Dodge Motorsports Notes & Quotes – Chase Notes – Phoenix 2

2011 CHASE FOR THE NASCAR SPRINT CUP

Chase Race No. 9 – Phoenix International Raceway – Sunday, Nov. 13

Brad Keselowski – No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge Charger R/T

Phoenix o Has four previous Sprint Cup starts at Phoenix. o Best finish (15th) and best start (ninth) both occurred in the 2011 spring race.

o First Cup start at Phoenix came in the 2009 fall race.

o Completed 75 percent of total possible laps at Phoenix (986 of 1314) despite one DNF.

o Average Finish: 27.5

Chase o Fifth in the series championship standings, 49 points behind leader Carl Edwards and 11 behind fourth-place Matt Kenseth.  Leads sixth-place Jimmie Johnson by six points and seventh-place Dale Earnhardt Jr. by 30. o Has scored four top-five finishes in eight Chase races and led at least one lap in six of those events. o Average Finish: 11.4

Season o Has three wins, 10 top-five and 14 top-10 finishes. o Recorded eight top-five and 11 top-10 finishes in last 17 races. o Won pole for Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte in May. o Scored 214 points in a five-race span to move from 23rd after Loudon to 11th following his victory at Bristol. o Has led laps in 18 of the 34 races. o Has been running at the finish 33 consecutive races. o Average finish of 14.6

Kurt Busch – No. 22 Shell/Pennzoil Dodge Charger R/T Phoenix o One win, four top fives and 10 top 10 finishes in 17 previous starts at Phoenix. o Won inaugural spring race at the one-mile desert speedway, leading 219 of the event’s 312 laps.  Official margin of victory over second-place Michael Waltrip was 2.315 seconds. o Has top 10 finishes in five of the last six races at Phoenix including an eighth-place effort this past February.  Best start at Phoenix is second three times (most recently at the 2011 spring race).  o Has completed 99.7 percent of total possible laps at Phoenix (5,357 of 5,374) and has been running at the finish in all 17 previous starts. o Average Finish: 12.9

Chase Ninth in the series championship standings, 87 points behind the leader. o Won at Dover and is one of five drivers to win a Chase race. o Has led laps in five of eight races. o Average Finish: 16.9

Season o Has two wins along with eight top-five and 16 top-10 finishes. o Only Sprint Cup driver to remain in the top 10 in the series point standings all 34 races this season. o All three pole positions came in consecutive races. o Has led 19 races for 713 laps. o Kicked off 2011 by winning Bud Shootout and Gatorade Duel at Daytona. o Average Finish: 13.8

Results:  Chase Race No. 8 – Texas Motor Speedway – Sunday, Nov. 6 Summary:   Brad Keselowski started eighth at Texas, but had handling issues with his No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge Charger throughout the race. And to make a bad day worse, he and Denny Hamlin made contact on pit road during a round of stops under caution on lap 271.  Ryan Newman, pitting directly in front of Keselowski, blocked in the No. 2 Dodge. When attempting to leave his stall, Keselowski backed into Hamlin as he left his pit stall, damaging the right-rear of the Blue Deuce and forcing him to make an extra stop for minor repairs.  He was credited with a 24th-place finish.  Kurt Busch also had a frustrating afternoon at Texas, struggling to a 30th-place finish.

Brad Keselowski – No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge Charger R/T o Qualified:  8th                       Finished:  24th o Points Position:  5th                 Gain/Loss:  -1          Behind Leader:  -49 o Average finish in six Chase races:  11.4

Kurt Busch – No. 22 Shell/Pennzoil Dodge Charger R/T o Qualified:  14th                      Finished:  30th o Points Position: 9th          Gain/Loss:  -1          Behind Leader:  -87 o Average finish in six Chase races:  16.9

Results:  Chase Race No. 7 – Martinsville Speedway – Sunday, Oct. 30 Summary:  Brad Keselowski saw a top 10 finish disappear in the final laps of the TUMS Fast Relief 500.  Keselowski was running eighth on the final restart with two laps to go when Dale Earnhardt Jr. made contact with Denny Hamlin, shoving Hamlin into Keselowski, sending the Miller Lite Dodge for a spin.  He was credited with a 17th-place finish and dropped to fourth-place  in the series championship standings, 27 points behind leader Carl Edwards.  Kurt Busch overcame two spins and rallied from a lap down to score a 14th-place finish in the season’s final short track race.  Busch took the wave around back onto the lead lap during the eleventh caution of the race on lap 404 of the 500-lap event.  Five laps later caution number 12 waved, allowing Busch to make up the lost distance and join the pit sequence of the race leaders.

Brad Keselowski – No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge Charger R/T o Qualified:  3rd                       Finished:  17th o Points Position:  4th                 Gain/Loss:  -1          Behind Leader:  -27 o Average finish in six Chase races:  9.57

Kurt Busch – No. 22 Shell/Pennzoil Dodge Charger R/T o Qualified:  8th                       Finished:  14th o Points Position: 8th          Gain/Loss:  0           Behind Leader:  -58 o Average finish in six Chase races:  15.00

Results:  Chase Race No. 6 – Talladega Superspeedway – Sunday, Oct. 13 Summary:  Brad Keselowski made a good choice in a drafting partner in Dave Blaney as the two challenged for the win in the two-lap dash to the checkered flag following the ninth caution of the race. Keselowski ended up fourth, his best restrictor plate finish of the season and second top-five in 11 career plate races.  He won at Talladega in 2009.  It was his fourth top-10 in six Chase races and moved him to third in the standings, 18 points behind leader Carl Edwards.  Kurt Busch saw his championship hope fade after being involved in an accident off Turn 2 on lap 175 of the 188-lap race. Bobby Labonte spun and came back up the track directly in the path of Busch, heavily damaging the No. 22 Dodge.  Busch finished 36th.  He’s eighth in the standings, 52 points behind the leader.

Brad Keselowski – No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge Charger R/T o Qualified:  16th                      Finished:  4th o Points Position:  3rd                 Gain/Loss:  +3          Behind Leader:  -18 o Average finish in six Chase races:  8.33

Kurt Busch – No. 22 Shell/Pennzoil Dodge Charger R/T o Qualified:  14th                      Finished:  36th o Points Position: 8th          Gain/Loss:  -1          Behind Leader:  -52 o Average finish in six Chase races:  15.2

Results:  Chase Race No. 5 – Charlotte Motor Speedway – Sunday Oct. 15 Summary:  Kurt Busch rallied from two laps down to score a 13th-place finish, best among Dodge drivers.  Busch was zapped twice by untimely caution flags moments after making scheduled green-flag pit stops.  He dropped one position to seventh in the standings, 27 points behind leader Carl Edwards.  Brad Keselowski also had his share of misfortune, but salvaged a respectable 16th-place finish.  Keselowski fell to sixth in the Chase, 25 points behind the leader.  Ironically, both Busch and Keselowski have completed 99.93 percent of all possible laps in the five Chase races (1,572 of a possible 1,573).

Brad Keselowski – No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge Charger R/T o Qualified:  26th                      Finished:  16th o Points Position:  6th                 Gain/Loss:  -2          Behind Leader:  -25 o Average finish in five Chase races:  9.20

Kurt Busch – No. 22 Shell/Pennzoil Dodge Charger R/T o Qualified:  20th                      Finished:  13th o Points Position: 7th          Gain/Loss:  -1          Behind Leader:  -27 o Average finish in first five Chase races: 11.00

Results:  Chase Race No. 4 – Kansas Speedway – Sunday Oct. 9 Summary:  Brad Keselowski led Team Dodge with a third-place finish. Keselowski won at Kansas in June and backed up that performance with his third top five in the four Chase races.  He started 12th and steadily worked his way to the front, eventually leading the race for five laps. He gained two positions in the point standings, climbing up to fourth, 11 points behind leader Carl Edwards.  Kurt Busch qualified 17th and finished 13th after leading the race once for six laps. Busch dropped to sixth in the standings and is 16 points behind the leader.

Brad Keselowski – No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge Charger R/T o Qualified:  12th                      Finished:  3rd o Points Position:  4th                 Gain/Loss:  +2          Behind Leader:  -11 o Has completed every lap of last 11 Sprint Cup races.

Kurt Busch – No. 22 Shell/Pennzoil Dodge Charger R/T o Qualified:  17th                      Finished:  13th o Points Position: 6th          Gain/Loss:  -2          Behind Leader:  -16 o Led at least once in first four Chase races.

Results:  Chase Race No. 3 – Dover International Speedway – Sunday Oct. 2 Summary:  Kurt Busch earned his second Sprint Cup Series win of the season, defeating Jimmie Johnson by 0.908 seconds.  Busch qualified on the outside pole, led 90 laps en route to his 24th NSCS win of his career – his first at the Monster Mile.  The win vaulted Busch five positions in the Chase standings.  He’s currently tied with Tony Stewart for third, nine behind co-leaders Kevin Harvick and Carl Edwards.   Mid-race mechanical issues with a power steering belt relegated Penske Racing teammate Brad Keselowski to a 20th-place place finish.  Keselowski dropped three positions to sixth-place in the standings, 14 behind the leaders.

Kurt Busch – No. 22 Shell/Pennzoil Dodge Charger R/T o Qualified:  2nd                       Finished:  Race Winner o Points Position: 3rd          Gain/Loss:  +5          Behind Leader:  -9 o Led five times for 90 laps

Brad Keselowski – No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge Charger R/T o Qualified:  15th                      Finished:  20th o Points Position:  6th                 Gain/Loss:  -3          Behind Leader:  -14 o Has led at least one lap in each of the first three Chase races.

Results:  Chase Race No. 2 – New Hampshire Motor Speedway – Sunday, Sept. 25 Summary:  Brad Keselowski led Team Dodge with a runner-up finish.  He started ninth but was running just outside the top 20 through the first half of the 300-lap event.  Crew Chief Paul Wolfe used race strategy, choosing not to pit on lap 174 under caution, to gain track position.  Fuel mileage keyed Keselowski’s runner-up finish, a career best at Loudon.  It vaulted him to third in the Chase standings. Teammate Kurt Busch qualified fifth, but lost track position early and was never able to recover as the race had only three cautions.  Busch finished 22nd and dropped to ninth in the Chase standings.

Brad Keselowski – No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge Charger R/T o Qualified:  16th                      Finished:  2nd o Points Position:  3rd                 Gain/Loss:  +3          Behind Leader:  -11 o Eighth to-10 finish in last nine Sprint Cup starts.

Kurt Busch – No. 22 Shell/Pennzoil Dodge Charger R/T o Qualified:  5th                       Finished:  22nd o Points Position: 9th          Gain/Loss:  -5          Behind Leader:  -28 o Worse finish since Michigan (34th) in August. o Led once for four laps.

Results: Chase Race No. 1 – Chicagoland Speedway – Monday, Sept. 19 Summary:  Brad Keselowski finished fifth in his first career Chase race.  He qualified fifth and was a top-12 car most of the race.  He managed to stretch his fuel window for the race’s final 53 laps, something several other lead-lap cars were unable to do (four ran out of fuel).  Kurt Busch qualified third, led the most laps (64) en route to a sixth-place finish. Keselowski started the Chase 11th in the standings, 12 points behind the leader.  Busch started the Chase nine points behind the leader in seventh.

Kurt Busch – No. 22 Shell/Pennzoil Dodge Charger R/T o Qualified: 3rd                        Finished: 6th o Points position:  4th         Gain/Loss:  +3          Behind Leader:  -11 o Seventh top-five and 15th top-10 of the season.

Brad Keselowski – No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge Charger R/T o Qualified: 6th                        Finished: 5th o Points Position: 6th          Gain/Loss:      +5              Behind Leader:  -14 o Seventh consecutive top-12 finish. o Career-best Chicagoland finish.

2011 Dodge Motorsports Driver Statistics Driver                     Rank Points  Behind  Starts  Poles   Wins  Top 5s  Top 10s Earnings Brad Keselowski 5       2267    -49     34      1       3       10  14      $4,895,378 Kurt Busch                           9  2229    -87     34      3 2       8       16      $5,721,366 Robby Gordon              34      259   —     24      0       0 0       0       $2,206,041

DODGE AT PHOENIX INTERNATIONAL RACEWAY • Dodge is seeking its first win at Phoenix International Raceway in Sprint Cup competition. • Dodge has four poles at Phoenix:  Casey Atwood (2001) and Ryan Newman (2003, 2004 and 2008 spring). • The best finish by Dodge at Phoenix is second-place by Newman (2004) and Kurt Busch (2008 fall). • Dodge has six top-five and 19 top-10 finishes since 2001 (17 races). • Kurt Busch is the only active Dodge driver with a win at PIR.   The victory came in 2005 prior to joining Penske Racing and Dodge in 2006.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of SpeedwayMedia.com

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Best New Zealand Online Casinos

RacingJunk.com and Leaf Racewear Safety Equipment Giveaway

Rocketplay Casino

Winspirit Australia

10 deposit casinos

Best Betting Sites in Canada

Latest articles