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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-01-2012, 07:48 AM Thread Starter
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Exclamation NASCAR: DODGE 3/03-03/04 (Sat & Sun)

Phoenix International Raceway



Records
Date Series Driver Speed

11/7/99 Sprint Cup Race Tony Stewart 118.00
2/27/11 Sprint Cup Qualifying Carl Edwards 137.279
2/26/11 Nationwide Race Kyle Busch 112.00
2/26/11 Nationwide Qualifying Kyle Busch 134.298
10/31/03 Camping World Truck Race Kevin Harvick 108.00
2/25/11 Camping World Truck Qualifying Clint Bowyer 133.949



Track Facts
Phoenix International Raceway


Location: Avondale, AZ
Banking/Turns: Oval
Distance: 1.00 mile
Shape: Oval

Most Cup Wins (since 1975)

Jimmie Johnson: 4




Date Race Name Pole Winner Race Winner Make Purse
2/27/11 Subway Fresh Fit 500 Carl Edwards Jeff Gordon Chevrolet $4,929,477
11/13/11 Kobalt Tools 500 Matt Kenseth Kasey Kahne Toyota $4,957,233
4/10/10 Subway Fresh Fit 600 A J Allmendinger Ryan Newman Chevrolet $5,318,679
11/14/10 Kobalt Tools 500 Carl Edwards Carl Edwards Ford $4,998,285
4/18/09 Subway Fresh Fit 500 Mark Martin Mark Martin Chevrolet $5,103,912
11/15/09 Checker O'Reilly Auto Parts 500 Martin Truex Jr. Jimmie Johnson Chevrolet $5,136,375
4/12/08 Subway Fresh Fit 500 Ryan Newman Jimmie Johnson Chevrolet $5,064,433
11/9/08 Checker O'Reilly Auto Parts 500 Jimmie Johnson Jimmie Johnson Chevrolet $5,096,896

Rick

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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-01-2012, 07:52 AM Thread Starter
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Race 2 of 33 on Nationwide Circuit

NASCAR Preview

Bashas' Supermarkets 200
Phoenix International Raceway



What: Race 2 of 33 on Nationwide circuit
Where: Phoenix International Raceway, Avondale, AZ
When: March 3, 2012 4:45 pm EST SPEED
Laps: 200
Track Length: 1. miles
Race Length: 200.00 miles


Nationwide
Date Race Name Pole Winner Race Winner Make Purse


11/12/11 Wypall 200 Aric Almirola Sam Hornish Jr. Dodge $1,180,165
2/26/11 Bashas' Supermarkets 200 Kyle Busch Kyle Busch Toyota $1,034,421
11/13/10 Wypall 200 Joey Logano Carl Edwards Ford $1,342,722
4/9/10 Bashas' Supermarkets 200 Carl Edwards Kyle Busch Toyota $1,191,888
11/14/09 Able Body Labor 200 Denny Hamlin Carl Edwards Ford $1,428,905
4/17/09 Bashas' Supermarkets 200 Carl Edwards Greg Biffle Ford $1,275,138
11/8/08 Hefty Odor Block 200 Denny Hamlin Carl Edwards Ford $1,432,011
4/11/08 Bashas' Supermarkets 200 Kyle Busch Kyle Busch Toyota $1,279,669

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Race 2 of 36 on Sprint Cup Circuit

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Subway Fresh Fit 500
Phoenix International Raceway



What: Race 2 of 36 on Sprint Cup circuit
Where: Phoenix International Raceway, Avondale, AZ
When: March 4, 2012 3:14 pm EST FOX
Laps: 312
Track Length: 1. miles
Race Length: 312.00 miles


Records
Date Series Driver Speed

11/7/99 Sprint Cup Race Tony Stewart 118.00
2/27/11 Sprint Cup Qualifying Carl Edwards 137.279
2/26/11 Nationwide Race Kyle Busch 112.00
2/26/11 Nationwide Qualifying Kyle Busch 134.298
10/31/03 Camping World Truck Race Kevin Harvick 108.00
2/25/11 Camping World Truck Qualifying Clint Bowyer 133.949





Sprint Cup
Date Race Name Pole Winner Race Winner Make Purse
2/27/11 Subway Fresh Fit 500 Carl Edwards Jeff Gordon Chevrolet $4,929,477
11/13/11 Kobalt Tools 500 Matt Kenseth Kasey Kahne Toyota $4,957,233
4/10/10 Subway Fresh Fit 600 A J Allmendinger Ryan Newman Chevrolet $5,318,679
11/14/10 Kobalt Tools 500 Carl Edwards Carl Edwards Ford $4,998,285
4/18/09 Subway Fresh Fit 500 Mark Martin Mark Martin Chevrolet $5,103,912
11/15/09 Checker O'Reilly Auto Parts 500 Martin Truex Jr. Jimmie Johnson Chevrolet $5,136,375
4/12/08 Subway Fresh Fit 500 Ryan Newman Jimmie Johnson Chevrolet $5,064,433
11/9/08 Checker O'Reilly Auto Parts 500 Jimmie Johnson Jimmie Johnson Chevrolet $5,096,896

Rick

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New 2012 Dodge Charger Pursuit Set To Pace Back-to-back NASCAR Races in Phoenix

NASCAR Nationwide Series and Sprint Cup Series races in Phoenix on March 3 and 4 mark Dodge Charger Pursuit pace car debuts

Benchmark setting: 2012 Dodge Charger Pursuit V-8’s record-setting lap time at Michigan State Police’s annual evaluation test (1:33.70) highlights the segment’s best combination of acceleration, braking, handling and dynamics

Dodge Charger Pursuit V-8 delivers the best-in-class acceleration needed for police-fleet duty, including 0-to 60 mph in under 6 seconds

Mopar® offers six factory-installed police upfit packages to provide one-stop shopping for law enforcement customers








February 28, 2012 , Auburn Hills, Mich. - Taking a moment from setting benchmarks in the police vehicle segment, the new 2012 Dodge Charger Pursuit — America’s high-performance police vehicle — will pace both NASCAR Nationwide Series and Sprint Cup Series races in Phoenix on March 3 and 4.

“Phoenix marks our new track-proven Dodge Charger Pursuit’s inaugural pace car weekend, while highlighting the fastback sedan’s benchmark levels of performance and the Dodge brand’s 62nd year of NASCAR racing heritage,” said Peter Grady, Vice President of Network Development and Fleet, Chrysler Group LLC. “With its rear-wheel-drive design, best-in-class V-8 power, up to 27 highway mpg, six available Mopar factory-installed police packages and the fastest lap time ever recorded (1:33.70) during Michigan State Police’s annual evaluation tests – Dodge Charger Pursuit can get it done protecting the streets and leading on the track.”

From the first Dodge Coronet Carl Wilkerson drove in a 1950 Grand National race in Canfield, Ohio, the Dodge brand has more than 62 years of stock car history. The inaugural pace car run of the new 2012 Charger Pursuit marks another milestone in the Dodge brand and Charger nameplate’s storied history.

Benchmark and record-setting performance
Designed and engineered to be America’s high-performance police vehicle, the new 2012 Dodge Charger Pursuit V-6 and V-8 models set new levels of performance during the Michigan State Police’s (MSP) 2012 Police Vehicle Evaluation tests.

With its best-in-class 370-horsepower 5.7-liter HEMI engine, the Dodge Charger Pursuit V-8 model delivered the fastest lap time ever recorded (1:33.70) during MSP’s 2012 Police Vehicle Evaluation tests last fall. In addition, the 292 horsepower Charger Pursuit V-6 models showcased their world-class performance and precision – holding their own around Grattan Raceway with the fastest average lap times for naturally aspirated (1:37.71) and E-85 capable (1:37.57) six-cylinder powered police cars.

Rapid acceleration also is critical to quickly catching up to target vehicles. During MSP’s 2012 Police Vehicle Evaluation tests, the 2012 Dodge Charger Pursuit V-8 also delivered the police sedan segment’s fastest acceleration times.

0-to-60 mph (5.83 sec)
0-to-70 mph (7.38 sec)
0-to-80 mph (9.18 sec)
0-to-90 mph (11.43 sec)
0-to-100 mph (13.65 sec)

Ready-for-duty right from the manufacturer
Enhancing Dodge Charger Pursuit’s world-class levels of technology, safety, handling and efficient power, Mopar® teamed up with industry-equipment leaders to develop six factory-installed police packages that are designed to provide law-enforcement officers with the best combination of tactical equipment and performance. These police-equipment packages feature emergency lighting, audible warning, communications and safety equipment.

The 2012 Dodge Charger Pursuit’s available police-equipment packages include:

Base Prep Police Package: includes front and rear wire harness, power distribution center, siren speaker with bracket, trunk tray and trunk cooling fan
Patrol Package 1: includes police floor console, front-corner LED lamps, rear-corner LED lamps, front and rear wire harness, power-distribution center, siren speaker with bracket, trunk tray and trunk cooling fan
Patrol Package 2: includes police floor console, push bumper, front and rear wire harness, power-distribution center, siren speaker and bracket, trunk tray and trunk cooling fan
Patrol Package 3: includes push bumper, police floor console, front corner LED lamps, rear corner LED lamps, front and rear wire harness, power distribution center, siren speaker with bracket, trunk tray and trunk accessory cooling fan
Slick Top Police Package 1: includes police floor console, front and rear wire harness, power-distribution center, siren speaker with bracket, trunk tray and trunk cooling fan
Slick Top Police Package 2: includes front-corner LED lamps, rear-corner LED lamps, front and rear wire harness, power distribution center, siren speaker with bracket, trunk tray and trunk cooling fan

In addition to the six packages, 24 Mopar tactical accessories may be ordered, including light bars, LED lighting systems, push bumper, CAN-control siren system and more.

About the 2012 Dodge Charger Pursuit
America’s high-performance police vehicle — the 2012 Dodge Charger Pursuit — provides law-enforcement with the best combination of tactical technology, safety, power, efficiency and an iconic design.

New for 2012, Dodge Charger Pursuit offers six all-new quality-tested and factory-installed police-equipment packages backed by the factory. In addition, 24 free-standing options allow for the customer to equip the Charger Pursuit to his or her specification.

The Dodge Charger features two uncompromised, high-performance engines that deliver world-class levels of power, refinement, technology and fuel efficiency.

Engineered to perform, the aluminum 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 engine delivers 292 horsepower and 260 lb.-ft. of torque, offers E-85 flex-fuel capability and up to 27 highway mpg. For best-in-class power, the Charger Pursuit’s legendary 5.7-liter HEMI V-8 engine with Fuel Saver Technology delivers 370 best-in-class horsepower, 390 lb.-ft. of torque, 0-to-60 mph in under 6 seconds and up to 25 highway mpg.

With superior ride and handling, the Dodge Charger Pursuit features Chrysler Group’s second-generation large car rear-wheel-drive architecture with performance-tuned suspension, load-leveling Nivomat shocks, heavy-duty anti-lock vented-disc brakes (ABS), front- and rear-stabilizer bars, 18-inch performance tires on steel wheels and two-mode police-specific Electronic Stability Control (ESC).

Developed with the guidance of the brand’s Police Advisory Board, the Dodge Charger Pursuit features a mobile-command interior with unique features, including a Vehicle Systems Interface Module for easy equipment integration, heavy-duty police-duty front seats and column-mounted shifter with Auto Stick.

In addition to its Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) “Top Safety Pick,” the Dodge Charger Pursuit surrounds the heroic men and women who protect with uncompromising safety and security equipment, including standard advanced multi-stage driver and front-passenger air bags, seat-mounted side-thorax air bags, supplemental side-curtain air bags for front and rear outboard passengers and driver’s knee bag.

About the Dodge Brand
For nearly 100 years, Dodge has defined passionate and innovative vehicles that stand apart in performance and in style. Building upon its rich heritage of muscle cars, racing technology and ingenious engineering, Dodge offers a full-line of cars, crossovers, minivans and SUVs built for top performance – from power off the line and handling in the corners, to high-quality vehicles that deliver unmatched versatility and excellent fuel efficiency. Only Dodge offers such innovative functionality combined with class-leading performance, exceptional value and distinctive design. With the all-new 2013 Dodge Dart, the all-new Dodge Charger paired with the ZF eight-speed transmission that achieves a class-leading 31 miles per gallon on the highway, the new Durango and the significantly revamped Grand Caravan – inventor of the minivan – Journey, Avenger and iconic Challenger, Dodge now has one of the youngest dealer showrooms in the United States.

Rick

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SRT Motorsports - Dodge NSCS Race Advance - Phoenix
February 28, 2012 , AVONDALE, Ariz. - For Immediate Release
SRT Motorsports - Dodge NSCS Race Advance
Subway Fresh Fit 500
Phoenix International Raceway
Sunday, March 4, 2012


DODGE AT PHOENIX INTERNATIONAL RACEWAY
· Dodge is seeking its first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series win at Phoenix International Raceway.
· Dodge has earned four poles at PIR since returning to NASCAR’s premier series in 2001 (Casey Atwood - 1, Ryan Newman - 3).
· Dodge earned its last PIR pole at the 2008 spring Cup event when it swept the front row (Ryan Newman and Elliott Sadler).

DODGE NEWS AND NOTES
· The Dodge Charger Pursuit pace car will make its debut at PIR this weekend, serving as the pace car for both NASCAR races.
· The 2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Dodge Charger R/T will be revealed on Sunday, March 11 in the Neon Garage at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
· Brad Keselowski has made five Sprint Cup starts at PIR with a career-best finish of 15th (spring – 2011). He set career bests in wins (3), top-fives (10) and top-10s (14) in 2011.
· A.J. Allmendinger has made seven starts at the one-mile track with a career-best finish of sixth last November.
· Robby Gordon earned a career-best PIR finish of seventh at the 2001 event.

THE DODGE BOYS
· Dodge has 212 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series wins.
· Dodge teams have posted 52 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).

DODGE HISTORICAL DATA
· First Dodge NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Win: Lee Petty, 2/1/53, West Palm Beach, Fla., 100 miles, .5-mile track.
· Last Dodge NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Win: Kurt Busch, 10/2/2011, AAA 400, Dover Motor Speedway, 119.413 mph avg. speed.

PHOENIX INTERNATONAL RACEWAY FACTS
· Prior to joining Dodge, driver A.J. Allmendinger earned his only Sprint Cup pole at the spring race in 2010. He finished 15th.
· Only four races have been won from the pole in 31 Sprint cup races.
· There have been 22 different winners in the 31 Sprint Cup races at PIR.
· The record for the least amount of cautions for a Sprint Cup race at PIR is two, set at the fall race in 1999.

DID YOU KNOW?
· Brad Keselowski (@keselowski) surpassed 200,000 Twitter followers Monday night during the live coverage of the Daytona 500 on Fox. He had 65,000 followers when the race started and gained over 135,000 new followers during the event.
· There was only one lead change in the 1990 Cup event. Rusty Wallace started from the pole and led the first 50 laps before Dale Earnhardt took control and led the final 262 laps of the 312-lap event.
· PIR hosted only one Sprint Cup race each season from 1988 until 2004. The track received its second date in 2005.
· SRT Motorsports includes all of Chrysler Group’s NASCAR racing efforts for Dodge and RAM.
· Dodge is an Official Passenger Car of NASCAR

DODGE FACTS
· All three Dodge Charger R/Ts raced in the 54th running of the Daytona 500.
· Brad Keselowski’s DNF in the Daytona 500 was his first behind the wheel of a Dodge Charger in 75 Sprint Cup races.

FROM THE ENGINEER
"When we went to Phoenix for the Sprint Cup race last November, it was all new – new configuration, new banking, new surface, and new engineering headaches. Early in the weekend, the track created a real challenge for the teams to find enough grip just to be able to get around the corners, let alone try to race the corners. But by the time we got to the race, the track had ‘rubbered in’ and drivers could not only challenge the corners, but also the other drivers. Most people left satisfied with the new facility. We go to Phoenix this week, which track will we find? We won't know until we get there if it's going to be the slick surface we started with last November or the much friendlier asphalt we ended up with in the race. Determining which surface Phoenix gives us will be the number one engineering challenge of the week."
Howard Comstock, SRT Motorsports Engineering

FROM THE CREW CHIEF
“With the off-season, it’s hard to predict what the track is going to be like after they had the repave last year. Goodyear is bringing the same tire back (as the Fall race), so I think that will keep things pretty similar. We’ve done some work in the off-season preparing to go back to Phoenix and we’re really looking forward to going back. Our Penske Dodges ran really well at PIR in the fall and we’ve have a solid baseline start from when we unload.”
Paul Wolfe, No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge Charger R/T

DODGE QUOTE OF THE WEEK
‘We’ve all looked at last year’s Phoenix race as a starting point, but I think you’d be very naïve to think that that’s how we’re going to race. The five or six months of sunshine and age to the asphalt, we saw that racetrack go through huge changes from tire test to pre-test to start of race weekend to the end of race weekend. It continually migrated. We’re going back and we’re going to start from where we were, but I think we’ve got our eyes pretty wide open that there will be a migration of where we are.”
Todd Gordon, crew chief, No 22 Shell/Pennzoil Dodge Charger R/T


DODGE DRIVER QUOTES
“Last year I thought I had a chance to win the race so I’m looking forward to it. It’ll be interesting to see how the new pavement has developed over the winter, whether it’ll be really slick or have grip. For me, I feel really comfortable. I feel like I have a good feel of the racetrack. The 22 car last year had a chance to win the race so, in theory, we should be really fast.”
A.J. Allmendinger, No. 22 Shell/Pennzoil Dodge Charger

"I like the new Phoenix. They did an outstanding job in making a good racetrack better. It's obviously going to take a few years before the track is in optimal condition, but with it being in the desert, that process can sometimes be accelerated. I'm anxious to see how much it has aged over the winter. We saw last year that guys, myself included, were making passes through the dogleg. I don't think anyone expected that going into the race. And the run you get off of Turn 4, down the frontstretch, has stayed the same."
Brad Keselowski, No 2 Miller Lite Dodge Charger

Rick

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SRT Motorsports - Dodge NNS Race Advance - Phoenix
February 29, 2012 , AVONDALE, Ariz. -

For Immediate Release
SRT Motorsports - Dodge NNS Race Advance
Bashas' Supermarkets 200
Phoenix International Raceway
Saturday, March 3, 2012


SAM HORNISH JR.
– No. 12 Alliance Truck Parts Dodge Challenger
Crew Chief: Chad Walter


Career Stats: 2012 Season Stats:
Starts: 34 Starts: 1
Wins: 1 Wins: 0
Top Fives: 2 Top Fives: 0
Top 10s: 6 Top 10s: 0
Poles: 0 Poles: 0
Laps Led: 122 Laps Led: 7

• Scored his first Nationwide Series win in Phoenix last fall, leading 61 laps en route to a .553-second victory over teammate Brad Keselowski.
• Will be making his fourth NNS start at PIR.

BRAD KESELOWSKI
– No. 22 Discount Tire Dodge Challenger

Crew Chief: Jeremy Bullins

Career Stats: 2012 Season Stats:
Starts: 169 Starts: 1
Wins: 17 Wins: 0
Top Fives: 74 Top Fives: 1
Top 10s: 104 Top 10s: 1
Poles: 12 Poles: 0
Laps Led: 2,754 Laps Led: 0

• Gave Dodge a 1-2 finish at Phoenix last fall, finishing second behind teammate Sam Hornish Jr.
• Has finished fifth or better in five his last six starts at PRI.
• Has qualified 10th or better in 14 consecutive NNS races.
• Has completed all but one lap in his last 17 NNS races (3,104 of 3,105) – 99.96 percent.

DODGE QUOTES:
“I love Phoenix and can't wait to get back there. The new track surface is great and our Alliance Truck Parts Dodge Challenger was fast there last fall. Last week was a bummer that we got caught up late in a mishap but we have to put that behind us. Phoenix is a new week, new race.”
-- Sam Hornish, Jr.

“The exit of turn four is still the critical part of the track. If you get a good run and can get underneath someone, you can carry that speed down the front and out-break them getting into turn one.”
-- Brad Keselowski


THE PHOENIX NUMBERS
• Dodge has TWO Nationwide Series wins at Phoenix (Hornish in 2011 and Jamie McMurray in 2004).
• Dodge has eight top-five and 17 top-10 finishes at PIR.
• Dodge has one pole at Phoenix (Kasey Kahne, 2005 spring race).

DODGE IN THE NASCAR NATIONWIDE SERIES
• The Dodge Charger Pursuit pace car will make its debut at PIR this weekend, serving as the pace car for both NSCAR races.
• Dodge is fielding two full-time entries in the series this year. Sam Hornish Jr. will compete for the series championship while Brad Keselowski and Parker Kligerman will share driving duties in the second Penske Racing entry.
• Dodge claimed its first NASCAR championship in 2010 when Penske Racing’s Brad Keselowski captured the driver’s title.
• Dodge has 41 wins in the series including seven in each of the last two seasons. A Dodge has started from the pole 48 times.

Rick

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SRT Motorsports - Dodge NSCS Brad Keselowski Open Interview Transcript
March 2, 2012 , AVONDALE, Ariz. -

Friday, March 2, 2012

Dodge PR
Phoenix International Raceway
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
Brad Keselowski Open Interview

Brad Keselowski (No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge Charger R/T)

TALK ABOUT YOUR MINDSET AS YOU GET OUT ON THIS TRACK FOR THE SECOND TIME IN THE NEW CONFIGURATION. “Well my mindset was, right away, I couldn’t find the media center and how to get up here so that tells you how I run here (smiles). I think we had a decent run going last fall and had a little bit of trouble there towards the end and didn’t get the finish that we were capable of. You know, this place is a lot different. I think in the past you know a lot of people will go back and look at stats and say ‘Well he runs good, he doesn’t run good here.’ With the new pavement job and the reconfiguration, it’s not the same track. So I think we’re still going through that process. These cars out here, the West cars, I think they are changing the track drastically. We’re just going to continue to see that every time we come back here for the next year or two. We have two events each year that the track is going to keep changing rapidly. So, you know, I think that’s not necessarily a bad thing. You could see where it’s getting darker in the groove and starting to really wear in, which I think is a credit to Bryan Sperber and his team for what they’ve done with dragging tires and so forth. And I think that as the track keeps getting wider, it keeps putting on better and better racing. I thought the very end of the Cup race and the Nationwide race here in the fall, I thought that you distinctly had two different grooves that you could really get racy with. So you know for those reasons, I’m excited about coming here despite not maybe having the best stats in the past.”

GIVEN THE ANNOUNCEMENT YESTERDAY, DO YOU HAVE ANY CONCERN AT ALL GIVEN THE TEAM IS LAME DUCK STATUS WITH DODGE ABOUT YOUR COMPETITIVENESS FOR THE REST OF THIS SEASON? AND HAVE YOU TALKED TO ROGER AT ALL ON THAT SUBJECT? “No, I don’t have any concerns about it, to be honest, and I think there are a lot of reasons and it’s hard to answer that question without getting to some of the proprietary things that it takes to get support from a manufacturer. But the things that I do see, I’m not worried about or concerned. You know, I think the reset the field is going to go through for 2013 with the new body style keeps us from falling behind and actually makes the timing of the change as good as it can be. So for those reasons, I’m not concerned.”

A LOT HAS BEEN MADE OF THE 100,000 FOLLOWERS THAT YOU PICKED UP ON TWITTER DURING THE DELAY AT DAYTONA. A LOT HAS BEEN MADE OF THE FACT THAT NASCAR DID VERY WELL THAT NIGHT IN THE 18-49 AGE GROUP. DO YOU THINK THAT YOU WERE REACHING A BUNCH OF NEW FANS BECAUSE OF THE MONDAY NIGHT PRIME-TIME RACE? AND DO YOU THINK THAT MAYBE THAT’S SOMETHING THAT SHOULD BE CONSIDERED AS A PLANNNED EVENT AT SOME POINT IN THE FUTURE? “Well, I think there’s two parts there – the young demographic and then the Monday night. As a fan of the sport, and obviously I’m in that demographic, the 18-49, you know, I find myself asking the question of what would I want to see. And to that end, that’s what I try to show, that’s what I try to be as an athlete/entertainer, race car driver, whatever you want to call me. And you know to me, the things that I did on Twitter that night was something that I would want to see. You know, there are people that I follow on Twitter, if you were to ask me what I’d want to see from ‘em, that’s what I would want to see, so that’s all I did. I don’t think any harder than that and I’m glad that people liked it and enjoyed it. It was really cool to pick up my phone and see, I think as of last night, I gained 160,000 followers. You know that was crazy and that’s great, that’s great. I think at the end of the day, I’m just trying to show people what I would want to see if I was in their shoes. And obviously, my generation is obsessed with technology and access. So that was a chance to use both and I think you look at the timeline being on Monday, you know that probably helped a lot, too, you know, being in prime-time, etc. I think we’ve seen how well that’s worked for other sports and I think that probably opened up a bit of a Pandora’s Box for the sport where we have to decide, you know, the trade-off. We have to re-evaluate the trade-off between track attendance and TV audience. That’s difficult because obviously we have a lot of people who make major sacrifices to get to the track when gasoline is, hell, I can’t keep up with how expensive gasoline is but it’s outrageously expensive, so we have a lot of people that make major sacrifices to get to the track. It’s important we keep them as well, so it’s tough to make everybody happy and obviously the TV audience is part of that. So I think you look at that and for years NASCAR has won the attendance battle compared to other sports. You look at the Super Bowl and you compare it to Bristol and there’s no comparison. We blow ‘em out of the water and that’s the NFL’s marquee event. And then you look at the TV ratings and it’s the other way. I think it’s a chance for us to reevaluate: do we want track attendance or TV ratings? Where do we want the sport to be in? And I don’t know if I necessarily have the answer to it, but it certainly opens up a question maybe we never asked like we should have before.”

FOR THE LAST COUPLE OF YEARS AND MAYBE AS RECENTLY AS A FEW WEEKS AGO, WE KEPT HEARING ABOUT HOW THE DODGE ALIGNMENT WHERE THEY JUST HAD THE TWO TEAMS, YOU GUYS GOT ALL THE RESOURCES, THAT THAT WAS A POSITIVE. JUST WHEN YOU WERE WINNING EVERYBODY OVER WITH WHAT HAPPENED LAST YEAR, NOW COMES THIS ANNOUNCEMENT. HOW LONG HAS IT BEEN IN THE WORKS TO YOUR KNOWLEDGE AND HOW DO YOU ADDRESS THE CONTRADICTION THERE? “I hear what you’re saying. Personally, I still feel like it’s not a disadvantage, but I don’t speak for everyone at Penske Racing. Personally, I don’t feel like it’s a disadvantage to be the only car with a manufacturer. There were some things about it I liked, so I’m going to stick with my story (smiles) as far as that’s concerned. As far as how long it’s been in the works, you know, I don’t know. That’s more a Roger question than mine. I think if you backup, I think it’s important to backup two to three months and maybe not even that far. Let’s backup a month ago to media day in Charlotte where obviously we made the announcement that Miller Lite extended and two or three before we made the announcement that I had re-signed and that Paul Wolfe (crew chief) had re-signed. I think you look at that and there’s a big picture going here and that’s that Penske Racing wanted to have every duck in a row for long term so you have sponsor, driver, crew chief, obviously the owner is already there, and what’s the last one left? The manufacturer. I think that the goal that we all have is to win the Sprint Cup championship at Penske Racing and to be able to do that, I feel like we have to have the best people possible. It’s a team sport. And in order to have the best people possible, we have to have a consistent platform of resources around them. That means having a platform that they know for years on end is going to be there, from finances to, you know, pay for their house at home or whatever, their kids going to school. All those ducks have got to be in a row. I would imagine, that accordingly, those negotiations were probably in that same timeline and obviously it took longer to come together than the other pieces did. The goal and the rationale behind the decisions made all starts around this core approach of having one platform where everything’s together in a line, all of our ducks are in a row for multiple years, long-term years I should say, and with this announcement or yesterday’s announcement, that was the last piece to do that. That was the piece that I feel like puts us in a position to make a run for the championship for the next few years. And so, I think, that’s where I think the approach comes from. I think that there was also some limitations in making that happen with you know the road that we were on, so you know we changed roads. I knew there were talks going on. As far as a specific day, well heck, as far as I’m aware, the contract wasn’t even signed until this week. You know I was obviously aware that there were talks going on, but it all happened very quickly. You know RP called me a couple nights prior to last, I can’t remember exactly, and told me he was going to sign it. Certainly that came together very quickly.”

YOUR THOUGHTS ON DANICA PATRICK. YOU’VE SPENT AS MUCH TIME AS ANYONE ON THE TRACK WITH HER IN RACE AND PRACTICE. WHAT KIND OF GROWTH HAVE YOU SEEN FROM HER SINCE SHE FIRST HIT THE TRACK? AND IN YOUR OPINION, BASED ON THAT, WHAT DO YOU THINK WILL BE HER BIGGEST OBSTACLES MOVING FORWARD THIS SEASON? “Well, I mean, obviously, the only real thing you have to compare with her is her teammate. I felt like several times last year that I was impressed by how she out qualified or ran right with her teammate, which she had Aric Almirola and someone else, I can’t remember. I think it was Josh Wise. She seemed to run right with them. I think that’s all you really have to compare off of. And that’s just in the Nationwide Series. It’s hard to say. You go to Daytona and you can’t really go off anything at Daytona. There’s very little to go off of at Daytona. I don’t think her season really starts at the Cup level until Darlington so that’s going to be really hard. You know, going back to Daytona, I don’t think you can go off anything there, good or bad. Obviously she qualified well in that one race and that was a quick media hit. I think every driver would tell you that they don’t worry too much for that. And then I’d look at the bad parts, you know, the wrecks, I’d probably say they weren’t her fault. You know I don’t think there’s a whole lot to judge off of as of yet, that the body of work, it’s going to take her more than just a few races to judge her body of work that she has. At the Cup level not racing, she needs to be in a car every week and at the Nationwide level, I don’t really see any obstacles, just go.”

THERE IS THE THOUGHT THAT HAVING A PHONE IN THE CAR IS LIKE HAVING A COMPUTER IN THE CAR THAT A DRIVER WOULD HAVE ACCESS TO. SHOULD THAT BE A CONCERN? DO YOU THINK THAT NASCAR WILL NEED TO CHECK DRIVERS OR DO SOMETHING TO MAKE SURE THAT THERE’S NO SHANANAGINS GOING ON? “I mean, I’m sure we could bring out airport scanners (laughs). You know, for me, some people ask me why I keep my phone in my car. It’s a bit of a lengthy story so bear with me. I have to back up about four or five years ago. I was in California driving for Dale Earnhardt, Jr. I had just got the ride to drive his 88 car and we were running a race there and I got in a really bad accident. They airlifted me off and obviously my family wasn’t there ‘cause the race was in California and my family was back in Michigan. And they had no idea what status I was in and quite frankly, neither did I (laughs). So you know they airlifted me off to some hospital and I don’t know if you guys know this or not, but LA is a pretty big city (laughter). So I had no idea where I was at. I’m wearing a uniform that they cut off me, so I didn’t even have that. So I’m wearing this whatever hospital outfit. No clothes, no phone, no wallet, and no idea of where I’m even at. It was a miserable, miserable experience. So I got through all that and eventually a PR person showed up after like an hour and a half, and you’re like ‘Where am I? What in the hell is going on?’ I mean I wasn’t knocked out or anything like that, but you’re strapped on a helicopter and you got no idea where it’s going. As far as I knew I was like in an Army test lab (laughter). I had no idea. At that time the PR people show up, I think it was Annette Randall who now works with Kevin Harvick. She showed up and she didn’t have any of my stuff. She just rushed to the hospital. Here I am still with nothing and I think she let me borrow her phone and I was eventually able to call my Mom, but that was after hours. The race had gone off the air so I really felt bad for my Mom and I, myself, was in a very bad position. I tell you that story to fast-forward to this past year. At Road Atlanta, I got into another serious accident and again got airlifted off and the difference was that I had my phone with me. And I had my phone with me because testing, you know, it really gets boring, monotonous. You sit in the car for an hour while they make a change. So I go through the incident and so forth and they put me on a helicopter and all that same stuff. I have my phone with me and so I just send a message to my Mom like ‘Hey, just want you to know that you’re going to read this in the news, but I think I’m okay.’ And so that kind of put the fire out before it really got started and I think she really appreciated that. It put me at a lot more ease because when I got to the hospital and there was nobody there I knew, how far away they were and I could hit Google Maps and figure out where I was. So from that moment on, I decided I was going to keep my phone with me in the race car. I know that’s probably not where you thought I was going with that story, but there was actually a practical purpose to having it with me. So I had a pocket put inside my car to be able to keep it there. I didn’t put it in my car thinking that we were going to have a red flag at Daytona for a guy hitting a jet dryer and causing an explosion (laughter). I didn’t have that much foresight. That was kind of how the story all played out. You just can’t plan moments like that. They just happen.”

CAN YOU ADDRESS WITH THE MOVE TO FORD THE FORD POWERHOUSE AND HOW POWERFUL YOU THINK THAT WILL BE? HOW DO YOU SEE ROGER PENSKE AND JACK ROUSH INTERFACING? “Well, the easiest way to explain why I’m encouraged by the decision, I think you just look no further than again, a month ago, or a month and a half ago, when Ford made their announcement on their ’13 car. I think that’s obviously at least a month and a half, two months ahead of every other manufacturer and I think that shows the spirit that they have for this sport and the commitment they have for NASCAR. And I want to be aligned with someone that wants to be the first one out the gate that shows me that they want it that bad. I thought that was a key moment for me in drinking the Kool-Aide, so to speak, of why that’s going to be the right way for our company to go. I don’t know much about how Roger and Jack get along. I’ve never really asked them about that. I would imagine, you know they’re both big supporters of the Detroit community. There’s got to be some common ties there, but I don’t know how that works in action. I guess we’ll see how that works, we’ll kind of play that as it goes but I’m pretty open-minded.”

Rick

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NASCAR Qualifying
Last Updated: Saturday, Mar 3, 2012 2:13 pm, EST
Bashas' Supermarkets 200
Status: Field Set Phoenix International Raceway


Order Driver (No.) Car Qualifying Speed
1 Denny Hamlin (18) Toyota 132.979
2 Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (6) Ford 132.920
3 Kenny Wallace (09) Ford 132.885
4 Kasey Kahne (38) Toyota 132.768
5 Trevor Bayne (60) Ford 132.548
6 Sam Hornish Jr. (12) Dodge 132.406
7 Brad Keselowski (22) Dodge 131.994

8 Elliott Sadler (2) Chevrolet 131.941
9 Austin Dillon (3) Chevrolet 131.921
10 Joey Logano (20) Toyota 131.863
11 Brian Scott (11) Toyota 131.372
12 Kevin Harvick (33) Chevrolet 131.253
13 Justin Allgaier (31) Chevrolet 131.047
14 Kyle Busch (54) 130.544
15 Joe Nemechek (87) Chevrolet 130.473
16 J.J. Yeley (27) 130.350
17 Cole Whitt (88) Chevrolet 130.331
18 Jason Bowles (81) Ford 129.814
19 Mike Bliss (44) Chevrolet 129.613
20 Scott Speed (47) Toyota 129.520
21 Michael Annett (43) Ford 129.171
22 Casey Roderick (108) 128.935
23 Mike Wallace (01) Chevrolet 128.843
24 Tayler Malsam (19) Chevrolet 128.797
25 James Buescher (30) Chevrolet 128.361
26 Chase Miller (46) 128.342
27 Jeff Green (10) Toyota 127.977
28 Jeremy Clements (51) 127.669
29 Morgan Shepherd (89) Chevrolet 127.056
30 Danica Patrick (7) Chevrolet 126.998
31 Joey Gase (39) 126.859
32 Jamie Dick (23) Chevrolet 126.725
33 Josh Wise (42) 126.711
34 Blake Koch (41) Chevrolet 124.395
35 David Green (28) Chevrolet 123.809
36 Erik Darnell (40) Chevrolet 123.635
37 Eric McClure (14) Toyota 123.085
38 Tim Schendel (52) 121.155
39 Benny Gordon (124) Ford 121.000
40 Daryl Harr (4) Chevrolet 118.839
41 T.J. Bell (50) Chevrolet 118.033
42 Charles Lewandoski (70) Chevrolet 115.972
43 Mike Harmon (174) Chevrolet 120.887

Rick

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NASCAR Qualifying
Last Updated: Saturday, Mar 3, 2012 4:24 pm, EST
Subway Fresh Fit 500
Status: Field Set Phoenix International Raceway



Order Driver (No.) Car Qualifying Speed
1 Mark Martin (55) Toyota 136.815
2 Tony Stewart (14) Chevrolet 136.126
3 Regan Smith (78) Chevrolet 135.998
4 Jimmie Johnson (48) Chevrolet 135.583
5 Juan Pablo Montoya (42) Chevrolet 135.547
6 Ryan Newman (39) Chevrolet 135.491
7 Greg Biffle (16) Ford 135.074
8 Kevin Harvick (29) Chevrolet 135.014
9 Joey Logano (20) Toyota 134.998
10 Kasey Kahne (5) Chevrolet 134.771
11 Jeff Burton (31) Chevrolet 134.615
12 Kyle Busch (18) Toyota 134.564
13 Denny Hamlin (11) Toyota 134.499
14 Marcos Ambrose (9) Ford 134.449
15 A J Allmendinger (22) Dodge 134.278
16 Clint Bowyer (15) Toyota 134.268
17 Bobby Labonte (47) Toyota 134.058
18 Aric Almirola (43) Ford 134.048
19 Kurt Busch (51) Chevrolet 133.939
20 Paul Menard (27) Chevrolet 133.814
21 Jamie McMurray (1) Chevrolet 133.764
22 Landon Cassill (83) Toyota 133.665
23 Dave Blaney (36) Chevrolet 133.630
24 Carl Edwards (99) Ford 133.615
25 Martin Truex Jr. (56) Toyota 133.417
26 Matt Kenseth (17) Ford 132.871
27 Scott Riggs (23) Chevrolet 132.743
28 Brad Keselowski (2) Dodge 132.709
29 Dale Earnhardt Jr. (88) Chevrolet 132.597
30 Jeff Gordon (24) Chevrolet 132.441
31 Casey Mears (13) Ford 132.251
32 David Reutimann (10) Chevrolet 132.231
33 Josh Wise (26) Ford 132.081
34 David Ragan (34) Ford 132.057
35 J.J. Yeley (249) Toyota 131.685
36 David Gilliland (38) Ford 131.516
37 Michael McDowell (98) Ford 131.502
38 Joe Nemechek (87) Toyota 130.596
39 Robby Gordon (7) Dodge 130.364
40 Brendan Gaughan (33) Chevrolet 128.824
41 Travis Kvapil (93) Toyota 127.845
42 Mike Bliss (32) Ford 118.060
43 David Stremme (30) Toyota 129.092

Rick

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SRT Motorsports - Dodge NSCS Final Qualifying Quotes - Phoenix
March 3, 2012 , AVONDALE, Ariz. -

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Dodge PR
Phoenix International Raceway
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
Post-Qualifying Quotes


A.J. Allmendinger (No. 22 Shell/Pennzoil Dodge Charger R/T) Qualified 15th
“It was okay. You know I messed the first lap up pretty bad and at that point the second lap was just survival. I mean, the track is so sick out there. We struggled a bit yesterday so not sure where that’s going to put us. It could have been a lot worse after that first lap. It’s okay. We’ve got some work to do. First real race with the team definitely got some work to do but the guys are doing a good job. Tomorrow is going to be about survival so we’ll see where we end up and hopefully we get a good run tomorrow.”

ARE YOU SURPRISED HOW MUCH SLICKER THE TRACK HAS GOTTEN DURING THE WEEKEND? “It did it last year, too, so I think it just catches you off guard just truly how slick it is in general. You’re like how slick can it be and then you watch everybody and you’re like no, it’s really slick for everybody. It’s just part of the way this track is.”

IS IT GOOD TO HAVE SOMETHING POSITIVE HAPPENED ON THE HEELS OF A FRUSTRATING NIGHT AT DAYTONA? “Yeah, we’ve got to have a good race tomorrow. It’s tough to not put the pressure on yourself that if you go out there and have a bad run that you’re done. We’ve got to have a solid run. We can’t put ourselves in too big of a hole.”

DO YOU NEED TO AVOID THE OUTSIDE LINE TO STAY OUT OF TROUBLE HERE ON SUNDAY? “It’s weird because last year the outside lane actually came in and I feel like third row on back you were better to be on the outside so you didn’t get pinned down. I don’t even know what’s going to happen tomorrow. We’ll see.”

DO YOU THINK THE TRACK IS GOING TO CHANGE A LOT DURING THE RACE TOMMOROW? “No. I think it’s going to start off real slick. I don’t think it will be as slick by the end of the race because it’ll be cooler and that’s kind of the way it worked out last year but it’s definitely going to be slick overall.”

WHAT IS YOUR BIGGEST CHALLENGE TO HAVING A GOOD FINISH IN THE RACE? “Just making no mistakes. There’s going to be plenty of opportunity to make mistakes so you’ve just got to go out there and just make a minimum amount of mistakes.”

Brad Keselowski (No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge Charger R/T) Qualified 28th
“Just didn’t put the whole lap together and we’ll work on that a little bit. I think we have more time to keep working on it and hopefully we’ll get it right for race time. The track gets worse when cars don’t run on it in a bulk so one car at a time it actually gets worse. It can’t keep up with the sand that gets put on the track. It’s just kind of the way it is.”

Robby Gordon (No. 7 SPEED Energy/Bashas’ Dodge Charger R/T) Qualified 39th
“We were very, very loose. I left pit road and the motor was misfiring and I’m like, ‘Oh, no way’ and then it cleaned up by the time I got going to the green the first time and it ran pretty clean. Man, we were loose and the track has slowed down a tremendous amount of time. We’ve lost 1.2 to 1.3 seconds. I ran a 26.40 in practice yesterday and said okay, we’re going to be good.’”

IS THAT A PRODUCT OF THE TRACK BAKING IN THE SUN AND MORE RUBBER BEING WORKED INTO THE GROOVE MAKING THE TRACK SLICKER? “Something is making the racetrack slicker because it did it to us in the fall, too. In the fall I think the track slowed down a half a second. It didn’t seem to slow down as much for the later cars as it did for the early cars but the same thing here today: we were really, really slick.”

Rick

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