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Turns And Feuds Are The Talk Of Kentucky

| Managing Editor, RacinToday.com Friday, July 13 2018

NASCAR is in Kentucky this weekend and the talk is heating up. (RacinToday/HHP photo by Jim Fluharty)

By Jim Pedley | Managing Editor
RacinToday.com

Some notes and quotes from Sparta, Kentucky on Friday:

Looking for action at Kentucky Speedway? Keep your eyes on Turn 3, drivers say.

“Turn 3 is tough for sure,” Martin Truex Jr said. “It seems like this year maybe a little bit easier with the new tires that they brought here, but it just – you know – it’s such a flat corner and since they changed (Turns) 1 and 2 and put more banking there, you’re carrying a lot more speed down the back straightaway and so you’re going into a really flat corner going too fast and the car just doesn’t want to work, so it’s a really loose corner and most of it’s because of the way Turn 2 is set up and it’s hard to get your car good in both ends of the race track, so it’s a huge challenge.”

Joe Gibbs Racing’s Erik Jones, who won last week at Daytona, said,  “It’s become more difficult since the repave, so when they reconfigured (Turns) 1 and 2 and made it a lot faster and you’re carrying so much speed into Turn 3 and it looks like you’re taking a hard left in a parking lot kind of when you go in the corner because it’s so flat and so wide and, you know, the tough balance obviously is getting your car – getting your heights right through 1 and 2 and making sure your car is just as low as it can be in 3 and 4, which it’s never really going to be, but if you can get your car handling really well down there and really, really hooking the line well and getting in the corners secure, you’re going to be a in a pretty good spot, so it’s not an easy thing to do and we had a pretty good car last year for that, but we’ve just really got to work on entry today and make sure it’s secure and work on the second half of the corner from there and usually 1 and 2 kind of comes with that.”

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Kyle Busch does not seem to be in a forgiving mood as he prepares for Saturday night’s Cup Series race at Kentucky Speedway. During his press conference on Friday, Busch was asked if Ricky Stenhouse Jr., who did more than his fare share of field trimming last Saturday at Daytona, had reached out to apologize for the wreck that ended Busch’s race.

Here is how that went:

Q – Did Ricky Stenhouse Jr. reach out to you this week?

KB – “He did not reach out.”

Q – Are you disappointed he didn’t reach out?

KB – “I am disappointed that he did not.”

Q – Why?

KB – “You wipe out half the field and pretty sure there would be a pretty busy Monday for him, but there wasn’t, so apparently he just doesn’t care.”

Q – Does that change how you race him?

KB – “I can’t – I can’t worry about people that far back in the field.”

Gazingo! But wait, there’s more.

Q – Do you feel like drivers should call others after causing an incident?

KB – “If you don’t care, don’t reach out, you know? If you did purposefully, don’t reach out, you know? But if you actually have some remorse and you’re apologetic or you need to be, then I tend to reach out, you know, when I make mistakes or when I do things I feel like hinder other drivers then I always reach out and just say something like, ‘Hey, man. Man, I hated I go into you. I’m sorry,’ you know? Whatever. It’s not going to change the fact, but at least you, you know, took that step, so that’s just my mindset. Other drivers have different mindsets.”

Imagine that. A Cup driver saying what he thinks.

Later, Stenhouse confronted Busch. What did the proud owner of two Cup races say to the former champion?

“I told him that,” Stenhouse said, “I was like, ‘Hey, you’re right, you do run a lot further up front, but pick and choose your battles wisely because you will have to deal with me sometime whether you are lapping me or we get our cars better and we are up there racing with you. So I told him if you want to keep running his mouth, he can come over and do it around me and I’ll stop it for him myself.”

###

Furniture Row Racing’s Martin Truex Jr. has catapulted from journeyman driver to top-tier, championship-winning ace since joining that Colorado-based team.

One might think that Truex and FRR would be planning to grow old together. Perhaps not.

Truex’s contract with FRR is coming to an end. He was ask about his future during his presser at Kentucky Speedway. It went like this:

Q – Where are you on another contract extension with Furniture Row Racing and are you certain you’ll be back with the team?

MT: “No. Am I – I don’t know. We’ve got some stuff to figure out for sure, but I don’t plan on anything different, so just give the team some time to figure things out and we’re all kind of trying to figure it out together, so hopefully we can make it happen.”

Q – What is there to work out since everything appears to be going well outwardly?

MT: “Yeah, you know, just sponsorship commitments and all the stuff that goes along with that. Figuring out how much money we have to spend. When do we get it? How much are we getting? And where can we spend it and how can we spend it? So just trying to figure out all the details honestly. There’s a lot of puzzle pieces to put together that we haven’t finished yet and honesty we haven’t really been in a big hurry to get it done, so in due time.”

| Managing Editor, RacinToday.com Friday, July 13 2018
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