Our Top 10 of 2013: No. 2 - NASCAR's Best Challenged by Our Track's Rough Test
The best and brightest driving talents provided the second-best moment of our 2013 season when they described our 1.5-mile tri-oval as one of the most challenging in NASCAR.
"The place is rough, which is good. The line moves and, literally, within six inches you can miss a key bump or two that upset the car and slow you down a couple tenths. The bumps and humps and jumps, there's all kinds of stuff going on. I enjoy that type of racing, the quirky tracks, the rough tracks." - Jimmie Johnson, six-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion
"The track has a lot of bumps, a lot of characteristics that give it personality. The corners aren't that similar to each other, which make it a lot of fun, an interesting track and a challenging track. There are a lot of different ways to go through corners, too. The track's really enjoyable." - Dale Earnhardt Jr., Kentucky Speedway NASCAR Sprint Cup Series qualifying record holder
"This track has bumps; it's big, fast and slippery. It looks like it would be a very tough racetrack. Because it's tough for everyone, it gives you an opportunity to take advantage of people." - Carl Edwards, two-time Kentucky Speedway race winner - NASCAR Nationwide Series (2005) and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (2003).
"This is a very challenging racetrack, not an easy racetrack to win on. The transitions make this a very tricky track. It really makes you work hard and it’s hard to get the car working right in every aspect of the track. The bumps are definitely one of the things that challenge the cars and the set ups. I like the fact those challenges allow you to search around the racetrack. The car is never going to be perfect and you’re going to slide around. That seems to suit me a little bit better than some of the smooth, super-fast, high-grip racetracks." - Jeff Gordon, four-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion
"It’s the roughest racetrack I have ever raced on in my life. It’s bumpy, it’s different, it’s really flat and presents a lot of challenges. The whole racetrack, the whole layout is fun." Greg Biffle, 2000 Kentucky Speedway NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race winner
"The track is rough. You're really going to have your hands full trying to get a good package on your car to get through those bumps. No one is going to bounce through them well, but you want to be able to bounce through them better than the next guy." - Clint Bowyer, 2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Kentucky Speedway third-place finisher.
"The tracks that have character and bumps in it and everything like that are a lot more fun to drive.” - Kyle Busch, four-time Kentucky Speedway race winner - NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (2011), NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (2011), NASCAR Nationwide Series (2004), ARCA Racing Series (2003).
“It’s a tough track. I’ve tested there hundreds and thousands of laps and it’s still about as difficult as any out there.” – Kasey Kahne, 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series second-place Kentucky Speedway finisher
"This track really suits me. When it's rough, I tend to do better. The bumpier the track, the less grip it has, the more it brings driver skill into play. Kentucky Speedway is as rough as they come. The ability to run side by side here is as good, if not better, than any other mile and a half,” - Brad Keselowski, 2012 Kentucky Speedway NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race winner
“It's got a lot of bumps, so that makes it very challenging. Trying to figure out exactly where to be, where to try to get around some of the bumps, how to get through them better, how to get the car to go through them better - those are challenges that kind of make it fun, because it's not easy to get around," – Tony Stewart, two-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion
“Kentucky is such a rough racetrack and that just seems to fit my driving style. There aren’t many of those tracks left on the schedule. If you can get your car where it’s comfortable over the bumps in Turns 1 and 2, that’s obviously going to be the fastest way around Kentucky. Sometimes that’s easier said than done. Some drivers will choose to enter a bit higher to avoid the bumps. Usually that will establish a second groove around the middle of the race, which can lead to some great side-by-side racing over the final laps. It’s definitely a place with a lot of character.” - Joey Logano, three-time Kentucky Speedway NASCAR Nationwide Series race winner (2008-2010)
- Kentucky Speedway -