DODGE AT KANSAS SPEEDWAY
. Dodge collected its lone Sprint Cup win at the 1.5-mile track in 2003 when Ryan Newman, driving for Penske Racing, led 28 laps en route to victory. Dodge finished 1-2-3 in the race with Bill Elliott second and Jeremy Mayfield third. Four Dodge drivers led 203 of the 267-lap race. Elliott led 115 circuits, Mayfield 37 and Rusty Wallace 23.
. Kasey Kahne is one of seven pole winners at Kansas. He started from the pole in the 2006 event.
. Kurt Busch is seeking his first top-five finish at Kansas Speedway. Chicagoland Speedway is the only other track on the Sprint Cup schedule where the 2004 series champion hasn’t recorded a top-five finish.
DODGE NEWS AND NOTES
. The No. 7 SPEED Energy Dodge Charger from Robby Gordon Motorsports is entered in this weekend’s STP 400. A driver will be named later in the week.
. Brad Keselowski earned his second-career Sprint Cup pole last week at the Coca-Cola 600 (65 starts).
. Brad Keselowski will see double-duty this weekend as he will also compete in Saturday’s Nationwide Series race at Chicagoland Speedway.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS
. Kurt Busch is one of only three drivers (Carl Edwards & Tony Stewart) to remain in the top 12 in the driver point standings throughout the season. He’s the only driver in the top 10 all 12 races.
. Kurt Busch has led 81 laps at Kansas Speedway including 76 in the 2007 event.
. Seven of the 10 Sprint Cup races at Kansas Speedway have been won from a top-10 starting position including two from the pole.
. Six of the first 12 Sprint Cup races this year have been won from a starting position outside the top 20.
. The most lead changes at Kansas – 26 – came at the 2009 event; the fewest number – 13 – came in 2002.
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).
. Dodge is seeking its first Sprint Cup win of the 2011 season.
DID YOU KNOW?
. Kurt Busch jumped three positions to sixth in the Sprint Cup driver standings after finishing fourth in the Coca-Cola 600.
. Construction on the 1.5-mile Kansas Speedway began in 1999 on a 1,200-acre site. The track opened in 2001 with the first Sprint Cup race held on September 30. The track has hosted one event every year until this season when the speedway will host two Sprint Cup events in the same season for the first time.
ODDS AND ENDS
. Brad Keselowski’s No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge Charger R/T will take part in the Goodyear tire test on Wednesday at Kentucky Speedway.
. Kurt Busch has recorded six top-15 finishes in 10 Sprint Cup starts at Kansas Speedway.
. Robby Gordon’s next scheduled Sprint Cup start in the No. 7 SPEED Energy Dodge Charger is at Michigan International Speedway in two weeks.
FROM THE ENGINEER “The Sprint Cup Series has visited Kansas Speedway for 10 years, but never in the spring. This will be the inaugural June event, so none of us in the engineering community know exactly what to expect. Will the track act like it does for the traditional fall races? Will this year’s tire combination have the grip we need? Will the new 2011 Sprint Cup lower fascia be happy here? There are plenty of questions yet to be answered. We have data from many sources that will help us predict the answers to these questions, but remember, they’re only predictions. This will be one of the busiest and exciting weeks for every engineer in the Sprint Cup series, trying to react to what Kansas Speedway throws at us.” Howard Comstock, Dodge Motorsports Engineering
DODGE MOTORSPORTS QUOTE OF THE WEEK “Another reason I’d treasure a solid up-front finish at Kansas comes from the personal side. If we can better the finish we had at Kansas in 2004 (sixth, his best career Kansas finish to date), that’d mean we finally got a top-five finish there. That’d be really cool to knock off another track on our top-five ‘hit’ list. We were able to finish second at Watkins Glen last August and scratch that track off. As for my career goes, I’m just hoping to be able to get top-five finishes on all the tracks. We have top-fives on all the tracks except Kansas and Chicago and it’s a personal goal of mine to notch that top-five five finish on all the tracks.” Kurt Busch, No. 22 AAA Dodge Charger R/T
FROM THE CREW CHIEF “This Miller Lite Dodge team has taken some huge steps over the last month and I expect that to continue this weekend at Kansas. We’re putting ourselves in position to win races and that’s all we can do. Unfortunately, we didn’t get the finish we deserved at Charlotte last weekend, but neither did a lot of other guys since it came down to fuel mileage. We’re fortunate that we get to go to Kentucky (Speedway) on Wednesday to take part in the Goodyear tire test for the new Cup Series race that they have there. If we find some things that work at Kentucky, we should be able to implement them at Kansas. I’m looking forward to this weekend.” Paul Wolfe, No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge Charger R/T
2011 SPRINT CUP SERIES SEASON BEST
. Kurt Busch Start: 2nd – Phoenix Finish: 4th – Charlotte
. Brad Keselowski Start: Pole – Charlotte Finish: 3rd – Darlington
. Robby Gordon Start: 30th – Daytona Finish: 16th – Daytona
DODGE QUOTES “Even though there is the possibility of the weather and track conditions being totally different from the first race to the second, you still have to come in there with that being part of your game plan. Any track time you can get these days is so important. When we get back to Kansas in October, Dave Winston (team engineer) and all of our guys will be pulling out their notes and data from this weekend’s race and last fall’s race there.
“The way that our season is laid out now, both of the Kansas races come at critical times on the schedule. The race there this weekend comes at a point where all the teams are jockeying for all they can get in their focus to make the Chase this year. A win there would go a long way in getting in by grabbing one of the final two spots available for race winners. Kurt Busch, No. 22 AAA Dodge Charger R/T
“Kansas is quite a bit different than some of the more traditional mile-and-a-half tracks, like Charlotte and Texas. It’s really similar to Auto Club Speedway in California. There are obvious differences in size as California is a two-mile track. The straightaway speed is not quite the same, but the corners are really similar. You can also run all over the track at Kansas, from the high lane to the low lane. Brad Keselowski, No 2 Miller Lite Dodge Charger R/T