Dodge Motorsports NSCS Race Advance Subway 500 Phoenix International Raceway Sunday, March 1, 2011
DODGE MOTORSPORTS QUOTE OF THE WEEK “Daytona was a great two weeks for us, but our focus has turned totally on getting ready for Phoenix this week, Vegas the next and all the races on down the line. The big-picture situation is already our primary focus now. We’re excited about starting off the year like we have and look to build on the success week after week. We have a great group of guys on our ‘Double-Deuce’ Dodge team and – just like Kurt — we are all dedicated to do what it takes to be right there challenging for the championship at the end of the season.” Steve Addington, crew chief, No. 22 Shell/Pennzoil Dodge Charger R/T
DODGE AT PHOENIX INTERNATIONAL RACEWAY • Dodge is seeking its first win at Phoenix International Raceway in Sprint Cup competition. • Dodge has earned four poles at PIR since returning to NASCAR’s premier series in 2001 (Ryan Newman – 3, Casey Atwood). • Dodge’s Kurt Busch (No. 22 Shell/Pennzoil Dodge) is the only active Dodge driver with a win at PIR. He won the spring event in 2005 before moving to Penske Racing and the Dodge ranks in 2006.
THE DODGE BOYS • Dodge has 207 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series victories. • Dodge’s most recent win came at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Kurt Busch led 252 of 400 laps en route to victory in the Coca-Cola 600. • Dodge claimed two Sprint Cup victories in 2010. • Dodge teams have posted 47 wins since the manufacturer’s return to NASCAR’s premier series in 2001 after being out of the sport since 1977. • Dodge has posted wins each season since it’s return in 2001 including seven wins twice (2002 and 2006).
DODGE NEWS AND NOTES • Kurt Bush won the first two restrictor-plate races of his career at Daytona last weekend: Budweiser Shootout and Gatorade Duel. • The Dodge’s of Kurt Busch (19), Brad Keselowski (9) and Robby Gordon (7) each led laps during last weekend’s Daytona 500. • Two Dodge drivers are inside the coveted Top 12 point standings: Kurt Busch (4th) and Robby Gordon (11th). • Dodge qualified 1-2 at the 2008 spring Cup event at PIR (Ryan Newman and Elliott Sadler).
DODGE HISTORICAL DATA • First Dodge NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Win: Lee Petty, 2/1/53, West Palm, Fla., 100 miles, .5-mile track. • Last Dodge NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Win: Kurt Busch, 5/30/2010, Charlotte, 600 miles, 1.5-mile track.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS • Kurt Busch has the fifth-highest driver rating amongst active Sprint Cup competitors at Phoenix Int’l Raceway (99.3). • Only four of the 29 races held at PIR have been won from the pole position.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT • Kurt Busch, No. 22 Shell/Pennzoil Dodge raced to a career-best Speedweeks at Daytona Int’l Speedway. Busch won the Budweiser Shootout, a Gatorade Duel and finished fifth in the 53rd running of the Daytona 500 last Sunday.
DID YOU KNOW? • Brad Keselowski gave Dodge its most recent pole at New Hampshire Motor Speedway last September. • Dodge earned its last pole position at PIR at the spring race in 2008 (Ryan Newman). • Kurt Busch has led 431 laps the last six races at PIR. • Dodge is an Official Passenger Car of NASCAR.
FROM THE ENGINEER “After the time and energy expended by teams on the Daytona 500, now five days later comes Phoenix. Everybody liked the look of the new 2011 Sprint Cup nose at Daytona and it seemed to work to perfection on the high banks. But now we travel to the flat one mile of Phoenix International Raceway. This will be the first real test of the new aerodynamic look without the benefit of high banking to help get the cars through the corners. Fans have already said they like the new look, but the teams may have a busy weekend adapting it to the flat Phoenix track.” Howard Comstock, Dodge Motorsports Engineering
TALKING SHOP WITH PENSKE RACING “After a solid week at Daytona, Penske Racing is ready to get the regular season underway. Phoenix International Raceway is a tough one-mile track that produces some great short track action. The different banking in the two corners along with the dogleg on the back straight creates some unique challenges. The teams will need to balance both heavy braking and hard acceleration to be successful.” Travis Geisler, Director of Competition, Penske Racing
PHOENIX NUGGETS • The first spring race at Phoenix Int’l Raceway was held in 2005 which was won by Kurt Busch. En route to victory, Busch earned a perfect driver rating of 150.0. • Busch has top-10 finishes in four of his last five starts at PIR.
DODGE DRIVER QUOTES “We’ve had a lot of success and fun at Daytona this time around, but like I told them, ‘the real season starts right now.’ It’s kind of like a football team starting off with two wins and a tie going into a new season. We’ve tasted success, but there could have been even more. The important thing is that we didn’t leave Daytona in a hole like we have several times before.” Kurt Busch, No. 22 Shell/Pennzoil Dodge Charger R/T
“I enjoy the challenge that Phoenix provides. It’s a very unique layout that has little – if any – grip. The track is worn down and it sits in that Arizona sun and just bakes, so it’s hard to get your car hooked up. But that’s part of the reason it’s so much fun to race there. It just seems like you are sliding around the entire race because it doesn’t take long for your tires to wear out. You really have to be smooth. That’s what I focus on when I get there and I think anyone that runs well there does the same thing. It’s also really important to work with your crew chief to come up with a setup that is balanced and will work well with the asphalt at Phoenix.” Brad Keselowski, No 2 Miller Lite Dodge Charger R/T
“We had some strong runs in Phoenix last season. We were a top 10 car all day at last year’s spring Cup race. I think coming back there with a Dodge Charger is going to be a lot of fun. With our great run last weekend at the (Daytona)500, we have a lot of momentum with this SPEED Energy team. Basha’s is one of our partners and we hope to give them something to root for come Sunday.” Robby Gordon, No. 7 SPEED Energy Dodge Charger R/T