THREE THINGS WE LEARNED FROM KENTUCKY

1. Truly Truex

Martin Truex Jr. lapped all but eight cars at Kentucky, which brings to mind another driver capable of such domination — Bill Elliott in 1985. The theory going around is that the No. 78 Toyota team has found the spicy speed sauce recipe and is keeping it isolated in its Denver shop.

2. History lesson

Bill Elliott and his brothers had their race shop in Dawsonville, Georgia, and hit upon a magic combination that caught all by surprise in 1985. Elliott won 11 of 28 Cup Series races that year. Since they worked away from the Charlotte race community, their secrets stayed safe all season.

3. Tweet battle

Twitter has become a new battleground in NASCAR. Kasey Kahne was wrecked out of the Kentucky race, and then brandished his Twitter foil and defended his driving style. Kahne became so frustrated by negative comments, he replied to one tweet basher with “You’re an idiot.”

THREE THINGS TO WATCH FOR

1. Kenseth shocker

The oldest driver in NASCAR Cup Series racing revealed he won’t be invited back to race next year at Joe Gibbs Racing. Matt Kenseth, 45, heated up “silly season” by making the proclamation. Dale Earnhardt Jr. jumped to Kenseth’s defense. “It’s smart for him to let everybody know early what his plans are,” Earnhardt said. “He is a talented guy who is just a couple of races removed from being a winner.”

2. Window closing

If the race at Kentucky had decided the NASCAR Cup Series playoffs, a lot of big names would be out of the postseason, including Joey Logano, Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Kasey Kahne. Earnhardt and Kahne are nearing must-win territory based on regular-season points. Matt Kenseth is on the bubble (16th) at 478 points. Logano is only seven points behind, but Earnhardt is 146 points back with only eight races left.

3. T-shirt sales

Kyle Larson let it be known on social media that he’s making more money from his moonlighting, dirt-track merchandise sales than he does from his day job in NASCAR. He pocketed $13,000 in souvenir sales in one night at a dirt track in Pennsylvania. When the dollar amount was revealed on Twitter, Larson responded with “More than I’ve made all year in NASCAR sales…” Ouch!

SPEED FREAKS

A few questions we had to ask ourselves

Where is Matt Kenseth seated next season?

GODSPEAK: Let's go nuts here and say good buddy Dale Earnhardt Jr. creates a Cup Series ride at JR Motorsports.

KEN'S CALL: Tough call, but I'm leaning toward the No. 77 magically finding sponsorship and Matt swapping rides with Erik Jones.

What about Bubba Wallace?

GODSPEAK: Two options. He gets picked up by Wood Brothers Racing, or heads back to the Xfinity Series for a year.

KEN'S CALL: I think he's a natural fit to replace Ryan Blaney in the No. 21 when Blaney is “promoted.”

QUESTIONS & ATTITUDE

Compelling questions ... and maybe a few actual answers

Ready to play the “I told you so” card?

No, this one was way too easy. Prior to this season, we kept reading rave reviews about NASCAR’s new aero package on the cars, how those rules would put racing “back in the drivers’ hands,” how “the greatest drivers in the world” would now separate themselves, and on and on and on. This past weekend at Kentucky, Brad Keselowski finally broke the seal: “It is a poorly designed race car.” Rave reviews last until some team(s) realizes it can’t find the grip.

What’s Bubba’s deal?

Right now, he doesn’t have one. But in four Cup starts as sub in the No. 43, Bubba Wallace finished 26th, 19th, 15th and 11th, in succession. That’s what we call trending in the right direction. He’ll be in a car of some sort soon, and probably in a Cup car (the No. 21?) next season. Practically guaranteed.

FEUD OF THE WEEK

KASEY KAHNE VS. TREVOR BAYNE: Kahne and Bayne rhyme, but that’s all they had in common at Kentucky. They were fighting for position, and Bayne got into Kahne and it turned insane.

GODWIN KELLY’S TAKE: Kahne is under pressure (we’re guessing) to keep his job. This did not settle well. “I got under him getting into Turn 1 and he just drove over my front end, pretty simple,” he said.

CUP STANDINGS

1. Kyle Larson 710

2. Martin Truex Jr. 709

3. Kyle Busch 609

4. Kevin Harvick 599

5. Chase Elliott 560

6. Jamie McMurray 545

7. Denny Hamlin 538

8. Brad Keselowski 536

9. Jimmie Johnson 519

10. Clint Bowyer 495

11. Matt Kenseth 478

12. Joey Logano 471

13. Ryan Blaney 462

14. Erik Jones 426

15. Kurt Busch 419

16. Ricky Stenhouse Jr. 418

17. Ryan Newman 414

18. Daniel Suarez 373

19. Trevor Bayne 352

20. Austin Dillon 341

WHAT'S ON TAP?

CUP SERIES: Overton’s 301

SITE: New Hampshire Motor Speedway (1.058-mile oval)

TV SCHEDULE: Friday, practice (NBC Sports Network, 11:30 a.m.), qualifying (NBCSN, 4:30 p.m.). Saturday, practice (NBCSN, 10 a.m. and 12:30 p.m.). Sunday, race (pre-race coverage begins on NBCSN, 1:30 p.m.; green flag, NBCSN, 3:15 p.m.)

XFINITY: Overton’s 200

SITE: New Hampshire Motor Speedway

TV SCHEDULE: Friday, practice (NBC Sports Network, 1 p.m. and 3 p.m.). Saturday, qualifying (CNBC, 11 a.m.), race (NBCSN, 4 p.m.)

CAMPING WORLD TRUCKS: Aspen Dental 150

SITE: Eldora Speedway (half-mile, dirt oval)

TV SCHEDULE: July 19, race (Fox Sports 1, 9 p.m.)

GODWIN'S PICKS FOR NEW HAMPSHIRE

WINNER: Matt Kenseth

REST OF TOP 5: Joey Logano, Kyle Larson, Clint Bowyer, Kyle Busch

FIRST ONE OUT: Ty Dillon

DARK HORSE: Clint Bowyer

DON’T BE SURPRISED IF: Kenseth nails the win, then starts listening to offers from other race teams.