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Kansas Speedway

Records
Date Series Driver Speed


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

Sprint Cup Series
Upcoming Race Jun 5
STP 400


Race 13 of 36 on Sprint Cup circuit
Where:Kansas Speedway, Kansas City, KS
When:June 5, 2011 1:16 pm EDT
Laps:267
Track Length:1.5 miles
Race Length:401.00 miles




Race Capsule

What: Race 8 of 25 on Camping World Truck circuit
Where: Kansas Speedway, Kansas City, KS
When: June 4, 2011 2:19 pm EDT
Laps: 167
Track Length: 1.5 miles
Race Length: 251.00 miles




Track Facts

Location: Kansas City, KS
Banking/Turns: Tri-Oval
Distance: 1.50 miles
Shape: Tri-Oval

Most Cup Wins (since 1975)

Greg Biffle: 2
Tony Stewart: 2
Jeff Gordon: 2



Date Race Name Pole Winner Race Winner Make Purse

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

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Chicagoland Speedway


Records
Date Series Driver Speed

7/10/10 Sprint Cup Race David Reutimann 145.00
7/10/05 Sprint Cup Qualifying Jimmie Johnson 188.147
7/10/09 Nationwide Race Joey Logano 147.00
7/9/05 Nationwide Qualifying Ryan Newman 186.438
8/27/10 Camping World Truck Race Kyle Busch 133.00
8/27/10 Camping World Truck Qualifying Todd Bodine 173.840

Nationwide Series
Upcoming Race Jun 4
STP 300


Race Capsule

What:

Race 14 of 34 on Nationwide circuit
Where:

Chicagoland Speedway, Joliet, IL
When: June 4, 2011 8:16 pm EDT

Laps: 200

Track Length: 1.5 miles

Race Length: 300.00 miles




Track Facts
Chicagoland Speedway

Location: Joliet, IL
Banking/Turns: Tri-Oval
Distance: 1.50 miles
Shape: Tri-Oval


Date Race Name Pole Winner Race Winner Make Purse

7/9/10 Dollar General 300 Powered By Coca-Cola Kevin Harvick Kyle Busch Toyota $1,464,877
7/10/09 Dollar General 300 Powered By Coca-Cola Carl Edwards Joey Logano Toyota $1,564,633
7/11/08 Dollar General 300 Powered by Coca-Cola David Reutimann Kyle Busch Toyota $1,567,738
7/14/07 USG Durock 300 Denny Hamlin Kevin Harvick Chevrolet $1,544,672
 

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Dodge Motorsports Notes & Quotes - NNS Race Advance - Chicagoland

June 1, 2011 , JOLIET, Ill. - For Immediate Release
Dodge Motorsports Notes & Quotes
NNS Race Advance
STP 300
Chicagoland Speedway
Saturday, June 4, 2011



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

Career Starts: 152

Wins: 12

Top Fives: 65

Top 10s: 91

Poles: 8

Career Highlights:

· Keselowski’s last NASCAR Nationwide Series win came at Gateway last fall (16 races).

· He is the reigning NASCAR Nationwide champion.

· Earned Penske Racing its first NASCAR champion last season.

· In 2010, 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).

KESELOWSKI AT CHICAGOLAND SPEEDWAY

· Keselowski is making his fifth career Nationwide Series start at Chicagoland Speedway.

· Highest starting position: Second – 2010

· Highest finishing position: Third – 2008

· Average starting position: 15.5

· Average finishing position: 14.0

· Laps Led: 31

· Completed 799 of 803 laps run at Chicagoland

DID YOU KNOW

· Penske Racing’s Sam Hornish Jr. will be piloting the No. 22 Discount Tire Dodge Challenger R/T on Friday at Chicagoland as Brad Keselowski will be in Kansas for Sprint Cup Series qualifying.

· No Nationwide race winner at Chicagoland has started on the front row.

DODGE IN THE NASCAR NATIONWIDE SERIES

· Dodge won its first Nationwide Series 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 with Penske Racing. Sam Hornish Jr. joins teammate Keselowski for a limited race schedule in 2011.

· Dodge has 34 wins in the Nationwide Series, seven of which came in 2010.

STATS OF THE WEEK

· In four career NNS starts at Chicagoland, Keselowski has posted one top-five and one top-10 finish.

· Keselowski’s avg. finishing position this season: 11.4

· Keselowski has nine top-10 finishes in last 11 NNS races.

THE NUMBERS

· Dodge has two wins at Chicagoland Speedway. Justin Labonte won in 2004 and Casey Mears in 2006. Labonte’s win was by the closet margin in track history for the Nationwide Series -- .418 seconds.

· In his 2010 Nationwide championship season, Brad Keselowski’s average finishing position was 5.2. His best start this season was second at Texas. His best finish of second also came at Texas.

FROM THE CREW CHIEF
“Chicago is a pretty unique race track. It’s a very fast 1.5-mile oval, so you need to make sure that you have done your homework in the aerodynamic department. You also need mechanical grip because the track is very bumpy and the surface is becoming pretty worn. I really feel like we are making gains in our intermediate program and a trip to Victory Lane is not far off. That would be great validation for all of the hard work that the guys on this team are putting in each and every week. We’ll get there.”
Todd Gordon, crew chief, No. 22 Discount Tire Dodge Challenger R/T

DODGE QUOTE:
“The most important thing you can do to help yourself with the non-companion weekends is surround yourself with good people. It’s so much easier when all you have to worry about is getting in the car. The logistics alone make it very taxing to go back and forth, so anything you can do to alleviate strain will pay off. At the end of the day, I love driving race cars and I love competing in both the Cup Series and the Nationwide Series. The enjoyment of being able to race in both series far outweighs any of the travel issues associated with it.”
Brad Keselowski – No. 22 Discount Tire Dodge Charger
 

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Dodge Motorsports Notes & Quotes - NSCS Race Advance - Kansas

May 31, 2011 , KANSAS CITY - For Immediate Release
Dodge Motorsports NSCS Race Advance
STP 400
Kansas Speedway
Sunday, June 5, 2011



DODGE AT KANSAS SPEEDWAY

· Dodge collected its lone Sprint Cup win at the 1.5-mile track in 2003 when Ryan Newman, driving for Penske Racing, led 28 laps en route to victory. Dodge finished 1-2-3 in the race with Bill Elliott second and Jeremy Mayfield third. Four Dodge drivers led 203 of the 267-lap race. Elliott led 115 circuits, Mayfield 37 and Rusty Wallace 23.

· Kasey Kahne is one of seven pole winners at Kansas. He started from the pole in the 2006 event.

· Kurt Busch is seeking his first top-five finish at Kansas Speedway. Chicagoland Speedway is the only other track on the Sprint Cup schedule where the 2004 series champion hasn’t recorded a top-five finish.

DODGE NEWS AND NOTES

· The No. 7 SPEED Energy Dodge Charger from Robby Gordon Motorsports is entered in this weekend’s STP 400. A driver will be named later in the week.

· Brad Keselowski earned his second-career Sprint Cup pole last week at the Coca-Cola 600 (65 starts).

· Brad Keselowski will see double-duty this weekend as he will also compete in Saturday’s Nationwide Series race at Chicagoland Speedway.

INSIDE THE NUMBERS

· Kurt Busch is one of only three drivers (Carl Edwards & Tony Stewart) to remain in the top 12 in the driver point standings throughout the season. He’s the only driver in the top 10 all 12 races.

· Kurt Busch has led 81 laps at Kansas Speedway including 76 in the 2007 event.

· Seven of the 10 Sprint Cup races at Kansas Speedway have been won from a top-10 starting position including two from the pole.

· Six of the first 12 Sprint Cup races this year have been won from a starting position outside the top 20.

· The most lead changes at Kansas – 26 – came at the 2009 event; the fewest number – 13 – came in 2002.

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. He also won the Sprint All-Star Race the week prior to the 600.

· Dodge claimed two Sprint Cup victories in 2010.

· Dodge teams have posted 47 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).

· Dodge is seeking its first Sprint Cup win of the 2011 season.

DID YOU KNOW?

· Kurt Busch jumped three positions to sixth in the Sprint Cup driver standings after finishing fourth in the Coca-Cola 600.

· Construction on the 1.5-mile Kansas Speedway began in 1999 on a 1,200-acre site. The track opened in 2001 with the first Sprint Cup race held on September 30. The track has hosted one event every year until this season when the speedway will host two Sprint Cup events in the same season for the first time.

ODDS AND ENDS

· Brad Keselowski’s No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge Charger R/T will take part in the Goodyear tire test on Wednesday at Kentucky Speedway.

· Kurt Busch has recorded six top-15 finishes in 10 Sprint Cup starts at Kansas Speedway.

· Robby Gordon’s next scheduled Sprint Cup start in the No. 7 SPEED Energy Dodge Charger is at Michigan International Speedway in two weeks.

FROM THE ENGINEER
"The Sprint Cup Series has visited Kansas Speedway for 10 years, but never in the spring. This will be the inaugural June event, so none of us in the engineering community know exactly what to expect. Will the track act like it does for the traditional fall races? Will this year's tire combination have the grip we need? Will the new 2011 Sprint Cup lower fascia be happy here? There are plenty of questions yet to be answered. We have data from many sources that will help us predict the answers to these questions, but remember, they're only predictions. This will be one of the busiest and exciting weeks for every engineer in the Sprint Cup series, trying to react to what Kansas Speedway throws at us."
Howard Comstock, Dodge Motorsports Engineering


DODGE MOTORSPORTS QUOTE OF THE WEEK
“Another reason I’d treasure a solid up-front finish at Kansas comes from the personal side. If we can better the finish we had at Kansas in 2004 (sixth, his best career Kansas finish to date), that’d mean we finally got a top-five finish there. That’d be really cool to knock off another track on our top-five ‘hit’ list. We were able to finish second at Watkins Glen last August and scratch that track off. As for my career goes, I’m just hoping to be able to get top-five finishes on all the tracks. We have top-fives on all the tracks except Kansas and Chicago and it’s a personal goal of mine to notch that top-five five finish on all the tracks.”
Kurt Busch, No. 22 AAA Dodge Charger R/T

FROM THE CREW CHIEF
“This Miller Lite Dodge team has taken some huge steps over the last month and I expect that to continue this weekend at Kansas. We’re putting ourselves in position to win races and that’s all we can do. Unfortunately, we didn’t get the finish we deserved at Charlotte last weekend, but neither did a lot of other guys since it came down to fuel mileage. We’re fortunate that we get to go to Kentucky (Speedway) on Wednesday to take part in the Goodyear tire test for the new Cup Series race that they have there. If we find some things that work at Kentucky, we should be able to implement them at Kansas. I’m looking forward to this weekend.”
Paul Wolfe, No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge Charger R/T

2011 SPRINT CUP SERIES SEASON BEST

· Kurt Busch Start: 2nd – Phoenix
Finish: 4th – Charlotte

· Brad Keselowski Start: Pole – Charlotte
Finish: 3rd – Darlington

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

DODGE QUOTES
“Even though there is the possibility of the weather and track conditions being totally different from the first race to the second, you still have to come in there with that being part of your game plan. Any track time you can get these days is so important. When we get back to Kansas in October, Dave Winston (team engineer) and all of our guys will be pulling out their notes and data from this weekend’s race and last fall’s race there.

“The way that our season is laid out now, both of the Kansas races come at critical times on the schedule. The race there this weekend comes at a point where all the teams are jockeying for all they can get in their focus to make the Chase this year. A win there would go a long way in getting in by grabbing one of the final two spots available for race winners.
Kurt Busch, No. 22 AAA Dodge Charger R/T

“Kansas is quite a bit different than some of the more traditional mile-and-a-half tracks, like Charlotte and Texas. It’s really similar to Auto Club Speedway in California. There are obvious differences in size as California is a two-mile track. The straightaway speed is not quite the same, but the corners are really similar. You can also run all over the track at Kansas, from the high lane to the low lane.
Brad Keselowski, No 2 Miller Lite Dodge Charger R/
 

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Kurt Busch Qualifies On Top At Kansas

CUP: Kurt Busch Qualifies On Top At Kansas
Written by: Tom Jensen
Date: 06/04/2011
Location: Kansas City, KS




Kurt Busch has never been known as a great qualifier, but he certainly looked the part Saturday at Kansas Speedway, where he won the pole for tomorrow’s STP 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup race.

The pole was Busch’s first of the season and just his 13th in 377 career attempts. He was aided by an early draw Saturday, as track temperatures rose sharply as the session wore on.


Busch was just the fifth of 45 drivers to go out, and he used the draw to great advantage, cranking off a lap of 174.752 miles per hour in his No. 22 Penske Racing Dodge.

Qualifying outside of Busch on Row 1 was the No. 42 Earnhardt Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates Chevrolet of Juan Pablo Montoya, who ran 174.154 mph.

Row 2 will feature the No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota of Kyle Busch, 174.081 mph, flanked by another Toyota entry, the No. 83 Red Bull Racing Camry of Brian Vickers, who qualified at 173.991 mph.

The third row will be Joey Logano and Jamie McMurray, with Carl Edwards, Martin Truex Jr., Paul Menard and Kevin Harvick completing the top 10.

Sunday’s race is the 13th of 26 events in the Sprint Cup regular season. Carl Edwards leads Kevin Harvick by 36 points, Jimmie Johnson by 37 and Dale Earnhardt Jr. by 43.

Entering Sunday’s race, Kurt Busch is sixth in points and already looking to solidify a spot in the Chase for the Sprint Cup..

“Being sixth is a good thing,” said Busch, the 2004 Sprint Cup Series champion. “That means we have a cushion behind us, but we still want more. We only have two top-five finishes. That’s where we need to be a better program, if we’re going to solidify ourselves running to the Chase and then running throughout the Chase, if we’re in it.”

Failing to qualify were T.J. Bell and Tony Raines.

 

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NASCAR Qualifying

Status: Field Set

Last Updated: Saturday, Jun 4, 2011 2:08 pm, EDT
STP 400

Kansas Speedway




Order Driver (No.) Car Qualifying Speed

1 Kurt Busch (22) Dodge 174.752
2 Juan Pablo Montoya (42) Chevrolet 174.154
3 Kyle Busch (18) Toyota 174.081
4 Brian Vickers (83) Toyota 173.991
5 Joey Logano (20) Toyota 173.851
6 Jamie McMurray (1) Chevrolet 173.706
7 Carl Edwards (99) Ford 173.650
8 Martin Truex Jr. (56) Toyota 173.611
9 Paul Menard (27) Chevrolet 173.589
10 Kevin Harvick (29) Chevrolet 173.494
11 Regan Smith (78) Chevrolet 173.422
12 Ryan Newman (39) Chevrolet 173.388
13 Tony Stewart (14) Chevrolet 173.360
14 Greg Biffle (16) Ford 173.249
15 Denny Hamlin (11) Toyota 173.193
16 Jeff Burton (31) Chevrolet 173.099
17 Kasey Kahne (4) Toyota 173.033
18 Mark Martin (5) Chevrolet 172.905
19 David Ragan (6) Ford 172.855
20 Bobby Labonte (47) Toyota 172.772
21 Matt Kenseth (17) Ford 172.756
22 Jeff Gordon (24) Chevrolet 172.750
23 David Reutimann (00) Toyota 172.723
24 Landon Cassill (51) Chevrolet 172.717
25 Brad Keselowski (2) Dodge 172.507
26 A J Allmendinger (43) Ford 172.232
27 Clint Bowyer (33) Chevrolet 172.035
28 Dale Earnhardt Jr. (88) Chevrolet 171.881
29 David Stremme (30) Chevrolet 171.876
30 Travis Kvapil (38) Ford 171.723
31 Jimmie Johnson (48) Chevrolet 171.576
32 J.J. Yeley (46) Chevrolet 171.516
33 Casey Mears (13) Toyota 171.499
34 Joe Nemechek (87) Toyota 171.445
35 Marcos Ambrose (9) Ford 171.249
36 Scott Riggs (181) Chevrolet 170.983
37 Michael McDowell (66) Toyota 170.800
38 David Gilliland (34) Ford 170.751
39 Andy Lally (71) Ford 170.589
40 Mike Skinner (60) Toyota 170.063
41 Tony Raines (37) Ford 169.705
42 T.J. Bell (150) Toyota 169.566
43 Patrick Carpentier (32) Ford 169.534
44 Johnny Sauter (7) DNQ 168.882
45 Dave Blaney (36) DNQ 167.843
 

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Dodge Motorsports Notes & Quotes - Kurt Busch Open Interview - Kansas

June 3, 2011 , KANSAS CITY - Friday, June 3, 2011

Dodge Motorsports PR
Kansas Speedway
STP 400
Kurt Busch Open Interview
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series


KURT BUSCH (No. 22 AAA Dodge Charger R/T)
YOU’RE COMING OFF A STRONG FOURTH-PLACE FINISH AT CHARLOTTE; WERE YOU LOOKING FORWARD TO GETTING BACK ON THE TRACK THIS WEEKEND? “With a nice solid top-five run last week, we definitely wanted to get to the track as fast as we could, start at that same point and adjust from there. Each race track is a different challenge. Racing here at Kansas twice a year, there will be more opportunities to gather notes and to feel more comfortable at this race track. It’s definitely one of the most challenging because it’s probably the least-banked race track that we run on that’s a mile-and-a-half. Therefore, your mile-and-a-half packages that you run at Charlotte or Atlanta might not be the same as they would be here. So what do we adjust for? Definitely warmer conditions than what we’ve had when we race here in October. So, we have to continue to adjust. All the practice thrown into one day, it sometimes gets tough to digest. For race set-up or qualifying set-up, you sometimes just take the darts that you have and throw them at the dartboard, see if they stick.”

THE 400TH CAMPING WORLD TRUCK SERIES RACE WILL BE CONDUCTED HERE TOMORROW; TALK ABOUT HOW YOU’VE SEEN THE TRUCK SERIES DEVELOP OVER THE YEARS. “It’s been a genuinely great positive ride. Back in the early 90s, pick-up trucks surpassed vehicles as far as sales. Trucks were the big fad. We saw the Craftsman Truck Series develop into what it was and now see the Camping World Truck Series what it is today. Veteran drivers, young drivers, drivers that are still trying to prove themselves, crew guys in the farm system coming up through the truck series to work into a Nationwide ride or work up even into a Cup ride. You’ve got guys that have been in the series and made their name there like a Ron Hornaday Jr., Jack Sprague, and Rick Carelli. Then you’ve got guys like Travis Kvapil that are champions that have come to Cup and gone back. There are so many stories in the truck series. The year that I spent there was a genuinely good time of old-school racing. You show up at the race track, sometimes it’s a one-day show, sometimes it was a two-day show. All the crew guys are there. You all go out to dinner together; you’re all sleeping at the hotel. It’s just that comradery with the guys, that atmosphere of old-school racing. It’s fun. I did it based out of Detroit. We’d jump on Northwest Airlines and fly everywhere. It was a race to see who could leave the house the latest and still make the flight. It’s fun things like that that make the truck series what it is.”

THIS RACE IS THE HALFWAY POINT TO THE CHASE. YOU’RE SIXTH IN POINTS. AT THIS POINT, HOW WOULD YOU RATE THE SEASON SO FAR; ARE YOU COMFORTABLE AND SECURE AS FAR AS MAKING THE CHASE AT THIS POINT? WHERE DO YOU THINK YOU NEED TO IMPROVE OVER THE NEXT 13 RACES? “Being sixth is a good thing. That means we have a cushion behind us, but we still want more. We only have two top-five finishes. That’s where we need to be a better program, if we’re going to solidify ourselves running to the Chase and then running throughout the Chase, if we’re in it. It’s interesting with the point system. I think the numbers show last year’s system versus right now, the top 10 that are in it would be the guys in it if the point system was still the same. Every position is worth a point. It’s tough. You’re fighting every week for that one spot that you can gain. It could come down to a gallon of gas meaning the difference between a hero and zero. That’s where we’re finding ourselves. Everybody is pushing it to the limit – fuel, tires, strategy, chassis setup, shocks, you name it. That what makes it a good hard-fought battle going through these summer months.”

WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ABOUT THIS TRACK HOSTING TWO SPRINT CUP EVENTS? “We’ve got two stops here. You know, ISC is a great partner with NASCAR, it is NASCAR, and they’re going to dictate which race tracks we go to. This is a big market. It’s a great market for our series sponsor Sprint. Their involvement with our sport is what’s carried us to this level. Business transactions happen. Some race tracks deserve two dates. Some race tracks don’t. We’re here because it’s a deserving place.”

GREG BIFFLE TALKED ABOUT THE HEAT IN HIS CAR AT CHARLOTTE, WHERE THE COOL BOX WAS TURNING INTO A BLOW DRYER AND BURNING HIS FACE. WHAT IS THE WILDEST THING THAT’S HAPPENED TO YOU INSIDE A RACE CAR OTHER THAN AN ACCIDENT WHERE YOU FELT LIKE YOU COULD BE LOSING IT PHYSICALLY?
“There’s hot air in my helmet every weekend. It’s a matter of maintaining pace. There’s malfunctions that happen in cool suits, cool boxes with the helmet, fans that blow on you. I grew up in the desert southwest, one of the hottest places to be a race car driver. That training has probably helped me over the years to get through some of the tough hot days. I’ve definitely had some struggles. At Sonoma one year, all the brake fans and everything that was throwing amperage out of the car didn’t leave the driver with any comfort tools. After the race, I cramped up. I couldn’t walk. I was really dehydrated. It took a while to come back too. It happened there. Watkins Glen is a tough place and then there’s Martinsville, that one challenges me each time I go there. When you have lack of speed and you’re working the body over and over lap after lap, that’s when it gets tough out there. Hey, you’ve got to muscle through it.”

FORD HAS WON SEVEN OF THE LAST 28 RACES; DOES FORD HAVE AN ADVANTAGE OVER THE COMPETITION RIGHT NOW? “They’re definitely the favorites going in. If you had a fantasy league, you’d start with those eight Fords or however many there are out there and fill in the blank elsewhere. Those guys have a competitive advantage under the hood and they’ve found something with their setup that Carl Edwards found the last two races, three races of last year. They’ve definitely got their homework done and polished up. They’re out there hungry right now to get those wins racked up in their win column.”

MOST TEAMS ARE FOUR-CAR TEAMS, PENSKE RACING ONLY HAS TWO CUP CARS. AREN’T YOU AT A DISADVANTAGE…NOT A LOT OF SUPPORT THERE? “I’m sure we’d love to have four teams. We have the ability and the infrastructure to do it. It’s tough to find the sponsorship. It’s a tough market. I’ve got AAA on the car this weekend. It’s great to have them as a team player at Penske Racing, but they only wanted to do a limited amount this year. If we could influence them to run a full season and be out there with a top-quality driver, we’d love to have that scenario. But right now that isn’t an option. Right now we’ve got Shell/Pennzoil as our primary and Miller Lite on Brad Keselowski’s car. Those two programs can carry two cars, but we’re trying to fill in the blanks elsewhere just like every other team is.”
 

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Dodge Motorsports, 2011 NSCS STP 400 Post-Qualifying Recaps
Press Release

June 4, 2011 – 3:36 pm



Dodge Motorsports

KURT BUSCH (No. 22 AAA Dodge Charger) Qualified 1st
“We feel like we picked up a lot of speed for qualifying with some of our adjustments. It’s nice that we can find that some days; other days it bites you. This has always been a tough mile-and-a-half track for me. It’s flat, but the track still has a lot of speed in it if you hit it just right. We just didn’t hit it right yesterday in practice. We feel like we’ve got some speed in the AAA Dodge. Tomorrow is going to be a hot, blistering day. This place, it’s really fast if you hit your setup just right. Otherwise, you’re sliding all around.”

WERE YOU ABLE TO FIND A COMFORTABLE RACE SETUP IN YESTERDAY’S PRACTICE? “We were very loose with one of our setups and just on the snug side with the other one, so we’ll shoot for the middle. The race here is a tough one. If you’re stuck in the back, it’s very hard to make up track position. You just want a nice smooth day on the track and on pit road.”

AFTER LAST WEEK’S STONG FINISH AT CHARLOTTE, YOU HAVE TO FEEL GOOD ABOUT BEING ON THE POLE HERE. “This is a great feeling especially after yesterday where we spun in practice and had to repair the front end damage. The feeling of being so close, yet so far away. I have to thank my guys for standing behind me, not just through yesterday, but some of the tough times we’ve been through as of late. The guys back at the shop, I know that they’re slapping some high-fives today. It’s an amazing feeling when you’re down a little bit and you’re not exactly keen on knowing what to change or where to go. Yesterday we were struggling in practice. We threw a bunch of things at the car today and got the pole. It’s an amazing world, the world of motorsports. One day you’re down and the next day you’re up. It’s a great pole of Penske Racing, to back up the pole that (Brad) Keselowski had last week. For us with AAA on the car this weekend, they have a big presence in the state of Kansas. With their insurance, it’s not just auto, it’s home and life insurance. It’s great to have a blue-chip brand like them on our car this weekend. And of course with Shell, Pennzoil and Dodge, our great sponsors, this gives them that breath of fresh air that they needed.”

HOW MUCH DO YOU ENJOY RACING ON A HOT, SLICK RACE TRACK LIKE WE’RE GOING TO HAVE TOMORROW AND WHAT’S THE BIGGEST CHALLENGE? “I enjoy it. I grew up in the desert southwest, in Vegas. We’d run at that little three-eighths-mile bullring every Saturday night that we could. We’d show up at two, three in the afternoon and it would be 110 degrees outside. We’d wait until seven o’clock to even hit the track for practice because of how hot and slick it was. When you’re a racer, you don’t care what the conditions are. It could be 40 degrees like the day I won at Bristol and did snow angels afterwards. It could be 110 like what we’ve seen out at Fontana in September for some of those races. It’s going to be hot and it’s going to be slick tomorrow. The fans will enjoy themselves with that atmosphere. It’s finally summertime. I hope everybody enjoys the nice sunshine that’s out. The racers will be out there putting on a good show.”

HOW HELPFUL WAS THE EARLY DRAW; DID YOU SEE THIS COMING AT ALL AND DID YOU FIGURE OUT WHAT HAPPENED TO THE CAR (IN PRACTICE)? “The way that practice was a struggle for us, we didn’t expect to be on the pole. The early draw definitely helped us. It didn’t hurt. No big issue with why we spun yesterday. We bolted on a set of shocks and I felt it was looser right away. I wanted to run three or four laps just to confirm it, analyze if it was more entry, middle or exit. I just felt like it was looser right away and then it bit me on corner exit. This (the pole) was definitely a surprise. We’re happy for it. It’s been almost a year since we’ve had a pole, so it’s nice to get our AAA Dodge up front taking the green flag here at Kansas in front of all our fans.”

WHAT DAMAGE DID YOUR CAR RECEIVE YESTERDAY? “It bent the nose back on the car. When we hit the grass, with these bump stops and soft front springs, it rips the front end up. We watched Carl Edwards destroy his car after the All-Star Race. I’ve seen guys do harmless spins and have to go to back-up cars. We got lucky that we didn’t have to go to a back-up. That raises the question, if you have a harmless spin and you touch the grass, why should it damage the car so badly. That’s because we’re running on these bump stops, the things I’ve talked to John Darby about in the past.”

DO YOU ATTRIBUTE YOUR SUCCESS TODAY TO THE SEASON WE’RE HAVING THIS RACE IN INSTEAD OF THE FALL? “There are a bunch of differences being here in June and how warm it is, but I always look at the law of averages. If you struggle somewhere for a long time, then maybe your due. So with (Juan Pablo) Montoya, Kyle (Busch) and myself up front when we expected guys like Gordon or Newman; (Joey) Logano has run good here in a Nationwide car. Those were all the tough bullets that I had to dodge at the end of qualifying and we were able to come out on top. It’s just qualifying. We’ve got a full 400 miles to race tomorrow and we’ve got our work cut out for us.”

HOW MUCH COOLER IS THE AIR THAT YOU’RE BREATING WITH THE COOL BOX? “The cool box knocks out about 20 degrees for sure, possibly 30 degrees. So if it’s 100 degrees outside, you’ll have 70-degree air coming inside. But then you have inside the car’s heat and the hoses get heat soaked, so it raises the temperature back up a little bit. But it’s nice. I always think of it as if I’m sitting in a hot tub and the only thing outside is my head, so I’m breathing that cooler air. Even though it’s warm, my body is in that heat and my head is in the cooler air. It’s not as nice as a hot tub.”

IS THE SETUP YOU QUALIFIED WITH CLOSE ENOUGH TO THE RACE SETUP FOR THE CREW CHIEF TO SLEEP COMFORTABLY TONIGHT, OR IS THE TEAM STILL IN A SEARCH MODE? “I still need to get with Steve (Addington, crew chief) to analyze where we made our good changes overnight and what we can continue to do tomorrow. It’s nice to have the feather in the cap with the pole, but race set-up is very different. You have to be less aggressive with everything – camber, sway bar, shocks, springs. We have to go through it and dissect it just like we did last night and map out what we need to do to have our best car for tomorrow.”

HOW BAD ARE THE TAR SPRIPS THIS YEAR AND HOW DO YOU GREET THE NEWS THEY PLAN TO PAVE THE TRACK NEXT YEAR? “Those tar strips are there to try and protect the track from absorbing moisture. This track sees dramatic extremes with frozen temperatures in the teens in the winter time and 100-degree days in the summer. Those tar strips were put down in 2008, the same year we came here with the COT. That was probably my worst year since my rookie year. I had a lot of things to say that year I guess. We struggled. Those strips are still there. You choose a lane. If you want the bottom lane, you choose that first lane. If you’re going in on a high groove, you choose that third lane and you really stay in it and not cross over the seams because they can upset the car. It’s not as bad now with those worn in over these last couple of years. I’ve heard about the repave. They’re looking to add banking to it. They want to make it more of what we’ve seen at Homestead or what we’ve seen at the progressive-banked tracks which I agree with. You’ve got to keep it within reason though to make sure the track has the right amount of banking if IRL cars ever want to come here. That way you’re not just tailoring it to the big heavy stock cars.”

AT THE OUTSET, YOU WERE THANKING YOUR GUYS FOR STANDING BEHIND YOU THROUGH THE TOUGH TIMES; CAN YOU EXPAND ON THAT? “My guys, they’re tough and they’re mean. We all care for each other and have love for each other. We’re in this together as a team. We win as a team and we die as a team. To elaborate further, it’s just the mental feeling of being down and out a little bit after Richmond. We struggled at Darlington. The engineer put the wrong set-up in the car mistakenly. And then to go to Charlotte, have a nice finish and get here and have the pole after a tough day. It’s one of those feelings where you know that things are just tough right now. It’s great to come in today, have a positive outlook and continue to work hard. The reward came today with a nice pole position.”

BRAD KESELOWSKI (No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge Charger) Qualified 25th
“We didn’t have the lap we wanted to run. The heat was a factor, but we were expecting a better lap. We’re OK with our race setup, but obviously we’re not going to have very good track position. Strategy will be very important tomorrow. Hopefully, we’ve got the right one.”

JOHNNY SAUTER (No. 7 SPEED Energy / Harris Teeter Dodge) Qualified 41st
“We didn’t do mock runs yesterday, so we didn’t know what to expect. They made a lot of changes this morning. I wish I could do the qualifying run again. The car was good. As far off as we were yesterday in practice, to pick up like we did is a huge gain. I felt like I had more grip today than yesterday.”

- Darnell Communications for Dodge Motorsports, Press Release
 

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NASCAR Results

Status: Final

Last Updated: Sunday, Jun 5, 2011 1:16 am, EDT
STP 300

Chicagoland Speedway



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

1 Justin Allgaier (31) Chevrolet 47/4 200 1 $82,868 Chart
2 Carl Edwards (60) Ford 44/2 200 144 $57,125 Chart
3 Trevor Bayne (16) Ford 41/0 200 0 $45,818 Chart
4 Aric Almirola (88) Chevrolet 41/1 200 9 $33,693 Chart
5 Jason Leffler (38) Chevrolet 39/0 200 0 $30,193 Chart
6 Reed Sorenson (32) Chevrolet 38/0 200 0 $27,743 Chart
7 Kenny Wallace (09) Toyota 38/1 200 2 $27,053 Chart
8 Kelly Bires (18) Toyota 37/1 200 2 $28,013 Chart
9 Michael Annett (62) Toyota 35/0 200 0 $24,518 Chart
10 Danica Patrick (7) Chevrolet 34/0 199 0 $24,743 Chart
11 Elliott Sadler (2) Chevrolet 34/1 199 29 $23,668 Chart
12 Steve Wallace (66) Toyota 33/1 199 2 $22,743 Chart
13 Kevin Harvick (33) Chevrolet 32/1 199 1 $16,200 Chart
14 Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (6) Ford 31/1 199 1 $21,693 Chart
15 Timmy Hill (15) Ford 30/1 199 1 $23,068 Chart
16 Mike Wallace (01) Chevrolet 28/0 199 0 $23,418 Chart
17 Brian Scott (11) Toyota 27/0 199 0 $21,093 Chart
18 Eric McClure (14) Chevrolet 26/0 199 0 $21,718 Chart
19 Scott Wimmer (70) Chevrolet 25/0 198 0 $20,843 Chart
20 Ryan Truex (99) Toyota 24/0 198 0 $21,218 Chart
21 Joe Nemechek (87) Toyota 23/0 198 0 $20,818 Chart
22 Mike Bliss (19) Chevrolet 22/0 196 0 $20,443 Chart
23 Derrike Cope (28) Chevrolet 22/1 196 1 $14,225 Chart
24 Charles Lewandoski (40) Chevrolet 20/0 196 0 $13,700 Chart
25 Morgan Shepherd (89) Chevrolet 19/0 196 0 $13,710 Chart
26 Josh Wise (39) Ford 18/0 195 0 $20,368 Chart
27 Blake Koch (81) Dodge 17/0 194 0 $20,143 Chart
28 Kevin Lepage (52) Chevrolet 16/0 193 0 $13,100 Chart
29 Jeremy Clements (51) Chevrolet 15/0 186 0 $19,443 Chart
30 Brad Keselowski (22) Dodge 15/1 139 7 $12,825 Chart DNF
31 Carl Long (141) Ford 13/0 79 0 $12,995 Chart
32 Robert Richardson Jr. (23) Dodge 12/0 64 0 $19,028 Chart
33 Mikey Kile (30) Chevrolet 11/0 62 0 $18,918 Chart
34 Tim Andrews (79) Ford 10/0 29 0 $12,340 Chart
35 Dennis Setzer (49) Chevrolet 9/0 24 0 $12,235 Chart
36 Rick Crawford (113) Ford 8/0 22 0 $12,200 Chart
37 Matthew Carter (168) Chevrolet 7/0 18 0 $12,165 Chart
38 Johnny Chapman (175) Ford 6/0 15 0 $12,110 Chart
39 Mike Harmon (174) Chevrolet 5/0 6 0 $12,070 Chart
40 Jeff Green (44) Chevrolet 4/0 3 0 $12,030 Chart
41 Chase Miller (146) Chevrolet 3/0 3 0 $11,965 Chart
42 Brett Rowe (55) Chevrolet 2/0 3 0 $11,935 Chart
 

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Dodge Motorsports, 2011 NNS STP 300 Post-Race Recaps with Brad Keselowski & Crew Chief Todd Gordon
By Lyndon Amick




BRAD KESELOWSKI (No. 22 Discount Tire Dodge Challenger R/T) Finished 30th
“What a bummer. I’m not sure what exactly happened, the car just started to slow down. I thought at first that it might be an ignition box problem, but it’s something internal with the engine. It’s been one of them years where we’re catching some bad breaks. We had a great run last year and I’m still really proud of the guys that are working on this team. We’re fighting really hard and have Michigan coming up in a few weeks. Hopefully we’ll have a little bit more for them at my home track. I seem to race really well there and I can’t wait to get this Dodge Challenger to MIS. I feel fortunate and proud to have a sponsor like Discount Tire and Ruby Tuesday that really supports this series. It’s been a rough year to date but we’ll keep plugging away and get this Dodge into victory lane.”

PRIOR TO THE ENGINE PROBLEM YOU HAD A TOP-FIVE CAR ALL NIGHT: “We started sixth and never ran outside of fifth. We fought a little loose condition, but nothing that was too bad. The only issue we had was when I fought some vibration with the right-front, but we think that may have been because of the set of scuffs (tires) that we put on the car. Not the result we were looking for tonight.”

TODD GORDON (crew chief, No. 22 Discount Tire Dodge Challenger R/T)
“Again we just try to make steps to get to where we want to be. I felt like we were doing it again tonight. We started sixth and ran second for quite a while. We decided to take a set of scuff tires out of sequence so we had stickers for later in the race. We were one adjustment away and I think we had a shot at a win. These Penske motors…they don’t have problems. It’s a part failure. It happens. We have really good stuff. We’ll just continue to work hard and move forward.”

- Darnell Communications for Dodge Motorsports, Press Release
 

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NASCAR TRUCK Results

Status: Final

Last Updated: Sunday, Jun 5, 2011 1:16 am, EDT
O'Reilly Auto Parts 250

Kansas Speedway



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

1 Clint Bowyer (2) Chevrolet 48/5 167 124 $36,950
2 Johnny Sauter (13) Chevrolet 43/1 167 11 $35,750
3 Todd Bodine (30) Toyota 42/1 167 9 $25,600
4 James Buescher (31) Chevrolet 41/1 167 1 $18,750
5 Joey Coulter (22) Chevrolet 40/1 167 1 $16,625
6 Kyle Busch (18) Toyota 38/0 167 0 $12,500
7 Brendan Gaughan (62) Toyota 37/0 167 0 $15,300
8 Nelson Piquet Jr. (8) Chevrolet 36/0 167 0 $13,925
9 Brad Sweet (32) Chevrolet 36/1 167 3 $13,850
10 Travis Kvapil (5) Toyota 34/0 167 0 $15,125
11 Parker Kligerman (29) Dodge 33/0 167 0 $13,750
12 Austin Dillon (3) Chevrolet 32/0 167 0 $15,825
13 Miguel Paludo (7) Toyota 32/1 167 1 $13,550
14 Timothy Peters (17) Toyota 30/0 167 0 $13,500
15 Cole Whitt (60) Chevrolet 30/1 167 7 $14,775
16 David Starr (81) Toyota 28/0 167 0 $13,375
17 Jason White (23) Chevrolet 27/0 167 0 $13,300
18 Matt Crafton (88) Chevrolet 27/1 167 3 $13,250
19 Justin Lofton (77) Toyota 26/1 167 7 $13,200
20 Justin Marks (66) Chevrolet 24/0 167 0 $13,850
21 Ricky Carmichael (4) Chevrolet 23/0 167 0 $11,850
22 Max Papis (9) Toyota 22/0 167 0 $11,825
23 Craig Goess (46) Toyota 21/0 167 0 $10,800
24 Johanna Long (20) Toyota 20/0 166 0 $10,775
25 Nick Hoffman (63) Ford 19/0 166 0 $10,900
26 Bryan Silas (99) Ford 18/0 166 0 $10,725
27 Jennifer Jo Cobb (10) Ford 17/0 165 0 $11,050
28 Clay Rogers (92) Chevrolet 16/0 160 0 $10,675
29 Shane Sieg (93) Chevrolet 15/0 111 0 $10,625
30 Ron Hornaday Jr. (33) Chevrolet 14/0 101 0 $10,600
31 Ryan Sieg (39) Chevrolet 13/0 60 0 $11,075
32 J.J. Yeley (73) Chevrolet 12/0 42 0 $10,550
33 Norm Benning (57) Chevrolet 11/0 22 0 $10,525
34 Chris Jones (87) Chevrolet 0/0 10 0 $10,500
35 Mike Garvey (138) Chevrolet 9/0 7 0 $10,475
36 Scott Riggs (07) Toyota 8/0 4 0 $10,446
 

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NASCAR Results

Status: Final

Last Updated: Sunday, Jun 5, 2011 5:20 pm, EDT
STP 400

Kansas Speedway




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

1 Brad Keselowski (2) Dodge 47/4 267 9 $216,633 Chart
2 Dale Earnhardt Jr. (88) Chevrolet 42/0 267 0 $181,825 Chart
3 Denny Hamlin (11) Toyota 42/1 267 34 $183,950 Chart
4 Jeff Gordon (24) Chevrolet 40/0 267 0 $156,261 Chart
5 Carl Edwards (99) Ford 40/1 267 29 $154,391 Chart
6 Matt Kenseth (17) Ford 38/0 267 0 $141,911 Chart
7 Jimmie Johnson (48) Chevrolet 37/0 267 0 $142,486 Chart
8 Tony Stewart (14) Chevrolet 37/1 267 20 $140,408 Chart
9 Kurt Busch (22) Dodge 37/2 267 152 $139,225 Chart
10 Greg Biffle (16) Ford 34/0 267 0 $101,675 Chart
11 Kevin Harvick (29) Chevrolet 33/0 267 0 $133,236 Chart
12 Kyle Busch (18) Toyota 33/1 267 11 $132,641 Chart
13 David Ragan (6) Ford 31/0 267 0 $90,550 Chart
14 Kasey Kahne (4) Toyota 30/0 267 0 $104,133 Chart
15 Ryan Newman (39) Chevrolet 29/0 267 0 $118,125 Chart
16 Brian Vickers (83) Toyota 28/0 267 0 $105,789 Chart
17 Juan Pablo Montoya (42) Chevrolet 28/1 266 10 $115,308 Chart
18 Clint Bowyer (33) Chevrolet 26/0 266 0 $119,233 Chart
19 Paul Menard (27) Chevrolet 25/0 266 0 $85,875 Chart
20 Martin Truex Jr. (56) Toyota 24/0 266 0 $85,975 Chart
21 Mark Martin (5) Chevrolet 23/0 266 0 $85,150 Chart
22 David Reutimann (00) Toyota 22/0 266 0 $104,708 Chart
23 Joey Logano (20) Toyota 21/0 266 0 $86,125 Chart
24 Regan Smith (78) Chevrolet 20/0 266 0 $102,520 Chart
25 Jeff Burton (31) Chevrolet 19/0 266 0 $84,475 Chart
26 Marcos Ambrose (9) Ford 18/0 266 0 $105,516 Chart
27 A J Allmendinger (43) Ford 17/0 266 0 $112,161 Chart
28 Bobby Labonte (47) Toyota 16/0 266 0 $102,270 Chart
29 Jamie McMurray (1) Chevrolet 15/0 266 0 $110,339 Chart
30 Patrick Carpentier (32) Ford 14/0 265 0 $90,483 Chart
31 Andy Lally (71) Ford 13/0 265 0 $83,275 Chart
32 Dave Blaney (36) Chevrolet 12/0 264 0 $82,708 Chart
33 David Gilliland (34) Ford 11/0 263 0 $81,347 Chart
34 Travis Kvapil (38) Ford 10/0 243 0 $70,625 Chart
35 Landon Cassill (51) Chevrolet 10/1 190 1 $70,450 Chart
36 Johnny Sauter (7) Dodge 8/0 101 0 $70,250 Chart
37 Casey Mears (13) Toyota 8/1 100 1 $70,050 Chart
38 J.J. Yeley (46) Chevrolet 6/0 38 0 $69,850 Chart
39 David Stremme (30) Chevrolet 5/0 37 0 $69,700 Chart
40 Mike Skinner (60) Toyota 4/0 34 0 $69,550 Chart
41 Michael McDowell (66) Toyota 3/0 33 0 $69,400 Chart
42 Scott Riggs (181) Chevrolet 2/0 20 0 $69,275 Chart
43 Joe Nemechek (87) Toyota 1/0 19 0 $69,640 Chart
 

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Keselowski Holds Off Jr., Dry Tank At Kansas
Jim Pedley

Sunday, 5 June 2011



Brad Keselowski got his first victory of the season on Sunday. (Photo courtesy of NASCAR)



Kansas City, Kan. – For the second week in a row, the Sprint Cup race was more about fuel-mileage than speed.

At the end, Brad Keselowski had the most of each Sunday and went on to get the second Sprint Cup victory of his career, winning the STP 400 Sprint Cup race at Kansas Speedway.

The victory came in his 66th start of the Penske Racing driver’s career. It came 65 races after he won at Talladega in the spring of 2009.


“Never could catch that good break,” Keselowski said of ending his drought. “We caught a great break today. And we got good gas mileage and that didn’t help either.

Finishing second – 2.8 seconds back – was Hendrick Motorsports’ Dale Earnhardt Jr., who also was on the correct side of the fuel cycle.

Denny Hamlin was third in a Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota.

Finishing fourth was four-time champion Jeff Gordon while points-leader Carl Edwards was fifth.

Rounding out the top 10 were Matt Kenseth, five-time and defending champion Jimmie Johnson, Tony Stewart, Kurt Busch and Greg Biffle.

The race featured 17 lead changes among nine different drivers.

Polesitter Busch of Penske Racing lead the most laps, 152. But was a victim of alternating fuel cycle strategies which cost several of those who led laps.

Busch lost the lead on the first lap when he went high on the track and was passed by Juan Montoya, who qualified second fastest. Montoya’s lead lasted less than a lap as he was passed by Kyle Busch on lap two.

Earnhardt-Ganassi Racing’s Montoya recaptured the lead from Kyle Busch on lap 10.

Kurt Busch moved back to the lead on lap 19 when he moved past Montoya on the front stretch. This time, Busch stayed out front for a while. Way out front as he built a lead that reached 3-plus seconds.

Green flag pitting began at about lap 40. When they had cycled through seven laps later, Busch was still first and Montoya was still second but the lead was down to .8 seconds. Fifteen laps later Kurt Busch’s lead was back to over 3 seconds.

The first caution of the day – for debris in Turn 2 – closed up the field. Busch took the green on the restart on lap 73 but on lap 84, Carl Edwards moved past Busch and had his first lead.

Edwards, too, was able to stretch the lead. It got almost to 2 seconds when the second caution of the day – again for debris – occurred on lap 110.

When the cars returned to the track for the restart on lap 116, Kyle Busch had his first lead. That lead lasted a lap as Busch was passed by Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Denny Hamlin, who restarted third.

Tony Stewart became the eighth driver to lead when he moved in and passed Hamlin on lap 141. But 12 laps later, Dale Earnhardt Jr. spun to bring out the fourth caution. The cars pitted and when the race restarted, Hamlin was back in the lead.

Kurt Busch came out of the restart strong and two laps later was back in the lead. He held it until the late stages of the race. The stages where the event turned into a fuel-mileage event.

One by one, front runners began pitting for fuel over the 20 laps.

That eventually moved Keselowski to the front and then to Victory Lane.


 

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Kurt Busch: Kurt Busch’s team wins Mahle Clevite award
Jun. 5 2011

Penske Racing, supplier of the engine in the No. 22 Dodge driven by Kurt Busch in the Sprint Cup STP 400 at Kansas Speedway wins the Mahle Clevite Engine Builder of the Race award.

The $5,000 cash award is determined by qualifying and finishing position of the car. Busch started on the pole and finished 9th. He is currently 6th in the 2011 Sprint Cup point standings. Jun. 5 - 5:36 pm et


 

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Dodge Motorsports, 2011 NSCS STP 400 Post-Race Recaps

Posted By Press Release On June 5, 2011 @ 5:04 pm In Press




Dodge Motorsports
BRAD KESELOWSKI [3] (No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge Charger) Finished 1st
“It was hot out there. We’ve been so close. We’ve been plugging away. We had a car that I thought was capable of winning. I had a car last week that sat on the pole and had a shot at it and just caught the wrong line on the restart. The same thing at Dover and Darlington, we could just never catch that good break. You can only put yourself in that position so many times before you’re going to catch the right break. We caught a great break today because of all the hard work by the Miller Lite team that works on these Dodge Chargers. We got great gas mileage and that doesn’t hurt either.”

HOW DID YOU SAVE FUEL TODAY? “There are some secrets to it and I just maximized them all. I had plenty (of fuel) left. The 14 car pitted the same time that I did and came out first and I thought for sure that I was going to run second. I was just hoping to hang on to second. Nobody really told me that we were leading. I don’t know when I took the lead. The scoreboard is right in the middle of the race track and I looked over and saw my name on the top with two to go. I started shaking. I’m glad that they didn’t tell me. It’s because of the hard work. It’s because of the bad finishes and the struggles that we had to get here that I really appreciate this win. I really appreciate what this means to my whole team and everybody that has helped me to get here. And to Roger Penske who put me in this ride and stuck with me through a bad year last year. We’re in good shape. A few more wins like this and we can make the Chase.”

YOU STARTED 25TH; YOU DIDN’T BACK INTO A TOP-10 RUN TODAY. “We were a top-10 car, maybe the bottom half of the top 10, but a top-10 car. You look at our runs this year, we’ve been top-five, top-10 cars at a lot of races this year and caught bad breaks. You can only put yourself in position for so long and not have something good happen to you eventually. It did today.”

ROGER PENSKE (Owner – Penske Racing)
“I think we’ve made a lot of progress the last several weeks. People haven’t really noticed it, but bad break there when the 4 car stalled at Charlotte with the 2 car there and the 22 has run well. This is a real step-up for us. These are the tracks that were tough for us, the one-and-a-half miles. It looks like we have a handle on these now. We’ll see what happens.”

KURT BUSCH [4] (No. 22 AAA Dodge Charger) Finished Ninth
“I’m proud of the way that this team has run. To have a car to lead laps today and be very competitive, I was all smiles. I felt coming into the weekend that if we could pace ourselves, have good team communication, we would be competitive. it was great. There was always something in the back of my mind today that we weren’t going to win, but I’m glad that Brad Keselowski got this win for those Miller Lite guys, for Dodge. We’re really happy to keep AAA up front all day today. It’s just one of those days where you’re on the right side, sometimes you’re not. For all my guys, we’ll take this one and the points. I’m not discouraged at all.”


MEDIA CENTER POST RACE
Brad Keselowski, Crew Chief Paul Wolfe, Roger Penske

WITH THIS WIN, YOU HAVE QUALIFIED FOR THE 2012 NASCAR [5] SPRINT ALL-STAR RACE.
KESELOWSKI: “I didn’t think of that one. That’s four years in a row. We’ll take that.”

TALK ABOUT YOUR WIN, NOT ONLY YOUR ABILITY TO CONSERVE GAS BUT YOUR ABILITY TO TAKE IT DOWN TO THE WIRE AND WIN.
KESELOWSKI:
“It was a team victory today. We had Kurt Busch, my teammate, who led the majority of the race from what I could see, and had good speed and the 2 car had great speed as well. We just kind of caught a bad break on qualifying when we went out. But it’s a team effort. Kurt had them covered on speed. We had them covered on strategy. And together one of us two was going to win. And I’m proud in general that it was a Penske car that won. It was so hot today, long, tiring. It feels good to soak in a victory and a beer and some water afterwards and be sitting here in front of you with a trophy and some great guys in victory lane.”

ROGER, TALK ABOUT HOW IT ALL PLAYED OUT FOR YOU TODAY.
PENSKE: “Well, it’s great to see Dodge back in the winner’s circle, and certainly you know when Brad came on point with us last year, and we put Paul Wolfe as a combination crew chief and driver, and 13 races now they’ve got a victory. Exactly, to me, it’s what we worked on. We didn’t get the finishes we wanted. We could always say we had bad luck last week. We were in third place getting ready to go on that restart and Kasey Kahne ran out of gas, when we got in that wreck. But I think it’s a credit to Paul Wolfe and Brad.

“They’re talking all the time. They’re working, there’s nobody more committed. The good news is to hear Kurt say even though he really wanted this win, to say it was great for the team and that we finally think we have a combination that we can run on the mile-and-a-halfs, because we struggle on the mile-and-a-halfs.”

PAUL, THIS IS YOUR FIRST SPRINT CUP [6] WIN; TALK ABOUT HOW IT HAPPENED.
WOLFE: “Obviously, being my first win, I’m really excited about all the effort that’s been put in so far. And to be able to get the Miller Lite Dodge to victory lane was pretty special today. Brad and I talked, I think this week or the week before that, man, if we just keep putting ourselves in the top 10, it’s not always the fastest car that seems to be winning these races. So we’ve kept working on our program since the beginning of the year.

“It was kind of embarrassing of how we ran at California and Vegas earlier in the year. So to see the progress that we’ve made and put ourselves in position to win these races now just says a lot about all the hard work and everything that’s going on at Penske Racing. One point in the race, I don’t know, we were still running 15th and Kurt was out there leading the race. It was pretty cool, because we knew what the leader had in his car, we knew what we had. It’s just been a good team effort here of late, just really trying to understand how to get these cars better. Running similar geometries and front ends have definitely helped, I think, both of us to get our cars better.”

IT SOUNDS LIKE YOU FELT A LITTLE STUNNED YOURSELF IN THAT POSITION AT THE END.
KESELOWSKI: “Well, I don’t know. I didn’t see the coverage. But I know that I didn’t know I was leading until two laps to go. Kind of stretched my neck out, barely caught the board to see I was leading, I was instantly mad at my guys for not telling me, but you get over that. We’d been doing everything we could to save gas. It didn’t really affect me whether I knew I was leading or not. It was probably really smart of them not to tell me that because I probably would have drove it really, really hard. It all worked out at the end, and they talk about you when you’re in victory lane, that’s all that matters.”

EARLIER YOU SAID IT’S EASIER FOR GUYS TO RUN IN THE MIDDLE TO CONSERVE FUEL AND NOT UP THERE PUSHING FOR THE LEAD. IS THAT IND OF HOW THINGS PLAYED OUT TODAY?
KESELOWSKI: “Yes and no. I was pushing really hard the run before and drove up to seventh- or eighth place I think it was. And we were a legitimate, probably top-five car. We needed to get the clean air to be a car to win the race. I quite honestly felt like Kurt and I were pretty equal. It was just a matter of being up front and having the right track position. But you know we didn’t qualify as well as we’d like to. So we never really found that. So like I said, Kurt had them covered on speed. We had them covered on strategy. And at the end, a Penske car was going to win and that’s just what happened.”

AT WHAT POINT IN THE RACE DID YOU GUYS CONSCIOUSLY MAKE THE DECISION THAT YOU WERE GOING TO TRY TO STRETCH THE FUEL MILEAGE AND GO FOR IT, AND AFTER YOU DID, HOW CONCERNED WERE YOU THAT A CAUTION WOULD COME OUT AND THAT WOULD BE THROWN OUT THE WINDOW?
KESELOWSKI: “Hell, I wasn’t sure. I didn’t know what was going on. I’d like to know.”
WOLFE: Around lap two, we knew if we could make it to (lap) 210, from there we were close to being able to make it the rest of the way. As guys started pitting, we kind of I kind of looked at where our lap times were, and it seemed like we started picking up a bunch of speed there. I don’t know if we got some clean air or what. But it was almost a no-brainer for me because we were only losing three to four tenths to the guys on new tires. Normally, when guys start short pitting, it seems like you’re losing over a second a lap and you just lose so much track position. But it was like as everybody started peeling off and pitting, we just kept getting faster and faster. We were still running mid, I guess 33s or whatever it was, and guys
were running low 33s. And it was like, well, we’re not losing much, so it got us in a position where there were so many cars a lap down, even if the caution came out, we were still sitting okay. It was almost a no-brainer for me once I saw how much speed we had in the clean air.”

DRIVERS TALKED ABOUT WHAT THEY DID TO DEAL WITH THE HEAT. HOW BAD WAS THE HEAT FOR YOU? WHAT DID YOU DO TO DEAL WITH IT? WHAT DID THE HEAT DO FOR YOU ON THE TRACK?
KESELOWSKI: “Nobody loves it. Some people tell you they love it just so they can look tough. (Laughter). But I don’t know anybody that really loves it. But there’s a part that certainly plays in. You know obviously how you condition yourself and so forth. And I don’t really want to go into any details on that. But I’ve been coming to Kansas for a long time. Used to be I ran the truck race here every June and July. So I got used to that pretty quickly, back five, 10 years ago. It wasn’t that long ago I was working with my mom and dad and coming to these race tracks, outside all day and the air conditioner never worked so I guess I built a little toughness to the hot Kansas weather. And certainly being from the Midwest, you get toughened up by some people that don’t own air conditioning. But it all worked out. And it’s not easy. I can tell you that. You lose weight. And when you lose weight you get drained down physically. And it seems like that pulls you down mentally. When you get tired physically, you make mental mistakes. When you get tired mentally you make physical mistakes. And they all play into each other, but that’s why we’re all driving these cars, because it’s not easy. And we’re working hard to do the best we can at it. And that’s what it takes to find yourself in victory lane at the end of the day. To get in victory lane, you have to run a no mistake race. And that’s what we did today.”

DOES THIS FEEL LIKE YOU’RE STARTING OVER FROM SCRATCH PAUL, HOW MUCH DO YOU SHARE WITH THE 22 TEAM?
KESELOWSKI: “As far as starting over from scratch, I sat down the other day and was thinking about it. I guess it was at the start of the year, and I think I’ve been in Cup for two and a half years. I’ve had something like seven crew chiefs, from doing the partial deal with Hendrick, partial deal with Phoenix Racing, and I’m sure there was one or two others in there I can’t remember. It’s been a lot of people. And we’re finally hitting on a good combination here with Paul and I. And we’re on the same wave length, and that’s really what matters the most.”

WOLFE: ‘As far as the information sharing between the teams, it’s definitely obvious that we do share all the information. I think you can see that in how well both cars ran today. And it seems like here of late, we’ve made some gains, and I think it showed up in both cars. And we’ll continue to work together to make each of us better. That’s kind of how it’s supposed to work. And I feel like the relationship between Steve and I and our communication’s real well. And between the drivers, I think this says a lot for Brad and the respect that he deserves, and I’m sure Kurt gives him now. He’s proven that he’s as good as anybody out there.”

THIS MOVES YOU FROM 25TH TO 21ST IN THE POINT STANDINGS. WHAT’S THE OUTLOOK OF GETTING IN THE CHASE?
KESELOWSKI: “I have the boss telling me seven points. It’s certainly doable. It makes you certainly look back at races like Daytona and Talladega here earlier in the year where we wrecked out and those are wild-card races. We’ve hit the bad side of the wild-card. Just one or two of those races back and we’re easily in the top 20. But that’s not the way it is. So we’ve caught some bad breaks over the last few weeks that have kept us out of it. And certainly we caught a good one today. So at the end, it will all average out. If we deserve to be in it, we’ll get in it. If we don’t, we won’t. But right now, we’re on a good path to deserve to be in it. That’s really what matters the most to me.

“I’m a big fan of the rule NASCAR implemented, putting winners in the last two spots. I think that serves the sport very well. And hopefully, we’ll be able to capitalize on it. But there are no guarantees of that. I feel pretty confident that it’s going to take two wins to guarantee your way into it. So obviously, we’ve got to do this again, and that ain’t easy. I like the system. And I feel good about our chances. We just gotta’ keep moving forward and that’s what it’s all about.”

ON THAT LAST RUN, HOW MUCH FUEL DID YOU ACTUALLY SAVE? WHAT WAS THE NORMAL EXPECTATION FOR A FUEL RUN?
WOLFE: “We were only about three quarters of a lap short. So we didn’t need to save much. But the way it played out, there was nobody really pressuring us. So we went into a really conservative mode. And I can’t really answer how much Brad thinks he saved. Only he knows that.”

KESELOWSKI: “I didn’t save any.”

WOLFE: “We knew it wasn’t it really wasn’t close. I didn’t feel it was a very big gamble. We had ourselves in a pretty good position.”

YOU SAID EARLIER THAT YOU HAVE NOTICED LATELY THAT THE FASTEST CAR HAS NOT ALWAYS BEEN WINNING. DO YOU SEE THAT, IS IT JUST A COINCIDENCE, OR DO YOU SEE IT TAKING PLACE MORE OFTEN?
WOLFE: “It might be a little of both, guys taking gambles or whatnot. But like Brad said, everything has to be perfect to win one of these races. So when I say the fastest car doesn’t always win, I mean you can have the fastest car, but if you don’t have good pit strategy or you don’t keep yourself out of trouble or put yourself in situations, it really doesn’t matter. What I’ve seen is if you can put yourself in the top 10, you give yourself a chance, at least. And we feel like that’s what we did today. And I think our car is maybe a little better than what it showed. We did put ourselves in the top 10, but I think if we could have been up, you know, the farther we got up (in the field) the faster we got. It’s just so hard with these cars, you know, when you’re back there in traffic, to see what speed they really have. Everybody just fights the same thing.”

WE HAVE WELL OVER A THOUSAND ETHANOL PRODUCERS AND CORN GROWERS HERE. WHAT IS YOUR PERSPECTIVE ABOUT USING 15 PERCENT ETHANOL BLEND?
KESELOWSKI: “I think you have to applaud NASCAR and the efforts they have on the Green initiative. I know there’s some fancy word for it. The NASCAR Green initiative, isn’t it called something? That program. But I thought it had some really cool name. You guys need to work on a really cool slogan. But I think you’ve got to applaud them for pulling that rope and working really hard on that. And it’s just an added benefit and something that comes from America. I guess I didn’t even know that. I guess I should have known that. But that’s really cool.”

WOLFE: “It really hasn’t changed as far as the performance side. The fuel mileage has changed a little bit. But it’s the same for everybody. So it seemed to work out, pretty good fuel for us today. So we’re just excited that we can be part of it.”

PENSKE: “I think if we look at oil and availability of fuels as we go forward, the opportunity to combine petroleum products with this product, ethanol, I think is going in the right direction. And NASCAR has been committed many years to look at these opportunities. And we spent a lot of time on our dynamometers getting the engine back to power. But at this point, the reliability is there, the fuel mileage is there, and you can see the performance. So I think it’s a win win for everyone.”

BRAD AND ROGER, CAN YOU QUANTIFY THE IMPROVEMENT IN THIS TEAM FROM 2010 TO 2011?
PENSKE: “Well, you know, it’s interesting. You grade your team probably every week. And I think that you’ve got to be committed to stay on track. And I think one of the things that we’ve done with Brad and Paul, and obviously with Kurt and Steve, we said, look, we’re going to stay on track here. It’s so easy to get going in a different direction. You see something that another team is doing and you go back and forth. And I think we’ve pretty much stayed together. I think the integrity and the transparency that Paul talked about, you know, with the 22 car has really paid off. And the cars are better. The drivers. Obviously the more that Brad runs in this series, he’s going to get better. You can see it. His restarts, the way he’s coming in the pits here. I watched it today. The pit crews, this pit crew today, when you look at it, we started 25th. Just every stop, we moved up. So I heard him say on the radio one time it’s a lot easier to pass in the pits than it is on the racetrack and you could see that.

“So I think it’s working in a number of areas. The engines we’ve had good power. We need more. And we need better handling. But these guys are testing every single week. That’s one of the things that I am always concerned about with NASCAR is that we can’t test at the tracks that we race on so we spend all this money to go to other tracks, and we would have a much better chance, better show, if we could test at the track. So that’s one of the things, if you’re a team trying to get to the front, it’s so difficult. You got to use simulation, and that doesn’t really give you all the factors that you have on a day where the temperature’s going up, you’ve got clouds coming over, correct, and overall it’s just a lot of hard work. We’ve got 350 people that are committed to these two guys and these two teams, and Paul has brought a commitment that we’ve never had in detail. And he just won’t let up. And he got a payoff today for doing that.”

KESELOWSKI: “That was a good speech, by the way. It was really good. Yeah, we’re getting somewhere. It’s going to take time. I think the biggest thing that everybody seems to overlook in this deal is you look at the average driver age, and some of you guys have heard me speak about this, some of you haven’t. We saw about five to 10 years ago a complete reset in the driver pool. I think you should really look at that. I think you turn on a race from 10 years ago, and look at who was on the track, who was driving and you’re only going to find less than 15 of those drivers on there now. And those are drivers that were young at that time, they were the Jeff Gordons, whoever you called young at that time. I think what we’re seeing is a very loaded field of youth, talent, experience. And to come in as a driver, like I have myself over the last year or two, is an uphill climb. It’s a real uphill climb.

“With the new car coming in, the lack of testing, the fact that there’s so many good drivers out there right now, it’s a huge uphill climb to catch them, let alone beat them. What I’m trying to say is the measuring stick of success for a new driver like myself or a Joey Logano [7] or Trevor Bayne is different than what it’s ever been. It’s going to take I told someone the other day that the true determining factor of our success from a timeline perspective, for me at Penske Racing, really isn’t, in my eyes, even this year. I’m sure the sponsors want it to be right now. But the measuring stick for success for drivers before was one to two years. The measuring of success for new drivers now, I think it’s more like three to five years because of that. It’s going to take you longer to figure out these racetracks, to figure out these cars.

“So I’m excited to see where we’re going to be over the next year or two. I’ve seen a lot of progress in our team. And I’m really, really encouraged. But we have more room to continue to progress. I have a lot of room to continue to progress. And I think that we can continue to do that. On an added note,, I think people are going to look back 10, 15, 20 years from now and look at Jimmie Johnson [8] and Chad and say they were maybe the best team ever and it took them five years to win their first championship. So I think you gotta put all those things in perspective and realize how far we’ve come in just two years here at Penske Racing. Paul and I, how far we still have to go, but we’ve come a long ways. We have a ways to go. I’m proud of where we’re at and we’re going to keep working and moving forward.”

AFTER KURT’S COMMENTS AT RICHMOND, HAS THERE BEEN ENOUGH TIME TO HAVE THOSE CHANGES MAKE AN IMPACT AT THIS POINT?
PENSKE: “Well, I don’t think that anyone making comments publicly or internally are going to turn the team around in two or three weeks. I think Paul would probably be the best to answer that. I mean, he’s seen the meetings. He’s listened to what we’re trying to do. He’s been a great contributor to the things that we’re trying to make better. Remember, when you’ve got two drivers and probably 30 cars, you can’t just do things overnight, because we don’t run the same car like we do on the IndyCar side. I think it’s progress. It’s the crew chief and the driver working together. I think it’s the transparency between the two teams. We’ve added more engineering capability this year. I think we’re starting to see it now that we didn’t have last year. But this is 13 races. Remember, we’ve got another, what, 13 to go before we get into the Chase. So if we’re sitting six or seven points out and we’re starting to see some momentum here, I think that he’s got a great chance to get in. And Kurt’s sitting obviously in sixth position.”

WOLFE: “And, honestly, I don’t feel like staying out today was a huge gamble. But I think at this point, we just want to continue to put fast
race cars out there. And I think if you put yourself in victory lane, that will take care of the points. One works with the other. Like Brad said, it’s probably going to take another win to get that spot. So I think we just keep approaching it like we have and that’s trying to make our race cars faster and when you do that the results come.”

KURT IS THE ONLY DRIVER THAT HAS BEEN IN THE TOP 10 IN POINTS EVERY WEEK. CONSIDERING THAT, HOW DOES THAT SPEAK TO THE PROBLEMS AND PROGRESS YOUR TEAMS HAVE MADE?
PENSKE: “I think when you look at the performance of the 22 team, you look at the big tracks, we were strong. We got in accidents there. The consistency, I think, the reliability. Kurt’s a fantastic driver. I don’t think that people realize how good he really is and sometimes it’s going to be the best horse. And sometimes he doesn’t realize the horse he’s on he’s got to tame it to get it to go where he needs it to go. It’s like today at the beginning of the race, he was concerned about his car and I think the splitter was hitting the ground. All of a sudden the tire pressure comes up and he took off like a shot past the leaders and went on and led most of the lap. I think it’s a learning curve. And I think his confidence now with Brad being able to show the speed and Paul working with Steve has made a huge difference.”

- Darnell Communications for Dodge Motorsports, Press Release
 
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