Martinsville: Dodge Motorsports preview

DODGE AT MARTINSVILLE SPEEDWAY * Rusty Wallace posted the last Dodge win at Martinsville in the 2004 spring event, one of seven victories for Wallace at the .526-mile track. * Kurt Busch (No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge) won at Martinsville in ...

DODGE AT MARTINSVILLE SPEEDWAY

* Rusty Wallace posted the last Dodge win at Martinsville in the 2004 spring event, one of seven victories for Wallace at the .526-mile track.

* Kurt Busch (No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge) won at Martinsville in 2002 prior to joining the Dodge Motorsports family.

* Dodge has 10 wins at Martinsville including three sweeps (1953, 1956 and 1975).

* Busch is the only current Dodge driver to earn a pole at Martinsville Speedway (Oct. 2006).

* Brad Keselowski (No. 12 Penske Dodge) will be making his first Sprint Cup start at Martinsville Speedway this weekend.

NEWS NUGGETS

* Kurt Busch (No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge) leads the three Dodge Cup entries from Penske Racing with one win, one pole, two top-five and three top-10 finishes in 2010.

* With his win two weeks ago at Atlanta and third-place finish at Bristol, Busch has jumped 13 positions in the point standings to sixth, 97 points behind the leader.

* Brad Keselowski (No. 12 Dodge Charger) had his best finish of the 2010 Sprint Cup season at Bristol, finishing 13th.

* NASCAR will transition from a rear wing to a rear spoiler on the rear decks of the Sprint Cup Series cars this weekend at Martinsville.

DID YOU KNOW?

* Kurt Busch's 2010 driver rating of 108.0 is second-highest in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (Jimmie Johnson 115.0)

* The frontstretch and backstretch at Martinsville Speedway are exactly 800-feet each. Known as the "paperclip", Martinsville Speedway boasts incredibly close finishes as the last three races that have ended under green have had a margin of victory less than one second.

INSIDE THE NUMBERS:

* Kurt Busch led 278 laps last weekend at Bristol - the most ever during a single Sprint Cup event in his career.

* Busch has an average starting position of 7.2 in five NASCAR Sprint Cup Series starts this season.

* All three Penske Dodge Chargers sit inside the Top 35 owner points heading into Martinsville and are assured a starting position in Sunday's race.

* Four Dodge Chargers are participating in the Sprint Cup test session (rear spoiler) at Charlotte Motor Speedway driven by Kurt Busch, Sam Hornish Jr., Brad Keselowski and Justin Allgaier.

DODGE QUOTE OF THE WEEK

Howard Comstock, Dodge Motorsports Engineering - NASCAR Sprint Cup Series

"Brakes, brakes, brakes, the three most important things to know about how you win Martinsville. If you can't take care of your brakes here you'll never be able to get to the end of this 500 lap test. Of course that's assuming you can make enough power to pull a 3450 lb car off the extremely slow and flat corners at 65 mph. Accelerate, brake hard, accelerate, brake hard, repeat 1000 times, stay out of trouble, and you might just win this race."

FROM THE CREW CHIEFS

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

"Martinsville is probably the toughest track to visit for the first time, but I'm very confident that we can have a good run this weekend. Short-track racing is something that Brad has shown he has the ability to do well. The biggest challenge for us will be to keep the car rotating well in the center of the corner, without sacrificing forward bite. You need to qualify well because passing is not easy and, more importantly, you want to get the best pit stall possible."

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

"Martinsville is one of the most demanding races on the schedule from all aspects. The car is asked to do a lot of things in a short amount of time on the flat half-mile track. That puts a lot of stress on the brakes, drivetrain and driver. The 77 Mobil 1 Dodge has been running very well the past few races but we have struggled with mechanical failures. We look forward to a solid race this weekend to put some points on the board."

DODGE DRIVERS

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

"Every time I think I've got Martinsville figured out, something changes and that can be challenging. It is really tough on equipment so you have to take care of your brakes, tires and fenders. I feel like I do a good job at that but I need to be fast enough that I don't give the guys behind me the opportunity to push me out of the way. I'm definitely looking forward to getting back to Martinsville this weekend and hopefully getting a good finish in the Mobil 1 Dodge."

Kurt Busch -- No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge Charger

"I think the aesthetic look of (the new spoiler) brings back some of the nostalgic past of what we're use to seeing on these new cars. There were wings on the Superbirds and different cars at Daytona for a couple of seasons in the early '70s. Those were phased out based off (I think) NASCAR was looking for one thing and got another as far as how the aerodynamics shook out. What I think what was missing (in the COT) right away was the side draft. (Now) I think it's a win-win."

Brad Keselowski -- No. 12 Penske Racing Dodge Charger

"It will be a great thing for our series to go back to the spoiler. It's a more traditional look that the fans have said they want. We've had some great racing this year, but the spoiler gives the car a little more downforce that will, hopefully, allow us to put on an even better show. It will take some time for us to adjust, but we have very talented people working here at Penske Racing that will make it as seamless as possible. To know that I can go in the history books as a driver to win with the wing is pretty special, though."

-source: dodge motorsports

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Rusty Wallace , Kurt Busch , Jimmie Johnson , Brad Keselowski , Travis Geisler , Justin Allgaier , Sam Hornish Jr.
Teams Team Penske