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Oct 31, 2012 - 07:36 PM
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2012 Texas II: Dodge NASCAR Sprint Cup Race Preview
Posted by: newsla on Oct 31, 2012 - 07:28 PM
2012 Texas II: Dodge NASCAR Sprint Cup Race Preview

· Dodge’s Brad Keselowski is second in the Chase for the Sprint Cup driver standings, two points behind Jimmie Johnson.
· During this year’s spring race at Texas Motor Speedway Brad Keselowski started eighth but experienced fuel pressure issues that sent the No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge Charger to the garage for repairs. He finished 36th.
· Dodge’s Brad Keselowski has an average finish of 5.7 in the first seven Chase races. He has scored 16 top-12 finishes in his last 17 Sprint Cup starts.
· Dodge drivers have three wins at Texas Motor Speedway.


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“When you have a team like we have on the Miller Lite Dodge, it’s easy to stay calm in the face of adversity. We all have each other’s back. We like our role in this Chase. While we aren’t being overlooked by any means, there are many who think that we are still too young of a team to seriously challenge the 48 team. We like it that way. In reality, we are a very good race team that is primed to take this fight right down to the last lap at Homestead-Miami Speedway next month. I’m very confident in our abilities at Texas this weekend. The mile-and-a-half tracks have been really good to us this year. We had an awesome car in April at Texas – probably the best car I’ve ever had there – but fuel issues kept us from challenging for the win. This weekend, I’m expecting to challenge for the win.”
Brad Keselowski, No 2 Miller Lite Dodge Charger

2012 Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Standings
1. Jimmie Johnson 2291 7. Martin Truex Jr. -63
2. Brad Keselowski -2 8. Matt Kenseth -65
3. Clint Bowyer -26 9. Greg Biffle -69
4. Kasey Kahne -29 10. Tony Stewart -71
5. Denny Hamlin -49 11. Kevin Harvick -88
6. Jeff Gordon -54 12. Dale Earnhardt Jr. -140

Race Start Finish Laps Led Points
Chicagoland 13 1 76 1st / +3
New Hampshire 15 6 4 2nd / -1
Dover 10 1 14 1st / +5
Talladega 22 7 0 1st/ +14
Charlotte 20 11 139 1st / +7
Kansas 25 8 0 1st /+7
Martinsville 32 6 8 2nd /-1

· 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: Keselowski visited victory lane for the second time, avoiding a nine-car mishap with two laps remaining to win at Talladega.
· Race 17: Keselowski claimed his third Cup win of year at Kentucky, leading the final 56 laps.
· Race 18: Sam Hornish Jr. takes over as the driver of the No. 22 Shell/Pennzoil Dodge Charger for Penske Racing at Daytona.
· Race 25: Keselowski clinches his second consecutive berth in the Chase with a third-place finish at Atlanta.
· Race 27: Keselowski opens the Chase with his fourth win of the season (Chicagoland); leads standings by three points.
· Race 29: Keselowski leads the final 10 laps en route to his second Chase win (Dover); retakes point lead by five.
· Race 30: Keselowski finished seventh at Talladega; extends point lead to 14.
· Race 31: Keselowski leads 139 laps, finishes 11th at Charlotte; lead cut to seven points.
· Race 32: Keselowski maintains a seven-point advantage, finishes eighth at Kansas.
· Race 33: Keselowski finished sixth at Martinsville after qualifying 32nd. Falls to second in Chase standings.

· Brad Keselowski Start: 2nd (Bristol)
Finish: 1st (Bristol, Talladega, Kentucky, Chicagoland and Dover)
· Sam Hornish Jr. Start: 8th (Daytona)
Finish: 5th (Watkins Glen)

· Dodge’s has five victories in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series this season – all by Brad Keselowski (Bristol, Talladega, Kentucky, Chicagoland and Dover).
· Dodge seeks its first Sprint Cup Series championship since 1975 (Richard Petty).
· Dodge has 217 wins in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.
· Dodge teams have recorded 57 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).
· The last win by a Dodge driver at Texas Motor Speedway was by Kurt Busch in 2009.

· Last Dodge NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Win: Brad Keselowski, 09/30/2012, Dover, 400 miles, 1-mile track

· 2004: Texas Motor Speedway was not a part of the Chase. Two Dodge drivers were in that first Chase – Ryan Newman and Jeremy Mayfield.
· 2005: Dodge had three drivers in the Chase – Ryan Newman, Rusty Wallace and Jeremy Mayfield. Newman started from the pole and finished 25th. Wallace ended up 22nd and Mayfield 35th.
· 2006: Kasey Kahne was the lone Dodge driver in the Chase. He qualified fourth, led twice, but finished 33rd with engine issues.
· 2007: Kurt Busch started sixth, led twice and finished eighth in his Penske Dodge.
· 2008: There were no Dodges in the 2008 Chase field.
· 2009: Kurt Busch, started third and led 89 laps en route to victory at TMS, his first and only win at the speedway. Kasey Kahne, the second Dodge driver in the Chase, started second and finished 33rd.
· 2010: Kurt Busch, the only Dodge driver in the Chase, qualified sixth and finished 24th.
· 2011: Brad Keselowski and Kurt Busch each made the Chase for Dodge. Keselowski finished 24th, Busch 30th.

“Sam has probably logged more laps at Texas than on any track where the Cup cars race. His open-wheel racing record there is impressive and he’s making great strides in stock cars there too. Sam is improving every time he returns to a track to run the Nationwide cars and the Cup cars. We’re anxious to see how competitive we can be there with our Shell-Pennzoil Dodge this weekend.”
Todd Gordon, No. 22 Shell/Pennzoil Dodge Charger

“Texas is a place with a lot of unique characteristics. The track has bumps in Turn 2 and has aged to where grip becomes a big factor late into a run. We want to set the car up to run the bottom of the track, but yet, still have the flexibility to run various lines through the corners. One of the great things about Texas is that you can pass if you have your car set up to run the different lines that the surface gives you. We want to qualify better, that will never change, but this is a track where it’s not a hindrance if you start mid-pack. If you have a good racecar, you can get to the front. I believe we should have a fast Miller Lite Dodge on Sunday.”
Paul Wolfe, No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge Charger

“I always love going to Texas and that’s certainly the case again this weekend. The track brings back a lot of special memories, especially for the success we had there during the IndyCar days. We won three races and were able to celebrate two championships there. We’re getting stronger over on the NASCAR side every time we visit the track and are optimistic that we can have a solid weekend there this time around. It’ll be a fun and challenging couple of days – running the Nationwide race on Saturday night and then the Sprint Cup race on Sunday afternoon. With AAA being one of Penske Racing’s great team sponsors and also having their name on Sunday’s Cup race, we definitely want to have the kind of performance that will make them proud there this weekend.”

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