Dodge Motorsports Notes & Quotes
NSCS Race Advance
TUMS Fast Relief 500
Sunday, Oct. 30, 2011
DODGE AT MARTINSVILLE SPEEDWAY
· Dodge has 10 wins at Martinsville including three sweeps (1953, 1956 and 1975).
· Rusty Wallace posted the last Dodge win at Martinsville. It came in the 2004 spring event, one of seven victories for Wallace at the .526-mile track.
· Kurt Busch (No. 2 Shell/Pennzoil Dodge) won at Martinsville in 2002 prior to joining the Dodge family.
· Busch is the only current Dodge driver to earn a pole at Martinsville Speedway (October 2006).
· Dodge’s Brad Keselowski has one top-10 finish in three starts at Martinsville (10th – October 2010).
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.
CHASE FAST FACTS
· Dodge’s Brad Keselowski qualified 16th and finished fourth at Talladega last weekend. He is third in the Chase standings, 18 points behind the leader.
· Dodge’s Kurt Busch qualified 14th and finished 36th at Talladega. He dropped one position in the standings to eighth, 52 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 32 of 36 Events) 1. Carl Edwards 2237 7. Jimmie Johnson -50 2. Matt Kenseth -14 8. Kurt Busch -52 3. Brad Keselowski -18 9. Dale Earnhardt Jr. -74 4. Tony Stewart -19 10. Jeff Gordon -82 5. Kevin Harvick -26 11. Denny Hamlin -84 6. Kyle Busch -40 12. Ryan Newman -88
DODGE IN THE CHASE: MARTINSVILLE
· 2004: Ryan Newman and Jeremy Mayfield represented Dodge in the Chase. Newman claimed the pole and led nine laps en route to a third-place finish. Mayfield qualified 11th and finished sixth.
· 2005: Dodge drivers making the elite 10 were Ryan Newman Jeremy Mayfield and Rusty Wallace. Newman finished 10th, Wallace 19th and Mayfield 28th.
· 2006: Kasey Kahne was the only Dodge driver to make the Chase. He started 32nd and finished seventh.
· 2007: Kurt Busch was the lone Dodge representative in the Chase. Busch started 11th and finished 31st.
· 2008: There were no Dodges in the 2008 Chase field.
· 2009: Kurt Busch, the lone Dodge entry in the Chase, started 37th and finished 17th.
· 2010: Kurt Busch was the only Dodge driver to make the Chase. He started 29th and finished 16th.
FROM THE DODGE ENGINEER: “This week, we’re going from the biggest track in Sprint Cup competition to the smallest. If Talladega had big engineering challenges to overcome, Martinsville has bigger. Engineers, worried about 250-degree engine temperatures at Talladega last week, have to worry about 1400-degree brake temperatures at Martinsville. Some easy math will convince even the most casual observer that dealing with components that get to 1400 degrees will be an important part of any team’s success at Martinsville.” Howard Comstock, Dodge Motorsports Engineering
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 (Daytona1) Finish: 16th (Daytona1)
MARTINSVILLE STATS OF THE WEEK
· Brad Keselowski has one top 10 finish at Martinsville (Fall 2010). He has an average finish of 13.7 in three races at the paper clip-shaped track.
· Kurt Busch’s win at Martinsville in 2002 came from the 36th starting position, the furthest back a race winner has started.
· Dodge’s best finish at Martinsville in the spring was a 16th by Kurt Busch. Brad Keselowski finished 19th and Robby Gordon 23rd.
· There have been 125 Sprint Cup races at Martinsville; the first in 1949 was won by Red Byron.
· Just 19 races have been won from the pole.
DODGE MOTORSPORTS QUOTE OF THE WEEK
“Heading back to Martinsville for the second time, I don’t feel like we were that bad the first race. We had a tire failure that put us behind, so going back we feel that we have some new ideas that will make our cars a little faster. We’re bringing a new chassis to the race track this weekend. Hopefully, we can keep this roll going. We’re all excited on this Miller Lite Dodge Charger team. We’ve worked really hard all year to put ourselves in position these final few races to have a shot at the championship and it’s ‘go’ time to try and make it happen.” Paul Wolfe, crew chief, No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge Charger R/T
“This weekend’s race at Martinsville is one that I’ve been looking forward to for a while. There is no part or piece of equipment that can substitute for just getting a bunch of laps under your belt there. I’ve learned a lot in my three races, and I know Paul (Wolfe) has as well. This is a race where I think we can really pick up some points on Carl (Edwards) and Matt (Kenseth).
” Martinsville will always be a track that is hard on brakes. Yes, the braking systems have come a long way over the last 10 years or so. But if you give us more brakes or better brakes, we are going to use more brakes to the point that we will damage the sidewall of the tire. Overheating the brakes is something that is easy to do because you are going so hard every lap as passing is difficult at Martinsville. Managing your brakes is part of being a successful short-track racer.” Brad Keselowski (No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge Charger
“Everyone on this team feels really good about going to Martinsville this weekend, especially since we were able to take part in the Goodyear tire test there last month. The good thing about Martinsville is that you don’t have to worry about aerodynamics. It’s the shortest track we visit and it’s all about mechanical grip. In the short time Brad has been at Martinsville, he has shown a great ability to get around the place. Hopefully we can get qualifying in – which is never a guarantee during this weekend – so that we can get a good starting spot. Then, if we can maintain forward bite off the corners, I believe we can gain more points on the Chase leaders to really make this thing interesting heading into the final three weeks.” Paul Wolfe, crew chief, No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge Charger R/T
“We’ve run very well there through the years, but you wouldn’t know that by just looking at the statistics. The biggest thing is that it’s been seldom that we’ve been able to put together a whole race at Martinsville. We’d start out strong and not be able to get the good finishes we needed. Many times we’ve been strong enough to win a 400-lap race there, but the problem is that Martinsville races are 500-lappers, not 400.
“We’re coming back into Martinsville with a lot of confidence and a really positive attitude about racing there this weekend. I’ll be the first to admit that the Martinsville races have always been so challenging to me and that goes all the way back through my career. But ever since Steve Addington came aboard as our crew chief, things have really begun to turn for the better.
“It’s just a tough parking-lot-style of racing. You’re racing on a flat surface on the straightaways and all the way through the corners. You just stay so hard on the brakes into the corners that you don’t know when you’re gonna slide over that edge of how you need to be running. I seem to almost always heat up my front brakes too much there and they lose the grip we need towards the end of the race. Most of the time, we still have plenty of rear brake left as the race concludes and that really tends to create a loose handling situation. You’re all on top of one another for the whole race, with cars behind you and in front of you ramming and jamming and beating and banging. It’s so tough on the drivers and the teams. You can have one slow pit stop and find yourself falling from the top-five all the way back to 25th. You get mired up in the traffic and it’s so difficult to pass. You can do a complete tire run and maybe only make up half the positions that you lost earlier. Everyone has to be on top of their game just about for the entire race in order to excel there.” Kurt Busch, No. 22 Shell/Pennzoil Dodge Charger R/T
“The biggest thing I’ve tried to stress to Kurt about racing at Martinsville is to keep his cool, stay focused and hang in there and keep plugging away. “It’s a 500-lap race and you have to be running at the finish to have a shot at the win or a solid finish up front. It’s a place that puts a premium on patience like no other track we race on. The way our season has gone, you just never know. One thing for sure is that there’s still a full month of racing left and we’ll be out there scratching and clawing for everything we can get.” Steve Addington, crew chief, No. 22 Shell/Pennzoil Dodge Charger R/T