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DATE News (chronologically)
07/09/11
Nassprint
Kentucky Speedway track surface an issue  The first NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Kentucky Speedway is off to a bumpy start. But depending upon whom you talk to, that's not necessarily a bad thing.  After a decade-long wait replete with lawsuits and an ownership change, the 11/2-mile oval finally joins the Sprint Cup schedule tonight with the Quaker State 400.

But the wear and tear from a decade of use by other series has some drivers complaining about the racing surface.

"It's kind of weird in NASCAR when you go to a new track and it's an old track," said Dale Earnhardt Jr., who will start 29th tonight behind pole sitter Kyle Busch. "Normally we are going to new tracks and they're new, but this place has got a lot of races on it and the surface is used up pretty good."

Busch got the pole after rain washed out qualifying midway through the session. He would have started at the rear had it been completed because he spun on his qualifying lap.

Starting positions were set based on speed from practice, putting Juan Pablo Montoya on the outside of the front row. Kurt Busch, Kasey Kahne and Jimmie Johnson complete the top five.

Tony Stewart, who starts ninth, doesn't mind a few bumps on a racetrack -- just enough to make one place different from all the rest. But in Thursday's open test and Friday's practice, he has found more than a few.

"It's an added element that you have every week, but it's more exaggerated here than we've had anywhere else," Stewart said. "I haven't found a spot where there wasn't bumps. You aren't going to go around them. They're everywhere."

But David Ragan, coming off of his first career win last week at Daytona, said he likes a bumpy track because it forces drivers to search out different lanes and that allows for more passing. Indy Star

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