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Daytona 500



Daytona International Speedway



Race Capsule
Daytona International Speedway

What: Race 1 of 36 on Sprint Cup circuit
Where: Daytona International Speedway, Daytona Beach, FL
When: February 26, 2012 1:30 pm EST FOX
Laps: 200
Track Length: 2.5 miles
Race Length: 500.00 miles


Records
Date Series Driver Speed

2/17/80 Sprint Cup Race Buddy Baker 178.00
2/14/10 Sprint Cup Qualifying Mark Martin 191.188
2/17/07 Nationwide Race Kevin Harvick 156.00
2/17/01 Nationwide Qualifying Joe Nemechek 186.966
2/17/06 Camping World Truck Race Mark Martin 147.00
2/13/04 Camping World Truck Qualifying Terry Cook 183.643



Most Cup Wins (since 1975)

Jeff Gordon: 6
Bobby Allison: 6


Sprint Cup
Date Race Name Pole Winner Race Winner
Make Purse
2/20/11 Daytona 500 Dale Earnhardt Jr. Trevor Bayne Ford $18,693,533
7/2/11 Coke Zero 400 Powered By Coca-Cola Mark Martin David Ragan Ford $6,101,344
2/14/10 Daytona 500 Mark Martin Jamie McMurray Chevrolet $18,549,893
7/3/10 Coke Zero 400 Powered By Coca-Cola Kevin Harvick Kevin Harvick Chevrolet $6,147,546
2/15/09 Daytona 500 Martin Truex Jr. Matt Kenseth Ford $18,865,586
7/4/09 Coke Zero 400 Powered By Coca-Cola Tony Stewart Tony Stewart Chevrolet $6,332,752
2/17/08 Daytona 500 Jimmie Johnson Ryan Newman Dodge $18,689,238
7/5/08 Coke Zero 400 Powered By Coca-Cola Paul Menard Kyle Busch Toyota $6,284,969

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Gatorade Duel 1

Race Capsule
Daytona International Speedway

What: Sprint Cup circuit
Where: Daytona International Speedway, Daytona Beach, FL
When: February 23, 2012 2:19 pm EST SPEED
Laps: 60
Track Length: 2.5 miles
Race Length: 150.00 miles


Gatorade Duel 2

Race Capsule
Daytona International Speedway

What: Sprint Cup circuit
Where: Daytona International Speedway, Daytona Beach, FL
When:

February 23, 2012 4:00 pm EST SPEED
Laps: 60
Track Length: 2.5 miles
Race Length: 150.00 miles
 

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NASCAR Qualifying
Last Updated: Sunday, Feb 19, 2012 5:52 pm, EST
Daytona 500
Status: Field Set Daytona International Speedway



Order Driver (No.) Car Qualifying Speed
1 Carl Edwards (99) Ford 194.738
Daytona 500 qualifying



2. Greg Biffle, Ford, 194.087 mph

3. Dale Earnhardt Jr., Chevrolet, 194.028 mph

4. Marcos Ambrose, Ford, 193.999 mph

5. Casey Mears, Ford, 193.844 mph

6. Jeff Gordon, Chevrolet, 193.803 mph

7. Martin Truex Jr., Toyota, 93.665 mph

8. Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Ford, 193.665 mph

9. Trevor Bayne, Ford, 193.615 mph

10. Tony Stewart, Chevrolet, 193.607 mph

11. Mark Martin, Toyota, 193.503 mph

12. Jimmie Johnson, Chevrolet, 193.449 mph

13. Aric Almirola, Ford, 193.382 mph

14. Paul Menard, Chevrolet, 193.374 mph

15. David Ragan, Ford, 193.249 mph

16. Matt Kenseth, Ford,193.245 mph

17. Ryan Newman, Chevrolet, 193.224 mph

18. A.J. Allmendinger, Dodge, 193.121 mph

19. Brad Keselowski, Dodge, 192.992 mph


20. Kevin Harvick, Chevrolet, 192.914 mph

21. Joey Logan, Toyota, 192.868 mph

22. Jeff Burton, Chevrolet, 192.777 mph

23. Juan Pablo Montoya, Chevrolet, 192.600 mph

24. Kasey Kahne, Chevrolet, 192.583 mph

25. Tony Raines, Ford, 192.534 mph

26. David Stremme, Toyota, 191.963 mph

27. Kyle Busch, Toyota, 191.873 mph

28. Jamie McMurray, Chevrolet, 191.840 mph

29. Danica Patrick, Chevrolet, 191.738 mph

30. Kenny Wallace, Toyota, 191.567 mph

31. Terry Labonte, Ford, 191.522 mph

32. Dave Blaney, Toyota, 191.506 mph

33. Kurt Busch, Chevrolet, 191.363

34. Elliott Sadler, Chevrolet, 191.270 mph

35. Michael Waltrip, Toyota, 191.180 mph,

36. Joe Nemechek, Toyota, 191.160 mph

37. Denny Hamlin, Toyota, 191.127 mph

38. Regan Smith, Chevrolet, 191.063 mph

39. Michael McDowell, Ford, 190.990 mph

40. Landon Cassill, Toyota, 190.605 mph

41. David Gilliland, Ford, 190.046 mph

42. Bobby Labonte, Toyota, 190.022 mph

43. Bill Elliott, Toyota, 189.950 mph

44. Mike Wallace, Ford, 189.853 mph

45. David Reutimann, Toyota, 189.235 mph

46. Robert Richardson Jr. Ford, 188.438 mph

47. J.J. Yeley, Toyota, 187.954 mph

48. Robby Gordon, Toyota, 188.229 mph

Read more: http://www.autoweek.com/article/20120219/NASCAR/120219855#ixzz1msGGY5hT
 

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Dodge Notes & Quotes - Daytona 500 Qualifying Quotes - Daytona Int'l Speedway
February 19, 2012 , DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - Daytona 500
Daytona International Speedway
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
Post-Qualifying Quotes
Dodge Motorsports PR

Brad Keselowski (No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge Charger R/T) Qualified 19th
HOW WAS QUALIFYING? "I just went out there and ran a lap. Either the car is fast or it’s not. Qualifying here at Daytona is pretty routine. I think that we'll end up somewhere between 15 to 20th. Our Miller Lite Dodge can race from anywhere. I'm not too concerned about it.

“Our cars are very similar. To run in the 60s is about where we thought we’d be in qualifying. Our Dodges have proven to be plenty fast in race trim. We’ll just have to see how this pack racing is going to play out.”

HOW DO YOU THINK THE DUELS WILL PLAY OUT? "I think that you'll see the guys who have to make it in the show run really, really hard in the 150s. I think everybody else will be pretty chill."

DO YOU THINK THAT THE DUELS WILL BE MORE LAID BACK COMPARED TO THE SHOOUTOUT? “When I think that I have an answer to that, everybody does something completely different. I would have thought after the first two or three wrecks we’d figure that part out, but we didn’t. I’m not going to try to interject logic and common sense.”

AJ Allmendinger (No. 22 Shell/Pennzoil Dodge Charger R/T) Qualified 18th
“A solid qualifying run for our Shell/Pennzoil Dodge Charger. I gave it all that I had. I thought we might be a touch quicker from yesterday. It’s hard to tell as heavy as the wind is today. It’s good to know that the Penske guys build race cars exactly the same because our times have been right on top of each other throughout all of practice. We didn’t think that we had a shot at the pole. Our car has been good. I’m excited about the race. With the way that we ran last night, I know that our cars are fast. We’ll just see where we end up.”

WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON THE DUELS? “You don’t want to tear up a race car before the 500. I think it’s two things; if you have a chance to win the 500 with five laps to go, then you get after it. If it’s a struggle and you’re midpack, fifth to eight, then you try to play conservative and not wreck your car. It’s all about where you position yourself with three or four laps to go like we did last night.”

Robby Gordon (No. 7 SPEED Energy Dodge Charger R/T) Qualified 48th
“We’ve run well on restrictor-plate tracks in the past in our SPEED Energy Dodge. We barley made the show at the fall Talladega race and led (the race) for a while. I’m in the same race car that we ran in Talladega. We qualified around 43rd and was leading by lap 15 or so. We have a shot at the (Daytona) 500 still. We just need to be there at the end of the 150 on Thursday to make a run at making the 500 on Sunday.”
 

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SRT Motorsports - Dodge NSCS Race Advance - Daytona 500
February 21, 2012 , DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - SRT Motorsports - Dodge NSCS Race Advance - Daytona 500
Dodge PR


DODGE AT DAYTONA INTERNATIONAL SPEEDWAY
· Dodge has four Daytona 500 wins (Richard Petty (2), Ward Burton and Ryan Newman).
· Dodge has 15 Sprint Cup wins at Daytona International Speedway.
· Dodge won the Budweiser Shootout and a Gatorade 150 Duel during last year’s Speedweeks at Daytona International Speedway.
· Dodge had a 1-2 finish in the 2008 Daytona 500 when Ryan Newman (No. 12 Alltel Dodge) and Kurt Busch (No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge) claimed the top two spots in the 50th running of the “Great American Race”. Dodge drivers finished in six of the first eight positions.
· Ward Burton’s win at the 2002 Daytona 500 was Dodge’s first Cup win at Daytona since Richard Petty’s visited victory lane in 1974.

DODGE NEWS AND NOTES
· Brad Keselowski set NSCS career bests in wins (3), top-fives (10) and top-10s (14) in 2011.
· A.J. Allmendinger’s career best finish of third came at the 2009 Daytona 500 while driving a Dodge Charger for Richard Petty Motorsports.
· Todd Gordon is the new crew chief of the No. 22 Shell/Pennzoil Dodge Charger. Gordon was Brad Keselowski’s crew chief last season in the NASCAR Nationwide Series.

THE DODGE BOYS

· Dodge has 212 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series victories.
· Dodge’s most recent win came at Dover Motor Speedway. Dodge claimed five Sprint Cup victories in 2011.
· Dodge teams have posted 52 wins since the manufacturer’s return to NASCAR’s premier series in 2001 after being out of the sport since 1977.
· Dodge has posted wins each season since its return in 2001 including seven wins twice (2002 and 2006).

DODGE HISTORICAL DATA
· First Dodge NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Win: Lee Petty, 2/1/53, West Palm Beach, Fla., 100 miles, .5-mile track.
· Last Dodge NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Win: Kurt Busch, 10/2/2011, AAA 400, Dover Motor Speedway, 119.413 mph avg. speed.
· First Dodge Daytona 500 Win: Richard Petty, 02/18/1973, 157.205 mph avg. speed.
· Last Dodge Daytona 500 Win: Ryan Newman, 02/17/2008, 152.672 mph avg. speed.

DID YOU KNOW?
· Brad Keselowski earned a career high three NSCS wins in 2011 (Kansas-1, Pocono-2 and Bristol-2)
· Dodge’s most recent pole for the Daytona 500 was earned by Bill Elliott in 2001 (183.565 mph).
· Dodge is an Official Passenger Car of NASCAR.
· Robby Gordon won the first of the two qualifying races for the Daytona 500 in 2003.

DAYTONA INT’L SPEEDWAY FACTS
· The Daytona 500 qualifying record of 210.364 mph was set by Bill Elliott in 1987.
· There have been 10 different winners in the last 10 Daytona 500s.
· The 2012 Daytona 500 will be the first race in the history of NASCAR that Sprint Cup Series cars will be using electronic fuel injection (EFI) systems.
· No driver has swept all three Speedweeks races.

INSIDE THE NUMBERS
· First-time winners of the “Great American Race” have won the last six and eight of the last 10 Daytona 500s.
· Robby Gordon has eight career top 10s in restrictor plate races.
· The Daytona 500 record for lead changes of 74 was set last year.
· Brad Keselowski will be making his third Daytona 500 start. His best finish is 29th in 2011.
· Robby Gordon has a career best Daytona 500 finish of sixth set in 2003.

TALKING SHOP WITH PENSKE RACING
“The thing that we didn’t know coming to Daytona is how the cars were going to race in a pack. At the test, we had some packs, but nobody was really aggressive and trying to move. The phenomenon of speedway racing really doesn’t occur until you get 43 guys motivated to go after a checker flag. We saw that in the Shootout and once we get to Sunday, good luck to the guys that think they’re going to take it easy because it’s going to be crazy.”
Travis Geisler, Director of Competition, Penske Racing


DODGE QUOTE OF THE WEEK
"We can't wait for the 2012 NASCAR season to kick off this weekend. We're coming off of a very successful season last year with our two Dodge drivers in the Chase for the Sprint Cup. Brad (Keselowski) is a proven winner and we're confident A.J. (Allmendinger) will be a winner for us too. Our partnership with Penske Racing has produced results, so our expectations this season are to win races and compete for the Sprint Cup."
Ralph Gilles, President & CEO – Street and Racing Technology Brand (SRT) and Motorsports

DODGE DRIVER QUOTES
“Our cars are fast. With all the resources going into our Dodge race cars, we have good stuff. I think we’ll have speed, it just matters how the race plays out. I think that if we can work together, going through the Shootout, Duels and getting into the 500, then we’ll have a pretty good idea on how the racing is going to be. More than anything else, I was excited about how Brad and I worked together (in the Shootout). If we can do that, whether it’s a tandem or pack, if we can stick together as a group, we have a chance to being up front at the end of the race.”
A.J. Allmendinger, No. 22 Shell/Pennzoil Dodge Charger

DO YOU LET YOURSELF DAYDREAM ABOUT WINNING THE DAYTONA 500? “I think about a moment. To me, when I look at a win, I always think of a moment that created the win. Do you allow yourself to win the 500? Yes. I think about the pass for the win or whatever moment it takes to get the win. That’s the moment that I think about. The wins that I have been fortunate to have, the memories that I have from them are those moments; the moment that you take the lead. Those are the moments that I dream of.”
Brad Keselowski, No 2 Miller Lite Dodge Charger
 

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SRT Motorsports / Dodge NSCS Notes & Quotes / A.J. Allmendinger Open Interview / Daytona 500
Published on February 22, 2012 by Official Release

Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2012

NASCAR Sprint Cup Series

Daytona 500

Daytona International Speedway

Dodge PR


A.J. Allmendinger Open Interview

AJ Allmendinger (No. 22 Shell/Pennzoil Dodge Charger R/T) YOU RECENTLY WON THE ROLEX 24 AT DAYTONA INTERNATIONAL SPEEDWAY.

WHAT WOULD MEAN TO WIN THE DAYTONA 500 ON SUNDAY? “To come back to a race track after going out there and having a great race, a fun celebration with Michael Shank, to roll into the tunnel and remember what it meant to win (the Rolex 24) and possibly have a chance to do something that I don’t think a lot of people have done – win the Rolex and Daytona 500. There’s a lot that goes into that race for the 500 miles and playing it out right. Obviously the Shootout was crazy. Overall for me, I think the Shell/Pennzoil Dodge is quick. We have a fast race car. We’re going to have a shot at it, but there are a lot of guys that will too. Hopefully, we’ll play it smart and be in the right position at the right time at the end of the race.”

WHAT’S BEEN THE BIGGEST SURPRISE SINCE BEING AT PENSKE RACING? “I don’t know if there are huge surprises. I think how open the team was when I got there and excited the team seemed to be. In that big race shop, there’s a lot of people in there and to walk in there everyday and have people say they can’t wait for the season to start and we’re so happy to have you here, we’re looking forward to it and that kind of stuff. I always knew that their team was run well and the way that they went about things, but just to see how clean that race shop is and see how smooth everything is run amongst the team. Everybody knows their role there and is doing their jobs. It’s fun to see and be around it. It makes me walk in and be even happier to be there.”

IT WAS ROGER PENSKE’S 75TH BIRTHDAY THE OTHER DAY. WHAT DID YOU GUYS GET HIM? “A couple wrecked race cars from the weekend (laughs). Sweet. Happy Birthday to you Roger! (laughs). Just like I tell everybody else in my life, just love.

“It is kind of funny though, he called me on his birthday. To me, that shows me just how impressive Roger Penske is. He’s out on vacation on his birthday with his family, supposed to be relaxing, and he’s texting me. I’m sure he’s doing the same to Brad (Keselowski) and the rest of the race team. He was telling me he’s sorry that he wasn’t at the Shootout. Hopefully we put last week behind us and all the wrong places that we put in and have accidents.”

SO YOU DIDN’T GET HIM ANYTHING? “Yeah (laughs). What do you get someone that has everything?”

WHAT WILL YOUR APPROACH BE FOR THE DUEL TOMORROW? “I don’t know because, so far, my approach hasn’t worked. I think with the Shootout, it’s tough to call. It’s going to be interesting to see how everyone is going to race. In the Shootout, it’s like we dropped the green and everybody had all this anxiety and hadn’t raced all winter and it was time to go. I think that if everybody just plays it a little bit more cool for the Duels, maybe I’ll try to get up there in the mix (it up) and maybe go for the lead. If not, maybe just hang back again. Of course you’d like to win the Duel, but the thing coming out of the Duel is not having a wrecked race car. I look at it with 10, 5 to go, kind of that opening, try and take the lead and go for the win. If not, maybe make one run at it and if that doesn’t work, bail out and at that point it doesn’t matter. To me it’s still open, still tough to figure out how it’s going to play out. It depends on how everyone wants to race and how aggressive they want to be.”

HAVE YOU THOUGHT ABOUT HOW DIFFERENT THINGS WOULD BE FIVE OR SIX YEARS AGO IF PENSKE WAS INTERESTED IN YOU? “No. I think every step of the way, for me, I’ve grown as a person and learned life lessons. I enjoy being in the Sprint Cup Series. This is the place that I really want to be. I’ve always been excited about it. Obviously there have been some ups and downs to get to this point right now. I think that everything happens for a reason. It’s the same thing three-years ago when I was calling Tim Cindric trying to get a ride and it didn’t work out. I never look back and think where I could have been five or six years ago. I just know that where I am, I’m very happy. I’m excited about the opportunity. For me now, it’s looking forward and trying to do everything that I can to keep this opportunity and do the right things with it.”

WHAT’S THE BEST PART OF MOVING TO A NEW TEAM? “I think it’s the same thing, good and bad. It’s always a little bit scary to make change; at least it is for me. You get into a place where you’ve been for a while and get comfortable and use to how everything is run. You get use to the people, good and bad. You know how everything daily is going to run and where you need to be. You make a change and everything is different. You have to go out there and figure out where you need to be, new schedules. You try to learn everybody and everybody’s tendencies and understand what they want. At the same time, that’s the exciting part. To see everybody new, to see the excitement and see things are run at a different race team. To me it’s been really, really good. At RPM, I really enjoyed the people there. At the end of the year when (Penske) wasn’t even on my radar, I was happy to be (at RPM). When you get an opportunity like this with the Penske organization, to be a driver of Mr. Penske, for me to walk into the shop, you just see all the pictures from (Mark) Donohue on down to Rick Mears and continuing, that to me is exciting.”

WHAT ARE YOUR EXPECTATIONS THIS YEAR? “For me it’s simple; win races and make the Chase. And when you get into the Chase, it’s just like any other playoff format in other sport, anything can happen. I look at it as I was 13th when the Chase started last year, I missed (the Chase) by one spot, finished top-15 in points. To make this change and the reason I made it was to go out there and raise my game to the next level, become one of those drivers who contend for race wins every weekend. It’s so tough to win these races. You have to put yourself in position at least 20 to 25 times during the year to maybe win a couple of them. You can’t put yourself in position four or five times a year and expect to win one. Hopefully we can do that. With the change being so late to start the season, we got to hit singles before we expect homeruns, to go to Daytona and win the 500, go to Phoenix and win that race. Ultimately it’s tough to do that. You have to be consistent and not make mistakes and put us in position to win races; anything less than that will be a disappointment. That’s not the outside world, that’s me personally, that’s the way that I look at it. Shell/Pennzoil has had a lot of drivers that have won championships, a lot of races in their race cars. They expect a high level. Mr. Penske himself expects a high level. Nobody put that pressure on me as I do.”
 

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Gatorade Duel 1
Status: Final Daytona International Speedway



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

1 Tony Stewart (14) Chevrolet 0/0 60 21 $55,725 Chart
2 Dale Earnhardt Jr. (88) Chevrolet 0/0 60 5 $40,725 Chart
3 Marcos Ambrose (9) Ford 0/0 60 5 $35,725 Chart
4 Jeff Burton (31) Chevrolet 0/0 60 0 $30,725 Chart
5 Carl Edwards (99) Ford 0/0 60 2 $28,725 Chart
6 Michael McDowell (98) Ford 0/0 60 0 $26,325 Chart
7 Kevin Harvick (29) Chevrolet 0/0 60 0 $25,225 Chart
8 A J Allmendinger (22) Dodge 0/0 60 0 $24,225 Chart
9 Robby Gordon (7) Dodge 0/0 60 0 $24,200
Chart
10 Jamie McMurray (1) Chevrolet 0/0 60 0 $24,175 Chart
11 Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (6) Ford 0/0 60 0 $24,150 Chart
12 Trevor Bayne (21) Ford 0/0 60 0 $24,125 Chart
13 Brad Keselowski (2) Dodge 0/0 60 0 $24,100 Chart
14 David Ragan (34) Ford 0/0 60 0 $24,075 Chart
15 Aric Almirola (43) Ford 0/0 60 0 $24,050 Chart
16 Danica Patrick (10) Chevrolet 0/0 59 0 $24,025 Chart
17 Denny Hamlin (11) Toyota 0/0 59 27 $24,000 Chart
18 Michael Waltrip (140) Toyota 0/0 51 0 $23,950 Chart
19 David Stremme (30) Toyota 0/0 27 0 $23,925 Chart
20 Mike Wallace (37) Ford 0/0 23 0 $23,900 Chart
21 Terry Labonte (32) Ford 0/0 12 0 $23,850 Chart
22 David Gilliland (38) Ford 0/0 8 0 $23,825 Chart
23 Juan Pablo Montoya (42) Chevrolet 0/0 8 0 $23,775 Chart
24 Paul Menard (27) Chevrolet 0/0 8 0 $23,750 Chart
25 Landon Cassill (83) Toyota 0/0 3 0 $23,725 Chart


Gatorade Duel 2
Status: Final Daytona International Speedway



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

1 Matt Kenseth (17) Ford 0/0 60 10 $56,726 Chart
2 Regan Smith (78) Chevrolet 0/0 60 0 $41,713 Chart
3 Jimmie Johnson (48) Chevrolet 0/0 60 0 $36,713 Chart
4 Elliott Sadler (33) Chevrolet 0/0 60 0 $31,713 Chart
5 Greg Biffle (16) Ford 0/0 60 40 $29,713 Chart
6 Joey Logano (20) Toyota 0/0 60 5 $27,313 Chart
7 Kyle Busch (18) Toyota 0/0 60 5 $26,213 Chart
8 Jeff Gordon (24) Chevrolet 0/0 60 0 $25,213 Chart
9 Ryan Newman (39) Chevrolet 0/0 60 0 $25,188 Chart
10 Kasey Kahne (5) Chevrolet 0/0 60 0 $25,163 Chart
11 Mark Martin (55) Toyota 0/0 60 0 $25,138 Chart
12 Dave Blaney (36) Chevrolet 0/0 60 0 $25,113 Chart
13 Martin Truex Jr. (56) Toyota 0/0 60 0 $25,088 Chart
14 Kurt Busch (51) Chevrolet 0/0 59 0 $25,063 Chart
15 Clint Bowyer (15) Toyota 0/0 59 0 $25,038 Chart
16 Bobby Labonte (47) Toyota 0/0 59 0 $25,013 Chart
17 Joe Nemechek (87) Toyota 0/0 59 0 $24,988 Chart
18 Casey Mears (13) Ford 0/0 59 0 $24,938 Chart
19 Robert Richardson Jr. (23) Toyota 0/0 58 0 $24,913 Chart
20 Bill Elliott (97) Toyota 0/0 58 0 $24,888 Chart
21 Kenny Wallace (109) Toyota 0/0 57 0 $24,838 Chart
22 Tony Raines (26) Ford 0/0 9 0 $24,813 Chart
23 David Reutimann (93) Toyota 0/0 6 0 $24,763 Chart
24 J.J. Yeley (249) Toyota 0/0 4 0 $24,738 Chart
 

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SRT Motorsports - Dodge NSCS Gatorade Duel Race Final Quotes - Daytona
February 23, 2012 , DAYTONA BEACH, Fla.

Dodge PR
Gatorade Duel No. 1
Daytona International Speedway
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
Final Race Quotes


BRAD KESELOWSKI (No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge Charger R/T)
WHAT DID YOU GUYS LEARN FROM THE DUEL? “The Duel is its own race and its own style of racing. I thought that our Miller Lite Dodge was good, but not great. We didn’t have the best strategy for the Duel because we had a bit of a different strategy. We’re locked into the 500 and it was important for us to shake down our car and work on some things.”

YOU RAN IN A PACK, SINGLE-FILE AND THREE-WIDE. HOW WAS THE BALANCE OF YOUR CAR? “We’re still working on the overall balance of the Miller Lite Dodge. It’s changing. We’re learning about it especially with this new spoiler. It helped to get out there and race in a pack. I think we have a better idea of where our car is at today than before the Duel.”

TRAVIS GEISLER (Director of Competition, Penske Racing)
WHAT DID PENSKE RACING LEARN FROM THE RACE? “It’s a little hard to tell what all happened. Some guys got pretty aggressive with their fuel mileage package. We kind of took a different approach today to see how we would fare on Sunday. I thought at one point near the end, A.J. (Allmendinger) was going to make a run at the win. He still ended up eighth. Brad’s (Keselowski) car is a little iffy right now. We thought that we would be able to get out of the Duel without incident. We have to take a look Brad’s car close and see if we have to go to the back-up.”

SO AT THIS POINT YOU HAVEN’T MADE A DECISION ON IF BRAD HAS TO GO TO A BACK-UP CAR? “We’re not sure yet. A quick glance at the car shows that it has some damage. We’ll have to get it back and take a closer look to see it there is enough damage to make a change.”

A.J. ALLMENDINGER (No. 22 Shell/Pennzoil Dodge Charger R/T)
WERE YOU HAPPY WITH HOW THE CAR RAN OR DO YOU HAVE SOME WORK TO DO FOR THE 500? “We’ve got a little bit of work to do. I don’t think we have the speed yet. The car drives really well. It’s slick out there. You can see the track is getting slicker and slicker. I thought the car drove okay. We needed to tighten it up a little, but still pretty good. I feel like coming up through the gears and when we’re trying to get up to speed, we still need a little more steam. We can’t quite stay attached. Overall, it was pretty good. It’s our first race we come out with the car looking normal, so that’s better than a lot of guys can say out there right now. It was a good day. I thought we had a chance at it again and in these races, it’s all you can ask for. Hopefully, we can get through the 500 clean one more time.”

ABOUT HALFWAY THROUGH THE RACE YOU PULLED OUT OF LINE WITH DRAFTING HELP, BUT DIDN’T MAKE A CHARGE TO THE FRONT. WERE YOU SURPRISED AT THAT? “Yeah, because I felt in the Shootout the top lane was working better, so I kept pulling out there to keep the momentum up. I don’t know if we just didn’t have enough cars lined up. They had like six or seven or eight lined up down at the bottom. It seemed like the bottom was a little bit quicker. If you get pushed it helps, but one time Jamie (McMurray) was pushing me and I got so loose off four and he saw it and backed out. I think everybody felt like the bottom was a little bit better and you could get down there. Overall, I felt like good about it.”

WAS THIS RACE AS WILD AS YOU THOUGHT IT WOULD BE? “A little bit more tame and I think that’s how the 500 is going to be. You’re going to have moments where guys get kind of antsy and they break out and they’ve got to go for the lead and then you’re going to see guys settle down. I think that’s kind of how the 500 has always been, so I felt it was about right. Guys early in the race kind of getting after it and then in the middle of the race, everybody kind of gets that lull and then that late-race yellow comes out and it’s chaos. We’ll just keep working on it. I don’t think we’re quite there yet, but we are putting themselves in position to win the last two races and that’s all you can ask for. You just hope everything works out.”

HOW DIFFICULT IS PITTING UNDER GREEN IN THE 500 GOING TO BE? “It’s hard. I’m struggling getting into the box. The thing just locks the brakes up so quickly. We’ve got to keep working on getting the car to slow down a little bit more. The pit boxes seem real greasy and trying to leave, you sat there and spun the tires. The question is how many green flag stops are we going to have? (smiles). That’s what we’ll have to see.”

Todd Gordon (Crew Chief, No. 22 Shell/Pennzoil Dodge Charger R/T)

“It’s just survival of the day, just making sure we get through and have something to work with for the rest of the weekend. I don’t think it’s damaged too badly, maybe a ding or two on it, but we’ll work on it and rub on it for the 500. Once you get out front, you’re going to be there. You just got to get there, that’s all.”

HOW DIFFICULT IS THE 500 GOING TO BE FOR YOU AS A CREW CHIEF BECAUSE OF THE DIFFICULTY OF PITTING UNDER GREEN? “It’s the same ol’ plate race; just kind of work your race backwards. That’s probably the biggest thing. We gathered some good information today. We were a little more conservative than we’ll probably be on Sunday.”

WAS THE RACE WILDER THAN YOU THOUGHT IT WOULD BE? “I actually felt it was probably calmer than the Shootout. Obviously the Shootout is all about winning, kind of got one of those all-star race feels to it, win it or nothing. It calmed down a little bit today, a couple of incidents, which you kind of expect. I think you’ll see the same thing on Sunday. I think you’ll see some instances, but I think everybody has got the bigger picture in mind. They’ve got to get to the end to win the race.”

AFTER THE SHOOTOUT AND TODAY’S RACE, WHAT IS THE MAIN THING YOU WILL HAVE TO OVERCOME TO HAVE A GOOD DAY IN THE 500? “I think survival and getting people to have confidence in you to go. We made a couple of moves today that I thought were really good moves, but got nobody to follow with us. You can’t do this thing on your own. Just making sure we build some faith with some partners. Hopefully, we can get with our own teammate and work that way together. We’re back to pack drafting and you’ve got to have faith through the whole field to be able to make that move because you can’t always count on having your teammate with you. Just getting people to have confidence in what we’re able to do.”

ROBBY GORDON (No. 7 MAPEI/Menards/SPEED Energy Dodge Charger R/T
CAN YOU TALK ABOUT MAKING YOUR WAY INTO THE DAYTONA 500? “It’s big for us. We were in a position last year, it kind of sounds crazy, we’ve won IndyCar races, I’ve won NASCAR races and we were in a position we didn’t have funding to race all the races so we found ourselves outside of the top 35. I finished 34th in the driver points, owners points we found ourselves outside the top 35. Making the Daytona 500 is the big event for NASCAR racing. When you look at it, besides pure speed, I think three guys make it on speed. Obviously Terry (Labonte) takes the past champion, which I still disagree with that. I think that should be based if you were with that team when you win the championship, not just because you win a championship, because that takes a spot from teams that are working really hard and working hard to getting into the Daytona 500. Rules are rules and we made it fair and square by being fast enough. I’m proud of my guys. I’m proud of my team and I’m proud to be in the Daytona 500.”

WHEN YOU SAW SMOKE COMING FROM YOUR CAR EARLY IN THE RACE WERE YOU CONCERNED THAT IT WAS THE ENGINE? “What it was, it looked like it was…when they changed the oil, we changed in between qualifying and racing, we change the oil. And when we changed the oil, the bottom of the radiator tray gets a lot of seepage of oil into the foam as we went at speed. We were running hot yesterday at practice, so we changed it last night. We added some oil to it and changed the weight of the oil. It was in that tray. And it was splashing up onto the motor and I was like, ‘Man, this thing is going to blow up.’ It kind of played into my hand because when the race started, I wasn’t sure if I should go balls to the wall and take a chance of being in one of those wrecks, or be around for the last dance. Every time that we come to restrictor-plate races, we’re normally around for the last dance and if we are, we have a good shot at running up front. It was good for us and good for our team. It’s good to be in the Daytona 500.”

YOU DIDN’T CONSIDER PITTING AT THE START? WERE YOU RUNNING HOT ALL DAY? DID YOU THINK THAT YOU HAD TO DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT? “We’re going to have to do something on Sunday. This is our motor that we do with Arrington. If we can get a Penske motor for the 500, that’s obviously going to be our No. 1 priority for here until the 500. And for Dodge, it’s obviously the right thing because there are only three Dodges in the race and at Talladega we were strong. I’m not sure if Roger (Penske) is going to give us one; I know that’s he’s not going to give us one, I’ll still pay for one. If we can get one of their back-up motors, I think we would be in better shape for the 500. Now that we’ve made the race, and it’s kind of a crazy business to say, ‘Ok, we’ve made the race, you’re going to get $260,000. I’m going to go write a big check to Roger if he’ll give me a motor. It’s not like he’d keep the money at the end of the day in this sport.”

EVEN THOUGH YOU HAD TO KIND OF CONSERVE EVERYTHING WITH THE ENGINE RUNNING HOT AND ALL THAT, WHAT WAS YOUR PERSPECTIVE OF HOW EVERYBODY RACED WITH THESE RULES; WHAT DO YOU EXPECT TO SEE ON SUNDAY? "You know, we don't make the rules. Obviously, we play by the rules. I think right now the grill opening is too small. I don't know if other guys are running 230 all the time. We were 230 to 250 all the time on water temperature. Even if I pulled over, I couldn't get it down. An engine is happy at 220, 210. I think we might have too small of an opening to do that with the size of the radiator. We're doing all we can do, like all the teams. We're working as hard as we possibly can. Most important thing for me, I didn't care if it ran 300 degrees the last few laps, we were going to do anything we could to make the Daytona 500, which is what we did. I think when we crossed the line, it was 265 or it was about 300.”

I TALKED TO TERRY ABOUT WHY HE PARKED IT. HE SAID THAT WAS THE ONLY CAR THEY HAD, THEY NEEDED TO SAVE IT FOR THE 500. DOES THAT CHANGE YOUR OPINION AT ALL AS ANOTHER SMALL TEAM? WHAT DO YOU THINK THE ROLE SHOULD BE FOR THE PAST CHAMPS AGAIN? "Obviously, I’ve got a lot of respect for Terry. This is not a Terry Labonte thing. There are only eight cars that make the Daytona 500. He takes one of those spots, now seven guys make the Daytona 500. Four make it in qualifying races, three make it on speed. We're a small team, too. I guess I should hire Kurt Busch and I could put my other car in the show, too. It's just not right. Why take a free ride when the rest of us have to bust our butts to get into the 500? It is what it is. It's the rules. Like I said, we don't make the rules, we just play by them, and sometimes you can manipulate them.”

YOU’VE HAD A ROLLERCOASTER OVER THE LAST SEVERAL WEEKS. ARE YOU READY FOR A CALM DAYTONA 500? WHAT ARE YOU HOPING FOR ON SUNDAY? “My life right now, there’s never a calm day. You know, I think if you have a calm day in life today, in this economy, you’re going to get passed. You better be on the gas every day and that’s what we’re doing. Going back to South America, we had the fastest cars down there in Dakar and I’m really proud about that and proud of the guys for doing that. It’s amazing that a small, little privateer team can take on a factory teams like we did.”

WITH ALL THE RACING THAT YOU DO, HOW DO YOU RATE RACING YOUR WAY INTO THE 500? “You know, I get that top 35 rule. I’ve been out of the Daytona 500 because of it before. When I started my race team, I believe it was in 2005, we had Jim Beam here. Great sponsor, finished seventh, exactly where we finished today. In 2005, we went home. So it’s crazy that you can actually finish seventh in the 150s which would put you 14th on the grid and you load up your stuff and go back to North Carolina. So I’ve been in that position and I get it. And I’m not complaining about the rules. It’s just really tough these days to get in and that’s the point I was trying to make, not so much Terry Labonte, 32 car. I don’t really care about them. I focus on our 7 car. We just try to do the best job we can and we made the Daytona 500 so I’m really proud of my guys.”

HOW MANY GUYS DO YOU HAVE ON YOUR TEAM? “If you want to count the receptionist/parts lady/merchandise sales, or do you want to talk about the marketing guys or the person who makes the decals part-time? We’ve got about 10 people that do a lot of jobs. Not only do we race race cars, but we’re building the brand of SPEED and there are different groups in different towns that do that. But on the NASCAR team, I think we’re down to seven or eight guys right now too. And it’s not the fact that there are not guys out there ‘because there are plenty of very capable, good guys out there. It’s the fact there’s no sponsors out there. And without sponsors, you can’t hire people. We’re in a bad state right here. It’s tough. It’s really, really tough and we don’t have anybody on the hook.”

DO YOU HAVE PEOPLE THAT GO ACROSS FROM YOUR OFF-ROAD TEAM TO THE CUP TEAM? CAN YOU FLOAT PEOPLE BETWEEN THE TWO TEAMS? “I’m glad you asked that because on the off-road team, except when we go to Dakar, we take 21 guys to Dakar and we hire guys for the month. But when we normally race off-road, there are three guys that work in that shop, too. And the guy that runs the water jet that makes parts that we ship back and forth across country and the machinists are about all the guys that go back and forth besides when I take some of these guys to the Dakar. And we’re doing everything we can do make it go full-circle and I say it’s working. We’re not comfortable doing it, but it’s working. We’re still racing, we’re still out there putting ourselves in position to win races and we just made the Daytona 500 so I’m really, really proud of the guys that are working in the shop. You hear people talking and talking about and complaining 40 or 50 hours a week. Our guys work a half a day every day, that’s 12 hours.”

CONGRATULATIONS ON MAKING THE DAYTONA 500. “Thank you. I’m proud of be here. I’m happy to be racing NASCAR and looking forward to the 500.”
 

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Live from Daytona

SiriusXM NASCAR Radio (channel 90) will carry live broadcasts of the Daytona 500 plus all other races for the entire season complemented by NASCAR talk and analysis from Daytona International Speedway.

On Daytona 500 race day, February 26, the satellite radio service will begin coverage at 7:00 a.m. ET with 15 hours of live programming.

Hear the Drivers

SiriusXM also has a feature called Driver2Crew Chatter which is available on various channels. This is in-car audio of NASCAR drivers during the Daytona 500.

"Drivers featured will include reigning NASCAR Sprint Cup champion Tony Stewart, Danica Patrick, who will be making her NASCAR Sprint Cup Series debut, five-time champion Jimmie Johnson, Dale Earnhardt Jr. and others. The 'Fan’s Choice' channel will feature the in-car audio of a driver determined by fans who log on to SiriusXM's website and vote from a selection of competitors.," according to SiriusXM.

Here is the lineup of drivers and the channels they will be "chatting" on:

Live race call on Sirius channel 90 / XM channel 90
Tony Stewart’s in-car audio on Sirius 94 / XM 226
Carl Edwards’ in-car audio on Sirius 93 / XM 225
Kurt Busch’s in-car audio on Sirius 113 / XM 227
Danica Patrick’s in-car audio on Sirius 112 / XM 228
Jeff Gordon’s in-car audio on Sirius 117 / XM 229
Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s in-car audio on Sirius 128 / XM 230
Kyle Busch’s in-car audio on Sirius 135 / XM 231
Jimmie Johnson’s in-car audio on Sirius 134 / XM 232
Kevin Harvick’s in-car audio on Sirius 137 / XM 233
Fan’s Choice channel (driver TBD) on Sirius 138 / XM 234

More NASCAR Coverage

Sirius XM NASCAR Radio is also bringing subscribers the Gatorade Duel, a 150-mile NASCAR Sprint Cup Series on February 23, 1:00 p.m. ET, the NextEra Energy Resources 250 Camping World Truck Series on February 24 at 7:15 p.m. ET, and the Drive4COPD 300 NASCAR Nationwide Series on February 25 at 1:00 p.m. ET.

For more information, visit the SiriusXM NASCAR Radio page.
 

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SRT Motorsports - Dodge NSCS Keys For Success - Daytona
February 24, 2012 , DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - Friday, Feb. 24, 2012

Dodge PR
Daytona 500
Daytona International Speedway
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
Keys For Success


KEYS FOR SUCCESS: Daytona 500

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla., (Friday, Feb. 24, 2012) – Each race weekend, selected SRT Motorsports Engineers, Penske Racing engineers and crew chiefs, drivers or engine specialists give their insight on the ‘Keys for Success’ for the upcoming race. This week, Howard Comstock, SRT Motorsports Engineering - provides the keys for Sunday’s Sprint Cup race.

Track: Daytona International Speedway (Race 1 of 36 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series)

Race: Daytona 500 (200 laps / 500.0 miles)

Trivia Question: Who was the first Dodge driver to win the Daytona 500? (Answer Below)

HOWARD COMSTOCK (SRT Motorsports Engineering)

Keep Cool: “It looks like we’re going to catch a break and get some cooler weather for the weekend which really should help. The temperatures are in the 60s rather than the 80s on Thursday. You’ve got 20 degrees more help from Mother Nature in keeping the engine water and oil temperatures at acceptable levels. We saw Thursday in the Duel races that there were some teams that had a lot of trouble with spitting out water during the race. Elevated engine temperatures are one thing. You can get out from behind somebody, get a breath of fresh air, get the thing cooled down and you can fix elevated engine temperatures. The point where it starts hurting you is if the pop off valve allows water to escape from the system. Now, if you can get the temperature back down, you’ve got less water to work with so the next cycle the car is going to heat up faster and you’re going to shoot more water out. It’s a dangerous spiral for the team. The only way to put water back in it is to stop on pit road. And the danger there is now you’ve got a 250 degree temperature engine and you put 75 degree water in it, which is another shock to the system. Drivers are going to have to be careful about keeping water in the car.”

Aero Grip: “We’ve taken a lot of spoiler off these cars and it makes them more unstable, especially in the draft, and we’ve seen all the races here at Speedweek where just the smallest nudge at the wrong time can upset the cars and with less spoiler on the rear deck we’ve got less down force to keep ‘em stuck to the racetrack. You get one little wiggle and it looks like you can’t survive a smaller wiggle than we’ve seen in the past. We used to see that you get a little wiggle and that spoiler catches some air and it’ll straighten car back out and with the deck spoiler as short as it is now we’ve lost that. It’s going to be 500 miles of being careful with your engine temperatures and being careful with your aerodynamics. If you are a driver, don’t get stuck in a bad spot (laughs). Everybody has got the same spoiler so everybody has got basically the same aerodynamic package. You’re going to have to be careful that your buddies aren’t helping you too much, careful that you’re not trying to help somebody in front of you too much and get them spinning. Once you spin out the guy in front of you there’s a pretty good risk that you’re going to be involved in his crash.”

Pit Strategy: “I heard drivers in the Shootout and the Duel that said we don’t have enough grip as it is so tires will help me. So I would say that earlier in the 500 you may see more guys going for four tires try to just make sure they’ve got that little to keep ‘em from getting turned around. It’s not surprising when you look at how short that deck spoiler is.”






Trivia Question Answer: Richard Petty in 1973, his fourth of seven Daytona 500 victories but his first in a Dodge – his three previous victories all came behind the wheel of a Plymouth. Fellow Dodge driver Buddy Baker won the pole for the 500 with a lap of 185.662 mph.
 

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For the first time in history, NASCAR had to postpone its signature, start-of-the-season event until Monday at noon ET (weather permitting, of course).

Monday night prime time race possible?

While the delay isn’t a big deal for drivers, for the crews waiting out a rain delay there can be challenges. Those challenges could be compounded by the fact Monday’s forecast calls for an 80% chance of rain and the series is scheduled to race in Phoenix this coming weekend.

“Probably the biggest thing is trying to utilize your time and that’s what we’re doing right now,” Todd Gordon crew chief for Allmendinger said. “I’m not sure about tomorrow (Monday). It might be Tuesday morning, but we’re stacking up on two consecutive weeks. Phoenix is coming up and that’s a long trip so we’ve got to get a lot of stuff worked out for that and then our Vegas stuff will leave before we come back from Phoenix. We’re just trying to make sure that we can get our stuff prepared for the next two weeks that come after this.”

A delay beyond Monday will be a problem for the teams and drivers.

“I think logistically it’s a challenge,” Gordon said. “But we’ve got a lot of good people at Penske that can kind of coordinate that with our test trucks and test truck drivers. We can kind of shuffle things around to make sure that we take care of the drivers, getting them where they need to get to. If we fall all the way back to Tuesday morning, it’ll definitely be a challenge.”

“This is a tough situation,” said driver Greg Biffle who will roll of second when the race does start. “This is something that we don’t ever wish on any sport or any person is to have inclement weather because our activities are outside. It can always happen. It can snow. It can rain. It can freeze. Anything can happen, but, unfortunately, we’re just going to have to hurry up and wait. It’s like watching paint dry because you look out the window and it’s still raining, but we’ve waited until Tuesday before – not for the Daytona 500 – but I have a good feeling we’ll have a good enough window tomorrow to get it in.”

Continue reading on Examiner.com Daytona 500 postponed; Monday night prime time race possible - National NASCAR |
Examiner.com Daytona 500 postponed; Monday night prime time race possible - National NASCAR | Examiner.com
 

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SRT Motorsports Weekend Recap - 2-26-2012
February 26, 2012 , DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - MOTORSPORTS RECAP

DAYTONA 500 POSTPONED FOR THE FIRST TIME IN HISTORY

54TH Running Of “The Great American Race” Reset For Monday


DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Sunday, Feb. 26, 2012) – For the first time in history, the 54th running of the Daytona 500 has been postponed. The event is rescheduled for Monday with a 12:01 green flag. Fox coverage begins at 12 noon.

Rain showers throughout the afternoon prompted the decision. All 53 previous editions of “The Great American Race” have been run on the scheduled date. Only four events have been shortened due to rain.

NASCAR SPRINT CUP SERIES (NSCS)

Gatorade Duel – All three Dodge drivers were in Thursday’s first Gatorade Duel. For Brad Keselowski and A.J. Allmendinger, the150-mile event was a race mockup, a shakedown for the big show. They were already locked in the Daytona 500. Allmendinger finished ninth, Brad Keselowski 13th. The stakes for Robby Gordon were much higher. He would have to earn his way into “The Great American Race” by claiming one of two berths up for grabs among seven non-qualified drivers in the race. Gordon came through on the final two laps to finish ninth.

NASCAR NATIONWIDE SERIES (NNS)

Brad Keselowski calculates he missed winning the 300-mile event by less than two seconds or a few feet. The race was marred by eight cautions with 37 of the 43 starters involved. The yellow appeared three times in the final 15 laps for mishaps involving 19, 14 and 11 cars, respectively. The last came as the cars exited turn four, heading for the checkered flag. The chaos started at the front of the field involving the first 10 cars in the running order. Keselowski was involved too, but managed to weave his way through the spinning cars and debris field to emerge at the front of the group. James Buescher, who had been involved in two earlier mishaps, drove through the wreckage and passed Keselowski just as the yellow appeared, freezing the field. Buescher was declared the winner with Keselowski awarded second after NASCAR’s review of the tape of the finish.

Teammate Sam Hornish Jr. was equally strong on the high-banked track, leading for seven laps. He was running in the top 10 and charging to the front when he was caught up in the 14-car mishap just five laps from the end. The team made repairs, but Hornish had to settle for 20th.

NASCAR CAMPING WORLD TRUCK SERIES (NCWTS)

Parker Kligerman finished 11th in the No. 29 Cooper Standard RAM in Friday night’s NCWTS race. The scheduled 100-lap event started calm, but ended in mayhem. There were four cautions in the last 12 laps involving 23 of the 36 trucks. The race had three attempts at a green-white-checkered finish. Even then, the race still ended under caution with a driver making his first appearance at Daytona taking the win. Teammate Brad Keselowski qualified fifth in the No. 19 twitter RAM and ran in the top five through the first half of the race before getting shuffled out of the draft. He finished 27th. Rookie John King was the winner.


AMA SUPERCROSS

Josh Hansen’s bid for a third consecutive top-five Main Event finish came up short in Saturday night’s event at the Georgia Dome. Hansen finished fourth in his heat and the Hart and Huntington rider was running firmly in the top five in the Main Event when he landed short on a jump, stalling his Kawasaki. He dropped to the rear of the field, but managed to advance to 15th at the end of the 20-lap Main Event. Teammate Kyle Partridge used a second in the Last Chance Qualifier to gain a berth in the 20-bike field for the Main Event. A problem in the rhythm section of the track took away any opportunity for a finish in the top half of the field. He ended up 17th.
 

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SRT Motorsports – Dodge NSCS Daytona 500 Rain Delay Quotes

Posted By Press Release On February 26, 2012 @ 4:53 pm In Press Releases,Sprint Cup Series



A.J. ALLMENDINGER (No. 22 Shell/Pennzoil Dodge Charger R/T)
AS A DRIVER, YOU GET ALL PSYCHED UP ON SUNDAY MORNING TO RACE AND THEN YOU’RE SITTING AROUND DURING A RAIN DELAY. HOW TOUGH IS THAT? “Obviously, you want to go race. We get to race when we race. I know it sucks for the people sitting out there because they’ve got to sit in the rain, but for us, we go in here (motorhome) and we have push-up contests, we eat a lot of food and we have a good time (smiles). I’ve had times when it’d be like raining on Friday and when it rained on Friday, I didn’t get to race. We race when we race.”

IS THE RACETRACK GOING TO BE REMARKABLY DIFFERENT NOW? “No, I don’t think so; depends if we start tonight. Obviously, it’d be a little bit cooler, so that’s going to be a little bit more grip on the racetrack. I feel like when it was hot out, it actually slickened up a little bit too where handling became an issue. Handling may not be as important, but I don’t think the track is going to be very different. All it did was wash off all the oil dry from all the wrecks from the last two days (smiles).”

IF THE RACE IS POSTPONED UNTIL MONDAY, DOES THAT DRASTICALLY AFFECT YOUR SCHEDULE FOR NEXT WEEK SINCE YOU ARE GOING TO PHOENIX? “For me, it doesn’t affect me much, you know. Whenever we get home, I’ll still do the stuff I have to do, media wise, team wise. I think our Phoenix cars should be done. More than anything, I think it’s going to be pain in the butt for the guys driving the haulers that have to get there, unload it, and load the other car and leave. So it’ll be a little bit tough for those guys but for me, no big deal.”

TODD GORDON (Crew Chief, No. 22 Shell/Pennzoil Dodge Charger R/T)
HOW DIFFICULT IS THIS RAIN DELAY FOR THE TEAM PERSPECTIVE, JUST SITTING HERE AND HOPING THAT THE WEATHER CLEARS? “Probably the biggest thing is trying to utilize your time and that’s what we’re doing right now because the thing I look at is if we don’t race today, I’m not sure about tomorrow. It might be Tuesday morning, but we’re stacking up on two consecutive weeks. Phoenix is coming up and that’s a long trip so we’ve got to get a lot of stuff worked out for that and then our Vegas stuff will leave before we come back from Phoenix. We’re just trying to make sure that we can get our stuff prepared for the next two weeks that come after this.”

IF WE ARE HERE IN DAYTONA AN EXTRA DAY, HOW DOES THE DISTANCE TO BE TRAVELED FROM CHARLOTTE TO PHOENIX AFFECT YOUR PLANS? “I think logistically it’s a challenge, but we’ve got a lot of good people at Penske that can kind of coordinate that with our test trucks and test truck drivers. We can kind of shuffle things around to make sure that we take care of the drivers, getting them where they need to get to. If we fall all the way back to Tuesday morning, it’ll definitely be a challenge.”

DOES THE FACT THAT YOU ARE GOING FROM A RESTRICTOR PLATE RACE TO AN INTERMEDIATE TRACK THROW ANOTHER KINK INTO THE PLANNING? “It is because there’s a lot of stuff on this truck that is speedway-only. You want to get the truck back at the shop for a swap out, to get this stuff off and get our short track and intermediate track stuff back on the truck. That’s some of the stuff that we’re talking about, just trying to make sure that we cover all those bases and being prepared for what’s going on.”
 

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Daytona 500 start pushed back to 7 p.m. Monday

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (AP)—Are you ready for some racing—some Monday night racing?

NASCAR pushed the start of its season-opening Daytona 500 to Monday night, under the lights and in primetime for the first time in its history.

“We hope to have `Lady and gentlemen, start your engines,’ at 7:02 and then warm up and go to green flag,” NASCAR President Mike Helton said. “We believe this is a reasonable expectation.”

Helton made the announcement Monday morning when it became clear that steady rain at Daytona International Speedway made an evening start the best option for NASCAR’s marquee event. Helton also said Tuesday has not been ruled out.

Heavy rain all day Sunday forced NASCAR to postpone the event for the first time in its 54-year history.

Carl Edwards, runner-up to Tony Stewart in last year’s championship race, will start from the pole. Former IndyCar star Danica Patrick will make her Daytona 500 debut.

If NASCAR gets the race in Monday night, aired on Fox, it could produce record ratings for a series that’s coming off one of its most compelling seasons. NASCAR also had a strong SpeedWeeks, marked by the return of pack racing, two new winners in the lower series, Patrick winning the pole for the Nationwide Series race and many multi-car accidents.

“Certainly we’d like to think that when we do run the Daytona 500 and the trophy is handed to the winner and there is a Daytona 500 champion for 2012,” said Helton, “that that sustains and then launches us into the 2012 season with all the right effort and promotions.”

NASCAR officials spent more than four hours Sunday waiting for a window to dry the famed track, but it never came. When the latest storm cell passed over the speedway around 5 p.m., they had little choice but to call it a day.

The Sunday postponement was a huge disappointment.

With several intriguing story lines on tap, NASCAR is hoping to capitalize on the success of last season’s down-to-the-wire championship race between Edwards and Stewart.

The most significant of them all could be Patrick. The Daytona 500 is the first of 10 scheduled Sprint Cup Series events for Patrick, who left IndyCar behind for a full-time move to NASCAR. She will race for the Nationwide Series championship driving for JR Motorsports.

Stewart, the three-time and defending champion, is trying to snap a 0-for-13 losing streak in the Daytona 500. His 17 victories at Daytona include everything but the 500, ranking him second on the all-time list behind Dale Earnhardt’s 34 wins. Stewart will start third when the green flag drops.

And there’s Earnhardt Jr., the 2004 Daytona 500 champion. He takes a 129-race losing streak into the event. His last victory was in 2008, his first season with powerhouse Hendrick Motorsports.

Eight previous Daytona 500s have endured rain delays, the latest in 2009. But never before had storms forced NASCAR’s premier event to be moved.

“I think that’s a pretty good record for NASCAR,” Edwards said. “They’ve been living right to have 53 of these and never have one postponed. That’s pretty spectacular. … I think NASCAR, they’re doing the right thing, you know, not dragging this out.”

Noontime showers Sunday sent fans scattering for cover and leaving everyone in wait-and-see mode. Puddles of water formed in parts of the infield, and many fans got drenched as they tried to make the best of a less-than-ideal situation.

“I guess I’m gonna have to win the first Monday Daytona 500,” said Greg Biffle, who will start second when the race begins.

The last shortened Daytona 500 was Matt Kenseth’s victory three years ago, when rain stopped the event 48 laps from the finish. He was declared the winner while the cars were parked on pit road.

The 2010 race had more than two hours in delays as NASCAR twice stopped the event to fix a pothole in the surface. McMurray held off Earnhardt Jr. to win that race.

This time around, drivers didn’t even get in their cars.

Daytona president Joie Chitwood said he understood fans were frustrated about the scheduling change that pushed the race back one week later than usual.

NASCAR and the track made the decision to move the start of the season to address an awkward early off weekend and to avoid potential conflicts with the Super Bowl.

Had the race been run on its traditional Sunday, it would have been completed under a bright, blue sky.

“I’m sure I’m going to have some customers tell me about the date change and the challenges that we have with it,” Chitwood said. “But I think weather is unpredictable. I think based on the NASCAR schedule, the TV schedule on whole, this was the right move for the industry. We’ll continue to work with the last weekend of February.

“It’s unfortunate that this had to happen the first year after we made that change. I’m sure I’ll be talking to a number of customers in the next weeks ahead about that situation.”


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*USATODAY.com Breaking News*** 1 AM
Matt Kenseth won the Daytona 500, a race with memorable firsts that included a rain postponement, a night start and a two-hour delay following a fire on the track.




Rain at Daytona International Speedway first forced NASCAR to push the race to Monday afternoon, then Monday night for the first-ever 500 in primetime television. Then a freak accident caused a massive fuel fire that stopped the race for two hours as safety workers used Tide laundry detergent to clean up the track.

When the racing finally resumed, it was obvious it was Kenseth’s to lose as nobody had anything to challenge his Ford.

Journeyman driver Dave Blaney was leading when a problem with Juan Pablo Montoya’s car sent him spinning under caution into a safety truck.

The truck, which holds 200 gallons of jet kerosene, burst into flames. Montoya’s car slid into the grass, and he gingerly climbed from it as fire trucks rushed to the scene. The inferno raged on, and NASCAR red-flagged the race with 40 laps remaining.

The race was delayed 2 hours, 5 minutes and 29 seconds while track workers scrambled to fix the track.
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NASCAR Results
Last Updated: Tuesday, Feb 28, 2012 12:58 am, EST
Daytona 500
Status: Final Daytona International Speedway



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


1 Matt Kenseth (17) Ford 47/4 202 50 $1,589,387 Chart
2 Dale Earnhardt Jr. (88) Chevrolet 42/0 202 0 $1,102,175 Chart
3 Greg Biffle (16) Ford 42/1 202 44 $804,163 Chart
4 Denny Hamlin (11) Toyota 42/2 202 57 $702,091 Chart
5 Jeff Burton (31) Chevrolet 40/1 202 24 $559,550 Chart
6 Paul Menard (27) Chevrolet 39/1 202 2 $427,900 Chart
7 Kevin Harvick (29) Chevrolet 37/0 202 0 $415,261 Chart
8 Carl Edwards (99) Ford 36/0 202 0 $403,466 Chart
9 Joey Logano (20) Toyota 36/1 202 2 $346,063 Chart
10 Mark Martin (55) Toyota 35/1 202 2 $323,313 Chart
11 Clint Bowyer (15) Toyota 33/0 202 0 $339,002 Chart
12 Martin Truex Jr. (56) Toyota 33/1 202 7 $535,052 Chart
13 Marcos Ambrose (9) Ford 31/0 202 0 $341,858 Chart
14 Bobby Labonte (47) Toyota 30/0 202 0 $331,196 Chart
15 Dave Blaney (36) Chevrolet 30/1 202 6 $296,513 Chart
16 Tony Stewart (14) Chevrolet 29/1 202 2 $379,025 Chart
17 Kyle Busch (18) Toyota 27/0 202 0 $341,821 Chart
18 Terry Labonte (32) Ford 27/1 202 3 $292,200 Chart
19 Tony Raines (26) Ford 25/0 202 0 $292,763 Chart
20 Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (6) Ford 24/0 202 0 $304,275 Chart
21 Ryan Newman (39) Chevrolet 23/0 202 0 $336,221 Chart
22 Landon Cassill (83) Toyota 22/0 202 0 $319,945 Chart
23 David Gilliland (38) Ford 21/0 201 0 $309,133 Chart
24 Regan Smith (78) Chevrolet 21/1 200 2 $332,421 Chart
25 Casey Mears (13) Ford 19/0 199 0 $304,746 Chart
26 David Reutimann (93) Toyota 18/0 196 0 $309,335 Chart
27 Elliott Sadler (33) Chevrolet 17/0 196 0 $305,788 Chart
28 Joe Nemechek (87) Toyota 16/0 194 0 $287,363 Chart
29 Kasey Kahne (5) Chevrolet 15/0 189 0 $297,988 Chart
30 Michael McDowell (98) Ford 14/0 189 0 $292,175 Chart
31 Jamie McMurray (1) Chevrolet 13/0 188 0 $318,608 Chart
32 Brad Keselowski (2) Dodge 12/0 187 0 $322,295 Chart
33 Aric Almirola (43) Ford 11/0 187 0 $320,986 Chart
34 A J Allmendinger (22) Dodge 10/0 177 0 $328,325 Chart
35 Trevor Bayne (21) Ford 9/0 164 0 $283,200 Chart
36 Juan Pablo Montoya (42) Chevrolet 8/0 159 0 $312,391 Chart
37 David Stremme (30) Toyota 7/0 156 0 $282,075 Chart
38 Danica Patrick (10) Chevrolet 6/0 138 0 $281,715 Chart
39 Kurt Busch (51) Chevrolet 5/0 113 0 $277,913 Chart
40 Jeff Gordon (24) Chevrolet 5/1 81 1 $317,549 Chart
41 Robby Gordon (7) Dodge 3/0 25 0 $268,150 Chart
42 Jimmie Johnson (48) Chevrolet 2/0 1 0 $327,149 Chart
43 David Ragan (34) Ford 1/0 1 0 $267,637 Chart
 

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5-time champ Johnson wrecks early in Daytona 500


DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (AP)—Jimmie Johnson was long gone when all the Daytona disorder ensued.

He missed the explosion, the fire, the lengthy cleanup, the finish and the fog.

He surely would have endured it all rather than the night he had at the Daytona 500.

The five-time NASCAR champion followed up his worst season with his worst finish in The Great American Race. Johnson wrecked on the second lap Monday night and finished 42nd—his worst showing in 53 starts spanning four series at the famed track.
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This one came on the heels of a career-low, sixth-place finish in the Sprint Cup standings.

“I’m just really, really bummed to start the season this way,” Johnson said. “For all the hard work that has gone into getting … ready for tonight; we didn’t get to complete two-and-a-half miles of green-flag racing. So, I’m pretty bummed.”

He had plenty of company.

Hendrick Motorsports teammates Jeff Gordon and Kasey Kahne also ended up in the garage. Gordon blew an engine on lap 82 and finished 40th. Kahne was involved in a seven-car accident on lap 190 and ended up 29th. Dale Earnhardt Jr. was Hendrick’s lone bright spot, finishing second to Matt Kenseth.

Johnson had little control over his exit.

Elliott Sadler nudged Johnson from behind, turning his No. 48 Chevrolet into the wall and collecting several other cars. David Ragan slammed hard into Johnson’s spinning car. Former IndyCar star Danica Patrick, former series champion Kurt Busch and defending Daytona 500 winner Trevor Bayne also were caught up in the mess, which happened super early in a rain-delayed race that drivers, crews and fans waited more than 30 hours to get under way.
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SRT Motorsports - NSCS Dodge Race Final Quotes - Daytona 500
February 28, 2012 , DAYTONA BEACH, Fla.
Daytona 500
Dodge PR
Daytona International Speedway
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
Post-Race Quotes

Brad Keselowski (No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge Charger R/T) Finished 32nd

WHAT TOOK MORE DAMAGE IN THE ACCIDENT, YOUR CAR OR YOUR PHONE? “The Charger, by far. It’s really disappointing. We fought really hard all race long to be towards the front so you’d be in front of those wrecks, but had to come in and pit under that last yellow and got towards the back. And when something happens and you’re back there, you can’t get out of it. You know, that’s Daytona and that’s how this racing is. It’s been a long few weeks in Daytona and we’ll move on to Phoenix. I think we’ve got really good cars throughout the season. We had a good run tonight and I’m proud of everyone at Penske Racing for that. We’ll take the Miller Lite Dodge on to Phoenix. I want to send a shout-out to all the fans still watching. I know it’s late at night and we had rain delays and fire delays, but you guys are still here and I just want to say thank you.”

YOUR THOUGHTS ON WHAT HAPPENED? “We did a good job all race long being in front of everything in case something happened and we had to come back in and pit. We had something wrong with the car and that got us behind. Then, the wreck and I was right in the middle of it. It’s Daytona. It’s how it goes.”

WHAT WAS YOUR REACTION TO THE FIRE? “Well, I knew it was big. I knew we were going to have to stop. It’s a big event. How does that happen is the next question that you ask. What a weird night.”

HOW WAS THE TRACK AFTER THAT? “It definitely had a bump in it, but nothing that we couldn’t drive through so we’re okay.”

WE SAW YOU TWEETING DURING THE DELAY. HOW MANY FOLLOWERS DID YOU REALLY GET? “A lot, but you know I'll take the win first.”

HOW BIZARRE WAS THIS RACE? “It’s been a bizarre week. You’ve seen that with the winners in the last few races, but that’s Daytona. You never know what to expect. That’s why it’s such a marquee race for us.”

Paul Wolfe (crew chief, No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge Charger R/T)

DID YOUR DAY TAKE A TURN WHEN YOU HAD TO PIT WITH JUST 22 LAPS TO GO? “Yeah, I mean obviously, that kind of snowballed from there. Brad did a good job all night. We ran strong and kind of found our way to the front of the field to have a shot at it at the end like we wanted to. I guess we had a loose wheel on that last pit stop and the vibration got so bad he had to pit. We lost what track position we had and found ourselves getting caught up in the mess. Just one of those deals that was a mistake on our part and we had to pay the consequences for it. Definitely frustrating. We made a good run all night and just couldn’t finish it out.”

WERE YOU PLEASED WITH THE PERFORMANCE OF YOUR CHARGER TONIGHT? “Yeah, because I felt like we raced hard all day. We didn’t ride around. We decided we wanted to run up front. We needed to be up front and be one of those guys to have a shot at the end. Brad did a great job keeping the car clean all night and we just kind of let him down on the pit stop and got ourselves behind.”

AJ Allmendinger (No. 22 Shell/Pennzoil Dodge Charger R/T) Finished 34th

WHAT HAPPENED ON PIT ROAD? “A tire fell off a pit crew next to us that was struggling tonight and I ran into it. Our Shell/Pennzoil Dodge Charger ran well and it was fast, but we have a 34th-place finish to show for it. It sucks because the guys did a good job. It was a just a frustrating night for us, but we’ll bounce back strong at Phoenix.”

Robby Gordon (No. 7 MAPEI/Menards/SPEED Energy Dodge Charger R/T) Finished 41st

WHAT HAPPENED? "Unfortunately a piston or something broke in the motor. The car just started smoking when Kevin (Harvick) was pushing me. The car started vibrating really bad and broke a motor."

HOW FRUSTRATING IS IT FOR YOUR DAYTONA 500 TO END SO EARLY? "It's really frustrating especially watching what's happening in the race. I knew that if we were around at the end of the race that we'd have a good shot at a win. That was our goal. I was just riding around with Harvick and just blew up."
 

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2012 Daytona Racing: Recap of Daytona 500, Nationwide & Camping World Truck Series Races

 

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Juan Montoya Hits Safety Truck! Fire Explosion! Full LIVE Video! 2012 Daytona 500


Feb 27, 2012

Juan Montoya Hits Safety Truck! Fire Explosion! Full LIVE Video! 2012 Daytona 500
 

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Brad Keselowski will not be disciplined for using Twitter during Daytona 500



DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - Tweet away, Brad.

Penske Racing's Brad Keselowski will not face any NASCAR discipline and will be allowed to keep his cell phone in the race car during events, NASCAR officials announced Tuesday.

Keselowski tweeted throughout the 2-hour red flag after the Daytona 500 was stopped following Juan Pablo Montoya's accident with a jet dryer at Daytona International Speedway.

While it made Keselowski a social media darling, there were questions whether it violated NASCAR rules. Teams are prohibited from having any recording devices that are not for internal competition purposes (in other words, they can't put a camera in a car to film video for a commercial) and all two-way communication devices are supposed to be analog and not digital.

“NASCAR will not penalize Brad Keselowski for his use of Twitter during last night’s Daytona 500," NASCAR said in a statement. "Nothing we’ve seen from Brad violates any current rules pertaining to the use of social media during races. As such, he won’t be penalized. We encourage our drivers to use social media to express themselves as long as they do so without risking their safety or that of others.”


NASCAR spokesman David Higdon said drivers will be allowed to have cell phones in their car. He said there was no immediate concern that a driver could use a cell phone to tap into the car's electronic fuel injection system.
NASCAR drivers will be allowed to have cell phones in their car. Brad Keselowski tweeted during the two-hour red flag delay on Monday night.

"We have no concerns about last night," Higdon said. "If there's any concern they'll look closely at that within our competition team but certainly nothing that we think is an issue right now. And it's not a two-way radio as we define it."


Read more: Brad Keselowski will not be disciplined for using Twitter during Daytona 500 - NASCAR - Sporting News

Read more: Brad Keselowski will not be disciplined for using Twitter during Daytona 500 - NASCAR - Sporting News
 
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