Dodge Motorsports Notes & Quotes – NSCS Race Advance – Coca-Cola 600

For Immediate Release Dodge Motorsports Notes & Quotes NSCS Race Advance Coca-Cola 600 Charlotte Motor Speedway Sunday, May 29, 2011

DODGE AT CHARLOTTE MOTOR SPEEDWAY

. Dodge has eight NASCAR Sprint Cup Series 600-mile wins at Charlotte Motor Speedway: Buddy Baker (3), Richard Petty (2), Kasey Kahne (2) and Kurt Busch (1).

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. Dodge has 15 Sprint Cup wins (both events) at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

. Dodge’s Kurt Busch is the defending champion of the Coca-Cola 600.

. Dodge has won five Sprint Cup regular-season races at Charlotte since returning to the sport in 2001.

. Dodge has started from the pole 12 times at Charlotte. The most recent came at the fall event in 2007 (Ryan Newman).

DODGE NEWS AND NOTES

. Kurt Busch has not been outside the top 10 in the Sprint Cup point standings this season. He was the point leader after weeks three and four. He’s currently ninth.

. Brad Keselowski has recorded two-consecutive top-15 finishes (Third – Darlington and 13th – Dover).

. A Dodge has won three of the last five Coca-Cola 600s.

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. He also won the Sprint All-Star Race the week prior to the 600.

. Dodge claimed two Sprint Cup victories in 2010.

. 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.

. Dodge has posted wins each season since its return in 2001 including seven wins twice (2002 and 2006).

2011 SPRINT CUP SERIES SEASON BEST

. Kurt Busch Start: 2nd – Phoenix Finish: 5th – Daytona

. Brad Keselowski Start: 7th – Richmond Finish: 3rd – Darlington

. Robby Gordon Start: 30th – Daytona Finish: 16th – Daytona

CHARLOTTE MOTOR SPEEDWAY BEST

. Kurt Busch Start – Second (spring 2007 & ’10)

Finish — Win (spring, 2010)

. Brad Keselowski Start – Eighth (fall, 2009) Finish – 12th (fall, 2009)

. Robby Gordon Start – 12th (spring 2002) Finish – Third (spring 2009)

INSIDE THE NUMBERS

. Kurt Busch has recorded a Sprint Cup win for nine consecutive seasons. His last regular-season victory came in the 2010 Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte (34 races).

. Dodge holds the Coca-Cola 600 qualifying record of 27.981 seconds, 192.988 mph.

. Buddy Baker recorded the first Dodge win in the 600-mile event in 1968.

. Dodge swept both Sprint Cup events (spring and fall) at CMS in 1968 and 1975.

CHARLOTTE MOTOR SPEEDWAY QUICK FACTS

. There have been 104 Sprint Cup races at CMS since the track opened in 1960 with 41 different drivers posting victories.

. There have been 37 pole winners with 14 of those drivers winning the race.

. Of the 104 races, 14 have been won from the pole and 30 from the front row.

FROM THE ENGINEER “Many like to say that the All Star race, run at Charlotte last weekend, gives the teams a chance to work on their setups for the Coca Cola 600, that will be contested on the same track this week. Same track maybe, but same setup? Doubtful. The segmented format that we see in the All Star race forces the teams to concentrate on chassis setups that will be most effective for short 20 to 25 lap runs. But from experience we know that in this 600-mile contest there could be several long green flag periods and what works for 25 laps won’t be good for 50 or 75 laps. The huge difference in format greatly affects the way you approach setup choices for this longest race of the year.” Howard Comstock, Dodge Motorsports Engineering

FROM THE CREW CHIEF “We feel like we’ve really made some gains here the last three weeks with the No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge. We had a good car at Darlington and put ourselves in position for a top-five finish. We were really strong at Dover running in the top-10 most of the day. We feel like we’ve got things heading in the right direction and everyone back at the shop has been working really hard. As a team, we’re understanding what we have to do with these cup cars to be able to run up front and have the success we did last season in Nationwide.” Paul Wolfe, crew chief, No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge Charger R/T

DODGE MOTORSPORTS QUOTE OF THE WEEK “Regardless of how you win the 600, you have to look at it as a great team effort and that definitely was the case for our win last year. It’s the toughest race and you really want to give it your very best lap after lap.” Kurt Busch, No. 22 Shell/Pennzoil Dodge Charger R/T

DODGE QUOTES “Dominant wins like we had in the 600 last year are pretty few and far between. The cars are so equal these days that strategy has pegged the meter in importance. Just look at the last few races and how Regan Smith won at Darlington and Matt (Kenseth) won at Dover. A win is a win and we need one no matter how it comes. The biggest and most important thing is leading the final lap – the checkered flag lap – and winning the race.”

Kurt Busch, No. 22 Shell/Pennzoil Dodge Charger R/T

“The (Coca-Cola) 600 is a long race. Thankfully we had the all-star race last weekend that gives you a warm-up to see if you have your stuff right. The approach is that you have to be there at the end of the race. You can’t beat your car up the first 500 miles and expect to win the race. Six hundred miles is a long way both mentally and physically. You have to have a lot of durability in your car and make sure that you’re fast at the end. The last 100 miles gets real racy.

“It’s so hard to pass and the cars are really good in the Cup Series. There are a lot of good teams; a lot of depth in the field and it seems that if your car is average, you never make as many spots up on the racetrack as you can in the pits. It’s so hard to be fast that track position is crucial and a two-tire strategy is allowing teams to gamble a bit on pit road because the fall-off of the tire just isn’t that significant. The strategy is a combination of track position and the tires that Goodyear is bringing to the track.” Brad Keselowski, No 2 Miller Lite Dodge Charger R/T

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of SpeedwayMedia.com.

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