Dodge Motorsport Notes & Quotes NSCS Race Advance Aaron’s 499 Talladega Superspeedway Sunday, April 17, 2011
DODGE MOTORSPORTS QUOTE OF THE WEEK
“For us being the only Dodge, we have to go out and carry that banner the best we can, make sure they’re being held up to the standard that they need to be and that is comparable with the rest of the group. We have a championship car. We have a championship team. We just need to continue to do that.” Kurt Busch, No. 22 Shell/Pennzoil Dodge Charger R/T
THE DODGE BOYS
. Dodge has 207 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series victories.
. Dodge’s most recent win came at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Kurt Busch led 252 of 400 laps en route to victory in the 2010 Coca-Cola 600.
. Dodge claimed two Sprint Cup victories in 2010.
. Dodge teams have posted 47 wins since the manufacturer’s return to NASCAR’s premier series in 2001 after being out of the sport since 1977.
. Dodge has posted wins each season since its return in 2001 including seven wins twice (2002 and 2006).
DODGE AT TALLADEGA SUPERSPEEDWAY
. Richard Brickhouse drove a Dodge to victory in the first Sprint Cup race at Talladega in 1969.
. Dodge has three wins at Talladega: Drivers posting victories in addition to Brickhouse were Richard Petty (1974) and Dave Marcis (1976).
. Dodge has one pole at Talladega since returning to the Sprint Cup Series in 2001 – Stacy Compton in 2001.
. 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. The win came before he joined Penske Racing.
DODGE NEWS AND NOTES
. Kurt Busch’s average finish of 13.7 at Talladega Superspeedway is the highest among the Sprint Cup drivers currently in the Top 12 (point standings).
DID YOU KNOW
. Brad Keselowski’s last-lap win at Talladega in 2009 came in his first Sprint Cup restrictor-plate race and only his fifth race driving a Sprint Cup Series car.
. Brad Keselowski led 32 laps last Saturday night at Texas Motor Speedway – a career high in Sprint Cup competition.
. Dodge drivers Kurt Busch, Brad Keselowski and Robby Gordon all led laps last weekend at Texas.
. Kurt Busch has remained in the top five of the Sprint Cup point standings all season.
DODGE HISTORICAL DATA
. First Dodge NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Win: Lee Petty, 2/1/53, West Palm, Fla., 100 miles, .5-mile track.
. Last Dodge NASCAR Sprint Cup Win at Talladega Superspeedway: Dave Marcis, 8/8/1976, Talladega 500, 157.547 avg. mph
FROM THE ENGINEER
“If you liked Daytona in February, you ought to really like Talladega this week. The racing at Daytona was on a surface smooth enough that drivers could go flat out all day without the fear of handling issues holding them back. It made for a pretty spectacular day. The good news with Talladega is that it’s always been like that. It likely won’t be handling issues that drivers will complain about this week. The slickest and most aerodynamic body shape and the best power you can make with your engine, despite the horsepower-robbing restrictor plate, will go a long way in deciding if you’re going to be the winner at Talladega.” Howard Comstock, Dodge Motorsports Engineering
FAST FIVE! The Dodge brand has teamed up with Universal Pictures for a multi-tiered partnership to support the upcoming action-thriller “Fast Five” that will be released in theaters April 29. Promotion elements include a month-long paint scheme on Robby Gordon’s No. 7 Dodge Charger and a Fast Five Sweepstakes where fans have an opportunity to win one of five custom “Fast Five” 2011 Dodge Charger R/T models. As part of the partnership with Robby Gordon Motorsports, the first 200 fans to register at www.dodgemotorsports.com or www.speedenergy.com will receive a special “Fast Five” movie viewing with Robby Gordon on Saturday, April 30, in Richmond, Va. The No. 7 Fast Five/SPEED Energy Dodge Charger R/T will be on the track at Talladega Superspeedway and Richmond International Raceway.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS
. In 41 career restrictor plate races, Penske’s Kurt Busch has earned 16 top-five and 25 top-10 finishes including six top-five and 13 top-10 finishes at Talladega Superspeedway.
2011 SPRINT CUP SERIES SEASON BEST
. Kurt Busch Start: 2nd – Phoenix Finish: 5th – Daytona
. Brad Keselowski Start: 9th – Phoenix Finish: 15th – Phoenix
. Robby Gordon Start: 30th – Daytona Finish: 16th – Daytona
TALLADEGA SUPERSPEEDWAY BEST
. Kurt Busch Start – Third – 2010 (fall) Finish – Third – (four times)
. Brad Keselowski Start – Ninth – 2009 (spring) Finish – Win – 2009 (spring)
Robby Gordon Start – Second – 2002 (spring Finish – Fifth – 2004 (spring)
“A couple years back, when we qualified at Talladega and Daytona, we were in the mid 30s. This time around, we were a top-five car. We definitely have changed our program around 180 degrees for restrictor plate races. And I hope that maybe one day I can crack Victory Lane in a points-paying restrictor plate race. We’re going to see that same style of draft. The two-car draft is just so potent. I mean, anytime you can tell a race car driver he can go four seconds faster a lap and give him the recipe on how to do it, he’s going to go and put it into play, that two-car draft.” Kurt Busch, No. 22 Shell/Pennzoil Dodge Charger R/T
“I’m really looking forward in going to Talladega. We had a great run at this year’s Daytona 500. Restrictor plate racing is a bit crazy the way it is right now with the two cars connected together. The closing speeds are so big and in those two-car ‘pods’, you can only push a guy for so long. It’s wild. I look forward in going back to Talladega and finding a dancing partner we can run with. It worked really well with Brad (Keselowski) at the Daytona 500. I expect a good show this weekend for our Fast Five Dodge Charger.” Robby Gordon, No. 7 Fast Five/SPEED Energy Dodge
“A lot has happened to me since my Cup win at Talladega in 2009 – so much so that it seems like it has been much longer than two years. I’ve been able to win the Nationwide Series championship and have moved over to drive the No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge. Would any of that have happened without the Talladega win? Probably not. It is, obviously, the biggest win in my career and it validated all my beliefs that I could win at this level, but I’m not one to rest on my laurels. I want to win now and I feel like (crew chief) Paul Wolfe and I are starting to hit on a few things that could put us in position to do just that.” Brad Keselowski, No 2 Miller Lite Dodge Charger R/T