Dodge Motorsports NSCS Race Advance AAA 400 Dover Motor Speedway Sunday, Oct. 2, 2011
DODGE AT DOVER MOTOR SPEEDWAY
. Dodge has five wins at Dover: Richard Petty (2), Ryan Newman (3).
. Petty gave Dodge its first Dover victory at the 1974 Delaware 500. He led 491 of the 500 laps.
. Dodge has started from the pole 12 times at Dover. The first was by Bobby Isaac (129.538 mph) in 1970 and most recent by Ryan Newman (152.925 mph) at the spring event in 2007.
. Brad Keselowski will be making his fourth career start at Dover. He finished 13th in May race, his best finish in three previous starts. Kurt Busch finished 14th.
CHASE FAST FACTS
. Dodge’s Brad Keselowski qualified 16th and finished runner-up at Loudon. He is third in NSCS driver standings, 11 points behind the leader.
. Dodge’s Kurt Busch qualified fifth and finished 22nd at Loudon. He is ninth in the standings, 28 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 has won four Sprint Cup championships: David Pearson (1966), Bobby Isaac (1970), Richard Petty (1974, 1975).
DODGE IN THE CHASE: DOVER . 2004: Dodge earned its first Chase victory as Ryan Newman led 325 laps en route to victory. Dodge started 1-2 with Chase contender Jeremy Mayfield earning the pole and Newman starting second. Mayfield finished seventh. . 2005: The three Chase-eligible Dodges of Jeremy Mayfield, Ryan Newman and Rusty Wallace finished in the top-seven with Wallace leading the way in third.
. 2006: Kasey Kahne was the only Chase-eligible Dodge driver. He finished 38th after being involved in an early-race mishap.
. 2007: Kurt Busch was the Dodge representative in the Chase. He qualified fourth and finished 29th.
. 2008: There were no Dodges in the 2008 Chase field.
. 2009: Kurt Busch and Kasey Kahne were the Dodge representatives among the elite 12. Busch finished fifth and Kahne eighth in the second race of the 2009 Chase.
. 2010: Kurt Busch was the single Dodge entry. He started eighth and finished fourth at the “Monster Mile” in the second event in the 10 race Chase.
THE DODGE BOYS
. Dodge has 211 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series victories.
. Dodge has four victories this season, three by Brad Keselowski (Kansas, Pocono and Bristol) and one by Kurt Busch (Infineon). Dodge’s most recent win came at Bristol. Keselowski led 89 of the 500 laps en route to victory.
. Dodge teams have recorded 51 victories since the manufacturer’s return to NASCAR’s premier series in 2001 after being out of the sport since 1977.
STAT OF THE WEEK
. Brad Keselowski has an average finish of 4.5 in his last nine Sprint Cup starts, including two wins (Pocono and Bristol) and eight top-five finishes. A 12th-place finish at Richmond two weeks ago is his lowest finish during the nine-race stretch. Keselowski has tallied 83 points in the Chase, second only to 94 by leader Tony Stewart. Kevin Harvick has scored 75 points in the two races.
2011 SPRINT CUP SERIES SEASON BEST . Kurt Busch Start: 1st (Kansas, Pocono & Michigan) Finish: 1st (Infineon) . Brad Keselowski Start: 1st (Charlotte) Finish: 1st (Kansas, Pocono, Bristol) . Robby Gordon Start: 30th (Daytona) Finish: 16th (Daytona)
No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge Charger R/T
Birthdate: 02/12/1984 Wins/Starts: 4/81 Hometown: Rochester Hills, Mich. Crew Chief: Paul Wolfe
Highlights . Has qualified for the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup in just his second full season with Penske Racing . Career bests in wins, top-five and top 10 finishes this season. . Surpassed $10 million mark in career earnings at Richmond . Third in NSCS driver points – career best. . Seeking first top 10 at Dover.
No. 22 Shell/Pennzoil Dodge Charger R/T Birthdate: 08/4/1978 Wins/Starts: 23/392 Hometown: Las Vegas, Nev. Crew Chief: Steve Addington
Highlights . 2004 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion . In his sixth season with Penske Racing . Has made the Chase field six of eight seasons . Finished 11th in 2010 Chase standings . Only Cup driver inside of the top 10 of driver points all season.
No. 7 SPEED Energy Dodge Charger R/T Birthdate: 01/02/1969 Wins/Starts: 3/390 Hometown: Cerritos, Calif. Crew Chief: Sam Stanley
Highlights . Last Sprint Cup win came at Watkins Glen in 2003 . No. 7 is outside the top 35 in owner points and must qualify on time at New Hampshire . Best finish of eighth at the Monster Mile came in 2002
FROM THE DODGE ENGINEER: HOWARD COMSTOCK “At Dover, it’s essential to maintain momentum through the middle of the corners. Even though it’s a one-mile track, the corners are a challenge. They are wide, but the number of lanes that are effective are few. It’s important to find speed going down the straightaways. But it’s essential to maintain some of that speed in the corners, that momentum, so that you can rocket off the next corner.
“Dover makes the engine more about torque than peak horsepower. The straightaways are short enough that you get to the horsepower peak very quickly. You can generate speed quickly, but then you have to negotiate that corner. You want to maintain as much speed as possible through the middle of the corner and then accelerate hard on exit. It’s the same process 800 times in the 400-lap race.”
DODGE QUOTES: ON RACING AT DOVER “You have to stay on top of the handling situation all race long and that’s such a challenge – at least it has been for us through the years. The track gets rubbered-in and your car just gets tighter and tighter. Track position is always important and the fast pit stops and strategy from pit road is a must in getting you that. I mean you have to have raw speed but being able to adjust on the car during the race is so key.” Kurt Busch (No. 22 Shell/Pennzoil Dodge Charger R/T
“Dover is a place where I’ve had success and it’s a great track to race on. A lap around Dover is pretty spectacular. That roller coaster feeling you get climbing and falling off the corners is amazing. I feel pretty confident going back there and I’d like to think that Dover is one of my better tracks. (Crew chief) Paul (Wolfe) does a great job in making in-race adjustments and that is very important at Dover because the track changes drastically as rubber gets laid down. There are tracks that are temperamental due to the weather, but at Dover it’s the track rubber that can have you scratching your head.” Brad Keselowski (No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge Charger R/T