Dodge Motorsports Notes & Quotes
NSCS Race Advance
Good Sam Club 500
Sunday, Oct. 23, 2011
DODGE AT TALLADEGA SPEEDWAY
· Dodge won the first Sprint Cup race at Talladega in 1969. Richard Brickhouse was the winner as Dodge swept the first four positions.
· Dodge has three wins at Talladega: Brickhouse (1969), Richard Petty (1974) and Dave Marcis (1976).
· Dodge has one pole at Talladega since returning to the Sprint Cup Series in 2001 – Stacy Compton in 2001. A Dodge has started from the pole 12 times since 1969.
· Brad Keselowski is the only current Dodge driver with a win at the 2.66-mile superspeedway in Sprint Cup competition.
CHASE FAST FACTS
· Dodge’s Brad Keselowski qualified 26th and finished 16th at Charlotte last weekend. He is sixth in the Chase standings, 25 points behind the leader.
· Dodge’s Kurt Busch qualified 20th and finished 13th at Charlotte. He dropped one position in the standings to seventh, 27 points behind the leader.
· The last time two Penske Racing Dodges qualified for the Chase was 2005 (Rusty Wallace and Ryan Newman).
· Dodge has not won a championship since the Chase format was introduced in 2004. Kurt Busch won the 2004 title before moving to Penske Racing in 2006.
· Dodge drivers have won four Sprint Cup championships: David Pearson (1966), Bobby Isaac (1970), Richard Petty (1974, 1975).
2011 CHASE to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Standings (After 31 of 36 Events) 1. Carl Edwards 2203 7. Kurt Busch -27 2. Kevin Harvick -5 8. Jimmie Johnson -35 3. Matt Kenseth -7 9. Dale Earnhardt Jr. -60 4. Kyle Busch -18 10. Ryan Newman -61 5. Tony Stewart -24 11. Jeff Gordon -66 6. Brad Keselowski -25 12. Denny Hamlin -86
DODGE IN THE CHASE: TALLADEGA
· 2004: Ryan Newman and Jeremy Mayfield represented Dodge in the Chase. ‘Dega was the third race. Newman finished 16th and Mayfield 38th after being involved in a four-car accident on lap 143.
· 2005: Ryan Newman led the three-car Dodge contingent with a fourth-place finish. Jeremy Mayfield was 14th and Rusty Wallace 25th.
· 2006: Kasey Kahne was the only Dodge driver in the Chase. He finished second and led seven laps.
· 2007: Kurt Busch was the lone Dodge representative in the Chase. He posted his seventh consecutive top-eight finish at ‘Dega, finishing seventh.
· 2008: There were no Dodges in the 2008 Chase field.
· 2009: Kurt Busch, the lone Dodge representative in the Chase, started sixth, led seven laps, but finished 30th after being involved in a 13-car mishap as the field was taking the white flag.
· 2010: Kurt Busch was the single Dodge entry. He started third and finished 30th.
THE DODGE BOYS
· Dodge has 212 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series victories.
· Dodge has five victories this season, three by Brad Keselowski (Kansas, Pocono and Bristol) and two by Kurt Busch (Infineon, Dover). Dodge’s most recent win came at Dover. Busch led five times for 90 of the 400 laps.
· Dodge teams have recorded 52 victories since the manufacturer’s return to NASCAR’s premier series in 2001 after being out of the sport since 1977.
TALLADEGA STATS OF THE WEEK
· In Brad Keselowski’s 2009 Sprint Cup Series win at Talladega, he led only once in the race – the final lap. There were 57 lead changes in the 188-lap event.
· Kurt Busch has scored 16 top five and 25 top 10 finishes in 43-career restrictor plate race finishes. His best TMS finish of third was set in 2001 during his rookie year.
· In 1970, Dodge’s Buddy Baker set a closed course speed record of 200.447 mph, becoming the first stock car driver to officially exceed the 200 mph mark.
· Dodge driver Bobby Isaac started from the pole the first three races at Talladega. He posted top-five finishes including second twice.
2011 SPRINT CUP SERIES SEASON BEST · Kurt Busch Start: 1st (Kansas1, Pocono1 & Michigan1) Finish: 1st (Infineon, Dover2) · Brad Keselowski Start: 1st (Charlotte1 ) Finish: 1st (Kansas1, Pocono2, Bristol2) · Robby Gordon Start: 30th (Daytona) Finish: 16th (Daytona)
FROM THE DODGE ENGINEER: “If there’s a wild card in the Chase, Talladega is it. Can you engineer for a race that’s universally accepted as the most unpredictable? You better. With a tabletop-smooth surface and the highest banking in the sport, if your car can’t run wide open for 500 miles at Talladega, you won’t have a chance at a win. A good handling chassis here is sometimes considered a given, but it’s no small task for engineers to make sure their car handles perfectly all day.” Howard Comstock – Dodge Motorsports Engineering
“I love Talladega. It’s a great race track. I got my first win there, but I think if you polled every driver in the garage, over 95 percent of ‘em would tell you that they don’t think Talladega should be in the Chase. I think there’s a lot of people that feel that way because of how that race plays out. It certainly takes skill to win there and I don’t ever want to take away from anyone who’s won there, myself included (laughs). But that same skill that might get you a win, the next day very easily gets you a 40th. There’s a skill set in between that’s going to make you finish fifth to 25th and those guys have that locked down. It can be very frustrating and a lot of people, a lot of drivers, don’t feel good about that style of racing determining a champion.” Brad Keselowski (No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge Charger)
“Every time you get out there, you have to put yourself in the position to win and it will be no different there this weekend. All those second-place finishes and all the top-fives show that we’ve certainly been able to get ourselves in the position to win, but for one reason or another we just haven’t been able to pull it off yet. The goal this weekend is the same as it is every time we take the green flag here and that’s to run a smart race and be up in the lead group of cars for the stretch run. In every one of these races, I’m out there trying to learn something new. That’s especially true every time the rules are tweaked and we change to a different package. The goal always remains the same, though, and that’s to be there at the end of the race and positioned for a shot at it.” Kurt Busch (No. 22 Shell/Pennzoil Dodge Charger R/T)