Dodge Motorsports Notes & Quotes – NSCS Race Advance – Martinsville Speedway
MARTINSVILLE, Vir. – For Immediate Release
Dodge Motorsports NSCS Race Advance
Goody’s Fast Relief 500
Sunday, April 3, 2011
DODGE AT MARTINSVILLE SPEEDWAY
• Dodge has 10 wins at Martinsville including three sweeps (1953, 1956 and 1975).
• Rusty Wallace posted the last Dodge win at Martinsville in the 2004 spring event, one of seven victories for Wallace at the .526-mile track.
• Kurt Busch (No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge) won at Martinsville in 2002 prior to joining the Dodge Motorsports family.
• Busch is the only current Dodge driver to earn a pole at Martinsville Speedway (October 2006).
DODGE HISTORICAL DATA
• First Dodge NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Win: Lee Petty, 2/1/53, West Palm, Fla., 100 miles, .5-mile track.
• Last Dodge NASCAR Sprint Cup Win at Martinsville Speedway: Rusty Wallace, 4/28/04, Advanced Auto Parts 500, 68.169 mph avg. speed.
DODGE NEWS AND NOTES
• Dodge’s Kurt Busch dropped two positions to third-place in the 2011 NSCS driver standings after his 17th-place finish at Auto Club Speedway last weekend. Busch has not been outside the top-five all season.
THE DODGE BOYS
• Dodge has 207 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series victories.
• Dodge’s most recent win came at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Kurt Busch led 252 of 400 laps en route to victory in the 2010 Coca-Cola 600.
• Dodge claimed two Sprint Cup victories in 2010.
• Dodge teams have posted 47 wins 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 it’s return in 2001 including seven wins twice (2002 and 2006).
DID YOU KNOW
• In addition to Martinsville and Richmond, seven other Virginia tracks have hosted Sprint Cup events since the first “strictly stock”, now Sprint Cup, race in 1949.
• Kurt Busch’s win at the 2002 event at Martinsville was from the 36th starting position, the furthest back a race winner has started.
• The race winner has come from the first two rows in 60 of the 124 Sprint Cup races at Martinsville.
• The first NASCAR-sanctioned race at Martinsville was held in 1949. The first 500-lap event was in 1956.
• Kurt Busch’s best starting position this season was a second at Phoenix; he started third at Daytona.
FROM THE ENGINEER
“Every time the Sprint Cup Series visits Martinsville, we talk about the importance of brakes at the track with the tightest and slowest corners in NASCAR. It’s a big job to slow down 3,450 pound cars 1000 times a race; it works the brake system to its limits. Now in 2011, there’s a new lower fascia in the Sprint Cup Series and along with the new look, a new set of brake cooling ducts. Are they going to be enough to keep the brakes cool for 500 laps at Martinsville? We’ll find out Sunday.”
Howard Comstock, Dodge Motorsports Engineering
FROM THE CREW CHIEF
“The good thing about Martinsville is that you don’t have to worry about aerodynamics. It’s the shortest track we visit and it’s all about mechanical grip. In the short time Brad has been at Martinsville, he has shown a great ability to get around the place. Hopefully we can get qualifying in – which is never a guarantee during this weekend – so that we can get a good qualifying spot.”
Paul Wolfe, Crew Chief, No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge Charger
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
• Dodge’s Brad Keselowski earned his only Sprint Cup pole at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in 2010.
2011 SPRINT CUP SERIES SEASON BEST
• Kurt Busch Start: 2nd – Phoenix
Finish: 5th – Daytona
• Brad Keselowski Start: 9th – Phoenix
Finish: 15th – Phoenix
• Robby Gordon Start: 30th – Daytona
Finish: 16th – Daytona
MARTINSVILLE SPEEDWAY BEST
• Kurt Busch Start – Pole – 2008 (Oct.)
Finish – Win – 2002 (Oct.)
• Brad Keselowski Start – 25th – 2010 (Oct.)
Finish – 10TH – 2010 (Oct.)
• Robby Gordon Start – 11th – 2002 (April)
Finish – 20th – 2005 (April)
“I’ll be the first to admit that the Martinsville races have always been so challenging to me and that goes all the way back through my career. But ever since Steve Addington came aboard as our crew chief at the beginning of last season, things have really begun to turn for the better. Steve deserves so much credit for rallying the troops every week and having our team’s confidence level up for all of these races. I told him when he first joined the team that Martinsville was a weak track for me personally and he vowed back then that we’d work hard together in changing that. I think we’ve already made so much progress, but it’s a case of the numbers just not showing that.”
Kurt Busch, No. 22 Shell/Pennzoil Dodge Charger R/T
“The biggest thing for me going into my first race at Martinsville was that I tried not to get too intimidated by the track. There are a lot of top-tier drivers that have horror stories about their first race there. I came from a short-track background, racing at tough bullrings like Toledo and Auto City. I told myself that those tracks had fully-prepared me for racing at Martinsville and that I just needed to trust my abilities. We had two good racecars last year too, and that certainly helps. I’m really excited to get back to Martinsville this weekend because I learned a ton in those first two races that will help me this season.”
Brad Keselowski, No 2 Miller Lite Dodge Charger R/T
Source: Dodge Motorsports