Dodge Motorsports Notes & Quotes – NSCS Race Final – Dover 2

Sunday, Oct. 2, 2011

Dodge Motorsports PR

NASCAR Sprint Cup Series

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American Muscle

Dover International Speedway

AAA 400

Post-Race Quotes

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KURT BUSCH (No. 22 Shell/Pennzoil Dodge Charger R/T) Finished 1st “It was just perfect execution today with making the car better during the race. Our Shell/Pennzoil Dodge Charger was fast. Some of our struggles have been when the track rubbers-in; we’re not exactly where we want to be. This was an awesome day for Shell, Pennzoil and Dodge. I couldn’t be happier right now. To win in a Sprint Cup race in the Chase, this is what it’s all about. This is the playoffs. We had everything go wrong for us last week; we had everything go right for us this week. We just need nice, smooth races from here.”

DO YOU FEEL LIKE YOUR TEAM IS A CHAMPIONSHIP CONTENDER? “I feel like that we’re right in the mix. You just have to cover up those bad days. Tony Stewart struggled today. He’s going to be dropping back. You just have to run consistent. I have to thank all my sponsors. The Shell Saver Card, twenty-two cents a gallon off on Wednesday. Thanks to Sprint and all the sponsors at Penske Racing. It’s unbelievable – Coca-Cola, Lennox, Snap-On Tools. I just have to thanks all these guys.”

CAN YOU TALK ABOUT THAT LAST RESTART? “I just wanted to get out in front of (Jimmie) Johnson. The first restart, I was on the high side. I didn’t know what to choose, low or high. I just wanted to get that jump on him and stretch our lead because I thought that he would reel us back in with about 10 to go. We just had to maintain and bring our Shell/Pennzoil Dodge Charger to victory lane.”

HOW MUCH DID YOU GUYS HAVE TO CHANGE THINGS UP TODAY? “We just had to keep up with the track when it rubbered-in. The thing here at Dover is that the track gets darker and darker. That’s my fear. We made great adjustments during the race and found ourselves in victory lane.”

HOW CONSISTENT WAS YOUR CAR TODAY? “Right around half way, I was scared. I wasn’t sure which way to go. Steve (Addington) just kept making some air pressure adjustments in certain areas and the car just kept coming back to us. The first 100 were perfect. The last 100 were prefect.”

CAN YOU TALK ABOUT WINNING AT DOVER? “It’s such an intense place. It’s hard to get the perfect handle on the race car. A driver really has to compensate a bit here, especially with the race track rubbering-in. To be able to conquer the Monster Mile, to have that Miles’ trophy now on the trophy shelf, I felt like I was missing something over the years. To make my first win here 11 years ago in 2000, it’s been an amazing journey. I didn’t think that it would take this long to get to victory lane, especially when I won my first-ever Truck race here. This is a tough race track and when you’re racing the best of the best, you have to be perfect You have to have a good team and I just have to thank Penske Racing for continuing to provide us the top-quality cars for what it takes.”

HOW MUCH DID YOU RELY ON YOUR DRAG RACING INSTINCTS ON THOSE LAST TWO RESTARTS? “The drag racing is a lot of fun. There’s a lot of technique and what you have to do to get your tires warm and to feel the traction when you’re coming up through the gears. It’s important. I love racing, I don’t care what it is. The way that you can get an advantage on guys on restarts is to feel the rear traction and if it’s slipping, to not be full-throttle and baby that throttle perfectly. I felt that was the difference-maker today. I was able to wrestle the lead away from (Jimmie) Johnson on the outside. On the final restart, when we had the inside lane, I pulled away with a great launch right out of the hole. Pro Stock racing, I have to thank all those guys for having fun and doing that. It’s all a matter of how your setup is for your own car. You have to get that throttle pedal just right on restarts. I’ve always prided myself in trying to get good restarts and not lose spots.”

WHAT WERE THE CRITERIA FOR YOUR DECISION IN DECIDING TO TAKE THE LOW OR HIGH LANE ON THE RESTARTS? “The way that today went, I felt like the bottom lane was the preferred lane and you really had to hit it perfect on that top side. I was just going with the percentages. I felt the bottom lane had the best chance of winning the race down into Turn 1 and clearing coming off of Turn 2. I’m glad I surprised Johnson by getting the lead on the outside. And then, I choose the inside to what I thought was the preferred line. It was great that I was able to jump him on both restarts and pull away. To beat you arch-nemesis, that’s just icing on the cake and that’s pretty sweet.”

CAN YOU TALK ABOUT MAKING THE RIGHT CHANGES TODAY DURING THE RACE? “For us, we almost had the perfect weekend with a pole position on Saturday, we just missed it by three-thousandths-of-a-second. And the way that we were communicating in our team debrief sessions, we knew that we were close. We knew that we just needed to fine-tune a couple of things. Whether it was qualifying trim or whether it was race trim, our car just had a good feel all weekend long. Last week, it was working out those new car blues that bit us. Today, a solid car.”

STEVE ADDINGTON (Crew Chief, No. 22 Shell/Pennzoil Dodge Charger) “The biggest thing was that he was giving great feedback. We were just trying to figure out how to get our car going. It took our car 10 to 15 laps to settle in where we thought that we would be. We made some adjustments and brought it to life earlier in the runs and that was a big key for us getting on top of that and finding a direction. It was probably hallway through the race when we finally got a hold on what direction we needed and we got the breaks of getting the (pit) stops and make those adjustments.”

TALK ABOUT YOUR DAY HERE AT DOVER TODAY? “I felt like watching Kurt over the years here that he’s been really fast. The way that we went through practice and the adjustments that we made from practice to qualifying and to qualify second – so close to the pole – making the adjustments to go into the race like we did, we learned a lot from practice this week and that was a big key. (He) could come in here and win at Dover and that was just us giving him a good piece to do it.”

TRAVIS GEISLER (Director of Competition, Penske Racing)

“A great day. This is definitely awesome. We knew that the 22 was a good car. We ran up front all day. It was just a matter on how it was going to shake out in the end. To come down to the restart with the 48 and have Kurt just drive away was pretty awesome. That’s what Kurt is capable of doing and what this 22 team is made of. A great Shell/Pennzoil Dodge. To win in the Chase is awesome.

“The 2 car recovered really well today. They had a freak issue with the belt coming off the power steering and that set them back a bit. They did an awesome job hanging in there and getting a top-20 finish. We’ll take it and go on to Kansas.”

BRAD KESELOWSKI (No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge Charger R/T) Finished 20th “We had a really good car in clean air. We had a little problem with the power steering belt coming off, lost a lap and by the time we finally got back on the lead lap, we didn’t have any time left to gain back any of the track position we lost. It’s frustrating. I think we were good enough to get a solid run out of it, but ended up 20th. That’s the way it goes.”

AFTER YOU GOT BACK ON THE LEAD LAP, WHAT WAS THE ISSUE AROUND OTHER CARS? “I finally caught the back end of the field, but when I got up to the rear of a car, I couldn’t do anything, couldn’t get around them.”

KANSAS UP NEXT; LOOKING FORWARD TO RETURN TO A TRACK YOU’VE WON AT? “Absolutely. I’m certainly looking forward to that one; I’m looking forward to all of them. We’ve just got to keep digging.”

PAUL WOLFE (Crew Chief, No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge Charger R/T) “We used a little strategy early to gain track position. We felt like we had a top-10 car and just needed to keep working on it, but had the issue with the belt and lost that track position. The way everything fell there at the end didn’t go our way. We got our laps back, but it was too late in the race to make anything happen. You use your tires up trying to get to people to make the pace and once you get there, it’s just difficult to get around them. It definitely wasn’t the day we needed. We can’t haven another one of these days to have a shot at it (championship). Some things out of control today happened. We did the best we could to get the best finish.”

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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