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  • Writer's pictureCraig & Scott

Kentuckiana Motorsports Presented by Lucas Oil

No huge surprises on the drivers who got the boot from the NASCAR Cup Playoffs. Michael McDowell had a great year, but the team needs to get better and grow. Become a more well-oiled machine. Ricky Stenhouse has made the playoffs before. But he's never shown the ability to grind ahead to the final 8 or Championship 4. With that said, a good year for a small team. Kevin Harvick is a true champion. His team this year didn't perform like it. He needed luck to advance. Never happened. It would be good to see Harvick get one more win this year before he calls it a Cup career. If there's one driver who should have advanced, it was Joey Logano. He's a great driver and a two-time Cup title holder. Quite honestly, it's been a rough year for Penske. No consistency at all. Sure, his teammate Ryan Blaney advanced to the next round. Barring a sudden change, Blaney won't get much farther. Congrats to those who made it. That includes Bubba Wallace. It's getting a little old seeing him about to implode after making the playoffs and then advancing to the round of 12. He's been racing for too long. In the off season, 23XI must find a way to settle Wallace down. And if Wallace can't do it, he may not get but another year with the team. Both Michael Jordan and Denny Hamlin are the 23XI owners. They want a driver who will get to the Championship 4, not dream about it or implode along the way. Speaking of Hamlin, what a late dominating performance to win at Bristol.

The next three NASCAR Cup races before 4 more drivers are eliminated are: Texas, Talladega, and the Roval at Charlotte. You better believe the playoff drivers want to win at Texas. Perhaps the easiest of all the three events. Now let's talk Kyle Bush. Richard Childress Racing has looked weak in the first round, and for that matter late in the regular season. Kyle made it in the championship fight on pure skill and ability. Not because there was a total team effort. Busch is too good "not" to be in the Championship 4. If he doesn't get there, will he return to Childress next year? Maybe not. Kyle likes winning. Not struggling.

Congrats to Justin Allgaier for winning the first NASCAR Xfinity playoff race at Bristol. Sure, John Hunter Nemechek and Austin Hill have been the best this year. But we told you a few weeks back, don't count out Allgaier. It's going to be fun to watch. Louisville's Ben Rhodes is still in the championship hunt in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series. Up next is Talladega for the 2021 Truck Series Champion on September 30. Corey Heim won at Bristol and advanced to the Craftsman Truck Series Championship 4 at Phoenix. Rhodes needs a win!

It is down to 12 NASCAR Cup drivers for a chance to win the 2023 title. Before the playoffs we picked our Championship 4 going to Phoenix. Craig selected: Logano, Hamlin, Busch, and a longshot but a past champion, Brad Keselowski. Scott: Truex Jr., Byron, Logano, and a sentimental choice-Kevin Harvick. Logano and Harvick are out! Neither of us chose Kyle Larson?!

Local championships may have been decided (We will have more upcoming!) at the Sportsdrome Speedway. Still, track owner-operator Mike Gibson has 3 more weeks of action-packed racing. Checkout www.sportsdromeonline.com And for updates and last-minute ticket deals on the the Sportsdrome Facebook page. The short flat track is just off I-65 in Jeffersonville, IN (About 5 minutes from downtown Louisville). One upcoming mega event: A Figure 8 School Bus Showdown!

As for the Salem Speedway (An hour from Louisville in Southern Indiana) there is also much racing left to go! Be sure to go online to www.salemspeedway.com has two big events left! The Fall ARCA Classic (September 30) and the historic Halloween 200 in October! Other area tracks are closing out the 2023 racing season as well. They include the Ponderosa Speedway in central Kentucky at Junction City near Danville (About an hour and fifteen minutes southeast of Louisville), Beech Bend in Bowling Green (KY), and just outside of Louisville in West Point Kentucky is the Ohio Valley Dragway, a small drag strip on Dixie Highway.

Alex Palou continues to celebrate his big year. The 2023 Indy Car Season is over. Can't wait to see what he does in 2024. Palou is now a two-time Indy Car Series Champion. He claimed the title asl in 2021. The 26-year old has a ways to go to catch his teammate, Scott Dixon. Dixon has 6 Indy Car Titles! He surged late this season but couldn't catch Palou. Dixon came in second in overall Indy Car Series Points.

Kentuckiana Motorsports has continued to provide racing coverage for more than two decades. It started with a half hour program and specials on cable, then a major television channel, and as media has transformed, online and social media. Lucas Oil has been a huge part of it. They support local and grass roots. Always have. We remind you to make sure your car, truck, motorcycle, boat, other vehicles, and lawn equipment are all running efficiently. Think Lucas Oil Products. They do so much for racing communities across America. Other sponsors of KMS include PNC Bank (Sponsor of Scott Dixon's Indy Car Series Car), Sportsdrome Speedway (Celebrating more than 75 years of Racing!), locally owned Bright Pest Control and Bright Retail in Louisville, (Offering Do-It-Yourself Professional Pest Products with a retail store), and Knox Ford in Radcliff, Kentucky) (It also has a sister dealership, Tri-County Ford in Oldham County, KY). KMS friends also include: VoiceTel Kentucky (Offering telephone service for low as $25.00 a line per month), Temco Roofing, Jim Ellis/Attorney-At-Law, ICA Dumpsters, Kentucky Raceway Ministries, Nimlok Kentucky, Dynamic Healthcare, Lyndon Mower Repair, and Kentucky Medicare Plans (Serving Kentucky and Southern Indiana with Health and Medicare plans). We also thank our media connections in all series, NASCAR and with NASCAR Media, Indy Car, Monster Jam, ARCA, and NHRA for helping us bring the sport to the fans!

The NHRA has several more events before closing out the 2023 season. Up next the NHRA Carolina Nationals this weekend in Charlotte. It is followed by the NHRA Midwest National in Madison, Wisconsin. Lucas Oil has been a long-time sponsor of the series! Watching the action on Fox Sports or Fox Sports 1 and 2.

Be sure to check out the FREE Lucas Oil/KMS Giveaway! It is a great Kentucky Speedway Picture Book. Very hard to find. Great memories of the first action at the NASCAR Kentucky track! There are only a few days left!

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