BY BRIAN DAVIS
Kentucky Motor Speedway on Sparta will host NASCAR's trifecta series of races this weekend.
On Thursday, the Gander Outdoors Truck Series will start the weekend with the Buckle Up In Your Truck 225. Friday night, the XFINITY series presents the ALSCO 300 presented by the Linen and Uniform Rental Services and The Quaker State 400 presented by Wal-Mart will wrap up NASCAR's weekend on Saturday night.
FOX Sports 1 will broadcast the truck race with NBC Sports Network broadcasting the XFINITY series and Monster Energy Series Cup Race. Network broadcasts on the two networks start at 6 p.m.
The focus of all three races will be drivers either establishing their position or getting their first victory to be part of the Chase For The Cup Playoffs, which begins in August for the truck series and September in the XFINITY and Monster Energy Series.
Sixteen drivers qualify for the chase with wins being the automatic qualifier. In the Monster Energy Series, seven drivers have won 19 races this season with teammates Kyle Busch, driver of the number 18 Toyota Camry, and Martin Truex, Jr., driver of the number 19 Toyota Camry, leads the series with four wins each. Brad Keselowski, driver of the number 2 Ford Mustang has three wins with teammate Joey Logano, driver of the number 22 Ford Mustang who is the defending series champion and current points leader, with two wins. Also, Denny Hamlin, driver of the number 11 Toyota Camry, has two wins with teammates Chase Elliott, driver of the number 9 Chevrolet Camaro, and Alex Bowman, driver of the number 88 Chevrolet Camaro, each has a win.
Last week, Justin Haley, driver of the number 11 Chevrolet Camaro for Kaulig Racing, won last week's Coke Zero 400 but due to him being a full time driver in the XFINITY Series, he will not be eligible to participate in the Monster Energy Cup Series chase for The Cup Playoffs.
If the field cannot be completed with drivers with wins, then spots will be filled based on points. Kevin Harvick, driver of the number 4 Ford Mustang, leads in points with 625 for drivers without a win this season. Kurt Busch, driver of the number 1 Chevrolet Camaro, follows with 564 points along with Aric Almirola, driver of the number 10 Ford Mustang, with 512 points. Ryan Blaney, driver of the number 12 Ford Mustang, has 508 points and William Byron, driver of the number 24 Chevrolet Camaro, with 498 points.
Keselowski is the only three time winner of the Quaker State 400 with Kyle Busch and Trues, Jr. who is the back to back winner of this race, each having two wins. Ford and Toyota manufacturers have been dominant at Kentucky Motor Speedway, as they have won seven of the eight races here including the last six in a row.
The Quaker State 400 is the same race in where over 20,000 people were not able to attend the race due to traffic issues on Interstate 71 that kept them from attending its inaugural race in 2011.