SRT Motorsports – Dodge Sprint Cup Series Race Advance – Homestead-MiamiBy Official Release
Sunday, Nov. 18, 2012
DODGE NEWS AND NOTES
· Dodge’s Brad Keselowski leads the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup with a 20-point advantage over Jimmie Johnson. All other Chase drivers have been mathematically eliminated.
· Brad Keselowski can clinch the 2012 Chase for the Sprint Cup championship with a finish of 15th or better in Sunday’s season finale; or 16th and lead at least one lap; or 17th and lead the most laps regardless if Johnson wins the race and secures the maximum 48 points.
· Dodge is seeking its first Sprint Cup Series championship since 1975 (Richard Petty).
· Dodge has one NASCAR Sprint Cup Series victory at Homestead-Miami Speedway (Bill Elliott – 2001). Elliott is one of two drivers to win from the pole.
THE DODGE BOYS
· Dodge has five victories in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series this season – all by Brad Keselowski (Bristol, Talladega, Kentucky, Chicagoland and Dover).
· Dodge has 217 wins in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.
· Dodge teams have recorded 57 victories since the manufacturer’s return to NASCAR’s premier series in 2001.
· Dodge has posted wins each season since its return in 2001 including seven wins twice (2002 and 2006).
· Dodge has seven NASCAR driver’s championships – 7 (Cup: David Pearson (1966) Bobby Isaac (1970) Richard Petty (1974, ’75) Nationwide Brad Keselowski (2010) NCWTS: Bobby Hamilton (2004) Ted Musgrave (2005).
2012 Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Standings 1. Brad Keselowski 2371 7. Greg Biffle -78 2. Jimmie Johnson -20 8. Kevin Harvick -86 3. Kasey Kahne -50 9. Tony Stewart -87 4. Clint Bowyer -52 10. Jeff Gordon -90 5. Denny Hamlin -62 11. Martin Truex Jr. -111 6. Matt Kenseth -74 12. Dale Earnhardt Jr. -160
THE KESELOWSKI ‘CHASE FILE’ Race Start Finish Laps Led Points Chicagoland 13 1 76 1st / +3 New Hampshire 15 6 4 2nd / -1 Dover 10 1 14 1st / +5 Talladega 22 7 0 1st/ +14 Charlotte 20 11 139 1st / +7 Kansas 25 8 0 1st /+7 Martinsville 32 6 8 2nd /-1 Texas 8 2 75 2nd/-7 Phoenix 14 6 10 1st/+20
FROM THE ENGINEER “Homestead-Miami is the last race of the year, everybody knows that. But engineers this week are focused on the fact that Homestead-Miami is the last of the five, mile-and-a-half tracks in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup. On those tracks this fall the poles speeds have been 193 mph, 191 mph, 191 mph, and 182 mph. The pole speed at Homestead-Miami last year was 175 mph, considerably slower than the mile-and-a-half track speed we’re used to. Slower lap speeds by that margin are from diminished grip levels on the aging Homestead-Miami surface and as engineers we’ve got to come up with setups that can hold on to this slippery track. Softer springs, easier riding shock absorbers, smaller sway bars, and lower tire pressures, will all be in the mix of options engineers will have to consider to get a grip on the Homestead-Miami track surface.” Howard Comstock, SRT Motorsports Engineering
2012 RACE REWIND
· Race Four: Brad Keselowski qualified fifth and led 232 laps en route to his first Sprint Cup win of the season at Bristol.
· Race 10: Keselowski visited victory lane for the second time, avoiding a nine-car mishap with two laps remaining to win at Talladega.
· Race 17: Keselowski claimed his third Sprint Cup Series win of year at Kentucky Speedway, leading the final 56 laps.
· Race 18: Sam Hornish Jr. takes over as the driver of the No. 22 Shell/Pennzoil Dodge Charger for Penske Racing at Daytona.
· Race 25: Keselowski clinches his second consecutive berth in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup
· Race 27: Keselowski opens the Chase with his fourth win of the season (Chicagoland); takes three-point lead over Jimmie Johnson in the Chase standings.
· Race 28: Keselowski sixth at Loudon; trails by one.
· Race 29: Keselowski leads the final 10 laps en route to his second Chase win (Dover); retakes point lead by five.
· Race 30: Keselowski finished seventh at Talladega but extends point lead to 14.
· Race 31: Keselowski leads 139 laps, finishes 11th at Charlotte; lead in Chase standings trimmed to seven points by Johnson.
· Race 32: Keselowski maintains a seven-point advantage over Johnson after finishing eighth at Kansas.
· Race 33: Keselowski finished 6th at Martinsville. Falls to second in Chase standings. Trails Johnson by two points.
· Race 34: Keselowski qualifies eighth and finished runner-up to Johnson who extended his point lead to seven.
· Race 35: Keselowski regained the point lead with a sixth-place finish at Phoenix while Johnson had a tire issue and finished 32nd.
2012 SPRINT CUP SERIES SEASON BESTS
· Brad Keselowski Start: 2nd (Bristol) Finish: 1st (Bristol, Talladega, Kentucky, Chicagoland and Dover)
· Sam Hornish Jr. Start: 8th (Daytona) Finish: 5th (Watkins Glen)
DODGE DRIVERS IN THE CHASE – HOMESTEAD
· 2004: Two Dodge drivers earned Chase berths – Ryan Newman and Jeremy Mayfield. Newman started third and led 72 laps before finishing 30th. Mayfield started 20th and finished 35th.
· 2005: Dodge had three drivers in the Chase – Ryan Newman, Rusty Wallace and Jeremy Mayfield. Newman started second and finished seventh, Mayfield 10th and Wallace 13th.
· 2006: Kasey Kahne started from the pole, led five times for 90 laps and finished fourth.
· 2007: Kurt Busch started fifth and finished second.
· 2008: There were no Dodges in the 2008 Chase field.
· 2009: Kurt Busch started 12th, led five times for 43 laps and finished fourth. Kasey Kahne started 25th and finished 17th.
· 2010: Kurt Busch, the only Dodge driver in the Chase; he qualified 15th and finished 18th.
· 2011: Brad Keselowski finished 20th and Kurt Busch 34th.
DODGE QUOTES Brad Keselowski, No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge Charger on giving team owner Roger Penske his first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship “When I first came to Penske Racing, I viewed it as an organization with so much potential. I had a vision for what I knew this place could become, and I shared that with Mr. Penske in our first meeting together. And as he began to give (crew chief) Paul (Wolfe) and I the things that we needed, we began to show results on the racetrack which, in turn, led to a lot of trust among myself, Mr. Penske, Paul and everyone else at Penske Racing. So having a legitimate shot to win the championship this weekend is something that I take great pride in because I know we got there together. Everything about this team is first-class, from our owner to our facility to our sponsor, Miller Lite. We have everything we need to be a championship contender for years to come and it’s exciting to be a part of that.”
Paul Wolfe, Crew Chief, No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge Charger on the crew’s mentality heading into this weekend’s race at Homestead-Miami Speedway “I came to Penske Racing three years ago because Brad Keselowski is the kind of driver that any crew chief would want to work with. He works as hard – and prepares as hard – as any driver I’ve been around. You want a driver that is going to give you everything he has and that’s what Brad does every week. I pride myself on having the same approach to my job, so I knew we could be successful together. Now we are one race away from doing something that no team has been able to do and that is give Roger Penske the Cup championship he deserves. We are planning on doing the same things at Homestead this weekend that got us to this point. Being cautious and ‘laying up’ is a good way to get into trouble. We are an aggressive team, and while we have the big picture in mind, we are going to do what we do.”
Paul Wolfe, Crew Chief, No 2 Miller Lite Dodge, on delivering such solid consistency over the course of this year’s Chase “It’s been a great Chase for us, there’s no doubt about it. I think that everybody wanted to look in the stat books each and every week, and we always didn’t have the best stats. We’ve grown so much as a team over the year that I think it’s hard to look back at those things and I think that we’ve proved that throughout the Chase. We felt like we needed to go into Phoenix and win that race to put us in position to have a shot at it going into the final race. I was definitely caught off-guard by the 48. I expected those guys to run much better than they did. It seemed like they were never able to get it turned around. And then obviously they had the tire issue. I was caught off-guard by that a little bit. We still went there and stuck to our plan and did what we needed to do. Now, we’re in a much better position than we could have planned for, hoped for going into the final race.”
Paul Wolfe, Crew Chief, No 2 Miller Lite Dodge, on succeeding as a two-car Dodge team and breaking the mold that bigger isn’t better “Yeah, I guess we have. That’s what you typically think, that bigger is better. Dodge has done a great job supporting us. We’ve been able to accomplish a lot with them. For myself, the three years that I’ve been here, we’ve accomplished a lot and I know that the relationship with Penske goes a lot farther than that. In a lot of ways, it’s not a bad thing to be the only Dodge team. We definitely get all the attention and I think there’s a lot to be said for that.”
Sam Hornish Jr., No. 22 Shell/Pennzoil Dodge Charger on his last race in the No. 22 Shell/Pennzoil Dodge Charger “To have had the chance to climb back in a Sprint Cup car again this season has been a dream come true for me. I certainly want to thank Shell-Pennzoil and all the great sponsors we have at Penske Racing for the opportunity they gave me and the confidence they have shown in me. We are hoping to have the kind of performance that will make all of our supporters proud during the final race weekend of the season. The backing and encouragement we have received from the sponsors, the fans, the media – everyone we have had the pleasure to work with – has been tremendous. We’re certainly appreciative of having the chance to drive the No. 22 Shell-Pennzoil Dodge. When the checkered flag falls at Homestead on Sunday, I hope everyone can look back and say that we did a respectable job. I hope they can say that we put forth a reputable effort as a replacement driver for the second half of the season. Most of all, I hope that they all agree that I’ve shown a degree of competitiveness that is deserving of a ride in Sprint Cup competition.”