Until Saturday night at Kentucky Speedway, every race on a mile-and-a-half track this season had been won by either Kevin Harvick or Kyle Busch. Then Martin Truex Jr. added his name to the list in dominating fashion.
Truex won both stages of the Quaker State 400 and led 174 of the race’s 267 laps in the process of winning for the fourth time this season. Now one win behind both Harvick and Busch, whom he has been talked about it the same category when it comes to the championship picture or “Big 3.”
But Harvick was unfazed by how things turned out.
“We’ve never dominated here, so I don’t pay much attention to this place,” Harvick said.
Busch was fourth, and Harvick finished fifth.
Going into the race, Harvick did not have a top-five finish at the track. Admitting Kentucky was not his favorite place, Harvick has been trending upward recently. Entering the weekend, Harvick had a streak going of five consecutive top-10 finishes.
Second in the first stage and fifth in the second, Harvick earned points throughout the night. However, he did not lead a lap.
That is something Harvick has done just once in his now eight Kentucky starts. He was in the picture all night, though, starting third and averaging a top-five position throughout the event.
“It’s just hard to pass,” Harvick said of Kentucky. “It’s hard to make anything happen. I think for us we got worse the last run and got loose into [Turn] 3 and that really just killed everything. And then I hit the wall with 15 laps to go, and that pretty much ended everything we had.”