Quaker State 400

annual auto race at Kentucky Speedway

The Quaker State 400 presented by Walmart, commonly known as the Quaker State 400, is a 400.5 miles (644.54 km) annual Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race held at Kentucky Speedway in Sparta, Kentucky, It is held as the nineteenth race of the season and is held in conjunction with the NASCAR Xfinity Series and the Camping World Truck Series, The inaugural event was held on July 9, 2011 and was won by Kyle Busch, From 2012 to 2014, the race has been held before the Coke Zero Sugar 400 at Daytona International Speedway on Independence Day weekend, From 2015 to 2017, The race moved back two weeks preceding Daytona and New Hampshire, In 2018, the race became the 19th race of the season as the Foxwoods Resort Casino 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway which became the 20th race of the season.

Quaker State 400
Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series
VenueKentucky Speedway
LocationSparta, Kentucky, United States
Corporate sponsorQuaker State
First race2011
Distance400.5 miles (644.542 km)
Laps267 (Stage 1: 80
Stage 2: 80
Stage 3: 107)
Most wins (driver)Brad Keselowski (3)
Most wins (team)Joe Gibbs Racing
Team Penske (3)
Most wins (manufacturer)Toyota (5)
Circuit information
Length1.5 mi (2.4 km)

Martin Truex Jr. enters as defending winner.



The event eventuated 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 to sponsor the 267-lap race[3] held on July 9, 2011, and was won by Kyle Busch. The race was plagued by a massive traffic problem where many of the fans were 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 the track around the speedway in time for the 2012 race.[4][5][6]

New aero package for 2015


On June 16, 2015, NASCAR announced a new aero package would be used for the 2015 race. [7] The changes include a smaller rear spoiler and other adjustments that significantly reduced aerodynamic downforce. The spoiler was decreased to 3.5 inches (8.89 cm) tall, There was also a 25 in (63.50 cm) wide splitter extension.[7] In addition, Tires supplied to Goodyear provided drivers with more grip.[7] "We want to see more load changes on the racetrack", NASCAR Executive Vice-President and Chief Racing Development Officer Steve O'Donnell said in a media teleconference, "We will evaluate and a number of factors coming out of Kentucky, and see what we can learn and implement down the road".[7] Originally, the package was to be used at last year's All Star Race, but the plan was scrubbed and NASCAR opted to use the package for a points race.[7] "Let me be clear. This is not a test, this is a race" O'Donnell said of the rules package will be in effect for the 18th round of the 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. "We had an extensive testing plan with this industry over the past 18 months. We couldn't implement this if we didn't feel confident as an industry to implement it at Kentucky.[7]



Since 2015, the race trophy has been in the form of a Crosley jukebox.[8]

Past winners

Year Date Winner Start Manufacturer Cautions/Laps Lead changes Number of cars Laps Miles Speed
2011 July 9 Kyle Busch 1st Toyota 6/32 20 43 267 400.5 mi (644.542 km) 137.314
2012 June 30 Brad Keselowski 8th Dodge 4/24 17 43 267 400.5 mi (644.542 km) 145.607
2013 June 30* Matt Kenseth 16th Toyota 10/42 11 43 267 400.5 mi (644.542 km) 131.948
2014 June 28 Brad Keselowski 1st Ford 6/34 12 43 267 400.5 mi (644.542 km) 139.723
2015 July 11 Kyle Busch 9th Toyota 11/49 13 43 267 400.5 mi (644.542 km) 129.402
2016 July 9 Brad Keselowski 2nd Ford 11/53 16 40 267 400.5 mi (644.542 km) 128.580
2017 July 8 Martin Truex Jr. 2nd Toyota 9/39 9 40 274* 411 mi (661.44 km) 138.604
2018 July 14 Martin Truex Jr. 1st Toyota 4/22 14 39 267 400.5 mi (644.542 km) 150.454

Notable moments

  • 2011: The race was the first Cup Series race 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, 18th of the season, began at 7:30 p.m. EDT and was televised live on TNT.[9] The conditions on the grid were dry before the race with the air temperature of 81 °F (27 °C).[10] Raceway ministries pastor John Roberts began the pre-race ceremonies, by giving the invocation, Next, Nick Lachey performed the National anthem, and Steve Beshear, Kentucky's governer, gave the command for drivers to start their engines. Two drivers had the start at the end of the grid because of changes that were not approved during practice; they were Denny Hamlin and Dave Blaney.[10] However, the largely overshadowed by major traffic issues that resulted in as many as 20,000 ticketed fans being unable to attend the track.
  • 2012: The race, the 17th of the 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, began at 7:48 p.m. 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 perfromed the National anthem, The grand official was Quaker State grand marshall Steve Reindl.
  • 2013: The race was scheduled to start on Saturday at 8:00 p.m., but pushed to Sunday afternoon, at 12:00 p.m. EDT due to rain, This prompted NASCAR to have a competition caution on lap 30, The race was marred by a massive crash on lap 48 when Brad Keselowski, Greg Biffle, Kurt Busch, Paul Menard, Landon Cassill, Martin Truex Jr. and Travis Kvapil, The race was red flagged with Jimmie Johnson the race leader, and was lifted after 18 minutes and 37 seconds.
  • 2014: The race served as its last running with TNT before the acquisition of the $10.1 billion deal with NBC Sports, Prior to the start of the race, a downpour soaked the track, prompted NASCAR to schedule a competition caution on lap 30, The lead changed 12 times among 13 different drivers and Brad Keselowski won his second career race at Kentucky.[11]
  • 2015: NASCAR on 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 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 regained the lead with 50 laps to go, The left rear tire from Larson's car wasn't fixed, and it went went flat and sent the car into the wall in turn 1.
  • 2016: The race served as the second year on NBCSN, A major multi-car wreck on the backstretch happened on lap 94, Exiting Turn 2, Brian Scott got loose, saved the car and bumped into Kyle Larson, Chris Buescher, A. J. Allmendinger, Ty Dillon, Danica Patrick and Cole Whitt were also involved in the melee.,[12] In the final ten laps, a number of cars began pitting so to have enough fuel to make the finish. Matt Kenseth briefly took the lead from Brad Keselowski before he pitted with four laps to go, and handed the lead back to Keselowski, who decreased the lead briefly to conserve fuel, which allowed Carl Edwards to preserve enough fuel with one lap remaining, and Keselowski blocked Edward's advance and drove on to score the victory.
  • 2017: Martin Truex Jr. dominated the seventh running of the event leading 152 laps, He won Stages 1 and 2 (NASCAR's new format that saw stage lengths of 80 laps, 80 laps and the final 107) and had a 15-second lead with two laps to go, until the caution came out setting up an overtime finish for the first time in the event's history, Truex Jr. stayed out while everyone else pitted, but he chose the preferred outside line for the restart. He took of the start passing Kyle Busch and the race ended under caution during a crash on the frontstretch after Truex Jr. had just the white flag, He took the yellow and checkered finishes ahead of Kyle Larson for his third career win of the season. He became just the fourth driver to win at Kentucky and the first new winner since Matt Kenseth in 2013.[13]


  1. Press, The Associated (December 18, 2009). "Former track owners abandon NASCAR lawsuit". ESPN.com. Retrieved March 6, 2011.
  2. Greer, Ronda (August 10, 2010). "Kentucky Speedway gets NASCAR Sprint Cup race in 2011". masslive.com. Retrieved August 10, 2010.
  3. Cook, Zachary (March 6, 2011). "Quaker State to Sponsor Inaugural Kentucky Speedway Sprint Cup Series Race". www.prnewswire.com. Retrieved March 6, 2011.
  4. Cook, Zachary (July 11, 2011). "Kentucky Speedway Officials Apologize After Traffic Jam Mars Inaugural Cup Race". www.sportsbusinessdaily.com. Retrieved July 11, 2011. {{cite web}}: |archive-date= requires |archive-url= (help)
  5. Niemyer, Adam (July 11, 2011). "NASCAR President talks about Kentucky Speedway traffic". fox19.com. Retrieved July 11, 2011.
  6. Clayborn, Cole (July 10, 2011). "Long waits in traffic to get to Kentucky Speedway frustrate NASCAR fans". kentucky. Retrieved November 10, 2015.
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 7.5 Bianchi, Jordan (June 12, 2015). "NASCAR Kentucky Recap: New rules package creates excitement, hope". MRN.com. Retrieved July 12, 2015.
  8. Hoffman, Jason (July 12, 2018). "Kentucky's NASCAR race has some pretty unique trophies". Cincinnati.com. Retrieved July 12, 2018.
  9. "Jayski's NASCAR Silly Season Site - 2011 Sprint Cup Series Schedule". www.jayski.com. Archived from the original on July 13, 2011. Retrieved July 5, 2011.
  10. 10.0 10.1 "NASCAR race results 2011 Quaker State 400 at Kentucky Speedway". Fantacyracingcheatsheet.com. Archived from the original on November 24, 2011. Retrieved July 9, 2011.
  11. Gluck, Jeff (June 28, 2014). "Brad Keselowski wins at Kentucky, shows title form". USA TODAY. Retrieved June 28, 2014.
  12. Cook, Zachary (July 9, 2016). "Wreck ends hopes of big day at Kentucky Speedway". www.loves.com. Retrieved July 9, 2016.
  13. Xchange, The Sports (July 9, 2017). "Truex dominates for NASCAR win in Kentucky". Gwinnett Daily Post. Retrieved July 9, 2017.

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