Phoenix II: Dodge Motorsports preview

DODGE AT PHOENIX INTERNATIONAL RACEWAY * Ryan Newman and Elliott Sadler qualified 1-2 and gave Dodge a sweep of the front row at the spring event at PIR. * Ryan Newman (No. 12 Alltel Dodge) holds the track qualifying record with a lap time of...


* Ryan Newman and Elliott Sadler qualified 1-2 and gave Dodge a sweep of the front row at the spring event at PIR.

* Ryan Newman (No. 12 Alltel Dodge) holds the track qualifying record with a lap time of 26.499 seconds at 135.854 mph. Newman has started from the pole four times at PIR. He has three top fives with a second in November, 2004, his best finish.


* The first Polish Victory Lap in NASCAR's premier series came on November 6, 1988 at Phoenix International Raceway. Polish-American Alan Kulwicki claimed his first career victory in the inaugural NASCAR event at the one-mile track. He had five career victories, but his only other Polish Victory Lap came at Atlanta Motor Speedway in 1992 as he celebrated his Cup championship.

* In 1990, there was one lead change in the race. Rusty Wallace led the first 50 laps before Dale Earnhardt took the front spot and led to the checkered flag (262 laps).


* Sam Hornish Jr. leads Regan Smith by four points (198-194) in the Raybestos® Rookie standings entering the Checker O'Reilly Auto Parts 500 at Phoenix International Raceway. Hornish Jr. regained first-place in the standings after the Pep Boys 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway (race No. 33) two weeks ago for the first time since the LENOX Industrial Tools 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway (race No. 17).


Elliott Sadler, No. 19 SIEMENS Dodge Charger

On THE CHALLENGES OF PIR: "Phoenix is a tough race track to prepare for because the corners are so different. In a way, it's kind of like Pocono -- you have to pick which corner you want to be good in and really work on it, but you're probably not going to have a perfect car for the entire racetrack. It's also tough on the engine and brakes, so you have to really be technically sound to compete all day."

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

On PIR: "One thing different about Phoenix International Raceway than most other tracks is both ends are completely different. They're really not anything alike. A lot of times you have to compromise on one end or the other to make your car do what you want it to do. Very seldom do you ever get the car where it's really good on both ends."

AJ Allmendinger -- No. 10 McDonald's Dodge Charger

On RACING AT PIR; "The entire crew on our No. 10 McDonald's Dodge is excited for Phoenix. We're thrilled to have McDonald's partnering with the 10 car this weekend and we're hoping to give them positive results on the racetrack. I've only been with Gillett Evernham for a few weeks but I know how important it is to have the support of organizations like McDonald's. They're an essential part of the success that GEM has had over the years."

Kasey Kahne, No. 9 Budweiser Dodge Charger

ON PIR: "I generally enjoy racing at Phoenix and we've had some success there in the past, but it usually seems like we're all or nothing. We had a top-10 car here in the spring, but we just ran into some bad luck. Hopefully this weekend we can get the Budweiser Dodge dialed in and have a chance to compete for the win. Our guys on pit road have done an excellent job this season, so if we can get the car where it needs to be, we should be there at the end."

Kurt Busch, No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge Charger

ON PIR: "We have all the data from the Loudon races, April's Phoenix race and last November's Phoenix race that we've already been studying very hard to come up with our baseline qualifying and race setups. "We're hoping we can have similar flat-track success like we had in the two Loudon races this weekend at PIR."

Kyle Petty, No. 45 Wells Fargo Dodge Charger

ON GETTING BACK IN THE CAR THIS WEEKEND; "I have missed the camaraderie and competition with the guys on the No. 45 Wells Fargo Dodge team. It's going to be great to get to go to Phoenix with them this weekend. They've been doing a nice job with Chad over the last couple of months. Even though I've been out of the car, I still travel to all of the races and I see how hard these guys are working. They have a lot of desire and determination, which will go a long way as we get this team turned around."

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

ON PIR; "You really get into several racing styles when you go to Phoenix. It's fast enough that you need downforce, especially in turns three and four. Turns one and two are more like a short track so the car needs to turn and you have to take car of you brakes. You need the car to handle well so you can race side-by-side through the dogleg on the backstretch. It takes pieces from different tracks and puts them into a one-mile oval that lacks grip. There's really no place like it."

-credit: dodge motorsports

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Dale Earnhardt , Bobby Labonte , Rusty Wallace , Kyle Petty , Kurt Busch , Ryan Newman , Kasey Kahne , Regan Smith , Elliott Sadler , Sam Hornish Jr. , Alan Kulwicki