3:40 p.m. ET, with the race going green at 7:30 p.m. ET. Qualifying for the Quaker State 400 Sprint Cup Series race takes place Friday at 5:40 p.m. ET; the race goes green Saturday night at 7:30 p.m. ET. Keep up with the action at joegibbsracing.com.

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