Homestead: Dodge Motorsports preview

DODGE AT HOMESTEAD-MIAMI SPEEDWAY * Bill Elliott, driving the No. 19 UAW/Dodge Dealers Dodge, won the 2001 Sprint Cup race at Homestead. The win made him the oldest winner in track history. Elliott was 46 years, 1 month, 3 days old. DID YOU ...


* Bill Elliott, driving the No. 19 UAW/Dodge Dealers Dodge, won the 2001 Sprint Cup race at Homestead. The win made him the oldest winner in track history. Elliott was 46 years, 1 month, 3 days old.


* Bill Elliott and Kurt Busch are the only two drivers who have won a race at Homestead-Miami Speedway from the pole. Elliott accomplished the feat in 2001 and Busch in 2002.

* No NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion has finished the championship year with a win in the season finale at Homestead-Miami.


* Sam Hornish Jr. leads Regan Smith by three points (199-196) in the Raybestos® Rookie standings entering the season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway.


Kurt Busch, No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge Charger

On Finishing strong at Homestead; "At Phoenix, we were competitive from the time we unloaded on Friday morning till we took the checkered flag in second-place behind the 48 car (Johnson) there on Sunday night. It was the most competitive start-to-finish weekend that our team has enjoyed the entire season. That's our goal for this weekend; to finish the season off with another great effort like that. We definitely hope to end our year with another strong performance."

Ryan Newman, No. 12 Alltel Dodge Charger

On his last race with Penske Racing; "This weekend isn't going to be easy for me. It was a tough decision to leave Penske Racing. This has been my only home since I came to NASCAR eight years ago. It was difficult telling the guys that I had made the decision to leave back in July, and I know it is going to be tough this weekend since it is my last race with the 12 team and I am saying goodbye. I have to be thankful for all the things that I have -- beyond the trophies and awards, beyond the pay checks, I have gotten friends and relationships and that's something I will always be grateful for. I have had a good run with Penske, and I am leaving with some very fond memories -- especially of this year's Daytona 500 win with my teammate pushing me across the finish line, my dad spotting for me, and being able to give something to Roger Penske that he had tried so hard for over the years. That is by far my fondest racing memory and I will always be grateful for that. But the show most go on, I will do my thing and I plan on being friends with everybody and I wish them the best of luck -- and I am sure they feel the same."

Bobby Labonte, No. 43 Cheerios/Betty Crocker Dodge Charger

On the HMS; "You have to give it to the people down at Homestead. They weren't happy with the track when it was built so they worked and worked until they came up with the track that we have today. It went through several different layouts and configurations. Now we have one of the most competitive racetracks on the circuit. It's a lot like Atlanta with the multiple grooves. You need to be able to move around a lot with this new car and Homestead will allow us to do that. It should be a great track for the new car."

AJ Allmendinger, No. 10 Valvoline Dodge Charger

On Homestead; "Homestead is a little bitter sweet for me and this Valvoline team. We're looking forward to going down there and getting another strong run but it's also our last race together. I've worked really well with this team and Gillett Evernham Motorsports and think we've had some good showings over the past couple weeks.

"Any driver will tell you how important it is to end the season on a good note. That's why, for us, Homestead is so important. It's a race that you're forced to remember through the off season and I want it to be a good memory. We know our Valvoline team is capable of top 15 finishes, now it's time to focus on a top 10."

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

On Homestead; "I've had success at Homestead-Miami Speedway in the IndyCar Series with two wins with the flat surface and one with the newer banking. I ran the 2007 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season-ending race at Homestead last year and feel that experience will really help is this weekend.

"At the beginning of the year, we set our goals for the season and we wanted to be Raybestos Rookie of the Year. You only have one opportunity to win Rookie of the Year so you want to go out there and try to do it and get that accomplished. I just feel like I've learned so much that regardless of what happens but it would definitely mean a lot for the whole team to win the title in Homestead."

Kasey Kahne, No. 9 Budweiser Dodge Charger

What will the 9 team focus on this weekend and in the off-season? "We've been developing new cars and have definitely hit on a few positive things that we can build on for next season. Each of the Gillett Evernham teams will be trying something a little different in Miami and we can see what works and doesn't work for next year. Kenny (Francis) and all the guys back at the shop are working hard on building new cars and these last few races have been a positive baseline for where we will be next season. We're also going to do as much testing as we can in the off season. The more testing we do during December and January, the more data we collect that we hope to apply at the race track."

-credit: dodge motorsports

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Bill Elliott , Bobby Labonte , Kurt Busch , Ryan Newman , Kasey Kahne , Regan Smith , Roger Penske , Sam Hornish Jr.
Teams Team Penske