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Race Capsule
Michigan International Speedway

What: Race 15 of 25 on Camping World Truck circuit
Where: Michigan International Speedway, Brooklyn, MI
When: Saturday August 20, 2011 12:47 pm EDT SPEED
Laps: 100
Track Length: 2. miles
Race Length: 200.00 miles


Records
Date Series Driver Speed

6/13/99 Sprint Cup Race Dale Jarrett 174.00
6/19/05 Sprint Cup Qualifying Ryan Newman 194.232
8/18/07 Nationwide Race Denny Hamlin 156.00
8/18/07 Nationwide Qualifying Greg Biffle 186.548
7/26/03 Camping World Truck Race Brendan Gaughan 154.00
6/18/05 Camping World Truck Qualifying Kyle Busch 181.612

Camping World Truck Series
Upcoming Race Aug 20
VFW 200



Camping World Truck
Date Race Name Pole Winner Race Winner Make Purse
6/12/10 VFW 200 Austin Dillon Aric Almirola Toyota $494,252
6/13/09 Michigan 200 Brian Ickler Colin Braun Ford $603,707
6/14/08 Cool City Customs 200 Mike Skinner Erik Darnell Ford $625,826
6/16/07 Michigan 200 Travis Kvapil Travis Kvapil Ford $617,811


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NAPA Auto Parts 200
Circuit Gilles Villeneuve



Race Capsule

What: Race 24 of 34 on Nationwide circuit
Where: Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, Montreal, Canada
When: SATURDAY August 20, 2011 2:46 pm EDT ESPN
Laps: 74
Track Length: 2.709 miles
Race Length: 200.00 miles


Circuit Gilles Villeneuve
Records

Date Series Driver Speed
8/4/07 Nationwide Race Kevin Harvick 65.00
8/29/10 Nationwide Qualifying Marcos Ambrose 97.079

Nationwide Series
Upcoming Race Aug 20
NAPA Auto Parts 200

Track Facts

Location: Montreal, PQ
Banking/Turns: 14-turn
Distance: 2.71 miles
Shape: 14-turn

Nationwide
Date Race Name Pole Winner Race Winner Make Purse
8/29/10 NAPA Auto Parts 200 Marcos Ambrose Boris Said Ford $1,760,821
8/30/09 NAPA Auto Parts 200 Marcos Ambrose Carl Edwards Ford $2,092,591
8/2/08 NAPA Auto Parts 200 Scott Pruett Ron Fellows Chevrolet $2,096,753
8/4/07 NAPA Auto Parts 200 Patrick Carpentier Kevin Harvick Chevrolet $2,075,651
 

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Pure Michigan 400
Michigan International Speedway




Race Capsule
Michigan International Speedway

What: Race 23 of 36 on Sprint Cup circuit
Where: Michigan International Speedway, Brooklyn, MI
When: SUNDAY August 21, 2011 1:16 pm EDT ESPN
Laps: 200
Track Length: 2. miles
Race Length: 400.00 miles


Records
Date Series Driver Speed
6/13/99 Sprint Cup Race Dale Jarrett 174.00
6/19/05 Sprint Cup Qualifying Ryan Newman 194.232
8/18/07 Nationwide Race Denny Hamlin 156.00
8/18/07 Nationwide Qualifying Greg Biffle 186.548
7/26/03 Camping World Truck Race Brendan Gaughan 154.00
6/18/05 Camping World Truck Qualifying Kyle Busch 181.612

Sprint Cup Series
Upcoming Race Aug 21
Pure Michigan 400

Track Facts
Michigan International Speedway

Location: Brooklyn, MI
Banking/Turns: D-Oval
Distance: 2.00 miles
Shape: D-Oval

Most Cup Wins (since 1975)

Bill Elliott: 7


Sprint Cup
Date Race Name Pole Winner Race Winner Make Purse
6/19/11 Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips 400 Kurt Busch Denny Hamlin Toyota $5,082,319
6/13/10 Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips 400 Kurt Busch Denny Hamlin Toyota $5,129,955
8/15/10 Carfax 400 Kasey Kahne Kevin Harvick Chevrolet $5,126,880
6/14/09 LifeLock 400 Brian Vickers Mark Martin Chevrolet $5,282,675
8/16/09 Carfax 400 Brian Vickers Brian Vickers Toyota $5,279,259
6/15/08 LifeLock 400 Kyle Busch Dale Earnhardt Jr. Chevrolet $5,243,196
8/17/08 3M Performance 400 Brian Vickers Carl Edwards Ford $5,239,780
6/17/07 Citizens Bank 400 J.J. Yeley Carl Edwards Ford $5,137,383
8/21/07 3M Performance 400 Jeff Gordon Kurt Busch Dodge $5,138,579
 

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Published on August 16, 2011 by Official Release ·

Dodge Motorsports Notes & Quotes

NSCS Race Advance

Pure Michigan 400 Michigan International Speedway

Sunday, Aug. 21, 2011

DODGE AT MICHIGAN INTERNATIONAL SPEEDWAY


. Dodge has won nine races at Michigan International Speedway: Charlie Glotzbach, Richard Petty (2), Sterling Marlin, Ryan Newman (2), Jeremy Mayfield, Kasey Kahne and Kurt Busch. Busch earned Dodge its last win at MIS at the August event last year. He started 15th and led 36 laps en route to victory. He has two wins and eight top-10 finishes in 20 starts at the two-mile track.

. Dodge holds the MIS qualifying record of 37.069 seconds, 194.232 mph (Ryan Newman, June 2005).

. Dodge has six wins at MIS since its return to NASCAR’s premier series in 2001.

DODGE NEWS AND NOTES

. Kurt Busch is the only Sprint Cup Series driver who has been in the top-10 in the driver point standings all 22 races this season.

. Brad Keselowski is one of only five Sprint Cup drivers with multiple wins this season.

. Robby Gordon’s No. 7 Dodge is not in the top 35 in owner points and must earn a berth in the 43-car starting field on speed during qualifying.

THE DODGE BOYS

. Dodge has 210 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series victories.

. Dodge’s most recent win came at Pocono Raceway on August 8. Brad Keselowski led 19 of the 200 laps en route to victory. The victory was the third for Dodge in 2011.

. Dodge teams have posted 50 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 claimed two Sprint Cup victories in 2010.

2011 DODGE SPRINT CUP REWIND

. Race 1: Kurt Busch wins the Bud Shootout and a Gatorade Duel during Speedweeks.

. Races 12-15: Dodge earns four consecutive poles.

. Race 13: Keselowski wins Kansas; first Dodge win of the season.

. Race 16: Busch dominates at Infineon for first win of season and first road-course victory of his career.

. Race 21: Keselowski, racing with a broken left ankle, earns his second win of the season at Pocono Raceway.

INSIDE THE NUMBERS

. Of the 84 Cup Series races held at Michigan International Speedway, 16 have been won from the pole.

. Kurt Busch led the Dodge Boys at the June race at MIS. Busch started from the pole and led twice before finishing ninth. Teammate Brad Keselowski was 25th and Robby Gordon finished 37th.

ODDS AND ENDS

. With his win at Infineon, Kurt Busch has now posted a win in Sprint Cup competition 10 consecutive seasons.

. While subbing for injured Penske Racing teammate Brad Keselowski at Watkins Glen, Kurt Busch was tabbed “Kurt Buschlowski” after donning Keselowski’s fire suit and driving the No. 22 Dodge Challenger to victory in the Nationwide Series event on Saturday.

. The Dodge Challengers from Penske Racing will be driven by Jacques Villeneuve (No. 22 Discount Tire Dodge) and Alex Tagliani (No. 12 Hot Wheels Dodge) this weekend at Montreal.

. Robby Gordon will pull double-duty this weekend. He is entered in the Nationwide event in Montreal on Saturday and the Sprint Cup event at MIS on Sunday.

. Three Sprint Cup races at MIS have been caution free.

STAT OF THE WEEK

. Only two of the last 12 Cup Series races at Michigan have been won from a starting position outside of the top 15.

2011 SPRINT CUP SERIES SEASON BEST

. Kurt Busch Start: 1st (Kansas, Pocono & Michigan) Finish: 1st (Infineon)

. Brad Keselowski Start: 1st (Charlotte) Finish: 1st (Kansas & Pocono)

. Robby Gordon Start: 30th (Daytona) Finish: 16th (Daytona)

FROM THE ENGINEER “It had been quite a while since we heard drivers complain about the cars being ‘aero tight’, a condition that makes the cars want to not turn if you’re behind someone that’s taking the air off the front of your car. But when we raced at Michigan in June, the condition seemed to be a real problem for many. We saw nearly anybody that was at the front of the field in clean air able to just rocket away from everybody else, while those mired in traffic struggled to make their cars turn. Engineers this week will have to come up with solutions to the dreaded ‘aero tight’ condition that won’t make the rear of the car so loose that drivers have to deal with that issue.” Howard Comstock, Dodge Motorsports Engineering

DODGE QUOTES “We’ll be doing everything we possibly can to put our Dodge Charger into the winner’s circle this weekend at M.I.S. and party down with all our great friends at Dodge. All the manufacturers are located fairly close to the speedway and they all really want to win the races there. We have such a great relationship with all the folks at Dodge and they are super supporters of Penske Racing. We’ve been so proud to take Dodge to Victory Lane in the Sonoma (Infineon Raceway) points race and in the big Bud Shootout and qualifying race wins we had down in Daytona. A win at Michigan on Sunday would be great for Dodge and super for Shell, Pennzoil and all our sponsors.”

“Michigan is one track where you always come in there planning on it to have fuel mileage involved in the equation. It’s always been a track where there aren’t many cautions and that works to push the fuel mileage aspect to the top of the list as far as strategy goes.” Kurt Busch, No. 22 Shell/Pennzoil Dodge Charger R/T

“I always have a lot of fun when it’s time to head to Michigan. It’s one of those tracks that mean so much to me and my family. I remember going there watching my dad race back when I was a little kid and can remember coming through that tunnel amazed at how big this place was to me. It’s cool to go back home to race in front of family and friends. It’s in Dodge’s backyard and we certainly know how important of a race it is for them. I really want to win a Cup race at Michigan and I think we can do it this weekend.” Brad Keselowski, No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge Charger R/T

“I can sum up into two words why I came to Penske Racing two years ago – Brad Keselowski. After a few years of trying to outrun him in the Nationwide Series, I knew how good he could be. These past few weeks have proven that to everyone. He’s as mentally tough as they come.” Paul Wolfe, crew chief, No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge Charger R/T
 

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No. 12 Hot Wheels Dodge Challenger Preview – NAPA Auto Parts 200
Published on August 16, 2011 by Official Release
Alex Tagliani

No. 12 Hot Wheels Dodge Challenger

Circuit Gilles Villeneuve – NAPA Auto Parts 200

August 20, 2011

No. 12 Hot Wheels Dodge Challenger News and Notes


Alex Tagliani, driver of the No. 12 Hot Wheels Dodge Challenger, will make his first start of the 2011 NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS) season on Saturday afternoon in the NAPA Auto Parts 200 at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal, Canada. Race coverage will begin at 2:30 pm ET on ESPN and action will be heard live on the Motor Racing Network and Sirius Channel 90.

. This weekend’s event will mark Tagliani’s third Nationwide Series start since 2009.

. This will serve as the first race together for Tagliani, the 2009 Indy 500 Rookie of the Year and 2011 Indianapolis 500 pole sitter, and crew chief Chad Walter. This is also the first race for Tagliani with Penske Racing.

. Tagliani will make his first start of the 2011 NNS season in Penske Racing chassis No. 218. Saturday will mark his third NNS start in a Dodge.

. Tagliani will make his first NNS start at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve this weekend. He has had previous success in the CART series at the track with one pole and four top-10 starts along with a best finish of fourth in 2003. He has also had one pole and two top-five starts in the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series (NCATS) at Montreal. He will be making his fourth start in the (NCATS) this weekend.

. Born and raised in Montreal, Tagliani considers Circuit Gilles Villeneuve his home track.

. Tagliani will be very busy during the week leading up to the NAPA Auto Parts 200. He will be participating in the following events throughout the week..

o The “Quebec Stars” autograph session on Thursday, August 18 from 1-2 pm ET in the infield at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve

o Tagliani, along with Mattel, will unveil the custom designed No. 12 Hot Wheels Dodge Challenger to the media in the garage area on Thursday, August 18 from 2:30-3:30 pm ET

o Also on Thursday, August 18 from 6:45-7:15 pm ET, Tagliani will participate in the Octane Race Fan Event with CKAC located at Les 3 Brasseurs, followed by the Sennheiser Autograph Session at Future Shop from 7:30-8:30 pm ET

o He will sign autographs at the Dodge Display area in the “Center of the Island” on Friday, August 19 from 12:45-1:30 pm ET

o Following race day, on Sunday, August 21, he will sign for fans at the Toys R Us store, located at 460 Ste-Catherine Ouest, from 1-1:30 pm ET

Alex Tagliani’s comments on this weekend’s NAPA Auto Parts 200

“Having the chance to run with such a great team that has a strong history of success in every series they’ve ever run in, combined with racing on my home track at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, is a great opportunity and honor. The chance to take part in the NASCAR Nationwide Series race with Penske Racing came about because of a great and long relationship with Dodge and the additional support of Hot Wheels as a sponsor. I hope to make them all proud. This race will be a huge challenge for me but with the help of my crew chief Chad Walter, I should be very well prepared for the task at hand. Running with my teammate, Jacques Villeneuve, in the No. 22 Discount Tire Dodge Challenger and me in the No.12 Hot Wheels Dodge Challenger, we will no doubt have a very strong team and the support of our hometown racing fans. Hopefully we can pull off a very positive result.”

Crew Chief, Chad Walter’s comments on this weekend’s NAPA Auto Parts 200

“Penske Racing has enjoyed a long history of road racing success, so I am looking forward to the race at Montreal with Alex Tagliani, a hometown product. At the end of the day, road racing requires a complete package to be successful – the aerodynamics, power, setup and gearing all have to be in sync. There is a special emphasis on brakes at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve as well. The single most important factor this weekend will come down to the driver’s skill set and Alex has proven to be very quick in the No. 12 Hot Wheels Dodge Challenger. Montreal is a beautiful city, with a first class racing facility, so I look forward to being competitive and ending the afternoon in Victory Lane.”
 

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The Dodge Boys are Giving Us A Reason to Cheer
by Pete Misiak

August 16, 2011

It’s a great time of year to be a sports fan.



The baseball pennant races are heating up as the teams slug their way through the dog days of summer. Football, in all its forms – from the pro ranks to college to high schoolers – is about to kick off another season. Hockey training camps will open in less than a month. The NBA? Well, we’ll have to wait that one out.



And then there’s one other sport that is nearing the climax of its regular schedule and is about to enter its elite “second season” of competition – NASCAR. Leading the way and carrying the Dodge banner are two members of the Penske Racing team who have recently garnered headlines and accolades for their aggressive skills behind the wheel – Brad Keselowski and Kurt Busch.



Case in point: Less than two weeks ago Keselowski, who drives the Number 2 Miller Lite Dodge Charger, suffered a broken ankle and a bruised back in a testing mishap on the track. Since that injury, he earned his second Sprint Cup win of the season Aug. 7 at Pocono and a runner-up finish Aug. 15 at Watkins Glen raceway.



See end of the post for a recap of last weekend's Dodge, Mopar® and Ram motorsports results.



“I’m really proud of my guys for giving me a fast Miller Lite Dodge Charger,” said Keselowski. “I wanted to win, but if I’m going to lose on a road course to someone, Marcos Ambrose is the man. He’s so good on restarts and I thought we had a shot at it. That’s all you can ask for as a driver. We were really good on long runs today. I’m proud of the day. I’m proud of the finish. It was a good points day for us.”



Keselowski vaulted up four spots in the season point standings to 14th. With only four races remaining to determine the “Chase for the Sprint Cup” field, Keselowski is in excellent position to grab one of the wild card berths in the 12-driver field. The top 10 in the point standings after the 26th race – Richmond – automatically advance. The two wild cards come from the drivers 11th to 20th in the point standings.



Meanwhile, Busch hasn’t exactly been a shrinking violet when it comes to stirring up headlines of his own.



With Keselowski still nursing that broken left ankle, the 2004 Cup Series champion Busch had a hallway conversation with his injured Penske teammate and agreed to drive the Number 22 Ruby Tuesday/Discount Tire Dodge in last wekend’s 82-lap Nationwide Series race. Busch served as a worthy replacement, winning the Zippo 200 and earning Dodge its third Nationwide win of the season



“I just have to thank this crew for allowing me to step in,” said Busch. “They were starting to call me ‘Buschlowski’ because I was wearing Brad’s fire suit. It’s really neat to come over here and sit on the pole and win."



Busch can also take comfort in his elite position in the Chase standings. He is nestled comfortably in sixth place as the NASCAR season winds down.



But Busch is also making news off the track.



He’s been in a war of words with driver Jimmie Johnson after the two had a confrontation at Pocono. The two slammed into each other on the final lap, with Johnson accusing Busch of trying to run him down while Busch contends Johnson made the first move. Busch finished third, one spot ahead of Johnson at the finish.



It all makes for great sidebar stories and real-life drama – winning despite a broken ankle, teammates bonding, drivers bad-mouthing each other.



So, if you haven’t already done so, take a few moments over the coming weeks to acquaint yourselves with the accomplishments of Kurt Busch and Brad Keselowski, two great competitors.



As the chase to “The Chase” revs up, it’s a great time of year to be a NASCAR fan.


 

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NASCAR 2011: Jacques Villeneuve is a single dad with global interests


August 17, 2011


Jacques Villeneuve, driver of the #22 Discount Tire Dodge, speaks with the media prior to practice for the NASCAR Nationwide Series Bucyrus 200 presented by Menards at Road America on June 24, 2011 in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin.

It’s fine to go through life without personal assistants, Jacques Villeneuve was saying recently.

But it is a whole lot more hectic.

“I’m just a guy with two little boys who’s busy running his life, taking care of his bills,” Villeneuve said with a chuckle from his Montreal home, his sons Jules, 4, and Jonas, 3, pinballing around noisily in the background.

“Doing one tiny little thing takes half a day (now), when I used to have people doing it for me. You realize how busy life can be.”

Hardly a mystery to any parent without enough hours on their clock. A bit of a revelation for a single father whose interests are still taking him around the globe, and whose concerns on this day included arranging a visa for a trip this month to Brazil, where he’d race a stock car – after he’d recently negotiated a deal, while racing in Wisconsin, to compete in Spain.

Villeneuve is between full-time rides, steady employment as elusive in NASCAR as it is in the cockpit of any race car. This weekend, he’ll be back on Circuit Gilles Villeneuve for his fourth go at the NAPA Auto Parts 200, having finished 16th in 2008, fourth in 2009 and third last year.

The 40-year-old will be behind the wheel of Brad Keselowski’s No. 22 Discount Tire/Ruby Tuesday Dodge Challenger, out of the Penske Racing stable – the car Kurt Busch drove to a win at Watkin’s Glen last weekend.

It surely will be the best road-course car Villeneuve has steered in a six-race Nationwide Series career; he debuted here in 2008’s torrential rains, his car not equipped with a windshield wiper, and wound up rear-ending Alex Garcia during a full-course caution to finish up the track, the final car on the lead lap.

The Penske team called Villeneuve a couple of months ago and signed him to a two-race deal: the June 25 event at Road America at Elkhart Lake, Wis., and this weekend’s NAPA 200.

“That’s about how it works in racing in general,” Villeneuve said of the offer from the Penske team.

“Sometimes, you’ll get a call because they think you’ll be spending money to race and they need cash, and sometimes they think you can bring something positive to the program. Dodge USA was behind this, which was also very important.”

Not to be underestimated is the appreciation that Villeneuve and Keselowski have for each other, and the fact it seemed almost inevitable that he’d one day work for the Penske outfit against which he memorably raced IndyCar in 1994-95.

“There’s always been a tremendous respect (of Penske),” said Villeneuve, who piloted Keselowski’s Dodge to an eventful third-place finish at Road America in June.

“And Brad has been very positive toward me, so I think that helped internally at Penske.”

Villeneuve happily recalls his two Montreal races against Keselowski, who has turned over his wheels to Villeneuve this weekend while he himself competes in Sprint Cup in Michigan.

“Two years ago, we spent half the race banging wheels,” Villeneuve said. “It was aggressive but it was clean. We ran into each other a few times but never on purpose. At some point, the cars are bigger and the track is narrower than you want them to be, so we kept leaning on each other. It was good fun – muscle and tough, and a great battle.

“Then Brad and I got out of our cars and laughed at each other. It was great, and we didn’t forget that.

“That’s been very positive for me driving his car. He’s the kind of guy who respects what other people can do. He’s an amazing driver who still has a bit to learn on the road course, and I think he thought my driving his car would be great for their program as well.”

At last month’s Nationwide event in Lebanon, Tenn., Keselowski considered what shape the “intelligently aggressive” racer (as Villeneuve called himself before his 1993 Montreal debut) might return his car. “Hopefully, it comes back in one piece with Gatorade on it,” he replied with a grin, hinting at a trip to Victory Lane.

Keselowski said that, from the beginning of the season, putting a road-course specialist in his car here was a serious option.

“We hadn’t really made the decision until we got the right driver that made sense for the sponsors and the team,” he said. “Obviously, Jacques is a very aggressive, talented racer. I’d love to see him win in my car. And what he means to the town of Montreal, I think it’s just good for everybody on our team.”

Villeneuve has always been a great story in this city, his first race on the circuit named for his late father producing a 1993 Formula Atlantic victory following impressive Formula 3 showings in Italy and Japan.

The ’93 Atlantic win, on the undercard of the Formula One Canadian Grand Prix, was his springboard into IndyCar racing. There he’d win the circuit’s rookie-of-the-year title in 1994, the historic Indianapolis 500 and series championship in 1995, then graduate to a decade in F1, which saw him win the world title with Williams in 1997, his sophomore year.

When Villeneuve’s F1 opportunities evaporated for a variety of reasons during the 2006 season, he settled in Montreal and turned his eye to NASCAR and other forms of racing that have taken him far and wide.

But stock cars have special appeal, and he’s been knocking on doors hoping that his racing pedigree, history and solid performance in a car with a roof won’t go unnoticed.

Last month, he travelled unannounced to a NASCAR race weekend in Loudon, N.H., to put a few irons in the fire.

“I’ve been working on this a few years now. It just takes a while to get going,” Villeneuve said. “Every time I get in the car, the racing and the results are better.

“Every time there’s a good show, the team and sponsor get good mileage and good information. It’s building up. When you (have success) one time, it could be a one-off. But now it’s been like that every race, so they’re starting to realize there’s value in it.”

Villeneuve arrives this weekend for his 15th career race on the Île Notre Dame circuit. He’s not won here since Atlantic in 1993, finishing an F1-best second for Williams in 1996 and a NASCAR-best third last summer for Todd Braun.

Of his three stock-car starts here, Villeneuve most cherishes 2008, NASCAR’s first point-scoring race run on rain tires that aquaplaned through an afternoon-long downpour.

It caught many teams without defoggers and windshield wipers, his included, drivers turning left and right by instinct and with fingers crossed.

“It was raining so hard it was crazy. It was amazing,” marvelled Villeneuve, who has run through Biblical monsoons in every type of open-wheel car.

“To see all the NASCAR guys who weren’t really road racers, and also had never driven in the wet – there was no practice in the rain and the first lap they did in the wet was the race start. But everything went fine. They all managed to drive, there weren’t that many crashes, it was an amazing race. They all stepped up. I was very impressed with all that.

“In other (racing), where people are used to running in the wet, if something like that had happened, there would have been whining about how much water there was and they all would have been going off (the track). In NASCAR, nobody whined. They were just all excited.

“They found it fun and they drove well. That really got to me.”

Villeneuve said the only time he’s raced in that amount of water was in the late 1980s and early ’90s in Formula 3 in Italy and Japan, “where you drove whatever the situation was just to survive, even if you couldn’t see an inch in front of you.

“That’s how it was in Montreal. Before here, (NASCAR) didn’t drive in the rain. Where the whole racing world is saying: ‘We can’t do that, it’s too crazy,’ NASCAR is going crazier and actually allowing it.

“It created an amazing race. I really enjoyed it.”

At no point, Villeneuve said, has he believed this racetrack owes him a victory, no matter its name or his misfortune created by himself, by others or by mechanical failure.

“I’ve never thought about it like that, ever, in all my racing career,” he said. “The good thing is, I’ve won once in Montreal, but after that it’s gone bad.”

He laughs as he speaks those words, having run between ninth and 22nd in F1 following his runner-up finish and 16th in his first Nationwide swim meet before two top-fives. But he does love every experience, of that there’s no doubt.

“I’ve always enjoyed racing on this track,” Villeneuve said, never referring to it by name. “Qualifying is not so exciting (in NASCAR) because the cornering speed is quite slow and it’s quite intricate with all the heavy braking and changes of direction. The cars aren’t made for that. But once you get into racing, there’s always something going on, wherever. It’s great for the fans and great for us drivers.”

His Road America set-up in this season’s new Nationwide car – one he’s enjoyed from his first lap in it – was very solid, showing Villeneuve to be very good under braking and in the slow-speed corners. A test session on a road course in Kershaw, N.C., last week was done to tweak a few things, and he’s optimistic that the Penske Dodge “should be good in Montreal as long as we can ride the curbs.

“The cars are heavier than last year, but somehow they drive better. It has good front end grip and moves a little bit less. I really loved it in Elkhart Lake. It was a lot of fun to drive.

“The only thing now, and (it’s something) the teams are used to by now, is that I need good brakes,” he said, laughing again. “From what I saw in Elkhart Lake and last year in Montreal, I’ll brake later than anyone. The key is to have brakes that survive. They did here last year and at Road America. I could brake hard the whole race.”

There are full-time Nationwide drivers in this weekend’s field who steer their cars in their sleep, who in two months will run more NASCAR races than Villeneuve has in his career. And yet none are likely as naturally gifted behind the wheel as Villeneuve, who’s never lost the touch despite long stretches of competitive inactivity.

“The first two laps sometimes are a little bit surprising,” he admitted. “It’s just the visual aspect of the speed, which you kind of lose touch with. You drive on the roads very slowly, then you get in the race. Visually, you’re not used to going 250 km/h and your brain just has to get back into it.

“It takes a lap or two of hitting your brakes and realizing, ‘I can brake 50 metres later than that.’ Five minutes, a couple of laps and you’re back into it. Your body remembers it all.

“And sometimes it’s good to have a little break because you can learn again. That was often the problem I found with Formula One – you were driving every week and you got in that rhythm. Then you got stuck in that rhythm.

“Sometimes you need to take a little time off, maybe two, three months, just a little bit to forget about that rhythm, to start from scratch but keep that body memory. That’s the only way that experience kicks in – when you have time to go away for the brain to assimilate it all.

“When the body memory takes over, you can drive like that. And that’s when you can race your best because you can focus on where to brake, how to overtake. You don’t have to focus on how to drive and react because your subsconscious is doing it for you.”

Villeneuve considered the final event of fellow Quebecer Patrick Carpentier, a respected colleague and 27-year racing veteran who, after this weekend’s NAPA 200, will retire to pursue other interests. And in wondering whether Carpentier might yield to the comeback tug that he’s likely to feel, Villeneuve summarized his own life:

“I don’t understand retirement,” he said. “When you have racing in your blood, it doesn’t go away.

“You don’t suddenly become a non-racer. If you’re really passionate about it, you can’t. It’s in your blood until you die.”

 

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AUGUST 17, 2011

"Bad Brad" not so bad anymore


WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. — His left racing shoe untied to ease the pressure on his sore ankle, Brad Keselowski limped ever-so-slightly out of the No. 2 Penske Racing hauler and plopped down in a director's chair.

Another day at the track was over, but the pain from his broken ankle and bruised back wasn't getting any better.


Not after two sessions of NASCAR Cup practice over the grueling, 11-turn road course at Watkins Glen.

"I'm here and driving, so it can't be too bad, right?" Keselowski said with a pained smile. "It feels better, but it definitely doesn't feel much better than last weekend. Driving is obviously hell on it, but we're going to tough it out. I can make it work."

Keselowski was injured during a testing session two weeks ago when the brakes on his No. 2 Dodge failed and he slammed head-on into a wall at Road Atlanta that did not have an energy-absorbing barrier. Data showed he was traveling about 100 mph at time of impact.

Since then, he's held off nemesis Kyle Busch to win at Pocono and finished second at Watkins Glen International on Monday — one spot ahead of Busch and just behind winner Marcos Ambrose in a thrilling green-white-checkered finish.

If not for a bump from Ambrose, one of the best road racers in NASCAR, that nudged him aside at the end of the race, Keselowski would have had his third win of the season on a track where he was making just his second Cup start.

"It shows how dedicated he is," crew chief Paul Wolfe said. "I don't think he's going to let anybody down."

A year ago, Keselowski, a third-generation racer, was well on his way to winning the Nationwide Series title. But he was struggling mightily in his first full season in Cup, battling to earn the respect of his fellow drivers.

That's all changed this season.

"I think I'm slowly becoming more competitive, and as you become more competitive you get more respect from your competitors and things just get easier," Keselowski said. "You don't have to fight so many different things. The biggest thing overall is just time.

"I'm getting more respect. I don't know how to quantify that, but I just know that things are getting easier. That makes you look a lot better when things get easier."

Excelling while driving hurt the past two races made the 27-year-old Keselowski seem like a throwback, if his actions on track already hadn't.

"Brad came in a little too worried about all that, concerned that he wasn't going to be getting it (respect), and I think that bothered him," said 18-year Cup veteran Jeff Burton. "Some people come in and don't even worry about it. You know at some point you're going to have to have everybody's respect, but you can't lose sleep over it.

"You've got to go and be who you are. You've got to race the way you know to race. You've got to be true to who you are, and you have to understand that there's consequences to that, good and bad."

Keselowski's hard-driving style has repeatedly made it clear he's no pushover, and there have been consequences.

In just his fifth race at NASCAR's top level, he snatched his first victory at Talladega Superspeedway when Carl Edwards tried to block his pass for the win as they sped to the checkered flag.

Keselowski didn't lift and the contact with Edwards sent the No. 99 Ford airborne and upside down, sheet metal spewing in his wake as the car sailed into the safety fence in a scary crash.

After Keselowski collided again with Edwards at Atlanta, Edwards retaliated by intentionally wrecking Keselowski, sending him airborne. And when Edwards intentionally wrecked "Bad Brad," causing a frightening accident on the last lap of a Nationwide race at Gateway International Raceway last summer, both were placed on probation for the remainder of the season.

Keselowski also angered Kyle Busch in a Nationwide race at Bristol last year while the two were racing for the lead. Busch intentionally spun him and went on to win the race. Keselowski finished 14th.

Busch celebrated that win by mockingly rubbing his eyes like a crying baby and was greeted with a chorus of boos. Keselowski promised revenge over the public address system and had some choice words for Busch the next day during driver introductions for the Cup race.

Now, all of that seems like ancient history as the Cup series heads to his home state of Michigan.

"Last year was a struggle for him," Burton said. "He started out this year it was a struggle for him, but they've rebounded. It took me about a year and a half in this series for it to click, for me to say, 'Hey, I understand it now.' I think that's the time frame he's in.

"He needs to and has let his performance talk for itself," Burton said. "He had his incidents with Carl and Kyle and all that, but really if you go out and really think about Brad, he's never really in the middle of a lot of stuff. I think he's done a good job of stepping away from all that and just saying, 'You know, I'm just going to race and not get caught up in all that.' He's done a much better job with that, in my opinion, this year."

And it shows.

With four races remaining until the 10-race for the Chase for the Sprint Cup title begins, Keselowski is a near shoe-in to be one of the 12 drivers to make the postseason. He sits 14th in the standings and is the only driver ranked from 11th to 20th with two wins. The top 10 drivers in the standings and the two drivers with the most victories in 11th to 20th place earn spots for the Chase.

"Having my name at the top of the wild-card list and with a strong potential to be in the Chase is a great feeling," Keselowski said. "I'm going to look back on that and smile for sure. We're closing in on something that's a huge accomplishment."

Especially for Penske Racing, which would have both of its Dodges trying to wrest the title from five-time champion Jimmie Johnson.

"It's neat to see his maturity. He just continues to grow," said Penske teammate Kurt Busch, who won the Nationwide race at Watkins Glen on Saturday subbing for Keselowski, who wanted to drive but was persuaded not to.

"The "Bad Brad" label is not as bad," Busch said. "He's able to go out there now and compete at a level that's going to get him a Chase berth. That's what we want to see, and right now he's in great position. To see him settle in with Paul Wolfe and where they are as a team, they have that desire and youthful exuberance, and right now they're putting it together."


 

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Dodge Motorsports Notes & Quotes – NNS Race Advance – Montreal
Published on August 17, 2011 by Official Release

Dodge Motorsports Notes & Quotes

NASCAR Nationwide Series

NAPA Auto Parts 250 presented by Dodge Circuit Gilles Villeneuve

Saturday, Aug. 20, 2011

ROBBY GORDON, No. 7 SPEED Energy Dodge Challenger R/T Montreal Stats: Starts: 2 Wins: 0 Top Fives: 0 Top 10s: 0 Poles: 0 Laps Led: 17 Average Start: 13.5 Average Finish: 16.0

ALEX TAGLIANI, No. 12 Hot Wheels Dodge Challenger R/T Montreal Stats: Starts: 1 Wins: 0 Top Fives: 0 Top 10s: 0 Poles: 0 Laps Led: 0 Average Start: 23.0 Average Finish: 26.0

JACQUES VILLENEUVE, No. 22 Discount Tire Dodge Challenger R/T Montreal Stats: Starts: 3 Wins: 0 Top Fives: 2 Top 10s: 2 Poles: 0 Laps Led: 5 Average Start: 4.3 Average Finish: 7.7

DODGE DRIVER QUOTES: “Having the chance to run with such a great team that has a strong history of success in every series they’ve ever run in, combined with racing on my home track at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, is a great opportunity and honor. The chance to take part in the NASCAR Nationwide Series race with Penske Racing came about because of a great and long relationship with Dodge and the additional support of Hot Wheels as a sponsor. I hope to make them all proud.” Alex Tagliani, No. 12 Hot Wheels Dodge

“I’m looking forward to the NAPA Auto Parts 200 – it’s always an exciting race but in addition, it obviously has special meaning for me because the Circuit (Gilles Villeneuve) holds my father’s name and I’ll be racing in my hometown. After our good showing at Elkhart Lake, I know the No. 22 Discount Tire/Ruby Tuesday Dodge will be competitive and together with the Penske team, we’ll definitely be turning up with the goal of winning.” Jacques Villeneuve, No 22 Discount Tire Dodge

“It’s always great to head up to Montreal and race in front of the great race fans in Quebec. We’re bringing a brand new SPEED Energy Dodge Challenger to race. I really like Circuit Gilles Villeneuve. We led a bunch of laps there last year and if not for a green-white-checker flag, we probably would have won the race. Some of the best race fans are north of the border and I can’t wait for them to see our SPEED Energy Dodge.” Robby Gordon, No. 7 SPEED Energy Dodge

DODGE NOTES

· Maryeve Default will be making her first career Nationwide start this weekend driving the No. 81 Dodge Challenger.

· Robby Gordon is making his first Nationwide start since Montreal last year. He led 17 laps and finished 14th.

· Quebec natives Alex Tagliani and Jacques Villeneuve will be piloting Dodge Challengers prepared by Penske Racing. Villeneuve is making his second NNS start this season in No. 22 Discount Tire Dodge Challenger. He finished third at Road America.

· Dodge has two Nationwide Series wins this season.
 

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August 18, 2011

Kurt Busch not one to back down

BY MIKE BRUDENELL
DETROIT FREE PRESS SPORTS WRITER



Kurt Busch says he respects Jimmie Johnson's record as a NASCAR Sprint Cup driver and five-time series champion. But he stops abruptly there.

At Pocono Raceway a couple weeks ago, Busch and Johnson got into a bumping duel on the track in the final laps of the race and a verbal slinging match later on pit road.

Another episode in the ongoing Busch-Johnson feud, which has seen them exchange barbs and rub bumpers at Sonoma, Chicago and Pocono.

Busch, who drives the No. 22 Shell/Pennzoil Dodge for Penske Racing, is no stranger to confrontation, having had run-ins with Jimmy Spencer at Michigan International Speedway and blow-ups with Kevin Harvick and Tony Stewart, among others.

The 2004 Sprint Cup champion makes no apologies for his actions, preferring to race hard and let his results speak for themselves.

Busch is sixth in Cup points and seeking a strong run at MIS on Sunday in the Pure Michigan 400.

"We always like going to Michigan," said Busch, who finished 11th there in the June Cup race and won at MIS in 2003 and 2007. "I'm amped up."

Last season, Busch finished third at Michigan in June but blew an engine in the August race and placed 40th.

And Johnson might want to keep an eye on Busch this weekend in the Irish Hills.

"There's still a flame burning," Busch said this week of his heated battles with Johnson. "I don't think I stepped over the line at Pocono. We were fighting it out to the finish. Jimmie -- he's a five-time champ, and that speaks for itself; he deserves respect for that. I'm not going further."

Busch is coming off a weekend of mixed results at Watkins Glen International, where he substituted for an injured Brad Keselowski in the Nationwide Series race Saturday and won handily from the pole.

On Sunday, he finished 38th in the Cup race at the Glen, his car having brake issues and blowing out the left front tire.

Busch hopes for a shot at victory at MIS. "We have a good chance to win on Sunday," said Busch, who joined Penske in 2006 from Roush Fenway Racing, where he won his series title but left in ugly circumstances. "And I think we are definitely a championship threat. It would be so cool to win a Sprint Cup title for Roger."

This season, Busch has a victory at Sonoma and three poles in a total of five top-five and 12 top-10 finishes. Last year, he ranked 11th in the Chase.

"The synergy on the team is good -- we have a veteran driver and a veteran crew chief in Steve Addington," he said. "We are up to the challenge of going after a championship. It's a great combination."

There's little doubt Busch will push to the front at MIS in Sunday's race. He has been fast all year.

Hendrick Motorsports' Johnson should be near the point, too, although he has yet to win a Cup event at Michigan.

At some stage, Busch and Johnson will come eye to eye on the track.

"I'm looking to get bragging rights at MIS," said Busch. "All drivers want to win in the manufacturers' back yard. It should be a dogfight, whoever we battle."

 

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Dodge Motorsports Presents THE NUMBERS for the Pure Michigan 400

Posted By Press Release On August 16, 2011 Releases,Sprint Cup Series



THE NUMBERS for the Pure Michigan 400
Michigan Int’l Speedway (all Sprint Cup [2] races)


0 – fewest cautions (three times, most recent 6/13/99)

1 – fewest laps led by race winner (Mark Martin [3], 6/14/09)

2 – fewest cars on lead lap at finish (five times, most recent 6/15/75)

5 – fewest leaders (five times, most recent 8/12/84)

6 – races won from outside a top-20 starting position

6 – wins by Dodge at MIS since manufacturer’s return to NASCAR [4] in 2001

7 – fewest lead changes (8/12/84)

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

9 – most wins (David Pearson)

10 – most poles (David Pearson)

10 – most cautions (8/20/06)

11 – wins by car owner (Wood Brothers, Jack Roush)

14 – fewest cars running at finish (6/16/74)

15 – most leaders (6/20/82)

18 – drivers with more than one win

21 – drivers with more than one pole at MIS

21 – lead changes in June race at MIS

24 – wins from the front row; 16 from the pole

32 – worst starting position for race winner (Mark Martin, 2009)

33 – different race winners

37 – most cars on lead lap at finish (6/18/06)

40 – different pole winners

41 – most cars running at finish (five times, most recent 6/17/07)

63 – most caution laps (8/24/75)

65 – most lead changes (8/16/81)

120 minutes – approximate amount of time it takes to dry the 2.0-mile track

162 – laps led by race winner (Rusty Wallace, 8/20/89)

Key Dates in MIS History

1967 – year construction began on MIS

1969 – first Sprint Cup race

1972 – track purchased by Roger Penske

1973 – only one Sprint Cup race

1999 – year MIS purchased by ISC

2011 Caution Update

4 – fewest cautions this season (Fontana and Pocono)

5 – number of races extended beyond scheduled distance in 2011

5 – number of cautions in June race at MIS

16 – most cautions this season (Daytona)

162 – number of cautions in the first 22 races of 2011; includes 76 for accidents, 38 for debris and 23 for spins

753 of 6,048 – number of laps under caution in 2011

1,101.611 of 8, 760.258 – miles under caution in the first 22 races

BONUS: In addition to Michigan Int’l Speedway, three other Michigan tracks hosted five NASCAR Sprint Cup Series events in the 1950s – Grand River Speedrome (Grand Rapids), Michigan State Fairgrounds (Detroit) and Monroe Speedway.

- Darnell Communications for Dodge Motorsports, Press Release
 

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Brad Keselowski now earning respect
By David Newton
ESPN.com

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Seems like just yesterday that Brad Keselowski was the driver everyone said -- borrowing the phrase Boris Said delivered to Greg Biffle after Monday's rain-delayed Sprint Cup race at Watkins Glen -- "needs a whooping."

His list of enemies was long. At the top were Carl Edwards, Denny Hamlin and Kyle Busch. They didn't call the Penske Racing driver a "scaredy-cat," as Said called Biffle, but the word "punk" worked itself into the conversation more than once.


Brad Keselowski survived a grueling 500-mile race at Pocono to stand in Victory Lane -- broken ankle and all.

Keselowski didn't hide behind his offensive-line sized pit crew, though. He fueled the fire at every turn, highlighted by saying "Kyle Busch is an ass" during prerace introductions at Bristol last August.

So what happened to Bad Brad?

He matured, that's what.

Maturity is a much overused term in NASCAR. It's seemingly the fix-all answer for everything. One example: Busch going from the "old Kyle Busch" to the "new Kyle Busch."

But there's something to it. Drivers who come into the sport with a chip on their shoulder usually learn the value of good judgment after having that chip knocked off a time or two.

Keselowski had his knocked off more than a few times.

This isn't to suggest that Keselowski isn't as aggressive as ever. His move to go from third to first on the green-white-checkered restart at Watkins Glen before settling for second to Marcos Ambrose was gutsy to say the least.

Keselowski also is as brash as ever. When recently asked who he would take out first in a three-driver race between himself, Edwards and Busch, he jokingly said, "Both at the same time."

But you don't hear drivers complaining about Keselowski like they once did. It's a sign that the respect factor has taken a dramatic upturn.

"It is more," Hamlin said as the Cup series heads to Keselowski's home track of Michigan International Speedway. "He races a lot different now than what he used to. He thought he was right back then, but he wasn't right. He's learning. It's winning him races now and he's gaining lots of respect among the guys."

It's part of why Keselowski has gone from Chase long shot to Chase contender. Ranked 14th in points with two wins, he is the leader in the clubhouse for the first wild-card position.

"I don't really feel like I'm doing anything differently," Keselowski said. "I'm slowly becoming more competitive, and as you become more competitive you get more respect from your competitors and things just get easier."

Over the past 10 races, Keselowski is the only driver with multiple victories -- at Kansas and Pocono. Over the past seven his average finish of 11.2 ranks fifth behind Jeff Gordon (7.1), Jimmie Johnson (9.7), Busch (9.7) and Matt Kenseth (11.0).

Over the past two nobody can top his first- and second-place finishes at Pocono and The Glen. That the 27-year-old driver accomplished that with a broken foot suffered during a test session in Atlanta has earned him even more respect.

WHO'S HOT?

A look at how the top 20 Sprint Cup drivers eligible for the Chase in points rank in average finish over the past seven races:
Driver Pts. W Top 10 Avg. Finish
1. Jeff Gordon 7 0 5 7.1*
2. Jimmie Johnson 3 0 5 9.7*
3. Kyle Busch T-1 1 5 9.7 *
4. Matt Kenseth 5 0 3 11.0*
5. Brad Keselowski 14 1 5 11.2**
6. Joey Logano 17 0 4 11.8
7. Kevin Harvick 4 0 3 12.0 *
8. Martin Truex Jr. 20 0 3 12.1
9. Ryan Newman 8 1 3 12.8*
10. Carl Edwards T-1 0 3 13.0*
11. Kurt Busch 6 1 4 13.7*
12. Tony Stewart 10 0 2 15.4*
13. AJ Allmendinger 16 0 2 16.0
14. Kasey Kahne 19 0 2 16.1
15. Paul Menard 15 1 3 16.5
16. Greg Biffle 13 0 2 17.4
17. Clint Bowyer 11 0 1 19.1
18. Denny Hamlin 12 0 1 20.2**
19. Dale Earnhardt Jr. 9 0 1 20.7*
20. Mark Martin 18 0 1 20.2
* Currently in Chase as top 10
** Currently in Chase as wild card

"When you win, certainly things get easier," Keselowski said. "Performance opens doors."

Respect opens them wider.

"The way he was before, a lot of guys would race the daylights out of him just because he did it to him," Hamlin said. "Now it seems like he's giving more and receiving more."

Keselowski made his own life hell during the past two-plus seasons. It began at Talladega in 2009 when, driving a part-time Cup schedule for Phoenix Racing, he sent Edwards' car flying into the catch-fence going for the win.

In Keselowski's defense, that simply was hard racing. But it always creeps into the conversation with the list of incidents that followed in the Nationwide Series -- particularly with Hamlin.

Keselowski's 2009 Nationwide season ended with Hamlin intentionally spinning him out at Homestead-Miami Speedway a week after vowing to teach Keselowski a lesson for spinning him at Phoenix.

"I've never seen so many crews applauding and giving the thumbs-up," Hamlin said at the time. "It just shows you [how many] cars he's torn up."

When NASCAR declared "have at it, boys" before the 2010 season, it was like declaring open season on Keselowski for some. Edwards sent Keselowski's car airborne near the end of the spring Cup race at Atlanta in retaliation for an incident earlier that all but ended his day.

Edwards later wrecked Keselowski intentionally to win a Nationwide race at Gateway International. Busch got into the act at the August Bristol Nationwide race, admitting he intentionally "dumped" Keselowski to win.

"He does it to everyone else," Busch said after the race. "Why can't I do it to him?"

Keselowski doesn't draw such ire these days.

He draws respect.

"At the end of the day most of the issues anybody ever has with people is all about respect," said Edwards, who is tied with Busch for the points lead.

As the respect meter has gone up for Keselowski, so has the respect factor for Penske Racing.

Let me explain. For almost as long as Penske Racing has existed, it hasn't had two drivers get along as well as Keselowski and Kurt Busch, who is sixth in points. Rusty Wallace and Ryan Newman used to despise one another, never sharing information in the way it takes to win titles.

Newman and Kurt Busch got along better, but the engineers and crewmen who went through the Wallace-Newman era never developed a pure open-book policy.

That didn't happen at the beginning of this season, either. Like one top chef giving another his secret recipe, it seemed a key ingredient in the setup often was left out during the first three months to spoil the final product.

There also was the trust factor. Kurt Busch's crew and the engineers who work on his cars didn't totally buy into what was going into Keselowski's cars. Quite frankly, the No. 22 team hadn't done anything to warrant their trust.

But sometime after Kurt Busch's profanity-laced tirade at Richmond and Keselowski's win at Kansas the lines of communication opened to a point they never truly have had at Penske Racing.

"Brad came in with a certain connotation," said Travis Geisler, Penske's competition director. "There was this little uneasiness about the whole situation. Until he showed he was able to go out and run with Kurt a little bit, it was hard for him to develop that comfort level with somebody as a peer.

"How are you, if you're LeBron James, going to solicit advice or respect the opinion of somebody that you're kicking their ass every week?"

Now the teams are feeding off each other. There have been times recently where Kurt Busch has gone with Keselowski's setup, something he would have been reluctant to do a year ago when his teammate was 25th in points.

That has put the lone Dodge team in a position to keep up with the powerhouses. Through 22 races, Kurt Busch and Keselowski have three wins, as many as the four-car team at Hendrick Motorsports.

They're also competitive percentage-wise in laps led with 725, an area in which they were woefully lacking the past few years. Keselowski is a big part of that, already leading 177 laps after leading only 41 a year ago in 36 events.

But what makes Penske Racing a real threat this season is the communication.

"I wasn't here [for Wallace and Newman], but I saw some of the remnants of what was going on," Geisler said. "It was not a healthy situation. You had the old and the new and it just clashed too hard."

Had Keselowski not ditched his punk reputation, he might have clashed with Kurt.

"It's neat to see his maturity continue to grow," Busch said. "The 'Bad Brad' label is not as bad."

Many in the garage believe Keselowski and Kurt Busch simply have found more horsepower. Geisler insists there's been no change, that communication simply has produced better setups that has allowed the cars to go faster.

"One of the most unreported things is the complete turnaround the company has seen over the last three or four years as far as respect that teammates have for each other -- and really you could say over the last year," Keselowski said.

It's almost been a perfect storm. The equipment has improved to the point Keselowski doesn't have to push as hard. He can be a much smarter driver without forcing issues and ticking off competitors.

It has allowed his teammate to trust him.

That ultimately, with apologies to Said, could help Keselowski whoop up on everyone in the Chase.


 

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2011 NSCS Pure Michigan 400 Q&A with Dodge Motorsports Driver, Kurt Busch

Posted By Press Release On August 19, 2011 Press Releases,Sprint Cup Series


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

WHAT IS THE STRATEGY THIS WEEKEND FOR YOU AND THE NO. 22 SHELL/PENNZOIL DODGE TEAM? “We’re definitely pushing hard to try to win this weekend, to be a participant in the Sprint Summer Showdown. To have that opportunity to win a fan $1 million as well as to be eligible for the team as well as the foundation, that’s quite a bit of an incentive for us to do well. Michigan is a great race track that provides for an excellent chance of racing the inside groove, the middle groove, the high groove. It’s really an exciting track to race on. I feel like, with the way that this track is in the auto manufacturer’s backyard, there’s a little bit of bragging rights here when you’re trying to win for your respective manufacturer. So, we’re pushing hard for Dodge, as well.

HOW DO YOU AND BRAD WORK TOGETHER? “We’re not different than any other team out there. With a veteran driver and young guy so to speak, the way that he’s matured this year as a driver, it’s been exciting to see (Brad) and Paul Wolfe really connect, and to have Paul Wolfe challenge Steve Addington with new things. It’s been great. The crew chiefs and the drivers working together as one on a level where, yes, he’s winning, putting great, consistent finishes and doing it week in and week out. That only makes our team stronger. It’s a great two-way street right now.”


HOW WOULD YOU REDESIGN WATKINS GLEN? “It’s racing. We’re going to wreck and you’re going to have problems. You can’t forecast everything and be able to have it work perfectly. It’s a race track, just like all the others. It’s a road course. There are dangerous spots on it. Years ago, we used to not have an inner loop system, drive 200 miles an hour down into the carrousel. Then you put in an inner loop. Are we supposed to put in inner loops before every corner? No, you can’t. It’s definitely a tough balance of understanding how you’re supposed to make sure a car, when they have a brake failure, doesn’t have a problem getting into Turn 1, but then that wall has to come back around and be at an angle to help cars funnel into Turn 2, where both Davids had their problems.

“Every time you turn around, when you’re a track owner, promoter, you’re trying to make sure your track is the safest it can be, but it’s a tough balance. We blew out a left front tire. I knew I was going to smack the fence pretty hard. I’m fine standing here today because of all the safety that the tracks have done and NASCAR has done. I feel pretty safe out there, after watching some vicious wrecks that happened last Sunday.”

CAN YOU TALK ABOUT BRISTOL? “The racing there has changed dramatically since they’ve made the improvements and changed it around where we can race side-by-side a lot easier. Is that good, is it bad. Every time you turn around, you’re getting questioned on, ‘we want the old Bristol back’. It’s not going to happen. We’re out there racing two-, sometimes three-wide now. It gets three-wide pretty quick when you’re in traffic and the two leaders don’t want to yield and give up time around those lap cars. It’s exciting to me. I think a lot of the drivers agree it’s a place now where it’s changed and you have to have a little bit of finesse mixed in if you want to have success.”

CAN YOU EXPLAIN HOW FAST THINGS HAPPEN AT BRISTOL? “It’s a track where you’re making 16-second lap times. You know that you’re in Turn 1 and you’re already looking ahead to Turn 3. The spotter has to digest everything and how fast it happens there to help the driver. It just gets back to those good old short-track moments when you have those little itty-bitty tracks and you have closure rates that are quick on other cars. It’s hard to create an analogy to our race fans. Things happen so fast, it’s just like traveling down the interstate and you can’t see the other guy that’s off on the shoulder changing his tires with his car is jacked up. You’ve got to make sure that you look far enough down the road to be able to digest it all.”

HAS PENSKE BECOME THE BOUTIQUE TEAM THAT CAN JUMP INTO AND WIN THE CHAMPIONSHIP? “With Brad’s success in having the wins to get into the Chase as a wild card, that’s what the point system and movement was made to do, give guys an opportunity who don’t have the consistency, but still have the opportunity to race for the Chase. That element of that wild card has definitely made it exciting for everybody to watch. You have your consistent group, the Big Four. For us at Penske, we’re one of the big teams; we just don’t have four teams out there every week. I feel like we’re doing everything that those top teams are doing, except that we only have two cars out there each week instead of four.”

HAS THERE BEEN ANY DRAMATIC CHANGES FROM A TECHNOLOGICAL STANDPOINT WHERE YOU FEEL THE ORGANIZATION HAS PICKED UP AS A WHOLE? “We have made good strides since May, our Richmond race; the team communication and everybody being on the same page as well Brad feeling more confident in his Cup cars.”

WITH YOU POSITION IN POINTS, DOES THAT ALLOW YOU TO TEST AT ALL ON RACE WEEKENDS? IS THERE A DANGER IN GOING TO FAR? “We’ve got a two-race cushion the way we look at it. We’ve got 90 points on Denny Hamlin [5] who is 11th. With the way that Steve Addington has put in new things to the car each week, just little things here and there, we’re not going to go way off in left field and try things. We’re still going to continue to polish up what we have because what we have has gotten us to this point at a fairly successful rate. Just a few weeks ago at Pocono, we were struggling all through practice. We threw our setup in the trashcan and bolted in Brad Keselowski [6]’s setup. He won the race, we finished third. That’s the sign of a team that’s in position to do good things, when you can just throw a setup at it and still come away with a top-five finish.

“We’re not going to push anything different. We feel comfortable with our point’s position, but yet we’re at a unique opportunity to try to push to get into this Summer Showdown. Sprint has put up this big bonus to really magnify these races with the intensity factor. No, we’re not really going to steer away, but we feel comfortable in our point’s position to be able to steer away.”

CAN YOU TALK ABOUT HOW BRAD HAS CHANGED IN HIS INFORMATION FEEDBACK? HAS IT HELPED IMPROVE YOUR CARS AND HELPED YOU? “It’s been a nice, steady progression. It’s been neat to watch him feel more comfortable in the Cup cars. I think a few weeks ago, when we put his setup in (our car) at Pocono, it gave him that feel of, ‘wow, I really got a lot of input now in that 22 car because he put my setup in.’ That’s what’s been available all along for him to do, that’s to put in a 22 car setup. But now it’s that two-way street. That’s when it gets exciting. That’s when both teams can really start to gain strength because there’s not anything that we’re going to doubt that Paul Wolfe is saying, ‘I’m going to move the track bar down just a little bit.’ In our minds, Steve Addington and I were like, ‘we’ve already done that. We’ve seen that.’ Now, we’re really focused in on, ‘Ok, that has made a good change for them. Let’s do that for us so that we can move on to something else.’”

- Darnell Communications for Dodge Motorsports, Press Release
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Pure Michigan 400
Field Set Michigan International Speedway



Order Driver (No.) Car Qualifying Speed

1 Greg Biffle (16) Ford 190.345
2 Matt Kenseth (17) Ford 190.209
3 Ryan Newman (39) Chevrolet 189.573
4 Denny Hamlin (11) Toyota 189.294
5 Mark Martin (5) Chevrolet 189.190
6 Brad Keselowski (2) Dodge 189.006
7 David Ragan (6) Ford 188.734
8 Dale Earnhardt Jr. (88) Chevrolet 188.669
9 Jeff Gordon (24) Chevrolet 188.600
10 Jamie McMurray (1) Chevrolet 188.462
11 Paul Menard (27) Chevrolet 188.378
12 David Reutimann (00) Toyota 188.353
13 Kurt Busch (22) Dodge 188.230
14 Kasey Kahne (4) Toyota 188.112
15 Martin Truex Jr. (56) Toyota 188.088
16 Marcos Ambrose (9) Ford 188.058
17 Kyle Busch (18) Toyota 188.004
18 Tony Stewart (14) Chevrolet 187.999
19 Jimmie Johnson (48) Chevrolet 187.774
20 Trevor Bayne (21) Ford 187.759
21 Casey Mears (13) Toyota 187.710
22 Carl Edwards (99) Ford 187.676
23 Joey Logano (20) Toyota 187.651
24 Kevin Harvick (29) Chevrolet 187.432
25 Juan Pablo Montoya (42) Chevrolet 186.994
26 Brian Vickers (83) Toyota 186.921
27 Travis Kvapil (38) Ford 186.848
28 Bobby Labonte (47) Toyota 186.703
29 A J Allmendinger (43) Ford 186.611
30 Regan Smith (78) Chevrolet 186.340
31 J.J. Yeley (55) Ford 186.287
32 Jeff Burton (31) Chevrolet 186.234
33 Landon Cassill (51) Chevrolet 185.624
34 Dave Blaney (36) Chevrolet 185.500
35 Clint Bowyer (33) Chevrolet 185.405
36 David Stremme (30) Chevrolet 185.323
37 Joe Nemechek (87) Toyota 185.261
38 Andy Lally (71) Ford 185.142
39 David Gilliland (34) Ford 184.933
40 Todd Bodine (66) Toyota 184.838
41 Tony Raines (37) Ford 183.538
42 Ken Schrader (32) Ford 183.234
43 Mike Skinner (60) Toyota 183.215
44 Johnny Sauter (7) DNQ 182.815
45 Erik Darnell (46) DNQ 182.062
46 T.J. Bell (150) DNQ 181.269
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Dodge Motorsports Notes & Quotes – NNS Final Qualifying – Villeneuve Earns Pole at Montreal
Published on August 19, 2011 by Official Release
Friday, Aug. 19, 2011

Final Qualifying NNS NAPA Auto Parts 200 presented by Dodge

Dodge Motorsports PR

Circuit Gilles Villeneuve


JACQUES VILLENEUVE (No. 22 Discount Tire Dodge Challenger R/T) Pole Winner “If there’s one place that you want to be quick (at) it’s at home. This is a special track as it bares my father’s name. I’ve raced here 14 or 15 times, so there’s a lot of history. It’s good when you can get to a track and from the moment you get going, the car is great. Today, our Discount Tire/Ruby Tuesday Tire Dodge is just amazing all day on old tires, new tires, so it’s looking good. I did make my lap on the third lap, which isn’t the way to go. That shows that our race pace should be good because our tires are holding up. That gives us a lot of confidence for tomorrow.”

HOW MUCH WILL YOUR ROAD COURSE EXPERIENCE PLAY A FACTOR IN TOMORROW’S RACE? “Driving here in Formula One versus NASCAR is two different tracks. I think there are two extra corners in NASCAR. Places (here) in F1 are flat out and you don’t even think about (turning). Here in NASCAR, suddenly they become corners. It’s very different. Like the last chicane, you brake before the bridge. In F1, you don’t even look at the bridge; you look at brake markers further down. In most corners (in F1) you brake in a straight line. In NASCAR, you start braking when you’re still turning into the hairpin, into Turn 1. It’s very, very different. It’s almost a totally different race track. Same as F1, this is a good track for overtaking and it gives a good show.”

WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME THAT YOU RECALL THAT YOU HAD THE BEST CAR IN THE RACE? “1997 (laughs). That was a long time ago. My memory comes back really fast and that’s how it felt all day today. Even before coming here we knew that we had prepared the car and we knew that we would be up there fighting. We hardly changed the setup. We’re still on the Elkhart Lake setup, basically, just a few changes. When things go well you can just relax and focus on how to drive it well instead of trying to find gremlins in the car or try to invent a new setup over night.”

ALEX TAGLIANI (No. 12 Hot Wheels Dodge Challenger R/T) Qualified 2nd “It was great. For me, it’s quite special to be here in the No. 12 car. Gilles (Villeneuve), Jacque’s dad, won with that number, and to race with a team that’s so tough to beat in IndyCar and sweeping the front row with both cars is amazing. Obviously, we’re showing that the Dodge Challengers are the cars to beat here today. Like Jacques said, we ran well all day long. On the long run the car seems to be OK for us. Even if it’s going to be a long race, we start in very good position.”

HOW MUCH WILL YOUR ROAD COURSE EXPERIENCE PLAY A FACTOR IN TOMORROW’S RACE? “For me, being in IndyCar last weekend I found it very difficult. I think you need to give credit to the guys that are running in this series all the time and do what they do in these types of cars. It’s so easy to overdrive them and make a mistake. In qualifying I normally don’t think, I just push and at the end I realize that I just went through a qualifying without thinking. In (today’s) qualifying, I had to think about braking, where to shift, looking at the dash. It’s a lot more thinking than I’m use to. With two good cars I think we were able to show that the cars are fast from Penske fore sure.”

ROBBY GORDON (No. 77 SPEED Energy Dodge Challenger R/T) Qualified Sixth “Our SPEED Energy Dodge was good. I told my guys that we’re in a position that we must qualify. My goal was to put one lap in the bank and then take a conservative lap. Sure enough my first lap was my fastest and I wheel-hopped on my second lap. We’re fast. It’s a great race with great fans.”

DO YOU FEEL LIKE THIS TRACK OWES YOU ONE? “No, two.”

ANDREW RANGER (No. 53 Quebec Dodge Dealers Dodge Challenger R/T) Qualified 11th “We changed our engine in practice earlier today and missed most of the first session. We started the second practice session late, but our car was good for qualifying. The No. 53 Dodge Challenger will be better in race trim. I think my car worked really well in qualifying. I love this track. The fans are incredible. We will see where we end up. Tomorrow is a long race. What I’ve learned here is that you have to be patient. The cars are really heavy and you have to save your stuff to the end. It will be fun.”

MARYEVE DUFAULT (No. 81 Quebec Dodge Dealers Dodge Challenger R/T) Qualified 39th “Things were going pretty good in qualifying until the No. 42 car surprised me and spun out. I had to brake really hard and lost the rear of the car. We’ve come a long way today. This morning, we only ran a few laps and didn’t get a lot of track time. We had some small issues with the car. It’s my first time in a Nationwide Series car. We’re in the race tomorrow and that’s what counts. It’s going to be a great race. All the Dodge Challengers are fast. Anything can happen in the race. I just need to keep my bumper clean and try to be there at the end.”

HOW HAS THE TRANSITION FROM ARCA TO NATIONWIDE BEEN YOUR YOU? “It’s different. I thought that it would be a lot closer, but’s it’s not. More horsepower and wheel spin in these Nationwide cars. It’s just running more laps and getting use to the car. Tomorrow will be fun. I’m really excited about racing here in Montreal.”
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Villeneuve earns Nationwide pole in Montreal



MONTREAL (AP)—Local favorite Jacques Villeneuve earned the pole position for the NAPA Auto Parts 200 on Friday. He will have some familiar company in the front row, too.

Villeneuve used his last lap in the last six-car qualifying group to post the best time of 1 minute, 41.8 seconds in qualifying for Sunday’s Nationwide race. He edged Penske Dodge teammate and fellow Canadian Alex Tagliani, whose best time was 1:41.935.


The 40-year-old Villeneuve is driving the No. 22 Dodge that Kurt Busch used to win last week at Watkins Glen. He said he feels he has the best cars on the track for the first time since he edged Michael Schumacher for the 1997 Formula One title during his time with Williams Renault.

“We knew we had prepared the car and we’d be up there fighting,” he said. “We’re still at the Elkhart Lake setup (in June), so you can just relax and concentrate on driving the car well instead of finding gremlins in the car or trying to invent a new setup overnight.”

It was Villeneuve’s first pole position in any series since he won 10 of them in 1997.

And now he has a chance to win a race on the track named after his father, Gilles, for the first time since 1993 in the Formula Atlantic series. He was second to teammate Damon Hill in his first attempt in 1996 with Williams, but never came close again in F1.

It’s the first time two Canadians will start at the front for a NASCAR national series event, which includes Sprint Cup, Nationwide and Trucks.

Both were imported by Penske for one of the few road course races in Nationwide.

Tagliani is driving the No. 12, which is the number his childhood idol, Gilles Villeneuve, had when he won the Canadian Grand Prix in F1 on the same track in 1978. Gilles Villeneuve died in a crash at the Belgian Grand Prix in 1982.

“I’ll just try to make no mistakes because I find it really easy to get into trouble in these cars,” Tagliani said. “It’s so easy to overdrive them and make mistakes.

“In qualifying, usually I don’t think, I just push. Here, I had to think about where to brake, I was looking at the dash. But we were able to show the Penske cars are fast.”

Jason Leffler was third and Scott Speed fourth, both in Chevrolets.

Patrick Carpentier of Joliette, Quebec, who is in his final race before retirement, qualified eighth.


 

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Discussion Starter #17
NASCAR Results
Last Updated: Saturday, Aug 20, 2011 3:19 pm, EDT
VFW 200
Status: Final Michigan International Speedway



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

1 Kevin Harvick (2) Chevrolet 47/4 102 13 $33,150
2 Timothy Peters (17) Toyota 42/0 102 0 $29,975
3 Miguel Paludo (7) Toyota 42/1 102 3 $23,650
4 James Buescher (31) Chevrolet 40/0 102 0 $15,625
5 David Starr (81) Toyota 39/0 102 0 $13,500
6 Jason White (23) Chevrolet 38/0 102 0 $11,525
7 Ron Hornaday Jr. (33) Chevrolet 37/0 102 0 $11,375
8 Brendan Gaughan (62) Toyota 36/0 102 0 $12,300
9 Colin Braun (51) Ford 35/0 102 0 $9,000
10 Cole Whitt (60) Chevrolet 34/0 102 0 $12,550
11 Todd Bodine (5) Toyota 33/0 102 0 $12,175
12 Ricky Carmichael (4) Chevrolet 33/1 102 1 $11,025
13 Johnny Sauter (13) Chevrolet 32/1 102 1 $10,950
14 Mark Martin (32) Chevrolet 32/2 102 33 $10,650
15 Justin Lofton (6) Toyota 30/1 102 1 $12,175
16 Nelson Piquet Jr. (8) Chevrolet 28/0 101 0 $10,825
17 Ryan Sieg (39) Chevrolet 27/0 100 0 $10,725
18 Joey Coulter (22) Chevrolet 27/1 100 7 $10,700
19 Max Papis (9) Toyota 25/0 96 0 $10,650
20 Norm Benning (57) Chevrolet 24/0 93 0 $11,350
21 Matt Crafton (88) Chevrolet 24/1 91 20 $12,800
22 Austin Dillon (3) Chevrolet 23/1 90 16 $9,300
23 Parker Kligerman (29) Dodge 21/0 89 0 $9,275
24 Dakoda Armstrong (98) Chevrolet 20/0 89 0 $8,250
25 Kyle Busch (18) Toyota 20/1 63 7 $8,375
26 Chris Lafferty (189) Chevrolet 0/0 18 0 $8,200
27 Butch Miller (07) Chevrolet 17/0 11 0 $8,525
28 Peyton Sellers (66) Chevrolet 16/0 10 0 $8,150
29 Casey Roderick (93) Chevrolet 15/0 6 0 $8,100
30 Mike Garvey (138) Chevrolet 14/0 4 0 $8,575
31 J.J. Yeley (75) Chevrolet 0/0 4 0 $8,050
32 Mike Harmon (174) Ford 0/0 2 0 $8,025
33 Chris Jones (87) Chevrolet 11/0 0 0 $8,000
 

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Discussion Starter #18
NASCAR Results
Last Updated: Saturday, Aug 20, 2011 6:51 pm, EDT
NAPA Auto Parts 200
Status: Final Circuit Gilles Villeneuve



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

1 Marcos Ambrose (009) 47/4 74 10 $87,550 Chart
2 Alex Tagliani (12) Dodge 43/1 74 11 $54,975 Chart
3 Michael McDowell (18) Toyota 41/0 74 0 $47,743 Chart
4 Steve Wallace (66) Toyota 40/0 74 0 $40,268 Chart
5 J.R. Fitzpatrick (167) Ford 39/0 74 0 $36,175 Chart
6 Scott Speed (33) Chevrolet 39/1 74 5 $33,143 Chart
7 Carl Edwards (60) 37/0 74 0 $26,800 Chart
8 Justin Allgaier (31) Chevrolet 36/0 74 0 $30,543 Chart
9 Jason Leffler (38) Chevrolet 36/1 74 5 $30,243 Chart
10 Elliott Sadler (2) Chevrolet 34/0 74 0 $30,443 Chart
11 Ron Fellows (5) Chevrolet 34/1 74 9 $22,225 Chart
12 Brian Scott (11) Toyota 32/0 74 0 $28,418 Chart
13 Jason Bowles (164) Toyota 31/0 74 0 $21,625 Chart
14 Kyle Kelley (97) Chevrolet 30/0 74 0 $22,700 Chart
15 Mike Bliss (19) Chevrolet 29/0 74 0 $28,968 Chart
16 Kenny Wallace (09) Toyota 28/0 74 0 $28,118 Chart
17 Mike Wallace (01) Chevrolet 27/0 74 0 $27,793 Chart
18 Michael Annett (62) Toyota 26/0 74 0 $27,443 Chart
19 Luis Martinez Jr. (39) Ford 25/0 74 0 $27,318 Chart
20 Aric Almirola (88) Chevrolet 24/0 74 0 $27,693 Chart
21 Joe Nemechek (87) 23/0 74 0 $27,368 Chart
22 Timmy Hill (15) Ford 22/0 74 0 $28,093 Chart
23 Trevor Bayne (16) 21/0 74 0 $27,443 Chart
24 Danica Patrick (7) Chevrolet 20/0 74 0 $26,968 Chart
25 Reed Sorenson (32) Chevrolet 19/0 73 0 $27,518 Chart
26 Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (6) Ford 18/0 72 0 $26,848 Chart
27 Jacques Villeneuve (22) Dodge 19/2 72 29 $30,093 Chart
28 Louis-Philippe Dumoulin (52) Chevrolet 16/0 72 0 $20,680 Chart
29 Josh Wise (40) Chevrolet 15/0 72 0 $20,245 Chart
30 Maryeve Dufault (81) Dodge 14/0 69 0 $26,978 Chart
31 Robby Gordon (277) Dodge 14/1 67 5 $20,150 Chart

32 Patrick Carpentier (99) Toyota 12/0 65 0 $20,115 Chart
33 Alex Kennedy (23) Chevrolet 11/0 64 0 $20,080 Chart
34 Tomy Drissi (175) Ford 10/0 64 0 $20,045 Chart
35 Derrike Cope (28) Dodge 9/0 59 0 $26,478 Chart
36 Eric McClure (14) Chevrolet 8/0 54 0 $19,975 Chart
37 Boris Said (30) Chevrolet 7/0 51 0 $26,393 Chart
38 Blake Koch (70) Dodge 6/0 47 0 $26,348 Chart
39 Jeremy Clements (51) Chevrolet 5/0 45 0 $26,313 Chart
40 D.J. Kennington (113) Dodge 4/0 28 0 $19,710 Chart
41 Andrew Ranger (153) Dodge 3/0 23 0 $19,625 Chart

42 Morgan Shepherd (89) Chevrolet 2/0 5 0 $19,570 Chart
43 Jeff Green (44) Chevrolet 1/0 1 0 $19,392 Chart
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Parker Kligerman says Michigan accident result of ‘a stupid mistake’

BROOKLYN, Mich. – A late accident in the VFW 200 turned a possible winning day a little sour for Mark Martin, turned it even more sour for championship contender Austin Dillon and just downright disappointing for Penske Racing development driver Parker Kligerman.

The accident on lap 90 of the scheduled 100-lap race came on the first lap of a restart at Michigan International Speedway. Kligerman was battling Martin for second when his truck got loose and ran into Martin, who was on his outside. Dillon slammed into Martin before Kligerman then rammed into the back of Dillon before it was over.

“There’s not much you can do,” Kligerman said. “Without brakes, I’m hitting the pedal to try to control the slide and without that, I just looped it.

“It’s a stupid mistake. That’s why I’ve got rookie stripes.”

The wreck finished the days of Kligerman (23rd) and Dillon (22nd) while Martin was able to finish the race in 14th.

Dillon ended up going from one point ahead of Johnny Sauter in the standings to eight behind Sauter and three behind James Buescher.

“If you lose your rear brakes, you’re supposed to pull in,” Dillon said. “I had to pump mine up when it got cool. But when you lose brakes, NASCAR pulls you in.

“He shouldn’t have been running out there with no brakes. … It just stinks. Nothing you can do right there when he spins out in front of you. It’s a bummer. It’s the second time he’s done it. He did it at Dover, too, when he got someone beside him. So I guess he’ll learn after this.”

Kligerman said he didn’t feel he was being unsafe.

“We could still stop and restart,” Kligerman said. “It wasn’t dangerous. … I couldn’t do the quick pedal moving you need to control the slide. I was trying to hold on to third and just save my truck.”

Martin led 33 of 102 laps and seemed poised to win his first truck race in eight starts since capturing the 2006 season finale at Homestead.

“You get wrecked when you’re on the outside – what do you do?” Martin said. “I was on the outside. The inside’s tough, you’ve got to know that.

“Sometimes it’s a no-win situation. The inside is a tough lane to get through on the restart and if the inside guy doesn’t heed how tough it is, then you get cleaned out.”

Martin wouldn’t say the accident happened because Kligerman is a development driver.

“It happens in the Cup side, too,” Martin said. “It’s already happened to me already this year more than once.”

On the restart, Martin was first with Kligerman second, Kevin Harvick third and Dillon fourth.

“I just needed clean traffic and a good run coming off the corner,” Dillon said. “I felt like starting fourth there, we would have been fine. We would have been clear down the straightaway and we could have raced [for the win].”

Kligerman dropped to ninth in the standings in the truck owned by Penske driver Brad Keselowski.

“I’m just overall upset,” Kligerman said. “I hope I get another chance in this truck. That’s three mess-ups this year, and I don’t know how many a young driver gets these days. … There are limited opportunities for young drivers and you can’t make mistakes like that.”

Martin, the driver who maybe had the best truck, was the least upset.

“It was the most fun I had in a long, long time,” he said.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
NASCAR Results
Last Updated: Sunday, Aug 21, 2011 4:58 pm, EDT
Pure Michigan 400
Status: Final Michigan International Speedway


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

1 Kyle Busch (18) Toyota 47/4 203 22 $204,941 Chart
2 Jimmie Johnson (48) Chevrolet 43/1 203 18 $175,661 Chart
3 Brad Keselowski (2) Dodge 41/0 203 0 $136,108 Chart
4 Mark Martin (5) Chevrolet 41/1 203 2 $108,975 Chart
5 Ryan Newman (39) Chevrolet 39/0 203 0 $139,600 Chart
6 Jeff Gordon (24) Chevrolet 39/1 203 50 $125,586 Chart
7 Kasey Kahne (4) Toyota 38/1 203 3 $110,508 Chart
8 Clint Bowyer (33) Chevrolet 36/0 203 0 $134,358 Chart
9 Tony Stewart (14) Chevrolet 35/0 203 0 $125,758 Chart
10 Matt Kenseth (17) Ford 35/1 203 15 $128,511 Chart
11 A J Allmendinger (43) Ford 33/0 203 0 $120,136 Chart
12 David Ragan (6) Ford 32/0 203 0 $91,325 Chart
13 Regan Smith (78) Chevrolet 31/0 203 0 $108,120 Chart
14 Dale Earnhardt Jr. (88) Chevrolet 30/0 203 0 $90,000 Chart
15 Bobby Labonte (47) Toyota 29/0 203 0 $109,120 Chart
16 Brian Vickers (83) Toyota 28/0 203 0 $107,139 Chart
17 Jeff Burton (31) Chevrolet 27/0 203 0 $87,475 Chart
18 David Reutimann (00) Toyota 26/0 203 0 $106,958 Chart
19 Martin Truex Jr. (56) Toyota 25/0 203 0 $86,650 Chart
20 Greg Biffle (16) Ford 26/2 203 86 $106,850 Chart
21 Joey Logano (20) Toyota 23/0 203 0 $85,925 Chart
22 Kevin Harvick (29) Chevrolet 22/0 203 0 $123,236 Chart
23 Jamie McMurray (1) Chevrolet 21/0 203 0 $113,839 Chart
24 Trevor Bayne (21) Ford 20/0 203 0 $77,175 Chart
25 Juan Pablo Montoya (42) Chevrolet 19/0 203 0 $115,358 Chart
26 Paul Menard (27) Chevrolet 18/0 203 0 $84,500 Chart
27 Marcos Ambrose (9) Ford 17/0 203 0 $106,266 Chart
28 Travis Kvapil (38) Ford 17/1 202 3 $91,133 Chart
29 Andy Lally (71) Ford 16/1 202 3 $82,450 Chart
30 Ken Schrader (32) Ford 14/0 202 0 $86,383 Chart
31 Landon Cassill (51) Chevrolet 13/0 201 0 $82,297 Chart
32 David Gilliland (34) Ford 12/0 201 0 $72,650 Chart
33 Dave Blaney (36) Chevrolet 11/0 198 0 $73,525 Chart
34 Kurt Busch (22) Dodge 10/0 197 0 $117,050 Chart
35 Denny Hamlin (11) Toyota 9/0 188 0 $120,475 Chart
36 Carl Edwards (99) Ford 8/0 174 0 $118,266 Chart
37 Casey Mears (13) Toyota 8/1 32 1 $72,225 Chart
38 Tony Raines (37) Ford 6/0 26 0 $72,125 Chart
39 Todd Bodine (66) Toyota 5/0 21 0 $72,075 Chart
40 David Stremme (30) Chevrolet 4/0 20 0 $72,025 Chart
41 Joe Nemechek (87) Toyota 3/0 18 0 $71,970 Chart
42 Mike Skinner (60) Toyota 2/0 14 0 $71,895 Chart
43 J.J. Yeley (55) Ford 1/0 11 0 $71,465 Chart
 
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