Here's a look at the winners and losers from the recently completed NASCAR weekend at Kentucky Speedway:
Brad Keselowski's third victory of the season was important on a couple of levels. First, he showed he is capable of winning on any type of track – be it a short track (Bristol), a superspeedway (Talladega) or an intermediate oval (Kentucky). Secondly, thanks to his entertaining post-race press conference where he continually referred to himself and his team as badasses, the loquacious driver has been bestowed with a new nickname: "Badass Brad."
When NASCAR announced it was limiting what teams could do to their sway bars, the general consensus seemed to be that it would affect Hendrick Motorsports more than any other team. Hendrick responded to those naysayers by seeing all four of its cars finish sixth or better under the lights Saturday night. I think we can safely say the team's recent resurgence is about more than just how they have positioned the sway bars.
Travis Kvapil & BK Racing
By itself, Travis Kvapil finishing 17th would represent a successful weekend for him and his BK Racing team. However, Saturday night also marked the first time this season a BK Racing car completed every lap in a non-restrictor-plate race.
How does the guy who finished second find himself on the loser's side of the ledger? Well, as Kasey Kahne said himself post-race, while finishing in the top five is all well and good, what his team needs more than anything is wins. And at Kentucky, no car in the closing laps was better than the No. 5 Chevrolet. Yet because of two miscues on pit road, Kahne saw his chances to get that all-important victory go by the wayside.
Like Kahne, Carl Edwards is a driver who needs to find his way to Victory Lane – and soon. And like Kahne, Edwards had an opportunity to do just that Saturday. That was until poor communication and bad luck combined to force Edwards to make a green-flag pit stop with less than 10 laps to go. Goodbye, top-five finish; hello, 20th place.
Mile-and-a-half racetracks had been good to Greg Biffle this season entering this past weekend, as he's finished third (Las Vegas), first (Texas), fifth (Kansas) and fourth (Charlotte). But at Kentucky, Biffle was surprisingly a non-factor as he struggled with the handling on his Ford and ended the night 21st. The result dropped the Roush driver two spots in the standings to fourth.