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Darlington Raceway

Records
Date Series Driver Speed

5/10/08 Sprint Cup Race Kyle Busch 140.00
5/8/10 Sprint Cup Qualifying Jamie McMurray 180.370
3/17/01 Nationwide Race Jeff Green 129.00
5/9/08 Nationwide Qualifying Carl Edwards 176.994
3/14/03 Camping World Truck Race Bobby Hamilton 134.00
3/12/11 Camping World Truck Qualifying Cole Whitt 173.933



What: Race 10 of 34 on Nationwide circuit

Where: Darlington Raceway, Darlington, SC

When: May 6, 2011 7:42 pm EDT

Laps: 147

Track Length: 1.366 miles

Race Length: 201.00 miles




Sprint Cup Series
Upcoming Race May 7
Showtime Southern 500


Race Capsule

What: Race 10 of 36 on Sprint Cup circuit

Where: Darlington Raceway, Darlington, SC

When: May 7, 2011 7:44 pm EDT

Laps: 367

Track Length: 1.366 miles

Race Length: 501.00 miles



Most Cup Wins (since 1975)

Dale Earnhardt: 9


Sprint Cup
Date Race Name Pole Winner Race Winner Make Purse


5/8/10 Showtime Southern 500 Jamie McMurray Denny Hamlin Toyota $5,547,815
5/9/09 Southern 500 Matt Kenseth Mark Martin Chevrolet $5,666,384
5/10/08 Dodge Challenger 500 Greg Biffle Kyle Busch Toyota $5,618,601
5/13/07 Dodge Avenger 500 Clint Bowyer Jeff Gordon Chevrolet $5,507,009
 

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Dodge Motorsports Notes & Quotes - NNS Race Advance - Darlington

May 4, 2011 , DARLINGTON, S.C. - For Immediate Release
Dodge Motorsports Notes & Quotes
NNS Race Advance
Royal Purple 200
Darlington Raceway
Friday, May 6, 2011



DODGE IN THE NASCAR NATIONWIDE SERIES

· Dodge won its first Nationwide championship last year when Penske Racing’s Brad Keselowski claimed the driver’s title.

· Dodge is fielding two entries in the Nationwide Series this year from the Penske Racing stable. Sam Hornish Jr. will join teammate Keselowski for a limited race schedule in 2011.

· Dodge has 34 NNS wins, seven of which came in 2010.

THE NUMBERS

· Dodge’s Brad Keselowski has posted top-five finishes in his last four Nationwide starts and has finished in the top 10 the last seven outings.

· There have been 107 Sprint Cup races at Darlington Raceway. Nine other South Carolina tracks have hosted another 110 Cup races. The three hosting the largest number are Columbia Speedway (43), Greenville-Pickens Speedway (29) and Spartanburg’s Piedmont Interstate Fairgrounds (22).

DID YOU KNOW

· Dodge has one NASCAR Nationwide Series win at Darlington (Jamie McMurray – 2004).

· Keselowski has seven-consecutive NNS finishes inside the top 10.

BRAD KESELOWSKI – No. 22 Ruby Tuesday Dodge Challenger R/T

Career Starts: 148

Wins: 12

Top Fives: 64

Top 10s: 89

Poles: 8

Career Highlights:

· Keselowski’s last NASCAR Nationwide Series win came at Gateway last fall (13 races).

· He is the defending NASCAR Nationwide champion.

· Earned Penske Racing its first NASCAR champion last season.

· In 2010, he set career-bests in wins (6), top five’s (26), top 10s (29) and poles (5).

· Set a NASCAR record 102 consecutive Nationwide Series races without a DNF (Did Not Finish) that ended at this year’s season-opening race at Daytona Int’l Speedway.

· First Nationwide victory came at Nashville Superspeedway (2008).

STATS OF THE WEEK

· The most Nationwide Series wins by Dodge in a single season is 11 (2005).

· Brad Keselowski will be seeking his 13th career Nationwide win Friday night at Darlington.

KESELOWSKI AT DARLINGTON RACEWAY

· Keselowski is making his fifth-career Nationwide Series start at Darlington Raceway.

· Highest starting position: Third – 2010

· Highest finishing position: Seventh – 2010

· Average starting position: 13.5

· Average finishing position: 17.2

· Laps Led: 0

DODGE QUOTES:

“It took a few races, but I think we’re close to returning to our winning ways with the No. 22 Ruby Tuesday Dodge Challenger. This is, basically, a brand-new team and we needed some time to figure each other out. We’re on a nice streak of top-fives at the moment and we’ve had cars capable of winning at several tracks this year. Darlington always provides us with one of the toughest tests of the year, but we are working well together and I think we all expect to contend for the win, no matter the track. It would mean a lot to me if I could go to Victory Lane at Darlington, a place where names like Petty, Yarborough, Pearson and Earnhardt have won.”
Brad Keselowski – No. 22 Ruby Tuesday Dodge Challenger R/T
 

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Dodge Motorsports Notes & Quotes - NSCS Race Advance - Darlington

May 3, 2011 , DARLINGTON, S.C. - For Immediate Release
Dodge Motorsports Notes & Quotes
NSCS Race Advance
Showtime Southern 500
Darlington Raceway
Saturday, May 7, 2011



DODGE NEWS AND NOTES
· Dodge’s Kurt Busch is sixth in the Sprint Cup point standings. In 14 career starts at Darlington, Busch has two top-five and five top-10 finishes.

· Dodge’s Brad Keselowski has an average finishing position of 9.5 at Darlington Raceway in two previous starts, a personal best in Sprint Cup Series competition at a track. Keselowski finished seventh in 2009 and 12th in 2010.

DODGE AT DARLINGTON RACEWAY
· Dodge has five wins at Darlington Raceway – Buck Baker, Buddy Baker (2), Ward Burton and Sterling Marlin.

· Buck Baker posted Dodge’s first win at Darlington in the 1964 Southern 500; Sterling Marlin scored the last Dodge win at Darlington, taking the victory in the 2002 spring race.

· Dodge earned back-to-back wins at Darlington in 2001 (Burton) and 2002 (Marlin).

· Kurt Busch (2001) is the lone current Dodge driver to start from the pole at Darlington. He has earned the top qualifying spot twice in his career at the 1.366-mile track.

THE DODGE BOYS
· Dodge has 207 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series victories.

· Dodge’s most recent win came at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Kurt Busch led 252 of 400 laps en route to victory in the 2010 Coca-Cola 600.

· Dodge claimed two Sprint Cup victories in 2010.

· Dodge teams have posted 47 wins since the manufacturer’s return to NASCAR’s premier series in 2001 after being out of the sport since 1977.

· Dodge has posted wins each season since its return in 2001 including seven wins twice (2002 and 2006).

DODGE HISTORICAL DATA
· First Dodge NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Win: Lee Petty, 2/1/53, West Palm, Fla., 100 miles, .5-mile track.

· First Dodge NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Win at Darlington: Buck Baker, 09/7/1964, Southern 500, 117.757 mph avg. speed.

· Last Dodge NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Win at Darlington: Sterling Marlin, 03/17/2002, Carolina Dodge Dealers 400, 126.07 mph avg. speed.

INSIDE THE NUMBERS
· Kurt Busch’s loss to Ricky Craven by 0.002 seconds on March 16, 2003 is recently tied at Talladega (April 17, 2011) as the closest margin of victory since NASCAR instituted electronic timing in 1993.

· Dodge has started from the pole eight times at the track labeled “Too Tough To Tame”.

ODDS AND ENDS
· Kurt Busch will be testing for Goodyear at Indianapolis Motor Speedway this week (May 4-5) in preparation for the July 31 Brickyard 400.

TURN 2 AT DARLINGTON
“It’s the coolest turn in NASCAR. I sat on the pole here my rookie year and did it because I didn't know what I was doing. I didn't know any better not to lift. It's definitely a challenging corner that will test everybody. It will separate the men from the boys."
Kurt Busch, No. 22 Shell/Pennzoil Dodge Charger R/T

FROM THE ENGINEER
“Four hundred laps at Richmond last week was a long night for drivers with ill-handling race cars. Fast forward to this week at Darlington and 500 miles with a poor handling race car won't be tough, it'll be downright dangerous. The pole speed at Richmond last week was 128 mph; the pole speed at Darlington last spring was 180 mph. Teams will think long and hard about the setup they’re considering for a chassis that will be turning 180 mph laps. Driving a tight chassis for 500 miles at Darlington will not be comfortable for a driver, but driving a loose chassis for 500 miles at Darlington will be impossible."
Howard Comstock, Dodge Motorsports Engineering


DODGE MOTORSPORTS QUOTE OF THE WEEK
“Darlington is Darlington. Everybody respects this track the same way and you have to give and take, no matter if you’re rookie of a veteran. You always try to find yourself in good position out on the track versus compromising ones. With double-file restarts and the green-white-checkers, you have to put on a different thinking cap.”
Kurt Busch, No. 22 Shell/Pennzoil Dodge Charger R/T

2011 SPRINT CUP SERIES SEASON BEST

· Kurt Busch Start: 2nd – Phoenix
Finish: 5th – Daytona

· Brad Keselowski Start: 9th – Phoenix
Finish: 15th – Phoenix

· Robby Gordon Start: 30th – Daytona
Finish: 16th – Daytona

DARLINGTON RACEWAY BEST

· Kurt Busch Start – Pole – 2001 & 2004
Finish – Second – 2003

· Brad Keselowski Start – Ninth – 2010 - 2010
Finish – Seventh - 2009

· Robby Gordon Start – 22nd – 2002
Finish – Fourth – 2004

FROM THE CREW CHIEF
“It’s always a challenge to run at Darlington. There is a fine line of racing other people and racing the track. You need to find a good race pace and work on handling to keep the car turning from the center out to corner exit. People get in trouble by racing each other too hard and the ‘Lady in Black’ will reach out and grab you. Race hard and race the track and you will put yourself in contention for the win at the end of the night.”
Paul Wolfe, crew chief, No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge Charger R/T

DODGE QUOTES
“Darlington, what an amazing track! How fast it is in (turns) one and two and how slow it is in (turns) three and four. My first time qualifying, Turn 2 (at Darlington) was one of the most exhilarating experiences because I was able to hold it wide open through there when you weren’t supposed to. It’s a sense of being young and dumb and not realizing the exact reality of how fast you can go through a corner.”
Kurt Busch, No. 22 Shell/Pennzoil Dodge Charger R/T

“Darlington is a track of history. It has a lot of nostalgia. It use to be a great track before they repaved it; when you had to watch how much gas you had to give the car. It’s still abrasive on tires. You have to be careful coming on to pit road and coming off of pit road. Track position is very important because the straightaways are so narrow. In the corners you run an opposite line; you run up next to the wall instead of down at the bottom of the race track which is 180 degrees off of what we normally run.”
Robby Gordon, No. 7 Fast Five/SPEED Energy Dodge R/T

“It's all about winning and putting our Miller Lite Dodge in victory lane. We want to get our mile-and-a-half program running better. I think we have some ideas on what we need to do to get our Penske Dodge's more consistent.”
Brad Keselowski, No 2 Miller Lite Dodge Charger R/T
 

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May 4, 2011

Busch needs to stop ranting all the time



As a lot of people heard over the radio Saturday night in Richmond, Kurt Busch was pretty outspoken about how he sees things at Penske Racing right now.

Unfortunately, he had nothing positive to say.

Fellow Penske driver Brad Kesolowski enjoyed a good qualifying run, but it seemed as soon as the green flag waved, he fell back and never recovered.

Over on his teammate’s side of things, obviously things are not too healthy in the No. 22 camp. That group has been in the top 10 in points all season long, but have only been able to do that by salvaging good finishes. They only have one top-five finish, and that was clear back in February in the Daytona 500.

The thing I see is the dissension among Kurt and the team on the radio when things aren’t going well. That doesn’t fix it or make things better.

I actually am shocked that Roger Penske, the owner and the legend that he is, hasn’t put his foot down harder about this situation.

Look at the No. 48 team of Jimmie Johnson at Richmond International Raceway. They weren’t much better than Busch. However, they worked on things all night. They kept their cool and were able to salvage a top-10 finish out of the night. They are a classic example of working through things as a team and turning a lousy night into an OK night.


Getting at each other, screaming, yelling and cussing people out over the radio accomplishes nothing. Well, I take that back, because actually all it does is take a bad situation and make it worse.

If Roger Penske would ask me today what one thing he could do to make his teams better, I would say getting the guys to work together better when things aren’t good.

I think it all has to come from the top. Roger Penske has a lot of people in place that run those race teams for him. They are good people and they do a good job. But when you hear the things we heard over the radio this past weekend, I only see one guy that can put a stop to it, and that’s Roger Penske.

Kurt Busch is an awesome race car driver. He’s a NASCAR champion. Kurt is an awesome guy. I consider Kurt a friend of mine. With that said, Kurt has to get his emotions under control. When he climbs in that car, puts that helmet on and then things go wrong, he goes berserk.

It doesn’t matter who the crew chief is, Kurt has to learn to control his emotions.

This was a little bit of an issue when Kurt drove for Jack Roush, and now it is becoming an issue at Penske Racing. All it does is beat the guys that work on that race car into the ground. It’s not going to make them work harder. It’s not going to make them do things different. If anything, it probably makes them question why they want to sacrifice all they do for Kurt.

There is no reason in the world, with the caliber of drivers that Kurt and Brad are, that they should be running as bad as they are running. It’s a downside unfortunately of being basically the only Dodges week in and week out in the field.

When you get the upper hand on something, well, things are pretty good when you are on this Dodge Island by yourself. However, when things aren’t good, it can be really, really bad. That seemingly is what is going on being a Dodge team.

Penske Racing has to get its arms around this. I don’t think changing personnel is the answer. You have to get everyone on the same page, whether it’s when you are running really well or running poorly. That’s the first order of business for them.

If you get that and things still don’t improve, then you have to start asking about what could be done differently personnel-wise.

 

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NASCAR Results

Status: Final

Last Updated: Friday, May 6, 2011 10:55 pm, EDT
Royal Purple 200

Darlington Raceway


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

1 Kyle Busch (18) Toyota 48/5 147 49 $38,825 Chart
2 Denny Hamlin (20) Toyota 42/0 147 0 $24,250 Chart
3 Elliott Sadler (2) Chevrolet 42/1 147 23 $28,768 Chart
4 Justin Allgaier (31) Chevrolet 41/1 147 13 $22,443 Chart
5 Steve Wallace (66) Toyota 39/0 147 0 $21,143 Chart
6 Clint Bowyer (33) Chevrolet 38/0 147 0 $14,725 Chart
7 Kasey Kahne (38) Chevrolet 38/1 147 42 $12,585 Chart
8 Reed Sorenson (32) Chevrolet 36/0 147 0 $18,913 Chart
9 Jason Leffler (30) Chevrolet 35/0 147 0 $18,643 Chart
10 Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (6) Ford 34/0 147 0 $20,643 Chart
11 Kenny Wallace (09) Toyota 33/0 147 0 $18,693 Chart
12 Joe Nemechek (87) Toyota 32/0 146 0 $19,618 Chart
13 Scott Riggs (23) Dodge 31/0 146 0 $19,268 Chart
14 Josh Wise (7) Chevrolet 30/0 146 0 $18,018 Chart
15 Mike Wallace (01) Chevrolet 29/0 146 0 $21,893 Chart
16 Danny Efland (39) Ford 28/0 146 0 $18,043 Chart
17 Chris Buescher (16) Ford 27/0 146 0 $17,793 Chart
18 Blake Koch (81) Dodge 26/0 146 0 $18,743 Chart
19 Timmy Hill (15) Ford 25/0 146 0 $17,693 Chart
20 Carl Edwards (60) Ford 25/1 144 20 $11,875 Chart
21 Kevin Lepage (52) Chevrolet 23/0 143 0 $11,100 Chart
22 Morgan Shepherd (89) Chevrolet 22/0 143 0 $17,518 Chart
23 Dennis Setzer (70) Chevrolet 21/0 140 0 $17,868 Chart
24 Derrike Cope (28) Chevrolet 20/0 135 0 $17,418 Chart
25 Ryan Truex (99) Toyota 19/0 132 0 $17,818 Chart
26 Jeremy Clements (51) Chevrolet 18/0 110 0 $17,493 Chart
27 Brad Keselowski (22) Dodge 17/0 99 0 $11,800 Chart
28 Aric Almirola (88) Chevrolet 16/0 95 0 $17,193 Chart
29 Brian Scott (11) Toyota 15/0 94 0 $17,158 Chart
30 Mike Bliss (19) Chevrolet 14/0 94 0 $17,818 Chart
31 Michael Annett (62) Toyota 13/0 89 0 $17,063 Chart
32 Jennifer Jo Cobb (113) Ford 12/0 42 0 $10,550 Chart
33 Carl Long (141) Ford 11/0 29 0 $10,530 Chart
34 Jeff Green (44) Chevrolet 10/0 26 0 $10,510 Chart
35 Tim Andrews (79) Ford 9/0 19 0 $10,465 Chart
36 Eric McClure (14) Chevrolet 8/0 12 0 $16,913 Chart
37 Johnny Chapman (175) Ford 7/0 12 0 $10,425 Chart
38 Scott Wimmer (40) Chevrolet 6/0 11 0 $10,350 Chart
39 Matthew Carter (168) Chevrolet 5/0 9 0 $10,315 Chart
40 John Jackson (172) Toyota 4/0 8 0 $10,290 Chart
41 Mike Harmon (174) Chevrolet 3/0 7 0 $10,265 Chart
42 David Green (49) Chevrolet 0/0 2 0 $10,235 Chart
43 James Hylton (0) Chevrolet 0/0 2 0 $10,188 Chart
 

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Dodge Motorsports Notes & Quotes – NNS Race Final – Darlington
Published on May 6, 2011 by Official Release


Friday, May 6, 2011

Dodge Motorsports PR

Darlington Raceway

Royal Purple 200 Post-Race Quotes

NASCAR Nationwide Series


BRAD KESELOWSKI (No. 22 Ruby Tuesday Dodge Challenger R/T) Finished 27th “What a bum deal. Some guys just go too impatient on a restart and we got collected. Guys know that it’s ‘go time’ and just overdrive the race track. I got hit from the side and then just got run over. I checked up, but the guy behind me couldn’t slow down fast enough and ran over us. I thought I had it saved when I kept it off the wall, but then I get hit again. We tried to fix it under yellow, but there was just too much damage. We had to take it behind the wall, lost a ton of laps, made it back out on the track, but there was just too much damage inside the front-end.

“A tough deal for this Ruby Tuesday Dodge Challenger. Our car was really good in the first-third of the corners, but not great off. I told Todd (Gordon, crew chief) that I thought our car was a top-three car through the one-third (of the corner), but 20th off. The guys worked hard all night. It’s a tough deal for them. I love this track and really wanted to get a win here. Our finish certainly doesn’t represent how strong our car was tonight.”
 

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Kurt Busch Sounds Off - ESPN Video - ESPN

Updated: May 6, 2011

Kurt Busch says rant helped

DARLINGTON, S.C. -- Kurt Busch says his profanity-laced tirade last weekend at Richmond International Raceway led to a restructuring at Penske Racing that will produce better cars.

"Instead of talking about it we're reacting to it," Busch said on Friday at Darlington Raceway.



Newton: Cover your ears

Note to any readers who may be offended by this column: Scanner conversations between driver and crew chief in the heat of battle aren't meant for the faint of heart. Enter if you dare... Story

Busch did a lot of talking at Richmond, saying over his in-car radio, "We look like a monkey f------- a football. The f----- Penske cars are a f------- joke."

Busch called out technical director Tom German and anybody else within shouting distance after watching his team drop from first to sixth in the standings over the past five races.

He said the reaction to his comments opened up the lines of communication to make changes necessary for improvement, specifically in the chassis.

"I feel like we've made great adjustments to what we're doing internally and that's to understand how to build a better car," Busch said. "There's been great feedback. Everybody is listening.

"Yeah, it wasn't the best forum to go out there Saturday night and talk about things. We've just in my mind seen things deteriorate and I've held it in and held it in and it wasn't the right spot to do so. Now with people listening I think we're going to make some good strides in trying to advance it."

Busch said the restructuring had to do more with communication than moving people around.

"This weekend here at the racetrack I see four engineers I haven't seen at the track -- ever," the 2004 Sprint Cup champion said. "I see them at the shop, but never at the track."

Busch was third-fastest in Friday's first practice before hitting the wall with a blown tire just before heavy rain came. He is optimistic that even in the backup car he'll be competitive for Saturday night's Southern 500.

"When you have communication there it works," Busch said. "When you have hard-headedness it doesn't work sometimes."

Busch said getting teammate Brad Keselowski, 28th in points, competing for top 10s and wins is key.

"It's up to all of us to make us better at the end of the day," he said.

Busch said there's always been an open door policy at Penske Racing, but "things just happen slowly sometimes." He acknowledged the cars haven't been up to par since early last summer after he won the All-Star race and Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway in May.

Things really deteriorated during the Chase when Busch had an average finish of 17.8 over the final 10 races.

"When you see things from the cockpit you notice how fast things go and where you're struggling," Busch said. "And if it's a common theme, yet you continue to knock on the same door and nothing is happening, then there are issues.

"We need to make sure egos are put aside. I feel like we have a great forum with the way things have opened up this week. It's not just being pushed under a rug now."

 

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NASCAR Qualifying

Status: Field Set

Last Updated: Friday, May 6, 2011 7:21 pm, EDT
Showtime Southern 500

Darlington Raceway


Order Driver (No.) Car Qualifying Speed

1 Kasey Kahne (4) Toyota 181.254
2 Ryan Newman (39) Chevrolet 180.429
3 Denny Hamlin (11) Toyota 180.132
4 Carl Edwards (99) Ford 179.980
5 Jeff Gordon (24) Chevrolet 179.829
6 Marcos Ambrose (9) Ford 179.671
7 A J Allmendinger (43) Ford 179.448
8 Brian Vickers (83) Toyota 179.259
9 Tony Stewart (14) Chevrolet 179.108
10 Brad Keselowski (2) Dodge 179.082
11 David Ragan (6) Ford 179.076
12 Jamie McMurray (1) Chevrolet 178.880
13 Kevin Harvick (29) Chevrolet 178.588
14 Kyle Busch (18) Toyota 178.445
15 Bobby Labonte (47) Toyota 178.381
16 Juan Pablo Montoya (42) Chevrolet 178.264
17 Joey Logano (20) Toyota 178.161
18 Paul Menard (27) Chevrolet 178.103
19 Jimmie Johnson (48) Chevrolet 178.038
20 Matt Kenseth (17) Ford 177.993
21 Travis Kvapil (38) Ford 177.987
22 Greg Biffle (16) Ford 177.955
23 Regan Smith (78) Chevrolet 177.871
24 Jeff Burton (31) Chevrolet 177.826
25 Kurt Busch (22) Dodge 177.755
26 Clint Bowyer (33) Chevrolet 177.723
27 Landon Cassill (09) Chevrolet 177.672
28 Mark Martin (5) Chevrolet 177.614
29 Martin Truex Jr. (56) Toyota 177.083
30 Dale Earnhardt Jr. (88) Chevrolet 176.720
31 J.J. Yeley (46) Chevrolet 176.682
32 Casey Mears (13) Toyota 176.391
33 T.J. Bell (150) Toyota 176.239
34 Mike Skinner (60) Toyota 176.201
35 Tony Raines (37) Ford 176.189
36 David Reutimann (00) Toyota 176.125
37 David Gilliland (34) Ford 175.472
38 David Stremme (30) Chevrolet 175.409
39 Michael McDowell (66) Toyota 175.353
40 Ken Schrader (32) Ford 175.291
41 Dave Blaney (36) Chevrolet 174.229
42 Robby Gordon (7) Dodge 174.167
43 Joe Nemechek (87) Toyota 174.600
44 Scott Riggs (181) DNQ 174.093
45 Andy Lally (71) DNQ 171.866
46 Brian Keselowski (192) DNQ 170.892
 

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Dodge Motorsports Notes & Quotes - NSCS Final Qualifying - Darlington

May 6, 2011 , DARLINGTON, S.C. - Friday, May 6, 2011


BRAD KESELOWSKI (No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge Charger R/T) Qualified 10th
QUALIFYING RUN INITIALLY WASN’T RECORDED: “There’s a couple different ways that you can look at it. Either we were too fast to be scored or weren’t good enough to be scored (laughs). I was nervous for a minute that I was going to have to run another qualifying lap and that was the last thing that I wanted to do. It was a good lap in this Miller Lite Dodge. The car felt OK, not great, but OK.

”I’ve qualified well here the first couple of times that I’ve raced in the Cup Series and today was no different. To put our Miller Lite Dodge in the top-10 for qualifying is awesome. Track position is key here and starting up front will certainly help. I think that we have speed in the car and it seems to handle each end of the race track. Now, we have to race like we qualify.”

KURT BUSCH (No. 22 Shell/Pennzoil Dodge Charger R/T) Qualified 25th
“Qualifying at the “Lady in Black” is never easy and trying to do it with a back-up car is a bigger challenge. We had to go to the back-up car after we cut a right-front (tire) in practice and once the rain came in and wiped out the rest of practice, we just didn’t get the chance to put any laps on the car to shake it down. It is what it is. We dug ourselves a hole and will have to fight our way up through the pack tomorrow night in our Shell/Pennzoil Dodge.
 

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Dodge Motorsports Notes & Quotes - Keys for Success - Darlington

May 6, 2011 , DARLINGTON, S.C. - Friday, May 6, 2011



Keys for Success: SHOWTIME Southern 500

DARLINGTON, S.C. (May 6, 2011) – Each race weekend, selected Dodge Motorsports engineers, Penske Racing crew chiefs, drivers or engine specialists give their insight on the ‘Keys for Success’ for the upcoming race. This week, the green flag drops on the SHOWTIME Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway.

Track: Darlington Raceway (Race 10 of 36 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series)

Race: SHOWTIME Southern 500 (367 laps/501.322 miles)

Trivia Question: Harold Brasington set out in the fall of 1949 to construct a 1.25-mile speedway on 70 acres of land purchased from Sherman Ramsey that had once produced peanuts and cotton. His plans called for a true oval, but what emerged was a distinctive egg-shaped design. Why? (Answer Below)

HOWARD COMSTOCK (Dodge Motorsports Engineering)

Two or Four: “It might be a whole new tire game this weekend. Last year, we saw that two-tire stops were the right call, especially late in the race. I think it’s going to be two days of looking at tire wear and gauging how much (tire) fall-off there is and how long the left-sides will go. You can always change two tires on a fuel stop with the new fueling system, but it may be unnecessary to put four on, especially late in the race.”

Old vs. New: “The “new” Darlington is not exactly like the “old” Darlington. Yes, it’s still tough. Yes, the corners are still similar. Yes, you still have to understand the track and you have to race the track. But, we’ve proven over the last two years that with the new track, surface you have to race the other competitors as well. Pit strategy is important. When you pit for tires versus the competitors is important. While this track surface still has a lot of grip, you’re going to have to race the competitors as much as you race the track. It’s not so much just racing ‘The Lady in Black’ as it use to be.”

Answer to trivia question: The egg-shaped design was necessary because Harold Brasington, a retired racer, promised Sherman Ramsey the track wouldn’t disturb his minnow pond on the west side of the property.
 

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Kurt Busch Says Team Changing Way It Builds Cars
Written by: Bob Pockrass
SceneDaily.com
NASCAR News, Blogs, Race Schedules, Photos, Videos | SceneDaily.com Date: 05/07/2011
Location: Darlington, SC



Kurt Busch said Penske Racing officials are listening to his complaints about the race cars and that there will be changes to how the cars are built.

Busch singled out technical director Tom German when speaking to his team over the in-car radio during the race last week at Richmond International Raceway.

He said the cars were a joke and that German doesn’t like driver input. His expletive-laced rant continued throughout the race.


Busch said there are four engineers who typically work in the shop that are working on his car this weekend at Darlington Raceway and some restructuring as far as how things are being communicated.

“There’s been great feedback,” Busch said Friday prior to qualifying at Darlington. “Everybody is listening. Yeah, it wasn’t the best forum to go out there on Saturday night and talk about things. We’ve just, in my mind, seen things deteriorate and I’ve held it in, held it in.

“It wasn’t the right spot to do so [to speak]. But now with people listening, I think we’re going to make some good strides in trying to advance it. … Crossing the line and signaling one person out? Well, he’s the one person that’s got us in this position and it’s up to all of us to make sure we’re better at the end of the day.”

Busch said the organization needs to react quicker to its struggles, that it might have missed it on chassis design and said “when there is hard-headedness, it doesn’t work sometimes” and can see the writing on the wall as he has slid from first to sixth in points in six races.

“Things just happen slowly sometimes,” Busch said. “When you see things from the cockpit, you notice how fast things go and where you’re struggling and if it’s a common theme and yet you’re continuing to knock on the same door and nothing is happening, then there’s issue.

“We need to make sure egos get put aside. … I feel like we’ve got a great forum with the way things have been opened up this week. It’s not just being pushed under the rug now.”

So are people listening?

“There are times when things are absorbed and then there are times when I feel like it just bounces off the wall and I have to continue to shovel it back in there,” Busch said. “We know that we can be a better team and communication is what does that.”

While he remains in the top 10 in point, Busch has often finished better than he was running during the race. He has had finishes of 17th, 16th, 10th, 18th and 22nd in the last five races.

“[We’re] getting a general idea of what some of the actual issues are,” Busch said. “Instead of just talking about it, we’re reacting to it. … We’ve made great adjustments with what we’re doing internally, and that’s to understand how to build a better car.”

Not only has Busch struggled, his teammate, Brad Keselowski, has not had a good season. He is 28th in the standings.

“I’m doing my best out there I possibly can,” Busch said. “I want to win. I don’t want to finish 15th or 22nd like I did last week and say that we did our best. No, we didn’t because we would have gotten a top-five or had a chance at winning.

“For me, Brad hasn’t beaten me all that much at Penske. I didn’t get beat much by [former teammate David] Stremme [in 2009]. I didn’t get beat much by Sam [Hornish in 2009 and 2010]. The last time I felt equivalent was when [Ryan] Newman was there [before he left in 2008].”
 

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NASCAR Results

Status: Final

Last Updated: Sunday, May 8, 2011 1:35 am, EDT
Showtime Southern 500

Darlington Raceway


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

1 Regan Smith (78) Chevrolet 47/4 370 11 $272,745 Chart
2 Carl Edwards (99) Ford 43/1 370 57 $248,966 Chart
3 Brad Keselowski (2) Dodge 41/0 370 0 $178,358 Chart
4 Kasey Kahne (4) Toyota 42/2 370 124 $164,608 Chart
5 Ryan Newman (39) Chevrolet 40/1 370 28 $165,025 Chart
6 Denny Hamlin (11) Toyota 38/0 370 0 $152,000 Chart
7 Tony Stewart (14) Chevrolet 38/1 370 6 $141,758 Chart
8 Greg Biffle (16) Ford 36/0 370 0 $117,350 Chart
9 Jamie McMurray (1) Chevrolet 36/1 370 13 $128,614 Chart
10 Martin Truex Jr. (56) Toyota 35/1 370 1 $100,550 Chart
11 Kyle Busch (18) Toyota 34/1 370 78 $134,991 Chart
12 Jeff Gordon (24) Chevrolet 32/0 370 0 $126,836 Chart
13 Marcos Ambrose (9) Ford 31/0 370 0 $120,066 Chart
14 Dale Earnhardt Jr. (88) Chevrolet 30/0 370 0 $96,100 Chart
15 Jimmie Johnson (48) Chevrolet 29/0 370 0 $137,761 Chart
16 David Reutimann (00) Toyota 28/0 370 0 $114,408 Chart
17 Kevin Harvick (29) Chevrolet 28/1 370 47 $141,111 Chart
18 Bobby Labonte (47) Toyota 27/1 370 2 $112,270 Chart
19 Mark Martin (5) Chevrolet 25/0 369 0 $92,150 Chart
20 A J Allmendinger (43) Ford 24/0 369 0 $121,486 Chart
21 David Ragan (6) Ford 23/0 369 0 $91,125 Chart
22 Paul Menard (27) Chevrolet 22/0 369 0 $89,850 Chart
23 Juan Pablo Montoya (42) Chevrolet 21/0 368 0 $119,758 Chart
24 Dave Blaney (36) Chevrolet 20/0 367 0 $99,258 Chart
25 Matt Kenseth (17) Ford 19/0 366 0 $117,486 Chart
26 Travis Kvapil (38) Ford 18/0 365 0 $90,633 Chart
27 Kurt Busch (22) Dodge 17/0 364 0 $119,775 Chart
28 Ken Schrader (32) Ford 17/1 364 2 $87,822 Chart
29 Landon Cassill (09) Chevrolet 15/0 364 0 $77,075 Chart
30 Casey Mears (13) Toyota 15/1 364 1 $77,900 Chart
31 Clint Bowyer (33) Chevrolet 13/0 363 0 $118,083 Chart
32 David Gilliland (34) Ford 12/0 362 0 $73,475 Chart
33 Jeff Burton (31) Chevrolet 11/0 358 0 $82,525 Chart
34 Brian Vickers (83) Toyota 10/0 332 0 $100,664 Chart
35 Joey Logano (20) Toyota 9/0 318 0 $81,200 Chart
36 Tony Raines (37) Ford 8/0 172 0 $72,775 Chart
37 Robby Gordon (7) Dodge 7/0 87 0 $72,585 Chart
38 T.J. Bell (150) Toyota 0/0 67 0 $72,350 Chart
39 J.J. Yeley (46) Chevrolet 5/0 34 0 $72,225 Chart
40 Mike Skinner (60) Toyota 4/0 29 0 $72,050 Chart
41 David Stremme (30) Chevrolet 3/0 27 0 $71,875 Chart
42 Joe Nemechek (87) Toyota 2/0 22 0 $71,780 Chart
43 Michael McDowell (66) Toyota 1/0 7 0 $72,139 Chart
 

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Standings
Sprint Cup

05/08/2011

Rank (+/-) Drivers Total Pts Behind Starts Poles Wins Top 5 Top 10 DNF Winnings

1 - Carl Edwards 378 Leader 10 2 1 6 8 0 $2,932,748
2 - Jimmie Johnson 355 23 10 0 1 4 6 0 $2,015,498
3 - Kyle Busch 339 39 10 0 2 5 6 2 $1,978,323
4 - Dale Earnhardt Jr. 331 47 10 1 0 2 5 1 $1,380,863
5 - Kevin Harvick 328 50 10 0 2 4 5 1 $1,953,283
6 +2 Ryan Newman 317 61 10 0 0 4 5 0 $1,659,488
7 +3 Tony Stewart 313 65 10 0 0 1 4 0 $1,743,693
8 -2 Kurt Busch 306 72 10 0 0 1 5 0 $1,985,476
9 -2 Clint Bowyer 297 81 10 0 0 2 5 2 $1,917,918
10 -1 Matt Kenseth 295 83 10 1 1 3 4 2 $1,923,973
11 - A J Allmendinger 287 91 10 0 0 0 2 0 $1,477,773
12 +2 Greg Biffle 286 92 10 0 0 1 4 1 $1,368,263
13 -1 Juan Pablo Montoya 283 95 10 2 0 2 4 0 $1,737,193
14 -1 Mark Martin 281 97 10 0 0 0 3 1 $1,201,013
15 +3 Kasey Kahne 278 100 10 1 0 2 5 1 $1,417,469
16 +1 Denny Hamlin 276 102 10 0 0 1 3 1 $1,673,968
17 -1 Jeff Gordon 272 106 10 1 1 3 3 2 $1,665,423
18 -3 Paul Menard 271 107 10 0 0 2 3 1 $1,186,038
19 - David Ragan 254 124 10 1 0 1 3 2 $1,279,763
20 +2 Martin Truex Jr. 245 133 10 0 0 0 2 2 $1,200,763
21 +3 Jamie McMurray 243 135 10 1 0 0 2 1 $1,513,728
22 +1 Marcos Ambrose 240 138 10 0 0 1 2 0 $1,438,598
23 -3 Jeff Burton 225 153 10 0 0 0 0 2 $1,209,001
24 +1 Bobby Labonte 225 153 10 0 0 1 1 1 $1,676,313
25 -4 Joey Logano 221 157 10 0 0 0 1 1 $1,164,863
26 +2 Brad Keselowski 220 158 10 0 0 1 1 1 $1,296,144
27 +2 Regan Smith 216 162 10 0 1 1 2 2 $1,538,438
28 -1 David Reutimann 215 163 10 0 0 0 0 0 $1,321,893
29 -3 Brian Vickers 199 179 10 0 0 0 3 0 $1,311,078
30 - David Gilliland 180 198 10 0 0 1 2 2 $1,611,295
31 +1 Dave Blaney 156 222 10 0 0 0 0 3 $1,094,297
32 +1 Casey Mears 147 231 9 0 0 0 0 0 $754,988
33 -2 Robby Gordon 144 234 10 0 0 0 0 2 $1,066,024
34 - Andy Lally 116 262 8 0 0 0 0 0 $907,123
35 - Bill Elliott 100 278 5 0 0 0 0 0 $663,887
36 - Tony Raines 100 278 8 0 0 0 0 1 $623,800
37 - Ken Schrader 73 305 5 0 0 0 0 0 $430,049
38 - Terry Labonte 40 338 2 0 0 0 0 1 $414,838
39 +1 J.J. Yeley 32 346 9 0 0 0 0 9 $857,038
40 -1 Michael McDowell 30 348 8 0 0 0 0 7 $612,810
41 - Michael Waltrip 20 358 2 0 0 0 0 1 $396,213
42 - David Stremme 13 365 2 0 0 0 0 1 $138,900
43 - Brian Keselowski 3 375 1 0 0 0 0 1 $273,663
44 - Steve Park 2 376 1 0 0 0 0 1 $78,855

Sprint Cup Series
Latest Race May 7
Showtime Southern 500
 

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Dodge Motorsports Notes & Quotes - NSCS Race Final - Darlington

May 8, 2011 , DARLINGTON, S.C. - Saturday, May 7, 2011


BRAD KESELOWSKI (No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge Charger R/T) Finished Third
“It was our best finish, but not our best run. We were probably a 15th-place car. We played some strategy there at the end. We’ve had a couple of races that I thought we were pretty decent – Bristol and so forth. We’ve caught some bad breaks. Tonight, we honestly weren’t all that good and caught some good breaks. We stayed out, made something of those last few restarts and was able to get a third-place finish out of it. I’m proud of the result, but not how we got it. We’ve got a long ways to go to be fast and to earn it. We’ve got a lot of work to do. A good team effort to get a solid finish out of a mediocre day.

“A nice comeback for this Miller Lite Dodge tonight. We played the strategy card tonight. That was our only shot. It all worked out. We had a shot late in the race and that’s cool. The last restart, I was just trying to stay in my own lane and stay with Regan (Smith). What a crazy finish. I’m happy with the result, but not happy with the way we got it. We want to earn them because we have fast race cars. We’ve got some work to do to make our cars better.”

CAN YOU TALK ABOUT THAT LAST RESTART? “I knew that I could time a run on that last restart and give Regan a good push. Carl (Edwards) was really fast behind me. I ended up giving him (Regan) a huge push into Turn 1 and we hooked up and set sail. I’m really happy for Regan. I wanted to make sure that if I couldn’t win, he did. A win for the underdogs tonight, that’s for sure.

“We got up front and had a great finish. The bottom line is that we need to make our cars faster. We really have been struggling and probably are a 15-to-20th-place car lately. We just made the right pit call today to be up front at the end. We have a lot of work to do. This is a great finish.”

THE DECISION TO STAY OUT ON OLD TIRES, WAS THAT YOUR DECISION OR PAUL’S? “I kind of was yelling at Paul all day and by the end, he told me to do what I wanted to do. I saw everyone pitting and kind of figured that they would wreck on one of the restarts. I thought that it would come down to a green-white-checkered and it did. We caught a good break there. There’s no guarantees that it will happen. I was able to hold off the 4 car and everybody but the 99 at the end.”

PAUL WOLFE (Crew Chief, No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge Charger R/T)
“It was a great night for as tough a season that it's been. We didn't have the greatest car, but Brad hung in there a drove a great race. We kept working on the Miller Lite Dodge and pit strategy just worked out for us."

CAN YOU TALK ABOUT THE DECISION NOT TO PIT ON THE LATE CAUTION? “Brad and I talked about it and we knew track position was everything, so we gambled and it paid off.”

WERE YOU CONFIDENT THAT YOUR TIRES WERE GOING TO HOLD UP? “I wasn’t too concerned. Brad took care of his stuff all night and ran a great race. We got a bit lucky that a green-white-checkered came out. I knew we could hold on for two laps.”

KURT BUSCH (No. 22 Shell/Pennzoil Dodge Charger R/T) Finished 27th
“It’s just been a long string of tough races. The "Lady in Black" got us. We unloaded a really fast Shell/Pennzoil Dodge on Friday - a top-three car in practice. We may have sealed our fate when we cut a tire in practice and put our primary car in the Turn 1 wall. We were super tight with the back-up car to start the race and we never could loosen the car up. We threw everything at it - track bar, wedge, shims – you name it, Steve (Addington, crew chief) tried it. This place is tough enough with a good race car, when your setup is off, it's just a nightmare.”
 
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