Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: NASCAR Cup Series driver Martin Truex Jr. (78) celebrates after winning the Quaker State 400 at Kentucky Speedway
- NASCAR's Props Challenge game asks fans to answer 10 prop-betting questions each week, with weekly winners eligible for prizes.
- PJ Walsh offers his Props Challenge picks and analysis for Saturday's Quaker State 400 (7:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN) at Kentucky Speedway.
After unique — and crazy — pack racing at Daytona, the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series (MENCS) returns to a more familiar setup with Kentucky Speedway’s 1.5-mile layout.
The MENCS has already visited six 1.5-mile racetracks, the last three of which were run at night. Kansas was scheduled as a traditional night race, while the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte started around 6 p.m. ET, but finished under the lights.
The race run at Chicagoland Speedway two weeks ago was scheduled to be a day race, but rain pushed the green flag back to approximately 6:30 p.m. ET.
This is important because the cars drive differently in the heat of the day compared to the cooler night temperatures.
And with Saturday’s race at Kentucky also scheduled for an evening start, we can lean on those past three night races to make our NASCAR Props Challenge picks for the Quaker State 400.
1. Only three active drivers have won a Cup race at Kentucky. Will we see a first-time Kentucky winner this weekend? Yes or No?
Based on betting odds this is surprisingly close, but when there is not a clear edge, I’ll always lean toward the field against just three drivers.
2. O/U 18.5 lead changes?
In eight MENCS races at Kentucky, 2011 was the only event which finished with more than 17 lead changes.
3. Which former Kentucky winner will finish higher? Kyle Busch or Martin Truex Jr.?
While Truex and Busch have put up similar numbers — in terms of average running position and fast laps — at Kansas, Charlotte and Chicago this season, I’ll go with Truex as the two-time defending race winner.