Dodge Motorsports Notes & Quotes – NSCS Chase Note No. 6 – Talladega

2011 CHASE FOR THE NASCAR SPRINT CUP

Chase Race No. 6 – Talladega Superspeedway – Sunday, Oct. 23

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

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o Sixth in the series championship standings 25 points behind leader Carl Edwards and one behind fifth-place Tony Stewart.

o Has scored three top-five finishes in five Chase races this season.

o Will be making his fifth career Cup start at Talladega.

o Won in first Cup start at Talladega (2009 spring race), leading just the final lap and edging Dale Earnhardt Jr. by .175 seconds for the win.

o Has led at least one lap in all three previous restrictor plate races this season.

o Best restrictor plate finish this season was 15th at Daytona in July.

o Was credited with a 33rd-place finish in the spring race at Talladega.

o Talladega avg. start: 20.0 Talladega avg. finish: 17.2

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

o Seventh in the championship standings, 27 points behind the leader.

o Won Chase race at Dover, one of four drivers to win a Chase race this season.

o Has been in the top 10 in series standings for all 31 races in 2011.

o Best restrictor plate finish this season was fifth-place in the Daytona 500.

o Best finish in 21 previous starts at Talladega is third (four times, most recently in the 2007 spring race). His best start was fifth in the 2006 spring race.

o Has led at least one lap in each of the last six consecutive races at Talladega (most laps led at Talladega is 35 in the 2002 fall race).

o Has 43 career restrictor plate starts – best finish is second three times, all in the Daytona 500 (2003, 2005 and 2008). Has 16 top-fives and 25 top-10 finishes.

o Finished third in first-ever start at Talladega (2001 spring race). o Talladega avg. start: 20.1 Talladega avg. finish: 13.9

Results: Chase Race No. 5 – Charlotte Motor Speedway – Sunday Oct. 15 Summary: Kurt Busch rallied from two laps down to score a 13th-place finish, best among Dodge drivers. Busch was zapped twice by untimely caution flags moments after making scheduled green flag pit stops. He dropped one position in the standings, to seventh-place, 27 points behind leader Carl Edwards. Brad Keselowski also had his share of misfortune, but salvaged a respectable 16th-place finish. Keselowski fell to sixth-place in the championship standings, 25 points behind Edwards. Ironically, both Busch and Keselowski have completed 99.93 percent of all possible laps in the five Chase races (1,572 of a possible 1,573).

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

o Qualified: 26th Finished: 16th

o Points Position: 6th Gain/Loss: -2 Behind Leader: -25

o Has three top-five finishes in five Chase races

o Led at least one lap in four of the five Chase races this season

o Has racked up nine top five and 13 top-10 finishes this season

o Has been running at the finish of 30 consecutive races

o Average finish in five Chase races: 9.20

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

o Qualified: 20th Finished: 13th

o Points Position: 7th Gain/Loss: -1 Behind Leader: -27

o Only Sprint Cup driver to remain inside the top 10 in driver standings in every race this season

o Average finish in five Chase races: 11.00

o Is one of just three drivers to win a Chase race this season

o Has eight top five and 16 top 10 finishes

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. 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, climbing up to fourth-place, 11 points behind leader Carl Edwards. Kurt Busch qualified 17th and finished 13th after leading the race once for six laps. Busch dropped to sixth in the standings and is 16 points behind leader Edwards with six races to go.

. 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 one in all four Chase races this season

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 race this season.

o Only Sprint Cup driver to remain inside the top 10 in driver standings in every race this 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 second(s). 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 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). He has a 9.00 average finish in three previous Chase races. 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 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 Seventh top-five and 11th top-10 of the season. o Since Indianapolis (August), has scored more points than any other NASCAR Sprint Cup driver, 289 to Jeff Gordon’s 262

DODGE AT TALLADEGA SUPERSPEEDWAY . Dodge has three victories at Talladega Superspeedway, all coming in the fall race: . Richard Brickhouse (1969), Richard Petty (1974) and Dave Marcis (1976). . Brickhouse won the inaugural event at Talladega, winning the Talladega 500 by seven seconds over Jim Vandiver. Dodges swept the top four positions in the first race at the 2.66-mile speedway (Ramo Stott was third followed by the late Bobby Isaac in fourth-place). . Dodge has 12 poles at Talladega, led by Bobby Isaac, who won five. Dodge drivers swept poles for both races at Talladega three times: Isaac (1970), Marcis (1976) and Stacy Compton (2001). . Nord Krauskopf won more poles for Dodge at Talladega than any other car owner, capturing nine poles with three different drivers in a 15-race span from 1969 through 1976. . Jeremy Mayfield is the most recent Dodge driver to win a pole at Talladega, grabbing the top starting spot for the 2003 spring race.

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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