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Nationwide Kansas Lottery 300
Kansas Speedway

Date Series Driver Speed

10/9/05 Sprint Cup Race Mark Martin 138.00
10/9/05 Sprint Cup Qualifying Matt Kenseth 180.856
9/29/01 Nationwide Race Jeff Green 129.00
10/8/05 Nationwide Qualifying Martin Truex Jr. 178.938
4/28/07 Camping World Truck Race Erik Darnell 124.00
7/2/05 Camping World Truck Qualifying Bill Lester 173.633

Race Capsule
Kansas Speedway
What: Race 30 of 34 on Nationwide circuit
Where: Kansas Speedway, Kansas City, KS
When: SATURDAY October 8, 2011 3:46 pm EDT
Laps: 200
Track Length: 1.5 miles
Race Length: 300.00 miles

Date Race Name Pole Winner Race Winner Make Purse

10/2/10 Kansas Lottery 300 Joey Logano Joey Logano Toyota $1,464,877
10/3/09 Kansas Lottery 300 Parker Kligerman Joey Logano Toyota $1,564,633
9/27/08 Kansas Lottery 300 Kevin Harvick Denny Hamlin Toyota $1,567,739
9/29/07 Yellow Transportation 300 Matt Kenseth Kyle Busch Chevrolet $1,544,672

NASCAR Preview

Hollywood Casino 400
Kansas Speedway

Race Capsule
Kansas Speedway

What: Race 30 of 36 on Sprint Cup circuit
Where: Kansas Speedway, Kansas City, KS
When: SUNDAY October 9, 2011 2:14 pm EDT
Laps: 267
Track Length: 1.5 miles
Race Length: 401.00 miles

Sprint Cup
Date Race Name Pole Winner Race Winner Make Purse

6/5/11 STP 400 Kurt Busch Brad Keselowski Dodge $5,215,984
10/3/10 Price Chopper 400 Kasey Kahne Greg Biffle Ford $6,012,504
10/4/09 Price Chopper 400 Mark Martin Tony Stewart Chevrolet $6,182,706
9/28/08 Camping World RV 400 Jimmie Johnson Jimmie Johnson Chevrolet $6,134,923
9/30/07 LifeLock 400 Jimmie Johnson Greg Biffle Ford $6,056,938

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Dodge Motorsports Notes & Quotes – NSCS Race Advance – Kansas 2
Published on October 4, 2011 by Official Release
Dodge Motorsports Notes & Quotes

NSCS Race Advance

Hollywood Casino 400

Kansas Speedway

Sunday, Oct. 9, 2011


· Dodge has two wins in 11 previous races at Kansas: Ryan Newman (2003) and Brad Keselowski (2011).

· Dodge has three poles at Kansas: Jason Leffler (2001), Kasey Kahne (2006) and Kurt Busch (2011).

· Penske Racing earned a Kansas sweep in June, winning the pole (Kurt Busch and the race (Brad Keselowski). Keselowski started 25th, the farthest back in the field a race winner has started.

· Busch has started all 11 previous races at Kansas. He has led the most laps twice (2007, 2011) and scored three top-10 finishes.


· Dodge’s Kurt Busch qualified second and won at Dover. He gained five positions in the standings to fourth, nine points.

· Dodge’s Brad Keselowski qualified 15th and finished 20th at Dover. He is sixth in the standings, 14 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).

2011 CHASE to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Standings (after 29 of 36 Events)

1. Kevin Harvick 2122

2. Carl Edwards 2122

3. Tony Stewart -9

4. Kurt Busch -9

5. Jimmie Johnson -13

6. Brad Keselowski -14

7. Matt Kenseth -14

8. Kyle Busch -15

9. Jeff Gordon -19

10. Dale Earnhardt Jr. -34

11. Ryan Newman -41

12. Denny Hamlin -68


· 2004: Jeremy Mayfield led a race-high 72 laps on the way to a fifth-place finish. Ryan Newman was sidelined by an accident and was credited with 33rd-place in the final rundown.

· 2005: All three Dodge drivers in the Chase finished on the lead lap led by Rusty Wallace. Wallace rallied from a 33rd-place starting position to finish seventh. Jeremy Mayfield placed 16th followed by Ryan Newman in 23rd.

· 2006: Kasey Kahne started from the pole and led 11 laps but finished 33rd.

· 2007: Kurt Busch was the long Dodge driver in the Chase. He started 12th, led the most laps (76) and finished 11th in a race shortened from 267 to 210 laps.

· 2008: There were no Dodges in the 2008 Chase field.

· 2009: Kasey Kahne scored a solid sixth-place finish while Kurt Busch rallied from a 39th-place starting position to finish 11th.

· 2010: Kurt Busch was the single Dodge entry. He started ninth and finished 13th, completing all 267 laps.


· Dodge has 212 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series victories.

· Dodge has five victories this season, three by Brad Keselowski (Kansas, Pocono and Bristol) and two by Kurt Busch (Infineon, Dover). Dodge’s most recent win came at Dover. Busch led five times for 90 of the 400 laps.

· Dodge teams have recorded 52 victories since the manufacturer’s return to NASCAR’s premier series in 2001 after being out of the sport since 1977.


· Kurt Busch led the STP 400 in June at Kansas Speedway four times for 152 laps, a record for number of laps led in a Sprint Cup race at the 1.5-mile speedway. He also led the most laps (76) in the 2007 event. For the season, Busch has led a total of 706 laps in 17 of the 29 Sprint Cup races.

· Brad Keselowski’s qualifying position of 25th was the deepest a Kansas race winner has started from in the 11 Cup races at the 1.5-mile speedway. He has an average finish of 12.3 in three races at the track.


· Kurt Busch Start: 1st (Kansas, Pocono & Michigan) Finish: 1st (Infineon, Dover)

· Brad Keselowski Start: 1st (Charlotte) Finish: 1st (Kansas, Pocono, Bristol)

· Robby Gordon Start: 30th (Daytona) Finish: 16th (Daytona)

FROM THE DODGE ENGINEER: HOWARD COMSTOCK “Get ready, here they come. Love them or hate them, four of the last seven Chase races are at 1.5-mile tracks. We start the string this weekend at Kansas. But don’t believe it when you hear that all mile-and-a-half tracks are the same. They’re not. The four 1.5-mile tracks that teams face in the Chase have different bank angles in the turns, different radii in the turns, different doglegs on each front stretch and different straightaway lengths. We run different top speeds at each, run different average speeds at each and lose different amounts of time per lap as tires wear at each. Other than those factors, they are all 1.5-miles in length; maybe that’s what people say make them all the same.”

DODGE QUOTES: ON RACING AT KANSAS “I don’t know what it is about the Kansas track. The year that I won the championship, I finished sixth and that had been the highlight so far. It’s a flat mile-and-a-half that reminds me of Las Vegas when it was built and flat. It’s just a tough combination. If you’re just a tick off, you feel like you play catch-up most of the weekend and if you unload fast, you’re tough to chase down.” Kurt Busch, No. 22 Shell/Pennzoil Dodge Charger R/T

“This is a sister car to our ‘758’ that we won Dover with last weekend. Since the last time out, we’ve gone back and completely redone this car with our latest stuff. It’ll be a good car for Kansas and we can’t wait to get back out there. We’re heading in there with the attitude that we have some unfinished business to take care of this time around.”

Steve Addington, crew chief, No. 22 Shell/Pennzoil Dodge Charger R/T

“Wow. So much has happened this year since we won at Kansas, but I don’t want the significance of that win lost in the fact that we won two more races and made the Chase. That win at Kansas was special because we knew we were doing the right things to be successful, but just didn’t get the luck needed to win. Winning at Kansas was a validation, of sorts, and it was definitely the catalyst for what we were able to accomplish as the summer months wore on. We won the race on fuel mileage, but we had a very fast car throughout the race. We ran in the top-10 most of the day. With a fast Miller Lite Dodge and good fuel mileage, I’m confident about our chances this weekend.”

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

“Even though we were able to get the win in June from the 25th position, we really want to qualify better this weekend at Kansas. Track position and clean air are key at that track. Once we got Brad out in front, it was like it was a completely different Miller Lite Dodge. Not only were we able to pick up the win the last time we were there, we also learned a lot about our car. We’ve seen improvement each time we have gone back to a track for the second time and I expect the same thing this weekend. The Chase battle is getting tight so we want to come out of here with a good finish.” Paul Wolfe, crew chief, No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge Charger R/T

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Dodge Motorsports interview: Steve Addington
Dodge Motorsports press release

Kurt Busch, Penske Racing Dodge and his crew chief Steve Addington

STEVE ADDINGTON (Crew Chief, No. 22 Shell/Pennzoil Dodge Charger R/T)

CREW CHIEFS TALK ABOUT HAVING A NOTEBOOK FOR RACE TRACKS; IS THAT GONE OR ANYTHING YOU CAN USE FROM THE PAST? “From here, yeah. It hasn't changed that much, is just how we're loading bump-stops in the front end, stuff like that. Having this open test has been very valuable, but looking at the baseline that we came out here with a month ago or so, it was pretty close. It still has changed the speed of what you're carrying into the banking in the middle of (Turns) one and two back up through the progressive banking. It’s changed how we load our bump-stops and stuff. That's what we have to deal with, see what we have to do to balance that.”

AT DIFFERENT TRACKS, POCONO AS AN EXAMPLE, YOU WANT TO BE GOOD OFF OF THREE; IS THERE A PLACE HERE YOU THINK IS THE KEY PLACE TO BE SET UP FOR? “The thing right now I feel like a lot of people are fighting, we'd be loose into three here before and it's still there. So, that's getting our car to where the driver can get into the corner as hard as he needs to and maintain his speed through the center. That's the big key, getting into Turn 3.”

WHAT DO YOU MAKE OF WHAT WE USED TO CALL THE DOGLEG, WHICH IS A REAL TURN NOW? DOES THAT STRIKE YOU AS A TOUGH PLACE TO SET UP FOR? “I think that's going to be the action place. We were talking about it last night, about the double-file restarts and getting through two. Getting into the dogleg is going to be exciting. During the test, everybody is giving. When you catch a car, they let you go. But when they start racing, it's going to be pretty interesting through there. That's going to open up another can of worms to see how all the action takes place back through there. Getting into it, positioning yourself where you get a run on the guy, whether it's on the outside or inside of him, the give-and-take there is going to be pretty interesting.”

FROM A PIT STOP STANDPOINT, THE CONCRETE STALLS, IS THIS A HUGE IMPROVEMENT? “Oh, it's awesome. When we were out here, looked at that, they've done an awesome job with the race track, plus they've done an awesome job on pit road. You look forward to picking you a pit. All the pits should be good when we come back to race.”

THIS IS A SO-CALLED WILD CARD RACE, CONSIDERING IT’STHE CHASE SEMIFINAL; WOULD YOU CHARACTERIZE IT THAT WAY? “I think just being a new place that we haven't lined 43 cars up on and gone racing, new configuration, new surface, that's going to be the wild card part of it is when we get two-wide and things like that. Every one of them (Chase races) is a wild card here the way races have been turning out. This will be a little kink in the game plan because we don't know what's going to happen when we get lined up and start racing each other for real.”

DO YOU THINK IT WILL MAKE FOR BETTER DOUBLE-WIDE RESTARTS? “I think if you have trouble, cars get crunched up on restarts, you have plenty of room to clear it now. It used to be really tight right there. It's going to go back to when we get lined up here and see what happens, that's going to be the interesting part. We talked about it last night, Kurt and all of us, sitting around talking about it. We don't know whether you're going to have an advantage being on the inside or outside. If the guy is good enough to get a car pinned down over there, the outside may work. But you don't know. You just have to see how you can get in there two-wide because right, ‘till the track gets rubbered-in, it's just single file through there.”

DO YOU THINK IT’S POSSIBLE THAT WILL CHANGE DURING THE RACE, INSIDE VERSUS OUTSIDE? “It could come down to how much that opens up. With the other races going on here that weekend, they'll open that groove up a good bit for us for when we run. That's going to be the key, is how much that groove opens up getting into (Turn) one there and carrying it through the center.”

ON THE ORIGINAL SCHEDULE, THERE WAS CUP PRACTICE ON THURSDAY OF RACE WEEKEND. THAT’S GONE AWAY. BETWEEN YOU BEING HERE FOR THE TIRE TEST, THEN THE RACE WEEKEND, DO YOU FEEL FAIRLY CONFIDENT YOU’LL HAVE ENOUGH TRACK TIME FOR A GOOD SETUP? “Yeah, I don't think the track's going to change as much as what it would be just on a weekend. So I think the information that we've gathered from the tire test and what we'll end up with from yesterday and today is going to be valuable. I think it will translate over into race weekend. The track time is going to be not as big a key. If we came in here without any testing, you'd want hours on here. This test changes that.”

CONSIDERING THIS IS THE CHASE SEMIFINAL, NEW TRACK PAVING, CONFIGURATION, DOES IT CREATE MAYBE A LITTLE NERVOUSNESS OR TENSION WITHIN THE TEAM COMING INTO THIS RACE? “No, I don't think so. I think from everything that we've learned, it goes back to having these test days. I don't think that it's going to be any more nervousness coming into the race weekend. The only question that's going to be out there is, I'll go back to us lining up and going racing for the money and the trophy, we don't know what that's going to bring.”



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Dodge Motorsports Notes & Quotes - NNS Advance - Kansas 2
October 5, 2011 , KANSAS CITY, Kan. - Kansas Lottery 300
Oct. 8, 2011
Kansas Speedway

No. 22 Discount Tire Dodge Challenger R/T

Career Starts: 163
Wins: 15
Top Fives: 69
Top 10s: 98
Poles: 11

Career Highlights:
• Keselowski’s last NASCAR Nationwide Series win came at Chicagoland Speedway (September 17).
• He is the defending NASCAR Nationwide champion.
• Earned Penske Racing its first NASCAR championship last season.
• In 2010, set career-bests in wins (6), top fives (26), top 10s (29) and poles (5).
• Set a NASCAR record 102 consecutive Nationwide Series races without a DNF (Did Not Finish) that ended at this year’s season-opening race at Daytona Int’l Speedway.
• First Nationwide victory came at Nashville Superspeedway (2008).

• Keselowski will be making his sixth career Nationwide Series start at Kansas Speedway.
• Highest starting position: Eighth – 2010
• Highest finishing position: Second – 2010
• Average starting position: 21.2
• Average finishing position: 14.6
• Laps Led: 45

"Kansas is quite a bit different than some of the more traditional mile-and-a-half tracks, like Charlotte and Texas. It’s really similar to Auto Club Speedway in California. The straightaway speed is not quite the same, but the corners are really similar. You can also run all over the track at Kansas – from the high lane to the low lane. It’s a great race track. I’m excited about going there twice a year because it is another one of those areas of the country where they support racing.”
Brad Keselowski – No. 22 Discount Tire Dodge Challenger

• Dodge has one victory at Kansas (Kasey Kahne in 2005).
• Dodge has one pole at Kansas (Parker Kligerman in 2009).
• Dodge has three NNS wins this season.
• There were 21 lead changes in last year’s event.
• Joe Gibbs Racing has won the last three races at Kansas.

• Dodge won its first Nationwide championship last year when Penske Racing’s Brad Keselowski claimed the driver’s title.
• Dodge is fielding two entries in the Nationwide Series this year from the Penske Racing stable. Sam Hornish Jr. joins teammate Brad Keselowski for a limited race schedule. Hornish has made nine starts this season. He scored a season high fifth-place finish at Chicagoland.
• Dodge has 38 wins in the Nationwide Series.

• Dodge’s Brad Keselowski has two top-five and three top-10 finishes in five NNS races at Kansas Speedway. He finished second in last year’s event, .315 seconds behind Joey Logano. Keselowski was third in 2009.
• Only one of the previous 10 Nationwide Series races at Kansas has been won from that pole. That came last year when Logano started on the pole and won the race.

• Dodge’s Brad Keselowski is seeking his fourth Nationwide win of the season this weekend at Kansas. He has completed 97.1 percent of possible laps (971 of 1,000 possible laps) and has only one (DNF) at the 1.5-mile track in his five previous starts.
• In his 2010 championship season, Brad Keselowski’s average finish was 5.2 for the 35-race season.

“Kansas is a smooth, fast race track. Where it looks similar to Chicago, it’s much easier on equipment. Chicago has a rough surface where you worry about ride quality. At Kansas, you focus on speed and balance. We’ll take something from our notes packages from Chicago and from Auto Club Speedway and try to get back to victory lane this weekend.”
Todd Gordon, crew chief, No. 22 Discount Tire Dodge Challenger

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Dodge Motorsports Notes & Quotes – Kurt Busch Open Interview – Kansas 2
Published on October 7, 2011 by Official Release

Friday, Oct. 7, 2011

Dodge Motorsports PR

Kansas Speedway

Hollywood Casino 400

Kurt Busch Open Interview

NASCAR Sprint Cup Series

KURT BUSCH (No. 22 Shell/Pennzoil Dodge Charger R/T) ONLY 19 POINTS SEPARATE THE LEADERS IN THE CHASE? ARE YOU HAPPY WITH THE POINTS SYSTEM? “Yeah, things are close. With the way that the points are with the old system, a nine point lead would be like a 40 point lead.”

YOU’RE A BIG BASEBALL FAN. WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON THE ALCS MATCH-UP BETWEEN THE DETROIT TIGERS AND THE TEXAS RANGERS? “I was really happy that the Tigers won. I’m not much of a Yankee fan. The Tigers really went out there and poured it on last night. It was great to watch. With them matched-up against the Rangers, the Rangers have been that quiet team. A lot of west coast teams are always quiet because you don’t get that big time east coast coverage.”

DO YOU FEEL THAT YOUR TEAM HAD ANY MORE OF A POP AT THE PHOENIX TEST AFTER YOUR WIN ON SUNDAY AT DOVER? “We’re good at understanding handling Sundays, Mondays. Once you get to Tuesday it’s next week. So we had a great test at Phoenix with what we needed to do as a team. These guys know that we’re in position and we’re capable of going the long haul with this Chase.”

WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON THE NEW TRACK SURFACE AT PHOENIX? “It’s slick and it’s right on-edge when you’re fast but if you mess up just a little bit, you lose almost half-a-second a lap. It’s going to come down to that final restart. If you’re on the inside you’re going to be smiling. If you’re on the outside you’re not going to be smiling.”

CAN YOU TALK ABOUT RON HORNADAY EARNING HIS 50TH TRUCK WIN? “It’s incredible. I watched Ron Hornaday when I was a kid on the west coast and he was running the Southwest Tour races. When the tour came to town it was Ron winning races up front. This was in the early ‘90’s. He’s been an incredible man to watch race growing up on the west coast.”

CAN YOU TALK ABOUT CHARLOTTE NEXT WEEKEND. THE TEMPERATURE WILL BE COOL. HOW WILL THAT AFFECT THE RACING? “When it’s cool at Charlotte it’s like qualifying every lap. That place is fast.”

YOU HAVE A NICE STRETCH OF RACES COMING UP THAT YOU’RE VERY GOOD AT: “This is our good time in the Chase right now. We’ll try to get Kansas and Charlotte, these mile-and-a-halves with a good finish. I’m looking forward to the next two weeks.”

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NASCAR Qualifying
Last Updated: Friday, Oct 7, 2011 6:56 pm, EDT
Hollywood Casino 400
Field Set Kansas Speedway

Order Driver (No.) Car Qualifying Speed
1 Greg Biffle (16) Ford 174.887
2 Carl Edwards (99) Ford 174.571
3 Kyle Busch (18) Toyota 174.447
4 Matt Kenseth (17) Ford 174.436
5 Kasey Kahne (4) Toyota 174.413
6 Paul Menard (27) Chevrolet 174.317
7 Denny Hamlin (11) Toyota 174.222
8 Martin Truex Jr. (56) Toyota 174.126
9 Mark Martin (5) Chevrolet 174.092
10 Jeff Gordon (24) Chevrolet 174.048
11 Ryan Newman (39) Chevrolet 174.031
12 Brad Keselowski (2) Dodge 174.020
13 David Ragan (6) Ford 173.863
14 Kevin Harvick (29) Chevrolet 173.617
15 Brian Vickers (83) Toyota 173.606
16 Regan Smith (78) Chevrolet 173.527
17 Kurt Busch (22) Dodge 173.327
18 Dale Earnhardt Jr. (88) Chevrolet 173.238
19 Jimmie Johnson (48) Chevrolet 173.182
20 Joey Logano (20) Toyota 173.171
21 Marcos Ambrose (9) Ford 173.066
22 A J Allmendinger (43) Ford 172.944
23 Tony Stewart (14) Chevrolet 172.933
24 Clint Bowyer (33) Chevrolet 172.889
25 Scott Speed (46) Ford 172.866
26 Austin Dillon (198) Chevrolet 172.723
27 David Reutimann (00) Toyota 172.607
28 J.J. Yeley (55) Ford 172.568
29 Jamie McMurray (1) Chevrolet 172.535
30 David Gilliland (34) Ford 172.430
31 Jeff Burton (31) Chevrolet 172.397
32 David Stremme (30) Chevrolet 172.177
33 Bobby Labonte (47) Toyota 172.161
34 Juan Pablo Montoya (42) Chevrolet 171.936
35 Andy Lally (71) Ford 171.860
36 Travis Kvapil (38) Ford 171.521
37 Casey Mears (13) Toyota 171.429
38 Dave Blaney (36) Chevrolet 170.989
39 Reed Sorenson (7) Dodge 170.837
40 Michael McDowell (66) Toyota 170.530
41 Landon Cassill (51) Chevrolet 170.481
42 Mike Bliss (32) Ford 170.132
43 Joe Nemechek (87) Toyota 170.148
44 David Starr (195) DNQ 170.068
45 Josh Wise (37) DNQ 169.614
46 Mike Skinner (60) DNQ 168.914

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Dodge Motorsports Notes & Quotes – NSCS Qualifying Quotes – Kansas
Published on October 7, 2011 by Official Release
Friday, Oct. 7, 2011

Kansas Speedway

Dodge Motorsports PR

Hollywood Casino 400

Dodge Post-Qualifying Quotes

NASCAR Sprint Cup Series

BRAD KESELOWSKI (No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge Charger R/T) Qualified 12th “It wasn’t a great lap for the Miller Lite Dodge. I hope we can get a top-15 starting spot out of it. I thought that we would have a little bit more to be honest. We weren’t very good in qualifying trim today, but the car has been really fast in race trim. I feel good about Sunday and that’s what is most important.”

YOU’RE JUST 14 POINTS FROM THE CO-LEADERS: “We’re in striking distance with the Miller Lite Dodge. We’re coming to some really strong tracks for us. We just have to be consistent, not make mistakes and keep bringing fast Miller Lite Dodge Chargers to the track every week.”

IS THE MINDSET FOR SUNDAY THAT OF A FUEL-MILEAGE RACE? “You just always have to race the competition like it’s going to come down to speed. You can’t rely on it being a fuel mileage race because too many things can happen. It’s still about fast race cars.”

KURT BUSCH (No. 22 Shell/Pennzoil Dodge Charger R/T) Qualified 17th “It’s been a really up-and-down day for this Shell/Pennzoil Dodge team. We’ve been tight. We’ve been loose. We spent most of the first practice in qualifying trim and just haven’t been able to find that happy medium that the car likes.

“On my qualifying run, the front end just wouldn’t settle like it needed to. We scrubbed off too much speed. Tomorrow is a new day. We’ve got two more cracks at practice to try and dial the car in for Sunday.”

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Dodge Motorsports Notes & Quotes – Brad Keselowski Open Interview – Kansas
Published on October 7, 2011 by Official Release
Friday, Oct. 7, 2011

Kansas Speedway

Dodge Motorsports PR

Brad Keselowski Open Interview

Hollywood Casino 400

NASCAR Sprint Cup Series

BRAD KESELOWSKI (No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge Charger R/T) CAN YOU TALK ABOUT THE TRANSFORMATION THAT YOUR TEAM HAS GONE THROUGH SINCE YOU WON HERE IN JUNE? “After the struggle of last week, which really wasn’t a struggle, we ran great and had a fluke problem, but after that it’s easy to look back and be disappointed. It’s cool that we come back to Kansas and get a chance to really remember how far that we’ve come. I can still remember being in the garage in the spring and having that feeling of desperation and now we don’t feel that way. Now we feel that we’re where we belong with the direction of the program at Penske Racing. Our Dodges are fast. It’s just a completely different feel.”

CAN YOU TALK ABOUT THE DETROIT TIGERS BEING IN THE ALCS AGAINST THE TEXAS RANGERS? “Detroit is a special town to me. It’s a fixture to what it means to be and American. It’s an immigrant city. You can tell by my last name that my family immigrated to Detroit to build cars. It’s an American dream city. It’s nice to see, despite some of the economic setback, that things are going well in Detroit.”

CAN YOU TALK ABOUT BEING IN A HIGH-PRESSURE SITUATION IN RACING AND YOU HAVEN’T PERFORMED LIKE YOU WANTED TO? “Yeah, last week was one of those weekends. There’s a lot of pressure throughout the Chase. The further you get into it, the more pressure there seems to be especially if you have a shot at winning the championship. Last week, we got back on the lead lap with about 20 laps to go and I was faster, but had aero-push and could not move. Those 20 laps were some of the most frustrating laps of my career, knowing that anyone of those positions could be life or death come Homestead. Not being able to pass any of them was really, really frustrating. That’s part of the sport.”

IS THERE ANYTHING THAT YOU DO TO TRY AND GET RID OF THAT STRESS? “I try to surround myself with good people and I’m surrounded with a good team and friends and family. That’s who I count on to get me through the tough times.”

WHY DO YOU THINK THE CHASE POINTS BATTLE IS TIGHTER THIS YEAR? “The new Chase point system has affected the way that the Chase is setup and the way that it operates. For us, we look at it like we just can’t have that bad race. It’s a lot easier to turn around your season with this new points system. If you were where we were at, in 25th, and have a few good weeks, you can really move through the field. That’s really cool.”

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Edwards Takes NNS Pole
Saturday, 8 October 2011

KANSAS CITY, Kan. – Carl Edwards of Roush Fenway Racing won the pole for Saturday afternoon’s Kansas Lottery 300 on Saturday morning.

Edwards had a fast lap of 171.521 mph at the 1.5-mile tri-oval.

Brad Keselowski of Penske Racing was second fastest with a lap at 171.282 mph.

Third fastest was Ryan Truex in a Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota. He had a lap at ata 171.070 mph.

Paul Menard of Richard Childress Racing was fourth and Brian Scott was fifth.

The race is scheduled to start at 3:30 ET.


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Notes: Sorenson in No. 82 Dodge


ELKHART LAKE, WI - JUNE 24: Reed Sorenson, driver of the #32 Dollar General Chevrolet, speaks to the media after practice for the NASCAR Nationwide Series Bucyrus 200 presented by Menards at Road America on June 24, 2011 in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin.

Reed Sorenson, who lost his Nationwide Series ride earlier this week, is expected to race in Saturday’s Kansas Lottery 300, which begins at 3:30 p.m. on ESPN. Sorenson is third in points, 49 behind leader Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and 27 behind second-place Elliott Sadler.

Sorenson, dropped suddenly by his Turner Motorsports team, will be in MacDonald Motorsports’ No. 82 Dodge.

“You don’t ever want to see anybody without a ride,” said Stenhouse. “(Sorenson) was running consistent every week and I think that was going to keep him in it if we and Elliott had a bad weekend.

"It is probably up to me and Elliott right now.”

Qualifying for the race is Saturday at 10:05 a.m.

Patrick fifth fastest in final practice

Danica Patrick, who will run her ninth Nationwide Series race Saturday, will compete in her final IndyCar Series event next week at Las Vegas.

Patrick was fifth fastest in Friday's final series practice, a big improvement over the first session, in which she ranked 17th.

Patrick moves to NASCAR full time in 2012, running a complete Nationwide schedule and a partial Sprint Cup schedule for Stewart-Haas Racing.

Patrick said Friday she won’t know which Cup races she will run in ’12 until the Nationwide schedule is released next week.


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Discussion Starter #11
Oct. 07, 2011
Penske still seeking elusive Sprint Cup championship

Roger Penske is one of the most accomplished motor sports owners in the world.

Penske Racing has compiled more than 340 major race wins, 400 pole positions, 15 Indianapolis 500 victories and 23 national championships across all forms of racing.

But one gaping hole still remains on his resume.

He has yet to win a NASCAR Sprint Cup championship.

Penske has come close. Rusty Wallace won 10 races in 1993 only to lose the championship to Dale Earnhardt in the final race of the season.

This year Penske, 74, has another good opportunity. Penske Racing has two drivers in the Chase for the Sprint Cup for the first time since 2005. Kurt Busch is fourth in the standings, and Brad Keselowski is sixth going into Sunday’s Hollywood Casino 400 at Kansas Speedway.

Could this be the year?

“Roger has got so close, it’s unbelievable,” said Wallace, now an analyst for ESPN. “The sport is just so tough to sit back and say, ‘Here’s the reason he hasn’t won.’ Roger deserved a championship in 1993. We had such a big lead, and we had a huge crash at Talladega, I broke my wrist, and it set me back.

“He’s got the finances, he’s got the equipment, the know-how to get it done, but the competition is so darn tough. There are so many who can win … there will be a time when he will.”

There are some who say Penske’s attention is so divided between his IndyCar teams of Will Power and Helio Castroneves and NASCAR teams, it works against winning a Cup title.

Penske disagrees.

“We have great teams, drivers and personnel in place on all of our NASCAR and IndyCar programs, so we know everything is in good hands,” Penske said via email.

Busch, who won the 2004 Sprint Cup championship for Roush Racing before taking Wallace’s seat in 2006, doesn’t question Penske’s commitment to the Cup teams.

“He’s 1,000 percent committed,” Busch said. “It’s the competition level in Cup versus the others. This is the toughest motor sport in the world. … Here in Cup, you’ve got 20 guys that can win in any given week.”

A year ago, Keselowski gave Penske his first NASCAR championship of any kind by winning the Nationwide Series, and that gives hope to the man they call The Captain.

“It is extremely difficult to win a championship at any level,” said Penske, whose Indy car driven by Power is second in the series with one race to go. “Both (Cup) teams have run well from the start of the Chase, and we need to continue that level of performance over the next several weeks.”

As the only two Dodges in the Cup series, Keselowski and Busch could be at a disadvantage compared with the factory support the Fords, Chevys and Toyotas receive. Penske isn’t buying that excuse either.

“I think we have taken what people thought would be a disadvantage and made it an advantage,” Penske said. “Our performance is proof of this. Our organization has worked very closely with Dodge to develop our cars and engines, and we are proud of what we have been able to accomplish together.”

Penske can only wonder what might have happened had Wallace hung on and won the championship in 1993.

“Of course we all would have liked to see that team win the championship,” Penske said, “but it was still a great and very memorable season. It really made me appreciate how much of a challenge it is to win at the top level of NASCAR.”


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Discussion Starter #12
Talladega spices up Oct. race with $100K bonus

October 08, 2011

KANSAS CITY, Kan. -- Talladega has added some juice to its Oct. 23 Good Sam Club 500 Chase race with a $100,000 bonus for the driver who takes the lead the most times during the race.

There's a catch. In order for any driver to claim the bonus, there must be at least 100 lead changes during the race. Lead changes are counted only at the start/finish line.

However, given that the April race at Talladega tied the NASCAR record 88 lead changes, 100 seems an attainable goal. There are 188 scheduled laps in a 500-mile race at Talladega, a number that could grow if the race goes to a green-white-checkered-flag finish.

"The insurance people thought it was pretty attainable," Talladega president Grant Lynch said after Saturday's announcement at Kansas Speedway. "So we're not going to insure it."

Instead, the track will put up the money. "And I hope we pay it," Lynch said.

It's important to note that the money goes to the driver who takes the lead the most times, not the driver who leads the most laps. In case of a tie, the drivers will split the bonus.

Is a $100,000 incentive enough to stimulate action at the front of the pack and perhaps break up some of the sustained two-car drafts that recently have become the hallmark of restrictor-plate speedway racing? Is it enough to encourage drivers to abandon the strategy of hanging back and trying to stay out of harm's way?

"I hope so," offered Brad Keselowski. "I think that would be great. I think you're going to see more of your mid-pack cars really run hard and some of the cars that aren't in the Chase really looking for something cool to do. I think you'll see them run really, really hard, where otherwise they might not have."

Kurt Busch, Keselowski's teammate at Penske Racing, thinks the varying agendas of drivers add an intriguing element to the action.

"You've got the group that's in the Chase that has to be careful, [but] they want to get that bonus point for leading a lap -- that's always important," Busch said. "And then you have the guys right there in the mix like [Greg] Biffle or Paul Menard -- that group that's just outside the Chase that's competitive.

"Those RCR [Richard Childress Racing] cars are fast at restrictor-plate races. Look for those guys. The opportunity is there for everybody to take advantage of. Anytime you throw $100,000 out there, it changes the game."


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Discussion Starter #13
NASCAR Results
Last Updated: Saturday, Oct 8, 2011 6:31 pm, EDT
Kansas Lottery 300
Status: Final Kansas Speedway

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

1 Brad Keselowski (22) Dodge 48/5 200 173 $68,175 Chart
2 Carl Edwards (60) Ford 43/1 200 12 $69,550 Chart
3 Elliott Sadler (2) Chevrolet 41/0 200 0 $55,893 Chart
4 Paul Menard (33) Chevrolet 40/0 200 0 $33,150 Chart
5 Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (6) Ford 39/0 200 0 $35,318 Chart
6 Kevin Harvick (4) Chevrolet 38/0 200 0 $24,000 Chart
7 Joey Logano (18) Toyota 37/0 200 0 $22,950 Chart
8 Brian Vickers (32) Chevrolet 36/0 200 0 $21,850 Chart
9 Trevor Bayne (16) Ford 35/0 200 0 $27,228 Chart
10 Ryan Truex (20) Toyota 34/0 200 0 $29,443 Chart
11 Justin Allgaier (31) Chevrolet 33/0 200 0 $26,068 Chart
12 Aric Almirola (88) Chevrolet 33/1 200 11 $25,318 Chart
13 Jason Leffler (38) Chevrolet 32/1 200 3 $25,218 Chart
14 David Stremme (70) Chevrolet 30/0 200 0 $25,758 Chart
15 Danica Patrick (7) Chevrolet 29/0 200 0 $24,573 Chart
16 Michael Annett (62) Toyota 28/0 200 0 $23,863 Chart
17 Brian Scott (11) Toyota 27/0 200 0 $23,753 Chart
18 James Buescher (30) Chevrolet 26/0 200 0 $23,043 Chart
19 Kenny Wallace (09) Toyota 25/0 200 0 $23,033 Chart
20 Steve Wallace (66) Toyota 24/0 199 0 $23,348 Chart
21 Joe Nemechek (87) Toyota 23/0 199 0 $23,263 Chart
22 Mike Bliss (19) Chevrolet 22/0 199 0 $22,403 Chart
23 Jeremy Clements (51) Chevrolet 22/1 199 1 $22,668 Chart
24 Mike Wallace (01) Chevrolet 20/0 199 0 $22,158 Chart
25 Blake Koch (81) Dodge 19/0 198 0 $22,648 Chart
26 Reed Sorenson (182) Dodge 18/0 198 0 $15,445 Chart
27 Morgan Shepherd (89) Chevrolet 17/0 198 0 $21,803 Chart
28 Kevin Lepage (52) Chevrolet 16/0 197 0 $15,615 Chart
29 Joey Gase (39) Ford 15/0 196 0 $21,533 Chart
30 Derrike Cope (28) Dodge 14/0 193 0 $21,723 Chart
31 Eric McClure (14) Chevrolet 13/0 188 0 $21,288 Chart
32 Angela Cope (23) Chevrolet 12/0 167 0 $21,178 Chart
33 Josh Wise (40) Chevrolet 11/0 138 0 $14,600 Chart
34 Timmy Hill (15) Ford 10/0 87 0 $20,958 Chart
35 Matt Carter (171) Ford 9/0 18 0 $14,380 Chart
36 Scott Riggs (103) Chevrolet 8/0 13 0 $14,270 Chart
37 Carl Long (175) Ford 7/0 13 0 $14,150 Chart
38 Johnny Chapman (141) Chevrolet 6/0 12 0 $14,090 Chart
39 Chase Miller (146) Chevrolet 5/0 10 0 $13,940 Chart
40 Charles Lewandoski (147) Chevrolet 4/0 5 0 $13,830 Chart
41 Jeff Green (44) Chevrolet 3/0 3 0 $13,725 Chart
42 T.J. Bell (150) Chevrolet 2/0 3 0 $13,520 Chart
43 J.J. Yeley (127) Ford 1/0 2 0 $13,413 Chart

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Discussion Starter #14
Dodge Motorsports Notes & Quotes – Keys for Success – Kansas 2
Published on October 8, 2011 by Official Release

Saturday, Oct. 8, 2011

Dodge Motorsports PR

Hollywood Casino 400

Kansas Speedway

NASCAR Sprint Cup Series

KEYS FOR SUCCESS: Hollywood Casino 400

KANSAS CITY. Kan., (Saturday, Oct. 8, 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, Howard Comstock, Dodge Motorsports engineering, provides the keys for Sunday’s Sprint Cup race.

Track: Kansas Speedway (Race 30 of 36 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series)

Race: Hollywood Casino 400 (267 laps / 400.5 miles)

Trivia Question: Brad Keselowski won the STP 400 at Kansas Speedway in June. How many laps did Keselowski lead en route to victory?

HOWARD COMSTOCK (Dodge Motorsports)

Fuel Economy: “Almost every year that we’ve run here at Kansas fuel economy has been a major issue in the race. Drivers who manage their fuel better and crew chiefs that make the right decision on strategy have won this race. Drivers have actually won this race by coasting across the finish line out of fuel. Fuel economy, you can’t ignore how important of a factor it will play on Sunday.”

Wind: “The wind will play a factor in tomorrow’s race. Year after year that we come to Kansas, we see more wind here than we do at most places that we race. The drivers said after qualifying that wind was a factor in how the cars drove. If the wind is at you back, you’ve got higher corner entry speeds. That can throw off drivers by carrying too much speed into a corner. You wouldn’t think the wind would affect 3,500-pound cars at 200, but it does.”

Trivia Question Answer: Keselowski lead the final nine laps to earn his first of three NASCAR Sprint Cup Series victories this season.

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Discussion Starter #15

NATIONWIDE: Keselowski runs away from field for win at Kansas Speedway

The No. 22 Penske Racing Dodge of Brad Keselowski dominated the Kansas Lottery 300 NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Kansas Speedway on Saturday, leading 173 of the 200 laps en route to the win.

“This Dodge Challenger just hauled all day,” Keselowski said. “I wish I could take this car to (the Hollywood Casino 400 Sprint Cup Series race at the track) tomorrow.”

Carl Edwards finished second in the No. 60 Roush Fenway Racing Ford, 2.7 seconds behind Keselowski. Elliott Sadler was third in the No. 2 Kevin Harvick Inc. Chevrolet.

“That seals it for me,” Edwards said after the race. “I don’t want to hear him (Keselowski) complain anymore about our (Roush Fenway Racing) cars being fast.”

Edwards started on the pole with Keselowski alongside in second. The two drivers raced side-by-side in the opening laps. Keselowski had the lead by the time the first caution of the race came out on lap four.

Edwards retook the lead when he beat Keselowski off pit road during a caution that came out on lap 40, but Keselowski was back up front on lap 48.

Keselowski kept pulling away from the rest of the field, only to have his large leads erased by cautions. He did lose several positions during a caution that came out on lap 88 when he stalled his car on pit road and returned to the track in 14th position.

It only took Keselowski four-and-a-half laps to make his way back to the front, and he began to pull away again. He had a lead of nearly 11 seconds by the time the next caution came out with 60 laps remaining.

When the final caution of the race came out with 27 laps to go, pit strategies varied. Jason Leffler stayed out in the No. 38 Turner Motorsports Chevrolet, and Michael Annett in the No. 62 Rusty Wallace Racing Toyota and Kenny Wallace in the No. 09 RAB Racing Toyota took only two tires to restart second and third.

“That last caution killed me,” Sadler said. We were catching the 60.”

Leffler dropped back and Edwards and Keselowski made their ways back up to the front when the race returned to green -- Edwards on four new tires and Keselowski on scuffs.

Edwards assumed the lead with 22 laps to go. He and Keselowski, who was back in second by that time, pulled away from the rest of the field to battle it out for the win. Keselowski reassumed the lead with 14 laps remaining and sailed on to the win.

Paul Menard finished fourth in the No. 33 Kevin Harvick Inc. Chevrolet, and series points leader Ricky Stenhouse Jr. rounded out the top-five in the No. 6 Roush Fenway Racing Ford.

“I was up and down, but we did what a championship team needs to do,” Stenhouse, who gave up two points to Sadler, said.


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Discussion Starter #16
NASCAR Results
Last Updated: Sunday, Oct 9, 2011 6:17 pm, EDT
Hollywood Casino 400
Status: Final Kansas Speedway

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

1 Jimmie Johnson (48) Chevrolet 48/5 272 197 $331,336 Chart

2 Kasey Kahne (4) Toyota 42/0 272 0 $227,083 Chart
3 Brad Keselowski (2) Dodge 42/1 272 5 $192,433 Chart
4 Matt Kenseth (17) Ford 41/1 272 26 $186,311 Chart
5 Carl Edwards (99) Ford 39/0 272 0 $169,441 Chart
6 Kevin Harvick (29) Chevrolet 38/0 272 0 $160,486 Chart
7 Clint Bowyer (33) Chevrolet 37/0 272 0 $154,408 Chart
8 Greg Biffle (16) Ford 37/1 272 23 $130,750 Chart
9 Marcos Ambrose (9) Ford 35/0 272 0 $132,491 Chart
10 Mark Martin (5) Chevrolet 34/0 272 0 $108,375 Chart
11 Kyle Busch (18) Toyota 34/1 272 8 $144,541 Chart
12 Paul Menard (27) Chevrolet 32/0 272 0 $104,775 Chart
13 Kurt Busch (22) Dodge 32/1 272 6 $136,750 Chart
14 Dale Earnhardt Jr. (88) Chevrolet 30/0 272 0 $102,300 Chart
15 Tony Stewart (14) Chevrolet 29/0 272 0 $136,283 Chart
16 Denny Hamlin (11) Toyota 28/0 272 0 $136,925 Chart
17 Landon Cassill (51) Chevrolet 28/1 272 2 $111,808 Chart
18 Ryan Newman (39) Chevrolet 26/0 272 0 $129,775 Chart
19 Brian Vickers (83) Toyota 25/0 271 0 $118,114 Chart
20 David Ragan (6) Ford 24/0 271 0 $99,375 Chart
21 Jeff Burton (31) Chevrolet 23/0 271 0 $97,500 Chart
22 Jamie McMurray (1) Chevrolet 22/0 271 0 $123,914 Chart
23 Juan Pablo Montoya (42) Chevrolet 21/0 271 0 $126,658 Chart
24 Regan Smith (78) Chevrolet 20/0 271 0 $113,920 Chart
25 A J Allmendinger (43) Ford 19/0 270 0 $124,336 Chart
26 Austin Dillon (198) Chevrolet 18/0 270 0 $82,850 Chart
27 Travis Kvapil (38) Ford 18/1 270 3 $98,208 Chart
28 Mike Bliss (32) Ford 16/0 270 0 $94,397 Chart
29 Joey Logano (20) Toyota 15/0 270 0 $92,550 Chart
30 Bobby Labonte (47) Toyota 14/0 269 0 $112,045 Chart
31 Dave Blaney (36) Chevrolet 13/0 269 0 $84,000 Chart
32 David Gilliland (34) Ford 12/0 268 0 $83,300 Chart
33 Scott Speed (46) Ford 11/0 266 0 $81,550 Chart
34 Jeff Gordon (24) Chevrolet 11/1 264 2 $117,336 Chart
35 David Reutimann (00) Toyota 9/0 264 0 $108,083 Chart
36 Martin Truex Jr. (56) Toyota 8/0 241 0 $87,975 Chart
37 Andy Lally (71) Ford 7/0 72 0 $89,250 Chart
38 Reed Sorenson (7) Dodge 6/0 37 0 $79,525 Chart
39 Michael McDowell (66) Toyota 5/0 30 0 $79,325 Chart
40 David Stremme (30) Chevrolet 4/0 27 0 $79,080 Chart
41 Joe Nemechek (87) Toyota 3/0 18 0 $78,805 Chart
42 Casey Mears (13) Toyota 2/0 16 0 $78,635 Chart
43 J.J. Yeley (55) Ford 1/0 12 0 $78,907 Chart

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Discussion Starter #17
Sprint Cup Series
Latest Race Oct 9
Hollywood Casino 400

Rank (+/-) Drivers Total Pts Behind Starts Poles Wins Top 5 Top 10 DNF Winnings
1 - Carl Edwards 2161 Leader 30 2 1 15 21 0 $7,007,552
2 -1 Kevin Harvick 2160 1 30 0 4 8 16 1 $5,220,942
3 +2 Jimmie Johnson 2157 4 30 1 2 13 20 1 $5,162,882
4 +2 Brad Keselowski 2150 11 30 1 3 9 13 1 $4,239,463
5 +1 Matt Kenseth 2149 12 30 2 2 9 17 2 $4,981,857
6 -3 Kurt Busch 2145 16 30 3 2 8 16 2 $5,086,001
7 -4 Tony Stewart 2142 19 30 0 2 5 13 1 $4,873,990
8 - Kyle Busch 2141 20 30 2 4 13 17 3 $5,300,602
9 +1 Dale Earnhardt Jr. 2118 43 30 1 0 4 10 2 $3,502,863
10 -1 Jeff Gordon 2114 47 30 1 3 11 15 3 $4,976,632
11 - Ryan Newman 2107 54 30 3 1 8 14 0 $4,409,448
12 - Denny Hamlin 2082 79 30 0 1 4 10 2 $4,481,493


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Discussion Starter #18
Dodge Motorsports Notes & Quotes – NSCS Race Final – Kansas 2
October 9, 2011 by Official Release
Sunday, Oct. 9, 2011

Dodge Post-Race Final Quotes

Kansas Speedway

Dodge Motorsports PR

Hollywood Casino 400

NASCAR Sprint Cup Series

BRAD KESELOWSKI (No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge Charger R/T) Finished Third “Another solid day for us. It just makes you kick yourself for last week at Dover for having the trouble that we did. We’ve had top-five cars each and every week. We’re executing very well as a group and as a team. The things that we can control, we’re doing very well. I’m proud of everything and our efforts. We were about a third- to fifth-place car today. We brought home a third, so I’m proud of that effort. Kasey (Kahne) looked really good there at the end. I told Roger Penske to check the No. 22 hauler (Nationwide) from yesterday because I’m pretty sure that Jimmie (Johnson) stole the car and put new decals on it because he was gone. He was fast. I’m proud of the effort and proud that we were able to get a solid run out of it again. I just wish I could have beat Jimmie; he just had a little more in the tank than we did. We gave it our best effort.”

YOU WON IN JUNE, WON IN THE NATIONWIDE SERIES YESTERDAY, THIRD TODAY. ARE YOU DISAPPOINTED THAT KANSAS IS REPAVING THE TRACK? “Yeah, I think that everybody is gonna be. I talked to some of the guys from the track last night; sometimes they have to tear them up because of the weather. All these tracks in the Midwest, whether it’s Michigan, Kentucky or Kansas, they go through all that frost cycle with the winters and the springs where they frost, de-thaw, frost, de-thaw, and it just kills this track. There are big potholes that I guess they’re having trouble keeping down. Nobody wants us to have another incident like we did at Daytona. It’s tough. It’s unfortunate when tracks have to do that. I hope that technology has developed or exists that can hold up a little bit longer so we can use these tracks further and further and further because I think that we see better racing as the tracks get older. I think this track in particular has become very racy. I think there is as much side-by-side racing as you’re going to see in this style of racecar here at Kansas. I think that it’s bittersweet for everyone and the sport.”

WHAT IS IT ABOUT THIS PLACE THAT YOU LIKE? “You know, I think it’s like anywhere else. You go to tracks, and some tracks you just pick them up real quick and you get a feel for them, and some tracks you get a good car and you learn and define what you need to run well there. I’ve been very fortunate over the last few years to have very good cars here and picked up on this place.”

WHAT IS THE REASON THAT YOU’VE BEEN ABLE TO DO SO WELL AT THE END OF RACES? “You know, there are a lot of different reasons, and I think it all comes back to just having a good team. Good teams have good cars; they’re best at their end and fastest at their end. They use good pit strategy and stay strong through adversity. I feel like I just have a really good team. I guess it’s hard to define what makes a good team and a bad team does those things.

“You know, last year we weren’t a good team. We were always our worst at the end, and that’s not what it takes. I don’t know why that was, but that’s just the way it kind of works out sometimes. This year, it seems like as a group, we’re just clicking. It really hurts after last week because I felt like this is the only week we’ve had that was a bad finish, and something happened that was outside of their control.

“Sometimes that’s the way it goes, and we’re doing a good job of maximizing our day, taking care of everything that’s in our control and I’m really proud of our team for doing that. ”

DOES THIS WIN FOR JIMMIE REAFFIRM THAT HE’S GOING TO BE IN THE CHAMPIONSHIP HUNT ALL CHASE? “Yeah, certainly he’s going to be tough. The real question is we’ve got two big wild card races with Phoenix and Talladega, and I don’t think you can rule anyone in or out until those two races are over and we get to Homestead.”


“Everybody was a little close; we were just closer, but the Miller Lite Dodge was good. Proud of the effort. Kind of an up-and-down day. We got up to be a second- or third-place car mid part of the race, then kind of fell off a little bit, but came back. Third-place day, that’s good, that’s what you’ve got to do. Really, we want to win races like Jimmie (Johnson), but we’re making the best we can out of it. If he stumbles, we’ll be there.”

YOU MOVE UP TWO SPOTS IN THE CHAMPIONSHIP, JUST 11 POINTS OUT OF THE LEAD. NO-TIRE STOPS, SHORT PITTING TODAY, YOU GUYS DID IT ALL IT SEEMS LIKE. “We did. Paul Wolfe, my crew chief, used great strategy. We did the best we could. I think Jimmie went in the garage and stole my 22 Nationwide car from yesterday today because there was nobody gonna run with him all day. His car was just way better. Kudos to them and a great effort by my Miller Lite team. To get a third-place out of this, if it wasn’t for that power steering last week, we’d probably have the points lead. Those failures, those troubles, they’re going to come the 48′s way and when it does, we’ll be there.”

PAUL WOLFE (crew chief, No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge Charger R/T) CAN YOU TALK ABOUT THE GREAT RUN THE NO. 2 CAR HAD TODAY? “Yeah, it was a great run. It was a battle all day for sure. The car wasn’t close to where it needed to be at the start of the race. We just kept our head in the game, adjusting on the Miller Lite Dodge all day. As we went on the long green runs is where I think we were pretty strong. The way that things cycled out, we got inside the top five and once we got there, our car really reacted. I thought we were in a little bit of trouble when we stayed out and didn’t pit and everyone behind us had 16 lap fresher tires. I think being able to hold on like we did shows how strong of a car that we had. Great job by everyone on this Miller Lite Dodge team. These are the type of runs that we’re going to need to stay in this championship battle.”

WAS IT A DIFFICULT DECISION TO PIT OR NOT PIT? WAS IT ALL ABOUT TRACK POSITION? “It’s tough. I told Brad that let’s just see what the leaders do and everyone pitted, so we thought that we’d stay. You hope that more guys would stay out after you, but nobody did. Typically, in situations like that, you have four or five guys stay out and maybe you have a better shot. At the end of the day, we had another caution and we were able to hang on and get a third-place finish.”

KURT BUSCH (No. 22 Shell/Pennzoil Dodge Charger R/T) Finished 13th “Track position is so important at this place and we fought tooth-and-nail all day to get it. We got behind in qualifying and had to start 17th. We ran from 15th to 20th most of the day and caught a break; we got the lucky dog to get back on the lead lap. We gambled after the fourth caution and didn’t pit with Steve (Addington, crew chief) coaching me to save fuel. We were a lap shy on the fuel calculation and hit pit road when most of the other guys pitted with less than 25 to go. That guaranteed us to be good on fuel. We got up to seventh when the 24 blew an engine to set up the green-white-checkered. We stayed out because we just had never been that great on new tires. It was like everybody behind us did pit, so that might have been our best move. We were still a top-10 car when the green-white checker came out, but just couldn’t hold on to a top 10. The fresher tires got us.”
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