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Las Vegas Motor Speedway





Records
Date Series Driver Speed

3/1/98 Sprint Cup Race Mark Martin 147.00
3/6/11 Sprint Cup Qualifying Matt Kenseth 188.884
3/5/11 Nationwide Race Mark Martin 133.00
2/27/10 Nationwide Qualifying Brad Keselowski 185.427
9/26/09 Camping World Truck Race Johnny Sauter 128.00
9/23/06 Camping World Truck Qualifying Mike Skinner 178.065


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NASCAR Preview

Sam's Town 300
Las Vegas Motor Speedway



What: Race 3 of 33 on Nationwide circuit
Where: Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Las Vegas, NV
When: Saturday March 10, 2012 5:16 pm EST ESPN2
Laps: 200
Track Length: 1.5 miles
Race Length: 300.00 miles




Nationwide
Date Race Name Pole Winner Race Winner Make Purse

3/5/11 Sam's Town 300 Carl Edwards Mark Martin Chevrolet $1,289,942
2/27/10 Sam's Town 300 Brad Keselowski Kevin Harvick Chevrolet $1,479,944
2/28/09 Sam's Town 300 Scott Speed Greg Biffle Ford $1,646,708
3/1/08 Sam's Town 300 Brian Vickers Mark Martin Chevrolet $1,649,814


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NASCAR Preview

Kobalt Tools 400
Las Vegas Motor Speedway



Race Capsule
Las Vegas Motor Speedway

What: Race 3 of 36 on Sprint Cup circuit
Where: Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Las Vegas, NV
When: Sunday March 11, 2012 3:16 pm EDT FOX
Laps: 267
Track Length: 1.5 miles
Race Length: 401.00 miles


Sprint Cup
Date Race Name Pole Winner Race Winner Make Purse

3/6/11 Kobalt Tools 400 Matt Kenseth Carl Edwards Ford $6,250,807
2/28/10 Shelby American Kurt Busch Jimmie Johnson Chevrolet $6,288,475
3/1/09 Shelby 427 Kyle Busch Kyle Busch Toyota $6,577,562
3/2/08 UAW-Dodge 400 Kyle Busch Carl Edwards Ford $6,459,779
 

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SRT Motorsports - Dodge NSCS Race Advance - Las Vegas
March 6, 2012 , LAS VEGAS - For Immediate Release
SRT Motorsports - Dodge NSCS Race Advance
Kobalt Tools 400
Las Vegas Motor Speedway
Sunday, March 11, 2012


DODGE NEWS AND NOTES
· The 2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Dodge Charger R/T will be revealed on Sunday, March 11 in the Neon Garage at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
· The Dodge Charger Pursuit vehicle made its debut last weekend at Phoenix, serving as the pace car for both NASCAR races. It will serve as the pace car for both races this weekend.
· Brad Keselowski gained 17 positions in the NSCS driver standings after his fifth-place finish last weekend at Phoenix International Raceway. He’s now 12th in the standings, 37 points behind the leader.
· A.J. Allmendinger earned a career-best finish of 19th at last year’s Sprint Cup event at LVMS. He has one Cup Series start driving a Dodge at LVMS where he finished 33rd (2009).
· Robby Gordon leads all Dodge drivers with 12 career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series starts at LVMS with a career best finish of 12th (2006).

DODGE AT LAS VEGAS MOTOR SPEEDWAY
· Dodge has one win at LVMS – Sterling Marlin was the 2002 winner.
· Dodge has three poles at LVMS – 2004 (Marlin), 2007 (Kasey Kahne) and 2010 (Kurt Busch). Busch posted a lap time of 26.614 seconds (188.719 mph).

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.

THE DODGE BOYS
· Dodge has 212 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series wins.
· Dodge teams have posted 52 victories since the manufacturer’s return to NASCAR’s premier series in 2001 after being out of the sport since 1977.
· Dodge has posted wins each season since its return in 2001 including seven wins twice (2002 and 2006).

DID YOU KNOW?
· SRT Motorsports Engineering tallied over 2,000 emails and 600 drawings in developing the 2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Dodge Charger that will be revealed Sunday in Victory Lane at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
· The Dodge Charger street car is the only rear-wheel-drive model in Sprint Cup Series competition that is available with a V-8 engine.
· SRT Motorsports includes all of Chrysler Group’s NASCAR racing efforts for Dodge and RAM.
· Dodge is an Official Passenger Car of NASCAR.

LAS VEGAS MOTOR SPEEDWAY FAST FACTS
· NASCAR’s premier series has competed in the state of Nevada 15 times. Las Vegas Motor Speedway has hosted only 14 of those Sprint Cup events. The other race was at Las Vegas Park Speedway in 1955.
· Only one NSCS race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway has been won from the pole position (Kyle Busch – 2009).
· Of the 14 Sprint Cup races at LVMS, only four have been won from a top-five starting position (29%).

NEW CAR TALK – 2013 NSCS DODGE CHARGER R/T
“In the past we’ve said, ‘Let’s have similar shapes and we’ll make ‘em look different with decals.’ We wanted real hard identity, real features that you see on the street car incorporated in the race car. That’s kind of how we got started, how the design process started. Approximately 2,000 e-mails and 600 drawings later, we’ve got a car that is running on the race track.”
Howard Comstock, SRT Motorsports Engineering


QUICK FACTS
· The first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at LVMS was held on March 1, 1998 and won by Mark Martin.
· Eight different drivers have posted wins in Sprint Cup competition at LVMS.
· There will be six jet drivers available for track drying purposes during the weekend.
· It takes approximately 120 minutes to dry the 1.5-mile track after a significant rainfall.
· Sterling Marlin was the winner of the 2002 Sprint Cup race at LVMS. He’s the oldest driver to win at the track (44 years, 7 months, 32 days).

FROM THE ENGINEER – RACING AT LAS VEGAS
“We only visit the LVMS once a year and that means two things. First, the drivers haven't been here in a year so there's some fast re-education that has to happen for them. And second, the teams have a thinner book of notes to refer to and that puts extra pressure on the engineers to come up with the setups that will get the drivers up to speed in the least amount of time. Some teams say that they learn about this track right up to the last lap of the race. As engineers, our job is to drastically short cut that process.”
Howard Comstock, SRT Motorsports Engineering

DODGE QUOTE OF THE WEEK
“It gives me goosebumps to think that car is going to be on the track and everyone is going to know that’s a Charger. It’s going to hit you in the side of the head because it looks so much like it. I’m proud of that. I’m proud that I was able to be a part of making that car look like our car that we call the Charger.”
Mark Trostle - Head of SRT, Viper, Mopar and Motorsports Design on the 2013 NSCS Dodge Charger R/T

DODGE QUOTES
“I look for the two Penske Dodge teams to work really closely together this weekend and be able to maximize all the practice time we have on the schedule. Vegas (LVMS) has been a struggle for me in the past, but we’re coming in there optimistic that we can improve. I look to get better on the track and our Shell-Pennzoil Dodge Team can continue to get stronger overall.”
A.J. Allmendinger, No. 22 Shell/Pennzoil Dodge Charger

“Las Vegas in a Cup car is extremely fast, one of the fastest mile-and-a-half tracks that we visit. The key is running the whole race without getting into trouble. It’s such an ‘edge’ track and you have to really stay tuned in mentally. You need to concentrate on hitting your marks, but you also have to charge the corner. As a team I’m excited at how fast our cars have been to start the season. Hopefully, we’ll hit the jackpot this weekend with the No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge Charger.”
Brad Keselowski, No 2 Miller Lite Dodge Charger

“Vegas is very fast for a mile-and-a-half track and it can be one of the most challenging places for setting up a car. There is a fine line you have to walk between fast and wrecking and there is little margin for error. We’ve had good cars to start the season and we want to continue that this weekend.”
Paul Wolfe, crew chief, No. Miller Lite Dodge Charger
 

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SRT Motorsports - Dodge NNS Race Advance - Sam's Town 300 - Las Vegas Motor Speedway
March 6, 2012 , LAS VEGAS, Nev. -

For Immediate Release
SRT Motorsports - Dodge NNS Race Advance
Sam's Town 300
Las Vegas Motor Speedway
Saturday, March 10, 2012



SAM HORNISH JR.
– No. 12 Alliance Truck Parts Dodge Challenger
Crew Chief: Chad Walter

Career Stats:
Starts: 35
Wins: 1
Top Fives: 2
Top 10s: 7
Poles: 0
Laps Led: 122

2012 Season Stats:
Starts: 2
Wins: 0
Top Fives: 0
Top 10s: 1
Poles: 0
Laps Led: 7

• Sixth in NNS championship standings, 26 behind leader Elliott Sadler and nine behind third-place Trevor Bayne.
• Will be making his first NNS start at Las Vegas since 2008.
• Participated in EFI and tire tests at LVMS last fall.

BRAD KESELOWSKI
– No. 22 Discount Tire Dodge Challenger
Crew Chief: Jeremy Bullins

Career Stats:
Starts: 170
Wins: 17
Top Fives: 75
Top 10s: 105
Poles: 12
Laps Led: 2,761

2012 Season Stats:
Starts: 2
Wins: 0
Top Fives: 2
Top 10s: 2
Poles: 0
Laps Led: 7

• Two top-five finishes in five previous starts at LVMS and has led a lap in three of those events.
• Won pole for 2010 LVMS event.
• Has qualified 10th or better in 15 consecutive NNS races.
• Has completed all but one lap in his last 18 NNS races (3,104 of 3,105) – 99.96 percent.

DODGE QUOTES:
“Las Vegas is one of the places I’ve always liked going to. It’s a pretty high-speed track with a lot of grip and lot of bumps that move the car around, so you definitely have to find the perfect line to get through there.”
-- Sam Hornish, Jr.

“On the Nationwide side, I’ve been so close to winning races there. I just want to close the deal. I’ve had a lot of success there. On the Cup side, not so much (success) which just means that’s a chance to change that around.”
-- Brad Keselowski

THE LAS VEGAS NUMBERS
• Dodge has one Nationwide Series win at Las Vegas: Kasey Kahne in 2006. Kahne edged Matt Kenseth by .316 seconds to score the win. He led 56 laps.
• Dodge has eight top-five and 15 top-10 finishes at LVMS.
• At least one Dodge driver has scored a top-10 finish in eight consecutive Nationwide races at LVMS.
• The most Dodge drivers to finish inside the top 10 in a NNS race at LVMS were three in 2006.

DODGE IN THE NASCAR NATIONWIDE SERIES
• The Dodge Charger Pursuit pace car made its debut last week at Phoenix and will serve as the pace car for both races this weekend at LVMS.
• Dodge is fielding two full-time entries in the series this year. Sam Hornish Jr. will compete for the series championship while Brad Keselowski and Parker Kligerman will share driving duties in the second Penske Racing entry.
• Dodge claimed its first NASCAR championship in 2010 when Penske Racing’s Brad Keselowski captured the driver’s title.
• Dodge has 41 wins in the series including seven in each of the last two seasons. A Dodge has started from the pole 48 times.

FROM THE CREW CHIEF
“I think that the expectations may be a little bit higher this season. I think we have our eyes set on winning a championship, more so than we ever have. I think that with the limited schedule that we ran last year and the chance we had to kind of take a step back and really, just took it to heart that we needed to fix a few things and turn Sam into a better racer and us into a better race team.”
-Chad Walter, Crew Chief, No. 12 Alliance Truck Parts Dodge Challenger
 

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Dodge Brand Identity Is Back In 2013 Sprint Cup Dodge Charger
Published on March 7, 2012 by Official Release



'13 Sprint Cup Dodge Charger
2013 NASCAR Dodge Charger: Brand Identity Is Back


AUBURN HILLS, Mich. (Wednesday, March 7, 2012) – No question: The 2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup Dodge Charger is a good-looking car, with a body that brings back the brand identity to fans of the brand. But beauty isn’t skin deep — a lot of work has gone into developing the Charger race car for next season’s planned on-track debut at the Daytona 500.

David Bailey, senior manager for SRT Motorsports Engineering, was in it from the beginning. “In late 2010, NASCAR called the meeting with all the manufacturers,” Bailey said, and all four were unanimous in their desire to race a car that looked a lot more like their road-going counterparts. NASCAR agreed. “They wanted a production car look. Each manufacturer had the opportunity to present individually to NASCAR.

Dodge showed “Basically a production Charger sitting on top of a Cup car chassis,” Bailey said. “And it just jumped out.” By March of last year, “we had some follow-up discussions with NASCAR, and they started what they called the ‘Gang of Four’ meetings at the tracks with the manufacturers.”

Even beginning with a car like the street-going Charger, it wasn’t easy translating it to the race car. Front and rear overhang had to be adjusted to NASCAR specifications, but still maintain the Charger’s character. Everything from the angle of the windshield to the shape of the grille had to be adjusted to meet three objectives: It had to race well, it had to meet NASCAR specifications, and it had to look like something Dodge engineers and designers would be proud of.

The nose, for example: “The production Charger is aggressive in front, but the 2013 NASCAR Charger is just evil looking in the nose, “ said Mark Trostle, who heads SRT Motorsports design. “It totally encompasses that ‘Get the heck outta my way’ look we wanted because it’s lower, wider, and the lines are angrier when you translate it from the production car to the race car.”

Development began, Bailey said, with the “greenhouse,” which is the part of the car above the hood, doors and trunk, containing the windows, “and we then moved down into the rest of the critical points on the car. Finally we established a package that all of the manufacturers agreed to.” Much of it was a natural evolution from the production Charger, Bailey said: “Our car is rear-wheel drive, and available with a V-8 engine, so it lent itself to the project quite easily.

“It’s been many, many years since we’ve had a race car that looks so much like the production car,” Bailey said. “And it couldn’t have come at a better time.”

SRT Motorsports at-track engineer Howard Comstock stressed that Dodge had no interest in a purely cosmetic treatment that fans could see through. “We didn’t want to do it with just decals,” he said. “We wanted a real identity, real features on the car that you see on the street car. After the design process started — and approximately 2,000 e-mails, and 600 drawings later — we’ve got a car that everyone knows is a Dodge Charger.”

The new Dodge Charger race car, Comstock said, “has a very unique look. It’s bold. We had to stand firm in the discussions and negotiations about what the shape of this new car was going to be.” Helpful was the fact that Dodge actually has high-performance versions of the Charger. “The other manufacturers,” Comstock said, “personally, I think they’re stretching a little bit because I don’t think of some of the other brands as performance models. But hopefully in the end, everybody got something out of it.”

Bailey said everyone involved with the project is delighted with the final product. “We’re a relatively small organization, but we’re intense, we’re experienced and we’re knowledgeable about what it takes to get into the winner’s circle. There’s a lot of pride here.”

The public debut of the NASCAR 2013 Dodge Charger comes March 11, just before the green flag falls on the Kobalt Tools 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
 

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NASCAR Qualifying
Last Updated: Friday, Mar 9, 2012 8:41 pm, EST
Kobalt Tools 400
Status: Field Set Las Vegas Motor Speedway




Order Driver (No.) Car Qualifying Speed
1 Kasey Kahne (5) Chevrolet 190.456
2 Kyle Busch (18) Toyota 190.040
3 Kevin Harvick (29) Chevrolet 190.014
4 Dale Earnhardt Jr. (88) Chevrolet 189.873
5 Clint Bowyer (15) Toyota 189.807
6 Jimmie Johnson (48) Chevrolet 189.773
7 Tony Stewart (14) Chevrolet 189.667
8 Joey Logano (20) Toyota 189.620
9 Greg Biffle (16) Ford 189.500
10 Martin Truex Jr. (56) Toyota 189.421
11 Matt Kenseth (17) Ford 189.208
12 Kurt Busch (51) Chevrolet 189.148
13 Mark Martin (55) Toyota 188.970
14 A J Allmendinger (22) Dodge 188.937
15 Marcos Ambrose (9) Ford 188.910
16 Jeff Gordon (24) Chevrolet 188.758
17 Denny Hamlin (11) Toyota 188.712
18 Ryan Newman (39) Chevrolet 188.436
19 Jamie McMurray (1) Chevrolet 188.160
20 Brad Keselowski (2) Dodge 188.134
21 Carl Edwards (99) Ford 188.088
22 Jeff Burton (31) Chevrolet 187.754
23 Brendan Gaughan (33) Chevrolet 187.669
24 Bobby Labonte (47) Toyota 187.663
25 Trevor Bayne (21) Ford 187.363
26 Paul Menard (27) Chevrolet 187.305
27 Aric Almirola (43) Ford 186.987
28 Regan Smith (78) Chevrolet 186.987
29 Juan Pablo Montoya (42) Chevrolet 186.780
30 Landon Cassill (83) Toyota 185.650
31 David Reutimann (10) Chevrolet 185.644
32 Casey Mears (13) Ford 185.274
33 Josh Wise (26) Ford 184.837
34 David Gilliland (38) Ford 184.685
35 David Ragan (34) Ford 184.388
36 J.J. Yeley (249) Toyota 184.370
37 Travis Kvapil (93) Toyota 184.175
38 Dave Blaney (36) Chevrolet 183.949
39 Michael McDowell (98) Ford 183.861
40 Joe Nemechek (87) Toyota 183.542
41 Ken Schrader (32) Ford 183.306
42 Timmy Hill (37) Ford 182.877
43 David Stremme (30) Toyota 182.704
44 Scott Riggs (23) DNQ 182.426
45 Robby Gordon (7) DNQ 182.285
 

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SRT Motorsports - Dodge Brad Keselowski Open Interview - Las Vegas
March 9, 2012 , LAS VEGAS, Nev. -

Friday, March 9, 2012

Dodge PR
Las Vegas Motor Speedway
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
Brad Keselowski Open Interview


Brad Keselowski (No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge Charger R/T)
COMMENT ON COMING TO LAS VEGAS. “Absolutley. Great facilities, and I was just amazed last night being downtown and seeing all the fans here. Certainly looks like we’re going to have a great turnout for the weekend just based on what we saw. Enjoy coming here. I wish I had a little more success on the track at the Cup level. But it’s an important weekend for all of us, for all the teams to prove, kind of, our mile-and-a-half prowess. For us, I think I’m as interested as anyone else to see how we’re going to start off 2012 on the mile-and-a-halfs. I’m optimistic about it. There are some areas that we’re going to need to improve, but I think after last week we have a pretty good chunk of momentum from a strong run in Phoenix. We’ll just see how it comes, but you know this is a pretty good indicator of what teams are going to have, at least for the short term, on the mile-and-a-halfs. I think you look at Vegas and the performances that you see here, and it seems like whoever runs well here seems to run well at Charlotte and some of those other key places, you know it’s a pretty good indicator of strength.”

YOU KEEP GOING TO THESE TRACKS WHERE YOU HAVEN’T HAD A LOT OF SUCCESS IN THE PAST AND ALL OF A SUDDEN YOU RUN IN THE TOP FIVE, LIKE PHOENIX. SO WHEN YOU COME TO A PLACE WHERE YOU HAVEN’T RUN WELL, DO YOU THROW OUT YOUR NOTES? HOW DO YOU TURN AROUND YOUR PERFORMANCE? “I just think that if you look back at a lot of things that I’ve done, you can go back to the Nationwide side and kind of look at the template I had over there where what I’ve done in the past I’ve been able to build off of it. And it was funny, I saw Dale Jarrett and we might have been gambling (smiles), and we were talking about the same exact topic. His career was very similar, where he improved every time he went back somewhere and each year, you kind of build on things. You know, that’s where I certainly feel like I’m at. I think last week was a big hurdle for me to get over. It was a track where I haven’t had any success. I’ve had okay runs, but you know, haven’t been able to put the numbers on the board. You know, I just think you keep building and you keep adding ingredients until you bake the right cake. It’s going well for us. We’re starting to get somewhere.”

YOU MENTIONED GAMBLING. WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT GAMBLING ON NASCAR? ALL THE CASINOS NOW HAVE IT. WHAT DO YOU THINK OF THAT? DO YOU PUT TEN BUCKS ON YOURSELF? “No, not this weekend (laughs). You guys haven’t read my stats here (laughter). You know I did, I posted something on Twitter about it ‘cause in the hotel I was staying in, they had the odds posted out. Andrea Ross who runs my foundation was asking me about it and she said ‘Well should I put money on this or should I put money on that?’ I wouldn’t put money on any of it. I think they’re terrible odds for everyone. I don’t know how they figure that out. NASCAR is not a good sport to gamble on (smiles). In fact it’s pretty terrible. It is interesting to see it. It’s almost more flattering for me to see the sport lined up next to the NBA or NFL and so forth. I don’t know, I guess it’s just kind of a validation of status more than anything else. The pure numbers or you know odds of, no, they’re not very good. I don’t recommend it (laughs).”

WHAT HAS BEEN THE TEAM REACTION TO CHANGING MANUFACTURERS? “I didn’t go back to really spend any time with my team between Phoenix and Vegas. I was trying to save a little money, but I’ll certainly go back and talk to ‘em this week. You know, it’s my general impression that I think there’s a lot of optimism and I think that if you look at the company, I think that there is a large reason for optimism. I said this in Phoenix and I guess I’ll reiterate it, the most important part of the manufacturer piece was being able to add a long-term contract that gave stability. That all boils down to what the main focus is and that’s making sure that everybody at Penske Racing knows that they’ve got a funded team, funded car owner, driver, crew chief, sponsor, all of those things for years to come. So, I really feel like they should be excited about it and I hope they are. Again, I haven’t seen ‘em face to face, but you know, basically, this is like walking in saying hey, everybody here is guaranteed a job for the next five years. I’ve got a pretty good feeling how that would go over here and it’s just as well over there. I think anytime you can guarantee a group of people a job for what I consider a substantial amount of time, five years, I think that’s a good deal. Then, it’s just up to you to perform to continue to earn it. That’s whether it’s me or anyone else on the team. I would assume that’s the general reaction. That’s certainly my reaction. I hope that everyone else at Penske Racing feels the same way. Like you said, there are some mixed emotions to it. I still do thoroughly enjoy the time I’ve spent with Dodge. Hopefully, we can finish it off by getting ‘em a modern-era Cup championship this year. We’ll have to see how that all works out. You know it is what it is; life’s about change.”

YOU SAID NASCAR WASN’T A GOOD SPORT TO GAMBLE ON. WHAT ABOUT GAMBLING ON THE RACE TRACK WHEN YOUR CREW CHIEF TAKES A GAMBLE AND HOW MUCH YOU SUPPORT THAT AND LIKE THOSE KIND OF DECISIONS? “See, that’s the thing, a friend of mine tells me this all the time: ‘You guys gamble all the time on pit strategy.’ And I watched Jimmy Spencer last year and he said the same thing: ‘You guys are always gambling.’ Well, I don’t like to gamble and so any move we’re doing, there’s certainly a risk percentage pre-calculated. I’d like to think that Paul (Wolfe, crew chief) is very sharp on those things. And when you have a strategy, it’s like counting cards. When you have a strategy, you’re not really gambling. You know, I think for the most part, Paul and the engineers and everyone on the Miller Lite team, they have a pretty good strategy going into it.”

YOU HAVE VOICED SOME CONCERNS IN THE PAST ABOUT EFI. THE ISSUES THAT HAVE COME UP IN THE LAST COUPLE OF WEEKS, ARE THEY ONES YOU ENVISIONED AT THAT TIME OR ARE THEY THINGS THAT YOU THINK ARE UNEXPECTED? “Well I think
you can expect the unexpected whenever you involve electronics because you just don’t know.
Obviously the environment inside of a race car, it’s not a pleasant one. It’s quite miserable. You’re looking at 140 degree temperatures, large vibration. Set that aside from toxic fumes, and that’s what the inside of a race car is. It’s not a pleasant place to be. It’s not a place you want to be for four hours. Whether that’s a human being or anything of that nature or electronics, it’s not going to go over so well. There has to be a lot of durability in all those parts. I don’t know if we’ve seen all the issues that there’s going to be. I think that when the races get hotter, there’s a lot of potential for failure, but I don’t think anyone can really quantify what those potentials are or put any odds on it because we are seeing things that I don’t think we even predicted we would see. Who knows? Maybe we’re going to see some other things that are good. I certainly have learned a lot about it over the last few months and it’s somewhat mind-boggling. There are some things I like about it. You know, for the first time to be able to have driver telemetry in NASCAR, that’s unique. I like that. I think it was time for that to happen. You know there are some good sides, certainly, but as a sport, I think we’re all very curious to see what direction this is going to take us, especially over the summer when it gets really, really hot and we get longer races. We’ve got Texas coming up; it’s an extremely long race, on a rough racetrack. It can be hot there. You’ve got obviously Indy, which to me is one of the hottest races of the year. Kansas last year was a scorcher and then the 600 in Charlotte. To me, those races are almost going to be a throwback to the races of the 60s, 70s and early 80s where reliability might be just as important is anything else. So that will be interesting to watch, definitely a change for the sport if it continues down the path that we’ve seen so far.”

THERE ARE A NUMBER OF ONE-AND-AHALF MILE RACETRACKS THAT YOU GUYS RACE ON. SOME ARE 400-MILE RACES AND SOME ARE 500 MILES. DO ONE OF THOSE RACES IN YOUR OPINION PROMOTE BETTER RACING OR BETTER OPPORTUNITIES TO PUT ON A GOOD SHOW OR IS IT ALL TRACK RELATED? “Well, you know, I’ve thought about that question because we were talking about Pocono shortening its races and I know there was a lot of excitement for that in the garage area and within the sport itself. To me, it wasn’t a big deal. I’ve ran four Pocono races I think and to me they weren’t the longest races of the year. There were other races I thought were much longer. So it doesn’t bother me. If we raced a thousand miles, I’d race it. If we race 300, I’d race it. Certainly, last weekend felt like a short race and it was kind of nice, but you know at the end of the day, I’ll run what we’ve got to run and I’ll be happy. You know it’s not supposed to be easy. It’s not supposed to be short. That’s not the point of this sport. That’s not the point of the top level Sprint Cup racing. The point of it is to see one, who is talented enough to do it, to win a race and who can last that long, who can manage their equipment, who can make good decisions over three or four hours. I like long races. I’m a fan. I’m probably in the one percent in this garage that is on that side, but the 600 to me is one of my favorite races. It’s a challenge to me personally to be able to look out at other athletes in the sport and say ‘Well I held on for six hours in a 140 degree environment with toxic fumes - ha ha, not an athlete my ass - so I like ‘em.”

DANICA PATRICK HAD A MISERABLE SPEEDWEEKS AND THEN LAST WEEK TIED HER PERFORMANCE FROM THE YEAR BEFORE. FROM A DRIVER’S PERSPECTIVE, CAN YOU RELATE TO WHAT HER FRUSTRATION LEVEL IS TRYING TO GET UP TO SPEED WHEN YOU’VE HAD SUCCESS IN THE PAST? “She has a long road in front of her and I think she understands that. I hope she does at least. But you know, that’s a tough deal for anyone on the Nationwide side to be successful with the testing ban in place. I think you look at drivers, you’ve got Sam Hornish and guys like that, who have come from similar backgrounds. I would say that you could quite easily argue who were more successful. It hasn’t been easy for them. I think you could talk to Sam and he would tell you this has not been easy for him and now, he’s over on the Nationwide side, too. You know, I think the biggest challenge she has is finding a way around that testing ban and getting experience. Everyone will tell you that race experience is the best experience. It is and it isn’t because you don’t really get a chance to learn on what you need to do to get more speed. You can learn on what you need to do to survive the race, that’s great, but that’s only 50 percent of it. You’ve got to be fast and talented as well. And so she’s obviously behind before the weekend ever starts, as is every Nationwide rookie and there’s challenges ahead for her. You know, I guess at the end of the day, if she can overcome those challenges and find a way to be successful, then she will have really earned a spot in this sport. But the odds are very much stacked against her.”
 

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SRT Motorsports - Dodge NSCS Final Qualifying Quotes - Las Vegas
March 9, 2012 , LAS VEGAS, Nev. -

Friday, March 9, 2012

Dodge PR
Las Vegas Motor Speedway
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
Post-Qualifying Quotes



A.J. Allmendinger (No. 22 Pennzoil Dodge Charger R/T) Qualified 14th

HOW WAS YOUR QUALIFYING LAP? “I thought it was a good lap for the Pennzoil Dodge. I’m a little lost because the lap felt faster than the speed showed. Our car is fast. I’m not quite sure what happened.”

HOW DID YOU CAR HANDLE THE BUMPS IN BETWEEN TURNS 1 AND 2? “The car is really good over the bumps. It doesn’t feel like I’m scrubbing any speed off the car at all. The car is good. I’m just not sure what it wasn’t faster.”

HOW IS YOUR CAR IN RACE TRIM? “We have a little bit of work to do but the car is stable. It feels good around here. We’re just going to rub on it a little bit for tomorrow’s practice session and see if we can find some more speed in race trim.”

WHERE DO YOU FIND SPEED HERE? AERO? MECHANICAL? “Track position. You have to be up front because the track is so fast that you have to be aero good. You’re so much faster up front than in traffic here. The track isn’t that wide so you really want track position.”

Brad Keselowski (No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge Charger R/T) Qualified 20th
“I was hoping to pick up two-tenths. I think the field probably averaged three and I didn’t quite pick up two. Need to pick up a little more than that and I’ll go back to the drawing board and work on it.”

DID YOU THINK GOING OUT LATE IN THE SESSION WAS AN ADVANTAGE? “Oh yeah, you know it’s going to help you and the team is going to make the car better. And it did, just needed a little more.”
 

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SRT Motorsports - Dodge NSCS Keys For Success - Las Vegas
March 10, 2012 , L:AS VEGAS, Nev. -

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Kobalt Tools 400
Dodge PR
Las Vegas Motor Speedway
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
Keys For Success


KEYS FOR SUCCESS: Kobalt Tools 400

LAS VEGAS (Saturday, March 10, 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: Las Vegas Motor Speedway (Race 3 of 36 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series)

Race: Kobalt Tools 400 (267 laps / 400.5 miles)

Trivia Question: Former Dodge driver Sterling Marlin is one of only four drivers to have won a NSCS race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway starting outside the top 20. What was his starting position? (Answer Below)
HOWARD COMSTOCK (SRT Motorsports Engineering)



Fast Times: “This is the fastest Cup teams have ever run here at Las Vegas. Fifteen drivers broke the track qualifying record yesterday and I think that means that we’re set up for a really fast race tomorrow. The weather is moderate which is really helping build the speed.”

Tire Beware: “With the higher speeds we’re going to see more tire wear. It’s hard to pass and track position is always a huge key at Las Vegas. Tire management and tire strategy will be a big factor.”

Fuel Economy: “We’re finally in the electronic fuel injection (EFI) era; I think that’s a good thing. We continue to be on a learning curve with the teams and EFI. We saw some teams run out of fuel last weekend in Las Vegas and other teams have some glitches with the system. That can’t happen week after week and be successful. Teams are going to happen to get the bugs iron out makes sure the system works as efficiently as it was designed. EFI is a great system. The teams are going to have to be diligent in making sure they know how it operates.”





Trivia Question Answer: Sterling Marlin started 24th and led 37 laps en route to Dodge’s first NSCS win at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
 

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NASCAR Qualifying
Last Updated: Saturday, Mar 10, 2012 2:41 pm, EST
Sam's Town 300
Status: Field Set Las Vegas Motor Speedway


Order Driver (No.) Car Qualifying Speed
1 Elliott Sadler (2) Chevrolet 181.366
2 Kasey Kahne (38) Toyota 181.044
3 Austin Dillon (3) Chevrolet 180.977
4 Brian Scott (11) Toyota 180.905
5 Brad Keselowski (22) Dodge 180.572
6 Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (6) Ford 180.313
7 Mark Martin (18) Toyota 180.222
8 Justin Allgaier (31) Chevrolet 179.677
9 Brendan Gaughan (33) Chevrolet 179.593
10 Jason Bowles (81) Ford 179.480
11 James Buescher (30) Chevrolet 179.390
12 Danica Patrick (7) Chevrolet 179.283
13 Sam Hornish Jr. (12) Dodge 179.247
14 Trevor Bayne (60) Ford 178.962
15 Johanna Long (70) Chevrolet 178.867
16 Kyle Fowler (108) 178.536
17 Tayler Malsam (19) Chevrolet 178.030
18 Kenny Wallace (09) Ford 177.965
19 Mike Bliss (44) Chevrolet 177.901
20 Kyle Busch (54) 177.877
21 Michael Annett (43) Ford 177.871
22 Cole Whitt (88) Chevrolet 177.789
23 J.J. Yeley (27) 176.771
24 Mike Wallace (01) Chevrolet 175.970
25 Jeremy Clements (51) 175.798
26 Scott Speed (47) Toyota 175.245
27 Eric McClure (14) Toyota 174.882
28 Jeff Green (10) Toyota 173.700
29 Benny Gordon (124) Ford 173.667
30 Joey Gase (39) 173.533
31 Joe Nemechek (87) Chevrolet 173.461
32 Blake Koch (41) Chevrolet 173.427
33 Chase Miller (46) 173.182
34 Erik Darnell (40) Chevrolet 173.138
35 Tim Schendel (52) 172.227
36 Derrike Cope (28) Chevrolet 171.947
37 Jennifer Jo Cobb (113) Chevrolet 171.756
38 T.J. Bell (50) Chevrolet 171.570
39 Josh Wise (42) 170.919
40 Robert Richardson Jr. (23) Chevrolet 170.352
41 Mike Harmon (174) Chevrolet 166.420
42 Daryl Harr (4) Chevrolet 166.174
43 Morgan Shepherd (89) Chevrolet 166.123
 

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NASCAR Results
Last Updated: Saturday, Mar 10, 2012 7:44 pm, EST
Sam's Town 300
Status: Final Las Vegas Motor Speedway




Order Driver (No.) Car Pts/Bonus Laps Laps Led Winnings Lap Progress
1 Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (6) Ford 48/5 200 55 $107,863 Chart
2 Mark Martin (18) Toyota 43/1 200 44 $55,650 Chart
3 Elliott Sadler (2) Chevrolet 42/1 200 26 $53,668 Chart
4 Trevor Bayne (60) Ford 40/0 200 0 $37,293 Chart
5 Brendan Gaughan (33) Chevrolet 39/0 200 0 $32,993 Chart
6 Cole Whitt (88) Chevrolet 38/0 200 0 $31,143 Chart
7 Austin Dillon (3) Chevrolet 37/0 200 0 $22,625 Chart
8 Justin Allgaier (31) Chevrolet 36/0 200 0 $28,018 Chart
9 Sam Hornish Jr. (12) Dodge 35/0 200 0 $26,928 Chart
10 Kasey Kahne (38) Chevrolet 35/1 200 40 $21,075 Chart
11 Kenny Wallace (09) Toyota 33/0 200 0 $28,418 Chart
12 Danica Patrick (7) Chevrolet 32/0 200 0 $25,268 Chart
13 Michael Annett (43) Ford 31/0 200 0 $24,718 Chart
14 James Buescher (30) Chevrolet 30/0 200 0 $24,208 Chart
15 Mike Bliss (44) Toyota 29/0 200 0 $18,455 Chart
16 Tayler Malsam (19) Toyota 28/0 200 0 $23,738 Chart
17 Mike Wallace (01) Chevrolet 28/1 198 1 $23,753 Chart
18 Blake Koch (41) Ford 26/0 198 0 $23,418 Chart
19 Johanna Long (70) Chevrolet 25/0 198 0 $23,308 Chart
20 Joe Nemechek (87) Toyota 24/0 198 0 $23,873 Chart
21 Jeremy Clements (51) Chevrolet 23/0 197 0 $23,088 Chart
22 Morgan Shepherd (89) Chevrolet 22/0 197 0 $16,485 Chart
23 Brad Keselowski (22) Dodge 22/1 196 27 $16,350 Chart
24 Robert Richardson Jr. (23) Chevrolet 20/0 196 0 $22,708 Chart
25 Eric McClure (14) Toyota 19/0 196 0 $23,033 Chart
26 Daryl Harr (4) Chevrolet 18/0 194 0 $22,438 Chart
27 Jason Bowles (81) Toyota 17/0 188 0 $22,303 Chart
28 Kyle Fowler (108) Ford 16/0 165 0 $15,690 Chart
29 Tim Schendel (52) Chevrolet 15/0 164 0 $15,540 Chart
30 Benny Gordon (124) Chevrolet 14/0 146 0 $15,705 Chart
31 T.J. Bell (50) Chevrolet 13/0 140 0 $21,763 Chart
32 Derrike Cope (28) Dodge 12/0 137 0 $21,653 Chart
33 Kyle Busch (54) Toyota 11/0 127 0 $15,075 Chart
34 Brian Scott (11) Toyota 11/1 94 5 $21,433 Chart
35 Erik Darnell (40) Chevrolet 9/0 91 0 $14,855 Chart
36 Jennifer Jo Cobb (113) Dodge 8/0 72 0 $14,820 Chart
37 Joey Gase (39) Ford 7/0 41 0 $21,243 Chart
38 J.J. Yeley (27) Ford 7/1 39 2 $14,740 Chart
39 Chase Miller (46) Chevrolet 5/0 6 0 $14,490 Chart
40 Jeff Green (10) Toyota 4/0 4 0 $14,455 Chart
41 Josh Wise (42) Chevrolet 3/0 4 0 $14,400 Chart
42 Scott Speed (47) Chevrolet 2/0 3 0 $14,355 Chart
43 Mike Harmon (174) Chevrolet 0/0 3 0 $14,311 Chart
 

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SRT Motorsports - Dodge NNS Final Race Quotes - Las Vegas
March 10, 2012 , LAS VEGAS, Nev. -

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Dodge PR
Las Vegas Motor Speedway
NASCAR Nationwide Series
Post-Race Quotes





Sam Hornish Jr. (No. 12 Alliance Truck Parts Dodge Challenger R/T) Finished 9th
“On the short run we were able to make up some spots. Our guys did a good job of sticking with it in the pits. Our long run we’d just continue to get freer and freer most of the time, not the way we wanted to head for sure. We got through here with the Challenger in one piece and we’ll move on from it.”

WHEN YOU CHANGED FOUR TIRES OR TWO, YOU SEEMED TO END UP ABOUT NINTH IN LINE. “We were just not good enough. We got lucky to end up where we did. Man, we couldn’t go. We didn’t have enough grip in the car. The first couple of laps when everybody was in traffic we could make up spots and then when everything got shuffled out and you just had to have that max amount of speed, we didn’t have it. And then after that we’d start to settle in a little bit but it was like from lap five to lap ten, we just got ran over.”

WHAT DO YOU NEED TO WORK ON TO BE BETTER AT THESE MILE-AND-A-HALF TRACKS? “For sure we’ve got to be better. Brad (Keselowski) is pretty good and we’re not right now on that part of the run. We just have to look at it and get some good changes made and we’ll figure out a way to be better.”

Brad Keselowski (No. 22 Discount Tire Dodge Challenger R/T) Finished 23rd
“We just had a problem there. I had a car I felt could win the race and it just wasn’t meant to be. It’s kind of been the tale of the tape for me here at Vegas. I’m so excited to have a fast car. That’s where it all starts, just got to execute from there. It wasn’t meant to be.”

BEFORE YOU RAN OUT OF FUEL, DID YOU SENSE THERE WAS A PROBLEM IN THAT AREA? “Jeremy (Bullins), the crew chief, and the engineers, they all knew something was wrong but there’s nothing you can do about it.”
 

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NASCAR Results
Last Updated: Sunday, Mar 11, 2012 7:26 pm, EDT
Kobalt Tools 400
Status: Final Las Vegas Motor Speedway


Order Driver (No.) Car Pts/Bonus Laps Laps Led Winnings Lap Progress
1 Tony Stewart (14) Chevrolet 48/5 267 127 $428,175 Chart
2 Jimmie Johnson (48) Chevrolet 43/1 267 35 $281,776 Chart
3 Greg Biffle (16) Ford 42/1 267 2 $207,365 Chart
4 Ryan Newman (39) Chevrolet 40/0 267 0 $201,273 Chart
5 Carl Edwards (99) Ford 39/0 267 0 $187,281 Chart
6 Clint Bowyer (15) Toyota 39/1 267 3 $150,854 Chart
7 Paul Menard (27) Chevrolet 37/0 267 0 $127,865 Chart
8 Jamie McMurray (1) Chevrolet 36/0 267 0 $152,498 Chart
9 Trevor Bayne (21) Ford 35/0 267 0 $112,865 Chart
10 Dale Earnhardt Jr. (88) Chevrolet 35/1 267 70 $118,240 Chart
11 Kevin Harvick (29) Chevrolet 34/1 267 4 $153,641 Chart
12 Jeff Gordon (24) Chevrolet 33/1 267 2 $150,241 Chart
13 Marcos Ambrose (9) Ford 31/0 267 0 $133,313 Chart
14 Jeff Burton (31) Chevrolet 30/0 267 0 $142,680 Chart
15 Regan Smith (78) Chevrolet 29/0 267 0 $129,413 Chart
16 Joey Logano (20) Toyota 28/0 267 0 $111,230 Chart
17 Martin Truex Jr. (56) Toyota 27/0 267 0 $128,069 Chart
18 Mark Martin (55) Toyota 26/0 267 0 $99,755 Chart
19 Kasey Kahne (5) Chevrolet 25/0 267 0 $112,555 Chart
20 Denny Hamlin (11) Toyota 24/0 267 0 $140,321 Chart
21 David Ragan (34) Ford 24/1 267 1 $113,063 Chart
22 Matt Kenseth (17) Ford 23/1 267 21 $140,691 Chart
23 Kyle Busch (18) Toyota 21/0 266 0 $138,363 Chart
24 Aric Almirola (43) Ford 20/0 266 0 $130,366 Chart
25 Juan Pablo Montoya (42) Chevrolet 19/0 264 0 $122,846 Chart
26 Bobby Labonte (47) Toyota 18/0 264 0 $113,388 Chart
27 Casey Mears (13) Ford 17/0 264 0 $101,788 Chart
28 David Stremme (30) Toyota 16/0 263 0 $98,677 Chart
29 Dave Blaney (36) Chevrolet 15/0 263 0 $85,905 Chart
30 Ken Schrader (32) Ford 14/0 263 0 $97,630 Chart
31 David Reutimann (10) Chevrolet 13/0 261 0 $85,430 Chart
32 Brad Keselowski (2) Dodge 13/1 259 1 $122,975 Chart
33 David Gilliland (38) Ford 11/0 258 0 $85,030 Chart
34 Brendan Gaughan (33) Chevrolet 10/0 252 0 $92,830 Chart
35 Kurt Busch (51) Chevrolet 9/0 251 0 $92,605 Chart
36 Landon Cassill (83) Toyota 8/0 240 0 $110,750 Chart
37 A J Allmendinger (22) Dodge 8/1 238 1 $128,755 Chart
38 Michael McDowell (98) Ford 6/0 147 0 $83,982 Chart
39 Travis Kvapil (93) Toyota 5/0 123 0 $88,450 Chart
40 Josh Wise (26) Ford 4/0 64 0 $81,675 Chart
41 Joe Nemechek (87) Toyota 3/0 44 0 $79,925 Chart
42 Timmy Hill (37) Ford 2/0 42 0 $79,780 Chart
43 J.J. Yeley (249) Toyota 1/0 39 0 $80,044 Chart
 

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SRT Motorsports - Dodge NSCS Race Final Quotes - Las Vegas
March 11, 2012 , LAS VEGAS - Kobalt Tools 400
Las Vegas Motor Speedway
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
Post-Race Quotes
Dodge PR



Brad Keselowski (No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge Charger R/T) Finished 32nd
“We had a pretty decent Dodge Charger all day, probably not as good as Tony’s (Stewart) but really strong. We were going to give him a run for his money and I was going to drive my butt off. It just wasn’t meant to be. I didn’t run out of gas. The fuel pump broke.”

WHAT WAS YOUR VIEW ON THAT RESTART WITH TONY STEWART WENT THREE-WIDE? “My view, whatever happened to Clint (Bowyer), he didn’t go? And when Clint didn’t go, I can’t beat him back to the line. That put Tony is prime spot to capitalize on the restart and he did.”

IS THERE ANYTHING YOU COULD HAVE DONE DIFFERENTLY OR IS THAT JUST HOW THE RESTARTS ARE NOW? “I could have gone down and blocked Tony and wrecked everybody, but I don’t think that’s the solution. We just needed him (Bowyer) to get a better restart.”

Paul Wolfe (Crew Chief, Miller Lite Dodge Charger R/T)
“It’s definitely tough to take right now. Trying to dig ourselves out of that hole from Daytona and now we’re back in it again with a 32nd-place finish. The guys working on the 2 car have done very well. We put together a good weekend. We put ourselves in position here. We’ve just got to figure out these problems we’re having with the pumps. You can’t race for a championship this way; we’re just going to have to go to work and figure it out. You keep putting Brad in position, he’s doing his job, and we’re letting him down on the other end there. We’ve had what appears to be the same issue two weeks in a row now. Luckily it didn’t bite us and we were able to finish the race at Phoenix, but there was an issue there. And then with both cars having an issue today, there’s something going on. We’re going to have to figure it out.”

A.J. Allmendinger (No. 22 Shell/Pennzoil Dodge Charger R/T) Finished 37th
"Man this is not the start to the season any of us were expecting. I'm struggling to figure out what to say because I'm feeling so many things right now.

“Our 22 Pennzoil Dodge was really good. I knew we had a top-five car after we got into the race. I overshot the pit box on my first stop. I've never done that like that. I got lost behind the 56. Embarrassing, but the Captain (Roger Penske) got on the radio and said he knew we could get it back; hearing that helped me get refocused and back in the race. We had worked back up to 14th with a lot of race left. Just when I knew we could make something solid, we started having fuel pressure issues. It was sporadic. Then it just went away.

“We came into the garage and changed some things and went back out, but the same thing happened. My guys busted their butts changing everything related to fuel pressure we could and went back out to salvage what was left. We're not sure yet what the cause was, but you know the guys back at the Penske shop will figure it out"

Todd Gordon (Crew Chief, No. 22 Pennzoil Dodge Charger R/T)
“We’re looking at all of it. Obviously we had a fuel delivery issue. We lost fuel pressure. We thought it was one piece and we changed it; then we had the same thing so we had to come right back in and we changed the whole system. We’ll take it back to the shop and get these Pennzoil guys to look over everything and find out where we’re at and what we had for a problem. The initial piece, it doesn’t look like the two cars had the same part failure. We’ll diagnose everything when we get back to the shop and make sure that we’re fixed up going to Bristol.”

ARE THESE THINGS TO BE EXPECTED FROM THIS NEW ELECTRONIC FUEL INJECTION SYSTEM? “We changed a lot of things to go to this EFI system. Obviously we all tried to do our due diligence in testing everything, but you can’t simulate a racetrack time: the vibrations, the heat, and the cycles. It’s tough to just put all the pieces for the same parts and make durability runs on ‘em. We’ll get it figured out. I kind of knew this was going to bite a few people. We were hoping it wouldn’t bit us, but it’s the learning curve of the new pieces. We’ll work hard on trying to make sure that’s all fixed for next week.”
 

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Brad Keselowski dominates at Bristol



BRISTOL, Tenn. -- Brad Keselowski used Bristol Motor Speedway last fall to cement his spot in NASCAR's championship race.

Back at the track Sunday, Keselowski again made his way to Victory Lane.

And he again began to think about a Sprint Cup title.

Keselowski led a career-best and race-high 231 laps, then held off Daytona 500 winner Matt Kenseth on a late restart to cruise to his first victory of the season.

"What can I say? I love Bristol and Bristol loves me," said Keselowski, who immediately began taking pictures in Victory Lane to send to Twitter.


Brad Keselowski earned his first Sprint Cup win of the season Sunday with a strong run at Bristol.

"The goal at Penske Racing is to win a Sprint Cup championship, and one win certainly doesn't achieve that, but it's a great step."

The Chase for the Sprint Cup championship has a wild-card provisional for the winningest driver not otherwise eligible. Keselowski's win at Bristol last August was his third of the season and gave him the provisional that allowed him to race for the title.

Now, just a month into the season, he's focused on collecting victories.

"One win is good; two wins is really good," Keselowski said. "We need to keep winning races to lock ourselves in the Chase, but heck, I'd rather just go into the Chase in the top spot. If we run like we have the last few weeks, we've got as good a shot as anybody else."

Keselowski narrowly escaped an early seven-ca


Continued Here:
 

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Dodge Wins Cup Series Race at Bristol
Keselowski Dominates in Taking Dodge Charger to Victory Lane
March 18, 2012 , BRISTOL, Tenn.

Dodge PR
Bristol Motor Speedway
Food City 500
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
Post-Race Quotes


Brad Keselowski (No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge Charger R/T)
First
VICTORY LANE INTERVIEW: WHAT RULE WILL THEY HAVE TO MAKE TO KEEP YOU OUT OF VICTORY LANE?
“I don’t know (laughs). This car, as strong as it was, I’m sure there was a rule that could be made. I got on Twitter and got kind of PO’d at some people that said I won it because of the timing line. I knew this Blue Deuce was fast enough to win the race last fall with or without timing lines. It feels so good to just prove it here today in the spring race. This car here, a brand new car that Penske Racing built, everybody back in the shop did a phenomenal job. The last few races have been really good, and I knew we had a shot at winning one if we ran like we were. , we closed the deal. You know Matt (Kenseth) didn’t make it easy.”

YOU HAD HIM STALKING YOU WHEN YOU CHOSE THE OUTSIDE ON THE RESTART. “I know, man. Well that’s his job to not make it easy and he did a good job. He raced me hard and I raced him hard. We rubbed a little bit, but that’s good racing. I don’t know how anyone can say Bristol racing ain’t as good as it was. I think they might be right, because it’s better than it’s ever been. This is one of the best races I’ve ever been a part of and ever seen from behind the seat. I’m just thrilled to death to be here in victory lane at Bristol again, one of my favorite places for sure. If this team keeps performing like they are, we’ll get more.”

CONGRATULATIONS ON GETTING YOUR FIRST WIN OF THE SEASON. “A special victory for sure. The fall races was a great win, but when you win one and people tell you it was a fluke you just want to drive that much harder to win the second. I want to say thank you to everybody that supports me, out there in the grandstands, all the fans out there that make this possible. Thanks for coming out to Bristol. This place is special because of you and nothing else. Thanks for your support and hopefully we can keep bringing back great race cars like this and putting on a great show.”

YOU HAD A BIG SCARE WITH ABOUT 100 LAPS TO GO WHEN YOU THOUGHT YOU MIGHT HAVE HAD A FLAT TIRE. “Yeah, the sun came out. I think everybody saw that the sun came out and it got a lot hotter. The track got slick and obviously I was nervous about it. My car started sliding around a little bit. I had to move up, change it up and got the grip back; just breathing short breaths there for a moment.”

RECENTLY YOU SAID YOU’D LIKE TO GET A COUPLE OF WINS BEFORE THE SUMMER MONTHS. HOW MUCH DOES THIS HELP TOWARD THAT FOR YOU? “A lot. One win is good, two wins is really good. We need to keep winning races to lock ourselves in the Chase, but heck, I’d rather just go into the Chase in the top spot. If we run like we have the last few weeks we’ve got as good a shot as anybody else.”

A.J. Allmendinger (No. 22 Pennzoil Dodge Charger R/T) Finished 17th
“The car was very good early, but then it got real loose. We lost track position. We never got it tightened up the rest of the race. Not the finish we wanted to have after starting out so strong. Those first couple runs my Shell Pennzoil Dodge was really fast. Then after we put on that next set of tires something just wasn't right -- felt like I had rocks under me. Thought maybe it was the tires and after awhile started to think something broke. Todd (Gordon, crew chief) and the guys did all they could to make it better again and the last couple adjustments started to help. We just weren't able to get the car where it needed to be to get back to the front. I'm happy for Mr. Penske, Brad and the whole Penske Racing organization. Just wish we could have stayed up there with 'em today.”

Media Center Interview

Brad Keselowski (No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge Charger R/T)
THIS HAS BECOME A TRACK WHERE YOU’RE VERY, VERY GOOD. “Yeah, I mean, what can I say? I love Bristol and Bristol loves me (laughs). It’s a great track that really demands 100 percent out of a driver and out of a team. And today my team certainly delivered. You probably argue whether or not I did (laughs) but it was good. Great pit stops, had a little bit of damage early on in the race, got it fixed, nobody panicked. So it’s tough racing that requires so much discipline mixed in with some aggression obviously. My guys, they made it happen today. I told somebody before the race this is the best race car I’ve ever had in Cup and it showed off today. Hopefully we have more cars like this and we’ll win more races and continue to move the needle forward. You know I’ve said in pre-season this year that the goal here at Penske Racing is to win a Sprint Cup championship and that’s where we’re all pushing. One win certainly doesn’t achieve that but it’s a great step and we need more of these steps and I know I’m committed to it, I know this guy sitting next to me is committed to it so I feel very good about that. It always feels good to get them steps in. We’re making some headway so we’re going to keep pushing and we’re really proud of this one for sure. This is a earn-it place, ain’t no doubt about that, so happy to earn it.”

Paul Wolfe (Crew Chief, No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge Charger R/T)
CONGRATULATIONS ON THE WIN AND TALK ABOUT SOME OF THE MOVES YOU GUYS MADE ON PIT ROAD CONTRIBUTED TO THIS WIN. “yeah, obviously coming into the weekend we felt like we had somewhat of a baseline with getting the win here last fall. So from a setup standpoint we were real close. Everybody has worked real hard back at the shop and we’ve continued to build better race cars each time we come to the racetrack and I think that was key. There was no way we could bring back the same race car and setup we won in the fall and expect the same results. I’m proud of all of the effort back at the shop. We continue to push to make our race cars better. You know those guys are responding and I think that’s obviously part of the reason we were able to come out here today and win like we did. As far as the race, it got down to the end probably the toughest decision of the race for me was whether or not we should pit or stay out there on that late caution. I have a great race engineer, Brian Wilson, that definitely helps me make some of those tough decisions and looking at where we were at in the race and the speed that we had in our car we felt like if we stayed out, even with guys with fresh tires it was going to be real tough to pass us. Like I told Brad, let’s stay out and make ‘em have to pass us and really wasn’t anybody on fresh tires that was able to do that.”

Keselowski: HOW WERE YOU INVOLVED IN THAT FIRST WRECK AND WHAT WAS THE DAMAGE? “I believe the 78 (Regan Smith) and the 5 (Kasey Kahne) got together and went up the racetrack, lost some momentum. I certainly ran into the back of the 78 car and then as Kasey spun down the track just barely nudged him as well. You know just a little bit of contact there, enough to certainly do some damage.”

HOW CLOSE DID YOU COME TO PICKING THE INSIDE LANE FOR THAT LAST RESTART? “Well I would say very close. Obviously I did the first restart and it didn’t pan out. You know, it’s one of those Monday morning quarterback decisions. I almost feel like the leader has a very low percentage of being right, more so than the guys who is second. And you see that a lot on the Nationwide side as well, the guy who’s running second has a pretty good advantage over the leader and I was nervous about that for sure. We made it through it though. I’m going to have to review it and figure out how to better. I don’t think I’m as good as I need to be there for sure but we can out up front and preservered.”

YOU PASSED A QUARTER MILLION FOLLOWERS ON TWITTER BUT IT TOOK 30 MINUTES FOR YOUR PHOTO FROM VICTORY LANE TWEET. WHY DID YOU TWEET FROM VICTORY LANE? “It’s something that I thought would be really cool to do, for sure. I know that NASCAR and all of its partners are working really hard to continue to do the best they can to provide the best service possible when you have over 60 thousand people in a very confined area that can be difficult to do, especially an area that’s probably not extremely populated or urban area I guess you can say. I know I’ve been to Michigan football games where they have a hundred thousand people in the middle of Ann Arbor which is kind of a tech hub, so to speak, and there’s no service there. You know it’s an ongoing battle and challenge that I know NASCAR is working very hard with their partners to work on. It’s something that I’ve been in conversation with them about and certainly our generation timeliness is of extreme importance and so I’d like to see that process obviously get a little bit faster and the right people are working on it to make it happen. When it does happen it’ll be less than a half hour.”

YOU SAID AFTER THE RACE YOU WANTED TO PROVE TO PEOPLE THAT THIS WASN’T A FLUKE. YOU REALLY LOVE A CHALLENGE. “I do enjoy the challenge for sure. You know that’s what I like about racing in general and I tell this all the time that racing is the one thing, and Paul can probably get a pretty good laugh out of this, racing is the one thing that makes me get up in the morning. That’s how I know it’s special. Maybe not always on his timeline, I still get up earlier than Noon (laughs). So I might get up at 9 a.m. for racing and that’s because it’s special to me. That’s what it means to me. I love the challenge, I love the fight that you have to put up, the man versus machine or man with machine, against other machines and men and it’s just cool as hell to me. When somebody challenges me, whether it’s fans, media, other drivers, I think that I have the desire beforehand but it helps me focus in for sure. Of course it means nothing if you don’t have a great team that you’re surrounded by. I feel very fortunate to have that as well."

A WIN AT BRISTOL CEMENTS A DRIVER’S STATUS AS ONE OF THE TOP DRIVERS IN THE SPORT AND IT’S ALSO A TRACK WHERE GUYS OVER THE YEARS HAVE GONE ON STREAKS AND ROLLS WHERE THEY WIN SEVERAL RACES IN A ROW. DO YOU FEEL LIKE THIS IS A SIGNATURE WIN FOR YOU AND DO YOU FEEL LIKE YOU CAN WIN HERE ANYTIME NOW? “Yeah I have noticed that this is a streaky track. There’s no doubt about that but you know I think I said it last year that this is a track where champions win at. When you look at Dale (Earnhardt), Cale (Yarborough), Alan Kulwicki, you’re looking at champion drivers. Tony (Stewart) has won here, Jeff Gordon has won a lot here. The best drivers here go on and win championships and I know Kyle (Busch) is really good here and hasn’t won a Cup championship but certainly won in Nationwide. But I think it speaks volumes for this track and what it means for your career and there’s other places that perhaps have a little more prestigue and I said that last year as well but this place, it defines a race team. It asks so much of you, whether it’s just in practice being lined up on pit road and dealing with the noise and the havoc that practice can be or the hot day of getting through tech and making those last adjustments or as a driver, 500 laps in bowl trying to keep your composure, this racetrack can really test a team and I think that the teams that come out on top, whether it’s driver or whatever, I think that they show what it takes to overcome adversity. And to win championships you’ve got to overcome adversity so I think it’s very much a defining racetrack in that sense.”

EARLY IN THE RACE YOU WERE RIGHT THERE WHEN THE BIG WRECK HAPPENED. DID YOU DO ANYTHING TO MISS THE ACCIDENT OR WAS THAT JUST A LUCKY BREAK? “A little bit of both. I think last spring I think we had a car that was really, really competitive and we qualified not so well and there was a wreck very similar to this early in the race and we got in it and it ruined our day. We lost three laps. I ended up getting ‘em all back, which shows you how fast our car was, ended up getting ‘em back with about 20 to go, just was too little too late. What I’m trying to say I guess is this has happened to us before. I certainly share the frustraions of those involved. We were very fortunate to get through it. There’s something about this spring race where it’s early in the year and I think a lot of guys got something to prove, maybe take a little more chances early in the race. I think that’s kind of how I felt about it but we were very fortunate to get through and I know we dodged a bullet there. My team helped me dodge a bullet by repairing the little bit of damage there was.”

YOU’VE WON AT A VARIETY OF TRACKS. HOW DO YOU EXPLAIN YOU ABILITY TO WIN ON ALL THESE DIFFERENT TYPES OF TRACKS SO EARLY IN YOUR CAREER? “Well, I think, I’m trying to figure out how to answer this so that it makes sense to you. But the things that the media and some of the fans rip you apart on is what’s defined and built my career. And for me, I was very fortunate, and I know I was very fortunate when I got the ride to drive for Dale Earnhardt Jr. in the Nationwide Series. And I spent two seasons in that series as a partial Cup competitor and full-time Nationwide competitor. During that time span, I was very fortunate to race with some of the best and I don’t think that we’ve seen a system that’s existed like that in decades past. We saw Mark Martin ran, obviously, in the ‘90s but I go back to my first Nationwide start for Dale. It was in Chicago, I believe, and to this day I think that race still has the record for the most amount of Cup drivers, I think it was like 26, 25, I can’t remember what it was. But that’s what I had to do to build my career. I had to go against the Cup drivers when I was still trying to figure out how to run Nationwide. So I guess what I’m trying to say is, and obviously it frustrates me a little bit when I take some heat or any Cup driver takes some heat from the press, media, fans, whatever, about running the Nationwide Series because it’s really a character builder. If you can run well over there, you can come here and get the job done and that series helped me build a lot of character. It helped me learn in a smaller spotlight and I feel like when I got over here, that the learning process was a lot quicker. It just came down to getting with the right team that I gelled with and believed in me and that took a little bit of time for sure but I think that now that we have it I have the experience base to run competitively on almost every style of racetrack. And I was able to learn that, I don’t want to say in obscurity, but in a time and place where it was acceptable to make mistakes, which is what the Nationwide side was for me. That was maybe a longer answer than what you were looking for but what I’m trying to say is that the training and the lower level series of NASCAR and the way they’re structured right now certainly helped me when I got to this level to be perhaps more prepared than many drivers in the past.”

CAN YOU SPEAK TO YOUR GENERAL COMFORT LEVEL ON SHORT TRACKS? WHERE DID IT COME FROM? “You know, I never considered myself a great short track driver. What there was for me, was the tracks that I ran, this was really important to me and to my Dad and he taught me this very early on, was that it was important not to be a one track jack and growing up I got my ass kicked in late models (laughs). I mean, I’m not going to sugarcoat it, I got it kicked pretty hard. And you know to kind of further that point, my Dad made me travel around a lot and not stay at the one place and become that one track jack. And when you go to all these places, my Dad used to say that you could take Jeff Gordon to some local racetrack and he’d probably get beat by the local guy ‘cause he knows the place so well and I think he’s right. But it also helped me build up a little bit of that base to where when I got to a touring series like NASCAR I was more prepared but specifically Bristol, there’s this track I raced growing up in Toledo, Ohio. I ran the super late model and it was a half-mile track, medium banked, not quite as high at Bristol, but I ran this really fast super late model division and we ran around that place in 15 seconds. To me the first lap on this racetrack I ever took felt just like I was in that late model car in Toledo, Ohio and that made me really, really comfortable here from day one. Whether it was my first truck race or first Nationwide race or Cup race here, I’ve always felt very comfortable here and picked a feel for it very quickly that has given Paul a direction he needs to make the right adjustments and so we’re both good here. The car, the team, the driver, everything is exceeding well and I think that’s part of our success.”

YOU WERE QUESTIONING WHAT WOULD BE THE RIGHT CALL UNDER THE LAST CAUTION. YOU STAYED OUT THEN TOOK OFF ON THE LAST RESTART. DID THAT SURPRISE YOU? “No, not at all. Matt Kenseth is the best long-run racer in Cup. I’ll just go ahead and say that. There’s not a question in my mind. I’ve had a year or two now in Cup to kind of evaluate some of the drivers and I was not very comfortable that we were going to be able to win. I mean, I didn’t feel bad about it, but I was maybe 50-50 that was going to be able to pull off a win with him behind me with a very, very long run to finish the race. So you know that being said, I knew that when the caution came out, as long as I could beat ‘em on the first lap that I had a good enough car and I felt like I was a good enough driver to drive away.”

WHEN YOU FIRST SAW BRISTOL, WHAT DID YOU THINK OF THIS PLACE? WHEN DID THINGS FINALLY CLICK FOR YOU HERE? “I thought man, that’s a lot of people and that’s a really big hill, ‘cause I was really young and climbed up the grandstands and snuck in and watched the race. I hope the track got back the ticket fee that I cut ‘em out on (smiles). It was good. I don’t think that fence is around anymore that I snuck in, just in case somebody gets ideas.”

WHEN WAS THAT? “That was ’95. Remember there used to be the press box in Turn 1? I remember that, that was really cool, but as far as the first time I got comfortable here, the first race. I don’t know, just something about this place I really liked.”

YOU WERE TALKING ABOUT THE WAY YOUR DAD PREPARED YOU. HOW DID YOU GET THROUGH THAT STAGE OF MY FAMILY KNOWS BEST? “Well, they didn’t give me a lot of choices (laughs). If you’ve met my Dad and Uncle you’d understand that. It can be frustrating. When I was running late models I would not have called myself a dominate driver by any means and I didn’t get to run with the frequency that I would have liked to but I was learning more on the car side and approach than anything else. Spending the time with my Dad who to me is one of the smartest racers whoever was. And so I learned a lot from ‘em, more so on the approach side than the driving side, I guess if that makes any sense to you, approach as far as what your car needs to be better and how to learn from it more so than hey, you need to be in this gear and you know, drive this line ‘cause I wasn’t very good about listening to ‘em about that kind of stuff. But he was just a really good teacher and I felt very lucky to have both him and my Uncle along the way, still do.”

Wolfe: THIS IS PENSKE RACING’S TENTH WIN HERE AT BRISTOL. WHAT AT PENSKE RACING MAKES IT SO DOMINANTE HERE AT THIS TRACK? “It’s kind of weird how that is. From what I know in the past, I feel like it’s more just coincidence more than anything. The Blue Deuce has always been successful here and you know from a team side of it, I don’t know there’s anything you can point at that says oh, that’s why Penske has always been good at Bristol. We’ve just had good drivers and good teams and with that we get the results. For myself I don’t know that there is one thing that stands out.”

Keselowski: “I THIS IS PENSKE RACING’S TENTH WIN HERE AT BRISTOL. WHAT AT PENSKE RACING MAKES IT SO DOMINANTE HERE AT THIS TRACK? “I think Rusty and Kurt were really good here. That’s about all I’ve got for you. It’s hard to really define success. It’s important to if you’re going to repeat it but I don’t know. I don’t think Roger (Penske) puts any more emphasis on it. I’m pretty sure he’d like to win everywhere; me too. It’s great how the Miller Lite community, the Miller Lite brand embraces this track as well. We were talking the other day, this is the best track for it so that’s really cool. Just sometimes things work out like that and it doesn’t make any sense.”

WHAT WOULD THAT RACE WITH KENSETH HAVE BEEN LIKE ON THE OLD TRACK HERE AT BRISTOL? WOULD IT HAVE BEEN A LOT ROUGHER? “He didn’t get by me this time either so he would have had to have bumped this time. I think that if he was going to bump me on the old track he’d have bumped me on this track so I don’t see a difference, to be honest. I don’t really get all the hate for new versus old Bristol ‘cause to me this, I’m very biased, I know, but to me this was one of the best Bristol races I’ve ever seen. We ran side-by-side for the lead, for 20 laps. There was some good beating and banging, some wrecking, a lot of side-by-side action, two and three-wides. I don’t know what’s better than that. I mean short of a 30-car wreck every damn week, I don’t know what to ask for. I think that this place got a bad label for some reason that it really didn’t deserve ‘cause what I’ve seen over the last year or two it’s been great racing. Again, I think it’s better than it’s ever been. There’s an old saying that the heart grows fonder with time and I think we’ll look back 10 years from now and say ‘We miss the old Bristol from 2012. That was great. Why’d they ruin that?’ I think that’s how we’ll look at it. It’s interesting ‘cause I’d like to have been around this media center specifically in the mid to late ‘90s to see what that atmospthere was like to see if they were saying the same thing of ‘They should have never made this place concrete, it should have been asphalt. It was great’ ‘cause I suspect that was probably said. It’s just one of those things that people look back with nostalgia for things that were. I think those that don’t like the new Bristol are missing out on something great, I really do, and they’ll figure that out 10 years from now.”

THERE WAS SOME DISCUSSION ON THE LAST RESTART OF WHETHER MATT BEAT YOU TO THE LINE TWO RESTARTS FROM THE END OF THE RACE. WERE YOU AWARE OF THAT? “I mean, I knew it was close. Like I said, I don’t know if I said that in this session, there’s been a couple of media sessions already, but the guy restarting second has a substancial advantage if he wants to. It’s such a ball-strike call that I don’t know. I’d hate to be on NASCAR’s side trying to decide that he beat you to the start-finish line. I can tell you that there’s two yellow lines on the wall and visually you can tell if somebody goes 50 foot before ‘em or right at ‘em. It’s damn near impossible to visually tell that even if you had telementary it’d be very hard to tell it. So it’s very, very subjective and I think when things are as subjective as that is, a no-call in the right call. The view inside the race car and beyond. I know I’ve seen moves on restarts without picking any one particular guy, where guys have jumped it by a mile. I mean a hundred-some foot and you watch it on TV and I know what I saw in the car, and I go back and watch it on TV and it doesn’t look it. I can’t imagine that the perspective of an official up in the pit box or press box or wherever they’re at or even TV, from what I can tell can pick that stuff out. I think there has to be some lieancy. If there’s a guy that beats you by a full car length to the start-finish something’s going on but I don’t think we’re seeing that. I think if you’re close NASCAR’s been cool enough about it to let it go and I respect that.”

WHAT WOULD YOU DO TO CONVINCE PEOPLE TO MAKE THIS THE TOUGHEST TICKET IN NASCAR AGAIN? “That’s tough because I don’t necessarily agree with everybody wants to label it as a problem. You look at the TV package and I think just the attitudes and trends of the fanbase has changed. There’s so much access provided through social media, through the TV networks, through you guys yourself (media). I think that the best racing action in the world might not matter. And don’t get me wrong, I think this was great racing, and there’s probably some little way to make it better, there always is, but at some point you have to accept the fact that the world has changed a lot over the last five to 10 years and live spectator events are stuff to sell tickets to. We’re looking at great ratings in my mind. You can compare to whatever year you want and say they were down two percent, five percent, and the next race they’re up five, or down 10. It’s always a see-saw battle there. I think if you look at the amount of NASCAR, per se, that’s consumed during the week, it’s still pretty damn high. It’s just consumed in different ways than ever. I know I read all the stuff about NASCAR.com and how it’s numbers are way and think that’s just a case in point. I just think you’re seeing a shift to where it’s harder to sell tickets but there’s still a lot of interest in the sport. I think you have to be very careful of how you read into that because obviously each person is different but I still think the sport is very strong and very healthy. It’s tough because everybody looks up at the grandstands and says ‘Well I remember five years ago there was this for ticket sales.’ Well I remember when gas prices five years ago were a lot cheaper, too. It’s a different world.”

YOU CALLED YOUR SHOT LAST NIGHT WHEN YOU TWEETED THAT YOUR CUP CAR WAS THE BEST THAT YOU’VE EVER HAD IN CUP. “I’m always mindful of jinxing it but I just said it was the best car I’ve ever had. I just say what I feel like is real and if I think I’ve got the best car I’ve ever had, I’ll tell people I’ve got the best car I’ve ever had. If I’ve got a real shitbox, Paul knows I’ll tell him I’ve got a real shitbox here; you need to fix it (laughs). Some people appreciate that and respect it and other people make a big deal out of it and say ‘You’re being negative’ or ‘You’re being cocky.’ How about just being truthful? I don’t understand why when you tell people what’s good or what’s bad you’re being cocky or negative. How ‘bout you’re saying what you really think? Whatever happened to that being cool? I said last night what I really thought, that I had the best Cup car that I’ve ever had, and I’m thankful that we were able to back it up today as a team because having the best Cup car or best anything in the world doesn’t necessarily guarantee you a win. Everyone on this team had to execute and they did. It’s not always the guy with the fastest car that wins. Sometimes it’s the guy who refuses to lose and the team that refuses to lose and the Miller Lite team got it done today. They refused to lose.”
 

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Keselowski Takes Dodge to Victory Lane Again at Bristol
Collects Second Consecutive Win at 'World's Fastest Half-mile Track'






March 19, 2012 , Bristol, Tenn. - Brad Keselowski had something to prove Sunday afternoon at Bristol Motor Speedway. He was determined to wipe away any questions about the validity of his victory at the .533-mile track last August. He left no doubt this time around, leading a career-high 232 laps en route to a convincing victory in the Food City 500.

For the middle of the race to the checkered flag, it was obvious the No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge Charger was the car to beat. Only Matt Kenseth was able to keep pace. The reason was simple. Keselowski had what he called “the best race car I’ve had in Cup.”

“That’s his job to not make it easy and he did a good job,” said Keselowski of Kenseth’s pursuit. “He raced me hard and I raced him hard. We rubbed a little bit, but that’s good racing. I don’t know how anyone can say Bristol racing is not as good as it was. I think they might be right, because it’s better than it’s ever been. This is one of the best races I’ve ever been a part of and ever seen from behind the seat. I’m just thrilled to death to be here in victory lane at Bristol again, one of my favorite places for sure. If this team keeps performing like they are, we’ll get more.”

The “Blue Deuce” took the lead for the first time on lap 217 and raced within the top three the rest of the afternoon.

Keselowski led 89 laps in his win at “The World’s Fastest Half-Mile Track” last fall, but detractors say he and several other drivers took advantage of the limited timing lines on pit road and didn’t follow the posted speed at all times – an advantage. He took it personally and set out to prove his point.

“I got on Twitter and got kind of PO’d at some people that said I won it (last fall) because of the timing line,” he said. “I knew this Blue Deuce was fast enough to win the race last fall with or without timing lines. It feels so good to just prove it here today in the spring race.”

NASCAR added timing segments prior to this race to remedy the issue, but the change proved to be no issue for Keselowski. His over-the-wall pit crew made sure he didn’t have to push the speed limit as the No. 2 Dodge spent the third least amount of time on pit road among all competitors. Just as flawless as the pit stops were the adjustments crew chief Paul Wolfe made during each stop.

There was a close call early (lap 23) that took out several front runners. Keselowski’s Dodge received minor damage in a seven-car mishap that included cars running 5-13 on the grid. He managed to weave his way through the mishap and avoid the kind of damage that sent five cars to the garage for repairs.

The fifth caution of the day appeared on 479. While a number of the 15 cars on the lead lap elected to pit for tires, there was no question in the mind of Wolfe. The Blue Deuce was staying out. Kenseth did likewise.

“Probably the toughest decision of the race for me was whether or not we should pit or stay out there on that late caution,” said Wolfe. “I have a great race engineer, Brian Wilson, that definitely helps me make some of those tough decisions. Looking at where we were at in the race and the speed that we had in our car, we felt like if we stayed out, even with fresh tires, it was going to be real tough to pass us. Like I told Brad, let’s stay out and make them pass us. There wasn’t anybody on fresh tires that was able to do that.”

Keselowski jumped eight positions in the season point standings. He’s now 13th, five points out of 12th and 10 out of 10th.

Teammate A.J. Allmendinger qualified second in the No. 22 Shell/Pennzoil Dodge Charger and spent the first 100 laps at the front of the field. He took the lead from pole winner and point leader Greg Biffle on lap 42 and led 54 circuits before slowing with handling issues. The problem persisted over the next 150 laps, dropping Allmendinger back in the field. It was a deficit he could not overcome. He finished 17th.

“The car was very good early, but then it got real loose,” he said. “We lost track position and couldn’t get it back. It’s not the finish we wanted after starting out so strong. Those first couple runs my Shell Pennzoil Dodge was really fast. Then after we put on that next set of tires, something just wasn't right -- felt like I had rocks under me. Thought maybe it was the tires and after a while I started to think something broke. Todd (Gordon, crew chief) and the guys did all they could to make it better again. The last couple adjustments started to help. We just weren't able to get the car where it needed to be to get back to the front.”

NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS)
With the exception of a disappointing finish at Las Vegas due to a fuel issue, Brad Keselowski has scored top-three finishes in the other three races this season. He finished third in Saturday’s 300-lap event at Bristol Motor Speedway after opening the season with back-to-back runner-up finishes. Keselowski qualified seventh and ran at the front throughout the event. Teammate Sam Hornish Jr. finished 13th. He is sixth in the season point standings, 49 behind the leader and eight out of fifth.

AMA Supercross
The Dodge/Hart & Huntington team started the season with four riders. When the series converged on Indianapolis Saturday night for the 11th event in the 17-race series, a visit to the free-agent market had been made earlier in the week as the team was down to one rider. By the time qualifying for the 20-lap Main Event began, the free agent was the only rider wearing the Hart & Huntington green colors. Josh Hansen, the final member of the original four, was unable to compete due to a lingering ankle injury. Teammates Josh Hill, Ivan Tedesco and Kyle Partridge were injured earlier in the season and remained sidelined. An MRI is planned for Hansen on Monday. Kyle Regal, the newcomer, finished second in the Last Chance Qualifier (LCQ) to advance to the Main Event. He rode as high as 13th in the feature before finishing 16th.

NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS)
The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series will be idle until March 31 when the series visits Martinsville Speedway for a 250-lap event on the .533-mile track.
 
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