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NASCAR at Kentucky: Odds, prediction, sleepers, drivers to watch for Quaker State 400

Sporting News — (Thomas Lott)

This is Martin Truex Jr.'s race to lose.

The 2017 Cup Series winner is the two-time defending champion at Kentucky Speedway and there is zero reason to think he won't have a chance to win this week.

He has already won four times this year — including once at a 1.5-mile track in Charlotte — and he will be the man to beat.

This week is pretty simple: everyone is chasing Truex, but firmly expect Kyle Busch, Kevin Harvick and Brad Keselowski to threaten to win, as well.

The Quaker State 400 starts at 7:30 p.m. ET on Saturday.

What are the betting odds for Kentucky?

Martin Truex Jr. 7/2
Kyle Busch 5/1
Kevin Harvick 5/1
Brad Keselowski 8/1
Joey Logano 8/1
Chase Elliott 10/1
Kyle Larson 12/1
Ryan Blaney 20/1
Alex Bowman 20/1
Denny Hamlin 20/1
Clint Bowyer 25/1
Jimmie Johnson 25/1
Erik Jones 25/1
Kurt Busch 25/1
William Byron 40/1
Aric Almirola 40/1
Austin Dillon 60/1
Daniel Suarez 60/1
Ricky Stenhouse Jr. 100/1
Ryan Newman 200/1
Chris Buescher 500/1
Paul Menard 500/1
Daniel Hemric 500/1
Matt DiBenedetto 500/1
Michael McDowell 1000/1
Ryan Preece 1000/1
Ty Dillon 2000/1
David Ragan 2000/1
Darrell "Bubba" Wallace Jr. 2000/1
Field (all others) 1000/1

Which NASCAR drivers should you watch at the Quaker State 400?

Kentucky Speedway was repaved in 2016. Since then, Kurt Busch has two top-10 finishes (fourth, sixth). The year before the repave he earned a top 10, as well. He has 10 top-10 finishes this season, including ones at Las Vegas, Atlanta, Fort Worth and Kansas. Kentucky should be a great track for him.

Erik Jones has raced twice in his career at Kentucky Speedway in the Cup Series, finishing sixth and seventh. He also has intermediate racing down as he has four top-10 finishes at 1.5-mile tracks this year alone. Jones should be happy to go to Kentucky.

Joey Logano has five top-10 finishes in his last six races at Kentucky Speedway and two since the repave. With two wins, nine top 5s and 12 top 10s this year, a win at Kentucky is far from out of the question.

One sleeper for the Quaker State 400

Aric Almirola only has two attempts at Kentucky since the repave as he missed the 2017 race due to injury, but he finished in eighth last year at the event, so it's not out of the question he does so again. He also has a seventh-place finish at another intermediate track this year and top-10 finishes in three of his last five races. He hasn't won yet this year, but it seems to be a matter of time.