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Past Winners, Aim to Solve Bumpy Track

Venus Williams, Li Na Ousted in Wimbledon Stunners

  • NASCAR driver Jimmie Johnson, left, talks with crew chief Chip Knaus, right, before the start of a practice session at Kentucky Speedway in Sparta, Ky., Friday June 27, 2014. The NASCAR Kentucky auto race will be Saturday night. (AP Photo/Garry Jones)

    NASCAR driver Jimmie Johnson, left, talks with crew chief Chip Knaus, right, before the start of a practice session at Kentucky Speedway in Sparta, Ky., Friday June 27, 2014. The NASCAR Kentucky auto race will be Saturday night. (AP Photo/Garry Jones)

  • NASCAR driver Jimmie Johnson, left, talks with crew chief Chip Knaus, right, before the start of a practice session at Kentucky Speedway in Sparta, Ky., Friday June 27, 2014. The NASCAR Kentucky auto race will be Saturday night. (AP Photo/Garry Jones)

    NASCAR driver Jimmie Johnson, left, talks with crew chief Chip Knaus, right, before the start of a practice session at Kentucky Speedway in Sparta, Ky., Friday June 27, 2014. The NASCAR Kentucky auto race will be Saturday night. (AP Photo/Garry Jones)

  • NASCAR driver Brad Keselowski listens to a comment in the garage area before the start of practice for the NASCAR Kentucky auto race at Kentucky Speedway in Sparta, Ky., Friday June 27, 2014.  (AP Photo/Garry Jones)

    NASCAR driver Brad Keselowski listens to a comment in the garage area before the start of practice for the NASCAR Kentucky auto race at Kentucky Speedway in Sparta, Ky., Friday June 27, 2014. (AP Photo/Garry Jones)

  • NASCAR driver Brad Keselowski listens to a comment in the garage area before the start of practice for the NASCAR Kentucky auto race at Kentucky Speedway in Sparta, Ky., Friday June 27, 2014.  (AP Photo/Garry Jones)

    NASCAR driver Brad Keselowski listens to a comment in the garage area before the start of practice for the NASCAR Kentucky auto race at Kentucky Speedway in Sparta, Ky., Friday June 27, 2014. (AP Photo/Garry Jones)

  • Driver Carl Edwards answers a reporters question outside the garage during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup series auto race at  Kentucky Speedway in Sparta, Ky., Friday, June 28, 2013. (AP Photo/James Crisp)

    Driver Carl Edwards answers a reporters question outside the garage during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup series auto race at Kentucky Speedway in Sparta, Ky., Friday, June 28, 2013. (AP Photo/James Crisp)

  • Driver Carl Edwards answers a reporters question outside the garage during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup series auto race at  Kentucky Speedway in Sparta, Ky., Friday, June 28, 2013. (AP Photo/James Crisp)

    Driver Carl Edwards answers a reporters question outside the garage during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup series auto race at Kentucky Speedway in Sparta, Ky., Friday, June 28, 2013. (AP Photo/James Crisp)

  • CORRECTS DATE TO JUNE 27, NOT 28TH - Driver Carl Edwards answers a reporters question outside the garage during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup series auto race at  Kentucky Speedway in Sparta, Ky., Friday, June 27, 2013. (AP Photo/James Crisp)

    CORRECTS DATE TO JUNE 27, NOT 28TH - Driver Carl Edwards answers a reporters question outside the garage during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup series auto race at Kentucky Speedway in Sparta, Ky., Friday, June 27, 2013. (AP Photo/James Crisp)

  • CORRECTS DATE TO JUNE 27, NOT 28TH - Driver Carl Edwards answers a reporters question outside the garage during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup series auto race at  Kentucky Speedway in Sparta, Ky., Friday, June 27, 2013. (AP Photo/James Crisp)

    CORRECTS DATE TO JUNE 27, NOT 28TH - Driver Carl Edwards answers a reporters question outside the garage during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup series auto race at Kentucky Speedway in Sparta, Ky., Friday, June 27, 2013. (AP Photo/James Crisp)

  • CORRECTS DATE TO JUNE 27, NOT 28TH - Driver Carl Edwards answers a reporters question outside the garage during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup series auto race at  Kentucky Speedway in Sparta, Ky., Friday, June 27, 2013. (AP Photo/James Crisp)

    CORRECTS DATE TO JUNE 27, NOT 28TH - Driver Carl Edwards answers a reporters question outside the garage during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup series auto race at Kentucky Speedway in Sparta, Ky., Friday, June 27, 2013. (AP Photo/James Crisp)

  • Pole-sitter Kyle Busch wins the NASCAR truck series  race at Kentucky Speedway in Sparta, Ky., Thursday June 26, 2014. (AP Photo/Garry Jones)

    Pole-sitter Kyle Busch wins the NASCAR truck series race at Kentucky Speedway in Sparta, Ky., Thursday June 26, 2014. (AP Photo/Garry Jones)

  • Pole-sitter Kyle Busch wins the NASCAR truck series  race at Kentucky Speedway in Sparta, Ky., Thursday June 26, 2014. (AP Photo/Garry Jones)

    Pole-sitter Kyle Busch wins the NASCAR truck series race at Kentucky Speedway in Sparta, Ky., Thursday June 26, 2014. (AP Photo/Garry Jones)

  • Kyle Busch (18) heads to the garage as Alex Bowman (23) continues on a practice lap for the NASCAR Kentucky auto race at Kentucky Speedway in Sparta, Ky., Friday June 27, 2014. The race is set for Saturday night.  (AP Photo/Garry Jones)

    Kyle Busch (18) heads to the garage as Alex Bowman (23) continues on a practice lap for the NASCAR Kentucky auto race at Kentucky Speedway in Sparta, Ky., Friday June 27, 2014. The race is set for Saturday night. (AP Photo/Garry Jones)

  • Kyle Busch (18) heads to the garage as Alex Bowman (23) continues on a practice lap for the NASCAR Kentucky auto race at Kentucky Speedway in Sparta, Ky., Friday June 27, 2014. The race is set for Saturday night.  (AP Photo/Garry Jones)

    Kyle Busch (18) heads to the garage as Alex Bowman (23) continues on a practice lap for the NASCAR Kentucky auto race at Kentucky Speedway in Sparta, Ky., Friday June 27, 2014. The race is set for Saturday night. (AP Photo/Garry Jones)

  • Jimmie Johnson (48) stays high against the outside wall during his first practice session for the NASCAR Kentucky auto race at Kentucky Speedway in Sparta, Ky., Friday June 27, 2014. The race is scheduled of Saturday night.  (AP Photo/Garry Jones)

    Jimmie Johnson (48) stays high against the outside wall during his first practice session for the NASCAR Kentucky auto race at Kentucky Speedway in Sparta, Ky., Friday June 27, 2014. The race is scheduled of Saturday night. (AP Photo/Garry Jones)

  • Jimmie Johnson (48) stays high against the outside wall during his first practice session for the NASCAR Kentucky auto race at Kentucky Speedway in Sparta, Ky., Friday June 27, 2014. The race is scheduled of Saturday night.  (AP Photo/Garry Jones)

    Jimmie Johnson (48) stays high against the outside wall during his first practice session for the NASCAR Kentucky auto race at Kentucky Speedway in Sparta, Ky., Friday June 27, 2014. The race is scheduled of Saturday night. (AP Photo/Garry Jones)

  • NASCAR driver Jimmie Johnson, left, talks with crew chief Chip Knaus, right, before the start of a practice session at Kentucky Speedway in Sparta, Ky., Friday June 27, 2014. The NASCAR Kentucky auto race will be Saturday night. (AP Photo/Garry Jones)
  • NASCAR driver Jimmie Johnson, left, talks with crew chief Chip Knaus, right, before the start of a practice session at Kentucky Speedway in Sparta, Ky., Friday June 27, 2014. The NASCAR Kentucky auto race will be Saturday night. (AP Photo/Garry Jones)
  • NASCAR driver Brad Keselowski listens to a comment in the garage area before the start of practice for the NASCAR Kentucky auto race at Kentucky Speedway in Sparta, Ky., Friday June 27, 2014.  (AP Photo/Garry Jones)
  • NASCAR driver Brad Keselowski listens to a comment in the garage area before the start of practice for the NASCAR Kentucky auto race at Kentucky Speedway in Sparta, Ky., Friday June 27, 2014.  (AP Photo/Garry Jones)
  • Driver Carl Edwards answers a reporters question outside the garage during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup series auto race at  Kentucky Speedway in Sparta, Ky., Friday, June 28, 2013. (AP Photo/James Crisp)
  • Driver Carl Edwards answers a reporters question outside the garage during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup series auto race at  Kentucky Speedway in Sparta, Ky., Friday, June 28, 2013. (AP Photo/James Crisp)
  • CORRECTS DATE TO JUNE 27, NOT 28TH - Driver Carl Edwards answers a reporters question outside the garage during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup series auto race at  Kentucky Speedway in Sparta, Ky., Friday, June 27, 2013. (AP Photo/James Crisp)
  • CORRECTS DATE TO JUNE 27, NOT 28TH - Driver Carl Edwards answers a reporters question outside the garage during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup series auto race at  Kentucky Speedway in Sparta, Ky., Friday, June 27, 2013. (AP Photo/James Crisp)
  • CORRECTS DATE TO JUNE 27, NOT 28TH - Driver Carl Edwards answers a reporters question outside the garage during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup series auto race at  Kentucky Speedway in Sparta, Ky., Friday, June 27, 2013. (AP Photo/James Crisp)
  • Pole-sitter Kyle Busch wins the NASCAR truck series  race at Kentucky Speedway in Sparta, Ky., Thursday June 26, 2014. (AP Photo/Garry Jones)
  • Pole-sitter Kyle Busch wins the NASCAR truck series  race at Kentucky Speedway in Sparta, Ky., Thursday June 26, 2014. (AP Photo/Garry Jones)
  • Kyle Busch (18) heads to the garage as Alex Bowman (23) continues on a practice lap for the NASCAR Kentucky auto race at Kentucky Speedway in Sparta, Ky., Friday June 27, 2014. The race is set for Saturday night.  (AP Photo/Garry Jones)
  • Kyle Busch (18) heads to the garage as Alex Bowman (23) continues on a practice lap for the NASCAR Kentucky auto race at Kentucky Speedway in Sparta, Ky., Friday June 27, 2014. The race is set for Saturday night.  (AP Photo/Garry Jones)
  • Jimmie Johnson (48) stays high against the outside wall during his first practice session for the NASCAR Kentucky auto race at Kentucky Speedway in Sparta, Ky., Friday June 27, 2014. The race is scheduled of Saturday night.  (AP Photo/Garry Jones)
  • Jimmie Johnson (48) stays high against the outside wall during his first practice session for the NASCAR Kentucky auto race at Kentucky Speedway in Sparta, Ky., Friday June 27, 2014. The race is scheduled of Saturday night.  (AP Photo/Garry Jones)

Sparta, Ky. (ap) — NASCAR drivers won’t be shocked if Kentucky Speedway’s fourth Sprint Cup Series race yields a repeat winner or new face spraying champagne in victory lane.

Either scenario could happen with past winners Kyle Bush and Brad Keselowski trying to strengthen their bids for more success in tonight’s 400-miler by running companion series races this weekend. Defending race champion Matt Kenseth, meanwhile, seeks to repeat the magic and earn his first win this season.

Kenseth said Friday he isn’t sure if past success carries over at a track like Kentucky, but “it certainly gives you more confidence when you come back and you’ve won somewhere.”

Then there is reigning series champion Jimmie Johnson, points leader Jeff Gordon, Kurt Busch and Martin Truex Jr., who have posted multiple top 10s on the 1.5-mile-track and aim to finally close the deal. All are hungry to find the right setup, timing and luck to solve the tough, bumpy track.

“I like (Kentucky) because it’s a challenging race track and I like a good challenge,” said Gordon, who was eighth last year. “Our cars have been good here the last few times, so if I feel like we have a shot at winning I usually like that track.”

Johnson dominated last June’s race, leading 182 laps, and was poised to overtake Kenseth on a late restart before a spin racing four-wide run dropped him from second to ninth. Kenseth’s went on to his fourth win of the season despite taking fuel only on his last stop.

Johnson said he has changed his restart procedure to deal with the guessing games.

Here are Five Things to Watch tonight at Kentucky Speedway:

∎ Bumpy Ride: Kentucky Speedway has hyped its rough surface in TV ads and some drivers believe it might be the circuit’s roughest. “It’s definitely a jolt, because you’re hitting concrete every time you through holes on the front stretch,” said rookie Austin Dillon, who has two Nationwide Series wins at the track. “I just try to get the car to turn through ‘em.”

∎ Smaller Field: Few spectators may notice or care that “just” 42 cars will start, one less than the standard grid. That hasn’t happened since 2001 at New Hampshire, but Clint Bowyer doesn’t believe it reflects the sport’s standing. “It’s more important to have quality cars on the race track week in and week out than a number,” he said.

∎ Last Intermediate Stop: Kentucky begins a 10-race stretch before the Chase and marks the circuit’s last 1.5-mile track until Atlanta on Labor Day weekend. Kurt Busch believes that recent intermediate-length performance will be important. “If you’ve been good on the mile-and-a-halfs here recently, you’re going to be good here,” said the 2004 champion, who has two top 10s in three starts at the track, but is struggling at that distance this season.

∎ Unconquered Territory: Jeff Gordon can fulfill his quest to win at every Cup track by conquering Kentucky. The four-time champion has won at 23 sites.

∎ Edwards’ Triple Crown Bid: Carl Edwards can join Kyle Busch as the only drivers to win in all three national series at Kentucky with a victory Saturday night. Edwards won in the Camping World Truck Series in 2003 and added a Nationwide Series victory two years later.