Chicagoland: Dodge Motorsports preview

DODGE AT CHICAGOLAND SPEEDWAY * Penske Racing recorded Dodge's lone win at the 1.5-mile, D-shaped oval of Chicagoland Speedway. Ryan Newman claimed the victory in 2003. * Kurt Busch (No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge) and Kasey Kahne (No. 9 Budweiser Dodge)...

* Penske Racing recorded Dodge's lone win at the 1.5-mile, D-shaped oval of Chicagoland Speedway. Ryan Newman claimed the victory in 2003.
* Kurt Busch (No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge) and Kasey Kahne (No. 9 Budweiser Dodge) each have a career-best Chicagoland qualifying position of second.
* Entering Chicagoland, Dodge's Kurt Busch is one of four former NASCAR Sprint Cup champions in the top four spots in the driver point standings (Tony Stewart, Jeff Gordon and Jimmie Johnson).
* Dodge has earned one pole at Chicagoland Speedway (Ryan Newman -2002).
* Three Dodge drivers are in the top 10 of laps completed in 2009. (Kurt Busch (99.61%, fourth-best), Elliott Sadler (99.60%, fifth-best), and Kasey Kahne (98.88%, ninth-best).

* Dodge has 203 Sprint Cup Series wins.
* Dodge teams have posted 43 wins since the manufacturer returned to NASCAR's premier series in 2001 after being out of the sport since 1977.
* Dodge's most recent win in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series was Kasey Kahne's victory at the Save Mart 350 at Infineon Raceway (June 21).
* All seven Dodge teams running the full 36-race Sprint Cup schedule are inside the top-35 in 2009 owner points and assured starting spots in Saturday's race: Kurt Busch (4th), Kasey Kahne (12th), Elliott Sadler (23rd), Sam Hornish Jr. (25th), Reed Sorenson (28th), AJ Allmendinger (29th) and David Stremme (32nd).
* Kasey Kahne recorded the 200th win by Dodge in the Sprint Cup Series with his victory in the Pocono 500 at Pocono Raceway last season.

* Kurt Busch has five top-10 finishes in eight career starts at Chicagoland.
* Kasey Kahne is one of four current Dodge drivers to have led laps at Chicagoland. Kahne has led 10 laps in five Sprint Cup starts at Chicagoland.
* Elliott Sadler is one of 14 Sprint Cup drivers to have competed in all eight Chicagoland races.
* Reed Sorenson has two top-15 finishes in three NSCS starts at Chicagoland.
* AJ Allmendinger finished 13th in his only Sprint Cup start at Chicagoland Speedway. His season-best finish in 2009 is third at the season-opening Daytona 500.
* David Stremme as a career-best Chicagoland Speedway finish of 16th (2005).
* Sam Hornish finished 37th in his only NSCS start at Chicagoland Speedway last season.

* Kurt Busch will throw out the first pitch and lead the singing during the seventh-inning stretch Sunday for the Chicago Cubs' game with the St. Louis Cardinals at Wrigley Field. Game time is 12:05 p.m. (CDT).
* Only one Sprint Cup race at Chicagoland Speedway has been won from the pole (Kyle Busch in 2008). No drivers have claimed the pole twice in the eight previous races.
* Sam Hornish Jr. won back-to-back IRL races at Chicagoland Speedway in 2002 and 2003. Hornish Jr. also clinched the IndyCar championship at Chicagoland in 2006.
* Kasey Kahne moved inside the top-12 in NSCS driver points after his 15th-place finish last weekend in Daytona. Kahne's last trip inside the top-12 was 10 races ago after Phoenix.
* Kurt Busch was in 18th-place in the driver standings heading into Chicagoland last season. Busch currently sits fourth. He has been inside the top-five in the driver standings for 15 straight races this season.


"We might have been living in (Las) Vegas back then, but for several hours every day that the Cubbies were playing on TV, my heart was really right there in Wrigley Field. I dreamed of being right there with my heroes. I just imagined taking the field with my all0x2010time favorites, like Ryne Sandberg and all the other great players on the team back then." Kurt Busch, No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge Charger

"I enjoy Chicagoland. We haven't run that well there in a Cup car. I think that (Chicagoland) is just one of those tracks that we haven't hit our stride for some reason. It's also one of those tracks that I've enjoyed racing at and coming to. When you haven't run well somewhere, you hope at some point it's going to change because it's a track that you like. I think this weekend can be one of those weekends where we qualify well and have a good race Saturday night.

"To get caught up in that wreck on the last lap in Daytona and still gain a spot in the standings is pretty cool. This Budweiser Team has been knocking on the door of the top 12 for awhile, but the competition is so strong. It's hard to gain ground when everyone challenging for those final Chase spots are getting strong finishes. There is still a lot of racing left before the Chase starts. We need to just keep improving and keep making sure that we have the points to be in the Chase when it comes around." Kasey Kahne, No. 9 Budweiser Dodge Charger

"The last month has been a good stretch for all the guys on the No. 19 team. We've put together some good racecars and turned in some solid finishes. We could have actually been a little better had some things gone our way, but to have two top-10s and three top-12s in the four races is nice. I know everyone has been putting in a lot of blood, sweat and tears working on these cars and we are starting to see the rewards for all their efforts. We're gaining ground in the standings as well which is great." Elliott Sadler, No. 19 Insignia/Best Buy Dodge Charger

"The No. 9 team tire tested at Chicagoland and we all share information. The new tire we're bringing is faster with more grip than the old tire, but should fall off faster as the race goes on. It'll make for better racing then we've seen in the last couple trips to Chicago. We only visit Chicago once a year, so it's always interesting to see what everyone has learned since last time. We're bringing the car Elliott finished 12th with at Michigan. We're looking forward to a good competitive race." Kevin Buskirk, Crew Chief, No. 19 Insignia/Best Buy 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. Our intermediate track program has been one of our strong suits and we are ready to get back to 1.5-mile tracks.

"Chicagoland Speedway has progressively become a multi-groove track, which provides for much better racing. The track is fast, and with the banking, it carries a lot of speed. It reminds me a lot of Lowe's Motor Speedway which is one of my favorite tracks. I am looking forward to a strong run in the Mobil 1 Advanced Fuel Economy Dodge this weekend." Sam Hornish Jr., Mobil 1 Advance Fuel Economy Dodge Charger

"Chicagoland Speedway is a special track to me. It is where I made my first NASCAR Cup Series start and is close to my hometown of South Bend, Indiana. I am going to spend a couple of days with my family and friends in South Bend before coming over to the track. Chicagoland Speedway is a great track. The race fans are great and passionate about NASCAR. I know [crew chief] Roy [McCauley] and all the guys on the Penske Dodge have been working hard on our mile-and-a-half program. We have made significant gains this season and I am looking forward to this weekend." David Stremme, No. 12 Penske Racing Dodge Charger

"Chicagoland Speedway is a really neat track. We are taking the same car that ran in the top-15 all day in Phoenix. David [Stremme] really seems to really like this chassis. There are two racing grooves at Chicagoland which makes for really exciting racing. This will be the first time we run there under the lights so I think the setup will be a bit different than last year. We will have to adjust on the car all night, but I am confident we will have another strong run." Roy McCauley, Crew Chief, No. 12 Penske Racing Dodge Charger

"There's probably no sponsor on earth that is as recognizable as McDonald's and to race in their backyard in their paint scheme is an honor. Chicago is a big market for our sport and everyone wants to put on the best show we can put on. Our team has extra incentive this weekend. We think Chicagoland is one of our best tracks so we are going to try like heck to make them proud. I hope a lot of their employees come out to the track or at least get to see us on television run well this weekend." Reed Sorenson, No. 43 Mcdonald's McCafe Dodge Charger

-credit: dodge motorsports

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Jeff Gordon , Tony Stewart , Kurt Busch , Ryan Newman , Jimmie Johnson , Kasey Kahne , David Stremme , Elliott Sadler , Reed Sorenson , Sam Hornish Jr. , Kyle Busch , Sam Hornis
Teams Team Penske