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Phoenix International Raceway


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


NASCAR Preview Nationwide circuit
Wypall 200
Phoenix International Raceway


Race Capsule
Phoenix International Raceway

What: Race 33 of 34 on Nationwide circuit
Where: Phoenix International Raceway, Avondale, AZ
When: SATURDAY November 12, 2011 3:45 pm EST
Laps: 200
Track Length: 1. miles
Race Length: 200.00 miles


Nationwide Records
Date Race Name Pole Winner Race Winner Make Purse
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
4/20/07 Bashas' Supermarkets 200 Kyle Busch Clint Bowyer Chevrolet $1,259,255
11/10/07 Arizona.Travel 200 Clint Bowyer Kyle Busch Chevrolet $1,408,944


NASCAR Preview Sprint Cup circuit
Ko
balt Tools 500
Phoenix International Raceway


Race Capsule
Phoenix International Raceway

What: Race 35 of 36 on Sprint Cup circuit
Where: Phoenix International Raceway, Avondale, AZ
When: SUNDAY November 13, 2011 3:15 pm EST
Laps: 312
Track Length: 1. miles
Race Length: 312.00 miles



Sprint Cup Records

Date Race Name Pole Winner Race Winner Make Purse
2/27/11 Subway Fresh Fit 500 Carl Edwards Jeff Gordon Chevrolet $4,929,477
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
4/21/07 Subway Fresh Fit 500 Jeff Gordon Jeff Gordon Chevrolet $4,961,431
11/11/07 Checker Auto Parts 500 Carl Edwards Jimmie Johnson Chevrolet $4,998,497
 

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Dodge Motorsports Notes & Quotes - NNS Race Advance - Phoenix 2
November 9, 2011 , PHOENIX, Ariz. - For Immediate Release
Dodge Motorsports Notes & Quotes
NNS Race Advance
Wypall 200
Phoenix International Raceway
Saturday, Nov. 12, 2011



DODGE AT PHOENIX INTERNATIONAL RACEWAY
• Dodge has one Nationwide Series wins at Phoenix. Jamie McMurray led 47 laps in the 2004 fall event that was extended from 200 to 205 laps by a late-race caution. He finished .261 seconds ahead of second-place Kyle Busch.
• Dodge has six top-five and 15 top-10 finishes at PIR. The most recent top five was a third by Brad Keselowski in the 2010 spring race.
• Dodge has one pole at Phoenix (Kasey Kahne, 2005 spring race).

DODGE IN THE NASCAR NATIONWIDE SERIES
• Dodge is fielding two entries in the Nationwide Series this season with Penske Racing. Sam Hornish Jr. joins Brad Keselowski for a limited schedule. Hornish will make his 12th Nationwide start of the year at Phoenix this weekend.
• Dodge has 39 wins in the Nationwide Series, seven coming in the 2010 season.

BRAD KESELOWSKI
No. 22 Discount Tire Dodge Challenger R/T


Career Stats:
Starts: 166
Wins: 16
Top Fives: 71
Top 10s: 101
Poles: 11
Laps Led: 2,688

2011 Season Stats
Starts: 27
Wins: 4
Top Fives: 12
Top 10s: 19
Poles: 3
Laps Led: 840

Phoenix International Raceway Stats:
Starts: 9
Wins: 0
Top Fives: 4
Top 10s: 4
Laps Led: 68

• Has four top-five finishes in last five starts at Phoenix.
• Best finish at PIR is a third in 2010 spring event.
• Owns seven top-10 finishes in last eight Nationwide starts including five consecutive.
• Has qualified eighth or better in last 11 races.
• Completed all but one lap in last 13 starts (2,504 of 2505 – 99.96 percent).

SAM HORNISH JR.
No. 12 Alliance Truck Parts Dodge Challenger R/T


Career Stats:
Starts: 31
Wins: 0
Top Fives: 1
Top 10s: 4
Poles: 0
Laps Led: 51

2011 Season Stats
Starts: 11
Wins: 0
Top Fives: 1
Top 10s: 4
Poles: 0
Laps Led: 43

• Fifth at Chicagoland in September (race No. 28), a career-best finish.
• Two top-10 finishes in the last three Nationwide starts.
• Has qualified ninth or better in each of his last eight NNS starts.
• Made his first-ever NASCAR start in the 2006 fall Nationwide race at Phoenix.
• Will be making his third Phoenix start this weekend. Both previous NNS starts also came in the fall event.
• Led season-high 39 laps at Iowa (race No. 22).

BRAD KESELOWSKI ON PHOENIX INT’L RACEWAY
“I’ve always looked forward to going out to PIR to race. I love the fact that Phoenix is its own unique venue and the community really embraces us twice a year. It’s been made even more unique with the new surface. We didn’t get a chance to test the Nationwide cars there yet, but I did take part in the Cup Series test there last month. They’ve built a great race track, one that will promote good racing once the surface ages a little. That process shouldn’t take long when the desert elements get a hold of it.”

SAM SAYS
“Phoenix has always been a wild card place for me. Anytime we go there, I feel like we can qualify in the top 10 and finish in the top 10 as long as we don’t have any issues with the car. We’ve been working on our consistency these last couple of Nationwide Series races, so I’m hoping we can carry the momentum forward this weekend.”
Sam Hornish Jr. (Driver, No. 12 Alliance Truck Parts Dodge Challenger R/T)
 

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Dodge Motorsports Notes & Quotes - Brad Keselowski Teleconference Transcript
November 8, 2011 , CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2011

Dodge Brad Keselowski Teleconference Transcript
Dodge Motorsports PR


BRAD KESELOWSKI (No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge Charger R/T)

HAVE YOU EVER TRIED IRACING AND DO YOU PLAN ON RUNNING THE IRACING PRO RACE THIS WEEK? “Yes I have. I have been part of iRacing for quite a while. It’s a lot of fun to always race online. I haven’t been on in a little while, but winter time is coming and I’ll probably get back on, probably not this week, but I would say definitely over the off-season.”

YOU SIGNED A THREE-YEAR CONTRACT WITH A TWO-YEAR OPTION. ARE YOU GOING TO TRY TO GET YOUR CONTRACT PUT TOGETHER SO IT’S NOT A DISTRATION NEXT SEASON? “That’s a very good question. I would think that you will know more about that in the coming months.”

REGARDING REACTION TO THE KYLE BUSCH PENALTY AND THE FACT NASCAR IS GOING TO LET HIM RACE THIS WEEKEND? “I actually felt like it was handled very well from all parties as well as an incident like that can be handled. And I really, after having the hindsight of time to think about it, obviously during the race weekend we’re worried about our own stuff and what it takes to get our car to run well and win races, but you know as far as the penalty was concerned and so forth and having some time to think about it, it was done very, very well.”

AND AS FAR AS THIS WEEKEND, DO YOU THINK A SECOND GROOVE IS GOING TO COME IN? IN THE NATIONWIDE RACE DO YOU MAYBE HOPE TO BE IN THE OUTSIDE ON AT LEAST SOME OF THE RESTARTS TO KNOW WHAT YOU COULD BE GETTING INTO IF YOU’RE ON THE OUTSIDE FOR THE CUP RACE? “No and no [laughs]. No, that’s the only way I can answer that. I really feel bad. I think the championship very may well come down to a car that gets the outside lane on a restart at Phoenix and if it’s the last restart, that could be a death sentence.”

WHAT HAVE YOU LEARNED THIS YEAR IN YOUR RUN FOR THE CHAMPIONSHIP? IT SEEMED TO BE A HUGE LEARING YEAR FOR YOU. “Well I think you’re always learning in this sport and I think as a team we’ve grown together. And I don’t know if that’s really learning as much that is learning the importance of having good people around you. We have great people at Penske. Paul Wolfe (crew chief) and I seem to be clicking very well and we have a great shot at having a very competitive year next season, but we’re not done with 2011. We’ve still got two races left. We’ve got the opportunity to get up to at the very least third in points, maybe even higher if Carl (Edwards) and Tony (Stewart) make a mistake. We’re focused on 2011, what we can do to maximize it, and we’re very proud of the season that we’ve had.”

HOW HAPPY ARE YOU AT PENSKE RACING? “Very, very happy. You know I think we’ve got a lot to be proud of like you said there. I think as time goes on, if we can continue to grow like we have this year the sky’s the limit for all of Penske Racing.”

COMMENT ON TONY STEWART AND ALL HE HAS ACCOMPLISHED IN HIS CAREER. IS IT HARD NOT TO ADMIRE SOMEONE LIKE THAT? “Oh yeah, Tony Stewart is a highly talented race car driver and I don’t think anybody can discredit any of the things that he’s done. And when he’s on his marks, boy is he on his marks. You got to give him a lot of credit. I think he’s the guy to beat as this championship unfolds and we’ll just have to see, but he’s done some very amazing things in his career for sure.”

LAST WEEK YOUR TRUCK TEAM ANNOUNCED FULL SPONSORSHIP FOR NEXT SEASON. COMMENT ON HOW THAT PROGRAM HAS DEVELOPED AND WHAT YOUR IMPRESSION OF PARKER KILGERMAN IS AS HE GETS THROUGH HIS FIRST FULL SEASON THIS YEAR. “Last week was a very big week for the truck team to announce sponsorship for the 2012 season, which is great. We try not to look too far ahead, but when it comes to sponsors, you have to have that done. So I’m very, very proud of those efforts from a marketing side and having the funding kind of shored up to finish off the year, or finish off next year will be great. I’m very, very happy that we’re able to get that done. It’s a big credit to our team and some of the things they’ve done this year. Obviously I’d like to see the truck get in victory lane. It’s been close with several second-place finishes. We just need to climb over that hump and get it done so I think we’re all interested to see how that’s going to play out. And for that to happen, Parker has got to continue to grow and develop, which is really the point of this program. It’s around to give opportunities to drivers like Parker who are on the cusp of being a high-caliber driver or star in this sport. We’re going to make sure that he gets all those opportunities that he can and hopefully, he can capitalize on ‘em and he can make it to the Sprint Cup level. You know I’m committed to doing the best I can to give him those opportunities, so we’ll just have to see how it plays out. We’ve been up and down. I thought that the first part of the year with Parker was a bit of a struggle and then the summer months came in and I thought he started getting in a rhythm and clicking off good finishes. I was very proud of that, very encouraged, you know, for races to come. And to be quite honest, as the fall has come in, it’s kind of gone back into struggle mode. We’ll just have to see. The key for him is to come back next year and fire out the gate very, very strong. And if he can do that, then I think we’ll be very encouraged about his career moving forward.”

WITH THE ADDITIONAL FINANCING IN PLACE, IS THERE ANY CHANCE YOU MAY RUN A TRUCK RACE HERE AND THERE? “Well, you know, I started the truck team because of the love I have for the truck series and certainly feel like I have some unfinished business there. As a driver, I’ve been close to winning races and something has always happened. I would like to finish that off, for sure, but that’s not my primary goal. The primary goal of being involved in the truck series is to give opportunities to guys like Parker Kligerman. And I’m sure the day will come where I need to run a few races to keep the funding going for guys like Parker and more than just Parker, crew members on the team and so forth. And so when those days come, I certainly will run some races, but as of now that day hasn’t come and I don’t have a clear answer on what races I’ll run, but I’m sure that day will come.”

AS A DRIVER DO YOU HAVE A NEED TO PAY IT FORWARD? DALE (EARNHARDT JR.) TOOK AN INTEREST IN YOU AND GAVE YOU A BREAK AND NOW YOU’RE IN THE POSITION TO GIVE SOMEBODY A BREAK. IS THAT HOW IT WORKS? “I think so, I really do. I think I’ve had the benefit of time over the last few years to become successful. It hasn’t been easy and there’s been a lot of hard work involved, but not all of it has been to my own credit. Much of it has been to the credit of others and whether that’s Dale giving me the opportunity or guys coming over and working on my team that are very talented and make my cars faster or pit stops better and you learn over time the importance of people. And the tricky thing about that is that you just don’t find people good people anywhere. You’ve got to grow ‘em, you’ve got to raise ‘em and you’ve got to be a part of their lives. So it’s very, very difficult to do that and it’s become very apparent in my career that it’s also important to give back. I think it you want to be a star in this sport, you have to give back. I don’t think you can keep pulling apples off the tree. Eventually you’ve got to pull an apple off the tree and plant the seeds and the truck team is a chance for me to plant those seeds. And when that tree grows up from those seeds that are planted, it’s a good feeling, a very good feeling, and it’s an opportunity for me, even though there was a lot of work on planting those seeds, but it’s an opportunity for me to have a tree to eat from for years to come. Whether that’s having the next great crew chief, car chief or tire changer, having the next teammate, or additional team at Penske Racing because we’ve invested in that and certainly I was a part of it. I think that’s a good feeling. I think that’s crucial to my success in the sport for years to come. I look at Kevin (Harvick) and the things that he’s done with his truck and Nationwide teams and not only has it made him more successful, I think it’s garnered him more respect and rightfully so. He’s made a commitment to the sport for the last few years. Obviously, he’s getting out of it now, but he’s put in a lot of years of service to the sport. I think that’s really cool to see and I really want to emulate that because I think that’s what it’s all about at the end of the day.”

IS EVERYBODY AROUND YOU PRETTY COMFORTABLE AS FAR AS “BOYS HAVE AT IT” AND HOW FAR YOU CAN AND CAN’T GO? “I don't think so. I think it's a constantly evolving line. We just want to make sure we're on the right side of it.

HOW DO YOU DO THAT? How do you do that? You try not to put yourself in situations where you're close to the line.”

YOU’VE BEEN THROUGH THE BULK OF THE CHASE NOW. WAS IT EVERYTHING YOU THOUGHT IT WAS GOING TO BE? “Absolutely. Absolutely. I'd hoped, to be quite honest, the last five races, we unveiled a new car at Penske Racing, and I'd hoped that we would gain speed with that car. It appears that we gained a little, but not on the field. It appears the field gained a little more than we did. Other than that, it's everything I hoped for and everything I thought we were going to see in the Chase. I feel very lucky to have four top fives so far and then we've had four bad finishes, four finishes of 16th or worse. That's been tough, but that's part of the deal. I'm very proud to have a seat at the dance. It's been good.”

TONY HAS A LOT OF MOMENTUM GOING. WHAT IS THE SPECIFIC REASON YOU SEE HIM AS THE PERSON TO BEAT? “Tony right now is the guy to beat because, quite simply, he's fast. His car at Texas was fast. Look at him at Kansas; he had one of the fastest cars. Same thing with Chicago. We have Homestead coming up. I think he'll be very, very fast there. I think he's got the resources of all of Hendrick Motorsports behind him to get him right for Phoenix. I see a lot of resources being put into his team. He's a very, very skilled driver, more than qualified to get the job done. I think he's the guy to beat.”

IF IT COMES DOWN TO 10 OR 20 LAPS TO GO AT HOMESTEAD AND HE AND EDWARDS ARE WITHIN A POINT OR TWO OF EACH OTHER, WHO WIN? The guy with the fastest car and the best team.”

YOUR EARLY FINISHES IN THE SEASON SADDLED YOU DEEP IN THE 20s IN THE POINT STANDINGS. HOW MUCH DID THAT SHAKE YOUR CONFIDENCE IN YOURSELF? HOW DID YOU GET OUT OF THAT RUT AND RACE TO THE LEVEL YOU ARE AT NOW? “Well, I don't think we ever had any confidence to begin with, so I don't think we lost any. It took us a while to build that confidence. I think it started with a good showing in the All-Star Race, at least in the Showdown for the All-Star Race. Then we were able to just keep plugging away and getting better. Confidence built slowly and it built with speed in our cars. Once you have speed, then it's just down to execution and catching the right breaks. We started to execute in the summer. We started to catch the breaks. I was very proud of that. It was definitely a tough stretch at the start of the year. It just came down to finding speed in our car and then executing.”

HOW LOW DID YOU GET OR WERE YOU CONFIDENT THAT EVERYTHING WOULD TURN AT SOME POINT? “That's a tough question. Yeah, I would say there were some dark days, yes. Certainly after Richmond, that was a miserable, miserable day in the spring. That was about as low as it got. We were able to climb our way out of it. I was fortunate enough to be surrounded by good enough people that I didn't let it get us down, or they didn't let me get down. I really can't complain about the lows.”

COMMENT ON THE INITIATIVES NASCAR HAS FOR REACHING OUT TO THE HISPANIC AUDIENCE AND YOUR PERCEPTION ON EVERYTHING THAT HAS BEEN GOING ON IN NASCAR TRYING TO INVOLVE MORE HISPANIC PEOPLE. “Well, I think we see that more than just in NASCAR. I know with my own sponsor, Miller Lite, that's certainly a strong initiative of theirs, to reach out to the Hispanic market. I think it's a larger frame than just NASCAR. I think it's a great opportunity for our sport. I think it's an opportunity to continue to open more eyes and bring in more faces and bodies. I don't see where it can hurt us at all. I very much welcome it.”

HAVE YOU BEEN WITH ANY OTHER INITIATIVE INVOLVING THE HISPANIC MARKET? “I have not to this date. I'm sure I will be in the very, very short future.”

A FEW WEEKS AGO YOU HAD A VERY REVEALING INTERVIEW ON ESPN. YOU KIND OF LEFT US HANGING. WHY WON’T TONY STEWART TALK TO YOU? “I don't know. I don't have an answer to that.”

LOOKING FORWARD TO THIS WEEKEND, THEY’RE USING SOME SORT OF TIRE-DRAGGING SYSTEM TO WORK A GROOVE IN. WHAT IS YOUR FEELING OF THE DRIVERS IN THE GARAGE AREA? LOOKS LIKE WILD CARD RACE DOESN’T EVEN BEGIN TO DESCRIBE IT. You're right. Wild card doesn't start to describe what I expect out of the Phoenix race at all. I think a big question will be how the track will rubber in. I don't expect a lot as far as that is concerned because of how hard the tire compound is. I think the track, it has a coating on the top of it that needs to be worn through. The tire appears to be too hard to achieve that. So really, I don't see it being fixed by simply dragging tires, but I could be wrong. There are a lot of questions yet to be answered as for how the race will play out in Phoenix.”

IT APPEARED FROM YOUR TWEETS WITH DENNY HAMLIN THAT YOU TWO KIND OF RESOLVED THE TRACK INCIDENT ON TWITTER WITH YOUR APOLOGY AND HIS HONESTY ABOUT NOT HAVING A GOOD CAR ANYWAY. DID YOU THINK THE KYLE PENALTY HAD ANY INFLUENCE ON THAT? DO YOU THINK IT’S GOING TO HELP OTHER DRIVERS SETTLE INCIDENTS IN THE FUTURE? I don't see where the Kyle penalty had any influence on that. I think perhaps Denny and I's relationship has grown severely, I would say over the last two years I think to say the least, and that's not a bad thing.”

DO YOU THINK GOING FORWAD THERE ARE GOING TO BE ANY BIG IMPLICATIONS, DRAWING A LINE IN TH SAND? “Man, I really don't know. I think you only find that out over time. That's why you got to watch all these races.”

COMING INTO THE CHASE YOU WERE A WILD CARD. NOW YOU’RE FIFTH IN POINTS. WHAT DOES THAT SAY FOR YOU AND YOUR TEAM? THAT HAS TO GIVE YOU A LOT OF PRIDE? “Absolutely. It just says how far we've come as a race team over not just the last year, but really six months. It's been very good. I'm very proud of our efforts. I think we can still be better. I think we have room to grow in a lot of ways. I'm committed to doing that. I'm very proud of what we've done to date and I hope we can go out there and keep racing like this for years to come.”

DO YOU PLAN TO BE AT DAYTONA FOR THE TEST NEXT WEEK? IF YOU ARE, WHAT IS THE GOAL? “No, sir, I am not. I believe, to my knowledge, we're going to have a Daytona tire test or some kind of Daytona test in January. I'm not sure of that. To my knowledge, there was a plan for that. We've spent so much time with the fuel injection testing, as it be right now, that we have not had the opportunity to catch up at Penske Racing to a very quick test which is scheduled for Daytona next week. We will not have a car in attendance as far as I'm aware.”
 

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Dodge Motorsports Notes & Quotes - NSCS Race Advance - Phoenix 2
November 8, 2011 , AVONDALE, Ariz. - For Immediate Release
Dodge Motorsports Notes & Quotes
NSCS Race Advance
Kobalt Tools 500
Phoenix International Raceway
Sunday, Nov. 13, 2011



DODGE AT PHOENIX INTERNATIONAL RACWAY
· Dodge is seeking its first win at Phoenix International Raceway in Sprint Cup competition.
· Dodge has four poles at PIR since returning to NASCAR’s premier series in 2001 (Ryan Newman – 3, Casey Atwood).
· Kurt Busch is the only active Dodge driver with a win at PIR. The victory came in 2005 prior to joining Penske Racing and Dodge in 2006.

CHASE FAST FACTS
· Dodge’s Brad Keselowski qualified eighth and finished 24th at Texas. He is fifth in the Chase standings, 49 points behind the leader.
· Dodge’s Kurt Busch qualified 14th and finished 30th at Texas. He is ninth in the Chase standings, 87 points behind the leader.
· Brad Keselowski’s average finish in the eight Chase races is 11.375.
· Kurt Busch’s average finish in the eight Chase races is 16.875.
· The last time two Penske Racing Dodges qualified for the Chase was 2005 (Rusty Wallace and Ryan Newman).
· Dodge has not won a Sprint Cup championship since the Chase format was introduced in 2004.
· Dodge drivers have won four Sprint Cup championships: David Pearson (1966), Bobby Isaac (1970), Richard Petty (1974, 1975).

THE DODGE BOYS
· Dodge has 212 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series victories.
· Dodge has five victories this season, three by Brad Keselowski and two by Kurt Busch. 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.

DODGE IN THE CHASE AT PHOENIX INT’L RACEWAY
· 2004: Two Dodge drivers earned Chase berths – Ryan Newman and Jeremy Mayfield. Newman started from the pole and finished second, Mayfield started 24th and finished 21st.
· 2005: Dodge was represented by three drivers in the Chase – Ryan Newman, Rusty Wallace and Jeremy Mayfield. Newman finished 12th, Mayfield 24th and Wallace 29th.
· 2006: Kasey Kahne started 11th and finished seventh.
· 2007: Kurt Busch started ninth and finished 12th.
· 2008: There were no Dodges in the 2008 Chase field.
· 2009: Kurt Busch started second, led 69 laps and finished sixth. Kasey Kahne started fourth and finished 15th.
· 2010: Kurt Busch, the only Dodge driver in the Chase, qualified third and finished ninth.

2011 CHASE to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Standings
(After 34 of 36 Events)

1. Carl Edwards 2316 7. Dale Earnhardt Jr. -79
2. Tony Stewart -3 8. Jeff Gordon -81
3. Kevin Harvick -33 9. Kurt Busch -87
4. Matt Kenseth -38 10. Denny Hamlin -99
5. Brad Keselowski -49 11. Kyle Busch -100
6. Jimmie Johnson -55 12. Ryan Newman -103

FROM THE DODGE ENGINEER:
"The new Phoenix is bigger, wider and faster. It has more banking, a new smoother racing surface and could be a disaster for engineers. The newly reconfigured facility will make racing better, more exciting and more competitive – eventually. But the problem for engineers this week is the surface is so new, there’s only one racing groove that has any grip. That means passing will be extremely difficult unless they figure out a way to make the cars grab the outside line of the corners. Springs, shocks, sway bars, and track bars will be hot topics of conversation in every practice session before the race begins on Sunday."
Howard Comstock, Dodge Engineering

DODGE MOTORSPORTS QUOTE OF THE WEEK
"One of the drawbacks of a new surface is that there will only be one racing groove until the track cures. The good thing is that shouldn't take long with it being in the desert. That being said, track position will be very important this weekend and that will place a big emphasis on qualifying. Phoenix is still a mix of intermediate and short-track setups, but with the smooth surface you can get a little more aggressive to get more speed out of the car. I don't foresee there being much falloff in the tires throughout the race, so there will be a lot of strategy that will come into play. The Miller Lite Dodge has shown speed on all types of tracks this year so we feel good about having the speed necessary to win this weekend."
Paul Wolfe, crew chief, No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge Charger


2011 SPRINT CUP SERIES SEASON BEST
· Kurt Busch Start: 1st (Kansas1, Pocono1 & Michigan1)
Finish: 1st (Infineon, Dover2)

· Brad Keselowski Start: 1st (Charlotte1)
Finish: 1st (Kansas1, Pocono2, Bristol2)

· Robby Gordon Start: 30th (Daytona1)
Finish: 16th (Daytona1)

DODGE DRIVER QUOTES - KOBALT TOOLS 500 - PHOENIX INTERNATIONAL RACEWAY
“The scenic location, the grandstands and the facilities may remain the same, but this is definitely not your old PIR that everyone had gotten accustomed to. It’s a case of throwing all your old notes and data out the window because it is like racing at a brand new track. All the knowledge you’ve gained and logged before there doesn’t apply at all now. It’s just a totally different track. After the testing we all did there, we’re coming back convinced there’s only going to be one groove and it won’t be very wide. Restarts will be treacherous. We’ll see how it shakes out. It will be a ‘fill the tank up with gas and ride it to the end’ situation with how the tires did not and likely will not be wearing out there this weekend.
Kurt Busch, No. 22 Shell/Pennzoil Dodge Charger R/T

"You have to applaud Phoenix for having the forethought to re-surface the track before it became a problem. No one can deny that the surface was aging, but it did produce some great racing. I have seen the new track and I truly believe that once it gets some age on it, it will be a fantastic place to race. Racing two-wide down the backstretch will be exciting and nerve-racking at the same time. However, it may take a couple of years for it to get to where we can do all of those cool things. I know they are taking great measures to make sure we can put on the best show possible this weekend. I'm just excited to get the Miller Lite Dodge out there and see what it's all about."
Brad Keselowski, No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge Charger R/T

Brad Keselowski on the Chase for the Championship thus far:
"These last two weeks definitely haven't been what we were looking for with the Miller Lite Dodge. We need to find ways to finish races in the spots we deserve because we've had much better cars than where we've finished lately. This weekend at Phoenix is wide open and anything can happen so the points could be heavily altered going into Homestead. But to look at what Tony (Stewart) is doing, it's been amazing. He came into the Chase with guns blazing. I think we've had the cars, minus Dover, to compete with him and Carl, but we just haven't had the luck. Luck, just like performance, can go in cycles. Hopefully we get it back on our side over the last two weekends and that will carry over into 2012."
 

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Nov 09, 2011

Ford's Taurus, Explorer police cars will pace for NASCAR



Ford is putting its new police cars out in a place where it could catch a lot of speeders -- the racetrack.

Ford is going to put its Taurus and Explorer converted for use by police departments at NASCAR racing events to show them off. The two "Police Interceptors," as the full-size car and SUV are called, will appear first at the Homestead Miami Speedway. The Chicago-made pair won't show up in police department fleets until some time next year.


They should make respectable pace cars. The sedan alone can top 148 miles an hour with its 3.5-liter turbocharged V-6 engine that puts out 365 horsepower.

"Police nationwide asked for a new kind of weapon in the battle for public safety, and Ford is answering the call with purpose-built vehicles – engineered and built in America," said Mark Fields, Ford president of the Americas. That's a gentle knock of General Motors' police contender, Chevrolet Caprice, which is being imported from Australia.

In the past, Ford has used vehicles like the Fusion Hybrid as pace cars for NASCAR races.


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Brad Keselowski Rips NASCAR's Move To Electronic Fuel Injection

Nov 8, 2011

Brad Keselowski rarely has a problem being honest, but he might have a problem with NASCAR after the Penske Racing driver ripped the sport's switch to Electronic Fuel Injection, which will be in place at the start of next season.

Keselowski, speaking Tuesday at a NASCAR Hall of Fame question-and-answer session with fans, told the crowd he was "not a fan of (EFI) at all" and said it was nothing more than a marketing scheme.

Star-divide

"Because of all the green initiatives, the sport has taken a lot of flak from different groups..." Keselowski said. "I think they've been pressured into (switching to EFI) by the green initiatives. But in reality, it's no more efficient than what we have, and it costs a lot more money."

After his Q&A session, Keselowski met with a group of reporters who followed up on his comments. Not surprisingly, the oft-blunt driver didn't back off from his position in the slightest and indicated he would have preferred NASCAR stick to carburetors.

Keselowski said the switch to EFI was "absolutely" being made for public relations purposes.

"We're not doing this because it's better for the sport or better for the teams," he said. "I don't even think we're really going to save any gas.

"It gives them something to promote. And we're always looking for something to promote. But (the) honest answer is it does nothing for the sport except cost the team owners money."

In addition to the added cost, Keselowski said he's found the EFI car has less throttle response and the difficulty in starting the engine is bothersome.

Told NASCAR will likely be upset with his comments, Keselowski acknowledged the possibility of an angry phone call.

"I'm sure I will (get a call)," he said. "But that's the honest part of it. I think it's a disaster."



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Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2011

Dodge David Bailey Q&A Transcript

Dodge Motorsports PR


DAVID BAILEY, SENIOR MANAGER – MOTORSPORTS ENGINEERING, SRT

HOW PROUD ARE YOU OF DODGE’S ACCOMPLISHMENTS IN THE SPRINT CUP SERIES THIS SEASON? “I think there is a tremendous amount of pride to get two cars in the Chase, two effectively out of two. We’re also supporting Robby Gordon, but just looking at the Penske support that we provide, to get both of the cars in the Chase with our collaborative efforts, we’re on a high. We’re feeling really good right now and we’re continuing to support all of the initiatives that we set forth this year and we’re looking at supporting new ones into the future.”

COMMENT ON THE SUCCESS YOU’VE HAD WITH PENSKE THIS SEASON. YOU’RE SMALL IN NUMBERS, BUT BIG ON ACCOMPLISHMENTS. “At the time that it was decided that it would only be with Penske this year, we didn’t really think back at the time if we should have done anything differently. We jumped into this thing 150 percent behind the strategy and we never looked back. I can’t say we didn’t have time to quibble about concerns. We were committed and I think working closely with Penske and their level of commitment has just worked out quite well with the synergies that we’ve been able to find with one another and the way we’ve gone forward with all the technical initiatives.”

THE ONE TEAM AND TWO-CAR CONCEPT HAS BEEN AN ADVANTAGE FOR DODGE THIS SEASON. “In the past, we’ve had upwards of four teams and 12 different cars. To get everybody on the same page at the same time is very difficult. All the cars are wanting to be setup differently. For example, when you’re supporting three different engine shops, the engine builders have different requirements from Dodge. It’s very difficult to satisfy, to the highest level, all of the engine shops. What happened is you ended up, and I wouldn’t call it a lowest common denominator, but there would be a compromise. You could not support all three teams to the highest level of their request, so at some point when you’re supporting three different shops and teams, you’re compromising. You’ve got to say working with one top-shelf team, who we really enjoy working with, it’s not a compromise. We’re turning compromise into now synergy because doors are open now at both ends and we’re on to new and different refinements.”

CAN YOU TELL AT THE CORPORATE LEVEL THAT THE SUCCESS ON THE TRACK IS A POSITIVE WITHIN THE COMPANY? “I can absolutely tell first-hand there’s a lot of buzz in the air. By virtue of me being in the organization and a lot of people know that I oversee the racing, I get a lot of compliments and they are from people that are close and maybe knowledgeable of racing. They know what a major feat and accomplishment it is to get two of two cars into the Chase. The people that follow this at any level are just amazed and feeling good about it. There’s a lot of positive energy in the race group right now as well as the fans that are within the building.”

DOES THE SAYING ‘WIN ON SUNDAY, SELL ON MONDAY’ STILL APPLY TODAY? “You know, that’s a tough one. That would be the world of marketing, but I can tell you when you have cars that are up towards the front of the pack and the type of coverage that we get on TV, to have the brand running up front, it’s invaluable in terms of the people that are watching it and the viewership side of it. People are driving to races in vehicles that they own and they are perhaps looking to replace them. And there are a lot of positive things that our drivers are saying about our cars when they get out of the cars after their wins. But I think it’s all positive. I can’t tell you that we have perfect correlation there, but we think it’s all directionally correct and it’s adding very good value to the brand.”
 

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Nov 10, 2011

As Week Nine of the "Chase for the Sprint Cup" roars into Phoenix International Raceway, Penske Racing's Brad Keselowski has an outside chance at the title. He's in fifth place in the standings, 49 points behind Chase leader Carl Edwards.

 

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Mars Pulls Sponsorship From Kyle Busch's Car

Mars Pulls Sponsorship From Kyle Busch's Car For Remainder Of 2011 Season

November 10, 2011





NASCAR Sprint Cup, Nationwide and Camping World Truck Series driver Kyle Busch's actions during last weekend's Truck series race continues to strike reverberations in his area of the NASCAR Sprint Cup garage.

After stating that Busch's actions were in no way compatible with their philosophies, Mars Incorporated, the primary sponsor of Joe Gibbs Racing's No. 18 Toyota Camry for the Las Vegas-born Busch, removed the M&M candies paint scheme from the car for the final two races of the year, this weekend's Phoenix contest and next weekend's finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Longtime team sponsor Interstate Batteries' green colors will identify the No. 18 at both races.

Busch punted Camping World Truck Series championship contender Ron Hornaday Jr's Chevy truck into the wall at Texas Motor Speedway a week ago Friday - under caution - and was immediately removed from the race.

NASCAR took the step of sitting Busch for both the Nationwide and Sprint Cup races on the 1.5-mile Texas oval; Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Denny Hamlin ran the Nationwide race and finished second; journeyman Michael McDowell fought an ill-handling car to 33rd in the Sprint Cup race.

After the weekend, Busch was fined $50,000 and placed on probation until the end of the year.

On November 10th, Mars Inc. removed Busch from driving the M&M's car for the balance of the 2011 Sprint Cup series; they did say he'll be the driver of the No. 18 M&M's car in 2012, providing no further incidents take place.

"As a proud member of the racing community, Mars and the M&M's brand strongly support the partnership we have with Joe Gibbs Racing - and are committed to NASCAR," said Debra A. Sandler, chief consumer office for Mars Chocolate North America. "Yet Kyle's recent actions are unacceptable and do not reflect the values of Mars.

"While we do not condone Kyle's recent actions, we do believe that he has shown remorse and has expressed a desire to change. We believe our decision will have a positive impact on Kyle and will help him return next season ready to win."

Joe Gibbs, owner of Joe Gibbs Racing and former coach of the Washington Redskins NFL football team stated, "We strongly support Mars' decision. This gives us all time to work together to foster a positive change where Kyle can continue racing in a way we can all be proud of."

Practice for Sunday's Kobalt Tools 500K on the newly reconfigured Phoenix International Raceway mile oval begins Friday.


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Dodge Motorsports Notes & Quotes – Chase Notes – Phoenix 2
Published on November 11, 2011 by Official Release

2011 CHASE FOR THE NASCAR SPRINT CUP

Chase Race No. 9 – Phoenix International Raceway – Sunday, Nov. 13

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

Phoenix o Has four previous Sprint Cup starts at Phoenix. o Best finish (15th) and best start (ninth) both occurred in the 2011 spring race.

o First Cup start at Phoenix came in the 2009 fall race.

o Completed 75 percent of total possible laps at Phoenix (986 of 1314) despite one DNF.

o Average Finish: 27.5

Chase o Fifth in the series championship standings, 49 points behind leader Carl Edwards and 11 behind fourth-place Matt Kenseth. Leads sixth-place Jimmie Johnson by six points and seventh-place Dale Earnhardt Jr. by 30. o Has scored four top-five finishes in eight Chase races and led at least one lap in six of those events. o Average Finish: 11.4

Season o Has three wins, 10 top-five and 14 top-10 finishes. o Recorded eight top-five and 11 top-10 finishes in last 17 races. o Won pole for Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte in May. o Scored 214 points in a five-race span to move from 23rd after Loudon to 11th following his victory at Bristol. o Has led laps in 18 of the 34 races. o Has been running at the finish 33 consecutive races. o Average finish of 14.6

Kurt Busch – No. 22 Shell/Pennzoil Dodge Charger R/T Phoenix o One win, four top fives and 10 top 10 finishes in 17 previous starts at Phoenix. o Won inaugural spring race at the one-mile desert speedway, leading 219 of the event’s 312 laps. Official margin of victory over second-place Michael Waltrip was 2.315 seconds. o Has top 10 finishes in five of the last six races at Phoenix including an eighth-place effort this past February. Best start at Phoenix is second three times (most recently at the 2011 spring race). o Has completed 99.7 percent of total possible laps at Phoenix (5,357 of 5,374) and has been running at the finish in all 17 previous starts. o Average Finish: 12.9

Chase Ninth in the series championship standings, 87 points behind the leader. o Won at Dover and is one of five drivers to win a Chase race. o Has led laps in five of eight races. o Average Finish: 16.9

Season o Has two wins along with eight top-five and 16 top-10 finishes. o Only Sprint Cup driver to remain in the top 10 in the series point standings all 34 races this season. o All three pole positions came in consecutive races. o Has led 19 races for 713 laps. o Kicked off 2011 by winning Bud Shootout and Gatorade Duel at Daytona. o Average Finish: 13.8

Results: Chase Race No. 8 – Texas Motor Speedway – Sunday, Nov. 6 Summary: Brad Keselowski started eighth at Texas, but had handling issues with his No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge Charger throughout the race. And to make a bad day worse, he and Denny Hamlin made contact on pit road during a round of stops under caution on lap 271. Ryan Newman, pitting directly in front of Keselowski, blocked in the No. 2 Dodge. When attempting to leave his stall, Keselowski backed into Hamlin as he left his pit stall, damaging the right-rear of the Blue Deuce and forcing him to make an extra stop for minor repairs. He was credited with a 24th-place finish. Kurt Busch also had a frustrating afternoon at Texas, struggling to a 30th-place finish.

Brad Keselowski – No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge Charger R/T o Qualified: 8th Finished: 24th o Points Position: 5th Gain/Loss: -1 Behind Leader: -49 o Average finish in six Chase races: 11.4

Kurt Busch – No. 22 Shell/Pennzoil Dodge Charger R/T o Qualified: 14th Finished: 30th o Points Position: 9th Gain/Loss: -1 Behind Leader: -87 o Average finish in six Chase races: 16.9

Results: Chase Race No. 7 – Martinsville Speedway – Sunday, Oct. 30 Summary: Brad Keselowski saw a top 10 finish disappear in the final laps of the TUMS Fast Relief 500. Keselowski was running eighth on the final restart with two laps to go when Dale Earnhardt Jr. made contact with Denny Hamlin, shoving Hamlin into Keselowski, sending the Miller Lite Dodge for a spin. He was credited with a 17th-place finish and dropped to fourth-place in the series championship standings, 27 points behind leader Carl Edwards. Kurt Busch overcame two spins and rallied from a lap down to score a 14th-place finish in the season’s final short track race. Busch took the wave around back onto the lead lap during the eleventh caution of the race on lap 404 of the 500-lap event. Five laps later caution number 12 waved, allowing Busch to make up the lost distance and join the pit sequence of the race leaders.

Brad Keselowski – No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge Charger R/T o Qualified: 3rd Finished: 17th o Points Position: 4th Gain/Loss: -1 Behind Leader: -27 o Average finish in six Chase races: 9.57

Kurt Busch – No. 22 Shell/Pennzoil Dodge Charger R/T o Qualified: 8th Finished: 14th o Points Position: 8th Gain/Loss: 0 Behind Leader: -58 o Average finish in six Chase races: 15.00

Results: Chase Race No. 6 – Talladega Superspeedway – Sunday, Oct. 13 Summary: Brad Keselowski made a good choice in a drafting partner in Dave Blaney as the two challenged for the win in the two-lap dash to the checkered flag following the ninth caution of the race. Keselowski ended up fourth, his best restrictor plate finish of the season and second top-five in 11 career plate races. He won at Talladega in 2009. It was his fourth top-10 in six Chase races and moved him to third in the standings, 18 points behind leader Carl Edwards. Kurt Busch saw his championship hope fade after being involved in an accident off Turn 2 on lap 175 of the 188-lap race. Bobby Labonte spun and came back up the track directly in the path of Busch, heavily damaging the No. 22 Dodge. Busch finished 36th. He’s eighth in the standings, 52 points behind the leader.

Brad Keselowski – No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge Charger R/T o Qualified: 16th Finished: 4th o Points Position: 3rd Gain/Loss: +3 Behind Leader: -18 o Average finish in six Chase races: 8.33

Kurt Busch – No. 22 Shell/Pennzoil Dodge Charger R/T o Qualified: 14th Finished: 36th o Points Position: 8th Gain/Loss: -1 Behind Leader: -52 o Average finish in six Chase races: 15.2

Results: Chase Race No. 5 – Charlotte Motor Speedway – Sunday Oct. 15 Summary: Kurt Busch rallied from two laps down to score a 13th-place finish, best among Dodge drivers. Busch was zapped twice by untimely caution flags moments after making scheduled green-flag pit stops. He dropped one position to seventh in the standings, 27 points behind leader Carl Edwards. Brad Keselowski also had his share of misfortune, but salvaged a respectable 16th-place finish. Keselowski fell to sixth in the Chase, 25 points behind the leader. Ironically, both Busch and Keselowski have completed 99.93 percent of all possible laps in the five Chase races (1,572 of a possible 1,573).

Brad Keselowski – No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge Charger R/T o Qualified: 26th Finished: 16th o Points Position: 6th Gain/Loss: -2 Behind Leader: -25 o Average finish in five Chase races: 9.20

Kurt Busch – No. 22 Shell/Pennzoil Dodge Charger R/T o Qualified: 20th Finished: 13th o Points Position: 7th Gain/Loss: -1 Behind Leader: -27 o Average finish in first five Chase races: 11.00

Results: Chase Race No. 4 – Kansas Speedway – Sunday Oct. 9 Summary: Brad Keselowski led Team Dodge with a third-place finish. Keselowski won at Kansas in June and backed up that performance with his third top five in the four Chase races. He started 12th and steadily worked his way to the front, eventually leading the race for five laps. He gained two positions in the point standings, climbing up to fourth, 11 points behind leader Carl Edwards. Kurt Busch qualified 17th and finished 13th after leading the race once for six laps. Busch dropped to sixth in the standings and is 16 points behind the leader.

Brad Keselowski – No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge Charger R/T o Qualified: 12th Finished: 3rd o Points Position: 4th Gain/Loss: +2 Behind Leader: -11 o Has completed every lap of last 11 Sprint Cup races.

Kurt Busch – No. 22 Shell/Pennzoil Dodge Charger R/T o Qualified: 17th Finished: 13th o Points Position: 6th Gain/Loss: -2 Behind Leader: -16 o Led at least once in first four Chase races.

Results: Chase Race No. 3 – Dover International Speedway – Sunday Oct. 2 Summary: Kurt Busch earned his second Sprint Cup Series win of the season, defeating Jimmie Johnson by 0.908 seconds. Busch qualified on the outside pole, led 90 laps en route to his 24th NSCS win of his career – his first at the Monster Mile. The win vaulted Busch five positions in the Chase standings. He’s currently tied with Tony Stewart for third, nine behind co-leaders Kevin Harvick and Carl Edwards. Mid-race mechanical issues with a power steering belt relegated Penske Racing teammate Brad Keselowski to a 20th-place place finish. Keselowski dropped three positions to sixth-place in the standings, 14 behind the leaders.

Kurt Busch – No. 22 Shell/Pennzoil Dodge Charger R/T o Qualified: 2nd Finished: Race Winner o Points Position: 3rd Gain/Loss: +5 Behind Leader: -9 o Led five times for 90 laps

Brad Keselowski – No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge Charger R/T o Qualified: 15th Finished: 20th o Points Position: 6th Gain/Loss: -3 Behind Leader: -14 o Has led at least one lap in each of the first three Chase races.

Results: Chase Race No. 2 – New Hampshire Motor Speedway – Sunday, Sept. 25 Summary: Brad Keselowski led Team Dodge with a runner-up finish. He started ninth but was running just outside the top 20 through the first half of the 300-lap event. Crew Chief Paul Wolfe used race strategy, choosing not to pit on lap 174 under caution, to gain track position. Fuel mileage keyed Keselowski’s runner-up finish, a career best at Loudon. It vaulted him to third in the Chase standings. Teammate Kurt Busch qualified fifth, but lost track position early and was never able to recover as the race had only three cautions. Busch finished 22nd and dropped to ninth in the Chase standings.

Brad Keselowski – No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge Charger R/T o Qualified: 16th Finished: 2nd o Points Position: 3rd Gain/Loss: +3 Behind Leader: -11 o Eighth to-10 finish in last nine Sprint Cup starts.

Kurt Busch – No. 22 Shell/Pennzoil Dodge Charger R/T o Qualified: 5th Finished: 22nd o Points Position: 9th Gain/Loss: -5 Behind Leader: -28 o Worse finish since Michigan (34th) in August. o Led once for four laps.

Results: Chase Race No. 1 – Chicagoland Speedway – Monday, Sept. 19 Summary: Brad Keselowski finished fifth in his first career Chase race. He qualified fifth and was a top-12 car most of the race. He managed to stretch his fuel window for the race’s final 53 laps, something several other lead-lap cars were unable to do (four ran out of fuel). Kurt Busch qualified third, led the most laps (64) en route to a sixth-place finish. Keselowski started the Chase 11th in the standings, 12 points behind the leader. Busch started the Chase nine points behind the leader in seventh.

Kurt Busch – No. 22 Shell/Pennzoil Dodge Charger R/T o Qualified: 3rd Finished: 6th o Points position: 4th Gain/Loss: +3 Behind Leader: -11 o Seventh top-five and 15th top-10 of the season.

Brad Keselowski – No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge Charger R/T o Qualified: 6th Finished: 5th o Points Position: 6th Gain/Loss: +5 Behind Leader: -14 o Seventh consecutive top-12 finish. o Career-best Chicagoland finish.

2011 Dodge Motorsports Driver Statistics Driver Rank Points Behind Starts Poles Wins Top 5s Top 10s Earnings Brad Keselowski 5 2267 -49 34 1 3 10 14 $4,895,378 Kurt Busch 9 2229 -87 34 3 2 8 16 $5,721,366 Robby Gordon 34 259 — 24 0 0 0 0 $2,206,041

DODGE AT PHOENIX INTERNATIONAL RACEWAY • Dodge is seeking its first win at Phoenix International Raceway in Sprint Cup competition. • Dodge has four poles at Phoenix: Casey Atwood (2001) and Ryan Newman (2003, 2004 and 2008 spring). • The best finish by Dodge at Phoenix is second-place by Newman (2004) and Kurt Busch (2008 fall). • Dodge has six top-five and 19 top-10 finishes since 2001 (17 races). • Kurt Busch is the only active Dodge driver with a win at PIR. The victory came in 2005 prior to joining Penske Racing and Dodge in 2006.
 

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Dodge Motorsports Notes & Quotes - Kurt Busch Open Interview - Phoenix 2
November 11, 2011 , AVONDALE, Ariz. - Friday, Nov. 11, 2011

Dodge Kurt Busch Open Interview
Dodge Motorsports PR
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
Kobalt Tools 500
Phoenix International Raceway


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

WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON VETERANS DAY? “It’s an important holiday to reflect on what our military has done. Being involved with the PVA this year and the Armed Forces Foundation, it’s been great to see their action in work, whether it’s been pace car rides at Daytona that I’ve done or taking these guys around the race track here in the garage area. Just getting them to the track and getting their minds off of some of the history that they have with post traumatic syndrome disorder, or some of the guys that have some amputated arms and legs. Just getting ‘em into the NASCAR experience is exciting for me to give back to some of our military that are active or even visiting some of the VA hospitals like I’ve done this summer, just to see some of our old veterans, guys like from the Korean War or Vietnam, guys that think they’ve been forgotten about, it’s nice to reflect back with them.”

HOW WAS PRACTICE? “Track is getting better. It’s taking in rubber, widening out the groove a little bit and I’m real excited to watch the Nationwide race just to see how the race plays out.”

HOW DIFFERENT IS IT OUT THERE? “We’ll see what happens. Right now you’re on edge because you’re trying to continue to advance but the track, it’s going to continue to get better so you have to adjust to the track’s changing conditions. It’s just a lot better this time around being 75 degrees instead of 115.”

DO YOU THINK IT’S A GOOD IDEA TO GO AHEAD AND REPAVE IT NOW INSTEAD OF WAITING UNTIL AFTER THE SEASON? “Well, they can’t wait until after the season because we race here the first of March, not enough time to do it. We’re going to see the same thing with Kansas Speedway next summer.”

DID THE ATTEMPTS TO PUT DOWN RUBBER ON THE TRACK WORK AT ALL? “The track gave us a lot more confidence this time around. Being one of the guys to do the original tire test, it’s so tough because there was just one little patch on the race track where we were running because everything else was very dusty, dirty with the oil coming up and made it real slick. This time around, very forgiving and it’s going to have a good look to it at least.”

SOME DRIVERS SAID THE TRACK WAS A LITTLE BIT SLICK YESTERDAY. “On a repaved track, they are just very unforgiving. Once you’re out of the groove, you lose over a second and then you go back into the groove and you get your times back down.”

YOUR BROTHER HAD A ROUGH WEEK LAST WEEK. DID YOU HAVE ANY CONVERSATIONS THIS WEEK? “Yeah, it’s been a tough week for him. He’s my brother, you know. I love him and I know he regrets what happened last week. It’s his circumstance, it’s his issues and I’m glad that Coach Gibbs is happy to work through all of that.”

DID YOU GIVE HIM ANY ADVICE? “Plenty of advice, oh yeah.”

THIS IS THE FIRST SEASON USING THE NEW POINTS SYSTEM. ARE YOU HAPPY WITH THAT? “I think if you look back on the old system versus the new, you’d have every guy in the top 12 almost in the same position.”

HOW DO YOU GET A CAR TO GO FAST AT HOMESTEAD-MIAMI SPEEDWAY? “That track, it’s tough to get the car to settle into the corner. If you get comfortable driving down in, it just makes the whole corner a lot easier. But running that top groove seems to be key at Homestead.”

ARE YOU LOOKING FORWARD TO MONDAY’S TRIP? “Monday will be neat to go out to visit Shell’s distribution guys as far as the upstream side of how you get oil out of the bottom of the ocean to what we put into our cars at the gas station. So you have the upstream side, you have the downstream side, and it’s really neat to be part of Shell’s master programming. They’re going out to visit what some of the groups do as contractors for the Shell Oil Company. So I’m real excited about Monday. It’s an hour-and-a-half chopper ride over open water and to see the guys out on the rig. It’ll be interesting to see how they work and live out on that rig.”

WHAT ARE YOU LOOKING FORWARD TO MOST IN THE OFF-SEASON? “Just to relax and to get away. It’s a long, grueling season and there’s always photo shoots, testing, media opportunities. It’s just nice to get away from it all for a few weeks.”

WHICH NON-CHASER MIGHT BE ONE TO WATCH NEXT SEASON? “(Greg) Biffle has always been a guy that I think is a Chaser every year and since he didn’t make it this year, that answers your question.”

IN ADDITION TO THE TRACK REPAVE, THE PIT LANE HERE HAS BEEN RESURFACED AS WELL. HOW MUCH A DIFFERENCE IS THAT GOING TO MAKE THIS RACE? “It should be much more consistent for us. We’ll have those concrete boxes to get in and out of. You just have to be real careful not to break the rear gear with a lot of traction on that pit box.”
 

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NASCAR Qualifying
Last Updated: Saturday, Nov 12, 2011 3:34 pm, EST
Kobalt Tools 500
Field Set Phoenix International Raceway



Order Driver (No.) Car Qualifying Speed
1 Matt Kenseth (17) Ford 137.101
2 A J Allmendinger (43) Ford 136.446
3 Marcos Ambrose (9) Ford 136.307
4 Mark Martin (5) Chevrolet 136.080
5 Martin Truex Jr. (56) Toyota 136.080
6 Jamie McMurray (1) Chevrolet 136.008
7 David Reutimann (00) Toyota 135.988
8 Tony Stewart (14) Chevrolet 135.911
9 Carl Edwards (99) Ford 135.701
10 Kasey Kahne (4) Toyota 135.675
11 Paul Menard (27) Chevrolet 135.609
12 Brad Keselowski (2) Dodge 135.415
13 David Ragan (6) Ford 135.399
14 Jeff Burton (31) Chevrolet 135.298
15 Regan Smith (78) Chevrolet 135.272
16 Jimmie Johnson (48) Chevrolet 135.247
17 Kurt Busch (22) Dodge 135.227
18 Brian Vickers (83) Toyota 135.216
19 Cole Whitt (84) Toyota 135.211
20 Robby Gordon (7) Dodge 135.186
21 Landon Cassill (51) Chevrolet 135.181
22 Dale Earnhardt Jr. (88) Chevrolet 135.166
23 Jeff Gordon (24) Chevrolet 134.887
24 Scott Speed (46) Ford 134.862
25 Joey Logano (20) Toyota 134.852
26 Juan Pablo Montoya (42) Chevrolet 134.811
27 Kevin Harvick (29) Chevrolet 134.756
28 Clint Bowyer (33) Chevrolet 134.574
29 Greg Biffle (16) Ford 134.549
30 Ryan Newman (39) Chevrolet 134.509
31 Bobby Labonte (47) Toyota 134.363
32 Joe Nemechek (87) Toyota 134.143
33 Denny Hamlin (11) Toyota 134.078
34 Kyle Busch (18) Toyota 133.650
35 Michael McDowell (66) Toyota 133.437
36 Mike Skinner (37) Ford 133.220
37 Travis Kvapil (55) Ford 133.136
38 Casey Mears (13) Toyota 133.028
39 Mike Bliss (32) Ford 132.431
40 Geoffrey Bodine (36) Chevrolet 131.305
41 J.J. Yeley (38) Ford 128.981
42 David Gilliland (34) Ford 123.069
43 Dave Blaney (135) Chevrolet 132.563
44 Scott Riggs (123) DNQ 131.694
45 David Stremme (30) DNQ 131.603
46 Andy Lally (71) DNQ 127.592
 

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Dodge Motorsports Notes & Quotes - NSCS Qualifying - Phoenix 2
November 12, 2011 , AVONDALE, Ariz.
Dodge NSCS Final Qualifying Quotes
Dodge Motorsports PR
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
Kobalt Tools 500
Phoenix International Raceway



BRAD KESELOWSKI (No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge Charger R/T) Qualified 12th
“That was faster than I thought it was. It’s terrible out there right now, but it’s the same for everybody. I’m happy to pick up, just so hard to tell what’s a good lap and what’s a bad lap right now; really hard to tell.”

YOU WILL HAVE DECENT TRACK POSITION TO START THE RACE. “It’s going to be super-important. It’s going to be one of the hardest races of the year to pass.”

YOU ARE STARTING IN THE OUTSIDE LINE. HOW ARE YOU GOING TO GET TO THE BOTTOM LANE? “I don’t have an answer for that one (smiles). Hopefully it all works out.”

KURT BUSCH (No. 22 Shell/Pennzoil Dodge Charger R/T) Qualified 17th
“Just loose in, tight in the center and loose off. We watched Brad make his run up against the pit wall down in Turn 1 and made a small adjustment with the right front air pressure. We were definitely looking for more, but we’ll have to play catch up during the early part of the race.”

ROBBY GORDON (No. 7 SPEED Energy/MAPEI Dodge Charger R/T) Qualified 20th


THAT WAS A RESPECTABLE LAP FOR YOU. “We ran a 25.90 yesterday (smile) and we were on the board there the whole time. I knew we’d be pretty good. When you have to qualify in, you’ve got to be a bit conservative so I was very conservative that first lap and I was still too conservative the second lap.”

HOW MUCH DIFFERENT IS THIS TRACK NOW? “It’s not the same race track anymore. As much as it’s still inside the same walls, it’s a different race track and it’s a handful for sure.”

CAN YOU COMPARE THIS TRACK TO ANY OTHER? “It’s like when we get a new race track, it’s just different. It’s just really crazy when we get a new one.”
 

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NASCAR Nationwide Results
Last Updated: Saturday, Nov 12, 2011 7:23 pm, EST
Wypall 200
Status: Final Phoenix International Raceway



Order Driver (No.) Car Pts/Bonus Laps Laps Led Winnings Lap Progress
1 Sam Hornish Jr. (12) Dodge 47/4 200 61 $39,350 Chart
2 Brad Keselowski (22) Dodge 42/0 200 0 $32,300 Chart

3 Carl Edwards (60) Ford 41/0 200 0 $40,500 Chart
4 Joey Logano (18) Toyota 40/0 200 0 $27,400 Chart
5 Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (6) Ford 41/2 200 73 $31,718 Chart
6 Trevor Bayne (16) Ford 38/0 200 0 $27,768 Chart
7 Clint Bowyer (33) Chevrolet 37/0 200 0 $20,000 Chart
8 Ryan Truex (20) Toyota 36/0 200 0 $25,643 Chart
9 Justin Allgaier (31) Chevrolet 35/0 200 0 $26,278 Chart
10 Michael Annett (62) Toyota 34/0 200 0 $24,893 Chart
11 David Stremme (70) Chevrolet 33/0 200 0 $27,818 Chart
12 Joe Nemechek (87) Toyota 32/0 200 0 $24,318 Chart
13 Ron Hornaday Jr. (32) Chevrolet 31/0 200 0 $23,868 Chart
14 Blake Koch (81) Dodge 30/0 200 0 $23,308 Chart
15 Ricky Carmichael (134) Chevrolet 29/0 200 0 $17,330 Chart
16 Mike Wallace (01) Chevrolet 28/0 199 0 $23,763 Chart
17 Kenny Wallace (09) Toyota 27/0 197 0 $22,853 Chart
18 Timmy Hill (15) Ford 26/0 197 0 $22,693 Chart
19 Eric McClure (14) Chevrolet 25/0 197 0 $22,583 Chart
20 Kevin Lepage (52) Chevrolet 24/0 197 0 $16,730 Chart
21 Danica Patrick (7) Chevrolet 23/0 196 0 $22,363 Chart
22 Robert Richardson Jr. (23) Chevrolet 22/0 195 0 $22,253 Chart
23 T.J. Duke (40) Chevrolet 21/0 191 0 $15,650 Chart
24 Jeremy Clements (51) Chevrolet 20/0 176 0 $22,408 Chart
25 Aric Almirola (88) Chevrolet 20/1 174 66 $27,198 Chart
26 Jason Leffler (38) Chevrolet 18/0 174 0 $22,088 Chart
27 Elliott Sadler (2) Chevrolet 17/0 174 0 $21,878 Chart
28 Morgan Shepherd (89) Chevrolet 16/0 174 0 $15,340 Chart
29 Steve Wallace (66) Toyota 15/0 174 0 $21,733 Chart
30 James Buescher (30) Chevrolet 14/0 142 0 $21,998 Chart
31 Mike Bliss (19) Chevrolet 13/0 129 0 $22,063 Chart
32 Derrike Cope (28) Chevrolet 12/0 125 0 $21,628 Chart
33 D.J. Kennington (180) Dodge 11/0 82 0 $15,125 Chart
34 Jeff Green (44) Chevrolet 10/0 38 0 $15,090 Chart
35 Reed Sorenson (182) Dodge 9/0 34 0 $15,055 Chart
36 Mark Green (49) Chevrolet 8/0 15 0 $15,020 Chart
37 Scott Speed (147) Chevrolet 7/0 6 0 $14,975 Chart
38 Chase Miller (146) Chevrolet 6/0 6 0 $14,940 Chart
39 Matt Carter (171) Chevrolet 5/0 2 0 $14,865 Chart
40 Johnny Chapman (141) Chevrolet 4/0 1 0 $14,830 Chart
41 Brian Scott (11) Toyota 3/0 0 0 $21,263 Chart
42 Tim Andrews (104) Ford 2/0 0 0 $14,745 Chart
43 Matt Frahm (39) Ford 1/0 0 0 $21,145 Chart
 

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NNS: Hornish, Team Penske Wipe Up Field

Date: 11/12/2011 - 05:41 PM
Location: Avondale, AZ





Sam Hornish Jr.. lead a Team Penske sweep of Saturday’s Wypall 200 NASCAR Nationwide Series race, the first event contested on the newly configured one-mile Phoenix International Raceway oval surface.

Hornish drove his Penske Dodge to the first Nationwide Series victory of his career, with teammate Brad Keselowski finishing second ahead of the Roush Fenway Racing Ford of Carl Edwards and Joey Logano’s Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota.


And Ricky Stenhouse Jr. virtually locked up his first series championship, driving the No. 6 Roush Fenway Racing Ford to a fifth-place finish, as his main title rival Elliott Sadler was crashed out of the race.

Unofficially, Stenhouse will head to next week’s season-ending Ford 300 at Homestead-Miami Speedway with a lead of 41 points.

The race got off to a sketchy start, with an eight-car crash involving Danica Patrick in Turn 3 on the first lap. Up ahead of harm’s way, Aric Almirola started from the pole and dominated the early going.

With warm sunshine, the drivers basically had one fast groove as they wrestled with the low-grip surface.

On Lap 36, Reed Sorenson blew his second right-front tire of the weekend and hit the Turn 3 wall, his car briefly catching fire.

Almirola led the entire first one-third of the race, but on Lap 68, points leader Stenhouse finally managed to duck under him and assume the point.

Seventeen laps later, Stenhouse’s teammate, D.J. Kennington, also blew a right front, as his car, too, caught fire for a few seconds before being extinguished.

Stenhouse continued to hold the lead, but as he did, championship rival Elliott Sadler fell out of the top 10 and back in the field, running 14th by Lap 120. But when Derrike Cope crashed to bring out a caution on Lap 130, Sadler gambled on two tires and rejoined the race in fifth behind Stenhouse, Sam Hornish Jr., Brad Keselowski and Joey Logano.

During this sequence of stops, Almirola’s crew missed a lug nut on the right rear tire, ending his hopes of victory.

On the restart on Lap 138, Stenhouse spun his tires, allowing Hornish to take the lead and Logano to move to second, restarts being a problem most of the year for the points leader.

Just after the green, Steve Wallace triggered a big crash when he turned James Buescher to bring out another caution. Once again, Stenhouse had a bad restart, falling to fourth behind Hornish, Logano and Carl Edwards.

Unfortunately for Sadler, even though he Stenhouse lost the lead, on two tires, Sadler’s car wasn’t very good and once again slid outside the top 10.

Before long, it was a Penske 1-2 as Keselowski moved to second place and with 30 to go, they led Edwards, Logano, Bowyer and Stenhouse, with Sadler 12th.

Then, disaster for Sadler.

Jason Leffler dumped Sadler going into Turn 3 on Lap 176 and took out Almirola and Morgan Shepherd with him.

“The 38 (Leffler) just run right into the back of us,” said Sadler. “Not much respect for guys running for the championship ... It’s very frustrating not going to Homestead with a chance to win this thing.”

“Ultimately, it’s my responsibility,” said Leffler. “ ... It was a mistake on my part. It wasn’t on purpose. ... I was racing Aric and it was all my fault.”


SOURCE
 

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Discussion Starter #16
NASCAR Results
Last Updated: Sunday, Nov 13, 2011 6:05 pm, EST
Kobalt Tools 500
Status: Final Phoenix International Raceway



Order Driver (No.) Car Pts/Bonus Laps Laps Led Winnings Lap Progress
1 Kasey Kahne (4) Toyota 47/4 312 14 $202,233 Chart
2 Carl Edwards (99) Ford 43/1 312 27 $210,141 Chart
3 Tony Stewart (14) Chevrolet 43/2 312 160 $188,033 Chart

4 Jeff Burton (31) Chevrolet 40/0 312 0 $126,350 Chart
5 Ryan Newman (39) Chevrolet 39/0 312 0 $155,850 Chart
6 A J Allmendinger (43) Ford 38/0 312 0 $136,836 Chart
7 David Reutimann (00) Toyota 37/0 312 0 $115,458 Chart
8 Marcos Ambrose (9) Ford 36/0 312 0 $114,166 Chart
9 Paul Menard (27) Chevrolet 35/0 312 0 $90,275 Chart
10 Clint Bowyer (33) Chevrolet 34/0 312 0 $123,058 Chart
11 Joey Logano (20) Toyota 33/0 312 0 $87,150 Chart
12 Denny Hamlin (11) Toyota 32/0 312 0 $121,375 Chart
13 Greg Biffle (16) Ford 31/0 311 0 $92,075 Chart
14 Jimmie Johnson (48) Chevrolet 30/0 311 0 $124,761 Chart
15 Juan Pablo Montoya (42) Chevrolet 29/0 311 0 $111,683 Chart
16 Mark Martin (5) Chevrolet 28/0 311 0 $81,150 Chart
17 Jamie McMurray (1) Chevrolet 27/0 311 0 $107,364 Chart
18 Brad Keselowski (2) Dodge 27/1 311 4 $97,208 Chart
19 Kevin Harvick (29) Chevrolet 25/0 311 0 $117,036 Chart
20 Martin Truex Jr. (56) Toyota 24/0 311 0 $80,375 Chart
21 Bobby Labonte (47) Toyota 23/0 311 0 $98,645 Chart
22 Kurt Busch (22) Dodge 23/1 311 57 $112,975 Chart
23 Brian Vickers (83) Toyota 21/0 311 0 $98,439 Chart
24 Dale Earnhardt Jr. (88) Chevrolet 20/0 310 0 $79,925 Chart
25 Cole Whitt (84) Toyota 19/0 310 0 $67,175 Chart
26 Casey Mears (13) Toyota 18/0 309 0 $70,875 Chart
27 Dave Blaney (135) Chevrolet 17/0 309 0 $67,925 Chart
28 J.J. Yeley (38) Ford 17/1 309 1 $84,483 Chart
29 Landon Cassill (51) Chevrolet 15/0 309 0 $81,758 Chart
30 Mike Bliss (32) Ford 14/0 308 0 $80,572 Chart
31 David Gilliland (34) Ford 13/0 307 0 $69,400 Chart
32 Jeff Gordon (24) Chevrolet 12/0 306 0 $105,936 Chart
33 David Ragan (6) Ford 11/0 298 0 $75,325 Chart
34 Matt Kenseth (17) Ford 11/1 238 49 $108,986 Chart
35 Robby Gordon (7) Dodge 9/0 218 0 $65,850 Chart
36 Kyle Busch (18) Toyota 8/0 188 0 $113,816 Chart
37 Geoffrey Bodine (36) Chevrolet 7/0 153 0 $65,575 Chart
38 Regan Smith (78) Chevrolet 6/0 62 0 $92,070 Chart
39 Scott Speed (46) Ford 5/0 60 0 $65,325 Chart
40 Michael McDowell (66) Toyota 4/0 46 0 $65,175 Chart
41 Joe Nemechek (87) Toyota 3/0 30 0 $65,020 Chart
42 Mike Skinner (37) Ford 2/0 25 0 $64,895 Chart
43 Travis Kvapil (55) Ford 1/0 20 0 $65,274 Chart
 

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Sprint Cup


Sprint Cup Series
Latest Race Nov 13
Kobalt Tools 500



Rank (+/-) Drivers Total Pts Behind Starts Poles Wins Top 5 Top 10 DNF Winnings
1 - Carl Edwards 2359 Leader 35 3 1 18 25 0 $8,189,573
2 - Tony Stewart 2356 3 35 1 4 8 18 1 $6,188,613
3 - Kevin Harvick 2308 51 35 0 4 9 18 1 $6,066,333
4 +1 Brad Keselowski 2294 65 35 1 3 10 14 1 $4,992,586
5 +1 Jimmie Johnson 2291 68 35 1 2 14 21 2 $6,178,148
6 -2 Matt Kenseth 2289 70 35 3 3 11 19 3 $6,009,848
7 - Dale Earnhardt Jr. 2257 102 35 1 0 4 12 2 $4,082,538
8 +1 Kurt Busch 2252 107 35 3 2 8 16 3 $5,828,016
8 +4 Ryan Newman 2252 107 35 3 1 9 17 0 $5,192,398
10 - Denny Hamlin 2249 110 35 0 1 5 13 2 $5,277,318
11 -3 Jeff Gordon 2247 112 35 1 3 12 17 3 $5,753,448
12 -1 Kyle Busch 2224 135 34 2 4 14 18 4 $6,046,057
 

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Dodge Motorsports Notes & Quotes - NSCS Final Race Quotes - Phoenix 2
November 13, 2011 , AVONDALE, Ariz. - Sunday, Nov. 13, 2011

Dodge NSCS Final Race Quotes
Dodge Motorsports PR
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
Kobalt Tools 500
Phoenix International Raceway



BRAD KESELOWSKI (No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge Charger R/T) Finished 18th
“We had a really good Dodge Charger at the first of the race and felt like we had a car to win it. As the race progressed, just lost the handle on it. Lost a bunch of spots on pit road and I just didn’t execute at the end of the race.”

DID THE GROOVE WIDEN OUT DURING THE RACE? “The track was really, really good actually. I don’t see how anyone can complain about the track. It was a great race. It was a lot of fun, just disappointed we didn’t close it out.”

HOW MUCH DID YOU LEARN TODAY THAT YOU CAN APPLY AT THE NEXT RACE HERE IN FEBRUARY? “Hopefully a lot, but we’ll find out when we come back. You’ve got to have power, you’ve got to handle. It’s everything.”

KURT BUSCH (No. 22 Shell/Pennzoil Dodge Charger R/T) Finished 22nd
"What an unbelievable turn of events. We worked our butts off all race trying to get track position and just couldn't cash our ticket in late in the race. We knew that track position and two-tire strategy were going to be keys and it almost paid off for us. Steve (Addington, crew chief) made the great call for two left sides under caution around Lap 220. That got us out front, but we may not have packed the Shell/Pennzoil Dodge full of fuel. We're not exactly sure, but it certainly appears that way.

"I thought for sure that once we got out in clean air after we took the lead that we had a great shot at the win. I knew that we had one more pit stop to make and with track position, I loved our chance to win the race. Steve radioed to pit just as I was coming down the backstretch and within a second or two, I ran out of gas. Just incredible. I made it to the pit box and when we tried to restart the engine, the car wouldn't fire right away. It cost us a lot of time. Worst part is that I had no tachometer, got caught speeding on pit road and had to do a wave through. We went from first to 26th, all in just making a green-flag pit stop. It was just an incredible turn of events. I think we had the car to be in victory lane."

PAUL WOLFE (Crew Chief, No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge Charger R/T)
“We qualified fairly well today, got our car pretty good and got up there in the top five and had really good long-run speed. We had good pit stops the first part of the race to keep our track position. A couple times we got shuffled back when we restarted on the outside. On that last stop that really counted, we had a little issue on the right side and ended up losing four or five spots there in the pits. Then, on the restart, he got tangled up with some guys and we just lost all our track position. At that point, it was a battle. Just frustrating because I know we were a better car than an 18th-place car and just weren’t able to put it together at the end when it counted.”

WERE YOU SURPRISED AT HOW WELL TWO-TIRE STOPS WORKED? “Not totally surprised. We knew it was pretty good. We saw it yesterday. It was just one of those deals. It was a matter of how long they would fall off at the end once we got 150 laps on ‘em. Initially, it didn’t seem to be a big deal. Like I said, a frustrating day for us, but we did gain some points on the 17 (Matt Kenseth). We moved up one spot going into the last race, so hopefully we can keep this thing in the top five.”

ROBBY GORDON (No. 7 SPEED Energy/MAPEI Dodge Charger R/T)
“We struggled to pass. I think everybody struggles to pass and I drove down onto the apron, a lot like (Elliott) Sadler did yesterday, and soon as I got back up to the main groove, it got loose on me. It’s a bummer. It was a brand new Dodge Charger and now it’s probably going to need a front and rear clip on it. That was a good race car. Guys did a good job all weekend long and unfortunately we find ourselves with another wrecked race car, which it doesn’t really matter. If you can’t stay on the lead lap, it doesn’t make any sense to race. That’s just my opinion.”

DID YOU LEARN ANYTHING TODAY THAT WILL HELP YOU MOVING FORWARD INTO NEXT SEASON? “I learned you need to bring the best race cars that you’ve got every single weekend and it just takes money and right now, we don’t have enough of that.”
 

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CUP: Fueling Error Costs Kurt Busch Shot At Win
Penske driver led 57 consecutive laps late in the race but wound up a lap down…

November 13, 2011 Avondale, AZ




Kurt Busch almost stole some thunder from Chase challengers Carl Edwards and Tony Stewart in the Kobalt Tools 500 Sunday.

Busch recovered from an early-race bobble to storm to the front in the second half of the race, leading 57 consecutive laps before running out of fuel.

That error cost Busch a long pit stop, and he was nailed by NASCAR for speeding as he returned to the track. The bottom line was a 22nd-place finish – one lap down – on a day in which Busch was second on the lap-leader list to Tony Stewart (with 160).

“I thought for sure that once we got out in clean air after we took the lead that we had a great shot at the win,” Busch said. “I knew that we had one more pit stop to make and, with track position, I loved our chance to win the race.

“Steve (crew chief Steve Addington) radioed to pit just as I was coming down the backstretch and, within a second or two, I ran out of gas. Just incredible. I made it to the pit box, and when we tried to restart the engine, the car wouldn't fire right away. It cost us a lot of time.

“Worst part is that I had no tachometer, got caught speeding on pit road and had to do a wave-through. We went from first to 26th, all in just making a green-flag pit stop. It was just an incredible turn of events. I think we had the car to be in victory lane."

Busch, Addington, team owner Roger Penske and other Penske Racing officials had a meeting about the race events after the checkered flag in Penske’s motorcoach.

Busch said the Dodge apparently wasn’t filled with fuel on the pit stop previous to his problems.

“What an unbelievable turn of events,” he said. “We worked our butts off all race trying to get track position and just couldn't cash our ticket in late in the race.

“We knew that track position and two-tire strategy were going to be keys, and it almost paid off for us. Steve made the great call for two left sides under caution around lap 220. That got us out front, but we may not have packed the Shell/Pennzoil Dodge full of fuel. We're not exactly sure, but it certainly appears that way.”

Busch led laps 222 to 278 before running out of fuel.


SOURCE
 
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