Dodge Motorsports Notes & Quotes – Keys for Michigan – Michigan International Speedway

Saturday, June 18, 2011

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Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips 400

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KEYS FOR SUCCESS: Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips 400

BROOKLYN, Mich. (Saturday, June 18, 2011) – Each race weekend, selected Dodge Motorsports engineers, Penske Racing engineers and crew chiefs, drivers or engine specialists give their insight on the ‘Keys for Success’ for the upcoming race. This week, Howard Comstock, Dodge Motorsports Engineering, provides the keys for Sunday’s Sprint Cup race.

Track: Michigan International Speedway (Race 15 of 36 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series)

Race: Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips 400 (200 laps / 400 miles)

Trivia Question: What is the fewest number of cautions for a Sprint Cup race at MIS? (Answer Below)

HOWARD COMSTOCK (Dodge Motorsports Engineering)

Fuel Economy vs. Tire Strategy: “Michigan is a big race track, lots of room for drivers. Consequently, we see fewer cautions here than at most places. Given the way that the early part of the season has gone, it’s very possible that we’ll see even fewer cautions than we normally see here. Fuel economy and tire strategy are both going to be big. Along with fuel economy, we have to remember tire economy. If you have to stretch laps to work out a fuel strategy, you have to make sure your tires last for that longer run. Team that try to stretch their fuel strategy will keep a keen eye on tire wear, being mindful of tire falloff. If you say that fuel economy is the most important key in this race, you best not overlook the tire component of how fast your lap times fall off with worn tires.”

Wild Card Strategy: “The teams that are outside the top 10, but in the top 20 and vying for those two wild card spots (11th and 12th position), have got to start gambling. They have to start gambling for a race win because they don’t have a shot at making the top 10. There are some pretty strong performers in the top 10, but you could still make the Chase if you have a race win and are inside the top 20. How do you get a race win? You gamble by trying to stretch that fuel; gambling by trying to do one less pit stop than everybody else. If the race runs green at the end and you have enough fuel to make it, maybe slowing down a bit to save fuel becomes the strategy. There are several different strategies that crew chiefs will try to employ to get that crucial race win.”

Trivia Question Answer: Three Cup races have been caution free at MIS (1973, ’84, and ’99).

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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