Chicagoland: Dodge Motorsports preview

'THE KING' CELEBRATES 50TH ANNIVERSARY * Richard Petty made his first start on July 12, 1958 in NASCAR's convertible series. In his 35-year career as a driver, he amassed remarkable numbers: * 200 wins * 1,185 starts * 7 NASCAR Sprint Cup...

'THE KING' CELEBRATES 50TH ANNIVERSARY

* Richard Petty made his first start on July 12, 1958 in NASCAR's convertible series. In his 35-year career as a driver, he amassed remarkable numbers:

* 200 wins

* 1,185 starts

* 7 NASCAR Sprint Cup championships

* 7 Daytona 500 wins

* 27 wins in a season (1967)

* 10 consecutive wins (1967)

* This week, NASCAR celebrates the Golden Anniversary of Richard "The King" Petty.

THE DODGE BOYS

* The 11 Dodge teams entered in the 400-mile race at the 1.5-mile, D-shaped track will be seeking the manufacturer's 202nd victory in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. Dodge teams have posted 41 wins since the manufacturer returned to NASCAR's premier series in 2001 (including four this year) after being out of the sport since 1977.

* The Dodge Charger has won at least one race in NASCAR's premier series since its return in 2005.

* Kasey Kahne recorded the 200th win by Dodge in the Sprint Cup Series with his victory in the Pocono 500. Kahne has two wins, three top-five and nine top-10 finishes in 2008 and is currently eighth in the Race to the Chase. Kahne also won the Sprint All-Star Race.

* In addition to Kahne, Ryan Newman and Kurt Busch have posted wins in Dodge Chargers in 2008.

DODGE ROOKIE CONTENDERS

* Sam Hornish Jr. -- The three-time IndyCar Series champion and 2006 Indy 500 winner ran in the top 15 most of the night at Daytona before being caught up in a last-lap mishap. He trails Regan Smith by three points in the Raybestos Rookie of the Year standings, 167-164.

* Patrick Carpentier -- The driver of the No. 10 Dodge Charger from Gillett Evernham Motorsports has qualified in the top 10 the last two races including his pole-winning effort at New Hampshire in his 17th NASCAR Sprint Cup start. Carpentier has successfully qualified for every event (15) since Daytona where qualifying was completed (qualifying cancelled at California and Bristol because of rain).

CHICAGOLAND SPEEDWAY TRACK FACTS

* The height of the grandstands at Chicagoland is 15 stories tall, the same height as the Navy Piers Ferris Wheel in downtown Chicago.

* Chicagoland Speedway sits on 930 acres of land, which is large enough to accommodate 42 United Centers (Home of the Chicago Bulls and Blackhawks), making it the largest sporting facility in Illinois.

* The D-shaped track has 18 degrees of banking in the turns, 11 degrees in the tri-oval and five degrees on the backstretch.

* Only Dodge and Chevrolet have posted wins at the D-shaped track.

DID YOU KNOW?

* Ryan Newman, driver No. 12 Alltel Dodge, is the youngest Sprint Cup winner at Chicagoland Speedway. Newman was 26 years, 7 months, 5 days old when he won the 2003 Tropicana 400.

* The first ever gasoline-powered motor car race was held up-and-down the Chicago lakefront in 1895. The contest required vehicles to have at least three wheels and be able to carry at least two people, one of whom was to be an umpire selected by the judges to ride with the driver during the race. The race winner, J. Frank Duryea.

* No NSCS race at Chicagoland Speedway has been won from the pole or from the same starting position.

* All four manufacturers have won at least three races this season.

* All four manufacturers are represented in the top 12.

DODGE DRIVERS:

Kurt Busch
No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge Charger

"It just shows you how much tougher the competition is this year and what a bigger battle we face in trying to make the Chase. There are a lot of really good teams sitting there between 10th and where we are right now. We really have our work cut out for us during the next eight races."

Sam Hornish Jr.
No. 77 Mobil 1 Dodge Charger

"Chicagoland Speedway has always been a great place for me to go either because I celebrated an IndyCar Series win or clinched a championship there. I'm excited to race there in a stock car this weekend. The track is somewhat similar to Lowe's Motor Speedway and Texas Motor Speedway, and I've enjoyed racing at those tracks, too. We had a lot of success recently at Charlotte and we are bringing the same car to Chicago this weekend. Hopefully, we can build upon that success and finish strong on Saturday night."

Terry Labonte
No. 45 Richard Petty's 50th Anniversary Dodge Charger

I'm really honored to be a part of the celebration going on this weekend in Chicago for Richard Petty's 50th Anniversary. I started racing in the Cup Series in 1978 when 'The King' was still a pretty dominant driver. When I started out he was still the guy to beat, the guy that all the other drivers looked up to. When young drivers get into Cup these days they have a lot of different people to look up to. There were a lot of greats that came before me but 'The King' wasn't just great, he was a legend."

Ryan Newman
No. 12 Kodak/The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor Dodge Charger

"Chicago's close to home for me. I always say that I consider Michigan or Indianapolis my home tracks because that's where I grew up going with my dad and my family. I have a lot of memories of watching races at those tracks. But Chicago is actually the closest race track to South Bend (Ind. - Newman's home town) of all the tracks that we go to. I normally just relax when I go to Chicago, but every once in a while I'll go watch a Midget race at Grundy County, which is where I used to race when I was 18 or 19 years old. It's neat to go back. It's just nice to be back in my home area."

Patrick Carpentier
No. 10 LifeLock Dodge Charger

"Looking ahead to Chicago, it's a track I don't have any experience on. But one good thing I have going is that I really enjoy racing on the 1.5-mile tracks, especially those with a little bit of banking like Chicago. The LifeLock team had a couple decent runs at the 1.5-mile track this year. And we're realistic we can continue those this weekend. Our goal is to continue finishing in the top 25. With all our friends from LifeLock coming to the race we're hoping to give them a good show."

-credit: dodge motorsports

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About this article
Series Monster Energy NASCAR Cup
Drivers Terry Labonte , Kurt Busch , Ryan Newman , Patrick Carpentier , Richard Petty , Kasey Kahne , Regan Smith , Sam Hornish Jr.