SRT Motorsports 2012 NSCS GEICO 400 Pre-Race Notes & QuotesPress Release
DODGE AT CHICAGOLAND SPEEDWAY
· Dodge has recorded one win at the 1.5-mile, D-shaped Chicagoland Speedway oval (Ryan Newman – 2003).
· Dodge has earned one pole at Chicagoland Speedway (Ryan Newman – 2002).
DODGE NEWS AND NOTES
· Dodge is making its eighth appearance in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup and has six wins in Chase races.
· Dodge won the first-ever Chase race, the 2004 Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.
· Dodge’s Brad Keselowski is making his second appearance in the Chase for the Sprint Cup. Keselowski is the sixth different Dodge driver to make the Chase (Jeremy Mayfield, Ryan Newman, Rusty Wallace, Kasey Kahne and Kurt Busch).
· Dodge’s Brad Keselowski has tied Sprint Cup Series personal bests in wins (3) and top-five (10) finishes this season. His 15 NSCS top 10 finishes breaks the mark the Penske Racing driver set last year.
DODGE IN THE CHASE – CHICAGOLAND SPEEDWAY
· Chicagoland Speedway held its first Chase race last year as the 1.5-mile track kicked-off the 10-race playoff. Dodge’s Brad Keselowski qualified sixth and raced to a fifth-place finish to score sixth in the Chase standings, 14 points behind the leader heading to New Hampshire Motor Speedway.
INSIDE THE CHASE NUMBERS – BRAD KESELOWSKI
· Qualified for the 2012 Chase for the Sprint Cup – seeded fourth. Second-career Chase berth (2011).
· Competed in 10 career Chase races which includes two top-five and four top-10 finishes.
· Career best Chase race finish is runner-up (Loudon -’11)
2012 Chase to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Standings
1. Denny Hamlin 2012 7. Dale Earnhardt Jr. -9
2. Jimmie Johnson -3 8. Matt Kenseth -9
3. Tony Stewart -3 9. Kevin Harvick -12
4. Brad Keselowski -3 10. Martin Truex Jr. -12
5. Greg Biffle -6 11. Kasey Kahne -12
6. Clint Bowyer -6 12. Jeff Gordon -12
QUOTE OF THE WEEK
“It’s been a full year of innovation by many teams leading up to the Championship Chase, but the Chase begins this week and, in a way, engineers now have to stop testing and start racing. That may be a bit of an oversimplification, innovation never really stops, but winning the 2012 Championship will be as much about consistency as speed in the 10 races. Engineers will now shift their focus to making sure that every piece on every car they use in the Chase will be able to stand up to the rigors of the competition. You can’t fall out of races and win the Cup, engineers have to be sure that their parts won’t fail.”
Howard Comstock, SRT Engineering
FROM THE CREW CHIEF – TODD GORDON
“I know we can have a very strong performance at Chicagoland on Sunday. Going back to racing on Sunday afternoon, we know the track will be changing, but there will likely not be as big of temperature swing as we have been seeing. Probably the most unique thing we’re up against this weekend is the fact that we haven’t raced on this track this season. The track has certainly changed somewhat since last September. Sam had a strong race there back in July in the Nationwide car and we’ll try to draw all we can off of that for this weekend.”
2012 RACE REWIND
· Race Four: Brad Keselowski qualified fifth and led 232 laps en route to his first Sprint Cup win of the season at Bristol.
· Race 10: Dodge visited victory lane for the second time in 2012 when Keselowski led 10 circuits and avoided a nine-car mishap with just two laps remaining at Talladega.
· Race 17: Keselowski captured his third Sprint Cup victory of the season at Kentucky Speedway, leading the final 56 laps en route to victory.
· Race 18: Sam Hornish Jr. assumes the ride of the No. 22 Shell/Pennzoil Dodge Charger for Penske Racing.
· Race 22: Hornish Jr. earns first top-five Sprint Cup finish in 2012.
· Race 25: Keselowski earns second consecutive berth in Chase for the Sprint Cup with third-place finish at Atlanta.
“It’s a great feeling to make the Chase with this Miller Lite Dodge. Everyone at Penske Racing has done a great job. I’m just excited to get going (at Chicago) and proud of where we’re at this season.
“The consistency and strength that we’ve shown over the last 10 races with the Miller Lite Dodge has been unparalleled. We’ve got 10 more that we need to repeat those last 10. We need to have that great average finish with some wins and laps led and I feel like my team is capable of it. I’m really, really excited about those last 10.”
Brad Keselowski, No 2 Miller Lite Dodge Charger
“Well I think you look at the next 10 races and continue to figure out how you can separate yourself from the few guys that we really feel like are the ones that we’ve got to beat. Obviously everybody’s got a shot at it again here but we think there’s definitely a couple of cars that are the ones that you’ve got to focus on and you’ve got to make sure that your weaknesses aren’t major. I think we’re really good on our mile-and-a-half program. I think Talladega is kind of a crapshoot so that one is a little bit concerning. I think if we can get through Dover and Loudon I’ll feel pretty good about where we are. I guess those three races are really tough. Other than that I think our program is in really good position. I think last year we kind of squeaked our way in a little bit on the wild card deal and this year we kind of solidly got ourselves in it which is a big step and kind of continuing process of evolving here”
Travis Geisler, Director of Competition, Penske Racing
“Our Shell-Pennzoil Dodge Team has had two consecutive strong weekends coming into Chicagoland and we certainly are looking forward to continuing the momentum we’re building,” said Hornish. “We’re happy to be running competitive every week and are thrilled with the opportunity to drive the Shell-Pennzoil Dodge, but we can’t be totally satisfied when we look back. The fact is that we ran better than our finishes show.”
Sam Hornish Jr., No. 22 Shell/Pennzoil Dodge Charger
Source: Darnell Communications for SRT Motorsports (Dodge) Press Release
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