DODGE AT TALLADEGA SUPERSPEEDWAY
• Dodge has three wins at Talladega: Richard Brickhouse (1969), Richard Petty (1974) and Dave Marcis (1976).
• Dodge has earned one pole at Talladega since returning to the Sprint Cup Series in 2001 – Stacy Compton in 2001.
• Dodge driver Brad Keselowski is the only current Dodge driver with a win at the 2.66-mile superspeedway in Sprint Cup competition. He won the spring event in 2009, leading only the final lap. He was driving for another team at that time.
THE DODGE BOYS
• Dodge has 207 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series victories.
• Dodge’s most recent win came at Charlotte Motor Speedway in May. Kurt Busch led 252 of 400 laps en route to victory in the Coca-Cola 600. It was his second win of the 2010 season.
• Dodge teams have posted 47 victories since the manufacturer’s return to NASCAR’s premier series in 2001 after being out of the sport since 1977.
• Last Dodge Sprint Cup Win at Talladega: Dave Marcis, 08/08/1976, Talladega 500, 157.547 mph average speed.
• First Dodge Sprint Cup Win at Talladega: Richard Brickhouse, 09/14/1969, 1969 Talladega 500, 153.778 mph average speed.
DODGE IN THE CHASE: TALLADEGA SUPERSPEEDWAY • 2004: Ryan Newman and Jeremy Mayfield represented Dodge in the Chase. ‘Dega was the third race. Newman finished 16th and Mayfield 38th after being involved in a four-car accident on lap 143.
• 2005: Ryan Newman led the three-car Dodge contingent with a fourth-place finish. Jeremy Mayfield was 14th and Rusty Wallace 25th.
• 2006: Kasey Kahne was the only Dodge driver in the Chase. He finished third and led seven laps.
• 2007: Kurt Busch was the lone Dodge representative in the Chase. He posted his seventh consecutive top-eight finish at ‘Dega, finishing seventh.
• 2008: There were no Dodges in the 2008 Chase field.
• 2009: Kurt Busch, the lone Dodge representative in the Chase, started sixth, led seven laps, but finished 30th after being involved in a 13-car mishap as the field was taking the white flag.
KURT BUSCH – INSIDE THE CHASE NUMBERS
• Busch is competing in the Chase for the Sprint Cup for the fifth time: 2004 – Champion, 2005 – 10th, 2007 – seventh and 2009 – fourth.
• Busch is ninth in the Chase standings after his 16th-place finish at Martinsville Speedway last weekend, 277 points behind the leader.
• Busch was ranked sixth, 240 points behind the leader, after six races in the 2009 Chase.
• Busch’s average finish in 19 starts at Talladega is 12.8; he has an average running position of 16.2.
• His best finish at Talladega was third in 2006 after starting 29th. He has six top-five and 13 top-10 finishes in 19 ‘Dega starts.
• Through six Chase races this year, Busch’s average finish is 16.16.
• In 32 races this season, Busch has two wins along with nine top-five and 16 top-10 finishes.
• Has competed in 65 Chase races since 2004 (46 have been in a Dodge) with 16 top-five and 33 top-10 finishes.
KURT BUSCH ON RACING AT TALLADEGA
“I’m one that doesn’t take a lot of chances and more times than not plays it more defensively than on the offense. I think that’s been my mentality over the years. The times that I’ve been too aggressive out there and tried to make big bold moves, I wound up wrecked or getting shuffled out at the end and it didn’t turn out well.”
DODGE FAST FACT
Dodge driver Brad Keselowski earned his first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series top -10 finish as the driver of the No. 12 Dodge Charger from the Penske Racing stable. He started 25th and finished 10th at Martinsville.
DID YOU KNOW?
On March 24, 1970, Buddy Baker guided the No. 88 Dodge Daytona to a closed course speed record of 200.447 mph, becoming the first stock car driver to officially exceed the 200 mph mark.
DODGE MOTORSPORTS ENGINEERING QUOTE OF THE WEEK –
“If NASCAR set out to drive engineers crazy, then putting the Talladega race one week after Martinsville will get it done. Martinsville and its single lane, 60 mph mid-corner speeds last week now gives way to a 40-car pack, three wide, at nearly 200 mph this weekend at Talladega. And that’s with the same chassis, same body templates and same engine at both places. Using the same equipment, it’s the engineer’s job to get the same result – win.”
Howard Comstock – Dodge Motorsports Engineering
DODGE DRIVER QUOTES
At Talladega, if you make your move too early or you’re too aggressive, that means there’s that much more time for things to backfire. Then there are times that if you go too late, you’ll want to kick yourself for not going earlier. That’s why you have to dig down and forecast what’s going on out there on the track. You ask yourself if this guy is an experienced racer or is he one of the younger guys? Has this guy been fast or has he been slow? You’re out there trying to digest all of that and play all your cards right while you’re just inches from the other guys and doing 200 miles per hour.”
Kurt Busch, No. 2 Operation Home Front/ Miller Lite Dodge Charger
“Talladega has always been a wildcard race and it always will be. I really like restrictor-plate races and we’ve typically run pretty well at places like Talladega and Daytona. Superspeedways remind me of IndyCar Series racing because the outcome depends mostly on aerodynamics. It’s like a chess game where you are trying to figure out what to do as the race progresses to position yourself correctly.”
Sam Hornish Jr. No. 77 Mobil 1 Dodge Charger
“You really have to pay attention to how the race unfolds at Talladega. There are times when you need to be patient. There are times when you need to keep your head about you and race smart. But you are going to have to be aggressive at the end. Those are three elements of restrictor-plate racing that I work on throughout the race. I learned that from Dale (Earnhardt) Jr. He gets a lot of the credit for the kind of racer that I am on the plate tracks.”
Brad Keselowski, No 12 Penske Dodge Charger