SPARTA, KY – Heading into this weekend, no one would blame you if you overlooked the entire Stewart-Haas Racing camp for Saturday night’s Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at the Kentucky Speedway.
They haven’t won a race since last November at the Texas Motor Speedway. That’s 0-for-2 at the end of the 2018 season and 0-for-18 to start the 2019 year off with too.
For a team that won 12 of the 36 points paying races in 2018 as well as putting all four of their drivers in the Round of 8 of the playoffs, they have looked pedestrian in 2019.
Daniel Suarez qualifies on the pole for Saturday night’s Quaker State 400 at the Kentucky Speedway
On top of that, it’s not like their drivers have fared real well on the 1.5-mile track that the series races on this weekend. Plus, Joe Gibbs Racing and Team Penske have won all but two races at Kentucky before with the only two that they didn’t win, the organization has since shut down and moved over to JGR anyways.
Kevin Harvick has one top five finish since May. In fact, his best finish all year is fourth. He does have 11 top 10 finishes, but only four in the last nine races overall.
Aric Almirola has one top five finish since Phoenix. He started off 2019 with six top 10 finishes in the first seven races. He’s only had four in the last 11.
Clint Bowyer saw +73 in the playoff standings in mid May. He’s now just +4. Bowyer’s last six finishes are 24th, 5th, 35th, 11th, 37th and now 34th respectively. He hasn’t won in 39 races himself.
That leaves the new comer Daniel Suarez who has never won and has six top 10’s all year but only two over the last 10 overall. His last three finishes are 17th, 24th and 40th respectively.
Suarez, has finished 18th and 15th respectively at Kentucky before. Almirola, finished eighth last year for his first career top 10. Bowyer, has one top 10 finish in his career at Kentucky. Harvick, has six straight top 10’s, but only one top five.
Despite that, they look to be the favorites to win Saturday night’s Quaker State 400 (7:30 p.m. ET/NBCSN/PRN/SiriusXM NASCAR Radio) though.
They swept the front row with Suarez and Almirola starting first and second respectively. Harvick, gives them three of the top five starting spots with Bowyer giving them four of the top seven overall. Suarez, was third and eighth respectively in practice on Friday as well as being quickest on the 10 lap average chart in final practice.
Almirola, was second and 24th respectively on single lap runs and 11th in final practice on the 10 lap average chart.
Bowyer, was 10th and fifth respectively on single lap runs on Friday while Harvick was eighth and second respectively himself but also ninth and third on the 10 lap averages too.
Right now, the winner looks like it would come from this group.