Las Vegas: Dodge Motorsports preview

DODGE CHARGER * Dodge continues the winning tradition legends Richard Petty, David Pearson and Bobby Isaac established in the 1970s by designating the Charger as the nameplate Dodge teams will use in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in 2008...

DODGE CHARGER

* Dodge continues the winning tradition legends Richard Petty, David Pearson and Bobby Isaac established in the 1970s by designating the Charger as the nameplate Dodge teams will use in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in 2008 and beyond.

* The Dodge Charger has won at least one race in NASCAR's premier series since it returned in 2005 and has 137 wins since 1966. Dodge has 198 wins with all nameplates.

* Ryan Newman won the 50th running of the Daytona 500. He is the second Dodge driver to win The Great American Race since Dodge returned to NASCAR's premier series in 2001. Ward Burton won in 2002 in a Dodge Intrepid.

DODGE AT LAS VEGAS

* Juan Pablo Montoya covered the 1.5-mile track in 28.914 sec./186.761 mph during the NASCAR Preseason Thunder test session in January, eclipsing the track record of 29.212 sec./184.856 mph set by Kasey Kahne in 2007.

* Sterling Marlin, driving for Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates, posted the lone NASCAR Sprint Cup win by a Dodge at LVMS. He visited victory lane in 2002.

* Kurt Busch has qualified in the top-10 in all seven previous starts at LVMS.

* Bobby Labonte has three top-five and four top-10 finishes at LVMS in 10 career starts.

* Kasey Kahne has two top-five finishes and has started seventh or better in his four previous outings at LVMS including two Bud Poles. In his rookie season (2004), he started for the Bud Pole, led 43 laps and finished second. He finished fourth in 2006. In his other two starts, he was involved in an accident.

DODGE ROOKIE CONTENDERS

* Sam Hornish Jr. -- The three-time IndyCar Series champion and 2006 Indy 500 winner is assured a starting spot in the first five races of the 2008 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season in the No. 77 Mobile 1 Dodge Charger. A transfer of points from Penske Racing teammate Kurt Busch has Hornish in the top 35 in owner points.

* Dario Franchitti -- The reigning Indianapolis 500 and IndyCar Series champion is the first European driver to compete full time in NASCAR's premier series. Franchitti is the driver of the No. 40 Dodge Charger from Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates.

* Patrick Carpentier -- The driver of the No. 10 Valvoline Dodge from Gillett Evernham Motorsports will be looking to make his first start of the 2008 season at LVMS. A late-race tire problem in one of the 150-mile qualifying races at Daytona kept the former open-wheel driver from qualifying for The Great American Race. He didn't get a chanced to make the field at Fontana as qualifying was rained out.

ROOKIE STANDINGS

* Raybestos Rookies of the Year contenders Sam Hornish Jr. and Dario Franchitti are tied for the top spot in the standings with Regan Smith. Each driver has 20 points after the first two races.

-credit: dodge motorsports

Current Dodge Motorsports Drivers

at the UAW-Dodge 400

Starts

Driver

Best Start

Year

Best Finish

Year

7

Kurt Busch

Pole

2006

Win

2003

4

Kasey Kahne

2

2007

4

2006

N/A

Patrick Carpentier

-

-

-

-

6

Ryan Newman

Pole

2002

3

2004

6

Elliott Sadler

5

2003

8

2005

N/A

Dario Franchitti

-

-

-

-

2

Reed Sorenson

20

2007

21

2006

1

Juan Pablo Montoya

9

2007

26

2007

7

Bobby Labonte

Pole

2001

22

2003

7

Kyle Petty

14

2001

17

2002

N/A

Sam Hornish, Jr.

-

-

-

-

7

Ken Schrader

23

2002

14

2005

6

Robby Gordon

23

2004

12

2002

Most UAW-Dodge 400

Starts in a Dodge

Driver

Starts

Kyle Petty

7

Ryan Newman

5

Sterling Marlin

5

Kasey Kahne

4

Bill Elliott

4

Ken Schrader

3

Bobby Labonte

2

Kurt Busch

2

Dodge Motorsports Top UAW-Dodge 400 Finishers

(Since 2001)

Year

Driver

Car/Sponsor

Team

Start

Finish

2001

Sterling Marlin

No. 40 Coors Light Dodge

Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates

31

9

2002

Bill Elliott

No. 9 Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge

Evernham Motorsports

39

4

2003

Rusty Wallace

No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge

Penske Racing South

7

3

2004

Ryan Newman

No. 12 Mobil 1/ALLTEL Dodge

Penske Racing South

7

3

2005

Jamie McMurray

No. 42 Texaco/Havoline Dodge

Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates

15

4

2006

Kasey Kahne

No. 9 Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge

Evernham Motorsports

13

4

2007

Kurt Busch

No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge

Penske Racing South

18

7

Dodge Motorsports Rookie Drivers at the UAW-Dodge 400

(Since 2001)

Year

Driver

Car/Sponsor

Team

Start

Finish

2001

Casey Atwood

No. 19 Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge

Evernham Motorsports

16

39

2001

Jason Leffler

No. 01 Cingular Wireless

Chip Ganassi

25

18

2002

Shawna Robinson

No. 49 BAM Racing

BAM Racing

43

42

2003

Casey Mears

No. 41 Target

Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates

17

34

2003

Jamie McMurray

No. 42 Havoline

Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates

25

5

2003

Larry Foyt

No. 14 Harrah's

A.J. Foyt Racing

42

38

2004

Scott Wimmer

No. 22 Caterpillar

Bill Davis Racing

39

30

2004

Kasey Kahne

No. 9 Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge

Evernham Motorsports

Pole

13

2005

Travis Kvapil

No. 77 Kodak/Jasper Engines

Penske Racing South

35

24

2006

Brent Sherman

No. 49 Serta

BAM Racing

29

21

2006

David Stremme

No. 40 Lone Star Steakhouse/Saloon

Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates

40

33

2006

Reed Sorenson

No. 41 Target

Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates

29

21

2007

Juan Pablo Montoya

No. 42 Texaco Havoline

Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates

9

26

Drivers listed in bold are currently Dodge Motorsports drivers

Quote:

"You know, if I was to win at Vegas on Sunday, oh man, I'd come unglued. It's my big race. A lot of people like going to Vegas, doing the race and the city in one huge weekend with so much going on. It's my hometown. I used to haul (rear) through that desert parking lot before the big track even existed after a race at the local short track. You know, I saw it built from the ground up. With the track being considered one of the major venues we visit now, it'd be extra special to win this weekend. I want to win at all the tracks and hopefully I'll be around long enough to win at most of them. But, Vegas is No. 1 on my hit list right now."

Kurt Busch

No. 12 Miller Lite Dodge Charger

For More Information Contact: Denny Darnell

1147 Mill Creek Rd. - Kingsport, TN - Cell 704.975.3252 - Fax 423.349.7955 - ddarnell@clearblue.biz

Dodgemotorsportsmedia.com

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About this article
Series NASCAR Sprint Cup
Drivers Juan Pablo Montoya
Teams Chip Ganassi Racing , Team Penske , Bill Davis Racing