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Hornish looks to move up in driver ranks

Posted Friday, Jun 12, 2009, 9:18 am in Employee News

The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series heads to Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn, Mich., for this weekend’s LifeLock 400. Set in the scenic Irish Hills area of southeastern Michigan, Sunday’s event will mark the 80th NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at the two-mile oval.

All seven Dodge drivers are assured berths in Sunday’s LifeLock 400, the 15th of 36 point races that make up the 2009 Sprint Cup Series. Dodge has won five of the last 11 and six of the last 15 races at Michigan.

Roger Penske‘s drivers have won six times at the track, which ties him with Robert Yates for fourth best all-time among owners. Former Penske driver Rusty Wallace won three times at Michigan while Ryan Newman, who drove for Penske from 2000-08, is a two-time winner. Current Penske driver Kurt Busch won at MIS in 2007.

Sam Hornish Jr. (No. 77 Mobil 1 Dodge Charger) continues his charge toward the top 20. Since Dover (Del.) four weeks ago, Hornish has advanced eight positions in the driver standings. Hornish earned his third top-10 of the season last weekend at Pocono (Pa.) and currently sits 23rd in points. During last year’s June race at Michigan, Hornish led two laps, the first of his Sprint Cup career

“Michigan International Speedway is a place I’ve always loved racing at in any type of car and it’s one of Roger’s old tracks,” Hornish said. “We led there legitimately last year for the first time and it was an exciting race for this Mobil 1 Dodge team. We are all looking forward to putting on a good show in front of my home crowd (Hornish is from Defiance, Ohio) on Sunday.”

Kurt Busch (No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge Charger) looks to rebound from a 37th-place finish (water pump failure) last weekend at Pocono by returning to a track where he has seen much success. In 16 starts at MIS, Busch has two wins, two top fives and six top 10s. Through 14 races this season, Busch has never been outside of the top-five in the driver standings. He currently is fifth.

“Michigan has been the site of a lot of special memories through my career, that’s for sure,” he said. “Of course, our two wins rank up there at the top of our memory list. I think the fact that they were so different—the way we won those two races—really makes them so distinctive in my mind.”

Other notes

Kasey Kahne (No. 9 Budweiser Dodge Charger) currently sits 14th, 60 points outside the coveted Chase-qualifying 12th spot in the standings. In 10 starts at Michigan, Kahne has one win, five top-five and five top-10 finishes.

AJ Allmendinger (No. 44 Stanley Dodge Charger) raced as high as sixth last weekend at Pocono despite starting 30th.

Twelve races remain in the Race to the Chase in the Sprint Cup Series. The top-12 drivers in the point standings after 26 races will compete for the championship and the Sprint Cup in the final 10 races of the season.

2009 Top 12-Drivers
Driver, points

1. Tony Stewart, 2,043
2. Jeff Gordon, 1,972
3. Jimmie Johnson, 1,940
4. Ryan Newman, 1,840
5. Kurt Busch (Dodge), 1,819
6. Carl Edwards, 1,762
7. Greg Biffle, 1,753
8. Matt Kenseth, 1,745
9. Kyle Busch, 1,731
10. Jeff Burton, 1,725
11. David Reutimann, 1,701
12. Denny Hamlin, 1,679

What You Need To Know
The Race: LifeLock 400
The Place: Michigan International Speedway, Brooklyn, Mich.
The Date: Sunday, June 14
The Time: 2 p.m. (EDT)
The Track: 2-mile oval
The Distance: 400 miles/200 laps
 

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Petty leaves Dodge

Petty leaves Dodge

June 11th, 2009

Richard Petty Motorsports has, according to the AP, laid of nine employees and cut salaries of the remaining staff, due to interruptions in payments from Chrysler related to its bankruptcy. The article noted that Petty “is widely believed” to be negotiating with Toyota for 2010.

Kasey Kahne, Elliott Sadler, A.J. Allmendinger, and Reed Sorenson race on the Petty team in the Sprint Cup series.

Article from http://www.allpar.com/news/index.php/2009/06/petty-leaves-dodge/
 

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Recap

Busch records another top 10; finishes 8th at MIS

Posted Monday, Jun 15, 2009, 12:53 pm in Employee News

The long, sweeping turns of Michigan International Speedway played host to Sunday’s LifeLock 400, the 15th of 36 scheduled point races on the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series regular-season schedule. Three Dodge vehicles started inside the top 10 on the very fast and wide 2-mile oval in Brooklyn, Mich., and the Irish Hills. And in typical Michigan fashion, fuel mileage was the determining factor for the Dodge Boys and the entire 43-car field.

Penske Racing’s Kurt Busch (No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge Charger) looked to be on his way to a top-five finish until fuel mileage woes indicated that the former two-time event champion would be two laps short on fuel in the 200-lap race. While running sixth on lap 199 and conserving as much fuel as possible, Busch ran empty in Turn 4. That dropped him two spots. He finished eight. Busch never ran outside the top 10 the entire race.

“A solid day for our Miller Lite Dodge today,” Busch said. “We made changes all day and felt like the changes that we made for the last run really made our car competitive. Otherwise, we would have slid outside of the top 10. On that last run, we had to switch into fuel-conservation mode because we knew that we were about two laps shy on fuel, but we made it. Overall, we have to be pleased with our effort. We just didn’t have a contending car to win the race. We’ll take an eight-place finish today.”

Bush moved up one spot in the NSCS driver point standings to fourth, 151 points ahead of the 12th and final Chase spot.

Elliott Sadler(No. 19 Best Buy Dodge Charger) earned his best finish since the Daytona 500 with an impressive 12th-place finish. Sadler never ran outside of the top 20 en route to earning his fourth top 12 in the last six races at Michigan. Like most of the field, Sadler had to strategically conserve fuel without losing track position during the last 20 laps.

“I’m proud of my guys this weekend,” Sadler said. “That’s the lightest car that we had all year with the most lead in it, and it showed today. You have to have light race cars to run good and we got that today. That’s definitely our best run in a while (fifth at Daytona 500). I had to pedal our Best Buy Dodge there at the end to make sure that we got the fuel mileage, but we were able to make it. I’m just proud of my guys. We’ve been kicked and beaten down the last month. We came back to a track that we know we should run well at, and did it. It felt really good.”

Richard Petty Motorsports teammate Kasey Kahne(No. 9 Budweiser Dodge Charger) ran inside the top 10 for the first 117 laps of green flag racing with the Dodge R6P8 engine powering his Dodge Charger. Racing as high as third on lap 117, Kahne was challenged by poor fuel mileage most of the race. The 2007 event champion had to conserve fuel for the last 80 laps.

“Our Budweiser Dodge felt good all day,” Kahne said. “We had such bad fuel mileage that we had to save so much (fuel), but still ran out (of fuel). I couldn’t save any more fuel than I did today and not practically stop, but we still ran out. I’m disappointed. We’re finished 21st and should have been in the top 10 for sure.”

The winner of the 400-mile event was determined by fuel mileage. Jimmie Johnson and Greg Biffle, the two front runners, ran out of gas on the final two laps, opening the door for Mark Martin to claim his third win of the season.

With only 11 races remaining before the field is set for The Chase, Kahne sits 15th in the driver point standings, 91 out of the 12th and final Chase qualifying position.

Twenty-two cars finished on the lead lap.

Driver, team, finish:
Kurt Busch, No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge Charger, 8th
Elliott Sadler, No. 19 Best Buy Dodge Charger, 12th
Kasey Kahne, No. 9 Budweiser Dodge Charger, 21st
Reed Sorenson, No. 43 Reynolds Wrap Dodge Charger, 27th
Sam Hornish Jr., No. 77 Mobil 1 Dodge Charger, 29th
David Stremme, No. 12 Penske Racing Dodge Charger, 38th
AJ Allmendinger, No. 44 Stanley Dodge Charger, 39th

NASCAR Sprint Cup Series point standings:
(Top 12 after 15 of 36 races)
1. Tony Stewart, 2,189
2 Jeff Gordon, 2,14247
3. Jimmie Johnson, 2,047
4. Kurt Busch , 1,961
5. Ryan Newman, 1,934
6. Carl Edwards, 1,927
7. Greg Biffle, 1,913
8. Mark Martin, 1,868
9. Kyle Busch, 1,860
10. Denny Hamlin, 1,849
11. Matt Kenseth, 1,848
12. Jeff Burton, 1,810

The Sprint Cup Series heads west for Sunday’s SavMart 350 at Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, Calif. It’s the first road-course race of the season for the Cup drivers. The green flag is scheduled to drop at 5:15 p.m. (EDT).
 
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