Busch Starts Third, Keselowski Sixth in Chicagoland

Saturday, Sept. 17, 2011

Chicagoland Speedway

Dodge Motorsports PR

CarParts.com
American Muscle

Geico 400

NASCAR Sprint Cup Series

Final Qualifying Results

KURT BUSCH (No. 22 Shell/Pennzoil Dodge Charger R/T) Qualified Third HOW WAS YOUR QUALIFYING LAP? “A good qualifying effort with our Shell/Pennzoil Dodge.  Maybe I drove it into Turn 1 a little deep.  The crew chief just came over and asked me if I was ever going to lift.  I was just going for it today.  It’s important to get a good starting spot here at Chicagoland and we did that today.

“It was a great qualifying effort for us.  We feel like getting off to a strong start in the Chase is important and it starts with qualifying.  Thanks to my guys and most importantly, Steve Addington.  He made a couple of quick adjustments while the car was on the grid for qualifying this afternoon.  I drove it down into Turn 1 and it stuck until I got to Turn 2 and it slid up a little bit.  It was a little bit of a four-wheel drift in Turn 2.  I was prepared for a tough (Turns) 3 and 4.  It’s definitely a lot tougher in 3 and 4 with the bumps and with the way the wind was.  Today, track temperature was 30 degree warmer than it was yesterday during our practice runs so the teams had to adjust for that.  A good, solid run for our Shell/Pennzoil Dodge.  We’ll start third and get a good pit selection and then work our way through the full 400 miles tomorrow.”

WHAT THINGS CAN YOU DO THE NEXT 10 RACES TO MAKE SURE YOU STAY IN THE CHASE HUNT?  “We just can’t get ahead of ourselves.  Each opportunity that we’re out on track we have to maximize.  With a good practice session, we have to make the right decisions on what we’re going to adjust on the car.  Really, just go through a 10-week checklist.  I’ve done this before and been in position through the Chase for many years and come up short.  But the one year in 2004, it was nice, smooth, steady efforts each week.  This is one checkmark of 30.  We have 10 practice sessions.  We have 10 qualifying sessions and we have 10 race sessions.  So we have two checkmarks done so far and we’re one away from a third.  Those two checkmarks don’t matter.  They’re not anywhere near as important as what we get done tomorrow.  And that’s just one big checkmark that we’re after.”

THE TRACK WAS ABOUT 30 DEGREES WARMER TODAY.  HOW DID THAT AFFECT YOUR CAR?  “There was just a lack of grip.  The front did shove out and the rear did slide out.  I was hoping that we slid (it) the best and we just came out a little short.”

ARE THE BUMPS GIVING YOU GUYS ANY PARTICULAR PROBLEM?  “Yeah, they’re tough.  It’s just the nature of the beast.  Every track has its own character and Chicagoland has the bumps.  We only race here once a year so it’s really hard to get a good gauge.  This place runs a lot like Kansas.  We had a good run there earlier in the year.  I think we’ll be strong tomorrow.”

BRAD KESELOWSKI (No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge Charger R/T) Qualified Sixth HOW WAS YOUR QUALIFYING LAP?  “It was solid lap for this Miller Lite Dodge.  The track really changed from yesterday, it was a lot warmer.  I’m pretty happy with the lap.  It looks like my teammate Kurt ran a great lap too.  We’ll take it.  It looks like we’ll be inside the top 10 to start tomorrow’s race.  That’s a great way to start the Chase.”

THERE IS A LOT OF TALK ABOUT THE BUMPS HERE AT CHICAGOLAND.  HOW IS YOUR MILLER LITE DODGE HANDLING THEM?  “We’ve been up and down.  Hopefully we’ll get them right when it counts the most. Overall, I think we have a fast Dodge for tomorrow.”

ARE TURNS THREE AND FOUR THE KEY TO GET AROUND THIS PLACE?  “Yeah, especially for qualifying.  The track has lost some grip and you really have to be careful in 3 and 4.”

ROBBY GORDON (No. 7 SPEED Energy Dodge Charger R/T) Qualified 37th “I thought that we had a good lap with our SPEED Energy Dodge.  Right there at the end of the lap we squirted out an O-ring out of the oil pump.  We got the run in and we didn’t hurt the motor.  It’s the same problem that we had in practice yesterday.  We’re not sure why it’s happening.  Last night we worked with NASCAR and they said OK, just put a cover on it.  Now it looks like we’ll have to change an oil pump.  It’s a good motor. There’s nothing wrong with the motor.  We’ll be ok.”

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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