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post #1 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-30-2011, 04:37 PM Thread Starter
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Exclamation NASCAR 9/02-04 (Fri/Sat &Sun)


Atlanta Motor Speedway

What: Race 17 of 25 on Camping World Truck circuit
Where: Atlanta Motor Speedway, Hampton, GA
When: September 2, 2011 8:19 pm EDT SPEED
Laps: 130
Track Length: 1.54 miles
Race Length: 200.00 miles


Records
Date Series Driver Speed


11/12/95 Sprint Cup Race Dale Earnhardt 164.00
3/20/05 Sprint Cup Qualifying Ryan Newman 194.690
10/25/03 Nationwide Race Greg Biffle 146.00
10/25/03 Nationwide Qualifying Greg Biffle 192.300
3/18/05 Camping World Truck Race Ron Hornaday Jr. 142.00
3/18/05 Camping World Truck Qualifying Rick Crawford 182.735

Camping World Truck Series
Upcoming Race Sep 2
Atlanta 200



Location: Hampton, GA
Banking/Turns: Quad-Oval
Distance: 1.54 miles
Shape: Quad-Oval

Camping World Truck
Date Race Name Pole Winner Race Winner Make Purse

3/6/10 E-Z-GO 200 Ron Hornaday Jr. Kevin Harvick Chevrolet $505,804
3/7/09 American Commercial Lines 200 Kyle Busch Kyle Busch Toyota $530,402
10/25/08 E-Z-GO 200 Johnny Benson Ryan Newman Chevrolet $564,909
3/7/08 American Commercial Lines 200 Ron Hornaday Jr. Kyle Busch Toyota $552,521
10/27/07 EasyCare Vehicle Service Contracts 200 Ron Hornaday Jr. Kyle Busch Chevrolet $548,555
3/16/07 American Commercial Lines 200 Mike Skinner Mike Skinner Toyota $536,410




What: Race 26 of 34 on Nationwide circuit
Where: Atlanta Motor Speedway, Hampton, GA
When: September 3, 2011 7:46 pm EDT ESPN2
Laps: 195
Track Length: 1.54 miles
Race Length: 300.00 miles


Nationwide
Date Race Name Pole Winner Race Winner Make Purse


9/4/10 Great Clips 300 Kasey Kahne Jamie McMurray Chevrolet $1,076,369
9/5/09 Degree V12 300 Dale Earnhardt Jr. Kevin Harvick Chevrolet $1,146,784
3/8/08 Nicorette 300 Jeff Burton Matt Kenseth Ford $1,151,315
3/17/07 Nicorette 300 Kyle Busch Jeff Burton Chevrolet $1,115,577


What:Race 25 of 36 on Sprint Cup circuit
Where:Atlanta Motor Speedway, Hampton, GA
When:September 4, 2011 7:46 pm EDT ESPN2
Laps:325
Track Length:1.54 miles
Race Length:501.00 miles


Sprint Cup
Date Race Name Pole Winner Race Winner Make Purse


3/7/10 Kobalt Tools 500 at Atlanta Dale Earnhardt Jr. Kurt Busch Dodge $4,948,689
9/5/10 Emory Healthcare 500 Denny Hamlin Tony Stewart Chevrolet $6,101,958
3/8/09 Kobalt Tools 500 Mark Martin Kurt Busch Dodge $5,099,491
9/6/09 Pep Boys Auto 500 Martin Truex Jr. Kasey Kahne Dodge $6,282,099
3/9/08 Kobalt Tools 500 Jeff Gordon Kyle Busch Toyota $5,060,012
10/26/08 Pep Boys Auto 500 Jimmie Johnson Carl Edwards Ford $6,234,316
3/18/07 Kobalt Tools 500 Ryan Newman Jimmie Johnson Chevrolet $4,957,097
10/28/07 Pep Boys Auto 500 Greg Biffle Jimmie Johnson Chevrolet $6,156,331

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post #2 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-30-2011, 04:46 PM Thread Starter
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CUP: Kurt Busch Looks To Join Chase Crowd Sunday

Date: 08/30/2011
Location: Charlotte, NC

One Busch is in the Chase; the other is lurking.



Kurt Busch, who sits in eighth place in Sprint Cup points entering Sunday night’s AdvoCare 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway, can join his brother, Kyle, in the Chase with a finish of seventh or better.

Barring a major collapse in the last two races before the Chase, Kurt will be a Chaser. He is 60 points ahead of the 11th-place driver, which happens to be his Penske Racing teammate, Brad Keselowski. Keselowski appears headed for one of the two Chase wild-card spots.

“We’re in a pretty good situation as far as making the Chase in Atlanta, and that’s a big feather in our cap,” said Busch. “It’ll be a big deal for all the team sponsors and everyone involved with our ‘Double Deuce’ Dodge team to make the Chase again this season.

“It has come to be a measuring stick for the level of success a team has during a particular season. Making the Chase is like placing the stamp on the year as officially being successful.”

Busch’s goal is bigger, of course. He wants to match the Sprint Cup title he won in 2004, the first year of the Chase format. He also could use some momentum to carry into the Chase. In the past six races, he has three finishes of 21st or worse and has fallen from third to eighth in points.

“The bottom line is that we also have to look at the Atlanta and Richmond races as opportunities to get additional wins and accumulate the bonus points for when the clock goes back to zero and the points are reset,” Busch said. “Heading into Chicago (Sept. 18) and the opening race of the 10 races that make up the Chase, it would be huge to have more wins and get seeded higher when the Chase begins.”

Busch was seeded seventh at the start of the first Chase in 2004 and survived trouble – a right-front wheel problem that almost sent him into the pit wall – in the final race at Homestead-Miami Speedway to win the championship.

“We’re definitely coming back into Atlanta hoping to enjoy the level of success we have in recent races there,” said Busch, a winner three times at AMS. “But, when you look at the record, you’ll see that we have had our good runs during the day races there and haven’t had that level of success in the night races, although we did finish sixth there last fall.

“So, we’re coming in with a realistic level of optimism. We expect to do well and look to be really competitive this weekend, but we know it will be a challenge. Winning the two spring races in a row at Atlanta like we did in 2009 and 2010 definitely puts a little more confidence into our step coming back in there. But, we’ve seen week in and week out this season just how much things can change on a weekly basis. We understand the challenge that we’re up against.”


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post #3 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-31-2011, 09:19 AM Thread Starter
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Dodge Motorsports Notes & Quotes - NSCS Race Advance - Atlanta
August 30, 2011 , HAMPTON, Ga - FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Dodge Motorsports NSCS Race Advance
Advocare 500
Atlanta Motor Speedway
Sunday, Sept. 4, 2011



DODGE AT ATLANTA MOTOR SPEEDWAY
· Dodge has nine NASCAR Sprint Cup Series wins at Atlanta Motor Speedway – including three of the last four.
· Penske Racing and Dodge claimed six consecutive poles at Atlanta Motor Speedway (2003-2005).

DODGE CHASE CLINCH SCENARIOS

· Kurt Busch can clinch his sixth appearance in the Chase for the Sprint Cup at Atlanta if he leaves 49 points ahead of 11th. He is currently 60 points ahead of 11th and can guarantee a top-10 spot with at least a finish of seventh; or eighth and at least one lap led; or ninth and the most laps led.
· Brad Keselowski can clinch a Wild Card spot in the Chase if he is 48 points ahead of the driver 21st in the point standings after Atlanta. Keselowski is looking to move into the top 10 in the standings to collect bonus points (three) for each win. The two Wild Card winners do not get the bonus points and are seeded 11th and 12th.

DODGE NEWS AND NOTES
· Dodge has won two of the last four Sprint Cup races.
· Dodge has four wins, seven top threes, seven top fives and 10 top 10s in the last 12 races.
· Kurt Busch is the only Sprint Cup Series driver who has been in the top-10 in the driver point standings all 23 races this season.
· Dodge’s Brad Keselowski has gained 10 positions in the Cup Series driver standings in the last four races.

BRAD KESELOWSKI – WHAT A DIFFERENCE A YEAR MAKES
2010 2011
Wins 0 3

Top Fives 0 6

Top 10s 2 9

Laps Led 41 266

Points Position 25 11

STAT OF THE WEEK
· Brad Keselowski has an average finish of 1.75 in the last four Sprint Cup Series races. His recent finishes include: 1st (Pocono), 2nd (The Glen), 3rd (Michigan) and 1st (Bristol).

2011 DODGE SPRINT CUP REWIND
· Race 1: Kurt Busch won the Bud Shootout and a Gatorade Duel during Speedweeks.
· Races 12-15: Dodge earns four consecutive poles.
· Race 13: Keselowski won at Kansas; first Dodge win of the season.
· Race 16: Busch dominates at Infineon for first win of season and first road-course victory of his career.
· Race 21: Keselowski, racing with a broken left ankle, earns his second win of the season at Pocono Raceway.
· Race 23: Keselowski up to 12th in Cup Series driver points.
· Race 24: Keselowski wins his third race of the season. Moves up to 11th in points. Current No. 1 wild card driver.

THE DODGE BOYS
· Dodge has 211 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series victories.
· Dodge’s most recent win came at Bristol Motor Speedway. Brad Keselowski led 89 of the 500 laps en route to victory. The victory was the fourth for Dodge in 2011.
· Dodge teams have posted 51 victories 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 its return in 2001 including seven wins twice (2002 and 2006).

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)

FROM THE ENGINEER
“Atlanta will provide two different races for two different sets of teams. Those teams still trying to qualify for the Chase will be pressing hard to gain points or get a win. Those teams that already know they're going to be in the Chase will likely be testing hard.

“Atlanta is the last 1.5-mile track that the Sprint Cup Series competes on before the Chase begins. And with four of the 10 Chase races being contested at the same distance, teams will likely be searching for anything at this track that might work on one of the very similar circuits we'll visit during the championship run. Look closely at top teams that are running well this week and some that are running not so well; you may find some interesting and new parts in their cars.”
Howard Comstock, Dodge Motorsports Engineering

DODGE MOTORSPORTS QUOTE OF THE WEEK
“While we know we can lock up a spot in the Chase there in Atlanta on Sunday night with a good finish, we still have to be in the mode of doing what it takes to win and bank us some more bonus points to help with our seeding when the Chase kicks in. There are several guys out there with more than one win like we have and we need to get ourselves up there with them during these next two races.”
Kurt Busch, No. 22 Shell/Pennzoil Dodge Charger R/T

DODGE QUOTES
“We’re in a pretty good situation as far as making the Chase in Atlanta and that’s a big feather in our cap. It’ll be a big deal for all the team sponsors and everyone involved with our ‘Double Deuce’ Dodge Team to make the Chase again this season. It has come to be a measuring stick for the level of success a team has during a particular season. Making the Chase is like placing the stamp on the year as officially being successful.

“That said, it’s like accomplishing the first goal of the weekend at Atlanta in making the Chase again. The bottom line is that we also have to look at the Atlanta and Richmond races as opportunities to get additional wins and accumulate the bonus points for when the clock goes back to zero and the points are reset. Heading into Chicago and the opening race of the 10 races that make up the Chase, it would be huge to have more wins and get seeded higher when the Chase begins.”
Kurt Busch, No. 22 Shell/Pennzoil Dodge Charger R/T

“I like the fact that Atlanta is a very slick racetrack. You come in to put tires on and you are almost three seconds a lap faster. That’s huge! A guy that will come in and pit one lap earlier than you do will gain almost half a straightaway on you. That puts pit strategy into focus. It’s just a fun place to race. I had a lot of success running the high line in the spring race last year. I don’t really think of myself as a driver that prefers the top, but I’ll definitely search around to see where my car is the fastest. That’s why we love racing at Atlanta.”
Brad Keselowski, No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge Charger R/T

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post #4 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-31-2011, 02:27 PM Thread Starter
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Dodge Motorsports Notes & Quotes – NNS Race Advance – Atlanta
Published on August 31, 2011 by Official Release

Dodge Motorsports Notes & Quotes

NNS Race Advance Great Clips 300 Atlanta Motor Speedway Saturday, Sept. 3, 2011


BRAD KESELOWSKI RETURNS TO NNS Dodge’s Brad Keselowski will return to the seat of the No. 22 Discount Tire Dodge Challenger this weekend at Atlanta Motor Speedway. The reigning 2010 NNS champion has been sidelined since suffering a broken left ankle sustained during a testing accident at Road America. Drivers filling in for the 2010 Nationwide Series champion the last four weeks include Sam Hornish Jr. at Iowa, Kurt Busch at Watkins Glen Jacques Villeneuve at Montreal and Parker Kligerman at Bristol Motor Speedway. The four drivers combined for one win, two poles and two top-10 finishes.

DODGE NEWS AND NOTES · Dodge is seeking its first Nationwide Series win at Atlanta Motor Speedway. · Dodge’s last Nationwide Series win came three weeks ago at Watkins Glen when Keselowski’s teammate Kurt Busch drove his Discount Tire/Ruby Tuesday Dodge Challenger to victory. · Jacques Villeneuve earned Dodge its last Nationwide Series pole at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal. Penske teammate Alex Tagliani started second making it an all-Dodge front row.

DODGE IN THE NASCAR NATIONWIDE SERIES · Dodge is fielding two entries in the Nationwide Series this year from the Penske Racing stable. Sam Hornish Jr. joined teammate Brad Keselowski for a limited race schedule. Hornish has made eight starts this season. His best finish of sixth came at Nashville.

BRAD KESELOWSKI AT ATLANTA · Brad Keselowski will be making his fifth career NASCAR Nationwide start at AMS. His fourth-place finish at the fall event in 2009 is a career best at AMS.

BRAD KESELOWSKI– No. 22 Discount Tire Dodge Challenger R/T Career Stats (Atlanta): Starts: 4 Wins: 0 Top Fives: 1 Top 10s: 2 Poles: 0 Laps Led: 5 Average Start: 21.0 Average Finish: 11.75

KESELOWSKI ON RACING AT ATLANTA “Atlanta is a place I knew I would like after my first lap on the track. The sensation of speed you get through the corner in a Nationwide Series car is pretty unbelievable. That’s one thing that amazes people every time I tell them that a Nationwide Series car – through the corners – is faster than a Cup Series car. Whether you are running the top, the bottom or the middle, Atlanta is all about speed.”

FAST FACTS · Brad Keselowski has two wins in his last four NASCAR Nationwide Series starts. The wins came at Kentucky and Lucas Oil Raceway (Indy). · In 159 career Nationwide starts, Keselowski has 14 wins, 67 top fives, 95 top 10s, and 10 poles. · Dodge has 37 wins in the NASCAR Nationwide Series.

FROM THE DRIVER “It was really important for me to return to the Nationwide Series this season. I know there are a lot of people who think it may be a bad idea, but I am a man of my word. I made a promise to everyone on my team that I would be behind the wheel of the Discount Tire Dodge. We’re in a pretty good spot as far as the Chase is concerned so this is a good time to go back to the Nationwide Series. My injuries are feeling better every day and the extra seat time should benefit both teams.” Brad Keselowski, No. 22 Discount Tire Dodge Challenger R/T

FROM THE CREW CHIEF “These last four weeks have been very interesting for me. On one hand, my driver was on the sidelines with an injury and my thoughts were with him, as much as they could be. On the other hand, I had the opportunity to work with four outstanding race car drivers. I feel that’s made me a better, more well-rounded crew chief. I appreciate Kurt (Busch), Sam (Hornish Jr.), Jacques (Villeneuve) and Parker (Kligerman) filling in. We had some strong runs with those guys and I think Brad can come back this weekend and put the Discount Tire machine in Victory Lane.” Todd Gordon, crew chief, No. 22 Discount Tire Dodge Challenger R/T

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post #5 of 21 (permalink) Old 09-01-2011, 05:02 PM Thread Starter
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Paul Wolfe: From Driver To Crew Chief - ESPN Video - ESPN

Wolfe, Keselowski have plenty to prove

MOORESVILLE, N.C. -- Paul Wolfe lowered his head from behind his desk in his purposely nondescript office at Penske Racing, trying to figure out a tactful way to say what he thought about Brad Keselowski when they first met in 2009 to discuss joining forces.

There was no easy way to put it.

"To be honest with you, I didn't like him a whole lot," said the crew chief for Keselowski's unbelievably hot Penske Racing Sprint Cup team. "I didn't."

He really, really didn't.

Keselowski, then in the No. 88 Nationwide Series car at JR Motorsports, had wrecked cars that Wolfe worked hard to build more than once. There was one run-in in particular at Memphis, where Wolfe felt he had a shot to put the underdog CJM Racing team into Victory Lane, tainting the 34-year-old New York native's opinion of the driver considered by many at the time a punk.

"He dumped [us]," Wolfe recalled. "To be honest, I really didn't care for the guy."

Wolfe loves Keselowski now, and for many of the same reasons he despised him just a few years ago. As a former driver who six years ago would have done anything to be in Keselowski's position, Wolfe understands what it takes to be at the top of the profession.


The first of many? Paul Wolfe, left, and Brad Keselowski won the 2010 Nationwide Series championship.

And right now, Keselowski is on top with two wins in the past four races -- three on the season -- taking him from Chase long shot to one of the favorites.

"I knew he could drive," Wolfe said with a sheepish grin on his face. "I saw Brad in that 88 car win races when I didn't feel like he had the best race car. I was like, 'That's the kind of guy I want to work for.'

"There's days when you don't have the best race car and you want a driver that can make up for it, and vice versa."

But enough about Keselowski. This is about the man behind the scenes, the one few outside of NASCAR's inner circle knew much about three months ago when the No. 2 team was 25th in points, 14 spots behind where it is now.

This is about a man who five years from now we could be talking about in the same high esteem as Chad Knaus, who has helped Jimmie Johnson to five consecutive championships.

This is about a man who is, unlike his driver, not hard to like.

This is about Wolfe, who went from an unpaid welder for the Late Model team of future Joe Gibbs Racing president J.D. Gibbs to a driver who could have been a potential star with a little money and sponsorship to one of the top young crew chiefs in the garage.

"Paul is a smart guy," said Keselowski, 11th in points heading into Sunday night's race at Atlanta. "He's good and we're on the same wavelength. So much of this sport is about that.

"So without that, I don't think I could be successful and couldn't be where I'm at here as we stand."

Rags to riches

Wolfe was 19 when he knocked on the door at Gibbs' Late Model shop. He had a welding degree from a small school in Ohio to prove he could build frames and little money in his bank account.

"Give me a chance," Wolf asked Gibbs.

Gibbs did, but for the first six months Wolfe worked for free and lived with friends. He finally started getting $200 to $300 a week when Gibbs went to the Busch North Series in 1997, but there wasn't much job security.

"It was a disaster," Wolfe said of Gibbs' season.

The two still joke about how bad Gibbs was as a driver and how smart it was for both to eventually give up driving.

"At least part of where he is now he owes to me," Gibbs said. "I tore up more stuff and gave him more headaches than you can imagine, so he's well trained."



I'm probably not the most optimistic guy out there. I doubt myself a little more than I should. Maybe that's what makes me successful. I feel like every day I wake up I've got to go prove myself again.
” -- Paul Wolfe

Gibbs also was instrumental in getting Wolfe behind the wheel. In 40 starts in NASCAR's K&N Pro Series East from 2000 to 2004, Wolfe had two poles, 19 top-10s and nine top-5s.

That led to him driving in the Nationwide Series, first for Tommy Baldwin and then Ray Evernham, who was trying to establish a program for his young Dodge organization. But six races into the 2005 season, after consecutive finishes of 16th and 10th, Evernham turned to Cup drivers Kasey Kahne and Jeremy Mayfield because Wolfe wasn't attracting sponsors.

"In fairness to him, he was a pretty decent driver," Evernham said.

But like Evernham, Kenny Francis, Baldwin and others who went on to become successful crew chiefs, there came a time when it was apparent Wolfe's future wasn't in driving.

"The reality is, if he had gotten some breaks driving a car, he could still be driving today," Gibbs said. "He was really, really good behind the wheel."

But Wolfe was even better under the hood of the car.

"Everything that kid always touched was like immaculate," Baldwin said. "It was unbelievable when he worked on cars, how detailed they were. That's why he is successful."

Wolfe is successful because he was smart enough to realize that.

"At the end of 2005, there wasn't any successful rides for me out there," he said. "I could have done start-and-park-type teams, but [to feed] my want to win races and be successful … those opportunities weren't there.

"Could I have done it if I had gotten the opportunity? It's hard to say. But I knew I could be the best at this position with time."

Thanks, but no thanks, BK

Wolfe wasn't sure what Keselowski wanted in August 2009 when he summoned him to his motor coach at Michigan.

Apparently, Keselowski knew what he wanted. Having observed Wolfe the past three years, first working as a crew chief for FitzBradshaw, then Braun Racing and then CJM Racing supported by JGR, he saw a raw talent looking to make a name for himself just like he was.

"I told him I'm going to move on, do this deal with Penske, that there's this Nationwide program, I'm excited about it, I like what I see out of you watching you from a distance, I think you should interview for the job and I think you'd be the leading candidate," Keselowski recalled.
big reason Brad Keselowski went from midpack driver to Chase front-runner is crew chief Paul Wolfe and his over-the-wall gang.



Again, Wolfe didn't care for Keselowski at the time. But he was polite about it and said, "I appreciate the offer and opportunity, but I am all set."

He was set until funding at CJM fell apart. So when Penske Racing officials, unaware of Keselowski's contact, revisited Wolfe in October, he was more open to the idea.

Wolfe also had an offer to go to JGR and run the No. 20 Nationwide program, with Dave Rogers moving up to Kyle Busch's Cup program.

"That was a tough decision," Wolfe said. "I loved working for Gibbs and everything they stood for."

But he chose Penske Racing for a reason you have to admire -- for the opportunity to build a Nationwide program from scratch. He wanted to put his stamp on something instead of just adding to one of the most successful programs in the garage, in much the same manner Keselowski did when he chose Penske Racing over staying under the Hendrick Motorsports umbrella.

"I felt with the right funding and the right driver I could win races," Wolfe said.

He did, leading Keselowski to six wins and the first NASCAR championship for Penske Racing in 2010. He was rewarded by being named Keselowski's crew chief on the Cup level this season.

"Like Brad, I can look back and say maybe this was the better move for me," Wolfe said.

Like oil and water

Wolfe lowered his head again, laughing at being asked when he first began to like Keselowski.

"Whew!" he said.

Wolfe likes joking about it now. But at the time he made the move to Penske he realized "Brad was the kind of guy you wanted on your side."

In many ways Wolfe and Keselowski are complete opposites. Wolfe is quiet and shy, not one to openly express his opinion unless asked for it. His office is a reflection of that. There are no personal or family pictures on the gray walls, nothing to let you know anything about the man who works in it.


Sprint Cup logo NASCAR's Chase for the Sprint Cup has a new format in 2011, and possible a new champion. ESPN.com Topics has you covered on all the changes as five-time champ Jimmie Johnson looks to defend his title. Topics Page »

Keselowski is outspoken and charismatic, not afraid to say whatever is on his mind. That was evident again a week ago when he wrote on Twitter that Danica Patrick had opened a "Pandora's box" for all women in racing by posing half-naked in several magazines to promote her career.

"I'm like, 'Gosh darn it, Brad! Can you keep your mouth shut on anything?'" Wolfe said with a laugh.

But Wolfe understands that Keselowski's brashness is part of what makes him great, just like his own quiet attention to detail helps make him great as a crew chief.

"Sometimes we need people in the sport that are honest and give you an opinion," Wolfe said. "A lot of times, you have drivers who say what they think everybody wants to hear. It's not the truth a lot of the time.

"Brad will tell you the truth. Sometimes it upsets people. At the end of the day, when he gets in that race car, he's proven he belongs at this level."

Wolfe has proved he belongs, as well. He has proved that with a little perseverance and patience good things happen to good people who work hard, that first impressions about people aren't always the best.

"I'm probably not the most optimistic guy out there," Wolfe admitted. "I doubt myself a little more than I should. Maybe that's what makes me successful. I feel like every day I wake up I've got to go prove myself again."

So does Keselowski, another reason they like each other so much now.



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2011 NSCS AdvoCare 500 Q&A with Dodge Motorsports Driver, Brad Keselowski
Press Release
Post a Comment September 2, 2011



Brad Keselowski, driver of the No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge, signs an autograph in the garage area


BRAD KESELOWSKI (No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge Charger R/T)
CAN YOU TALK ABOUT THE CHANCE TO WIN THE $3 MILLION WITH THE SPRINT SUMMER SHOWDOWN? “It’s an awesome promotion and ’m proud of Sprint to put this on to give everyone an opportunity for great things, especially the fans. Obviously, there is an element for teams, which has my guys excited. Another element is for the foundations and charities that all of us drivers represent. It’s all for a great cause and I’m proud to be a part of it. I’m just excited to see which one of us can win it, if we can get it done.”

WITH A $3 MILLION BONUS ON THE LINE, DOES IT TURN THE RACE INTO AN “ALL-STAR” TYPE RACE FOR YOU? “I think the timing is rather perfect because all of the drivers, for the most part, have figured out who’s going to be in and who’s not. I applaud the timing to run for this. It really doesn’t make a difference for Kyle (Busch) or myself who are locked into the Chase. It should be interesting on how that plays out.”

CAN YOU TALK ABOUT THE RECENT RUN THAT YOU’RE TEAM HAS BEEN ON? “It’s been an amazing run and I feel awful privileged to have as fast of race cars that I’ve had over the last few weeks. When you run through a point in time that you don’t have fast race cars, it certainly feels good to get into some good equipment and get going. It’s certainly an honor. I wish I could pinpoint what it is. I have a hard time believing that having a broken foot makes you a better race car driver. I think that it’s the team coming together and clicking as one and I’m proud to be a part of that.”

DO YOU BELIEVE IN THE THEORY THAT THINGS RUN IN CYCLES? “I think that it’s more than just in NASCAR. It always does work in cycles. You try your best to capitalize when you’re on top of the cycle. You try your best to try and minimize the amount of time when you’re on the bottom of the cycle. When you have success, you can try and learn and try and repeat it and try to minimize the bad part of it. We’re on the top of the cycle right now and can very easily turn around put us at the bottom of the cycle when it counts in the Chase. We’ll just ride the wave and hopefully it works out for us.”

THERE IS PLENTY OF TALK ABOUT GUYS LIKE STEWART, KAHNE, ETC, WHO HAVE BEEN SUCCESSFUL AT ATLANTA. ARE YOU (KESELOWSKI AND KYLE BUSCH) LIKELY TO BE UP FRONT AT THE FINISH AS THE TWO WHO HAVE WON HERE LAST YEAR AND YEARS PAST? “I don’t think that you can look at previous stats and draw conclusions from them. If that’s the case, you’d look at Terry Labonte, Bill Elliott, etc.… and they’d still win. They were the guys to beat 10, 15 years ago. Things change in this sport. The cars change. What it takes to be successful changes, all those things. I’d like to think that my past stats here and other places are just that, stats. We’re going out to try and break them. I don’t think that it’s always fair to look at stats and draw conclusions. It’s good that we run the races.”

- Darnell Communications for Dodge Motorsports, Press Release

Rick

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post #7 of 21 (permalink) Old 09-02-2011, 08:45 PM Thread Starter
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Friday, Sept. 2, 2011

Dodge Motorsports PR

Atlanta Motor Speedway

AdvoCare 500

NASCAR Sprint Cup Series

Kurt Busch Open Interview





KURT BUSCH (No. 22 Shell/Pennzoil Dodge Charger R/T):

YOU ARE EIGHTH IN POINTS, HAVE ONE WIN THIS SEASON, AND COMING TO A TRACK WHERE YOU HAVE A LOT OF SUCCESS. TALK ABOUT HOW ATLANTA MOTOR SPEEDWAY ADAPTS TO YOUR DRIVING STYLE. “This is one of the fun racetracks that all the drivers look forward coming to, not that we don’t look forward to going to all of ‘em, but Atlanta, with the old surface, as much as you slide around on the racetrack, as much as pit strategy is always an interesting call, this race really keeps you on your toes. And so a full 500 miles here is a tough chore and I’ve been able to win three races here, a couple during a spring and one in the fall that was actually rain-delayed and actually finished under the lights at night. It’s really a challenging track to keep up with and for us here in Atlanta it’s nice to be close to the Coca-Cola headquarters. Had a nice ride and drive program with them yesterday as well as a wonderful dinner last night with some of the top executives to just show the support for all the Coca-Cola does for us on the track and how we’re able to get their brand out there up in the forefront. But again, it’s Labor Day weekend. It’s a great weekend for all the families to come out and enjoy the track with this being really the last official weekend of summer. Hopefully we’ll get a lot of our young fans here out at the track before they have to go back to school.”

CONCERNING THE FUTURE INVOLVEMENT OF DODGE AND THE CHRYSLER GROUP IN NASCAR UNDER THE OWNERSHIP OF THE EUROPEAN FIAT AUTO GROUP, DID YOU HAVE THE POSSIBILITY TO TALK TO THE TOP GUY AND WHAT WAS HIS REACTION TO THE NASCAR PROGRAM? “Well knowing their involvement with Formula 1 it still gives us a good sense to know that they are going to be committed behind the NASCAR program. From what I understand our contract is going into many years from now. But with Ralph Gilles and Brain Viger, the top executives at Dodge, they are always there for support with what we’re doing on the technology-side, what we’re doing to advance the program. Whether its engines, whether its tires I feel like we get the adequate support from Dodge and its been great for us at Penske Racing to carry the banner as the lone Dodge team out on the track and we’re doing very well with multiple race wins on the Nationwide and on the Cup side and it’s just a continued support effort from both sides being so close to each other ’cause we’re the only ones out there. We have to continue pushing hard. With [Sergio] Marchionne, I would say with his involvement, Fiat, and with their Ferrari involvement in F1 that this should only play out for us in our favor.”

IN THE RACE THAT YOU WON HERE AT NIGHT, YOU SCRAPED THE WALL ABOUT FOUR TIMES AND THAT WAS PART OF IT. THAT WAS PART OF WINNING THE RACE AND NOT BEING AFRAID TO DO THAT. COMMENT ON HOW THIS TRACK AND A HOT NIGHT RACE SEPARATES THE DRIVERS WHO DON’T MIND BEING SIDEWAYS FROM THE MORE METHODICAL DRIVERS? TONY STEWART IS USUALLY GOOD ON HOT, SLICK TRACKS. WILL HE BE COMPETITION AS A DRIVER WHO DOESN’T MIND SCRAPING THE WALL? “I believe so. I think it gets back to some of the dirt track heritage some of the drivers have. A guy like Tony Stewart that knows what a dry, slick racetrack is, he’ll get out there and put that right rear tire up on the edge of the cushion and haze that tire. You don’t do that too often with the Cup cars because it just abuses the tire but the overall feel of driving the car elbows out and just letting all the rough edges drag, that’s what Atlanta is with the old surface. Then you add in the hot extreme temperatures really adds to the excitement behind the wheel. Even a guy like Kasey Kahne who’s won here before; Carl Edwards, a dirt tracker from the Midwest, you see that come into play here with this surface.”

TO CLARIFY, YOU WILL BE AT THE WHITE HOUSE NEXT WEEK, CORRECT? “Yes, yes, I will be at the White House. I heard there was a nice article written that I was part of the group that wasn’t going. All along it was my intention to go and we just had to clear up a scheduling issue. But a lot of people write about non-related racing things sometimes. We’ll be there next Wednesday. I mean, who would turn down the opportunity to go to the White House? For me it’s an honor, it’s a privilege and I’ve had the chance to meet Bush and Obama in the past. To be a Chase driver and to go to the White House it’s an important visit ’cause I might not make the Chase every year and I’ll miss out on those opportunities.”

DO YOU THINK TOO MUCH IS MADE OF THOSE WHO HAVE SCHEDULING DIFFICULTIES AND CAN’T MAKE IT? “It’s everybody’s personal schedule that has to be adjusted when somebody like that makes a phone call and for me obviously that’s the right choice. We had to push around the 2012 official photo shoot for next season with all of the merchandise, all of the marketing; all of the campaign that we put together that has to be released in January. We have to get that done by the end of September to not be too far behind for when Daytona starts. Everybody has these types of schedules. The week after Richmond is now booked solid from NASCAR with media where I’ve got to go to Miami. Some drivers have to go all the way out to Phoenix; some drivers have to go up to Loudon, New Hampshire. They want a driver that’s in the Chase to go to each of the Chase markets we’re going to. Then you go to the week after Chicago [and] we’re already scheduled through there. It’s tough, busy schedules for everybody.”

WE’VE ALL TAKEN NOTICE OF WHAT YOUR TEAMMATE BRAD KESELOWSKI HAS DONE OVER THE LAST FOUR WEEKS AND ONE THING THAT STANDS OUT IS IN THE LAST FOUR WEEKS HE HAS NOT RUN ANY NATIONWIDE RACES. YOU OCCASIONALLY RUN IN THE NATIONWIDE SERIES. IS THERE A CORRELATION BETWEEN HIS SUCCESS AND THE ABILITY TO FOCUS MORE ON THAT CUP CAR? “That’s where all along I thought he could do better once he focused more on the Cup car. It’s tough as a new driver coming in to gain the experience that you need on track and yes, he needed to do that for the first step. The second step, win that Nationwide championship. He did that. Third step, now we’ve got to get the Cup car as the primary focus and gel with his new crew chief Paul Wolfe. He’s done that now. Is it a coincidence that it happened here in these last few weeks? Personal injury to anybody makes everybody evaluate where they are. They have a lot of time to sit at home for rehab and he’s done that but it’s just clicked. It’s been great to watch and it’s been inspiring for myself and Steve Addington to know hey, the stuff’s right there. We just need to be on the front side of the eight-ball and not on the backside of the eight-ball with some of the things that we’ve positioned ourselves with on the 22 car. But for him not to run Nationwide I think the Cup focus is there and it’s great to see. I guess he’s locked in the Chase. Now he’s got to do that. He’s got to run hard in this Chase to be a championship contender.”

YOUR TEAMMATE CAN TAKE HOME A MILLION DOLLARS IF HE WINS HERE SUNDAY NIGHT. WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON THE CAR THAT YOU USED TO DRIVE POSSIBLY BAGGING A MILLION AND WHAT HAS THE BUZZ BEEN LIKE AT THE PENSKE SHOP OVER THAT POSSIBILITY WITH THOSE GUYS WALKING AWAY A MILLION DOLLARS RICHER? “It’s been great. If it comes down to me and Brad running 1-2 at the end I’m going to have to scratch my head a little bit. Maybe I should make a deal before hand to get a certain percentage. But really it’s a great promotional program from Sprint to have the Sprint Summer Showdown and to have drivers involved and just to be them, that one group. It reminds you of the old-school days of the No Bull that Winston would put up and have a group of five drivers eligible to win a million bucks, million dollars for a fan, and what’s unique is that a charity is going to win a million dollars out of this as well. So I’m disappointed that we weren’t part of it but it’s exciting to see Brad part of it and those guys at the shop are definitely pumped. And Miller Lite, with the excitement recently, those guys I know are very excited about the attention that the 2 car is getting.”

Rick

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post #8 of 21 (permalink) Old 09-03-2011, 12:32 AM Thread Starter
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NASCAR Results
Last Updated: Saturday, Sep 3, 2011 1:54 am, EDT
Good Sam Club 200
Status: Final Atlanta Motor Speedway



Order Driver (No.) Car Pts/Bonus Laps Laps Led Winnings

1 Ron Hornaday Jr. (33) Chevrolet 47/4 130 17 $39,965
2 Clint Bowyer (2) Chevrolet 44/2 130 97 $25,315
3 Kyle Busch (18) Toyota 42/1 130 14 $21,065
4 Blake Feese (32) Chevrolet 40/0 130 0 $19,040
5 Ryan Newman (108) Chevrolet 39/0 130 0 $14,715
6 Austin Dillon (3) Chevrolet 39/1 130 2 $13,090
7 Matt Crafton (88) Chevrolet 37/0 130 0 $13,145
8 Ricky Carmichael (4) Chevrolet 36/0 130 0 $14,245
9 Todd Bodine (5) Toyota 35/0 130 0 $12,915
10 James Buescher (31) Chevrolet 34/0 130 0 $12,765
11 Jack Smith (63) Ford 33/0 130 0 $10,315
12 Parker Kligerman (29) Dodge 32/0 130 0 $12,190
13 Joey Coulter (22) Chevrolet 31/0 130 0 $11,090
14 Max Papis (9) Toyota 30/0 130 0 $10,990
15 Ryan Sieg (39) Chevrolet 29/0 129 0 $12,215
16 Timothy Peters (17) Toyota 28/0 129 0 $10,790
17 David Starr (81) Toyota 27/0 129 0 $10,735
18 Brendan Gaughan (62) Toyota 26/0 129 0 $10,610
19 Colin Braun (51) Ford 25/0 129 0 $8,310
20 Nelson Piquet Jr. (8) Chevrolet 24/0 129 0 $11,235
21 Josh Richards (151) Toyota 23/0 128 0 $8,210
22 Miguel Paludo (7) Toyota 22/0 128 0 $10,410
23 Jennifer Jo Cobb (10) Ford 21/0 127 0 $8,110
24 Chris Cockrum (66) Chevrolet 20/0 126 0 $10,335
25 Jason White (23) Chevrolet 19/0 125 0 $10,460
26 Justin Lofton (6) Toyota 18/0 124 0 $9,010
27 Chris Fontaine (84) Chevrolet 0/0 123 0 $8,335
28 Justin Marks (98) Chevrolet 16/0 116 0 $7,960
29 Johnny Sauter (13) Chevrolet 15/0 108 0 $8,935
30 B.J. McLeod (178) Chevrolet 0/0 37 0 $8,410
31 Johanna Long (20) Toyota 13/0 36 0 $7,885
32 Cole Whitt (60) Chevrolet 12/0 19 0 $7,860
33 Charles Vest (109) Ford 11/0 14 0 $7,835
34 Johnny Chapman (07) Chevrolet 10/0 8 0 $7,785
35 Mike Garvey (138) Chevrolet 0/0 7 0 $7,755
36 Dennis Setzer (93) Chevrolet 8/0 6 0 $7,719

Rick

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NASCAR Qualifying
Last Updated: Saturday, Sep 3, 2011
AdvoCare 500
Field Set Atlanta Motor Speedway




Order Driver (No.) Car Qualifying Speed

1 Kasey Kahne (4) Toyota 186.196
2 Clint Bowyer (33) Chevrolet 185.922
3 Kyle Busch (18) Toyota 185.841
4 Brian Vickers (83) Toyota 185.772
5 Jeff Gordon (24) Chevrolet 185.735
6 Matt Kenseth (17) Ford 185.710
7 Carl Edwards (99) Ford 185.561
8 Martin Truex Jr. (56) Toyota 185.542
9 Ryan Newman (39) Chevrolet 185.486
10 Kurt Busch (22) Dodge 185.325
11 A J Allmendinger (43) Ford 185.288
12 Juan Pablo Montoya (42) Chevrolet 185.177
13 Denny Hamlin (11) Toyota 185.127
14 Brad Keselowski (2) Dodge 185.115
15 Greg Biffle (16) Ford 185.059
16 David Reutimann (00) Toyota 184.800
17 Jimmie Johnson (48) Chevrolet 184.462
18 Marcos Ambrose (9) Ford 184.272
19 David Ragan (6) Ford 184.015
20 Tony Stewart (14) Chevrolet 183.899
21 Kevin Harvick (29) Chevrolet 183.801
22 Paul Menard (27) Chevrolet 183.680
23 Bobby Labonte (47) Toyota 183.394
24 Joey Logano (20) Toyota 183.382
25 Jamie McMurray (1) Chevrolet 183.339
26 Regan Smith (78) Chevrolet 183.152
27 Jeff Burton (31) Chevrolet 183.121
28 Michael McDowell (66) Toyota 183.025
29 Dale Earnhardt Jr. (88) Chevrolet 182.898
30 Scott Speed (46) Ford 182.856
31 J.J. Yeley (38) Ford 182.500
32 Mark Martin (5) Chevrolet 182.440
33 Robby Gordon (7) Dodge 181.759
34 Joe Nemechek (87) Toyota 181.693
35 Dave Blaney (36) Chevrolet 181.437
36 David Gilliland (34) Ford 180.745
37 Landon Cassill (51) Chevrolet 180.575
38 Casey Mears (13) Toyota 180.252
39 Mike Skinner (60) Toyota 180.012
40 Mike Bliss (32) Ford 179.889
41 Travis Kvapil (55) Ford 179.872
42 Andy Lally (71) Ford 178.493
43 David Starr (195) Ford 179.737
44 Tony Raines (37) DNQ 179.592
45 David Stremme (30) DNQ 179.516
46 Geoffrey Bodine (135) DNQ 178.758
47 T.J. Bell (150) DNQ 178.643

Rick

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Dodge Motorsports Notes & Quotes - Keys for Success - Atlanta
September 3, 2011 , HAMPTON, Ga
Dodge Motorsports PR
Atlanta Motor Speedway
AdvoCare 500
Atlanta Motor Speedway
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series




KEYS FOR SUCCESS: AdvoCare 500

HAMPTON, Ga., (Saturday, Sept. 3, 2011) – Each race weekend, selected Dodge Motorsports engineers, Penske Racing engineers and crew chiefs, drivers or engine specialists give their insight on the ‘Keys for Success’ for the upcoming race. This week, Travis Geisler, Director of Competition, Penske Racing - provides the keys for Sunday afternoon’s Sprint Cup race.

Track: Atlanta Motor Speedway (Race 25 of 36 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series)

Race: AdvoCare 500 (325 laps / 500 miles)

Trivia Question: How many laps has Kurt Busch led in his three previous wins at Atlanta Motor Speedway? (Answer Below)

TRAVIS GEISLER (Director of Competition, Penske Racing)

Durability: “This is definitely a tough place on cars. It’s super-fast but it’s also kind of high contact. There’s a pretty good chance of getting in the wall. That high lane comes in as the race goes on and the guys get closer and closer. Taking care of your equipment throughout the night is the key.”

Changing Track Conditions: “The toughest thing I think for this race is changing track conditions. We only really had practice last night that’s going to be representative of what the track is going to be. This practice today is almost a squeaks and rattles run. You can’t really tune your setup but it’s not going to be anything like we’re going to have tomorrow night.”

Driver Patience: “If you want to go after it and run as hard as you can for the first five laps of the run you’ll be the fastest car out there but you’ll also be the slowest car at the end of the fuel run. It always seems like we have some long runs here that you’ve got to take care of your car and be good at the end because you can pass a lot of cars at the end of a run if you’ve took care of your tires at the start of it.”

Track Position: “You’ll see a lot of short-pitting going on. I doubt you’ll see anybody run until the end of a fuel run unless it’s maybe the last run of the truck race there with [Ron] Hornaday. If you’re running 10th or 15th and need to make some gains, I think you’re going to be able to short-pit eight or 10 laps and really get an advantage on guys because you’re going to be a second and a half, two seconds faster. I think early to middle of the race it’s a pretty good time to take advantage of that short pit thing. As you push later in the race you’re risking more and more because you have less time to overcome the problem.”






Trivia Question Answer: Kurt Busch has led 447 total laps in his three previous wins.

Rick

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