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Dodge Motorsports NSCS Race Advance - 400 - Chicagoland Speedway

For Immediate Release
Dodge Motorsports NSCS Race Advance - 400
Chicagoland Speedway
July 11, 2009 Saturday
Additional Statistics Attached

• Total Dodge NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Wins: 203
• 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: Kasey Kahne, 06/21/2009, Infineon Raceway, 71.012 mph avg. speed
• First Dodge NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Win at Chicagoland Speedway: Ryan Newman, 07/13/2003, Tropicana 400, 134.059 mph avg. speed.

• Penske Racing recorded Dodge’s lone win at the 1.5-mile, D-shaped oval of Chicagoland Speedway. Ryan Newman claimed the victory in 2003.
• Kurt Busch (No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge) and Kasey Kahne (No. 9 Budweiser Dodge) each have a career-best Chicagoland qualifying position of second.
• Entering Chicagoland, Dodge’s Kurt Busch is one of four former NASCAR Sprint Cup champions in the top four spots in the driver point standings (Tony Stewart, Jeff Gordon and Jimmie Johnson).
• Dodge has earned one pole at Chicagoland Speedway (Ryan Newman -2002).
• Three Dodge drivers are in the top 10 of laps completed in 2009. (Kurt Busch (99.61%, fourth-best), Elliott Sadler (99.60%, fifth-best), and Kasey Kahne (98.88%, ninth-best).

• Dodge has 203 Sprint Cup Series wins.
• Dodge teams have posted 43 wins since the manufacturer returned to NASCAR’s premier series in 2001 after being out of the sport since 1977.
• Dodge’s most recent win in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series was Kasey Kahne’s victory at the Save Mart 350 at Infineon Raceway (June 21).
• All seven Dodge teams running the full 36-race Sprint Cup schedule are inside the top-35 in 2009 owner points and assured starting spots in Saturday’s race: Kurt Busch (4th), Kasey Kahne (12th), Elliott Sadler (23rd), Sam Hornish Jr. (25th), Reed Sorenson (28th), AJ Allmendinger (29th) and David Stremme (32nd).
• Kasey Kahne recorded the 200th win by Dodge in the Sprint Cup Series with his victory in the Pocono 500 at Pocono Raceway last season.

• Kurt Busch has five top-10 finishes in eight career starts at Chicagoland.
• Kasey Kahne is one of four current Dodge drivers to have led laps at Chicagoland. Kahne has led 10 laps in five Sprint Cup starts at Chicagoland.
• Elliott Sadler is one of 14 Sprint Cup drivers to have competed in all eight Chicagoland races.
• Reed Sorenson has two top-15 finishes in three NSCS starts at Chicagoland.
• AJ Allmendinger finished 13th in his only Sprint Cup start at Chicagoland Speedway. His season-best finish in 2009 is third at the season-opening Daytona 500.
• David Stremme as a career-best Chicagoland Speedway finish of 16th (2005).
• Sam Hornish finished 37th in his only NSCS start at Chicagoland Speedway last season.

• Kurt Busch will throw out the first pitch and lead the singing during the seventh-inning stretch Sunday for the Chicago Cubs’ game with the St. Louis Cardinals at Wrigley Field. Game time is 12:05 p.m. (CDT).
• Only one Sprint Cup race at Chicagoland Speedway has been won from the pole (Kyle Busch in 2008). No drivers have claimed the pole twice in the eight previous races.
• Sam Hornish Jr. won back-to-back IRL races at Chicagoland Speedway in 2002 and 2003. Hornish Jr. also clinched the IndyCar championship at Chicagoland in 2006.
• Kasey Kahne moved inside the top-12 in NSCS driver points after his 15th-place finish last weekend in Daytona. Kahne’s last trip inside the top-12 was 10 races ago after Phoenix.
• Kurt Busch was in 18th-place in the driver standings heading into Chicagoland last season. Busch currently sits fourth. He has been inside the top-five in the driver standings for 15 straight races this season.

“We might have been living in (Las) Vegas back then, but for several hours every day that the Cubbies were playing on TV, my heart was really right there in Wrigley Field. I dreamed of being right there with my heroes. I just imagined taking the field with my all�]time favorites, like Ryne Sandberg and all the other great players on the team back then.”
Kurt Busch, No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge Charger

“I enjoy Chicagoland. We haven’t run that well there in a Cup car. I think that (Chicagoland) is just one of those tracks that we haven’t hit our stride for some reason. It’s also one of those tracks that I’ve enjoyed racing at and coming to. When you haven’t run well somewhere, you hope at some point it’s going to change because it’s a track that you like. I think this weekend can be one of those weekends where we qualify well and have a good race Saturday night.

"To get caught up in that wreck on the last lap in Daytona and still gain a spot in the standings is pretty cool. This Budweiser Team has been knocking on the door of the top 12 for awhile, but the competition is so strong. It’s hard to gain ground when everyone challenging for those final Chase spots are getting strong finishes. There is still a lot of racing left before the Chase starts. We need to just keep improving and keep making sure that we have the points to be in the Chase when it comes around.”
Kasey Kahne, No. 9 Budweiser Dodge Charger

“The last month has been a good stretch for all the guys on the No. 19 team. We’ve put together some good racecars and turned in some solid finishes. We could have actually been a little better had some things gone our way, but to have two top-10s and three top-12s in the four races is nice. I know everyone has been putting in a lot of blood, sweat and tears working on these cars and we are starting to see the rewards for all their efforts. We’re gaining ground in the standings as well which is great.”
Elliott Sadler, No. 19 Insignia/Best Buy Dodge Charger

“The No. 9 team tire tested at Chicagoland and we all share information. The new tire we’re bringing is faster with more grip than the old tire, but should fall off faster as the race goes on. It’ll make for better racing then we’ve seen in the last couple trips to Chicago. We only visit Chicago once a year, so it’s always interesting to see what everyone has learned since last time. We’re bringing the car Elliott finished 12th with at Michigan. We’re looking forward to a good competitive race.”
Kevin Buskirk, Crew Chief, No. 19 Insignia/Best Buy Dodge Charger

“Chicagoland Speedway has always been a great place for me to go either because I celebrated an IndyCar Series win or clinched a championship there. Our intermediate track program has been one of our strong suits and we are ready to get back to 1.5-mile tracks.

"Chicagoland Speedway has progressively become a multi-groove track, which provides for much better racing. The track is fast, and with the banking, it carries a lot of speed. It reminds me a lot of Lowe’s Motor Speedway which is one of my favorite tracks. I am looking forward to a strong run in the Mobil 1 Advanced Fuel Economy Dodge this weekend.”
Sam Hornish Jr., Mobil 1 Advance Fuel Economy Dodge Charger

“Chicagoland Speedway is a special track to me. It is where I made my first NASCAR Cup Series start and is close to my hometown of South Bend, Indiana. I am going to spend a couple of days with my family and friends in South Bend before coming over to the track. Chicagoland Speedway is a great track. The race fans are great and passionate about NASCAR. I know [crew chief] Roy [McCauley] and all the guys on the Penske Dodge have been working hard on our mile-and-a-half program. We have made significant gains this season and I am looking forward to this weekend.”
David Stremme, No. 12 Penske Racing Dodge Charger

“Chicagoland Speedway is a really neat track. We are taking the same car that ran in the top-15 all day in Phoenix. David [Stremme] really seems to really like this chassis. There are two racing grooves at Chicagoland which makes for really exciting racing. This will be the first time we run there under the lights so I think the setup will be a bit different than last year. We will have to adjust on the car all night, but I am confident we will have another strong run.”
Roy McCauley, Crew Chief, No. 12 Penske Racing Dodge Charger

“There’s probably no sponsor on earth that is as recognizable as McDonald’s and to race in their backyard in their paint scheme is an honor. Chicago is a big market for our sport and everyone wants to put on the best show we can put on. Our team has extra incentive this weekend. We think Chicagoland is one of our best tracks so we are going to try like heck to make them proud. I hope a lot of their employees come out to the track or at least get to see us on television run well this weekend.”
Reed Sorenson, No. 43 Mcdonald's McCafe Dodge Charger

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Discussion Starter #2
77 Mobil 1 Advanced Fuel Economy Dodge

No. 77 Mobil 1 Advanced Fuel Economy Dodge to debut this weekend

July 8th, 2009

Penske Racing driver Sam Hornish Jr. will drive a special No. 77 Mobil 1 Advanced Fuel Economy Dodge in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series 400 at Chicagoland Speedway on July 11.

The No. 77 Mobil 1 Advanced Fuel Economy Dodge is designed in part to help make consumers aware of the best ways to conserve fuel during the busy summer driving season and to show ExxonMobil’s continued support for the Alliance to Save Energy and its Drive $marter Challenge, which has the goal of increasing fuel efficiency nationwide.

The weekend will kick off on Friday, July 10, with The Mobil 1 Advanced Fuel Economy NASCAR Challenge at Soldier Field in downtown Chicago. Penske NASCAR stars Sam Hornish Jr., Kurt Busch, and David Stremme – along with media celebrities such as Dan Patrick and Chicago Bear Hall of Famer Dan Hampton – will drive fuel-efficient Mobil 1-branded Smart cars on a miniature road course.


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Busch, Kahne lead Dodge into Chicagoland

Busch, Kahne lead Dodge into Chicagoland

Posted Thursday, Jul 9, 2009, 11:51 am in Employee News

The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series heads to the heat and humidity of the Midwest as Chicagoland Speedway hosts Saturday night’s 400. Sitting nearly in Joilet, Ill., 50 miles from the Windy City, Chicagoland represents the start of the second-half of NASCAR’s 36 race regular-season point’s schedule.

Seven Dodge Charger race cars will compete in the event including Kurt Busch and Kasey Kahne, both of whom sit inside the top-12 in the Sprint Cup driver standings with only eight races remaining in the ‘Race to the Chase.’

Kurt Busch (No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge Charger) is no stranger to success at Chicagoland. In eight starts, Busch has scored five top-10 finishes and has qualified as high as second. The Penske Racing veteran earned his sixth top-five and 10th top-10 of the season last weekend in Daytona and currently sits fourth in the Cup point standings.

“Chicago to me always feels like a second home with my love of the city, my family being from that area of the country and just trying to put our Miller Lite Dodge in Victory Lane,” Busch said. “We know that it’s going to be a hot, slick race track and rain is always a possibility in the Midwest this time of year. We’re bringing another strong Penske Racing Dodge Charger to the track this weekend and hope to build on the success that we’ve had so far this year on the intermediate tracks.”

Kasey Kahne (No. 9 Budweiser Dodge) used a 15th-place finish last Saturday at Daytona International Speedway to move up to 12th in the standings. He leads 13th-place Martin by only 65 points heading into this weekend’s race and is looking to shed the bad luck that has followed him at Chicagoland. In five starts, Kahne has yet to score a top-10 finish. Kahne has an average Chicagoland finish of 12th-place.

“I enjoy Chicagoland,” Kahne said. “We haven’t run that well there in a Cup car. I think that (Chicagoland) is just one of those tracks that we haven’t hit our stride for some reason. When you haven’t run well somewhere, you hope at some point it’s going to change because it’s a track that you like. I think this weekend can be one of those weekends where we qualify well and have a good race Saturday night.”

Other notes
Elliott Sadler (No 19 Insignia/Best Buy Dodge) is one of 14 Sprint Cup drivers to have competed in all eight Chicagoland races.

Reed Sorenson (No. 43 McDonald’s McCafe Dodge Charger) has two top-15 finishes in three starts at Chicagoland.

AJ Allmendinger (No. 44 Hunt Brothers Pizza Dodge Charger) finished 13th in his only Sprint Cup start at Chicagoland Speedway. His season-best finish in 2009 is third at the season-opening Daytona 500.

Top 12 Sprint Cup drivers
Driver, points
1. Tony Stewart, 2,719
2. Jeff Gordon, 2,539
3. Jimmie Johnson, 2,525
4. Kurt Busch (Dodge), 2,414
5. Carl Edwards, 2,317
6. Denny Hamlin, 2,302
7. Ryan Newman, 2,235
8. Kyle Busch, 2,234
9. Greg Biffle, 2,215
10. Matt Kenseth, 2,201
11. Juan Pablo Montoya, 2,187
12. Kasey Kahne (Dodge), 2,166

What you need to know
The Race: 400
The Place: Chicagoland Speedway
The Date: Saturday, July 11
Green Flag: 8:16 p.m. (EDT)

The Track: 1.5-mile tri-oval
The Distance: 400 miles/267 laps
Television: TNT, 6:30 p.m. (EDT)

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Discussion Starter #4

July 12th, 2009

This weekend’s race was basically one where naps on the couch were in order, and they happened early and often. In taking one of these early siestas nothing was missed by the true racing fan. Personally, I don’t care for the racing at the 1.5 mile Chicagoland speedway. But this year Lifelock 400 race, which began in the early evening and went into the night proved to be much better than previous years; especially, in the final 20 laps. Two late cautions provided the needed energy to bunch the field and allow for different pit strategies to be employed by the race teams. Cars up front to include the #9 (Budweiser), Dodge Charger driven by Kasey Kane decided to stay out with the leaders while many of the cars in the middle-back of pack elected to pick up right side tires for the final dash to the finish. One of those cars was the #24 Chevy driven by Jeff Gordon. His late race strategy provided an advantage that would ultimately play out in the final lap as he edged out Kasey Kane for second place. In finishing behind race winner Mark Martin, driving the #5 Chevy—the two Hendrick race teams split an additional race bonus of $1 million for finishing one and two. A feat these two drivers had accomplished a month earlier at the Michigan Lifelock 400 race.

There’s no doubt the double file restarts pitting all the leaders up front, has provided a great improvement to the racing especially in the final laps of the race. This weekend it saved us all from a boring, runaway race where Mark Martin was basically the class of the field having led the majority of the 266 laps.

Earlier, before sundown it looked like Kasey Kane was going to mount the strongest challenge as he continued moving up and eventually took a brief lead in the race. But as night fell, whatever adjustments Kasey’s race team made to his Charger’s chassis, nothing seemed to provide the right combination for horsepower or track. The #9 Charger just couldn’t stick to the low groove of the track, and as the race wound down Kasey couldn’t stick the car where it needed to be for the win. Kasey was able to pass Jeff Gordon with 1 lap remaining, but on newer tires Jeff fought back on the file lap in turns 3-4 to relegate Kasey to third place.

Other notable events involving the Dodge Boys of NASCAR included:

1. #2 (Miller Lite), Dodge of Kurt Busch providing a bump and run on the #48 driven by Jimmy Johnson. This happened with about 11 laps remaining. Anytime the Dodge Boys can beat up on the Chevy, Ford and Toyota gang—I’m all in! Kurt’s actions were in retaliation for the fact Jimmy couldn’t keep his car under control in the previous turn. Jimmy’s car slid up and damaged the left side of Kurt’s car causing a serious rear tire rub. Amazing the tire didn’t blow, but with a final caution with but a few laps remaining Kurt pitted for new tires.
2. #77 (Mobil 1), Dodge of Sam Hornish, Jr., crashes after contact with the #20 Toyota driven by Joey Logano.

Final Finishes by the Dodge Charger Race Teams:

#9 (Budweiser), Kasey Kane, 3rd

#44 (Hunt Brother’s Pizza), A.J. Allmendinger, 13th

#2 (Miller Lite), Kurt Busch, 17th

#43 (McDonald’s Café), Reed Sorenson, 24th

#12 (Penske Racing), David Stremme, 26th

#19 (Insignia), Elliott Sadler, 27th

#77 (Mobil 1-Advanced Fuel Economy), Sam Hornish, Jr., 38th

#09 (Miccosukee Resort and Gaming), 40th

For those of you new to NASCAR racing, welcome. I personally grew up on NASCAR racing, well before it was ever shown on TV. My favorite driver was Richard Petty and still is today; although his racing days are for the history books and video reels. But it was his association with Chrysler and Chrysler products—driving the Hemi’s of the late 1960s/early 70s which inspired my love affair with the car company.

This is my first article for the Allpar website. I wish to continue providing readers some insights into Dodge’s exploits and those of its race teams from the weekly NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races. I do this in hopes of sharing my love for the sport of NASCAR and Chrysler’s association with it. So, please continue to check out this website and follow along. With only seven races remaining before the Chase for the Sprint Cup Championship begins, anything can happen to our Dodge teams.

Currently, two Dodge teams are in the top 12 in overall championship point’s standings. Both teams are strong contenders for this year’s championship: Kurt Busch (#2) of Penske Racing currently finds himself in fourth place in the standings; and Kasey Kane (#9) of Richard Petty Motorsports who with his third place finish today is currently in eighth place.

Now it’s on to the 20th race of the season, the Brickyard at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, July 26th—see you there!


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RECAP (employee news)

Kahne takes third at Chicagoland

Posted Monday, Jul 13, 2009, 10:56 am in Employee News

The first 211 laps of Saturday night’s 267-lap LifeLock 400 at Chicagoland Speedway were uneventful with only two cautions for debris disturbing the on-track racing. That changed dramatically during the final 56 circuits with the yellow flag appearing five times, setting up five double-file shootout restarts anda bit of aggressive driving.

Four Dodge drivers were running in the top 20 before the barrage of yellow flags began. By the time the checkered flag appeared, only Kasey Kahne managed to elude the bumping and banging to finish third in the No. 9 Budweiser Dodge Charger. Kurt Busch wasn’t as fortunate.

Kahne started 15th, but had moved into the top 10 by lap 40. He was running fourth by lap 75 and competed in the top six the rest of the race. He led once for two laps.

“We had a good Budweiser Dodge tonight,” said Kahne. “We had to battle all night. Those restarts were tough. We’ve been working really well together, our whole Budweiser Dodge team. The guys had good stops all night. They’ve been on a roll with that. The car was good from the drop of the green (flag). We made some adjustments trying to keep up and make it better.”

The finish moved Kahne up four positions in the season point standings to eight. It was his seventh top-10 finish of the season and third in the last four races.

“The Budweiser Dodge ran well all night,” said No. 9 Crew Chief Kenny Francis. “We’ve struggled here at Chicago in the past. To have a car that good and run up front all night with our Dodge, I couldn’t be prouder of our guys and Kasey for coming home third. We had a really good car all night. The fuel mileage was good. It all worked out good. I wish we could have beaten the 24 and 5 there, but it was a good race for us.”

After starting 22nd, Kurt Busch appeared to have a top-10 finish within grasp, but that slipped away after a fender-banging encounter with Jimmie Johnson as they battled for position with less than 20 laps remaining. The clash resulted in a tire rub on the No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge which forced Busch to drop off the pace. He finished 17th.

“I guess it was just a late-race rumble there and we came out on the short end of the stick,” said Busch. “I don’t know what the problem is with Jimmie (Johnson) and me, but we’re running into each other way too often it seems. It (the contact made) was definitely a by-product of the double-file restarts and what can happen shortly after. Everyone is digging, rooting and gouging for everything they can get. We’re disappointed because we had a solid top-10 car and came out of here with a 17th-place finish. We chose to stay out when the 24 and the others pitted for fresh rubber and that’s what probably cost us most. But it was a hard call to make and we tried to maintain our track position. All was well until the 48 split us and put me up into the wall. We pitted there at the end to repair the fender damage and get four fresh tires, but there’s not too much catching up you can do with a green-white-checkered finish like we had. I’m pretty livid right now, to tell you the truth. It’s a great time to have an off week on our schedule. We’ll tire-test at Atlanta, take a breather and then come back ready to get after it again at Indy.”

Busch remains fourth in the season standings, but lost ground to point leader Tony Stewart. He now trails the leader by 358 points.

“We were a sixth to 10th-place car most of the night,” said Crew Chief Pat Tryson. “It just didn’t work for us there at the end. We got run into by the 48 andit kind of ruined our evening. That’s the way it goes sometimes.”

AJ Allmendinger finished 13th in the No. 44 Hunt Brothers Pizza Dodge, giving Richard Petty Motorsports a pair of top-15 finishes.

Sam HornishJr. was running inside the top 20 in the No. 77 Mobil 1 Advanced Fuel Economy Dodge following a roundof pit stops during the third caution on lap 212, but misfortune hit just eight laps later when he was hit from behind and sent sliding across the track and into the inside retaining wall. He finished 38th.

Reed Sorenson was running 13th in the No. 43 McDonald’s McCafe Dodge when a green-flag pit cycle started on lap 92. The crew completed the stop without incident and had the 43 back off pit road in time to hold position, but NASCAR ruled that Sorenson had ignored the single-file rule entering pit road. He was assessed a pass-through penalty. He ended up losing two laps after having to make the stop with the field under the green flag. He finished 24th.

David Stremme finished 26th in the No. 12 Penske Racing Dodge while Elliott Sadler followed in 27th in the No. 19 Insignia Dodge Charger.

(Top 12 after 19 of 36 races)
Points Behind
1. Tony Stewart 2,884 -
2. Jeff Gordon 2,709 -175
3. Jimmie Johnson 2,672 -212
4. Kurt Busch 2,526 -358
5. Denny Hamlin 2,457 -427
6. Carl Edwards 2,438 -446
7. Ryan Newman 2,385 -499
8. Kasey Kahne 2,336 -548
9. J.P. Montoya 2,321 -563
10. Kyle Busch 2,298 -586
11. Mark Martin 2,296 -588
12. Matt Kenseth 2,295 -589
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