Atlanta: Dodge Motorsports preview

DODGE AT ATLANTA MOTOR SPEEDWAY * Dodge swept both NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Atlanta Motor Speedway last year (Kurt Busch and Kasey Kahne). * Busch is the defending champion in the Kobalt Tools 500. He led 234 of 330 laps at the ...

DODGE AT ATLANTA MOTOR SPEEDWAY

* Dodge swept both NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Atlanta Motor Speedway last year (Kurt Busch and Kasey Kahne).

* Busch is the defending champion in the Kobalt Tools 500. He led 234 of 330 laps at the 1.54-mile quad oval en route to victory in last year's event which earned him a perfect driver rating of 150.0.

* Penske Racing earned its first pole under the Dodge banner at AMS during the 2003 spring race (Ryan Newman).

* Newman drove his Penske Racing Dodge to six consecutive poles at Atlanta Motor Speedway (2003-2005).

* Atlanta Motor Speedway's track layout was reversed and re-configured to 1.54 miles between the two races in 1997.

DODGE QUOTE OF THE WEEK

Kurt Busch on communicating with new crew chief Steve Addington

"I put the responsibility solely on my shoulders and that is giving as good of information as I can to the crew chief to make his job easier so that he's able to make the call as easy as he can and that way we're on the same page. I think that it's the driver's responsibility ultimately to make the crew chiefs job simple when he's on that pit box because he's in a pressure cooker for when to pit, two tires, four tires...anything that I can do to make his job easier will make for success for both of us."

INSIDE THE NUMBERS

* Kurt Busch has two wins, two top-five and six top-10 finishes in 18 Sprint Cup starts at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

* Penske Racing has earned 44 poles in the Sprint Cup Series since partnering with Dodge in 2003.

* Penske Racing is seeking its third Sprint Cup win at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

* The last 12 races at AMS have been won from a starting position of 11th or better.

DODGE DRIVERS:

Sam Hornish Jr. -- No. 77 Mobil 1 Dodge Charger

"Atlanta Motor Speedway is a fast track. Tire wear is a big concern, and as they wear off, your lap times get slower and the cars slide around on the track all race long. You never really feel in control at all during the race. The track changes so much from year to year that it seems hard to get a good handle on it."

Kurt Busch -- No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge Charger

"Confidence is up and on a high going into a race that you've won. The tires change and there's a little bit of setup change that we've seen since last year at this time. You hope that things come together just as smoothly as they did the year before. Honestly, you just go in there every week shooting for a top 10 finish and you have to build that consistency over time. We hope that we're able to do that again this time around. A top -10 finish would be great, but we're shooting for a win because we won (at Atlanta) last year."

Brad Keselowski -- No. 12 Penske Racing Dodge Charger

"I've always enjoyed racing at Atlanta in the Nationwide Series and I'm excited to make my first Cup Series start there this weekend. The place is just a lot of fun. You can run all over the track, but it seems to me that you need to run the bottom to be the most successful. The track is abrasive on tires, so you can't abuse them early in a run. You have to race the track so to speak."

FROM THE CREW CHIEFS:

Jay Guy, Crew Chief, No. 12 Penske Racing Dodge

"Atlanta is a very forgiving racetrack. If you miss the setup a little bit it has a lot of grooves that the driver can use to make the car handle more to his liking. You have a very fine line between getting the car to turn and being too loose. Drivers need enough security so they can be aggressive. Aerodynamics play a big part in racing at Atlanta. The dreaded 'aero-tight' condition comes into play so you have to balance the mechanical and aero platforms. It's like the 'new' Darlington because it eats up tires more than any other track."

Travis Geisler, Crew Chief, No. 77 Mobil 1 Dodge

"Atlanta is always a challenging race track. The weather this time of year is unpredictable and the track is very sensitive to temperature and sun. The surface at Atlanta has a lot of character and is very hard on tires. Therefore, lap times fall off very quickly and it is normal to be two to three seconds slower per lap at the end of a fuel run. The 77 Mobil 1 Dodge team did get to participate in the tire test at Atlanta in January and I feel this will be helpful to getting a good setup for the race on Sunday."

-source: dodge motorsports

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series Monster Energy NASCAR Cup
Drivers Kurt Busch , Ryan Newman , Kasey Kahne , Brad Keselowski , Travis Geisler , Sam Hornish Jr.
Teams Team Penske