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Nov 16, 2011

Penske Racing's Sam Hornish, Jr., brings home a victory in NASCAR Nationwide Series competition, while fellow Dodge Boys Kurt Busch and Brad Keselowski gain a little ground with one race remaining in "the Chase for the Sprint Cup."
 

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Homestead-Miami Speedway



Records
Date Series Driver Speed

11/14/99 Sprint Cup Race Tony Stewart 140.00
11/16/03 Sprint Cup Qualifying Jamie McMurray 181.111
11/10/01 Nationwide Race Joe Nemechek 132.00
11/20/04 Nationwide Qualifying Casey Mears 177.936
11/16/07 Camping World Truck Race Johnny Benson 135.00
11/16/07 Camping World Truck Qualifying Jon Wood 173.188


NASCAR TRUCK Preview
Ford 200
Homestead-Miami Speedway



What: Race 25 of 25 on Camping World Truck circuit
Where: Homestead-Miami Speedway, Homestead, FL
When: FRIDAY November 18, 2011 8:18 pm EST SPEED
Laps: 134
Track Length: 1.5 miles
Race Length: 201.00 miles



Camping World Truck

Date Race Name Pole Winner Race Winner Make Purse
11/4/11 WinStar World Casino 350k James Buescher Kevin Harvick Chevrolet $548,306
6/10/11 WinStar World Casino 400k James Buescher Ron Hornaday Jr. Chevrolet $578,057
6/4/10 WinStar World Casino 400k Austin Dillon Todd Bodine Toyota $582,371
11/5/10 WinStar World Casino 350k Matt Crafton Kyle Busch Toyota $552,620
11/6/09 WinStar World Casino 350k Matt Crafton Kyle Busch Toyota $573,960
6/5/09 WinStar World Casino 400 Johnny Sauter Todd Bodine Toyota $678,776
10/31/08 Chevy Silverado 350k Rick Crawford Ron Hornaday Jr. Chevrolet $596,079
6/6/08 Sam's Town 400 Justin Marks Ron Hornaday Jr. Chevrolet $700,895
11/2/07 Silverado 350k Mike Skinner Ted Musgrave Toyota $588,064
6/8/07 Sam's Town 400 Todd Bodine Todd Bodine Toyota $692,880


NASCAR NATIONWIDE Preview
Ford 300
Homestead-Miami Speedway



What: Race 34 of 34 on Nationwide circuit
Where: Homestead-Miami Speedway, Homestead, FL
When: SATURDAY November 19, 2011 4:45 pm EST ESPN2
Laps: 200
Track Length: 1.5 miles
Race Length: 300.00 miles


Nationwide

Date Race Name Pole Winner Race Winner Make Purse
11/20/10 Ford 300 Joey Logano Kyle Busch Toyota $1,454,827
11/21/09 Ford 300 Carl Edwards Kyle Busch Toyota $1,553,466
11/15/08 Ford 300 Joey Logano Carl Edwards Ford $1,556,572
11/17/07 Ford 300 David Ragan Jeff Burton Chevrolet $1,533,505

NASCAR SPRINT CUP Preview
Ford 400
Homestead-Miami Speedway




What: Race 36 of 36 on Sprint Cup circuit
Where: Homestead-Miami Speedway, Homestead, FL
When: November 20, 2011 3:15 pm EST ESPN
Laps: 267
Track Length: 1.5 miles
Race Length: 401.00 miles


Sprint Cup

Date Race Name Pole Winner Race Winner Make Purse
11/21/10 Ford 400 Kasey Kahne Carl Edwards Ford $5,247,828
11/22/09 Ford 400 Jimmie Johnson Denny Hamlin Toyota $5,413,645
11/16/08 Ford 400 David Reutimann Carl Edwards Ford $5,374,166
11/18/07 Ford 400 Jimmie Johnson Matt Kenseth Ford $5,310,336
 

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Dodge Motorsports Notes & Quotes – NSCS Race Advance – Homestead-Miami Speedway
Published on November 15, 2011 by Official Release


DODGE AT HOMESTEAD-MIAMI SPEEDWAY

· Dodge has one NASCAR Sprint Cup Series victory at Homestead-Miami Speedway (Bill Elliott – 2001).

· Former Dodge driver Bill Elliott (2001) and current Dodge driver Kurt Busch (2002) are the only two Sprint Cup winner’s at HMS to start from the pole. Busch also started from the pole in 2004.

· Kurt Busch clinched the 2004 Sprint Cup championship at HMS. It was the first year of the Chase format and came before he joined Penske Racing in 2006.

CHASE FAST FACTS

· This is the eighth year of the Chase for the Sprint Cup.

· Dodge’s Brad Keselowski qualified 12th and finished 18th at Phoenix. He is fourth in the Chase standings, 65 points behind the leader. His average finish in the nine Chase races is 12.111.

· Dodge’s Kurt Busch qualified 17th and finished 22nd at Phoenix. He is eighth in the Chase standings, 107 points behind the leader. His average finish in the Chase is 17.444.

· 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).

2011 CHASE for the Sprint Cup Standings (After 35 of 36 Events) 1. Carl Edwards 2,359 7. Dale Earnhardt Jr. -102 2. Tony Stewart -3 8. Kurt Busch -107 3. Kevin Harvick -51 9. Ryan Newman -107 4. Brad Keselowski -65 10. Denny Hamlin -110 5. Jimmie Johnson -68 11. Jeff Gordon -112 6. Matt Kenseth -70 12. Kyle Busch -135

FROM THE DODGE ENGINEER: “Trying to engineer for Homestead-Miami Speedway is like trying to hit a moving target, literally. For the third year in a row, the Sprint Cup finale will have yet another different starting time. This year the green flag for the race should drop about 3:15 p.m., which means we’ll finish the race after 6:30 p.m. The race will start in the full sunshine of the South Florida afternoon and finish well after dark, two completely different racing conditions. As if engineers don’t have enough to worry about already trying to solve this fast, variable-banked track, now they’ve got to calculate the changes that will occur as the race and 2011 season finishes into the Homestead night.” Howard Comstock, Dodge Engineering

DODGE IN THE CHASE AT HOMESTEAD-MIAMI · 2004: Two Dodge drivers earned Chase berths – Ryan Newman and Jeremy Mayfield. Newman started third and led 72 laps before finishing 30th. Mayfield started 20th and finished 35th. · 2005: Dodge was represented by three drivers in the Chase – Ryan Newman, Rusty Wallace and Jeremy Mayfield. Newman started second and finished seventh, Mayfield 10th and Wallace 13th. · 2006: Kasey Kahne started from the pole, led five times for 90 laps and finished fourth. · 2007: Kurt Busch started fifth, led 34 laps and finished second. · 2008: There were no Dodges in the 2008 Chase field. · 2009: Kurt Busch started 12th, led five times for 43 laps and finished fourth. Kasey Kahne started 25th and finished 17th. · 2010: Kurt Busch, the only Dodge driver in the Chase, qualified 15th and finished 18th.

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.

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: 20th (Phoenix2) Finish: 16th (Daytona1)

HOMESTEAD-MIAM SPEEDWAY STATS OF THE WEEK · Kurt Busch will be making his 400th career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series starts this weekend at HMS. His first Sprint Cup start came at the fall Dover event (9/24/00). He qualified 10th and finished 18th. · Brad Keselowski has set NSCS personal bests this season in poles, wins, top fives, top 10s, average start, average finish and laps led. · Kurt Busch is the youngest pole winner at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Busch earned the pole at the 2002 event at the age of 24 years, 13 months, 3 days.

DODGE QUOTES “This has definitely been a dream season for me in my first year driving the ‘Blue Deuce.’ We were able to show progression as the year went along and that was one of the most important things for me. This was basically a new team and for us to compete for the championship in our first year together really bodes well for our future. With the success that we had this year, it changes the goal and expectations for 2012. Now we want to fire out of the box strong next season, compete for wins early, and show everyone that we are going to be a legitimate team for years to come. I’ll take a little time to myself over the off-season, but I’m already excited about going to Daytona next year.” Brad Keselowski, No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge Charger

“The intermediate tracks have been up and down for us this year, but I feel like we can go to Homestead this weekend and have a strong finish to the season. The key to running well at Homestead – and this is true of almost any track we visit – is keeping your car turning well in the middle of the corners while maintaining good drive on corner exit. It’s been a great year.” Paul Wolfe, crew chief, No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge Charger

DODGE MOTORSPORTS QUOTE OF THE WEEK “Your last race out is the one that’s freshest on your mind and you certainly hope it’s memorable for all the right reasons. Closing out your season with a competitive weekend at Homestead is just that important. If you come out of there with great results, it gives all the team members, the sponsors, the media – everyone out there – a super calling card to remember you by. It works to instill optimism and grow the level of confidence through all those cold and dreary winter days.” Kurt Busch, No. 22 Shell/Pennzoil Dodge Charger
 

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Dodge Motorsports Presents THE NUMBERS: Ford 400
November 16, 2011


Dodge Motorsports
THE NUMBERS for the FORD 400
Homestead-Miami Speedway (all 12 Sprint Cup races)

1 – fewest laps led by race winner (Bobby Labonte, 11/16/03)

1 – fewest caution (11/14/99)

2 – wins from the pole (Bill Elliott – 2001 and Kurt Busch – 2002)

3 – most wins (Greg Biffle)

4 of 12 – drivers in the Chase have won at HMS (Carl Edwards, Tony Stewart, Matt Kenseth and Kurt Busch)

5 – fewest caution laps (11/14/99)

6 – fewest leaders (11/17/02)

6 – fewest cars on lead lap at finish (11/12/00)

8 – number of jet dryers available for track drying this weekend

10 – number of cautions in last year’s race

12 – most leaders (twice, most recent 11/20/05)

12 – fewest lead changes (11/17/02)

25 – most lead changes (11/18/07)

29 – most on lead lap at finish (11/22/09)

31 – fewest running at finish (11/21/10)

42– most cars running at finish (11/11/01)

79– most caution laps (11/21/04)

90-135 minutes – amount of time it takes to dry the track after a significant rainfall (length depends on time of day and temperature).

214 – most laps led by race winner (Matt Kenseth, 11/18/07)

2011 Caution Update

3 – fewest cautions this season (New Hampshire, 9/25/11)

7 – number of races extended beyond scheduled distance in 2011

18 – most cautions this season (Martinsville, 10/30/11)

270 – number of cautions in the first 35 races of 2011; includes 136 for accidents, 59 for debris and 36 for spins

255 – number of cautions in the first 35 races in 2010; includes 135 for accidents, 47 for debris and 36 for spins

1,304 of 10,283 – number of laps under caution in 2011

1,732.507 of 13,836.238 – miles under caution in the first 35 races
 

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Dodge Motorsports Notes &Quotes – Nationwide Advance – Homestead Miami Speedway
November 16, 2011 by Official Release

DODGE AT HOMESTEAD-MIAMI SPEEDWAY

• Dodge has one Nationwide Series win at Homestead: Ryan Newman (2005).

• Dodge has one pole (Newman in ’05). Newman is the only driver to win from the pole in 16 Nationwide races.

• Dodge has five top-five and seven top-10 finishes at HMS.

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 13th Nationwide start of the year at Phoenix.

• The one-two finish at PIR was the first for Dodge in the NNS since 2010 at Bristol (Justin Allgaier, Keselowski).

• Dodge has 40 wins in the Nationwide Series, seven in 2010 and five this season.

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

Career Stats: Starts: 167 Wins: 16 Top Fives: 72 Top 10s: 102 Poles: 11 Laps Led: 2,688

2011 Season Stats: Starts: 28 Wins: 4 Top Fives: 13 Top 10s: 20 Poles: 3 Laps Led: 840

Homestead-Miami Speedway Stats: Starts: 5 Wins: 0 Top Fives: 2 Top 10s: 2 Laps Led: 20

• Has two top-five finishes in last three races at HMS. Best finish is third-place (twice, most recently in 2010).

• Qualified eighth or better in the last three races at Homestead.

• Owns seven top-10 finishes in last eight Nationwide starts, including six straight.

• Has qualified eighth or better in 11 consecutive races.

• Completed all but one possible lap in 13 of last 14 starts (2,704 of 2,705) – 99.96 percent.

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

Career Stats: Starts: 32 Wins: 1 Top Fives: 2 Top 10s: 5 Poles: 0 Laps Led: 112

2011 Season Stats: Starts: 11 Wins: 1 Top Fives: 2 Top 10s: 5 Poles: 0 Laps Led: 104

• Scored first Nationwide victory at Phoenix, edging teammate Brad Keselowski by .553 seconds. Win came in his third NNS start at PIR. Led once for 62 laps, most in a race this season.

• Will be making his fourth Nationwide start at Homestead this weekend.

• Other top-five finish (fifth-place) this season came at Chicagoland (race No. 28).

KESELOWSKI ON HOMESTEAD-MIAMI SPEEDWAY: “Championships are very special and winning the 2010 Nationwide Series title will definitely go down as one of the highlights of my racing career. It was the culmination of a dream. The fact that it was the first NASCAR championship for Penske Racing just adds another layer to it. I think we’ve built a very formidable Nationwide Series team at Penske Racing over the last couple of years. I think we showed that last weekend at Phoenix where Sam (Hornish Jr.) and I ran one-two. It’s a series that really means a lot to me. I was proud to represent it as its champion this year.” Brad Keselowski, No. 22 Discount Tire Dodge

SAM SAYS “I’ve always enjoyed coming to Homestead – it has been one of my favorite places for many years. The way that you get into the corners is unlike anywhere else we go. It’s a very unique track and a great place to have the final race of the season. Coming off of last weekend’s victory, I couldn’t be happier to be representing the Alliance Truck Parts brand and I look forward to our continued success this weekend as well as going into the 2012 season.” Sam Hornish Jr., driver, No. 12 Alliance Truck Parts Dodge Challenger R/T
 

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Nov 17, 2011

With one Chase race left in the 2011 NASCAR season, Penske Racing teammates Brad Keselowski and Kurt Busch can look back on nine grueling months of competition with pride, earned by a job well done.
 

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Friday, November 18, 2011
Keselowski crosses secret fine line


HOMESTEAD, Fla. -- Brad Keselowski jokingly was told he would hear from NASCAR when he took a negative shot at the governing body's planned move to fuel injection following a recent question and answer fan session at the NASCAR Hall of Fame in North Carolina.

At worst it was suggested that the No. 2 Penske Racing Dodge would be a random selection for further inspection the rest of the season the way Jimmie Johnson's car has been since his crew chief was caught suggesting that the five-time champion intentionally damage the back of the car if it won at Talladega.

Unfortunately, Keselowski did get a call.

And a $25,000 fine.


Make that a "secret" fine.

So NASCAR wants drivers to be more personable and speak their minds, but only as long as it's not something that chairman Brian France says denigrates the sport. It's happened four times that we know of over the past year, including a $50,000 slap on the wrist last year to Denny Hamlin when he referred to a phantom debris caution on Twitter.

I understand NASCAR has to have some control over what's said. Other sports fine athletes when they are critical about officiating because it is a slap at the integrity of the sport.

What Keselowski said did no harm to the sport. It simply was a matter of opinion on fuel injection, that it won't make a significant improvement on fuel mileage, that it will cost owners more money at a time when owners are scraping for every penny.

He added that cars on the street are "injected with real electronics, not a throttle body [like in NASCAR]."

"So we've managed to go from 50-year-old technology to 35-year-old technology," Keselowski said. "I don't see what the big deal is."

What Hamlin said was like a shot at officiating. What Keselowski said was like a shot at the Car of Tomorrow, which at least half the garage has done. Sure he might have said it less harshly and deserved a "wish-you-hadn't-said-that-speech," but a fine was unnecessary.

That it was secret -- word of the fine leaked out on social media -- only created the impression that NASCAR officials have other secrets they're not telling, which France insisted isn't true.

"Look, don't panic over this," France said. "We'll look at it in the offseason, if we need to change it, we'll change it. Not a big deal."

It is a big deal because it confuses all the more what drivers can and can't say.

"Hell, I don't know," Keselowski said when asked if he understood the limits. "I ain't got all the answers. You tell me."

To Keselowski's credit, he accepted NASCAR's fine without complaint. He actually said he deserved it, not so much for what he said but because he's gotten away with worse without a fine.

What's clear to Keselowski and all of us is NASCAR is a dictatorship, which it has to be in order to be successful. Keselowski actually likes France's comparison of the sport to a restaurant, that if he says the food isn't good nobody is going to eat it.

But even in this dictatorship, there should be more room to express opinion without paying a price.

Keselowski explained this by using his own restaurant analogy, saying that he always asks the waitress what she wouldn't recommend to see if he can trust what she recommends.

"You only trust the person if they can admit they have one item on the menu that is not quite so good," Keselowski said.

Nice.

Let's hope Keselowski continues to stand up to the governing body, that this incident doesn't force him to retreat from social media the way Hamlin admits he did after his fine.


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NASCAR TRUCK Results
Last Updated: Saturday, Nov 19, 2011 2:14 am, EST
Ford 200
Status: Final Homestead-Miami Speedway



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

1 Johnny Sauter (13) Chevrolet 48/5 119 44 $45,475
2 Denny Hamlin (18) Toyota 43/1 119 1 $23,150
3 Kevin Harvick (2) Chevrolet 42/1 119 16 $16,825
4 Nelson Piquet Jr. (8) Chevrolet 40/0 119 0 $18,800
5 Joey Coulter (22) Chevrolet 39/0 119 0 $16,525
6 Ty Dillon (121) Chevrolet 38/0 119 0 $13,000
7 Elliott Sadler (124) Chevrolet 38/1 119 32 $12,800
8 Timothy Peters (17) Toyota 36/0 119 0 $17,250
9 Jason White (23) Chevrolet 35/0 119 0 $14,650
10 Austin Dillon (3) Chevrolet 34/0 119 0 $15,775
11 David Starr (81) Toyota 33/0 119 0 $14,650
12 James Buescher (31) Chevrolet 33/1 119 19 $14,175
13 Ron Hornaday Jr. (33) Chevrolet 32/1 119 1 $16,150
14 Parker Kligerman (29) Dodge 30/0 119 0 $13,950
15 Dusty Davis (15) Toyota 29/0 119 0 $12,925
16 Todd Bodine (5) Toyota 28/0 119 0 $14,725
17 Ricky Carmichael (4) Chevrolet 27/0 119 0 $13,625
18 Justin Lofton (6) Chevrolet 26/0 119 0 $13,525
19 Matt Crafton (88) Chevrolet 26/1 119 2 $13,425
20 Brendan Gaughan (62) Toyota 25/1 119 3 $14,050
21 Max Papis (9) Toyota 23/0 119 0 $13,125
22 Cole Whitt (60) Chevrolet 22/0 119 0 $12,875
23 Blake Feese (32) Chevrolet 21/0 118 0 $12,750
24 Ryan Sieg (39) Chevrolet 20/0 118 0 $11,200
25 Dakoda Armstrong (98) Chevrolet 20/1 118 1 $10,150
26 German Quiroga (151) Toyota 18/0 118 0 $9,800
27 Ross Chastain (93) Chevrolet 17/0 117 0 $10,950
28 Bryan Silas (109) Ford 16/0 117 0 $9,400
29 Norm Benning (57) Chevrolet 15/0 114 0 $9,175
30 Clay Greenfield (168) Dodge 14/0 104 0 $8,975
31 Max Gresham (66) Chevrolet 13/0 99 0 $8,425
32 Miguel Paludo (7) Toyota 12/0 30 0 $8,400
33 Mike Harmon (174) Chevrolet 11/0 14 0 $8,375
34 Dennis Setzer (138) Chevrolet 10/0 4 0 $8,350
35 Jennifer Jo Cobb (10) Ford 9/0 3 0 $8,325
36 Johnny Chapman (07) Toyota 8/0 1 0 $8,239


Dillon wins Truck Series championship at Homestead

HOMESTEAD, Fla. (AP)—Austin Dillon climbed out of his No. 3 truck and dived across the rain-soaked grass.

He took another header a few minutes later—on concrete. Yep, the youngster wanted to celebrate by planking on pavement.

“That’s called the Superman,” Dillon said.


It was the biggest chance he took all night.

All Dillon needed to do was stay out of trouble in the season finale and run like he has all season—near the front—and he would win the NASCAR Truck Series championship.

So he played it safe and ended up with the biggest milestone of his life. The 21-year-old grandson of NASCAR team owner Richard Childress finished 10th in the Truck Series finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway on Friday night—good enough to win the series title.

“Tonight I played too much defense,” Dillon said. “It worked out for the better of everything. … When you’re sitting outside the championship, you can take more chances.”

Rookie of the year in the series a year ago, Dillon is the youngest champion in series history. He also stands as one of racing’s up-and-coming drivers. He is scheduled to drive a full schedule in NASCAR’s Nationwide Series in 2012.

“He handles pressure better than a lot of people his age,” said Childress, who called the championship one of his most memorable, right up there with those Cup ones he enjoyed with the late Dale Earnhardt.

Johnny Sauter won the rain-shortened race, holding off Denny Hamlin just before the final caution dropped. The sky opened up with 15 laps remaining. NASCAR officials called the race a few minutes later. Dillon celebrated wildly, hugging crew members and his younger brother while splashing in puddles.

Sauter finished second in points, six points behind Dillon. James Buescher was third.

Dillon started the race 20 points ahead of Sauter and 28 points ahead of Buescher. All he needed to do was finish 16th or better to secure the title. He spent much of the race in the top 10. There was one moment of concern, when he fell to 15th following a restart. But it was short-lived. He quickly worked his back toward the front, staying out of trouble while passing several other trucks.

“When you get down like that, all you can do is drive back to the front,” Dillon said.

Dillon watched “Any Which Way But Loose,” the 1978 movie starring Clint Eastwood, to pass time before the race. It was a fitting title because he absolutely had to stay out of trouble.

Buescher, meanwhile, was in the middle of the chaos.

Harvick almost wrecked Buescher on an early restart and bumped him later in the same green-flag run. Buescher turned low to block Harvick on the restart. Harvick seemingly didn’t like the move and rammed Buescher’s rear bumper.

Things really got whacky on the next pit stop. As Buescher slowed to turn down pit road, Harvick tried to pass him on the outside. Buescher then turned into Harvick, nearly spinning him around.

“One of those deals,” Harvick said. “He’s got a lot to learn, and I was just thinking in my head, `Don’t be Kyle Busch. Don’t be Kyle Busch. Just do your thing.’

“Last week was a good lesson for me, too,” Harvick added, referring to Busch getting parked for intentionally wrecking Ron Hornaday Jr. in a truck race two weeks ago.

Harvick finished third in his final truck race for Kevin Harvick Inc. He announced in September he was shutting down the race team.

Nelson Piquet Jr. was fourth, followed by Joey Coulter. Ty Dillon, Elliott Sadler, Timothy Peters and Jason White filled out the top 10 ahead of Dillon.

Dillon was right where he wanted to be—higher enough to breathe easy and end up hoisting a championship trophy.

“It’s amazing,” Dillon said. “You get to spray champagne everywhere. It’s the best feeling in the world.”

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Dodge Motorsports Notes & Quotes - Brad Keselowski Open Interview - Homestead
November 18, 2011 , HOMESTEAD, Fla. - Friday, Nov. 18, 2011

Dodge Brad Keselowski Open Interview
Dodge Motorsports PR
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
Ford 400
Homestead-Miami Speedway


BRAD KESELOWSKI (No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge Charger R/T)
“Well I guess the first thing I can say is it is my goal and I think more so than in words, but in action, if you look at the role I have as an owner on the truck side, to become a man of stature in this sport, who can be part of a leadership role that I think it takes for this sport to be complete, where that’s from driver interface with the fans, media or sanctioning body. And it’s because of that that I speak my mind and this particular instance, probably with not the highest level of discretion. I could have done a better job with that. Because of that intention, it’s also useful for me to look out for the sport and look out for those I might need along the way to be successful, and to be able to have that role that I desire. So that makes it, as I’ve said to some of you guys, inherently and best nature of myself, to keep some of those conversations private, whether that’s with NASCAR or not. And this particular instance is probably one of ‘em. Certainly that’s not something I desire to have to go through, that process but, you know, sometimes you have to go backwards to go forward. It’s what it is.”

DENNY SAID TODAY THAT HIS FINE LAST YEAR CURBED HIS TWITTER AND STOPPED HIM BEING SO OUTSPOKEN. WILL THAT HAPPEN TO YOU? “No, I think you can be yourself. I think you can say what you think. I think I could have said what I thought with a lot more discretion and I guess that’s probably the strongest thing that I take from it. You know, I’ve got a great sponsor with Miller Lite that encourages me to be me, to say what I think and how I feel about things. And that moment, where I probably didn’t use the highest level of discretion with my words, was an authentic moment, how I felt. I feel lucky to have a sponsor that allows me to do that. So you know I think that if anything I’ll probably be smarter, not necessarily quieter.”

DO YOU UNDERSTAND WHY A SPORT HAS TO NOT HAVE DRIVERS SPOUTING OUT ABOUT THINGS THAT THEY FEEL WOULD BE DETRIMENTAL? “I understand why the sanctioning body and the leaders of the sport feel that way. I understand that, although I may not agree with it.”

DO YOU BELIEVE THE THINGS THAT YOU SAID SOMEHOW DENIGRATED THE SPORT OF NASCAR? “I guess that depends on what that means to you. What it means to me, what I said, to me, was a reflection out of protection for the sport, not out of any wish to do harm or any bias to my own team standing. It was my intention to be open and honest and share with what was a fan event how I felt with the fans, and what I felt was in the best interest of the sport. Obviously, that contradicted someone else’s thoughts.”

ARE YOU GOING TO PUT SOME MONEY ASIDE EVERY YEAR FOR FINES? IS IT JUST PART OF DOING BUISINESS IN SOME WAY? “Well, I wasn’t really planning on it (smiles). That’s still a lot of money, I don’t care who you are. It’s tough because as the sport is ran and as it has to be ran, it has to be a dictatorship. And I think if you look at any racing body that hasn’t been ran that way, it’s not
successful. A long time ago, my uncle used to tell me this saying: to keep racers together is like herding cats. They all go different directions and they never go the way you want them to go. And the only way to get ‘em to go straight is to give one guy the cattle prod or the net or whatever it takes to get ‘em right. Racing in inherently a dictatorship and because of that, successful racing organizations, whether it’s NASCAR or Formula One and I guess before that you can look at IRL, it has to be that way. And with that said, you know that group has the power and you have to respect it.”

DID THIS CLEAR ANYTHING UP ON YOUR END? “I’ll be honest, I thought what I said was edgy, but I didn’t feel it was that edgy. I think every circumstance is different, so I don’t think it can be a clear situation.”

RYAN NEWMAN SAID AT THE BEGINNING OF THE YEAR YOU GUYS WERE TALKED TO ABOUT THAT. DO YOU REMEMBER THAT CONVERSATION? WHAT DID THEY TELL YOU? “Yeah, absolutely. Well, you know, Brian (France) uses a good analogy that I like about the restaurant and not saying that the food is bad and that you shouldn’t eat here, which I think is a great analogy. But I go back to a story that I tell people and anyone who ever ate with me knows that I do this wherever I go, that when I go to a restaurant and ask the waitress about the food, the first thing I ask her is what would you not order, what’s the worst item on the menu? Because I feel like any restaurant you go to is going to have bad food and they’re going to have good food. And you only trust the person for a recommendation if they can admit that they have one item on the menu that’s not quite so good. And it’s out of that respect and appreciation when I can get an honest waitress that’ll say ‘Hey, this is terrible; you should get this’ that I believe her when she says, you know, don’t eat the omelet, eat the French toast. And that I believe her if she can look me in the eye and say hey, you know the omelet is not so good. That’s how I’ve always viewed the sport. I’ve always viewed the sport as being creditable when it can admit its fallacies.”

DID YOU EXPRESS YOUR CONCERNS ABOUT FUEL INJECTION TO NASCAR OFFICIALS OR WAS THIS THE FIRST TIME? “I have not.”

SO DO YOU FEEL LIKE THAT WAS ONE OF YOUR BIGGER MISTAKES? “Absolutely, yeah, absolutely. I think I could have handled it better and when I say I could have used better discretion, I definitely could have gone through some channels that I did not make enough time for.”

WHAT DENNY SAID LAST YEAR WAS MORE OF A SLAP AGAINST OFFICIATING LIKE YOU GET FINED IN OTHER SPORTS. WHAT YOU SAID WAS JUST SOMETHING THEY DIDN’T LIKE. “I think honestly, if you look at it, it was a compliment to the officiating on how well NASCAR for years has handled the situation with carburetors and I was in support of that decision the last 50 years.”

DOES THAT SEND THE MESSAGE YOU CAN’T GIVE YOUR OPINION ON STUFF? “Hell, I don’t know. I ain’t got all the answers.”

IN RETROSPECT, COULD YOU HAVE SAID WHAT YOU SAID IN A WAY THAT YOU THINK WOULD NOT HAVE PRODUCTED THAT SORT OF REACTION? “Yeah, I think could have been honest without perhaps as confrontational.”

DID THEY DISCUSS WITH YOU WHAT PARTICULAR AREAS OF SPEECH THEY FOUND OFFENSIVE? “Yeah a little bit, sure. I’ll leave that part private.”

WERE YOU SURPRISED ? “Am I surprised? Nothing surprises me anymore. I think I’ve done other things and gotten away with ‘em that were worse. My Dad used to tell me when he got a ticket once for going five miles an hour over and I remember thinking ‘Man, that’s garbage Dad, you should appeal that.’ He says ‘You know, I done a lot worse that that and I had this one coming.’ I think that’s probably fair in my case too.”

WAS DODGE UPSET? “Hell, I don’t know if anybody was upset other than NASCAR (laughter).”

HOW WILL THIS IMPACT YOUR CANDOR WITH YOUR FANBASE? “I think I can continue to have the same candor and continue to be authentic. But like I said, you can use a little discretion, absolutely.”

DID YOU THINK THIS FINE WOULD COME OUT? “There’s no secrets in today’s world.”

ONE VETERAN DRIVER SAID THAT HE DIDN’T THINK YOU WERE ACCURATE IN WHAT YOU SAID. WAS IT TRUE THAT IT WAS NOT ACCURATE? “Well, I don’t think so. Certainly you can pick apart anything someone says and find small inaccuracies. Does that make the bulk of it inaccurate? No, but you can certainly fine small inaccuracies in what I said, so I’m sure whoever that was that said that has some points in the book. I think there were some good points made.”

HAS THIS ADVENTURE CHANGED YOUR OPINIONS ON EFI? “Not so much (laughter). The big story is we’re here for the championship. We’ve had a great year, last race, and very proud of where we’re at. And this is just one star in the galaxy that will fade and burn away and we’ll all move on.”

WHO DO YOU THINK WILL WIN THE CHAMPIONSHIP AND WHY? “Man I really like how Tony (Stewart) goes out and win races. I really, really appreciate that. But I think Carl (Edwards) has a small advantage on him.”

WHAT IS IT? “I think that engine is a huge advantage and I think Tony’s team is doing other things better to make up for it, but that engine that the Fords have right now is so much of an advantage that I can’t see Tony being able to make up for it four weeks in a row. But then, on the other side, I look at Carl and he’s caught all the breaks for the last nine races, maybe further than that. Eventually, that’s got to go the other way. I’m kind of torn.”

HOW DO YOU WORK TO MAINTAIN OR UP THE ANTE FOR NEXT YEAR, BASED ON HOW YOU FINISHED THIS SEASON? “Well, there’s a whole process for making our stuff better for next year. We’ve got to stick to it. We’ve got to make it happen over the winter. We’ve got a lot to go, a lot to do over the next few months as a company and as a team. We’ve got to make it happen, got to get stuff done. If we can do that, I think we can come back and not only repeat this year, but have a shot at the title more so that what we even had this year.”

WHAT SPECIFICALLY NEEDS TO GET DONE? “Well, I‘ve got my list, but I’m not really looking to share it.”

ARE THERE ANY FAVORS THAT ARE OWED IN THE SENSE OF IF TONY OR CARL COME UP ON YOU, YOU ARE A NEUTRAL MANUFACTURER ? “I don’t think I owe any of them any favors. Maybe one of ‘em owes me a couple, but I don’t think of it the other way around.”

WOULD YOU HELP ONE OVER THE OTHER? “I don’t know until I’m in that moment. You don’t know until you’ve got that heat on. And anybody that can answer differently than that probably isn’t being truthful.”

WOULD IT BOTHER YOU TO SEE CARL AS CHAMPION? “It bothers me to see anyone as champion other than me. I want to be that guy. Anyone. I want to be that guy.”

WHAT IS A MEMORABLE MOMENT FROM THIS SEASON?
“You know starting with Daytona and my brother, getting him in the Daytona 500. That was a great moment for my family. And then moving through the season, winning at Kansas, first win in the Miller Lite car, then Pocono, obviously, to win after getting hurt. Bristol was amazing. I’ve always dreamed of the night race there and that’s such a special race. You know the wins always stick out, but getting my brother in the 500 felt like a win.”

CAN YOU SUM UP THIS SEASON IN A WORD? “Long (laughs). I’m ready for a break.”

WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT THANKSGIVING? WHAT WILL BE ON YOUR MIND THURSDAY AFTERNOON? “Sleep (laughs). I’ll be ready to get some sleep. It’s been a long year, but a good year. I’ll see my family a little bit, not on Thursday specifically, but they’re here this weekend. We’re good.”

CAN THE LIONS TAKE GREEN BAY? “They did last time, beat ‘em last time. I feel good about it.”

DO YOU HAVE A FAVORITE THANKSGIVING DISH? “Yeah, my Mom makes homemade noodles. I don’t like turkey. I’ve never liked turkey. It’s a dry bird, dirty bird. I don’t like it.”

WHAT ARE YOU THANKFUL FOR? “Everything. It’s been good.”
 

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Dodge Motorsports Notes & Quotes - Kurt Busch Open Interview - Homestead
November 18, 2011 , HOMESTEAD, Fla.

Dodge Kurt Busch Open Interview
Dodge Motorsports PR
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
Ford 400
Homestead-Miami Speedway


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

WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON HOW THE RACE ON SUNDAY WILL PLAY OUT? “I never thought that I’d say this, but I’m rooting for Tony Stewart. It’s cool to see two guys who have worked to get to this point. They deserve it. Us as Chasers, we need to recognize that they’ve done that great job and other racers out there need to give them their space. They deserve it and are in position to win.”

WHAT A MEMORABLE MOMENT FOR YOU STICKS OUT FROM THIS SEASON? “Winning at Sonoma for me was a brilliant weekend for us. To hone your skills on a road course and finally get a victory is really satisfying for me and the team. It was the first real victory for Shell and Pennzoil. We won at Daytona in the Shootout and Duels, but to win at Sonoma and give people a chance to get 22 cents off a gallon of fuel, that was a big moment.”

CAN YOU SUM UP THE SEASON IN ONE WORD? A PHRASE? “A new beginning for us. With Shell/Pennzoil and Dodge, it was great to have a new sponsor come aboard like they did.”

HOW WAS YOUR TRIP TO THE OIL RIG THIS WEEK? “The trip was an unbelievable experience. With the technology and the manpower – the human element of designing something such as that and to see it work and how it plays out. Obviously, the steps that Shell takes with safety, the individuals that are there and the pride that they take in producing oil and natural gas for Shell was an amazing experience. They have independent contractors that come out there and help them. They have the employees that work out on the rig that are there working 14 days, then off 14 days. I assumed that most of them lived in Louisiana or New Orleans. Two guys that I talked to, one guy lives in Vegas and the other in Tucson. They fly back (home) and have ordinary lives and then fly back and work to weeks at a time.”

WHAT WAS THE MORNING LIKE THE YEAR THAT YOU WON THE CHAMPIONSHIP? “It was a unique week. The week started with the team owner saying that we had to prepare like we’re going to lose. That was his big speech to everyone on Tuesday. I was like, ‘Really? This that moment of time and our owner is telling us that we need to prepare to lose.’ I was really confused. When I got here to the track, Friday and Saturday was a blur. We ended up sitting on the pole. The whole feeling of how happened so fast and then the race itself felt like it was thousands of miles (long). Every lap was so intense that the fatigue factor at the end of the day settled in. It’s hard to put into words of what it was. To be in position to win a championship, that ‘s what we all live for and I was glad to bring it on home my first time having that shot at it.”

WHAT DO YOU THINK WAS BEHIND JACK’S COMMENTS? “Jack loves war movies and airplanes. You have to be prepared be shot down if you’re going into battle. I’m not sure what it meant. A lot of guys were somewhat confused after his speech.”
 

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Dodge Motorsports Notes & Quotes - Chase Notes - Homestead
November 18, 2011 , HOMESTEAD, Fla. - Friday, Nov. 18, 2011

Dodge Chase Notes
Dodge Motorsports PR
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
Ford 400
Homestead-Miami Speedway


2011 CHASE FOR THE NASCAR SPRINT CUP

Chase Race No. 10 – Homestead-Miami Speedway – Sunday, Nov. 20

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

Homestead
o Has three previous Cup starts at Homestead.
o Best finish (13th) and best start (18th) both occurred in the 2010 race.
o First Cup start at Homestead in 2008.
o Completed 99.9 percent of total possible laps in three previous races at Homestead (800 of 801 laps).
o Average Finish: 20.3
Chase
o Fourth in the series championship standings, 65 points behind leader Carl Edwards and six behind third-place Kevin Harvick. Leads fifth-place Jimmie Johnson by three points and sixth-place Matt Kenseth by five.
o Has scored four top-five finishes in nine Chase races and led at least one lap in seven of those events.
o Average Finish: 12.11
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 18 races.
o Won pole position for Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte in May.
o Scored 214 points in five-race span to move from 23rd after Loudon to 11th following his victory at Bristol.
o Has led in 19 of the 35 races for 287 laps.
o Has been running at the finish 34 consecutive races.
o Enters Homestead with identical average start and average finish: 14.7.

Kurt Busch – No. 22 Shell/Pennzoil Dodge Charger R/T

Homestead
o One win, four top fives and four top 10 finishes in 10 previous starts at Homestead.
o Clinched the 2004 Sprint Cup championship at Homestead with a fifth-place finish.
o Won 2002 race by 2.070 seconds over second-place Joe Nemechek.
o Has two poles at Homestead – 2002 and 2004.
o He and Bill Elliott (2001) are the only drivers to win from the pole at Homestead.
o Has completed 83.5 percent of total possible laps at Homestead (2,233 of 2,675).
o Average Finish: 19.4.
Chase
o Eighth in the series championship standings, 107 points behind leader Edwards.
o Won at Dover and is one of six different drivers to win a Chase race.
o Has led laps in five of nine races.
o Average Finish: 17.44
Season
o Has two wins along with eight top-five and 16 top-10 finishes.
o Will make his 400th career Cup start at Homestead.
o Only Sprint Cup driver to remain in the top 10 in the series point standings all 35 races this season.
o All three pole positions came in consecutive races: Kansas (race No. 13). Pocono (race No. 14) and Michigan (race No. 15).
o Has led in 20 of 34 races for 770 laps
o Kicked off 2011 by winning Bud Shootout and first Gatorade Duel and finished fifth in the Daytona 500.
o Average Finish: 14.1

Results: Chase Race No. 9 – Phoenix International Raceway – Sunday, Nov. 13
Summary: Kurt Busch was leading late in the race when he ran out of gas half a lap away from a scheduled green flag pit stop. Busch slowed on lap 279 of the 312-lap race, coasting into his pit stall. But a lengthy stop on the pit lane to refire his car plus a speeding penalty entering pit road dropped Busch a lap down and out of contention for the victory. He was credited with a 22nd-place finish. He’s eighth in the Chase standings, 107 points behind leader Carl Edwards. Keselowski struggled early in the race, but after the first pit stop ran among the top 10. He was sixth in the running order when he hit pit lane for a routine four-tire stop during the event’s eighth caution on lap 221. But he lost nine positions due to an issue with the right side tire change then lost another handful of spots when he bounced around in traffic when the race restarted. Keselowski was credited with an 18th-place finish and is 65 points behind Edwards.

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

o Qualified: 12th Finished: 18th
o Points Position: 4th Gain/Loss: +1 Behind Leader: -65
o Average finish in nine Chase races: 12.11

Kurt Busch – No. 22 Shell/Pennzoil Dodge Charger R/T

o Qualified: 17th Finished: 22nd
o Points Position: 9th Gain/Loss: +1 Behind Leader: -107
o Average finish in nine Chase races: 17.44

Results: Chase Race No. 8 – Texas Motor Speedway – Sunday, Nov. 6
Summary: Brad Keselowski started eighth at Texas but struggled with handling issues with his No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge Charger throughout the race. And to make a bad day worse, he and Ryan Newman made contact on pit road during a round of stops under caution on lap 271. Newman, pitting directly in front of Keselowski, blocked in the No. 2 Dodge. When attempting to leave his stall, Keselowski backed into Denny Hamlin, damaging the right-rear of his car and forcing him to make an extra stop for minor repairs. He was credited with a 24th-place finish and is 49 points behind leader Carl Edwards. Kurt Busch also had a frustrating afternoon at Texas, struggling to a 30th-place finish. Busch is ninth in the series championship standings, 87 points behind Edwards.

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 eight Chase races: 11.37

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 eight Chase races: 16.87

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 seven 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 seven 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 4 2294 -65 35 1 3 10 14 $4,992,586
Kurt Busch 8 2252 -107 35 3 2 8 16 $5,834,341
Robby Gordon 34 268 --- 25 0 0 0 0 $2,271,891

Dodge at Homestead-Miami Speedway

Dodge has one NASCAR Sprint Cup Series victory at Homestead-Miami Speedway (Bill Elliott – 2001).
Dodge has three poles at Homestead: Bill Elliott (2001), Jamie McMurray (2003) and Kasey Kahne (2006).
Dodge has racked up six top fives and 22 top 10 finishes at Homestead.
The most Dodge drivers to finish in the top 10 in a race at Homestead are FIVE in 2001: Elliott, Casey Atwood (third), Sterling Marlin (fifth), Dave Blaney (sixth) and Jason Leffler (10th).
Former Dodge driver Elliott (2001) and current Dodge driver Kurt Busch (2002) are the only two Sprint Cup winners at Homestead to start from the pole. Busch also started from the pole in 2004.
Busch clinched the 2004 Sprint Cup championship at HMS. It was the first year of the Chase format and came before he joined Penske Racing in 2006.
 

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NASCAR Results
Last Updated: Saturday, Nov 19, 2011 8:07 pm, EST
Ford 300
Status: Final Homestead-Miami Speedway



Order Driver (No.) Car Pts/Bonus Laps Laps Led Winnings Lap Progress
1 Brad Keselowski (22) Dodge 47/4 200 66 $75,450 Chart
2 Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (6) Ford 43/1 200 22 $75,193 Chart
3 Carl Edwards (60) Ford 43/2 200 87 $50,825 Chart
4 Clint Bowyer (33) Chevrolet 41/1 200 9 $38,625 Chart
5 Denny Hamlin (18) Toyota 39/0 200 0 $31,775 Chart
6 Elliott Sadler (2) Chevrolet 39/1 200 7 $33,893 Chart
7 Sam Hornish Jr. (12) Dodge 38/1 200 3 $21,625 Chart
8 Aric Almirola (88) Chevrolet 36/0 200 0 $27,218 Chart
9 Brian Scott (11) Toyota 35/0 200 0 $28,443 Chart
10 Joey Logano (20) Toyota 34/0 200 0 $19,725 Chart
11 Trevor Bayne (16) Ford 34/1 200 2 $24,593 Chart
12 Jason Leffler (38) Chevrolet 32/0 200 0 $23,443 Chart
13 Justin Allgaier (31) Chevrolet 31/0 200 0 $23,993 Chart
14 James Buescher (32) Chevrolet 30/0 200 0 $22,843 Chart
15 David Stremme (70) Chevrolet 30/1 200 3 $25,283 Chart
16 Joe Nemechek (97) Toyota 28/0 200 0 $16,810 Chart
17 Mike Bliss (19) Chevrolet 27/0 200 0 $22,418 Chart
18 Jeremy Clements (51) Chevrolet 26/0 200 0 $22,503 Chart
19 Michael Annett (62) Toyota 26/1 200 1 $22,143 Chart
20 Mike Wallace (01) Chevrolet 24/0 200 0 $22,758 Chart
21 Timmy Hill (15) Ford 23/0 200 0 $22,923 Chart
22 Robert Richardson Jr. (23) Chevrolet 22/0 200 0 $21,813 Chart
23 Blake Koch (81) Chevrolet 21/0 199 0 $22,078 Chart
24 Nelson Piquet Jr. (30) Chevrolet 20/0 198 0 $21,568 Chart
25 Reed Sorenson (182) Dodge 19/0 198 0 $15,590 Chart
26 Kevin Conway (87) Toyota 18/0 198 0 $21,303 Chart
27 Casey Roderick (104) Ford 17/0 198 0 $15,120 Chart
28 T.J. Duke (40) Chevrolet 16/0 198 0 $14,605 Chart
29 Eric McClure (14) Chevrolet 15/0 197 0 $20,968 Chart
30 Derrike Cope (28) Dodge 14/0 195 0 $21,158 Chart
31 Stanton Barrett (141) Chevrolet 13/0 194 0 $14,280 Chart
32 Danica Patrick (7) Chevrolet 12/0 190 0 $20,633 Chart
33 Kenny Wallace (09) Toyota 11/0 187 0 $20,578 Chart
34 Steve Wallace (66) Toyota 10/0 146 0 $20,513 Chart
35 Kevin Lepage (52) Chevrolet 9/0 136 0 $14,010 Chart
36 Andrew Ranger (167) Ford 8/0 91 0 $13,975 Chart
37 Scott Riggs (103) Chevrolet 7/0 15 0 $13,910 Chart
38 Chase Miller (146) Chevrolet 6/0 10 0 $13,825 Chart
39 Josh Wise (147) Chevrolet 5/0 4 0 $13,735 Chart
40 Matt Carter (171) Chevrolet 4/0 4 0 $13,700 Chart
41 Scott Speed (142) Chevrolet 3/0 3 0 $13,625 Chart
42 Fain Skinner (39) Ford 2/0 2 0 $20,043 Chart
43 Morgan Shepherd (89) Chevrolet 1/0 1 0 $19,974 Chart

Stenhouse Jr. wins Nationwide Series championship



HOMESTEAD, Fla. (AP)—Ricky Stenhouse Jr. drove dozens of laps as a champion—and didn’t even know it.

Stenhouse won the Nationwide Series title long before the checkered flag dropped Saturday at the season finale.


Stenhouse clinched his first championship about 30 laps into the 200-lap race, securing the title when six cars officially dropped out of the 300-mile event at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

Stenhouse was running fourth when NASCAR officials announced he had wrapped up the title. He finished second behind Brad Keselowski. Carl Edwards was third, followed by Clint Bowyer, Denny Hamlin and Elliott Sadler.

Edwards clinched the owner’s title for Jack Roush, who is looking to become the first owner in NASCAR history to win both the Sprint Cup and Nationwide championships in the same season. Edwards leads Tony Stewart by three points heading into Sunday’s season finale.

Edwards and Stenhouse parked their cars nose to nose and did a double burnout in celebration.

Sadler, who started the race 41 points behind Stenhouse, finished second in the season points standings.

Stenhouse knew he held a comfortable lead over Sadler, needing to finished 37th or better to secure the championship a year after earning the rookie of the year honors. As expected, Stenhouse played it safe although his day was far from trouble free.

The team had communication issues early. Apparently, someone not associated with the team left the push-to-talk button open on a radio, causing problems that eventually got solved by switching channels. Later, with about 70 laps remaining, Stenhouse scraped the wall for the second time.

None of the mishaps did much to dampen Stenhouse’s day.

Crew chief Mike Kelley gave Stenhouse the news a little past the halfway point, saying, “All right, man, I got the word. You are the champion.”

Kelley knew how many cars were out of the race early and considered telling Stenhouse then. But just as he started the sentence over the radio, he stopped and said, “Keep doing what you’re doing.”

Stenhouse did.

He ran near the front much of the race. And he had the lead late until spinning his tires on a restart and getting stuck in some traffic. He nearly ran down Keselowski on the final lap, but came up a few car lengths short.

Stenhouse and Sadler were the only drivers still eligible for the title.

Stenhouse’s guaranteed finishing spot improved just after the green flag as “start and park” cars headed to the garage. Morgan Shepherd, Fain Skinner, Scott Speed and Matt Carter all drove just a few laps before calling it quits. Josh Wise and Chase Miller followed them a few laps later, making it official.

The rest was a mere formality.

Daytona 500 champion Trevor Bayne finished 11th. Former IndyCar star Danica Patrick crossed the line 32nd after wrecking shortly after a restart with 14 laps to go.

Sprint Cup regulars were ineligible for the Nationwide title. NASCAR officials instituted a new rule this year that prevented drivers from racing for championships in more than one series.

The change was made in hopes of bolstering the identity of up-and-coming drivers in the second-tier series.

The series has been dominated by Cup stars, with Keselowski (2010), Kyle Busch (2009), Bowyer (2008), Edwards (2007) and Kevin Harvick (2006) winning the previous five Nationwide titles.
 

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Ford 400 SPRINT CUP
NASCAR Qualifying
Field Set Homestead-Miami Speedway



Order Driver (No.) Car Qualifying Speed
1 Carl Edwards (99) Ford 175.467
2 Martin Truex Jr. (56) Toyota 174.808
3 Kasey Kahne (4) Toyota 174.582
4 Kurt Busch (22) Dodge 174.520
5 Brad Keselowski (2) Dodge 174.492
6 Matt Kenseth (17) Ford 174.475
7 Jeff Gordon (24) Chevrolet 174.436
8 Greg Biffle (16) Ford 174.109
9 Jimmie Johnson (48) Chevrolet 174.098
10 Denny Hamlin (11) Toyota 173.969
11 Dale Earnhardt Jr. (88) Chevrolet 173.907
12 A J Allmendinger (43) Ford 173.734
13 David Ragan (6) Ford 173.678
14 Ryan Newman (39) Chevrolet 173.371
15 Tony Stewart (14) Chevrolet 173.332
16 Regan Smith (78) Chevrolet 173.321
17 Clint Bowyer (33) Chevrolet 173.277
18 Marcos Ambrose (9) Ford 173.271
19 Kyle Busch (18) Toyota 173.249
20 Trevor Bayne (21) Ford 173.160
21 Kevin Harvick (29) Chevrolet 173.155
22 Landon Cassill (51) Chevrolet 173.094
23 Paul Menard (27) Chevrolet 173.082
24 Brian Vickers (83) Toyota 172.966
25 Mark Martin (5) Chevrolet 172.889
26 Jamie McMurray (1) Chevrolet 172.701
27 Juan Pablo Montoya (42) Chevrolet 172.656
28 David Reutimann (00) Toyota 172.425
29 Cole Whitt (84) Toyota 172.392
30 J.J. Yeley (55) Ford 171.991
31 Jeff Burton (31) Chevrolet 171.821
32 Joey Logano (20) Toyota 171.685
33 Michael McDowell (66) Toyota 171.059
34 Dave Blaney (135) Chevrolet 171.027
35 Bobby Labonte (47) Toyota 170.881
36 David Stremme (30) Chevrolet 170.881
37 Joe Nemechek (87) Toyota 170.578
38 David Gilliland (34) Ford 170.143
39 Casey Mears (13) Toyota 169.929
40 Travis Kvapil (38) Ford 169.718
41 T.J. Bell (32) Ford 167.707
42 Geoffrey Bodine (36) Chevrolet 162.842
43 Mike Bliss (71) Ford 169.940
44 Scott Speed (46) DNQ 169.529
45 Reed Sorenson (7) DNQ 169.359
46 Mike Skinner (37) DNQ 168.587
47 Scott Riggs (192) DNQ 167.775
48 Grant Enfinger (193) DNQ 165.807
 

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Dodge Motorsports Notes & Quotes - Final Qualifying Quotes - Homestead
November 19, 2011 , HOMESTEAD, Fla. - Saturday, Nov. 19, 2011

Dodge Final Qualifying Quotes
Dodge Motorsports PR
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
Ford 400
Homestead-Miami Speedway



KURT BUSCH (No. 22 Shell/Pennzoil Dodge Charger R/T) Qualified 4th
HAVE YOU GOTTEN OUT OF YOUR RACE CAR WHAT YOU WANTED TODAY? “I think so. We started off way on the tight side and ended up way on the loose side so I was like ‘Hey, let’s shoot for the middle’ and I think we got a good lap in with our Shell/Pennzoil Dodge. We’ve had some poles this year. I don’t know what that run will get us, but it’s just neat to know that you’re in contention on Fridays or Saturdays when it’s qualifying day because you’ve got Penske horsepower and you’ve got a group of guys that are committed.”

YOU AND BRAD KESELOWSKI ARE CURRENTLY AT THE TOP OF THE BOARD. “We ran the same speed which means we did our job. That’s all we could get out of our Penske Dodges. It’s been a great season for us in qualifying. I don’t know if that’ll be pole material, but our Shell/Pennzoil guys have been working hard. We just feel real proud of the way we’ve qualified this year and put ourselves in Chase contention. We’ll see what we can give ‘em tomorrow in the afternoon race. With the season ending, it’s tough to see it go.”

HOW BIG WOULD WINNING THIS RACE BE GOING INTO THE OFF SEASON? “We’ve been hot, we’ve been cold; I guess it’s our description through the Chase as well as leading up to the Chase. I wouldn’t be surprised to see us win if we can get it all put together right. Last week, we had a winning car and we threw it away with fuel mileage.”

WERE YOUR SURPRISED AT HOW MUCH THE TRACK CHANGED? “It always picks up a little bit. I’m just hoping that the rest of the guys have to battle the sun because we were in full sun. We’ll see. We’re happy with that lap and if we end up tenth, that’ll be perfect.”

BRAD KESELOWSKI (No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge Charger) Qualified 5th
YOU HAD A NICE QUALIFYING RUN DESPITE A LITTLE SLIP UP DURING YOUR LAP? “Yeah, you’re going to slip up a bit if you have the car right and you’re pushing it hard enough. It’s amazing that Kurt and I both started off bad, but we kept working on our cars and it looks like we’ve made some headway. I’m not sure a 39.40 (second) lap is good or bad, but so far it looks OK. Kurt and I have been on top of each other for time. We’ll just have to see how it plays out for the race. I’m really proud of where we’re at with our team.”

HOW MUCH DID THAT QUICK CLOUD COVER HELP YOUR LAP? “Probably a little bit. I’m not sure if I had it or the next guy had it, but clouds never hurt.”

WHAT HAVE YOU FOUND FROM PRACTICE TO QUALIFYING THAT HELPED YOUR LAP? “We threw everything at it. We were not very good at all in practice. It’s kind of been the story of our season of late. We’ve been qualifying much better than we’ve been racing. Hopefully, this weekend it changes. I think that we made some big gains in practice that should apply to our race setup.”

REED SORENSON (No. 7 SPEED Energy/MAPEI Dodge Charger R/T) DNQ
“We picked up three tenths so yeah, that’s good for us. It’s been tough. We’ll see if it makes it. It’ll be close.”

YOU PRACTICE IN THE MORNING, QUALIFY IN THE AFTERNOON AND WILL RACE INTO THE EVENING TOMORROW. IS IT A GUESS TO FIND THE RIGHT SETUP? “I think so. The Nationwide race I think starts at 4:30 and it’s quite a bit of change. It usually starts out really free and then the track changes a little bit once it gets dark.”

WILL YOU RUN SOME RACES FOR ROBBY GORDON NEXT SEASON? “Yeah, maybe. I don’t think he knows what he’s doing yet. He’s doing the Baja this weekend and he asked me to come out here and do it. I’ve been trying to help him when I can. His guys are actually in Mexico all week, the ones that work on this car. They’ve been real busy too, so hopefully it will make the race.”
 

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NASCAR SPRINT CUP Results
Last Updated: Sunday, Nov 20, 2011 9:01 pm, EST
Ford 400
Status: Final Homestead-Miami Speedway




Order Driver (No.) Car Pts/Bonus Laps Laps Led Winnings Lap Progress
1 Tony Stewart (14) Chevrolet 47/4 267 65 $341,258 Chart
2 Carl Edwards (99) Ford 44/2 267 119 $296,416 Chart
3 Martin Truex Jr. (56) Toyota 42/1 267 5 $189,450 Chart
4 Matt Kenseth (17) Ford 41/1 267 15 $173,736 Chart
5 Jeff Gordon (24) Chevrolet 40/1 267 7 $159,386 Chart
6 Clint Bowyer (33) Chevrolet 38/0 267 0 $145,633 Chart
7 Kasey Kahne (4) Toyota 37/0 267 0 $118,458 Chart
8 Kevin Harvick (29) Chevrolet 37/1 267 12 $130,811 Chart
9 Denny Hamlin (11) Toyota 35/0 267 0 $123,875 Chart
10 Jeff Burton (31) Chevrolet 35/1 267 4 $90,400 Chart
11 Dale Earnhardt Jr. (88) Chevrolet 33/0 267 0 $81,150 Chart
12 Ryan Newman (39) Chevrolet 32/0 267 0 $110,625 Chart
13 Regan Smith (78) Chevrolet 31/0 267 0 $98,795 Chart
14 Jamie McMurray (1) Chevrolet 30/0 267 0 $107,664 Chart
15 A J Allmendinger (43) Ford 29/0 267 0 $110,086 Chart
16 Paul Menard (27) Chevrolet 28/0 267 0 $79,475 Chart
17 Brian Vickers (83) Toyota 27/0 267 0 $98,389 Chart
18 David Reutimann (00) Toyota 26/0 267 0 $98,783 Chart
19 Joey Logano (20) Toyota 25/0 267 0 $78,575 Chart
20 Brad Keselowski (2) Dodge 25/1 266 11 $95,158 Chart
21 Mike Bliss (71) Ford 23/0 266 0 $84,100 Chart
22 Travis Kvapil (38) Ford 23/1 266 3 $84,283 Chart
23 Kyle Busch (18) Toyota 22/1 266 16 $114,966 Chart
24 Mark Martin (5) Chevrolet 20/0 266 0 $77,075 Chart
25 Trevor Bayne (21) Ford 19/0 266 0 $69,275 Chart
26 Casey Mears (13) Toyota 18/0 266 0 $68,525 Chart
27 Bobby Labonte (47) Toyota 17/0 266 0 $95,170 Chart
28 Dave Blaney (135) Chevrolet 16/0 265 0 $65,125 Chart
29 T.J. Bell (32) Ford 15/0 265 0 $76,933 Chart
30 Geoffrey Bodine (36) Chevrolet 14/0 263 0 $75,747 Chart
31 Juan Pablo Montoya (42) Chevrolet 14/1 261 2 $105,533 Chart
32 Jimmie Johnson (48) Chevrolet 13/1 261 2 $118,211 Chart
33 David Gilliland (34) Ford 12/1 245 1 $65,375 Chart
34 Kurt Busch (22) Dodge 10/0 220 0 $108,450 Chart
35 Greg Biffle (16) Ford 10/1 190 2 $81,675 Chart
36 Landon Cassill (51) Chevrolet 8/0 153 0 $63,450 Chart
37 Cole Whitt (84) Toyota 7/0 153 0 $63,250 Chart
38 David Ragan (6) Ford 6/0 81 0 $71,050 Chart
39 Marcos Ambrose (9) Ford 5/0 72 0 $92,841 Chart
40 Joe Nemechek (87) Toyota 5/1 29 3 $62,620 Chart
41 J.J. Yeley (55) Ford 3/0 25 0 $62,405 Chart
42 David Stremme (30) Chevrolet 2/0 14 0 $62,110 Chart
43 Michael McDowell (66) Toyota 1/0 13 0 $62,429 Chart
 

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Stewart wins Homestead to win NASCAR championship



HOMESTEAD, Fla. (AP)—Tony Stewart insisted he wasn’t a title contender when NASCAR’s championship race began.

When it became clear he actually was a viable threat, he kicked it into another gear and vowed to go for broke in his pursuit of Carl Edwards.

Did he ever.

Stewart used a powerful and relentless drive—some might suggest the best in NASCAR history—on Sunday in the season finale to seize his third NASCAR championship. He overcame a hole in the grill of his Chevrolet, a rain delay, used debatable fuel strategy and made 118 passes on the track to win at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

That shows how bad I wanted to win this thing,” Stewart said. “When you’re going for a championship, you can’t hold anything back. I couldn’t leave anything on the table.”

Edwards, who started the race with a three-point lead in the standings, did everything he could from the minute he arrived in Florida. His Roush-Fenway Racing team put his Ford on the pole, he led a race-high 119 of the 267 laps and still finished a helpless second.

The two actually ended up tied in the final standings—a NASCAR first—but Stewart won the title based on his five victories, all in the 10-race Chase for the Sprint Cup championship—to Edwards’ one.

Stewart became the first owner/driver to win the championship since the late Alan Kulwicki in 1992, and the driver to end Jimmie Johnson’s record five-year title run. His last title was in 2005, the year before Johnson’s began his reign.

“Are you kidding me?” Stewart asked in Victory Lane in a pouring rain. “We said all week we’d just go out and win the race and didn’t have to worry about what (Edwards) did. If this doesn’t go down as one of the greatest championship battles in history, I don’t know what will.”

Edwards, who had a 4.9 average finish over the 10 Chase races, was disappointed but held his head high after the race.

“This night is about Tony Stewart. Those guys rose to the occasion, and they beat us fair and square,” Edwards said. “That is all I had. We came here and sat on the pole, led the most laps and Tony still managed. That’s it. That’s all I got at the end. That’s as hard as I can drive.

“I told my wife, ‘If I can’t win this thing, I’m going to be the best loser NASCAR has ever had.’ So, I’m going to try really hard to keep my head up and know that we’ll just go next year and we’ll be just as hard to beat.”

As third-place finisher Martin Truex Jr. did his post-race news conference, Edwards sat silently off to the side, his eyes fixated on a bank of televisions showing Stewart’s championship celebration.

“If I could do it all over again, there’s nothing I could have done differently,” he whispered. “That’s my maximal effort, and Tony beat us. We knew that of all the circumstances possible, this was the least probable. But I was prepared for this.”

Edwards, despite being the most consistent driver this season and points leader for 21 weeks, has been on the ropes the last month as Stewart turned up his energy, effort and trash-talking. His quick wit and sharp tongue kept the entire industry entertained as he did everything possible to get inside Edwards’ head.

Maybe it was really for Stewart’s benefit, a driver trying to talk himself into believing he had a shot at the title after struggling all summer long. He maybe didn’t rattle Edwards, but Stewart for sure talked himself into this title.

He arrived in Miami insistent he’d race with nothing to lose, and did just that from the moment the race began. He was moving through the field from his 15th starting spot when caution came out 14 laps into the race. His Stewart-Haas Racing crew discovered a hole in his grill, and the repairs dropped him to 40th in the field.

Stewart then blew by car after car and was up to 23rd in a matter of minutes. Another caution sent him into the pits for more repairs, and he restarted in 32nd.

His yapping then resumed, as he scoffed on his radio how embarrassed Edwards and the No. 99 team would be when Stewart drove from the back of the field— twice!—to beat them.

When more rain forced NASCAR to stop the field for 75 minutes, Stewart confidently walked pit road and sent a message to Edwards.

“We are fixin’ to keep delivering this whoopin’; we got more in mind for him the rest of the day,” he said in an ESPN interview.

Edwards, meanwhile, huddled with crew chief Bob Osborne atop the pit box and declined to be interviewed. His Roush Fenway Racing team had to be nervous about engine durability—three Roush Yates engines failed over the course of the race—and Edwards eventually retreated to his motorhome to snack on popcorn and keep his focus.

When racing resumed, Stewart continued to slice through the field and used several spectacular three- and four-wide passes to close in on Edwards. Then crew chief Darian Grubb made an unusual call to keep Stewart out on the track until he was just about out of gas. It was a risky call but worked perfectly when the rain came moments after Stewart finally stopped for gas.

It gave Stewart breathing room as he was able to save gas under yellow. He was fourth on the final restart, Edwards was sixth, and Stewart used a three-wide pass over Kyle Busch, Brad Keselowski and AJ Allmendinger to reclaim the lead.

Although Edwards quickly moved into second, he couldn’t catch Stewart as he sailed to his fifth Chase victory.

“They got 5 wins in 10 races,” Osborne said. “That’s pretty unbelievable. But they did it and it got them the championship.”

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Dodge Motorsports Notes & Quotes - NSCS Final Race Quotes - Homestead
November 20, 2011 , HOMESTEAD, Fla. - Sunday, Nov. 20, 2011

Dodge Final Race Quotes
Dodge Motorsports PR
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
Ford 400
Homestead-Miami Speedway


BRAD KESELOWSKI (No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge Charger R/T) Finished 20th
YOU FINISHED FIFTH IN POINTS. “I don’t think anyone really expected that out of us, but I never stopped believing that we could be, you know, be a contender and have a lot of fun and do well as a team. I think we’ve got a lot to build off of. We’ll have to work on it, build off it too. I’m real proud of the effort for the whole team.”

HOW DID THE END OF THE RACE PLAY OUT FOR YOU GUYS? YOU HAD TO PIT LATE. “We were just doing what we could to try to get up to third (in the Chase standings). We were going to finish fifth in the points, so we just took a chance to try to get to third. It just didn’t pay off. If we caught a yellow, we could have been in really good position, but just wasn’t meant to be. I think we did all the right things and just didn’t catch the breaks we needed and really just didn’t quite have a fast enough car. We put ourselves in position to have good things happen to us and that’s okay.”

DOES THIS RACE ENCOMPASS YOUR ENTIRE CHASE? “We do an excellent job as a team putting ourselves in position where good things can happen to us and I think we’re rewarded accordingly. The big thing that we have to work on as a team is we’ve got to be a little faster, have faster race cars. If we can do that, we’ll rely less on strategy.”

YOU WON LAST NIGHT AND RAN STRONG TONIGHT. HOW DOES THAT MAKE YOUR OFFSEASON AND AS YOU LOOK AHEAD TO 2012? “Well, you know, we’d like to have had a better finish today but, you know, like I said, I was only surprised with how we ran. I’m ready for the offseason (smiles).”

DID YOU CAR GET BETTER AFTER THE RAIN DELAY? “Yeah, when the track didn’t have rubber on it, I thought the car was really strong.”

DID YOU HAVE A BETTER CAR THAN WHERE YOU FINISHED? “We were better than 20th, but we took our chances and just didn’t catch the breaks. I’m not frustrated with that. I think that’s the right strategy. I would just like to be a little bit faster. That’s the only thing I can be frustrated about.”

WHICH IS THE BIGGER ACCOMPLISHMENT: TOP FIVE IN POINTS OR MAKING THE CHASE? “They’re pretty damn equal (smiles).”

HOW WAS YOUR RACE? “We had an up-and-down night here at Homestead. At the end, we took some chances trying to get ourselves up to third in points and it just didn’t pay off. Ended up finishing 20th and if we catch a yellow there, we’ll probably have a fifth to 10th-place day and move up to third in points. But we just didn’t catch the right breaks for that to happen, but still had a decent day and probably a better day than where the finish was. You know, we just need a little more speed in our cars to be able to do something here. You look at the 14 (Tony Stewart) and the 99 (Carl Edwards) and they just had a lot of speed. If we can get a little more speed in our cars, I feel like we can go out there and win a championship.”

DID THE TRACK CHANGE A LOT AFTER THE RAIN DELAY? “Yeah, every time it would rain or do any of that kind of stuff, my Dodge got really good. I could have used a couple more of those showers (smile).”

THOUGHTS ON THE CHAMPIONSHIP BATTLE COMING DOWN TO STEWART AND EDWARDS. “Did it come down to a tie and Tony won it? Wow – that’s pretty cool. I guess I didn’t do the math. Congrats to him. He had a great year and I don’t think you can ask for much more than that.”

DID YOU EVER THINK THE CHAMPIONSHIP MIGHT COME DOWN TO LITERALLY THE LAST LAP? “Well, you know one year, it’s got to (laughs). This is the year and I don’t think we’ll ever see that again.”

PAUL WOLFE (crew chief, No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge Charger R/T)
“We just didn’t have the car that we were hoping to have tonight. It really would have been nice to finish with a win. We just didn’t have the car we needed. We worked on it and never could really put it all together. We got to the point where we were just trying strategy stuff to see if we could pull something off with this Miller Lite Dodge Charger. It just didn’t work out. I’m proud of the effort by everyone on this team. We were able to earn a top-five spot in the driver point standings and that’s a great accomplishment for this team. I’m proud of the effort. We feel like we know where we need to go during the off-season to make our cars faster and run strong for the championship. It wasn’t from a lack of effort. Everybody put the best effort they could to make this car a championship-caliber car and we did that. I’m very proud of this Miller Lite Dodge team. We’ve made big steps this year. We just have to continue to try and be better and ready once the flag drops at Daytona in a few months.”

KURT BUSCH (No. 22 Shell/Pennzoil Dodge Charger R/T) Finished 34th
"I've never been so disappointed in my life. I think I missed a race once my rookie year and this almost tops that."
 

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Busch gets bratty:

It's a coin flip every week as to which one of the Busch Brothers is going to be a bigger jerk. Last weekend in Homestead, it was Kurt Busch. He ripped into ESPN pit road reporter Jerry Punch with a cluster of F-bombs after Busch had car troubles in the Ford 400.

"Penske Racing extends its apologies to Dr. Jerry Punch, our media partners and our sponsors and fans for Kurt Busch's inappropriate actions in Homestead on Sunday," Busch's team owner said in a statement released Tuesday. "These actions do not represent Penske Racing and are inconsistent with the company's standards for behavior, respect for others and professionalism. This matter is being reviewed internally with no further comment at this time."
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Friday, November 25, 2011
NASCAR fines Kurt Busch $50,000
Associated Press


CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- NASCAR fined Kurt Busch $50,000 on Friday for his poor behavior during the Sprint Cup finale last weekend at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

NASCAR cited both an obscene gesture Busch made inside his car and him being verbally abusive to a reporter in fining the 2004 Cup champion.

"Kurt Busch showed disrespect toward a media member, an incident that followed similar inappropriate media confrontations earlier in the season," NASCAR said in a statement announcing the penalty.

Busch had a transmission problem early in Sunday's race that sent his Penske Racing Dodge to the garage. His in-car camera caught him making an obscene gesture during that time.



Kurt Busch In my frustration with the loss of my transmission early in the race, I let my emotions get the better of me. I regret having done this and apologize to the sponsors of Penske Racing, to NASCAR, its fans, to the media and in particular, Dr. Jerry Punch.
” -- Kurt Busch

While his team made repairs, Busch waited to be interviewed by an ESPN reporter, and a fan videotaped Busch being verbally abusive while waiting to go live.

That video was posted on YouTube, and both Penske officials and Busch have apologized in separate statements for his behavior.

"Unfortunately, our result in the season-ending race at Homestead on Sunday was not what we had hoped for as a team," he said. "In my frustration with the loss of my transmission early in the race, I let my emotions get the better of me. I regret having done this and apologize to the sponsors of Penske Racing, to NASCAR, its fans, to the media and in particular, Dr. Jerry Punch."

Penske officials said earlier this week that Busch's "inappropriate actions" were being reviewed internally.

"These actions do not represent Penske Racing and are inconsistent with the company's standards for behavior, respect for others and professionalism," the team said in a statement.

The penalty comes just days after Busch crew chief Steve Addington quit the team, and three weeks to the day that Busch's younger brother, Kyle, intentionally wrecked Ron Hornaday Jr. under caution in a Truck Series race.

NASCAR suspended Kyle Busch for the remainder of the weekend at Texas -- he was entered in both the Nationwide and Cup events -- and fined him $50,000 for the Hornaday wreck. He then spent the next week fighting to keep his seat with Joe Gibbs Racing because sponsor M&M's was embarrassed by his actions.

He lost all composure during a race at Richmond in May, when he berated his team and Penske management over his in-car radio.

Busch's sponsor Shell/Pennzoil said in a statement it was disappointed with the driver.

"Shell and Pennzoil are disappointed with recent actions by driver, Kurt Busch, at the final race of the 2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race season," the company said in a statement. "His actions are in no way consistent with the way we want our brands represented and we have expressed our disappointment and concerns directly to Penske Racing."

At the same track in September, he had an angry post-race confrontation on pit road with another reporter, then continued the argument before his formal news conference. He also ripped apart another reporter's papers the same evening.

Busch was a two-time winner this season and opened the Chase for the Sprint Cup championship confident he could be the one to dethrone five-time defending series champion Jimmie Johnson -- his nemesis. Although he beat Johnson at Dover in the third Chase race, he faded as rumors spread Addington was bolting.

Busch wrecked at Talladega, ran out of gas while leading at Phoenix and had the transmission problem at Homestead. He ended the season 11th in the final standings. Kyle Busch, who opened the Chase tied for the top seed, finished 12th. Neither Busch brother will be part of the formal ceremony at next week's banquet in Las Vegas -- their hometown.

It's not clear what action, if any, team owner Roger Penske will take against Kurt Busch. He's remained largely silent when Busch has acted out in the past, but the emergence of teammate Brad Keselowski has given Penske reason not to tolerate Busch's behavior any longer.

Keselowski, in his second Cup season, won three races this season and finished fifth in the final standings. He's also become a fan favorite for his outspokenness -- candor that proved last week can get him in trouble: Keselowski was fined $25,000 by NASCAR for comments critical of electronic fuel injection.

NASCAR fines Kurt Busch $50,000 for gesture, obscenity-laced rant - ESPN
 
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