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New Hampshire Motor Speedway



Nationwide Series OFF this week!

Records
Date Series Driver Speed


7/13/97 Sprint Cup Race Jeff Burton 117.00
7/17/11 Sprint Cup Qualifying Ryan Newman 135.232
6/27/09 Nationwide Race Kyle Busch 112.00
5/12/01 Nationwide Qualifying Kevin Harvick 130.716
9/19/09 Camping World Truck Race Kyle Busch 112.00
9/18/10 Camping World Truck Qualifying Kyle Busch 130.029


Most Cup Wins (since 1975)

Jeff Burt




Race Capsule
New Hampshire Motor Speedway

What: Race 19 of 25 on Camping World Truck circuit
Where: New Hampshire Motor Speedway, Loudon, NH
When: SATURDAY September 24, 2011 3:19 pm EDT SPEED
Laps: 175
Track Length: 1.058 miles
Race Length: 185.00 miles



Camping World Truck F.W. Webb 175

Date Race Name Pole Winner Race Winner Make Purse

9/18/10 TheRaceDayRaffleSeries.com 175 Kyle Busch Kyle Busch Toyota $497,765
9/19/09 Heluva Good! 200 Mike Skinner Kyle Busch Toyota $544,106
9/13/08 Camping World RV Rental 200 Johnny Benson Ron Hornaday Jr. Chevrolet $566,225
9/15/07 New Hampshire 200 Ron Hornaday Jr. Ron Hornaday Jr. Chevrolet $558,210


Sylvania 300
New Hampshire Motor Speedway

Race Capsule
New Hampshire Motor Speedway

What: Race 28 of 36 on Sprint Cup circuit
Where: New Hampshire Motor Speedway, Loudon, NH
When: September 25, 2011 2:14 pm EDT ESPN
Laps: 300
Track Length: 1.058 miles
Race Length: 317.00 miles


Sprint Cup

Date Race Name Pole Winner Race Winner Make Purse

7/17/11 Lenox Industrial Tools 301 Ryan Newman Ryan Newman Chevrolet $5,202,458
6/27/10 Lenox Industrial Tools 301 Juan Pablo Montoya Jimmie Johnson Chevrolet $5,256,417
9/19/10 Sylvania 300 Brad Keselowski Clint Bowyer Chevrolet $5,256,417
6/28/09 Lenox Industrial Tools 301 Tony Stewart Joey Logano Toyota $5,423,189
9/20/09 Sylvania 300 Juan Pablo Montoya Mark Martin Chevrolet $5,423,189
6/29/08 Lenox Industrial Tools 301 Patrick Carpentier Kurt Busch Dodge $5,383,710
9/14/08 Sylvania 300 Kyle Busch Greg Biffle Ford $5,383,710
7/1/07 Lenox Industrial Tools 300 Dave Blaney Denny Hamlin Chevrolet $5,315,335
9/16/07 Sylvania 300 Clint Bowyer Clint Bowyer Chevrolet $5,319,880
 

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CUP: Keselowski Voted Third Quarter Driver Of The Year

Date: 09/21/2011
Location: Charlotte, NC




Brad Keselowski’s winning ways, overcoming a broken ankle and other injuries, helped him win the voting as the third quarter Driver Of The Year 2011.

In the last seven NASCAR Sprint Cup races, in the quarter ending at Richmond International Raceway, he recorded two wins, four top-fives and seven top-12 finishes. And those two wins were earned within days of recovering from a broken ankle at a test session.


Adding those victories to a previous one and an 11th place overall finish in NASCAR’s regular season, Keselowski earned a wild card spot for his first Chase for the Sprint Cup.

“It’s nice to be recognized when you have put in a lot of hard work, and this No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge team has worked as hard as any team that I’ve been around,” Keselowski said. “The driver puts in five percent of the effort, but they get 95 percent of the credit. The credit should go to (crew chief) Paul Wolfe and everyone on this team that didn’t settle for how we ran earlier in the year. As a result we now have three wins, a spot in the Chase for the championship and the third quarter Driver Of The Year award.”

Barry Schmoyer, president of the Driver Of The Year Foundation, said: “I have seen many talented drivers and drivers who have driven in pain or illness. Brad’s third quarter results, after his injury, show what a winner he is — in attitude as well as — on the track.”

In the voting, Keselowski took 10 first-place ballots and totaled 117 points according to the Driver Of The Year points system. Will Power, a Penske Racing teammate in the IndyCar series, had five first place votes and garnered 108 points.

This was the first time that the same team owner (Roger Penske) had two drivers from different series finishing one-two.

“Wow, to have Penske Racing finish one-two in the third quarter Driver Of The Year award voting is a pretty special feat for everyone back at the shop,” Keselowski said.

Penske Racing prepares both its NASCAR and IndyCar teams in the same facilities.

Kyle Busch, the first quarter 2011 Driver Of The Year, took two first place votes and was third with a total of 67 points.

Greg Anderson, the 2003 Driver Of The Year from the NHRA, and Kevin Harvick, from NASCAR, also received first-place votes.

A total of 18 drivers scored points in the third quarter voting.

In its 45th year, the Driver Of The Year title is unique. A panel of 21 leading journalists from across the United States determines the winner. In quarterly voting, points are awarded on a declining 9, 6, 4,3,2,1 basis. Keselowski will receive a trophy and a Tissot wristwatch to be presented at the Sylvania 300 weekend at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.

Keselowski said the big job is still to be done.

“It’s an honor to accept this award on behalf of Penske Racing and everyone on this team,” he said. “We’re not finished here. We want to be the team holding the trophy after Homestead.”


 

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NASCAR - Sprint Cup - Sylvania 300 Preview

The Sports Network

Date: Sunday, September 25th

Start Time: 2 p.m. (et)/2:15 p.m. (et) Green Flag

Site: New Hampshire Motor Speedway (1990) -- Loudon, New Hampshire

Track: 1.058-mile oval - 1,500 feet (Frontstretch); 1,500 feet (Backstretch)

Laps: 300

Miles: 317.4

Capacity: 95,491 (Grandstand Seating)

Total purse: $5,256,417 (2010 figures)

Payouts: 1st Place - $248,250; 2nd Place - $178,550; 3rd Place - $169,954

Year: 15th

On TV: ESPN

Announcers: Allen Bestwick, Dale Jarrett, Andy Petree

On Radio: Performance Racing Network (PRN)/SIRIUS NASCAR Radio

Race record: Jeff Burton, 1997 (117.134 m.p.h.)

Qualifying record: Brad Keselowski, 2010 (133.572 m.p.h.)
2010 Finish

Defending champion: Clint Bowyer

Runner up: Denny Hamlin

Pole winner: Brad Keselowski (133.572 m.p.h.)

Top 10:

1. Clint Bowyer (Start: 2)

2. Denny Hamlin (22)

3. Jamie McMurray (4)

4. Dale Earnhardt Jr (32)

5. Kevin Harvick (27)

6. Jeff Gordon (17)

7. David Reutimann (7)

8. Ryan Newman (24)

9. Kyle Busch (9)

10. Sam Hornish Jr (15)

Average speed: 106.769 m.p.h.

Time of race: 2 hours, 58 minutes, 22 seconds

Margin of victory: 0.477 second

Caution flags: 8 for 34 laps

Lead changes: 21 among 8 drivers
Past winners

2010 Clint Bowyer, Chevrolet, 106.769 m.p.h.

2009 Mark Martin, Chevrolet, 100.753 m.p.h.

2008 Greg Biffle, Ford, 105.468 m.p.h.

2007 Clint Bowyer, Chevrolet, 110.475 m.p.h.

2006 Kevin Harvick, Chevrolet, 102.195 m.p.h.

2005 Ryan Newman, Dodge, 95.891 m.p.h.

2004 Kurt Busch, Ford, 109.753 m.p.h.

2003 Jimmie Johnson, Chevrolet, 106.580 m.p.h.

2002 Ryan Newman, Ford, 105.081 m.p.h.

2001 Robby Gordon, Chevrolet, 103.594 m.p.h.

2000 Jeff Burton, Ford, 102.003 m.p.h.

1999 Joe Nemechek, Chevrolet, 100.673 m.p.h.

1998 Jeff Gordon, Chevrolet, 112.078 m.p.h. (race record)

1997 Jeff Gordon, Chevrolet, 100.364 m.p.h.
Last race

Race: GEICO 400 (September 19th)

Site: Chicagoland Speedway -- Joliet, Illinois

Miles: 400.5

Laps: 267

Finish line order: Tony Stewart, Kevin Harvick, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Carl Edwards, Brad Keselowski

Time of Race: 2 hours, 47 minutes, 41 seconds

Average speed: 143.306 m.p.h.

Margin of victory: 0.941 second

Caution flags: 6 for 25 laps

Lead changes: 22 among 10 drivers

Lap leaders: M. Kenseth 1-32; J. Yeley 33; Kyle Busch 34-40; Kurt BuschM. Kenseth 1-32; J. Yeley 33; Kyle Busch 34-40; Kurt Busch41-103; C. Edwards 104-115; J. Johnson 116; R. Newman 117-118; C.Edwards 119-145; Kurt Busch 146; R. Newman 147-162; J. Johnson163-164; B. Keselowski 165-168; J. Johnson 169-204; T. Stewart205; M. Kenseth 206-208; T. Stewart 209-214; M. Truex Jr.215-217; M. Kenseth 218; M. Truex Jr. 219-227; M. Kenseth228-237; T. Stewart 238-250; M. Truex Jr. 251-252; T. Stewart253-267.
Entry list

#00 David Reutimann (Zephyrhills, FL) Toyota/Aaron's Dream Machine

#1 Jamie McMurray (Joplin, MO) Chevrolet/Axe Cool Metal

#2 Brad Keselowski (Rochester Hills, MI) Dodge/Miller Lite

#4 Kasey Kahne (Enumclaw, WA) Toyota/Red Bull

#5 Mark Martin (Batesville, AR) Chevrolet/GoDaddy.com

#6 David Ragan (Unadilla, GA) Ford/UPS

#7 Robby Gordon (Orange, CA) Dodge/Speed Energy

#9 Marcos Ambrose (Launceston, Australia) Ford/DeWalt

#11 Denny Hamlin (Chesterfield, VA) Toyota/FedEx Ground

#13 Casey Mears (Bakersfield, CA) Toyota/GEICO

#14 Tony Stewart (Columbus, IN) Chevrolet/Office Depot/Mobil 1

#16 Greg Biffle (Vancouver, WA) Ford/ford40mph.com

#17 Matt Kenseth (Cambridge, WI) Ford/Affliction Clothing

#18 Kyle Busch (Las Vegas, NV) Toyota/M&M's

#20 Joey Logano (Middletown, CT) Toyota/Home Depot

#22 Kurt Busch (Las Vegas, NV) Dodge/Shell/Pennzoil

#24 Jeff Gordon (Vallejo, CA) Chevrolet/DuPont

#27 Paul Menard (Eau Claire, WI) Chevrolet/Menards/Sylvania

#29 Kevin Harvick (Bakersfield, CA) Chevrolet/Budweiser

#30 David Stremme (South Bend, IN) Chevrolet/Inception Motorsports

#31 Jeff Burton (South Boston, VA) Chevrolet/Caterpillar

#32 Mike Bliss (Milwaukie, OR) Ford/Street King

#33 * Clint Bowyer (Emporia, KS) Chevrolet/Cheerios/Hamb. Helper

#34 David Gilliland (Riverside, CA) Ford/TBA

#35 Steve Park (East Northport, NY) Chevrolet/"Ole Blue" Tribute

#36 Dave Blaney (Hartford, OH) Chevrolet/Golden Corral

#37 Josh Wise (Riverside, CA) Toyota/TBA

#38 J.J. Yeley (Phoenix, AZ) Ford/Long John Silver's

#39 Ryan Newman (South Bend, IN) Chevrolet/Haas Automation

#42 Juan Pablo Montoya (Bogota, Colombia) Chevrolet/Degree

#43 A.J. Allmendinger (Los Gatos, CA) Ford/Best Buy

#46 Scott Speed (Manteca, CA) Ford/Red Line Oil

#47 Bobby Labonte (Corpus Christi, TX) Toyota/Bush's Beans/Kingsford

#48 Jimmie Johnson (El Cajon, CA) Chevrolet/Lowe's

#50 T.J. Bell (Reno, VA) Chevrolet/Green Smoke

#51 Landon Cassill (Cedar Rapids, IA) Chevrolet/Phoenix Construction

#55 Travis Kvapil (Janesville, WI) Ford/TBA

#56 Martin Truex Jr. (Mayetta, NJ) Toyota/NAPA Auto Brakes

#60 Mike Skinner (Susanville, CA) Chevrolet/Big Red

#66 Michael McDowell (Glendale, AZ) Toyota/HP Racing

#71 Andy Lally (Northport, NY) Ford/Interstate Moving Services

#78 Regan Smith (Cato, NY) Chevrolet/Furniture Row Racing

#83 Brian Vickers (Thomasville, NC) Toyota/Red Bull

#87 Joe Nemechek (Lakeland, FL) Toyota/TBA

#88 Dale Earnhardt Jr. (Kannapolis, NC) Chevrolet/Diet Mountain Dew

#99 Carl Edwards (Columbia, MO) Ford/Scott's Winterguard
Leading contenders
Name 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010
Clint Bowyer 24th Won 12th 10th Won
Denny Hamlin 4th 15th 9th 2nd 2nd
Jamie McMurray 10th 5th 12th 29th 11th 39th 18th 3rd
Dale Earnhardt Jr 11th 5th 3rd 5th 13th 16th 5th 35th 4th
Kevin Harvick 33rd 13th 10th 10th Won 17th 10th 32nd 5th
Jeff Gordon 14th 19th 7th 14th 3rd 2nd 14th 15th 6th
David Reutimann 26th 15th 12th 7th
Ryan Newman Won 9th 33rd Won 12th 9th 36th 7th 8th
Kyle Busch 27th 38th 4th 34th 5th 9th
Carl Edwards 20th 19th 18th 12th 3rd 17th 11th
Kurt Busch 2nd 15th Won 35th 19th 25th 6th 6th 13th
Kasey Kahne 4th 38th 16th 20th 11th 38th 14th
Jeff Burton 20th 42nd 15th 9th 7th 18th 4th 16th 15th
Juan Pablo Montoya 23rd 17th 3rd 16th
Greg Biffle 27th 43rd 28th 4th 14th 13th Won 9th 17th
Brad Keselowski 18th
Martin Truex Jr 22nd 5th 7th 19th 20th
Matt Kenseth 10th 7th 2nd 3rd 10th 7th 40th 23rd 23rd
Tony Stewart 3rd 20th 39th 2nd 2nd 3rd 8th 14th 24th
Jimmie Johnson 9th Won 11th 8th 39th 6th 2nd 4th 25th
Paul Menard 24th 21st 34th 28th
Mark Martin 16th 38th 13th 7th 11th Won 29th
Joey Logano 32nd 21st 35th
Brian Vickers 22nd 13th 5th 43rd 35th 11th

Notes
Race one is in the books, as the Chase for the Sprint Cup began last Monday in Illinois. Kevin Harvick holds down the top spot, but it was Tony Stewart who prevailed at Chicagoland Speedway for his 40th career Sprint Cup title.

Last year, New Hampshire Motor Speedway was the first event in the Chase. Clint Bowyer opened the 10-race classic by winning for the first time in 88 races.

Bowyer had the dominant car throughout the race but ran second to Tony Stewart in the late going before Stewart ran out of fuel with less than two laps to go. Bowyer took over the top spot for good and held off a hard-charging Denny Hamlin by 0.48 seconds for his third career Sprint Cup Series win but his first since May 2008 at Richmond.

Three days following the New Hampshire race, NASCAR handed down stiff penalties to Bowyer's team after their winning car was found to be illegal during a more thorough post-race inspection conducted at NASCAR's Research and Development center in Concord, NC. Bowyer and team owner Richard Childress were each penalized with a 150-point loss, while crew chief Shane Wilson received a six-race suspension, a $150,000 fine and probation until the end of the year. Car chief Chad Haney also received suspension for the same length of time, as well as probation for the remainder of the year. Wilson's fine was later reduced to $100,000.

Only one driver in the eight-year history of the Chase for the Sprint Cup has won the first playoff race and then capture the championship - Kurt Busch in 2004. On the other end of the spectrum, a bad start doesn't always mean a championship deathblow. Jimmie Johnson finished 25th in last year's Chase- opener, only to eventually win his fifth consecutive title. In 2006, he opened up the Chase with a 39th-place finish. Denny Hamlin finished 31st at Chicagoland, the worst of the Chase contenders.

Food for thought. In four of the previous seven years, the eventual championship Chase winner finished in the top-five of race two - and Johnson won each of the last two.

In 2009, Mark Martin won at New Hampshire for the first time, as he capitalized on pit strategies and then held off the field in three late-race restarts for his fifth victory of that season. Martin last pitted under green with 58 laps remaining in the 300-lap race. He fell one lap behind, but the remainder of the field had to make their final stops shortly after, allowing Martin to reclaim the lead with 28 laps to go. An incident involving A.J. Allmendinger set up a three-lap shootout to the finish. After the restart, Martin and Juan Pablo Montoya were in a fierce side-by-side battle for the lead. Martin pulled ahead of Montoya with less than two laps to go. Allmendinger spun again on the final lap, which ended the race under caution. The victory was the 40th and most recent of his career.

Starting ninth in the 2008 race, Greg Biffle reclaimed the lead on lap 289 and held on the rest of the way to record his 13th career Sprint Cup title. Biffle clipped Jimmie Johnson by 0.505 of a second. Johnson led four times for a race-high 96 laps. Pole sitter Kyle Busch led the opening three laps, but placed 34th. Biffle has since added three wins to his total.

Clint Bowyer started on the pole and dominated this race in 2007, as he led for 222 laps en route to his first career Sprint Cup title. Bowyer led the first 37 laps and the final 49, as he defeated Jeff Gordon by over six seconds. In all, Bowyer led on six separate occasions, as he captured the first-place prize of $259,175 in just his 64th career Sprint Cup start.

In 2006, Kevin Harvick captured the first race of the Chase, as he outran Tony Stewart by less than a second for his fourth win in 2006 and the ninth of his Sprint Cup career. Harvick, who's victory total now stands at 18, dominated the race, leading seven times for a race-high 196 laps after starting on the pole. Harvick reclaimed the lead on lap 217 of the 300-lap race from Dave Blaney and held on for victory. Stewart made the biggest move of the race after starting 32nd on the grid.

Ryan Newman made a late-race pass and captured the 2005 Sylvania 300 at the New Hampshire International Speedway, in the first round of the 10-race "Chase for the Sprint Cup." The No.12 Penske Racing Dodge crossed the finish line 0.292 seconds ahead of pole sitter Tony Stewart, as he recorded his 12th of 15 career Sprint Cup titles. Newman led three times for a total of 66 laps, while Stewart led for a race-high 173 laps, including the first 74.

THIS AND THAT FROM NHMS: Groundbreaking for New Hampshire International Speedway, as New Hampshire Motor Speedway was originally named, was August. 13, 1989. It was the first superspeedway to be constructed in the United States since 1969. There have been 33 Sprint Cup races at New Hampshire Motor Speedway; one a year from 1993 through 1996 and two per year since. Four drivers have competed in all 33 races: Jeff Burton, Jeff Gordon, Bobby Labonte and Joe Nemechek. Jimmie Johnson (2003) and Kurt Busch (2004) are the only drivers that have posted season sweeps. They are also the only back-to-back winners. The pole sitter has captured this race four times, including two of the past five years.

The next Chase race is the October 2 AAA 400 at Dover International Speedway. Jimmie Johnson is the defending race winner.

Read more: NASCAR - Sprint Cup - Sylvania 300 Preview - Sprint Cup - MiamiHerald.com
 

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Dodge Motorsports, 2011 NSCS SYLVANIA 300 Race Notes & Quotes

Posted By Press Release On September 20, 2011 @ 4:12 pm In Press Releases,Sprint Cup Series



DODGE AT NEW HAMPSHIRE MOTOR SPEEDWAY

· Dodge has three wins at New Hampshire (Ward Burton, Ryan Newman and Kurt Busch).

· Penske Racing’s Kurt Bush has three wins at NHMS. He swept both races in 2004 at the 1.058-mile track before joining the Dodge family. He won the rain-shortened (284 of 300 laps were completed) spring event in 2008.
· Dodge’s Brad Keselowski claimed his first career pole at last year’s fall event at New Hampshire.

· Dodge drivers have captured the pole for five of the last 14 races at New Hampshire when qualifying was not postponed.

CHASE FAST FACTS

· Dodge’s Kurt Busch qualified third and finished sixth at Chicagoland. He is fourth in the standings, 11 points behind the leader.
· Dodge’s Brad Keselowski qualified sixth and finished fifth at Chicagoland. He is sixth in the standings, 14 points behind the leader.
· The last time two Penske Racing Dodges qualified for the Chase was 2005 (Rusty Wallace and Ryan Newman).
· Dodge has not won a championship since the Chase format was introduced in 2004. Kurt Busch won the 2004 title before moving to Penske Racing in 2006.
· Dodge has won four Sprint Cup championships: David Pearson (1966), Bobby Isaac (1970), Richard Petty (1974, 1975).



DODGE IN THE CHASE: NEW HAMPSHIRE

· 2004: Former Dodge drivers Jeremy Mayfield and Ryan Newman were in the inaugural Chase. Both had problems in the first event at NHMS with Newman finishing 33rd and Mayfield 35th.

· 2005: Three Dodge drivers (Mayfield, Newman and Rusty Wallace) made the Chase field with Newman winning the opener at NHMS. Newman ended up sixth, Wallace eighth and Mayfield ninth in the final standings.

· 2006: Kasey Kahne was the lone Dodge driver in the Chase field. Kahne started 33rd and finished 16th at Loudon.

· 2007: Kurt Busch was the lone Dodge representative. He started third and finished 25th in the Chase opener at Loudon. He finished seventh in the final Chase standings.

· 2008: There were no Dodges in the 2008 Chase field.

· 2009: Kurt Busch was the lone Dodge representative among the elite 12. Busch started third and finished seventh at NHMS in the Chase opener.

· 2010: Kurt Busch was the single Dodge entry. He started 12th and finished 13th in the first of the 10 Chase races.

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, Bristol)

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

FROM THE DODGE ENGINEER: HOWARD COMSTOCK

“Now for something completely different. We finally completed the race on the wide-open spaces of Chicagoland Speedway, a 1.5-mile, high-banked track. Now, engineers have to change their thinking completely to deal with the very tight, very flat, one-mile track in New Hampshire. Banking is an engineer’s best friend when he’s trying to come up with a setup to make a 3,500-pound car turn, but the bad news is that at New Hampshire, there’s virtually no banking. Not fooled by any advertised specs, teams know that this track is really flat which makes it difficult to negotiate the turns. Spring selection helps, shock absorbers help, sway bars help, but all of those parts combined won’t be enough to solve the entire equation of New Hampshire.”

FROM THE CREW CHIEF

“Loudon is a unique race track. It has aspects of both Richmond and Phoenix all rolled into one. We work really hard to get the car to turn the center (of the corners) and maintain forward drive for late into a run. It’s a very flat layout, which presents a lot of different challenges. With no banking to catch the car, it can be very hard on brakes because the straightaways are long and you can build up a lot of speed before you get to the corner. It is so hard to pass, you really need the complete package to win there – good brakes, handling and pit stops.”
Paul Wolfe, Crew Chief, No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge Charger

DODGE MOTORSPORTS QUOTE OF THE WEEK

“It’s a huge advantage to have both the Penske Dodges in the Chase from the standpoint of what it means for team morale and what it means for the manufacturing process within Penske Racing…the process goes a lot smoother as far as what it takes to get the company going and get the teams going. I definitely think you want to have all your cars in the Chase. I really do believe that that’s a supreme advantage if for no other reason than what it means to the company and the morale within.”
Brad Keselowski – No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge Charger

DODGE QUOTES

“We’re off to a good start in the Chase. We led laps and finished sixth in our Shell/Pennzoil Dodge at Chicagoland. That’s a good start, but that’s just one race. We have fast cars. We need to continue to have fast pit stops. We have to keep up with the track with good adjustments and make the car better during the race. If we are successful in managing those factors, we’ll be in position to compete for wins and have good finishes. That’s what we need to do the next nine weeks to challenge for the championship.”
Kurt Busch (No. 22 Shell/Pennzoil Dodge Charger)

“It’s always a lot of fun when we go up to Loudon to race. The fans really love what we do and they show it by filling the stands. It’s one of those tracks we can go to and almost guarantee that it will be sold out. The racing that we put on at New Hampshire sometimes get a bad rap, but I think it has produced some of the most-exciting finishes over the last few years. It’s a one-mile track, but it races like a short track. There’s a lot of beating and banging and bumping and running – all of the things that the fans love.”
Brad Keselowski (No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge Charger)
 

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Crew chief's calm demeanor has salvaged Kurt Busch's season

Thursday September 22, 2011

Read more: Crew chief Steve Addington has saved Kurt Busch's Sprint Cup season - Brant James - SI.com



There are moments when Steve Addington's voice seems as if it is about to meander into a country song. Dulcet barely describes it. It's as if Charley Pride wrote a spoken word ballad about shocks and springs.

Perhaps it's this Texas-via-Arkansas-by-way-of-South Carolina timbre that has so effectively talked Kurt Busch's season from the proverbial ledge. Certainly, engineering and personnel changes at Penske Racing helped correct the disastrous slide the No. 22 Dodge team took after beginning the season with a burst, but something within the crew chief has seemingly provided the intangible, interpersonal connection that has held the team together.

It might be perspective, something Addington learned through the pain of Ronnie Silver, a former Nationwide Series crew chief for Michael Waltrip.

"I had a good friend of mine that watched his dad get killed in an airplane crash and he had the family business thrown on him and he about killed himself trying to please everybody," Addington said of Silver. "And the pressure was on him and he's the one that told me [he] finally woke up one day and said, 'This is all I can do. That's just my approach to it now.'

"And he taught me a lot about these cars and he's a very good friend of mine and I've lived by that philosophy for a long time."

A mental and emotional center point has been crucial in Addington's last two Sprint Cup jobs: crew chief for Kyle Busch at Joe Gibbs Racing from 2008 until late in the 2009 season (they had 12 wins together after Busch took over the No. 18 Toyota); and crew chief for Kurt, his older brother, beginning in 2010. Both are extremely talented, but equally combustive and prone to public fits of pique when unsatisfied. Kyle Busch said after Addington's removal, "I love Steve," and took some of the blame for their collaboration failing to produce the results team president J.D. Gibbs sought. But JGR driver Denny Hamlin said the relationship "went stale," adding, "you've got someone who's rambunctious and someone that's reserved. It's tough to keep that going outside of the honeymoon period."

Kurt Busch, who learned Addington had been released by JGR while posing for a family Christmas card portrait in 2009, immediately asked his brother for Addington's phone number.

"I said, 'Can you give me Steve's number?'" Kurt said at the time. "He told me to go find it on my own."

This Busch-Addington marriage appears to have passed the honeymoon period and entered, if not bliss, partnership.

"I'm pretty laid back. I don't show a lot of emotion," Addington said. "I think I have the same passion as both those [Busch] kids do. I think they know that. I look at it as there's places to address certain issues and I don't do it in an argumentative way on the radio, out there for the whole world to see. I think they both know I take these cars very personal. I think every time I put that car on the racetrack that's part of me, and people look at it as a connection to me, so I take it very personal.

"Working with them, I learned a long time ago, you go out every single day and put out your best effort. You're not always going to please everybody. I don't roll a car to that starting grid without thinking we can go out and win the race with it. Some days it's going to work, some days it's not. You just have to have thick skin and take it as it is on those tough days."

The Richmond spring race was one of those days, as Busch railed against his crew, calling out veteran technical director Tom German, who left soon after to attend Sloan School of Management at MIT. The team asserts that the timing of German's departure and subsequent improvement in performance was coincidental.

"I was probably a lot worse than Kurt was at Richmond," said Addington. "When you can't put a finger on what it is, it's a very frustrating position. And I know it's frustrating to be out there in a car and not be able to get it done. Both sides are very frustrating."

The team confirmed in a test soon after Richmond that it had pursued fruitless engineering avenues and subsequently made adjustments that improved performance. After the change, Busch, who led the points standings for two of the first four weeks before slumping and falling as far as eighth, won three straight poles, finished second at Pocono and then won his only race of the season at Sonoma, Calif. He entered the Chase for the Championship fifth in points and improved to fourth by finishing sixth at Chicago. Though Busch has had sporadic outbursts on team radio -- again on Monday in the Chase opener, complaining how the team consistently fails to improve the car during the race -- Addington seems to consider them a means of venting frustration and an excusable by-product of an extremely public occupation.

"How many times would you like for me to come and sit on your desk all day long?" Addington asked. "You're going to have your bad days. That's life. I'm going to have my bad days when I'm not in a good mood and I don't want to deal with certain things. It's not played out for everybody. What the drivers do, they're in their office and it gets played out for everybody to listen to and replayed over and over again.

"That's a tough spot to be in. It was just frustration. ... We know that if we give him a car that is pretty close, he will step up to the plate and give us pretty good results with it. That's why we didn't get down. We didn't get down on him. He didn't get down on us."

But even inner peace would seemingly have its limits. Addington has personal versions of Richmond radio eruptions, but he saves them for the private meetings and private moments.

"I don't want everyone to know that," he grinned. "I get a little frustrated. I'll throw stuff, well, not throw stuff, I get ... I need my alone time. For me, it's getting by myself and getting some relief thinking about a lot of stuff and getting it off my mind. You got friends you talk to and they help out. I got a different way of doing things."
 

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Kligerman Carrying Confidence To Loudon

Date: 09/22/2011


Camping World Trucks



It all seemed so easy at first for Parker Kligerman.

One qualifying attempt for a Nationwide Series race. One pole.

Not bad for a 19-year-old kid whose full-time gig was driving in the non-NASCAR sanctioned – and considerably less competitive – ARCA Racing Series.

“I turned to my crew chief at the time and said, ‘What’s for lunch?’” Kligerman recalls playfully asking after winning the pole in his first ever Nationwide Series appearance back in 2009.

Kligerman was pretty sure his surprisingly stellar qualifying lap for that October’s race at Kansas Speedway could only mean he had the goods to roll with NASCAR’s big boys.

“I walked around like, ‘Oh man, if we get to do this again or full time, we’ll just dominate,’” he remembers thinking.

The feeling didn’t last.

Kligerman’s very next time out in a Nationwide Series car – the 2009 season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway – he failed to qualify (although he drove in the race for a different team).

Three more DNQs followed in 2010, a season in which he only made 15 qualifying attempts. And suddenly, Kligerman faced the reality that competing in one of NASCAR’s national series wasn’t as easy as it had seemed at first.

The Penske Racing development driver’s confidence was shaken, too.

“In this sport all you have is confidence – confidence in your ability and confidence in the decisions you make on the race track,” Kligerman said recently. “And when you go through a tough time you lose a lot of that. And when you lose it, the best thing you can do for yourself is to find a way to achieve it again and get it back, and if you can do that I feel like you become a better racer and a better person.”

No doubt about it, Kligerman has done just that.

Down but not defeated coming into 2011, the Connecticut native got a fresh start with the opportunity to run for Brad Keselowski Racing in the Camping World Truck Series. And an enjoyable run it has been.

Eighteen races into a full 25-race schedule for the team owned by Penske Racing Sprint Cup driver Brad Keselowski, Kligerman is eighth in the points standings on the strength of seven top 10s, including runner-up finishes at Texas and Kentucky.

Fresh off a fourth-place outing last weekend at Chicagoland Speedway, the 21-year-old rolls into New Hampshire Motor Speedway for Saturday’s F.W. Webb 175 believing that his first win could be just around the corner.

Kligerman is undaunted by the fact that Saturday’s race – which SPEED will carry beginning with NCWTS Setup at 2:30 p.m. ET – will be his first time ever on the flat 1.058-mile oval.

“We show up at the race track with the intention of we are going to do the absolute best we can and hopefully that’s good enough to win,” said Kligerman, who is just seven points out of fifth. “I think right now what makes it a little more realistic is that obviously we are kind of knocking on the door, we do have a lot of speed week in and week out. The guys are building great trucks, we’re qualifying up front, we’re running up front, we’re challenging guys like Kevin Harvick and Kyle Busch each week and that kind of gets me thinking, ‘Hey, wait, we’re going to break through here pretty soon.’”

Despite sitting eighth in the standings and 54 points in arrears of first place James Buescher, Kligerman won’t rule out the possibility of a late title surge.

“A lot of these guys are making mistakes and if we can stay mistake-free, I don’t see any reason we can’t walk into Homestead with a shot at it,” Kligerman said. “The goal is the championship. I don’t see any reason why we can’t go challenge for it. But at the same time we wouldn’t be upset with a top-five, top-three finish in the points.”

Kligerman hopes to soon re-sign as a Penske development driver for 2012 and run another full Truck season for Brad Keselowski Racing, in addition to a part-time schedule for Penske in the Nationwide Series.

Kligerman’s lone Nationwide outing of this season – at Bristol last month – was a successful one as he finished ninth and on the lead lap.

That performance, coupled with his solid Truck Series campaign, has made Kligerman’s outlook closer to where it was on that day almost two years ago in Kansas.

“Midway through 2010 I was probably at a point where I thought, ‘What the heck am I doing here?’” he said. “By the time I got to where I am now again midway through this season I felt, ‘Hey, I belong here again.’ I knew it all along. It’s just I had to prove it to myself.”



 

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Dodge Motorsports Notes & Quotes - Chase Notes No. 2 - New Hampshire
September 23, 2011 , LOUDON, N.H. - For Immediate Release
Dodge Motorsports Notes & Quotes
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
Chase Notes No. 2 - New Hampshire Motor Speedway
Friday, Sept. 23, 2011


CHASE FOR THE NASCAR SPRINT CUP

Chase Race No. 2 – New Hampshire Motor Speedway – Sunday, Sept. 25, 2011

Kurt Busch – No. 22 Shell/Pennzoil Dodge Charger R/T
o Finished 10th in first race at NHMS in July
o Started fourth and led 66 of 301 laps
o Has three wins along with seven top five and 11 top-10 finishes at NHMS
o Average finish of 13.5 at 1.058-mile track in 21 starts
o Swept both events in 2004 before joining Penske Racing

Brad Keselowski – No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge Charger R/T
o Finished 35th in July race
o Started fifth, cut down right front tire, completed 257 of 301 laps
o Started from pole in last year’s fall event
o Has one top-10 finish and an average finish of 22.2 at Loudon track
o Has been running at finish of all four starts at NHMS

Results: Chase Race No. 1 – Chicagoland Speedway – Monday, Sept. 19, 2011

Kurt Busch – No. 22 Shell/Pennzoil Dodge Charger R/T
o Qualified: 3rd Finished: 6th
o Points position: 4th Gain/Loss: +3
Behind Leader: -11
o Led 64 of 267 laps – most by any driver
o Seventh top-five and 15th top-10 of the season.

Brad Keselowski – No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge Charger R/T
o Qualified: 6th Finished: 5th
o Points Position: 6th Gain/Loss: +5
Behind Leader: -14
o Seventh consecutive top-12 finish.
o Career-best Chicagoland Speedway finish.
o Seventh top-five and 11th top-10 of the season.
o Since Indianapolis (August), has scored more points than any other NASCAR Sprint Cup driver, 289 to Jeff Gordon's 262

DODGE IN THE CHASE: NEW HAMPSHIRE MOTOR SPEEDWAY

· 2004: Former Dodge drivers Jeremy Mayfield and Ryan Newman were in the inaugural Chase. Both had problems in the first event at NHMS with Newman finishing 33rd and Mayfield 35th.
· 2005: Three Dodge drivers (Mayfield, Newman and Rusty Wallace) made the Chase field with Newman winning the opener at NHMS. Newman ended up sixth, Wallace eighth and Mayfield ninth in the final standings.
· 2006: Kasey Kahne was the lone Dodge driver in the Chase field. Kahne started 33rd and finished 16th at Loudon.
· 2007: Kurt Busch was the lone Dodge representative. He started third and finished 25th in the Chase opener at Loudon. He finished seventh in the final Chase standings.
· 2008: There were no Dodges in the 2008 Chase field.
· 2009: Kurt Busch was the lone Dodge representative among the elite 12. Busch started third and finished seventh at NHMS in the Chase opener.
· 2010: Kurt Busch was the single Dodge entry. He started 12th and finished 13th in the first of the 10 Chase races.
 

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Dodge Motorsports Notes & Quotes – Kurt Busch Open Interview – New Hampshire
Published on September 23, 2011 by Official Release

Friday, Sept. 23, 2011

New Hampshire Motor Speedway

Dodge Motorsports PR

Sylvania 300

NASCAR Sprint Cup Series

Kurt Busch Open Interview



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

CAN YOU DESCRIBE WHAT THE EMOTION IS LIKE WHEN A CREW CHIEF COMES OVER THE RADIO AND SAYS START SAVING [FUEL]? WHAT IS THAT LIKE FOR YOU GUYS? “It’s exciting because we know we’re on the edge of making it or not making it. I think that the way a driver can conserve fuel is to just be consistent with the throttle pedal. But you really know exactly how much fuel you’re saving, you get the trophy at the end when you cross the line under power. So whether you’re running for fifth, 15th you’re doing all that you can in the car to let off the gas early and try to coast into the corner and not pick up the gas too early.”

IS THERE MORE FUEL MILEAGE NOW THAN THERE WAS BEFORE OR DOES IT JUST KIND OF SEEM THAT WAY? “It’s just the way that…yeah, it is more now. It’s just the way though that any race is with to win. You have to do whatever it takes to win, whether it’s bolting on tires with 20 to go and going all out or whether it’s going 50 laps on a tank of gas trying to stretch it.”

WHAT IS YOUR REACTION TO RULES CHANGES FOR TALLADEGA? “You know I think it’s good. What I was encouraging for Talladega was to drop the rear spoiler angle so that we would gain speed but opening the restrictor plate size is the same thing and hopefully we’ll be out there separated because we’re driving sideways ‘cause we’re on edge and we’ve got to worry about handling not necessarily just about speed.”

DO YOU THINK YOU’LL HAVE TO BREAK OUT QUICKER OR IS IT TOO HARD TO PREDICT? “It’s going to be, Friday’s practice will be very important at Talladega. It’s really going to mix it up a lot. It’s hard to predict.”

WHEN WE COME TO LOUDON IT SEEMS LIKE A LOT OF YOUR COMPETITIORS FACES SOUR, LIKE THIS DOESN’T SEEM LIKE IT’S A LOT OF GUYS FAVORITE PLACE TO COME. YOU ALWAYS SEEM TO BE UP FRONT HERE. WHAT IS IT LIKE FOR YOU TO COME HERE? “I enjoy coming here. It’s a great racetrack and that you have to be excited about every Chase track no matter if you think you’re going to struggle or if you think that you’re gonna do good. For us this has been a good track and we want to try to capitalize on this being a good track for us.”

LOOKING AHEAD TO DOVER, WHAT ARE THE MOST CHALLENGING ASPECTS OF THE MONSTER MILE? “Just the tire buildup, with the rubber buildup I mean, the way that the track fills in and it changes from the first lap all the way to lap 400. The rubber buildup is the hardest thing to keep track of at Dover.”

WHAT DOES IT TAKE TO HAVE A GOOD RUN THERE? “I mean you have to have raw speed but being able to adjust on the car during the race is key.”

DO YOU FEEL LIKE YOU SALVAGED ON LAST WEEK? “For us a radiator fan actually came off. We bottomed out too much and that took away a lot of front downforce so it was good to see that problem when we got back to the shop so we know we don’t have that going forward.”

SO YOU DIDN’T KNOW THAT DURING THE RACE? “No we didn’t know about that.”

COMMENT ON YOUR BASEBALL ODESSEY. “After I was on the NASCAR circuit for as long as I was I realized I got halfway through this, I guess baseball objective, a bucket list, or just a challenge to myself to go to all the ballparks. It took 10 years but it was neat to just try to go to one ballpark a year here and there and try to make sure I got all of ‘em. The toughest ones were the ones geographically challenged, whether it was San Diego or Seattle or Toronto.”

HOW MANY FIRST PITCHES DID YOU THROW OUT? “I’d say half a dozen. Not too many. Just wanted to go in, buy a ticket; go in casual sometimes.”

WHEN YOU WON THE FIRST CHASE EVERYBODY WAS FLYING BLIND. NOBODY REALLY KNEW HOW TO APPROACH 10 RACES WITH THAT MUCH ON THE LINE. HOW DO YOU APPROACH IT DIFFERENTLY NOW THAN YOU DID THEN? “You have to have consistency, which I did back then, but you have to do it with top-fives. Those are the keys. We were all then thinking ‘Ah, you can have one throwaway race, just get those top-10 consistent finishes.’ Average finishes over the years have definitely dropped down with Jimmie [Johnson] winning the title like he has.”

FROM THE DRIVER’S PERSPECTIVE WHEN IT COMES TO MANAGING FUEL MILEAGE, HOW MUCH OF IT IS JUST WORKING THE PEDALS AND HOW HARD AND HOW EASY YOU ARE OFF THOSE AND HOW MUCH OF IT IS OTHER THINGS? “It’s all in the pedal. I mean, you have to let off early and go to it very smoothly but all it once. You don’t want to have any excess fuel now being burned. So it really comes down to just backing the corner up as far as you can and not using the brake pedal as well.”

WHEN IT COMES TO SOME GUYS BEING BETTER AT SAVING FUEL THAN OTHERS IS A LOT OF THAT JUST IN HOW SOME GUYS ARE JUST TOO HARD ON PEDALS? “It has a lot to do with the way your team sets up the carburetor and it has a lot to do with you’re actual over fuel mileage. One driver really can be better than another. It’s just backing the corner up and being nice to the pedal.”

WILL FUEL INJETION CHANGE HOW YOU SAVE AND HOW YOU DO IT? “Yes and I’m hearing there’s a lot of trouble with the fuel mileage with you let off of the pedal and you’re decelerating and the engine is being starved for fuel because in a normal carburetor fuel splashes in after you let off the throttle pedal so lots of things to worry about going into next year. Right now we’ve got to worry about these nine races.”

YOU ARE 14 POINTS OUT OF THE LEAD IN THE STANDINGS. ONE RACE INTO THE CHASE, IS IT A SO FAR, SO GOOD MINDSET COMING INTO THIS WEEKEND? “Yeah, sixth is great. You know we led most laps last week and it would have been nice to finish stronger than that but sixth is the same as finishing perfect and being zero. Fourteen points is nothing.”
 

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NASCAR Qualifying
Last Updated: Friday, Sep 23, 2011 6:09 pm, EDT
Sylvania 300
Field Set New Hampshire Motor Speedway



Order Driver (No.) Car Qualifying Speed

1 Ryan Newman (39) Chevrolet 135.002
2 Kasey Kahne (4) Toyota 134.763
3 Brian Vickers (83) Toyota 134.648
4 Greg Biffle (16) Ford 134.587
5 Kurt Busch (22) Dodge 134.382
6 Kevin Harvick (29) Chevrolet 134.354
7 Jeff Gordon (24) Chevrolet 134.160
8 Kyle Busch (18) Toyota 134.146
9 Martin Truex Jr. (56) Toyota 134.146
10 Jimmie Johnson (48) Chevrolet 134.075
11 Clint Bowyer (33) Chevrolet 134.056
12 Dale Earnhardt Jr. (88) Chevrolet 133.981
13 A J Allmendinger (43) Ford 133.821
14 Paul Menard (27) Chevrolet 133.816
15 Bobby Labonte (47) Toyota 133.792
16 Brad Keselowski (2) Dodge 133.769
17 Regan Smith (78) Chevrolet 133.755
18 Jeff Burton (31) Chevrolet 133.595
19 David Reutimann (00) Toyota 133.572
20 Tony Stewart (14) Chevrolet 133.445
21 Mark Martin (5) Chevrolet 133.357
22 Dave Blaney (36) Chevrolet 133.245
23 Carl Edwards (99) Ford 133.203
24 Joey Logano (20) Toyota 133.114
25 Jamie McMurray (1) Chevrolet 132.905
26 David Ragan (6) Ford 132.896
27 Matt Kenseth (17) Ford 132.665
28 Denny Hamlin (11) Toyota 132.591
29 Marcos Ambrose (9) Ford 132.572
30 Landon Cassill (51) Chevrolet 132.429
31 Juan Pablo Montoya (42) Chevrolet 132.232
32 J.J. Yeley (38) Ford 132.213
33 David Gilliland (34) Ford 132.048
34 David Stremme (30) Chevrolet 131.856
35 Michael McDowell (66) Toyota 131.797
36 Robby Gordon (7) Dodge 131.352
37 Casey Mears (13) Toyota 131.293
38 Travis Kvapil (55) Ford 131.058
39 Joe Nemechek (87) Toyota 130.833
40 Mike Bliss (32) Ford 130.613
41 Josh Wise (37) Ford 130.550
42 Scott Speed (46) Ford 130.304
43 Andy Lally (71) Ford 128.784
44 Steve Park (135) DNQ 128.398
45 T.J. Bell (150) DNQ 127.483
 

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Friday, Sept. 23, 2011

Dodge Motorsports PR

New Hampshire Motor Speedway

Sylvania 300

NASCAR Sprint Cup Series

Final Qualifying Quotes

KURT BUSCH (No. 22 Shell/Pennzoil Dodge Charger R/T) Qualified 5th “New car blues. We’re really just struggling finding the front-end, the settle point. We’re either dragging the splitter or it’s five feet off the ground, literally. It’s just been a weird day with travels, new car. We just had to go cold turkey at it. We threw the July qualifying setup at it. We ran a 28.30 in July. We ran a 28.30 again. I just don’t know where that’s going to put us.”

NOW YOU MUST LOOK AHEAD TO USING THE PRACTICES EFFICENTLY. “Yeah we know the sway bar arms and some other things were giving us issues and the bump stops. I mean it’s this wonderful splitter that we have and you got to battle around it some days. When you have a new car you never know what travels you’re going to get sometimes.”

IF YOU HAD YOUR CHOICE, WOULD YOU LIKE TO RACE IN THE CHASE HERE AT NEW HAMPSHIRE EARLY OR LATE? “This is a great spot for it. This is track is fun and the way that the racetrack races you can pass if you have a fast racecar. And if you don’t you’ve got to find strategy to try and find a way to win. But this is a fun place and I enjoy coming up to New England. If we did it much later than this we might be battling snow instead of rain.”

BRAD KESELOWSKI (No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge Charger R/T) Qualified 16th ARE YOU DISAPPOINTED WITH THAT LAP? “Yeah a little bit. Not a terrible lap, not a good lap either, just kind of okay. I thought it was a little faster than that. I was a little surprised.”

IF QUALIFYING IS CUT SHORT BY RAIN, WOULD THAT BE AN ADVANTAGE FOR YOU GUYS? “It’s kind of a wash for us. We’re gonna end up about 15th either way so kind of a wash.”

ROBBY GORDON (No. 7 SPEED Energy Dodge Charger R/T) Qualified 36th ARE YOU HAPPY WITH THAT LAP? “Yeah, I mean, 28.99 is a decent lap for us. I’m going to say the pole is going to be, I don’t know, maybe a 30 or a 40 so it’s going to be a half-second. We still have some work to do but like I said, when we start getting to a position where we can qualify up front then worry about racing again.”
 

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NASCAR Results
Last Updated: Saturday, Sep 24, 2011 5:22 pm, EDT
F.W. Webb 175
Status: Final New Hampshire Motor Speedway



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

1 Kyle Busch (18) Toyota 48/5 175 165 $43,375
(30th Truck Win/led 165 laps)

1 Kyle Busch (18) Toyota 48/5 175 165 $43,375
2 Austin Dillon (3) Chevrolet 43/1 175 5 $30,825
3 Kevin Harvick (2) Chevrolet 41/0 175 0 $21,425
4 Ron Hornaday Jr. (33) Chevrolet 40/0 175 0 $19,250
5 Johnny Sauter (13) Chevrolet 39/0 175 0 $16,725
6 Matt Crafton (88) Chevrolet 38/0 175 0 $15,500
7 James Buescher (31) Chevrolet 38/1 174 2 $12,625
8 Todd Bodine (5) Toyota 37/1 174 2 $13,275
9 Timothy Peters (17) Toyota 35/0 174 0 $13,975
10 Miguel Paludo (7) Chevrolet 34/0 174 0 $13,500
11 Joey Coulter (22) Chevrolet 34/1 174 1 $10,525
12 Brendan Gaughan (62) Toyota 32/0 174 0 $10,425
13 Justin Lofton (6) Chevrolet 31/0 173 0 $10,400
14 David Starr (81) Toyota 30/0 173 0 $10,350
15 Cole Whitt (60) Chevrolet 29/0 173 0 $11,625
16 German Quiroga (151) Toyota 28/0 172 0 $7,925
17 Jason White (23) Chevrolet 27/0 172 0 $11,100
18 Parker Kligerman (29) Dodge 26/0 172 0 $10,050
19 Ricky Carmichael (4) Chevrolet 25/0 172 0 $10,000
20 Max Papis (9) Toyota 24/0 172 0 $10,650
21 Blake Feese (32) Chevrolet 23/0 171 0 $9,675
22 Ryan Sieg (39) Chevrolet 22/0 170 0 $8,400
23 Wes Burton (261) Ford 21/0 170 0 $7,375
24 Nelson Piquet Jr. (8) Chevrolet 20/0 165 0 $8,350
25 Norm Benning (57) Chevrolet 19/0 161 0 $7,475
26 A.J. Russell (173) Dodge 18/0 147 0 $7,300
27 Jeff Agnew (170) Chevrolet 17/0 80 0 $7,625
28 J.J. Yeley (66) Chevrolet 16/0 19 0 $7,250
29 Josh Wise (93) Chevrolet 15/0 14 0 $7,225
30 Butch Miller (07) Chevrolet 14/0 12 0 $7,680
31 Todd Peck (296) Chevrolet 13/0 10 0 $7,170
32 Chris Jones (87) Chevrolet 0/0 4 0 $7,160
33 Mike Harmon (174) Ford 0/0 2 0 $7,150
34 Bobby Santos (175) Chevrolet 0/0 1 0 $7,140
35 Jennifer Jo Cobb (10) Ford 9/0 0 0 $7,000
 

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Dodge Motorsports Notes & Quotes - Keys For Success
September 24, 2011 , LOUDON, N.H. - Saturday, Sept. 24, 2011
Denny Darnell
Scott Sebastian
Jimmy White
Dodge Motorsports PR
Sylvania 300
New Hampshire Motor Speedway
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series



KEYS FOR SUCCESS: Sylvania 300

LOUDON, N.H., (Saturday, Sept. 24, 2011) – Each race weekend, selected Dodge Motorsports engineers, Penske Racing engineers and crew chiefs, drivers or engine specialists give their insight on the ‘Keys for Success’ for the upcoming race. This week, Howard Comstock, Dodge Motorsports engineering - provides the keys for Sunday’s Sprint Cup race.

Track: New Hampshire Motor Speedway (Race 28 of 36 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series)

Race: Sylvania 300 (300 laps / 317.4 miles)

Trivia Question: Who was the most recent Dodge driver to win at New Hampshire Motor Speedway? (Answer Below)

HOWARD COMSTOCK (Dodge Motorsports)

Track Position: “Numbers one, two and three will be track position. We’ve seen here over the years in the summer race that getting and keeping track position is going to be key to winning this race. I think that tires seem to be less of an issue in the July race and I think a lot of teams learned that. I would look for plenty of teams to try two-tire stops early in the race on Sunday and for sure late in the race. I think they may try it early to get that track position and put themselves back where they need to be so they can run the rest of the race closer to the front of the pack. Then at the end, if there’s a late caution, two tires or no tires is going to be the call I can just about guarantee it.”

Brakes and Handling: “If the car won’t turn drivers tend to use the brakes to make the car turn and that ends up being a strain on the brakes. Now the brake packages are good enough anymore that we’ve not seen too much brake trouble here at Loudon. We used to see plenty of brake trouble here at Loudon but teams have figured out how to make these cars turn better and they’re making more downforce now and so I think that the brake package should be good for all but a few that are really struggling.”

Fuel Mileage: “Fuel economy is always important but it may be really important, depending on when that last caution falls. We’ve seen fewer cautions overall in every race this year. You can go back and look at the statistics to prove that out but fuel economy may be important depending on when that last caution falls.”







Trivia Question Answer: Kurt Busch, who won the Lenox Industrial Tools 301 on June 29, 2008.
 

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NASCAR Results
Last Updated: Sunday, Sep 25, 2011 5:05 pm, EDT
Sylvania 300
Status: Final New Hampshire Motor Speedway



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

1 Tony Stewart (14) Chevrolet 47/4 300 2 $254,083 Chart
2 Brad Keselowski (2) Dodge 43/1 300 1 $186,383 Chart
3 Greg Biffle (16) Ford 41/0 300 0 $148,675 Chart
4 Jeff Gordon (24) Chevrolet 42/2 300 78 $165,211 Chart
5 Brian Vickers (83) Toyota 40/1 300 4 $129,564 Chart
6 Matt Kenseth (17) Ford 38/0 300 0 $135,411 Chart
7 David Ragan (6) Ford 38/1 300 1 $105,100 Chart
8 Carl Edwards (99) Ford 36/0 300 0 $128,941 Chart
9 Juan Pablo Montoya (42) Chevrolet 36/1 300 2 $127,883 Chart
10 Regan Smith (78) Chevrolet 35/1 300 3 $111,095 Chart
11 Kyle Busch (18) Toyota 33/0 300 0 $128,816 Chart
12 Kevin Harvick (29) Chevrolet 33/1 300 1 $131,286 Chart
13 Jeff Burton (31) Chevrolet 31/0 300 0 $91,500 Chart
14 Joey Logano (20) Toyota 30/0 300 0 $88,125 Chart
15 Kasey Kahne (4) Toyota 30/1 300 43 $105,583 Chart
16 Martin Truex Jr. (56) Toyota 29/1 300 3 $87,025 Chart
17 Dale Earnhardt Jr. (88) Chevrolet 27/0 300 0 $86,150 Chart
18 Jimmie Johnson (48) Chevrolet 27/1 300 1 $128,286 Chart
19 Bobby Labonte (47) Toyota 25/0 299 0 $104,770 Chart
20 Paul Menard (27) Chevrolet 24/0 299 0 $85,850 Chart
21 A J Allmendinger (43) Ford 23/0 299 0 $114,611 Chart
22 Kurt Busch (22) Dodge 23/1 299 4 $118,375 Chart
23 Jamie McMurray (1) Chevrolet 21/0 299 0 $112,789 Chart
24 Mark Martin (5) Chevrolet 21/1 299 46 $84,225 Chart
25 Ryan Newman (39) Chevrolet 20/1 299 62 $122,725 Chart
26 Clint Bowyer (33) Chevrolet 19/1 298 49 $116,783 Chart
27 J.J. Yeley (38) Ford 17/0 298 0 $91,008 Chart
28 David Reutimann (00) Toyota 16/0 298 0 $103,108 Chart
29 Denny Hamlin (11) Toyota 15/0 298 0 $119,950 Chart
30 Marcos Ambrose (9) Ford 14/0 297 0 $105,166 Chart
31 Mike Bliss (32) Ford 13/0 296 0 $86,633 Chart
32 David Gilliland (34) Ford 12/0 296 0 $80,747 Chart
33 Landon Cassill (51) Chevrolet 11/0 294 0 $71,950 Chart
34 Andy Lally (71) Ford 10/0 284 0 $80,300 Chart
35 Dave Blaney (36) Chevrolet 9/0 80 0 $70,600 Chart
36 Joe Nemechek (87) Toyota 8/0 38 0 $70,375 Chart
37 Michael McDowell (66) Toyota 7/0 35 0 $70,175 Chart
38 David Stremme (30) Chevrolet 6/0 32 0 $69,975 Chart
39 Josh Wise (37) Ford 5/0 29 0 $69,850 Chart
40 Robby Gordon (7) Dodge 4/0 28 0 $69,700 Chart
41 Scott Speed (46) Ford 3/0 23 0 $69,525 Chart
42 Casey Mears (13) Toyota 2/0 19 0 $69,400 Chart
43 Travis Kvapil (55) Ford 1/0 10 0 $69,767 Chart
 

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Kurt Busch car fails initial prerace inspection, delayed getting to starting grid at N.H.

Sunday, September 25, 2011



LOUDON, N.H. – The car of Kurt Busch did not pass prerace inspection the first time through Sunday morning, and NASCAR did not release the car until 10 minutes before the engines were fired for the Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.

The Penske Racing team fixed the rear-end issue and the car rolled out to pit road following the national anthem.

There is not expected to be any penalties – cars occasionally go through tech more than one time during a race weekend. What was rare was NASCAR not approving the car until minutes before the race.

Although driver Kurt Busch appeared upset, the team didn’t appear panicked as the car sat in the inspection bay with Penske Racing Competition Director Travis Geisler and Busch crew chief Steve Addington looking on.

“NASCAR wasn’t 100 percent happy with what they saw on one of their gauges that kind of checks where the rear end is in the car, so we had to do a little work on it. … It’s a ‘go’ or ‘no-go’ type of gauge and it didn’t go,” Geisler said.

“We needed to make sure that it went. It wasn’t like there was any gray area that NASCAR was saying maybe we were or weren’t legal. We weren’t right yet.”

Geisler said the team knew about the issue around 1 p.m. and it was a simple fix. But NASCAR didn’t approve the car until an hour later and the car was pushed out of the inspection bay just 10 minutes prior to the scheduled command to start engines.

“[We had] to kind of do it on their schedule to make it work the way they wanted,” Geisler said. “Everybody knew what needed to be done to be fixed. It wasn’t a mystery of what was wrong or a panic of whether or not we were going to be able to get the car fixed.

“It was just a matter of getting it fixed and getting it done in the timeline that NASCAR wanted to see, and they worked with us and got the car through. … I don’t think they were happy with us having to go around. We were pushing a little bit time-wise for their schedule, so we just had to deal with that and fortunately we got everything fixed and we’re going to make a good day out of it.”


 

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Sprint Cup Series
Latest Race Sep 25
Sylvania 300



Sprint Cup
09/25/2011


2011 Standings Behind

1. Tony Stewart (14) -
2. Kevin Harvick (29) -7
3. Brad Keselowski (2) -11
4. Carl Edwards (99) -14
5. Jeff Gordon (24) -23
6. Dale Earnhardt Jr. (88) -26
6. Matt Kenseth (17) -26
6. Kyle Busch (18) -26
9. Kurt Busch (22) -28
10. Jimmie Johnson (48) -29
11. Ryan Newman (39) -34
12. Denny Hamlin (11) -66

 

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Tough start ruins Busch's day at New Hampshire
Being late to pre-race inspection angers NASCAR; car's balance off from get-go

September 25, 2011



LOUDON, N.H. -- Kurt Busch's record of late at New Hampshire Motor Speedway has been stellar, so that made a whirlwind of a Sunday that much more difficult to swallow for the driver who plummeted from Chase for the Sprint Cup contention to an also-ran in the space of 300 miles.

Busch struggled to finish 22nd in a race that turned into the latest fuel-mileage crapshoot. And in the process he fell from third in the championship, 11 points behind the lead, to ninth, 28 points behind leader and Sylvania 300 race winner Tony Stewart.



We've been a little bit slow in getting on line and we've got to step that up.

-- STEVE ADDINGTON

Busch returned to his hauler, changed clothes and left without speaking, but relayed a few comments through a representative. Nearly half an hour later crew chief Steve Addington confirmed the somber mood when he and his driver briefly met post-race.

"We were both frustrated with how we ran here," Addington said. "We usually run pretty good here and we were frustrated with how we ran."

Busch, who has three wins at NHMS, including one with the current new car, and six top-10 finishes in his past seven starts here, with a worst of 13th, had high hopes for the second race in the Chase.

Busch, Addington, car owner Roger Penske and the No. 22 Dodge crew's day of woe began shortly after the garage opened, when Addington threw some changes at the car that hadn't practiced particularly well -- Busch had a best of 17th on Saturday morning, and the ninth-best 10-lap average -- but qualified fifth.

The car was pushed to pre-race inspection at the last minute, and apparently when NASCAR's inspection crew found a minimal irregularity in a rear-end measurement, it was the last straw. Addington said the adjustment to bring the car into spec took "a half-turn on the track bar and it passed, just fine," but then NASCAR held the car off the grid until about 10 minutes before the cars rolled off pit road.

* Video: No. 22 car fails pre-race inspection

"What [Sprint Cup director] John Darby and [NASCAR president] Mike Helton said to me was, 'Look, we want you at the front of that [inspection] line for the rest of the season, and that's the end of it,' " Penske said after the race. "I think the problem was the last two or three weeks we'd been late getting through tech and then if we had a little bit of a problem we had to go back through again -- and they said, 'We've had enough of you going back through.'

"It wasn't anything big -- just little things -- because we've had all of our cars to NASCAR after the wins and there were no issues with the car."

"We're in a box of having a half-inch of offset -- you've got your numbers to be offset with the rear-end housing," Addington said. "And we were a 16th [of an inch] too far to the right, a 32nd of an inch per side. We had to just lengthen the track bar [to adjust it], that was all."

The end of the day's frustration for Penske Racing mirrored what Addington said NASCAR was feeling just after noon.

"It was a little frustration from where we struggled with getting through for qualifying at Richmond and some other issues that popped up that [NASCAR] was frustrated with us having to come back around," Addington said. "So that's where that came from and I totally understand John Darby and Mike Helton's decision on that and that had nothing to do with our performance [Sunday]. I stand behind them and I understand that [frustration].

"I'm there on the scales with my guys and with [the inspectors] 90 percent of the time pre-race. We've been a little bit slow in getting on line and we've got to step that up."

Not surprisingly, Penske also said enough was enough.

"I'm going to sit down with Addington and the guys during the week and say, 'Look, we've got to have our car in inspection prior to qualifying and also prior to the race on time and not have this happen again,' " Penske said. "It's embarrassing, obviously and these guys [NASCAR inspectors] can make it tough on you -- they can hurt you if they want to. But I think they gave us a break, we'll talk to the crew and they're gonna have to get their game up a little bit."

Penske and Addington agreed the inspection delay had nothing to do with the car's performance.

"We made some changes to the car [Sunday] morning and we thought we went in the right direction," Addington said. "But you don't have to be off but a tenth or two-tenths [of a second] at a place like this to make it really bad. So we just missed on what we changed overnight."

Even Sunday's weather, with sunshine and temperatures in the 80s where the previous two days had been overcast and much cooler, had nothing to do with the car's performance, according to Addington. Busch started fifth but fell out of the top 10 before 30 laps were run.

"I just think that when we started off we didn't have the balance of the car where we needed to be at the start of the race and we lost track position," Addington said. "And then it's so hard to get it back, and we were off again so we had to make a big swing at it and make a big change there."

With less than 40 laps to go, Busch came on his in-car radio and said, "We're money right now -- wish we could've had it earlier." Addington agreed with that sentiment, a good bit later.

"We felt like we made some gains on the car right then," Addington said. "And then it just played out and we were trying to play track position, and stay out when everybody still had to come to pit road and trying to catch a caution."

Busch played the strategy game well enough to lead from Lap 242 to 245 in a pit cycle, gaining a critical bonus point. But the prayed for caution never came.

"They mentioned debris two or three times," Addington said. "And we were hoping it would work out for us, to try to get our track position back, and it didn't. But we needed to make changes on the car, to make a difference. When you're really good, you like these short races, but when you're really bad you'd like it to run all night long like the [Coca-Cola] 600 at Charlotte.

"But it is what it is -- as a race team we weren't where we needed to be and that's disappointing."

"It was a frustrating day, our Shell Pennzoil Dodge was certainly a handful," Busch said. "The front tires felt like they were on skids and the car was plowing through the corners. Addington and the guys kept making changes and got our Dodge better by the end of the race. I just wish we could have started the race with the car that good."

Strangely enough, Addington said both Busch and teammate Brad Keselowski's car, which finished second, had the same setups to start. Track position ended up being the key, as Keselowski got his car where it needed to be so crew chief Paul Wolfe could play strategy to get the critical position.

"These things are so close that a little bit here and a little bit there makes a difference," Penske said. "Overall I think we had a pretty good day. It was unfortunate where Kurt finished but we had a good finish with the 2 [Keselowski] and at the end of the day, we'll just go on to Dover. Anything can happen -- we've got Talladega, we've got a number of things. This is two [races] out of 10 and I'll keep going."

"We've got to do our job," Addington said of the points deficit. "Like I've always said, we've got to do our job -- we can't control what everybody else does -- and we just didn't do a good job of doing our job [Sunday]."

 

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Dodge Motorsports Notes & Quotes - NSCS Weekend Recap - New Hampshire 2

September 25, 2011 , LOUDON, N.H. - Brad Keselowski (No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge Charger) used strategy and superior fuel mileage to score a second-place finish Sunday in the Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.

Keselowski, who struggled to run inside the top-20 the first half of Sunday’s 300-mile event, used a bit of race strategy to claim his eighth top-five of the season. He climbed three positions in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series standings and now trails point leader Tony Stewart by just 11 points.

“I feel really good about this one,” said Keselowski. “We struggled a little bit this weekend, but we executed and that's what these races are about. We've got some work to do on these short-track races, but we got some mile-and-a-half's coming up where we've been really, really good. I'm proud just to get through what looked to be a rough weekend with an awesome finish. I’m proud of my Miller Lite Dodge team. Getting the right adjustments in the car all race and doing all those things that it takes, it’s been a good roll.

“We did the things we needed to do. We weren’t as fast as we wanted to be, but we worked on our car, adjusted on it and got it where we could race with it there at the end. We had good strategy and pulled out a second. We probably weren’t a second-place car, but we worked hard and made something happen.”

Keselowski qualified 16th but struggled during the early stages of the race. On lap 154 he made a scheduled pit stop for four tires and fuel. Twenty laps later crew chief Paul Wolfe chose not to pit under the event’s third and final caution and Keselowski vaulted up the leaderboard to eighth.

Wolfe said he kept making adjustments to the No. 2 Dodge Charger on every pit stop and was just looking for an opportunity to gain precious track position.

“As soon as the opportunity was there to stay out and get the track position, that’s what we did,” said Wolfe. “It’s hard to stay out when you’re car is not close and at the very beginning, we weren’t where we needed to be. We kept working on it and as we got our car where I felt like we were competitive, then we took the opportunity to do the strategy call there to get up front. And once we got up front and worked on our car each stop, we were solidly a top-five car. Everybody at the engine shop has done great with giving us great fuel mileage. We played our windows there at the end and had plenty of fuel left.”

With good track position, Keselowski did all he could from the cockpit to conserve fuel and set up the opportunity for the team to make it to the finish with one more stop. On lap 231 (and safely inside his fuel window), he made his final stop of the day for four tires and a full tank of fuel.

Keselowski cycled back into the top 10 by lap 242. Armed with a fast Dodge and plenty of fuel, he continued to work his way to the front as his competitors were forced to pit road for fuel. He took the checkered flag 7.225 seconds behind Tony Stewart, his best finish in five starts at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.

Wolfe said the finish was “huge” for the team moving forward in Chase.

“We didn’t qualify as well as we thought we should have,” said Wolfe. “It seems like the last two weeks we haven’t started the race very well, but everybody stayed focused, stayed calm and he was able to be there when it counts. Obviously, that’s what it’s going to take. To have top fives in the first two races is big. It gives us momentum. We feel good about going back to Dover, we had a top-10 car there the first race.”

Keselowski said that if he and the team can stay in contention through the first half of the Chase, he likes his chances in the final five races.

“To get through Chicago with a fifth and here a second today, it’s a huge boost of morale for my team and momentum for Penske Racing,” said Keselowski. “We’ve been able to capitalize with good execution on pit road, good adjustments on our car and not getting caught up in somebody else’s mess. But you know that stuff can go the other way just as easily as it’s gone the right way for us over the last few weeks. I’m still very proud of what we’ve done but we still have a long ways to go, a really long way.”

As good as the race was for Keselowski, it was just as frustrating for teammate Kurt Busch (No. 22 Shell/Pennzoil Dodge Charger).

The day started off badly for the team when the No. 22 car was late to the starting grid, having failed prerace inspection. The problem was corrected quickly, but it took more than an hour for NASCAR to let the team return to the inspection station. The team pushed the car into position just as the National Anthem concluded.

Busch qualified fifth, but struggled from the moment the green flag waved. He and crew chief Steve Addington did improve the handling characteristics of the car over the course of the event, but they never had the opportunity to regain the track position lost early. Busch was credited with a 22nd-place and is now ninth in the series championship standings, 28 points behind leader Stewart.

“NASCAR wasn’t 100 percent happy with what they saw on one of their gauges that kind of checks where the rear end is in the car, so we had to do a little work on it,” said Travis Geisler, director of competition at Penske Racing. “It’s a ‘go’ or ‘no-go’ type of gauge and it didn’t go. We needed to make sure that it went. It wasn’t like there was any gray area that NASCAR was saying maybe we were or weren’t legal. We weren’t right yet. [We had] to kind of do it on their schedule to make it work the way they wanted.

“Everybody knew what needed to be done to be fixed. It wasn’t a mystery of what was wrong or a panic of whether or not we were going to be able to get the car fixed. It was just a matter of getting it fixed and getting it done in the timeline that NASCAR wanted to see. They worked with us and got the car through. I don’t think they were happy with us having to go around. We were pushing a little bit time-wise for their schedule, so we just had to deal with that. Fortunately, we got everything fixed.”

The lone bright spot for Busch was that he used superior fuel economy in his Dodge to lead the race once for four laps.

“It was a frustrating day,” said Busch. “Our Shell/Pennzoil Dodge was certainly a handful. The front tires felt like they were on skids and the car was plowing through the corners. We were late going through inspection and that set the tone for our day. We were able to stay out and lead some laps under green and Steve Addington and the guys kept making changes and got our Dodge better by the end of the race. I just wish we could have started the race with the car that good."

Race Results
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
Sylvania 300
New Hampshire Motor Speedway
Sunday, Sept. 25, 2011

1. Tony Stewart
2. Brad Keselowski
3. Greg Biffle
4. Jeff Gordon
5. Brian Vickers
6. Matt Kenseth
7. David Ragan
8. Carl Edwards
9. Juan Pablo Montoya
10. Regan Smith
22. Kurt Busch
40. Robby Gordon

Other Chase Drivers
11. Kyle Busch
12. Kevin Harvick
17. Dale Earnhardt Jr.
18. Jimmie Johnson
25. Ryan Newman
29. Denny Hamlin

NASCAR Sprint Cup
Point Standings
(After 28 of 36 races)

1. Tony Stewart 2094 points
2. Kevin Harvick -7
3. Brad Keselowski -11
4. Carl Edwards -14
5. Jeff Gordon -23
6. Kyle Busch -26
7. Matt Kenseth -26
8. Dale Earnhardt Jr. -26
9. Kurt Busch -28
10. Jimmie Johnson -29
11. Ryan Newman -34
12. Denny Hamlin -66
 

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Dodge Motorsports Notes & Quotes - NSCS Final Quotes - New Hampshire 2
September 25, 2011 , LOUDON, N.H. - Sunday, Sept. 25, 2011

Dodge Motorsports PR
New Hampshire Motor Speedway
Sylvania 300
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
Final Race Quotes



BRAD KESELOWSKI (No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge Charger R/T) Finished 2nd "I feel really good about this one. We struggled a little bit this weekend, but we executed and that's what these races are about. We've got some work to do on these short-track races, but we got some mile-and-a-half's coming up where we've been really, really good. I'm proud just to get through what looked to be a rough weekend with an awesome finish. I'm proud of my Miller Lite Dodge team. Getting the right adjustments in the car all race and doing all those things that it takes. It's been a good roll.”

YOU ARE THIRD IN POINTS. “That’s pretty good. I think I left here in the spring like 25th or something. That’s a lot of points to gain in 10 races.”

THIS WAS ANOTHER ROCK SOLID PERFORMANCE FOR YOU AND THIS TEAM. “We did the things we needed to do. We weren’t as fast as we wanted to be but we worked on our car, adjusted on it and got it where we could race with it there at the end and just had good strategy and pulled out a second. We probably weren’t a second-place car but we worked hard and made something happen.”

YOU GAINED A BUNCH OF GROUND IN THE CHAMPIONSHIP CHASE. “Absolutely, that’s exactly what we need to do. I’m proud of my team.”

YOU ARE GOING TO DOVER NEXT WEEK WITH A BUNCH OF MOMENTUM ON THIS TEAM’S SIDE. DO YOU LIKE THAT PLACE? “Absolutely, you know, I think Dover, you can’t help but compare it to Bristol and after winning Bristol I feel really good going there.”

YOU RAN OUTSIDE THE TOP 2O AT THE BEGINNING OF THE RACE AND THEN YOU MADE SOME NIFTY PIT STRATEGY AND IT TURNED YOUR WHOLE DAY AROUND. “Yeah, you know, we were able to pass cars the run before last and we drove up from maybe 25th to 16th or so and caught the yellow and moved up to about seventh, maybe we were eighth. We drove up from eighth to maybe fourth so we did pass some cars, did a lot of good things. Just all in all great execution at the end.”

YOU HAD A GREAT POINTS DAY. “Absolutely and very happy with what we were able to do here today with the Miller Lite Dodge.”

HOW BIG IS THIS RACE AS FAR AS GETTING YOU SOME MOMENTUM GOING TO DOVER AND KANSAS? “Well you know I think we’ve ran really well at the mile-and-a-halfs. We needed to get through the races where we didn’t feel like we were very good at. And these first two tracks were those and we did it. It just gets us in position and we’re just executing very well and just another good sign, and good momentum. Good mojo.”

YOU JUMPED UP THREE POSITIONS IN POINTS TO THIRD, HIGHEST EVER. YOUR CREW CHIEF WAS STRESSED OUT THIS MORNING ABOUT YOUR CAR. DID IT GET THAT MUCH BETTER OR WAS IT ALL STRATEGY? “We made some good adjustments with about 120, 130 to go, and it drove up into fourth, which I was really proud of our team for that. Still played a little strategy, used the fuel stuff to get up to second but we were a legitimate top-10 car, not quite a second-place car. But proud of the effort, proud of how we took a track we were weak at and got a finish at it and that’s what this Chase is all about. My Miller Lite Dodge team, they’re getting it done.”

PAUL WOLFE (Crew Chief, No. 22 Miller Lite Dodge Charger R/T) IN THE MIDDLE OF THE RACE YOU RAN OUTSIDE THE TOP 20. HOW DID YOU GET FROM THERE TO A SECOND-PLACE FINISH? “What we’ve done well this year is stay focused, try to stay calm. I know it’s tough for Brad when he’s back there running. Kept making adjustments to our race car each stop and got to point there when everybody was spread out there I could see that our lap speeds were good enough to run in the top-10 so as soon as the opportunity was there to stay out and get the track position that’s what we did. It’s hard to stay out when you’re car is not close and at the very beginning we weren’t where we needed to be. We kept working on it and as we got our car where I felt like we were competitive then we took the opportunity to do the strategy call there to get up front. And once we got up front and worked on our car each stop we were solidly a top-five car there. Everybody at the engine shop has done great with giving us great fuel mileage. We played our windows there at the end and had plenty of fuel left.”

DO FUEL MILEAGE RACES PLAY TO YOUR ADVANTAGE BECAUSE OF THE FUEL ECONOMY OF YOUR DODGE CHARGERS? “It doesn’t hurt that’s for sure and we see from short tracks to mile-and-a-halfs, it doesn’t matter where we are, it all comes down to fuel mileage. These Dodge engines seem to be good in that area and not giving up a lot of speed to do it. That’s the key thing – having good fuel mileage and being able to have the speed to go with it and I feel like we had that today.”

IS NEW HAMPSHIRE ONE OF THE TOUGHEST RACES FOR A CREW CHIEF TO CALL? “Honestly, it seems like every week they are the same on making calls. I didn’t feel like this was a lot harder. What makes races harder to call is when you don’t have a great racecar to start the race. It seems like when you have good racecars it makes it easier to call the race. Like I said we got ours there finally about halfway through the race and it was just doing what we had to do.”

HOW IMPORTANT IS THIS FINISH TODAY FOR YOU AND THE TEAM MOVING FORWARD? “It’s huge, especially as bad as we were in practice all weekend. We didn’t qualify as well as we thought we should have. It seems like the last two weeks we haven’t started the race so well but everybody stayed focused, stayed calm and he was able to be there when it counts and obviously that’s what it’s going to take. To have top fives in the first two races is big. It gives us momentum and we feel like going back to Dover we had a top-10 car there the first race. I think we finished 12th but had a top-10 car and we feel that we can improve on that and be a better race for us hopefully next week and hopefully have a shot to win.”

KURT BUSCH (No. 22 Shell/Pennzoil Dodge Charger R/T) Finished 22nd “It was a frustrating day. Our Shell Pennzoil Dodge was certainly a handful. The front tires felt like they were on skids and the car was plowing through the corners. We were late going through inspection and that set the tone for our day. We were able to stay out and lead some laps under green and Steve Addington and the guys kept making changes and got our Dodge better by the end of the race. I just wish we could have started the race with the car that good."

TRAVIS GEISLER (Director of Competition, Penske Racing) “NASCAR wasn’t 100 percent happy with what they saw on one of their gauges that kind of checks where the rear end is in the car, so we had to do a little work on it. … It’s a ‘go’ or ‘no-go’ type of gauge and it didn’t go. We needed to make sure that it went. It wasn’t like there was any gray area that NASCAR was saying maybe we were or weren’t legal. We weren’t right yet. [We had] to kind of do it on their schedule to make it work the way they wanted. Everybody knew what needed to be done to be fixed. It wasn’t a mystery of what was wrong or a panic of whether or not we were going to be able to get the car fixed. It was just a matter of getting it fixed and getting it done in the timeline that NASCAR wanted to see, and they worked with us and got the car through. … I don’t think they were happy with us having to go around. We were pushing a little bit time-wise for their schedule, so we just had to deal with that and fortunately we got everything fixed and we’re going to make a good day out of it.”

KESELOWSKI PRESS CONFERENCE TALK ABOUT HOW THIS RACE TEAM CONTINUES TO PROGRESS. “Yeah, well, you know it’s funny because 10 races ago we left Loudon here 23rd in points. Who would have ever thought we’d be third in 10 weeks? I’d like to see some kind of stat for that, that’s for sure. It’s been a good road here to travel down the last few weeks and today was no exception. We weren’t the fastest car. I’d be lying if I tried to tell you we were but we made good adjustments to our car. Got it to where it was a solid top-10 car and drove up to fourth or fifth there with about 100 to go, 80 to go, whatever that was right there, right in that range. But that’s what you need to do. You need to make good adjustments on your car and we’re clicking on that, Paul and I, and working really hard on this. Still got a long ways to go on a lot of different things but proud of the finish we were able to get today and proud of the effort for sure and we did get a little bit of help from the fuel mileage but hell we were going to have fourth or fifth-place day. Instead we had a second-place day so all in all I felt like we were in the majority of our good fortune. A decent day and exactly what we need to do in this Chase, keep plugging away with finishes like this.”

DO YOU THINK THIS WAS A FUEL MILEAGE RACE THAT SHOULDN’T HAVE TURNED OUT THAT WAY IN THAT JEFF GORDON HAD EVERBODY SO COVERED? DID THAT CAR LOOK LIKE IT WAS THE DOMINANTE CAR BEFORE THEY HAD THEIR FOULUP ON THEIR LAST GREEN FLAG STOP? “I’ll let Greg [Biffle] answer it ‘cause I never saw the 24 all day [smiles].”

EVERYONE WAS WORKING ON FUEL MILEAGE STUFF IN THE FINAL PRACTICE YESTERDAY. HAS THIS FUEL MILEAGE AND TRACK POSITION EVOLVED INTO SOMETHING TOO IMPORTANT ALL OF A SUDDEN? IT SEEMS LIKE EVERY RACE IS COMING DOWN TO THIS. “I just think that every race has its own personality and with this particular car and the way it’s designed it’s going to lean toward this personality a little bit more. I don’t know, it doesn’t bother me. I don’t think it’s bad racing, personally. I know there’s people that do. I think for the most part the fastest car still ends up winning the race. Not always but for the most part, I think if you looked at the odds on how many fuel mileage races there’s been I would say over 50 percent the fastest car still wins the race. Both Tony [Stewart] and Jeff [Gordon] were fast. Tony ended up winning it. You could have probably made a case for either one of those two being the best car but that’s just not the way it played out. I don’t know, I try not to read too much in. I know there’s been a lot of people talking about fuel mileage racing dominating the sport or being bad for it but I think there’s still been a lot of races that haven’t been decided on fuel mileage. I guess it doesn’t seem like that big of deal to me.”

YOU BOTH HAVE WON FUEL MILEAGE RACES. DO YOU TREAT ANY OF THOSE WINS ANY LESS THAN WINS WHEN YOU’RE ABLE TO BLOW PEOPLE AWAY? “No [laughs]. I’ve only got one and I’m not giving it back.”

CAN YOU ASSES WHAT THE REST OF THE SEASON WOULD LOOK LIKE BASED ON WHETHER YOU THINK A LOT OF IT IS STRATEGY OR FASTEST CAR WINS, EITHER CASE? “Well coming into this race, I guess this morning, I would have said I was really, really nervous about this one, and knowing that we’ve struggled at the Richmonds and so forth, the other short tracks of this nature. You know you could say we won Bristol but I would say it’s a lot different short track than a Loudon or a Richmond or whatever. And it’s this style track that we’ve really, really struggled on so I was very nervous about this race but I feel like our best races in the Chase are going to be our last five or six races, to be quite honest, with maybe the exception of Texas. We’ll have to wait and see how that one goes. So to me, if we get through this first four or five, you know I think we’ve got a really good shot at it. To get through Chicago with a fifth and here a second today, it’s a huge booster of morale for my team and momentum for Penske Racing and just hope that we can continue to capitalize and I think that’s why where we’re at. We’ve been able to capitalize with good execution on pit road and good adjustments on our car and not getting caught up in somebody else’s mess. But you know that stuff can go the other way just as easily as it’s gone the right way for us over the last few weeks. I’m still very proud of what we’ve done but we still have a long ways to go, a really long way. There’s eight big races left so then of course you can throw in Talladega and I don’t think anybody can tell you what’s going to happen there.”

CAN YOU TOUCH ON THE IRONY OF WHERE YOU WERE THE LAST TIME YOU WERE AT THIS TRACK AND KIND OF WHERE YOU ARE NOW? WHAT KIND OF THINGS DO YOU GUYS TWEAK TO RUN BETTER HERE TODAY? “Well like you said it has been a great turnaround. We’re 20 positions better in points than we were 10 weeks ago when we were here, or at least when we left. So that’s pretty cool, I think. But it’s been a turnaround because of hard work and focus on I’m very appreciative of my team for that and this particular weekend compared to the last time we were here is no different. We focused on what I needed to do better and I thought that I could do a lot better job and hit on some things and I felt like the car could be a lot better. We might have got a little bit better and we certainly made some adjustments in the race that made us a lot better so it takes all those things to get better and to get a result like we go today and as a team that’s what it means to be performing at a high level is to hit those things and my team is doing that.”
 
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Dodge Nitro Forum
We’re a forum community dedicated to Dodge Nitro SUV owners & enthusiasts. Come join the discussion about upgrades, towing capacity, reliability, and more!
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