Dodge Motorsports Chase Notes — Charlotte

CHASE FOR THE NASCAR SPRINT CUP

Chase Race No. 5 – Charlotte Motor Speedway – Saturday, Oct. 15

• Brad Keselowski – No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge Charger R/T

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o Enters Saturday night’s race at Charlotte with three top five finishes in the last four races, including a third-place effort last week at Kansas Speedway.

o Won the pole for the 2011 Coca-Cola 600 this past May, his first pole of the 2011 season and second of his Cup career. Led once for seven laps and finished 19th.

o Has finished on the lead lap in three of four previous Cup starts at Charlotte and completed 99.9 percent of total possible laps (1,468 of 1,470).

Charlotte avg. start: 19.2 Charlotte avg. finish: 19.5

 

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

o Scored a fourth-place finish at Charlotte this past May, his fifth top-five at the 1.5-mile speedway.

o Won the 2010 Coca-Cola 600 over Jamie McMurray.

o Has six top 10 finishes at Charlotte with three in his last four starts.

o Has led the most laps twice (2007 spring and 2010 spring).

o Charlotte avg. start: 20.9 Charlotte avg. finish: 19.7

 

Results: Chase Race No. 4 – Kansas Speedway – Sunday Oct. 9

 

Summary: Brad Keselowski led Team Dodge with a third-place finish. Keselowski won at Kansas in June and backed up that performance with his ninth top-five of the season Sunday. He started 12th and steadily worked his way to the front, eventually leading the race for five laps. He gained two positions in the points standings, 11 behind leader Carl Edwards. Kurt Busch started 17th and finished 13th. He’s 16 points behind the leader.

 

• Brad Keselowski – No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge Charger R/T

o Qualified: 12th Finished: 3rd

o Points Position: 4th Gain/Loss: +2 Behind Leader: -11

o Scored his third top-five in four Chase races.

o Led twice for five laps at Kansas and has led at least once in all in all four Chase races.

o Claimed his ninth top-five of the 2011 season.

o Has completed every lap of last 11 Sprint Cup races.

o Average finish in four Chase races: 7.50

 

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

o Qualified: 17th Finished: 13th

o Points Position: 6th Gain/Loss: -2 Behind Leader: -16

o Led once for six laps at Kansas and has led at least one lap in all four Chase races.

o Only Sprint Cup driver to remain inside the top 10 in driver standings throughout the season.

 

Results: Chase Race No. 3 – Dover International Speedway – Sunday Oct. 2

 

Summary: Kurt Busch earned his second Cup Series win of the season after beating Jimmie Johnson by 0.908 seconds. Busch qualified on the outside pole, led 90 laps en route to his 24th NSCS win of his career – his first at the Monster Mile. The win vaulted Busch five positions in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup where he currently sits tied with Tony Stewart for third in points, nine behind co-leaders Kevin Harvick and Carl Edwards. Midrace mechanical issues with a power steering belt relegated Penske Racing teammate Brad Keselowski to a 20th-place place finish. Keselowski dropped three positions to sixth-place in the standings, 14 behind the leaders.

 

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

o Qualified: 2nd Finished: Race Winner

o Points Position: 3rd Gain/Loss: +5 Behind Leader: -9

o Led five times for 90 laps.

o Only Sprint Cup driver to remain inside the top 10 in driver point standings all season.

 

• Brad Keselowski – No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge Charger R/T

o Qualified: 15th Finished: 20th

o Points Position: 6th Gain/Loss: -3 Behind Leader: -14

o Average finish of 5.66 in his last nine Sprint Cup races (best among all Chase drivers).

o His average finish over the past 10 races is 6.10.

o Has completed every lap of last 10 Sprint Cup races.

o Has led at least one lap in each of the first three Chase races.

 

Results: Chase Race No. 2 – New Hampshire Motor Speedway – Sunday, Sept. 25

 

Summary: Brad Keselowski led Team Dodge with a runner-up finish – his eighth top five of the season. Keselowski started ninth, but struggled to run inside the top-20 the first half of the 300-lap event. Crew chief Paul Wolfe used race strategy, choosing not to pit on lap

174 under caution, to gain track position. Fuel mileage keyed Keselowski to a second-place finish, a career best at Loudon, moving him to third in the Chase point standings. Teammate Kurt Busch qualified fifth, but lost track position early and was never able to recover as the race had only three cautions. Busch finished 22nd and dropped to ninth in the Chase standings.

 

• Brad Keselowski – No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge Charger R/T

o Qualified: 16th Finished: 2nd

o Points Position: 3rd Gain/Loss: +3 Behind Leader: -11

o Highest points position in Sprint Cup career.

o Average finish of 4.55 in his last nine Sprint Cup races (best among all Chase drivers).

o Eighth top-10 finish in his last nine Sprint Cup starts.

o Has completed every lap of last nine Sprint Cup races.

o Has led laps in first two Chase races.

 

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

o Qualified: 5th Finished: 22nd

o Points Position: 9th Gain/Loss: -5 Behind Leader: -28

o Worse finish since Michigan (34th) in August.

o Led once for four laps.

o Only Sprint Cup driver to remain inside the top 10 in driver point standings all season.

 

Results: Chase Race No. 1 – Chicagoland Speedway – Monday, Sept. 19

 

Summary: Brad Keselowski earned a fifth-place finish in his first career Chase race. After qualifying sixth, Keselowski was a top-12 car most of the race. He managed to stretch his fuel window for the race’s final 53 laps, something several other lead-lap cars were unable to do (four ran out of fuel). Kurt Busch qualified third, led the most laps (63) en route to his 15th top 10 of the season. He finished sixth. Keselowski started the Chase 11th in the standings, 12 points behind the leader. Busch started the Chase nine points behind the leader in seventh.

 

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

o Qualified: 3rd Finished: 6th

o Points position: 4th Gain/Loss: +3 Behind Leader: -11

o Led 64 of 267 laps – most by any driver.

o Seventh top-five and 15th top-10 of the season.

 

• Brad Keselowski – No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge Charger R/T

o Qualified: 6th Finished: 5th

o Points Position: 6th Gain/Loss: +5 Behind Leader: -14

o Seventh consecutive top-12 finish.

o Career-best Chicagoland Speedway finish.

o Since Indianapolis (August), has scored more points than any other NASCAR Sprint Cup driver, 289 to Jeff Gordon’s 262.

 

DODGE AT CHARLOTTE MOTOR SPEEDWAY

• Dodge has 15 wins at Charlotte, most recently Kurt Busch in the 2010 Coca-Cola 600.

• Dodge has won both races at Charlotte three times (1968, 1975 and 2006) and has six victories since returning to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in 2001.

• Dodge has 14 pole positions at Charlotte (most recently Brad Keselowski in the 2011 Coca-Cola 600) and has swept both poles at Charlotte five times (1968, 1970, 2003, 2006 and 2007).

• Dodge has nine poles at Charlotte since 2001.

• The first driver to win at Charlotte driving a Dodge was Lee Roy Yarbrough in the 1966 National 400.

• Buddy Baker has more Dodge wins (4) at Charlotte than any other driver.

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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