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Martinsville Speedway




NOTE: TRUCK & SPRINT CUP (NO NATIONWIDE this weekend)

Records
Date Series Driver Speed

9/22/96 Sprint Cup Race Jeff Gordon 82.00
10/23/05 Sprint Cup Qualifying Tony Stewart 98.083
7/22/06 Nationwide Race Kevin Harvick 61.00
7/22/06 Nationwide Qualifying Clint Bowyer 95.951
10/18/03 Camping World Truck Race Jon Wood 72.00
10/29/11 Camping World Truck Qualifying Matt Crafton 96.352

NASCAR Preview
Kroger 250
Martinsville Speedway



Race Capsule
Martinsville Speedway

What: Race 2 of 22 on Camping World Truck circuit
Where: Martinsville Speedway, Ridgeway, VA
When: SATURDAY March 31, 2012 1:46 pm EDT SPEED
Laps: 250
Track Length: 0.526 miles
Race Length: 132.00 miles


Camping World Truck
Date Race Name Pole Winner Race Winner Make Purse
10/29/11 Kroger 200 Matt Crafton Denny Hamlin Toyota $433,360
4/2/11 Kroger 250 Johnny Sauter Johnny Sauter Chevrolet $481,493
10/23/10 Kroger 200 Kyle Busch Ron Hornaday Jr. Chevrolet $437,674
3/27/10 Kroger 250 Kevin Harvick Kevin Harvick Chevrolet $485,807
3/30/09 Kroger 250 Rick Crawford Kevin Harvick Chevrolet $498,018
10/24/09 Kroger 200 Mike Skinner Timothy Peters Toyota $449,885
10/18/08 Kroger 200 Ron Hornaday Jr. Johnny Benson Toyota $472,004
3/29/08 Kroger 250 Jack Sprague Dennis Setzer Ram $520,137


+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

NASCAR Preview
Goody's Fast Relief 500
Martinsville Speedway




Race Capsule
Martinsville Speedway

What: Race 6 of 36 on Sprint Cup circuit
Where: Martinsville Speedway, Ridgeway, VA
When: SUNDAY April 1, 2012 1:13 pm EDT FOX
Laps: 500
Track Length: 0.526 miles
Race Length: 263.00 miles


Sprint Cup
Date Race Name Pole Winner Race Winner Make Purse
4/3/11 Goody's Fast Relief 500 Jamie McMurray Kevin Harvick Chevrolet $4,897,916
10/30/11 TUMS Fast Relief 500 Carl Edwards Tony Stewart Chevrolet $4,851,202
3/29/10 Goody's Fast Pain Relief 500 Kevin Harvick Denny Hamlin Toyota $4,935,846
10/24/10 TUMS Fast Relief 500 Denny Hamlin Denny Hamlin Toyota $4,886,673
3/29/09 Goody's Fast Pain Relief 500 Jeff Gordon Jimmie Johnson Chevrolet $5,066,999
10/25/09 TUMS Fast Relief 500 Ryan Newman Denny Hamlin Toyota $5,012,362
3/30/08 Goody's Cool Orange 500 Jeff Gordon Denny Hamlin Toyota $5,027,520
10/19/08 TUMS QuikPak 500 Jimmie Johnson Jimmie Johnson Chevrolet $4,972,883
 

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SRT Motorsports - Dodge NSCS Race Advance - Martinsville
March 27, 2012 , MARTINSVILLE, Va. - For Immediate Release
SRT Motorsports - Dodge NSCS Race Advance
Goody's Fast Relief 500
Martinsville Speedway
Sunday, April 1, 2012



DODGE AT MARTINSVILLE SPEEDWAY
· Dodge drivers have recorded 10 wins at Martinsville Speedway since the track opened in 1949. Lee Petty got the first Dodge win on May 17, 1953. Dodge has three sweeps at the track (1953, 1956 and 1975).
· Dodge drivers posting wins at Martinsville include Lee Petty, Jim Paschal, Buck Baker, Jack Smith, Dave Marcis, Rusty Wallace, Bobby Isaac (2) and Richard Petty (2). Wallace posted the last Dodge win at Martinsville in the 2004 spring event, one of seven victories for Wallace, but his only win at Martinsville in a Dodge.

DODGE NEWS AND NOTES
· SRT Motorsports Engineering will unveil its updated R6P8 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series engine this weekend at Martinsville. The refreshed R6P8 will power both the No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge Charger and No. 22 Shell/Pennzoil Dodge Charger from Penske Racing.
· Dodge driver Brad Keselowski’s career best Sprint Cup finish at Martinsville was 10th at the 2010 fall event.
· A.J. Allmendinger had a career best Martinsville finish of ninth in the 2009 spring race, driving a Dodge.
· The No. 7 SPEED Energy Dodge Charger from Robby Gordon Motorsports has been withdrawn from this weekend’s event.

DODGE QUOTE OF THE WEEK
“We are excited to launch our new “closed deck” engine block with Penske Racing Engines for the Sprint Cup Series at Martinsville this weekend. We are very pleased with the performance and durability of our previous “open deck” block, but are introducing design changes to help improve head gasket life and future capability for power increases. The post machining and processing time at Penske’s engine shop will be significantly reduced. We will also take advantage of weight improvements that come along with the base block material changing to “compacted graphite iron” similar to the other manufacturers. We worked closely with NASCAR to ensure the changes are compliant and have competitive parity.”
Dave Bailey, SRT Motorsports Engineering

DODGE HISTORICAL DATA
· First Dodge NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Win: Lee Petty, 2/1/53, West Palm Beach, Fla., 100 miles, .5-mile track.
· Last Dodge NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Win: Brad Keselowski, 03/18/2012, Food City 500, Bristol Motor Speedway, 93.037 mph avg. speed.

FROM THE ENGINEER – RACING AT MARTINSVILLE
"Martinsville is the ultimate heat management test – managing the heat that the cars generate on this very tight track and managing the heat under the collar of any driver that's not leading the race. The engineers have to confine their focus to the heat that's generated by the car; doing that ultimately helps keep the driver a little cooler under the collar as well.

"I would argue that a Martinsville Sprint Cup race generates more parts-destroying heat from the engine, transmission, rear axle and brakes than any other race, not just in this series, but in all motorsports anywhere in the world. Coming up with efficient and effective cooling systems will be at the top of every engineer's to do list this week before this grueling test of components, unmatched anywhere in the world."
Howard Comstock, SRT Motorsports Engineering

THE DODGE BOYS
· Dodge has 213 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series wins.
· Dodge teams have posted 53 victories since the manufacturer’s return to NASCAR’s premier series in 2001 after being out of the sport since 1977.
· Dodge has posted wins each season since its return in 2001 including seven wins twice (2002 and 2006).

DID YOU KNOW?
· The Dodge Charger street car is the only rear-wheel-drive model in Sprint Cup Series competition that is available with a V-8 engine.
· SRT Motorsports includes all of Chrysler Group’s NASCAR racing efforts for Dodge and RAM.
· Dodge is an Official Passenger Car of NASCAR.
· SRT Motorsports is competing for championships in all three NASCAR touring series in 2012.

RACE NUGGETS
· A.J. Allmendinger’s career-best finish at Martinsville Speedway came in 2009 while driving a Dodge Charger. He finished ninth. His best finish this season is 15th which came last weekend at Auto Club Speedway.
Brad Keselowski’s seesaw start to the season has produced finishes of 32nd, 5th, 32nd, 1st and 18th in the first five NSCS. He led a career best 232 laps at Bristol two weeks ago en route to victory. He has started inside the top 15 only once this season – Bristol (3rd).

MARTINSVILLE -- THE NUMBERS
· 4 – number of jet dryers available for track drying this weekend.
· 34 – number of races at Martinsville won from the front row.
· 46 – different winners in 126 races.
· 56 – different pole winners.

DODGE QUOTES
“I thought that we had a good test for Martinsville. It’s one of my better tracks. I think that we need to keep making gains on it (race results). We struggled a bit last weekend getting a 15th-place finish. That’s not great, but we’re moving in the right direction. We need to go there, have a good car and keep building on what we’ve learned the first five races. It’s early in the season. I try and remember that it’s only my fifth race with Todd (Gordon) and we’re still trying to learn each other a bit. We’ve had fast cars all year. We just need to keep building on it race after race and continue to get better. I ran top-10 there in a Dodge before and I really like how Martinsville sets up to race. I’m excited to get there.”
A.J. Allmendinger, No. 22 Shell/Pennzoil Dodge Charger

“Coming off the last short-track run that we had in Bristol in which we won, I’m excited to get to Martinsville this weekend. I think that our short-track program has been one of our strengths. This will be a true test for us. I feel that Martinsville owes us one after we ran so well there last fall only to get pushed up the track late in the race. We’ve tested at Little Rock in preparation for this weekend and I think that we’re bringing a pretty good package. The key for me is to be patient at Martinsville. You can’t use your stuff up too early in the race. You have to let the race come to you and stay away from contact. Anything can happen short-track racing. You have to make sure that you have all the fenders on it at the end.”
Brad Keselowski, No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge Charger
 

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SRT Motorsports - RAM NCWTS Race Advance - Martinsville Speedway
March 28, 2012 , MARTINSVILLE, Va. -

For Immediate Release
SRT Motorsports - RAM NCWTS Race Advance
Kroger 250
Martinsville Speedway
Saturday, March 301, 2012



Parker Kligerman
– No. 29 Cooper Standard RAM
Crew Chief: Doug Randolph


Career Stats:
Starts: 27
Wins: 0
Top Fives: 4
Top 10s: 9
Poles: 0
Laps Led: 31

2012 Season Stats
Starts: 1
Wins: 0
Top Fives: 0
Top 10s: 0
Poles: 0
Laps Led: 0

• Scored 11th-place finish in season opening race at Daytona (Fla.).
• Tenth in the series championship standings, 14 points behind leader John King and just nine behind second-place Timothy Peters.
• Both previous starts at Martinsville came in 2011. Has completed 100 percent (all 450 laps) in those races with a best finish of 13th coming in the fall event.
• Second season driving for Brad Keselowski Racing.
• Finished 11th in the 2011 point standings with four top-five and eight to-10 finishes.
• Posted runner-up finishes at Texas1 and Kentucky1 in 2011.

RAM DRIVER QUOTES
“I look at the points and I see about three or four guys that are championship contenders ahead of us. So right now, theoretically, we’re sitting third or fourth in the championship. We go to Martinsville and have a good run and we continue this for the first five (races), we’re going to be there. These guys are going to know that we’re there to come and get this championship. We’re going to figure out ways to win these races. We’ve got a great RAM for Martinsville. We’ve got a great RAM for Rockingham. Hopefully, they’ll see us atop the scoring pylon.”
-- Parker Kligerman

MARTINSVILLE SPEEDWAY NUMBERS
• RAM has five wins at Martinsville: Jimmy Hensley (1999), Bobby Hamilton (2000), Scott Riggs (2001), Jamie McMurray (2004) and Dennis Setzer (2008).
• Three RAM drivers have won poles at Martinsville: Joe Ruttman (2001), Ted Musgrave (2003 spring) and Bobby Hamilton Jr. (2006 spring).
• RAM has 17 top five and 40 top-10 finishes at Martinsville.
• The most RAM drivers to finish in the top 10 at Martinsville in a race were five in 2000: Hamilton, Setzer (fourth), Steve Grissom (fifth), Ruttman (sixth) and Randy Tolsma (seventh).
• At least one RAM driver has finished in the top 10 in 19 of the 26 previous NCWTS races at Martinsville.

RAM IN THE CAMPING WORLD TRUCK SERIES
• Bobby Hamilton (2004) and Ted Musgrave (2005) won the season championship driving a RAM.
• RAM has captured the manufacturer’s championship three times in the 17-year history of the series – 2001, 2003 and 2004.
• Tony Raines gave RAM its first win in the series in 1997, winning at I-70 Speedway in Odessa, Mo.
• RAM won 15 of the 24 NCWTS races during the 2001 season, 13 of 25 in 2003 and 11 of 25 in 2004.
• There have been 418 races in the NCWTS beginning at Phoenix International Raceway on Feb. 2, 1995. There were three RAM drivers – Joe Bessey, Bob Keselowski and Walker Evans – in the 33-truck starting field. Bessey scored a fourth-place finish while Mike Skinner took the win.

RAM TALK
“You have to take care of the brakes at Martinsville, but you’ve got to turn in the middle. If you ever find yourself holding up that group of 10 behind you, you’re subject to get knocked around. That’s when you get in trouble.”
-- Doug Randolph, Crew Chief, No. 29 Cooper Standard RAM
 

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There will be new power in the Penske Dodges when they hit the track for the Goody’s Fast Relief 500 at Martinsville Speedway next Sunday. Both the No. 2 Miller Lite Charger and the No. 22 Shell Pennzoil Charger will be running with SRT Motorsports newly updated R6P8 racing engine.

“We are excited to launch our new “closed deck” engine block with Penske Racing Engines for the Sprint Cup Series at Martinsville this weekend,” said Dave Bailey, SRT Motorsports Engineering. “We are very pleased with the performance and durability of our previous ‘open deck’ block, but are introducing design changes to help improve head gasket life and future capability for power increases. The post machining and processing time at Penske’s engine shop will be significantly reduced. We will also take advantage of weight improvements that come along with the base block material changing to “compacted graphite iron” similar to the other manufacturers. We worked closely with NASCAR to ensure the changes are compliant and have competitive parity.”
LINK: NASCAR Dodges running new R6P8 engines at Allpar Chrysler, Dodge, and Jeep News
 

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SRT Motorsports - Dodge Travis Geisler Interview - Martinsville
March 30, 2012 , MARTINSVILLE, Va. - Friday, March 30, 2012

Dodge PR
Martinsville Speedway
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
Travis Geisler Open Interview


Travis Geisler (Director of Competition, Penske Racing)
“I think Martinsville is what it is. We all know it to be a really challenging racetrack from a lot of different perspectives. I think if you look at the brake systems, certainly you’ve got to have everything pretty much perfect for this weekend. You’ve got to make sure that all your systems are as perfect as you can make ‘em. Certainly, the stuff has come a long way and is a lot better than what it used to be where the drivers would really have to baby it throughout the race to make sure that you had it at the end. Now, I’d say it’s getting pretty close to where guys can run about as hard as they want to run for the majority of the race. I think tire beads have become a major concern here and I think a lot of that is because of better brake cooling. The guys can push everything harder, but that heat still has to go somewhere. You’ve got all your fans and everything pushing air through the brakes right next to the bead, so all you’re going to do is heat up your beads. Guys are taking some extra measures there to try to protect from the right-front failure that you see here. Intermittently, you’ll see guys pop ‘em and that’s a heat-related issue.

You look at your drivetrain and certainly the gear and transmission are big concerns. You’ll see guys change gears, axles, drive plates, all those piece before the race to try to have the freshest stuff in there because there isn’t really anywhere, other than a road course, that puts this kind of abuse on the drivetrain. A lot of the intermediate tracks have gotten pretty easy on ‘em, where you have a lot of constant speed. Here, it’s just start and stop. They advertise that’s hard on your street car; it’s hard on your race car, too.

Otherwise, it’s the same ol’ Martinsville. It’s tough racing, guys getting into each other. It seems like this one has become rougher than Bristol. I think you come out of Bristol now with better looking cars than you do out of here. A lot of that’s just guys feeling comfortable rubbing on each other here. This is still really one groove and it’s the only way you pass sometimes. Hot dogs are still red and we’re still here and the weather is a heck of a lot nicer than I can ever remember for the spring race.”

WHEN YOU ARE BUILDING A DODGE CHARGER FOR MARTINSVILLE, DO YOU TRY TO REINFORCE CERTAIN AREAS OF THE CAR BECAUSE OF THE CONTACT? “I think a lot of it goes with the weight concern. This is such a flat racetrack that where your CG (Center of Gravity) is has a major, major influence. If you’re looking at building a car, the weight almost becomes a bigger concern than anything else because you’re really not worried if the body gets torn up here. It doesn’t really hurt you from an aero perspective. You’ve got to keep it together enough that you don’t get black flagged, but past that you need everything as light as possible. I’d say that’s really what we’re focused on now when we build a Martinsville car. What do you do to take some weight out of the system and make your car go through a hairpin turn every quarter of a mile faster?”

PENSKE RACING HAS HAD A GOOD START TO THE SEASON, BUT THERE HAS BEEN SOME FRUSTRATIONS. “I think we’re still waiting for a little bit of everything to stabilize. This is a pretty good push here at the beginning of the season. It’s kind of crazy. You spend a couple weeks down in Daytona and then you’re out to Phoenix, out to Las Vegas, back to Bristol, back to Fontana, back to Martinsville. It’s kind of like nobody can really get into a rhythm because we’re kind of all over the place. You know I think things will definitely settle in here. I think the 2 car guys have picked up where they’ve left off and have had really good speed everywhere we’ve been. Obviously Daytona was a little bit disappointing for us. We felt like we certainly could have had better finishes there. You go to Bristol and have a great race there. A.J. missed the pole by a thousandth of a second and Brad was able to come away with a win, so I think we’re in a good spot. You know, obviously, we’d rather be first and second in points right now, but I think this point in the season last year, we were much farther behind than what we are now, maybe not from a point’s position as much as overall performance position.”

DOES IS JUST TAKE TIME FOR A NEW DRIVER AND CREW CHIEF COMBINATION TO GEL? “I think it definitely takes some time. We’ve got to figure out what A.J. wants and needs throughout the race and, the same way, he’s got to figure out how our cars are different. Even the engines drive differently. You’ve got different power bands, different torque curves between different manufacturers. You know that’s something he’s got to get used to. It’s a lot of things like that that you’ve got to get flushed out of the system. This is the highest level of motorsports in the country at least. It’s not an easy thing to step into and have great performance right out of the box. I think the good thing is they’ve had some really good speed and as long as you can find speed, you’ll smooth out getting through the races and getting things ironed out to where you don’t have issues. I’m not really too concerned there yet. Obviously, we’re excited about what they’ve been able to show at times. Now, we just need it all the way to the checkered flag.”

IS IT EASIER TO HAVE PATIENCE BECAUSE OF HOW BRAD WAS ABLE TO RALLY AND QUALIFY FOR THE CHASE? “The way the points system is now, it gives you a little bit of calmness. It’s still very difficult to make the Chase, but I do feel like that if you come out and you really put your act together, you will make the Chase even if you don’t have a perfect season. Used to take a really, really good, solid, perfect season to get in that thing and now with the Wild Card thing that Brad used last year to get in, there’s a good chance that if you really just get on a hot streak, you can get yourself into it. Obviously, we’d rather make it on points so that you get your bonus points for the wins that you have and be able to be in a better spot. That’s something that we felt hurt the 2 car last year. Going in with three wins, we would have been in a really nice spot, bonus spot wise. There’s always pressure. There’s pressure every week, but it’s not panic, though.”

WHAT ARE THE TEAM’S PLANS FOR THE OPEN WEEKEND? “We’ve got a test at Michigan next week with the 2 car. They’ll be up there for two days for a tire test. That’s a good opportunity for us to get to a track that’s been repaved and start to work out what that’s going to entails. Otherwise, we’ll be giving the guys a breather. We’ve got a couple more tire tests coming up, Dover and Pocono at the end of the month. We’ve got a busy month in April for sure and we’ll try to get the guys a couple days of rest and relief. We’ll get ‘em back in the front lines starting right after that. Everybody is doing a good job. We’ve got such a great support network back at the shop, all the guys that prepare this stuff for us every week. It’s just really an awesome organization to be a part of because, when you do have tough times, there are plenty of people there to support you and to get you through that.”
 

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SRT Motorsports - RAM Parker Kligerman Interview - Martinsville
March 30, 2012 , MARTINSVILLE, Va. - Friday, March 30, 2012

RAM PR
Martinsville Speedway
NASCAR Camping World Truck Series
Open Interview


PARKER KLIGERMAN (No. 29 Cooper Standard RAM)

ARE YOU HAPPY WITH THE WAY YOUR SEASON STARTED AT DAYTONA? “Absolutely. I think you know that five-week break is a little annoying momentum-wise. Daytona is a race that, in my eyes, was a success because we fought back from a lot of adversity and came out with a good finish, got ourselves a really good point’s day. That’s what matters when you only have 22 races in a season. Going into Martinsville, that five-week break has given our team time to prepare, time to be ready. We’ve been able to test, get our trucks built up for the next few weeks and all those things kind of come together here with a sense of calm, because we’re so prepared and that’s a good thing.”

YOU STARTED BOTH RACES HERE AT MARTINSVILLE LAST YEAR. WHAT’S THE MAIN THING THAT YOU’VE LEARNED?
“Well, the first two times we came here we had a lot of adversity. I don’t think anything on my end or the team’s end, it was just bad luck. But we always showed speed and we can fix everything else as long as we have speed. I’m excited to come back here. I like the weather. It’s a little warmer and that could play to our advantage because I like hot, slick racetracks. We’ve got a great Cooper Standard RAM.”

THIS IS A PHYSICALLY DEMANDING RACETRACK. “You’ve got a lot of braking, high braking force. There’s a lot of beating and banging. If it’s a hot day, it can get pretty hot in there because there’s not a lot of airflow. All those things add together, but thankfully the truck races aren’t that long. I don’t think any of that will add up. For us, it’s about trying to predict the nature of the race; this race can either go a bunch of cautions or it can go a lot of green flag. That’s the biggest thing for us to determine. We hope that we have the right truck for both situations.”

HOW DO YOU KEEP YOUR TEMPER IN CHECK HERE? “Bigger picture. The way I think about it is I’m here to win a championship. You don’t win championships by losing your cool or doing something on an impulse decision. It’s about making the most educated decision from all the factors that you have at the time. At this place yeah, you can easily lose your cool if you feel like you’re in a position where you’re able to lose some points or you have a chance to win. For us, we’re here to win a championship. We’re going to put ourselves in position to win races, but we’re not going to go out and force it. At the end of the day, hopefully, that works out for us points-wise. If it does, hopefully, we’ll be champions at the end of the year.”

IS THE PIT ROAD HERE THE MOST CHALLENGING ON THE CIRCUIT?
“Yes and no. It’s challenging off the space factor, for sure, but you know there are some other pit roads out there that, for whatever reason, they’re trickier because you actually have a lot of speed mixed with maybe a slick surface. But there is definitely an element of lack of space here that just creates a lot of congestion and the possibility of bent fenders.”
 

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NASCAR Qualifying
Last Updated: Saturday, Mar 31, 2012
Goody's Fast Relief 500
Field Set Martinsville Speedway



Order Driver (No.) Car Qualifying Speed
1 Kasey Kahne (5) Chevrolet 97.128
2 Kevin Harvick (29) Chevrolet 97.048
3 Denny Hamlin (11) Toyota 97.003
4 Clint Bowyer (15) Toyota 97.003
5 Ryan Newman (39) Chevrolet 96.988
6 Brian Vickers (55) Toyota 96.765
7 Brad Keselowski (2) Dodge 96.750
8 Kyle Busch (18) Toyota 96.746
9 Jeff Gordon (24) Chevrolet 96.731
10 Joey Logano (20) Toyota 96.706
11 Paul Menard (27) Chevrolet 96.701
12 Marcos Ambrose (9) Ford 96.627
13 Martin Truex Jr. (56) Toyota 96.583
14 Dale Earnhardt Jr. (88) Chevrolet 96.430
15 Tony Stewart (14) Chevrolet 96.322
16 Bobby Labonte (47) Toyota 96.215
17 Regan Smith (78) Chevrolet 96.200
18 Jeff Burton (31) Chevrolet 96.180
19 Aric Almirola (43) Ford 96.049
20 Jamie McMurray (1) Chevrolet 96.049
21 Matt Kenseth (17) Ford 95.971
22 Jimmie Johnson (48) Chevrolet 95.854
23 Michael McDowell (98) Ford 95.849
24 David Ragan (34) Ford 95.830
25 Casey Mears (13) Ford 95.796
26 Greg Biffle (16) Ford 95.743
27 A J Allmendinger (22) Dodge 95.738
28 Carl Edwards (99) Ford 95.607
29 David Reutimann (10) Chevrolet 95.607
30 Josh Wise (26) Ford 95.583
31 Landon Cassill (83) Toyota 95.511
32 Juan Pablo Montoya (42) Chevrolet 95.477
33 Scott Riggs (23) Chevrolet 95.352
34 Travis Kvapil (93) Toyota 95.347
35 Reed Sorenson (74) Chevrolet 95.223
36 Ken Schrader (32) Ford 95.127
37 Joe Nemechek (87) Toyota 94.936
38 David Gilliland (38) Ford 94.780
39 David Stremme (30) Toyota 94.609
40 Kurt Busch (51) Chevrolet 94.567
41 Hermie Sadler (33) Chevrolet 94.486
42 Dave Blaney (36) Chevrolet 93.180
43 J.J. Yeley (249) Toyota 93.212
44 Scott Speed (52) DNQ 92.101
45 Mike Bliss (119) DNQ 84.846
46 Tony Raines (37) DNQ -
 

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SRT Motorsports - Dodge NSCS Qualifying Quotes - Martinsville
March 31, 2012 , MARTINSVILLE, Va. -

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Dodge PR
Martinsville Speedway
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
Goody’s Fast Relief 500
Post-Qualifying Quotes


Brad Keselowski (No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge Charger R/T) Qualified 7th
“I think that’s going to be respectable for sure. I would have liked to have had a little bit more, obviously, but it’s solid. It’s a 500-lap race tomorrow and we’ll take that as a starting position. I think it was certainly a disadvantage to go early on because of the car (Mike Bliss) that dropped oil. After about the 15th or 20th car, it looked like the track was good.”

WITH THE BEATING AND BANGING THAT GOES ON, HOW IMPORTANT IS IT TO START UP FRONT HERE? “Starting spot is important everywhere you go. Here, it is and it isn’t. It’s more important for the pit road selection.”

A.J. Allmendinger (No. 22 Shell/Pennzoil Dodge Charger R/T) Qualified 27th
“We’re going back and forth. We’re going to keep fighting it and keep learning, that’s all we can do. It’s definitely not where we want to be. It’s kind of weird. It’s like all these places I thought I was good at, I kind of suck at right now. All these places I suck at, I’m actually good at.”

ARE YOU STRUGGLING WITH FORWARD BITE UP OFF THE CORNER? “No, it’s everything. There’s not one thing. We’ve got to fix everything. We just kind of go back and forth. There’s no happy medium right now. I guess that’s a good thing because we can swing the bar back and forth, so we’re not just stuck in a box where we’re fighting one thing and can’t fix it. We just can’t fix everything at once. All we can do is just keep going to work and keep fighting and figure out what we need to do to be better. This is one of those racetracks where if you can be clean, be smart, you can still get a good finish out of it. We’ve got to keep digging. It’s not where we want to be.”
 

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SRT Motorsports - Dodge NSCS Keys For Success - Martinsville
March 31, 2012 , MARTINSVILLE, Va. -

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Goody’s Fast Relief 500 Dodge PR
Martinsville Speedway
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
Keys For Success


KEYS FOR SUCCESS: GOODY’S FAST RELIEF 500

MARTINSVILLE, Va. (Saturday, March 31, 2012) – Each race weekend, selected SRT Motorsports Engineers, Penske Racing engineers and crew chiefs, drivers or engine specialists give their insight on the ‘Keys for Success’ for the upcoming race. This week, Howard Comstock, SRT Motorsports Engineering, provides the keys for Sunday’s Sprint Cup race.

Track: Martinsville Speedway (Race 6 of 36 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series)

Race: Goody’s Fast Relief 500 (500 laps / 263 miles)

Trivia Question: Who was the most recent Dodge driver to win at Martinsville? (Answer Below)

HOWARD COMSTOCK (SRT Motorsports Engineering)

New Tire Compound: “One big change this year is the new tire. You can see that it’s made a difference in speed. A softer tire is faster for a while, but I think we’re going to see tires back in play at Martinsville which is something we haven’t seen for a while. That will change the complexion of the race.”

Pit Strategy: “I’ve seen plenty cases here of over-pitting, guys pitting too often. I think the smart crew chiefs are going to manage the pit stops, the frequency and the placement of the pit stops to get the most out of the tires that they’ve got. There’s going to be adjustments from last year and I don’t think fuel economy is going to be an issue. I think you’re going to have to get tires before you get gas.”

Pit Road: “I think they’ve done a good job here. It’s spread out around the track and you have to appreciate that as a configuration. Bristol has its own quirks which you have to work to. Dover is terribly narrow and tight with short pit boxes, so I think there are a lot of tracks that have equally challenging pit roads.”

Clean Racetrack: “If we get the truck race in and it looks like we will, that will be important for the Sprint Cup race. The track seemed to take rubber well enough yesterday that I think we’ll be back in good shape by race time on Sunday.”






Trivia Question Answer: Rusty Wallace, who won the 2004, Advance Auto Parts 500 (spring race) at Martinsville. Wallace edged Bobby Labonte by just .538 seconds for the win.
 

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Kroger 250
Status: Final Martinsville Speedway



Order Driver (No.) Car Pts/Bonus Laps Laps Led Winnings
1 Kevin Harvick (2) Chevrolet 48/5 250 248 $33,300
2 Ty Dillon (3) Chevrolet 43/1 250 2 $25,340
3 James Buescher (31) Chevrolet 41/0 250 0 $18,785
4 Justin Lofton (6) Chevrolet 40/0 250 0 $15,300
5 Timothy Peters (17) Toyota 39/0 250 0 $14,200
6 Nelson Piquet Jr. (30) Chevrolet 38/0 250 0 $11,675
7 Ross Chastain (08) Toyota 37/0 250 0 $14,525
8 Jason Leffler (18) Toyota 36/0 250 0 $9,225
9 John King (7) Toyota 35/0 250 0 $11,425
10 Jason White (23) Ford 34/0 250 0 $12,650
11 Parker Kligerman (29) Ram 33/0 250 0 $11,325
12 J.R. Fitzpatrick (60) Chevrolet 32/0 250 0 $8,950
13 Jeb Burton (27) Chevrolet 31/0 250 0 $11,150
14 David Starr (81) Toyota 30/0 250 0 $8,850
15 Cale Gale (33) Chevrolet 29/0 250 0 $12,100
16 Ron Hornaday Jr. (9) Chevrolet 28/0 250 0 $8,700
17 Miguel Paludo (32) Chevrolet 27/0 250 0 $10,900
18 Jake Crum (07) Chevrolet 26/0 249 0 $10,850
19 Max Gresham (24) Chevrolet 25/0 249 0 $10,800
20 David Reutimann (92) Chevrolet 24/0 249 0 $9,100
21 Dakoda Armstrong (98) Toyota 23/0 248 0 $8,450
22 Paulie Harraka (5) Ford 22/0 248 0 $10,675
23 John Wes Townley (09) Toyota 21/0 248 0 $8,400
24 Matt Crafton (88) Chevrolet 20/0 246 0 $10,600
25 Todd Bodine (11) Toyota 19/0 246 0 $8,425
26 Bryan Silas (99) Ford 18/0 244 0 $10,475
27 Chris Cockrum (93) Chevrolet 17/0 241 0 $10,450
28 Brennan Newberry (214) Chevrolet 16/0 234 0 $8,175
29 Johnny Sauter (13) Toyota 15/0 231 0 $10,125
30 Joey Coulter (22) Chevrolet 14/0 228 0 $9,100
31 Clay Greenfield (168) Ram 13/0 151 0 $8,155
32 Ryan Sieg (39) Chevrolet 12/0 148 0 $7,625
33 Dusty Davis (15) Toyota 11/0 104 0 $7,600
34 Jennifer Jo Cobb (8) Ram 10/0 95 0 $7,575
35 Jeff Agnew (170) Chevrolet 9/0 90 0 $7,550
36 Rick Crawford (73) Chevrolet 8/0 6 0 $7,495
 

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SRT Motorsports - RAM Recap - Martinsville
March 31, 2012 , MARTINSVILLE, Va. -


KLIGERMAN 11TH AT MARTINSVILLE,
GAINS THREE POSITIONS IN SERIES STANDINGS


MARTINSVILLE, Va. (Saturday, Mar. 31, 2012) – Parker Kligerman may have been bounced around a bit, but still came away with a respectable 11th-place finish in the Kroger 250 Saturday afternoon at Martinsville Speedway.

Kligerman wrested with a truck that didn’t turn well through the center of the corner for much of the event, but still ran near the top-10 throughout the event.

“We couldn’t figure out really how to get the thing through the center,” Kligerman said. “The conditions were a little different from practice, there was a bit more heat and I think that added into it.”

With just 14 laps to go, Kligerman’s RAM was damaged in the aftermath of an incident involving Max Gresham and Jeb Burton in Turn 4. Kligerman was shoved from behind into the truck in front of him, causing cosmetic damage to the front of the No. 29 RAM, buckling the hood and forcing him to pit road on lap 241, just nine laps from the finish. He restarted in 12th-place and was able to pick up one position in a six-lap sprint to the finish.

“I was in the bottom line and went down into Turn 3. I gave the guy about a foot between us which I normally do on the restart just for any sort of check-ups,” Kligerman said. “The guy behind me never braked and just pushed me straight into the guy in front of me, I think it was the 7 (John King). We went under him basically. It knocked the hood up and we had to pit.”

Kligerman gained three positions in the series championship standings, moving up to seventh-place. He’s 16 points behind King, the leader.

Race Results
NASCAR Camping World Truck Series
Kroger 250
Martinsville Speedway

1. Kevin Harvick
2. Ty Dillon
3. James Buescher
4. Justin Lofton
5. Timothy Peters
6. Nelson Piquet Jr.
7. Ross Chastain
8. Jason Leffler
9. John King
10. Jason White
11. PARKER KLIGERMAN


NASCAR Camping World Truck Series
Point Standings
(After 2 of 22 races)

1. John King 82
2. Timothy Peters -1
3. Justin Lofton -1
4. Ty Dillon -4
5. Jason White -8
6. James Buescher -13
7. PARKER KLIGERMAN -16
8. Nelson Piquet Jr. -21
9. Ron Hornaday Jr. -24
10. Todd Bodine -25
 

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NASCAR Results
Last Updated: Sunday, Apr 1, 2012 6:04 pm, EDT
Goody's Fast Relief 500
Status: Final Martinsville Speedway




Order Driver (No.) Car Pts/Bonus Laps Laps Led Winnings Lap Progress
1 Ryan Newman (39) Chevrolet 47/4 515 12 $198,808 Chart
2 A J Allmendinger (22) Dodge 42/0 515 0 $150,610 Chart
3 Dale Earnhardt Jr. (88) Chevrolet 42/1 515 3 $116,985 Chart
4 Matt Kenseth (17) Ford 41/1 515 1 $152,821 Chart
5 Martin Truex Jr. (56) Toyota 39/0 515 0 $117,949 Chart
6 Denny Hamlin (11) Toyota 39/1 515 31 $128,101 Chart
7 Tony Stewart (14) Chevrolet 37/0 515 0 $133,410 Chart
8 Aric Almirola (43) Ford 37/1 515 3 $121,196 Chart
9 Brad Keselowski (2) Dodge 36/1 515 2 $117,455 Chart
10 Clint Bowyer (15) Toyota 35/1 515 2 $111,999 Chart
11 Carl Edwards (99) Ford 33/0 515 0 $124,451 Chart
12 Jimmie Johnson (48) Chevrolet 33/1 515 112 $124,071 Chart
13 Greg Biffle (16) Ford 31/0 514 0 $89,385 Chart
14 Jeff Gordon (24) Chevrolet 32/2 514 328 $129,846 Chart
15 Marcos Ambrose (9) Ford 29/0 513 0 $109,668 Chart
16 Regan Smith (78) Chevrolet 28/0 513 0 $106,343 Chart
17 Bobby Labonte (47) Toyota 27/0 513 0 $104,368 Chart
18 Brian Vickers (55) Toyota 26/0 513 0 $79,035 Chart
19 Kevin Harvick (29) Chevrolet 26/1 513 21 $125,971 Chart
20 Jamie McMurray (1) Chevrolet 24/0 513 0 $110,718 Chart
21 Juan Pablo Montoya (42) Chevrolet 23/0 512 0 $108,176 Chart
22 Jeff Burton (31) Chevrolet 22/0 512 0 $116,435 Chart
23 Joey Logano (20) Toyota 21/0 511 0 $85,660 Chart
24 David Ragan (34) Ford 20/0 511 0 $91,518 Chart
25 Casey Mears (13) Ford 19/0 511 0 $89,218 Chart
26 Paul Menard (27) Chevrolet 18/0 510 0 $84,685 Chart
27 Travis Kvapil (93) Toyota 17/0 510 0 $93,907 Chart
28 David Gilliland (38) Ford 16/0 509 0 $76,060 Chart
29 Landon Cassill (83) Toyota 15/0 507 0 $102,230 Chart
30 David Stremme (30) Toyota 14/0 506 0 $76,760 Chart
31 Hermie Sadler (33) Chevrolet 13/0 505 0 $80,610 Chart
32 Ken Schrader (32) Ford 12/0 503 0 $80,460 Chart
33 Kurt Busch (51) Chevrolet 11/0 497 0 $80,235 Chart
34 Dave Blaney (36) Chevrolet 10/0 439 0 $72,110 Chart
35 David Reutimann (10) Chevrolet 9/0 436 0 $72,060 Chart
36 Kyle Busch (18) Toyota 8/0 435 0 $119,218 Chart
37 J.J. Yeley (249) Toyota 7/0 359 0 $71,930 Chart
38 Kasey Kahne (5) Chevrolet 6/0 256 0 $86,253 Chart
39 Joe Nemechek (87) Toyota 5/0 74 0 $69,100 Chart
40 Michael McDowell (98) Ford 4/0 60 0 $69,025 Chart
41 Josh Wise (26) Ford 3/0 49 0 $68,975 Chart
42 Scott Riggs (23) Chevrolet 2/0 30 0 $68,895 Chart
43 Reed Sorenson (74) Chevrolet 1/0 25 0 $68,418 Chart
 

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SRT Motorsports - Dodge NSCS Final Race Quotes - Martinsville
April 1, 2012 , MARTINSVILLE, Va. -

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Dodge PR
Martinsville Speedway
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
Goody’s Fast Relief 500
Final Race Quotes


A.J. Allmendinger (No. 22 Shell/Pennzoil Dodge Charger R/T) Finished 2nd
HOW DID YOU FINISH SECOND? “The medical nurses to begin with, because I felt horrible this morning, just been sick. Just a hard fight. Todd Gordon (crew chief) is doing a good job trying to learn these places and learn them together. I just kept fighting. I don’t know if I had a second-place Charger, but you’ve got to put yourself in position to do that. Everybody on the Shell/Pennzoil Dodge is working hard. They’re behind me. I’m trying really hard and I’d like to have got it (win), but it was a good day.”

ON THE LAST RESTART WITH RYAN NEWMAN, WERE YOU A VICTIM OF STARTING ON THE OUTSIDE? “We were just tight. We were good on the long run; we were just tight in the beginning and especially being on the outside. If I had him on the outside, I might have been able to get him, but being on the outside and being as tight as we were, it was going to be tough.”

WHAT DOES THIS FINISH MEAN FOR THE TEAM? “We’re just getting better together. I mean it’s frustrating at times. I want to be up there every weekend, just like these guys do. They deserve to be up there every weekend. Hopefully this will give us an idea and we can keep working on it.”

HOW MUCH IMPROVEMENT DID YOU MAKE TO YOUR CAR FROM FRIDAY? “We got it better. It still wasn’t perfect. It was really good on long runs. We had really good forward drive off; we just couldn’t get it to turn. We’ll keep working on it, but it was way better than what we had.”

YOU WERE UNDER THE WEATHER TODAY BUT YOU MUST FEEL GOOD ABOUT THE RESULT. “Yeah, I think maybe I need to go to the nurse’s office every week and take a shot (smiles). I didn’t feel very good this morning, but you know these guys work hard, everybody on the Shell/Pennzoil Dodge, they deserve to run up front, they’re used to running up front. I’m trying my butt off, trying everything I can to get these guys up front. Todd Gordon and all these guys, the Penske organization, they’re behind me. It feels good to have an organization behind you even when you feel like you’re struggling a little bit. This is a great race. I don’t know if we had a second-place car, but with the way these races play out, you know, I feel like you’ve got to put yourself in position. We weren’t very good all weekend and Todd Gordon kept working hard and all the guys on the team and ultimately got the car better. It was definitely a top-10 car. We were actually better in a really long run. We had good forward drive off and we’d struggle on new tires getting it to turn. Ryan (Newman), I knew it was going to be tough to get around him on the outside, but he ran me clean. He didn’t run me up the racetrack. He ran me as clean as could be. I thank him for that and congratulate him on that. Hopefully, this gives us some confidence going into the off-weekend.”

“I’m obviously excited about the second-place finish, but happy the way we ran all day. We had a solid top-10 car all day. We had a really good car on the long run. In the short run, we were just too tight. Once we got going and everybody’s rear tires started going off, we were actually pretty good. I knew on that restart to hang on the outside of Ryan but he ran me really clean and I thank him for that. Congrats on the win for him. These guys deserve to run up front. They’re used to it and I’m going to do everything I can to get us there.”

HOW DOES THE WEEKEND OFF HELP WITH THE LEARNING CURVE WITH TODD GORDON? “I think we all need a rest. I need to get healthy. I’ve been traveling so much doing a lot of fun things for Shell/Pennzoil and for AAA, but I’ve been worn out. I think this is the right time to get a weekend off, take some notes that we learned from this weekend and go to Texas and be ready to go. We were fast at Vegas, so I’m excited about Texas.”

WAS THE HARD RACING TODAY FUN FOR YOU AS A DRIVER? “It was fun. We had a good car all day. The Shell/Pennzoil Dodge struggled at the beginning of the weekend. It wasn’t a good feeling around here. I was kind of lost. I’m working so hard, I’m putting a lot of pressure on myself because these guys are used to running up front and deserve to run up front. I’m trying to learn as quickly as I can just like Todd Gordon is. We’re trying to learn together. I’m really thrilled with the finish, but I’m happy with how we ran all day. We had a good long run car. The short run, we just didn’t turn very well so that restart I knew it was going to take a miracle to get around Ryan. But he ran me really clean and he gave me a chance to get around him. I’m happy overall. It’s a solid finish. Right time for an off weekend and see if we can kind of build all these notes up and be ready for Texas.”

HOW SMALL DOES THIS TRACK GET AT THE END OF THE RACE? “When the caution came out, I was happy to finish eighth. I was like ‘Okay, eighth is going to be good.’ I’d like to say that was all skill getting through Turns 1 and 2. I’ll take some credit, but ultimately it was just a lot of luck, guys bouncing off of me and got clear. Obviously, starting second there we had a chance to get around Ryan but it’s tight. It’s a battle. I knew the racing went too smooth. There were not a lot of yellows. I knew that green-white-checkered was going to get ugly.”

Todd Gordon (Crew Chief, No. 22 Shell/Pennzoil Dodge Charger R/T)
“I think we preserved all day, had a decent race car and put him in a position. A.J. did a really good job there with the last two restarts, to take advantage of the situation. We just worked real hard on the Shell/Pennzoil Dodge all weekend and came out with something today.”

DID YOU GET YOUR CHARGER BETTER WITH EVERY STOP TODAY? “I think overnight we made some pretty big changes because we didn’t like our race car. I think we really fired off with something that was close and we just kind of worked on air pressure to try to make sure that we don’t do too much.”

HOW BIG IS A GOOD DAY FOR YOUR TEAM? “It’s big. It’s big for both A.J. and myself. I mean obviously this 22 car is known for winning races. This kind of gives us a step in the right direction to having the success that we both know we can have.”

WHAT DID YOU LEARN THIS WEEKEND THAT WILL HELP YOU AT OTHER FLAT TRACKS AND WHEN YOU COME BACK HERE IN THE FALL? “Stability for him. He’s different than Brad (Keselowski) obviously. They can both go fast. It’s the two of us getting on the same page of what he needs in a race car, giving enough stability so we can hustle the race car.”

Brad Keselowski (No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge Charger R/T) Finished 9th
“First off, go back to the yellow with the 10 car (David Reutimann) stopped on the track. That was really, really uncalled for and ruined the day for a lot of people, Jeff (Gordon), Jimmie (Johnson) and myself, from having a lot better finishes. I think we’re all really, really frustrated with that guy. We came in and got tires and definitely had a shot at the race (win), at least a top four or five finish for sure. Then the question comes, what’s the lineup for that last restart? That’s hard to tell. I don’t have all the info, whether they went by a loop, where the yellow came out or whether it was video review. My gut says we should have been a lot further ahead of where we were allowed to restart. I don’t have all the info, so it was one of those deals. I’m proud of my team. We had a really fast Miller Lite Dodge. We’ve got a lot of good momentum. That stuff is going to go good or bad. You’ll get the good ones and you’ll get the bad ones. Today, we got the bad side of it. If we keep having runs like that, we’ll get more wins.”

Travis Geisler (Director of Competition, Penske Racing)
“To come out of here with two top 10s is really good. It’s disappointing what happened with the 2 car there; we felt like they could contend for the win today. We had the issue with the pit road speeding penalty, recovered from that, but couldn’t recover from the lack of judgment I guess on that restart. It ruined the day for a lot of teams that ran up front all race. That’s the way it goes. Two top 10s. A great finish for A.J. (Allmendinger) and the 22 team, a career best finish for him. We’re really happy to be a part of that. We think there’s a lot more to come from that team.”

Allemendinger Media Center Interview
“It was really good. Obviously, I’m really happy with the finish, but more than anything, just happy with the day. We were pretty bad all weekend, struggling, and Todd Gordon and the guys, they went to work. Ultimately, it’s just about trying to learn each other, learn what I need in the race car. He made some really good changes overnight and we had a solid top-10 car. I don’t think it was a second-place car. Jimmie (Johnson), Jeff (Gordon) and Dale (Earnhardt Jr.) were the class of the field by the end there, but I felt like we had a really long-run car. Good forward drive and ultimately on new tires, we were just a little bit tight so that’s what got us there on the restart. But all in all, just really proud of the day and my crew, my spotter, Crazy (Chris Osborne), he was doing a good job. Everybody was really solid on the Shell/Pennzoil Dodge. Hopefully, we can take this momentum and learn from what we learned today, take the off week and keep building on it going into Texas.”

WHEN YOU WERE ALONGSIDE RYAN NEWMAN AT THE END OF THE RACE, DID YOU THINK YOU HAD A SHOT TO WIN? “I knew I had a shot. He was on two tires and I knew Dale and Martin (Truex Jr.) were on two tires as well, so I knew I had a shot. But Ryan had been pretty good all day. I think he had a pit road penalty, that’s what got him caught in the back there. I knew being on the bottom and as tight as I was anyway on new tires, it was going to be tough to get around him, but he ran me really clean. He didn’t shove me up the racetrack like he could have. He gave me the opportunity to beat him on the outside there, but we just weren’t turning good enough in the center there on the restart. You know, we had a shot at it and that’s all you can ask for.”

WHAT DID YOU SEE DURING THE ACCIDENT ON THE FIRST GREEN-WHITE CHECKERED ATTEMPT? HOW DID YOU MAKE YOUR WAY THROUGH IT TO GIVE YOURSELF A CHANCE TO WIN? “I knew I was the second guy on four tires. I think Matt (Kenseth) was the first guy. He was starting eighth and I was starting ninth. For me, I was just focused on Martin because he had two tires and I knew he was probably going to spin the tires. I was just trying to get a launch on him. I got under him on the restart to make it three-wide on the bottom and then I looked up and saw the 15 (Clint Bowyer) kind of sideway across the curb. From there on, I just tried to stay as low as possible and went over the curb to try to miss everybody.”

THIS IS YOUR FIRST TOP FIVE SINCE LAST YEAER AT CHARLOTTE. WHAT IS IT LIKE TO BE IN POSITION TO WIN? “Yeah, it’s pretty simple: it was my time to have a chance to win a Sprint Cup race, so I was going to do everything I could. Why didn’t I wreck him? He actually got a good drive off two. I’d have had to wreck both of us to get into him into three and to get him. And I don’t want to win like that. That’s not the way I want to win a race. He did everything clean on the restart. He could have driven me up the racetrack and if he would have done that, then it’s kind of like ‘Okay, its game-on.’ But he gave me all the chance that I could to go beat him. We came to the white side-by-side and he rolled one and two really good and that was it. You race people how they race you. If he would have just drove into the corner and just left-sided me and got me out of the way, then I would have probably run into, him but he didn’t do that. He didn’t deserve to get wrecked. For me, I put a lot of pressure on my soldiers because I know these guys that are on this 22 car, they’re used to running up front every weekend. They’re used to having a chance to win races; they’re used to winning races. I put that on me to go out there and step up to the game. We’ve had some bad luck, too. Vegas we were fast and we had the fuel pump issue. Bristol we were really fast early in the race and we had a rear end problem that broke and that cost us our handling. Ultimately, it’s myself and Todd Gordon. It’s his first year in Cup; five races, six races in Cup now and us working together. Obviously we’d like to go out there and set the world on fire, but it’s not that easy. We’re just going to keep working hard.”

DO YOU WALK AWAY DISAPPOINTED TODAY? “No. For the way we ran all weekend, even if they yellow wouldn’t have come out, we would have finished eighth where we were running; I was going to be happy with that day because we were a top-10 car all day. We worked our way up there; we did all the right things. From where we started, we didn’t have any fender damage; we were clean, so I was going to be happy with that. Then at the end, you just get a little bit lucky on a restart and you have a chance.”
 

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SRT Motorsports - NSCS Race Recap - Martinsville
April 2, 2012 , MARTINSVILLE, Va. - ALLMENDINGER SCORES CAREER-BEST SPRINT CUP FINISH

Allmendinger Finishes Second, Keselowski Ninth at Martinsville

MARTINSVILLE, Va. (Sunday, April 1, 2012) – A.J. Allmendinger finished second in Sunday’s Goody’s Fast Relief 500 at Martinsville Speedway, a career best in NASCAR Sprint Cup Series competition. Teammate Brad Keselowski finished ninth. It’s the first time this season both Dodge drivers have posted top-10 finishes at the same event.

Allmendinger started the day in the medical center, receiving treatment for flu-like symptoms. “I felt horrible this morning, just sick,” he said.

It took a pair of late-race cautions to move Allmendinger from a sure top-10 finish into position to challenge Ryan Newman for the win. The race had only one caution in the first 246 laps and seven for the race. However, the final two not only extended the race beyond the scheduled 500 laps for a pair of attempts at a green-white-checkered finish, but totally reshuffled the list of drivers contending for the win.

Keselowski was running fifth in the No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge Charger and Allmendinger was eighth in the No. 22 Shell/Pennzoil Dodge Charger with three laps remaining. A car stalled on the track brought out the caution, setting up the first attempt at a green-white-checkered finish. Jeff Gordon and Jimmie Johnson were running one-two and had been dominant. Gordon had led 328 laps and Johnson 112. Both elected to stay on the track while the rest of the leaders headed to pit road for tires and a splash of fuel.

On the restart, Keselowski lined up fourth and Allmendinger ninth. The field didn’t make it through Turn One as the front three cars – Gordon, Johnson and Clint Bowyer – tangled. All three lost control. Allmendinger emerged through the mishap second behind Newman while Keselowski had to work his way around the spinning cars. He was posted as ninth when the field was sorted out for another attempt for a green-white-checkered finish.

Allmendinger and Newman battled door-to-door for the first lap before Newman used a strong run off Turn Four and moved into the lead as the field took the white flag.

“I’m really happy with the finish, but more than anything, just happy with the day,” said Allmendinger. “Everybody was really solid on the Shell/Pennzoil Dodge today. Hopefully, we can take this momentum and what we learned today, take the off week and keep building on it going into Texas.

“These guys work hard, everybody on the Shell/Pennzoil Dodge team. They deserve to run up front. They’re use to running up front. I’m trying everything I can do to get these guys up front. Todd Gordon and all these guys, the Penske organization, they’re behind me. It feels good to have an organization behind you even when you feel like you’re struggling a little bit.”

Allmendinger’s previous best finish this season was a 15th last week at Auto Club Speedway.

Keselowski, who overcame a pit road speeding penalty and had worked himself into position for a solid fifth-place finish when the caution appeared with three laps remaining, is still puzzled about how the cars were lined up for the final restart.

“First off, go back to the yellow with the 10 car (David Reutimann) stopped on the track,” said Keselowski. “That was really, really uncalled for and ruined the day for a lot of people; it kept Jeff, Jimmie and myself from having better finishes. I think we’re all really, really frustrated with that guy. We came in and got tires and definitely had a shot at the race (win), at least a top-four or -five finish for sure. Then the question comes, what’s the lineup for that last restart? That’s hard to tell. I don’t have all the info, whether they went by a loop, where the yellow came out or whether it was video review. My gut says we should have been a lot further ahead of where we were allowed to restart. I don’t have all the info, so it was one of those deals. I’m proud of my team. We had a really fast Miller Lite Dodge. We’ve got a lot of momentum. That stuff is going to go good or bad. You’ll get the good ones and you’ll get the bad ones. Today, we got the bad side of it. If we keep having runs like that, we’ll get more wins.”

The finish moved Keselowski up four spots in the season standings. He’s now 12th, 51 points behind the leader and 14 out of 10th.

“To come out of here with two top 10s is really good,” said Penske Racing’s Competition Director Travis Geisler. “It’s disappointing what happened with the 2 car; we felt they could contend for the win today. We had the issue with the pit road speeding penalty, recovered from that, but couldn’t recover from the lack of judgment I guess on that restart. It ruined the day for a lot of teams that ran up front all race. That’s the way it goes. A great finish for A.J. (Allmendinger) and the 22 team, a career best finish for him. We’re really happy to be a part of that. We think there’s a lot more to come from that team. Two top 10s, a good day. ”

Race Results
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
Goody's Fast Relief 500
Martinsville Speedway

1. Ryan Newman
2. A.J. ALLMENDINGER
3. Dale Earnhardt Jr.
4. Matt Kenseth
5. Martin Truex Jr.
6. Denny Hamlin
7. Tony Stewart
8. Aric Almirola
9. BRAD KESELOWSKI
10. Clint Bowyer
11. Carl Edwards
12. Jimmie Johnson

NASCAR Sprint Cup
Poiint Standings
(After 6 of 36 races)

1. Greg Biffle 226
2. Dale Earnhardt Jr. -6
3. Tony Stewart -12
4. Matt Kenseth -12
5. Kevin Harvick -12
6. Martin Truex Jr. -12
7. Denny Hamlin -16
8. Ryan Newman -24
9. Clint Bowyer -34
10. Jimmie Johnson -37
11. Carl Edwards -47
12. BRAD KESELOWSKI -51
20. A.J. ALLMENDINGER -83
 
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