Pocono II: Dodge Motorsports preview

DODGE DRIVERS AT POCONO RACEWAY * Kasey Kahne claimed his second NASCAR Sprint Cup Series win in three races when he won the Pocono 500 in June. Kahne started from the pole and led 69 of the 200 laps in collecting his ninth career win. Kahne ...


* Kasey Kahne claimed his second NASCAR Sprint Cup Series win in three races when he won the Pocono 500 in June. Kahne started from the pole and led 69 of the 200 laps in collecting his ninth career win. Kahne won the Coca-Cola 600 two weeks earlier at Lowe's Motor Speedway. He also won the Sprint All-Star Race.

* Richard Petty drove a Dodge to victory in the first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event at Pocono Raceway. He led 152 of the 192 laps run (the race, scheduled for 200 laps, was halted eight laps short of the advertised distance because of rain). Petty won again in 1976 in a Dodge.

* Kurt Busch won the second race at Pocono last year, leading 175 of the 200 laps in the No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge. Busch has two wins, seven top-five and eight top-10 finishes at Pocono in 15 outings. He has started in the top three in five of the last eight Pocono events.

* Ryan Newman started from the pole for last year's Pocono 500 and finished second in the race. Newman has one win, five top-five and six top-10 finishes at Pocono along with two poles. He has started in the first two rows in three of the last four races. Newman is one of 12 drivers to win from the pole. He did so at the second race in 2003.

* Bobby Labonte has three wins, five top-five and nine top-10 finishes at Pocono. He swept both events in 1999.


* Kasey Kahne recorded the 200th win by Dodge in the Sprint Cup Series with his victory in the Pocono 500.

* Dodge has three wins at Pocono -- Kasey Kahne, Kurt Busch and Bill Elliott -- since its return to NASCAR in 2001.

* The 11 Dodge teams entered in the 500-mile race at the 2.5-mile track will seek the manufacturer's 202nd victory in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. Dodge teams have posted 41 wins since the manufacturer returned to NASCAR's premier series in 2001 (including four this year) after being out of the sport since 1977.

* The Dodge Charger has won at least one race in NASCAR's premier series since its return in 2005.

* In addition to Kahne, Ryan Newman and Kurt Busch have posted wins in Dodge Chargers in 2008.


* Kasey Kahne holds the track qualifying record with a time of 52.164 seconds at 172.533 mph. He set the mark in June, 2004.

* Kurt Busch has earned two perfect Driver Ratings of 150.0 at Pocono Raceway. His first was in July of 2005, when he led 131 of the 203 laps en route to a dominating win. His second came in the series' trip to Pocono last July. In that race, Busch led 175 laps and racked up 99 Fastest Laps Run to capture his first win of the season.

* There have been no caution-free Sprint Cup races at Pocono.

* The first race on the 2.5 mile Pocono track was on August 3, 1971, an open-wheel race won by Mark Donahue. The CART Series continued to schedule a 500-mile race at Pocono thru 1989. The first NASCAR event was on August 4, 1974.

* Jeremy Mayfield used a nudge on the final lap to pass Dale Earnhardt Sr. and win the 2000 Pocono 500.

* Kurt Busch has led the most laps in two of the last three July races at Pocono.


* Sam Hornish Jr. -- The three-time IndyCar Series champion and 2006 Indy 500 winner was involved in an accident and had a disappointing finish in his first trip to Pocono. He finished 21st at Indy in his last outing and trails Regan Smith by four points in the Raybestos Rookie of the Year standings.

* Patrick Carpentier -- The driver of the No. 10 Dodge Charger from Gillett Evernham Motorsports finished 18th at the Brickyard and has now successfully qualified for every event (17) since Daytona where qualifying was completed (qualifying cancelled at California and Bristol because of rain).


ON POCONO: "They call Pocono 'the tricky triangle' for a reason. Pocono has so many little quirks that make it unique. Each corner has a different banking, all the straight-aways are a different length and it can be extremely tough on engines and tires. This race track is not for the faint of heart -- you have to maintain your concentration and continually hit your marks in order to be successful." Elliott Sadler, Driver, No. 19 Best Buy Dodge Charger

RACING AT POCONO: "The straightaways at Pocono are so long, you need to get all of the speed down them that you can so your car can come off of turn three as fast as possible. I've always liked the uniqueness of the three different corners and the challenge that it presents to the teams to set up your car to be fast at each of the different ends. Pocono is a driver's track, and that's why I like it so much. We struggled a bit at Pocono when we were here last month, but during the race we were able to get the balance of the car just right. I think we have some good notes heading into this weekend, and we are hoping to have a strong showing and another good points weekend." Ryan Newman, Driver, No. 12 Alltel Dodge Charger

BATTLING FOR A SPOT IN THE CHASE: "We had a really good points day at Indianapolis, and that's what we need right now. Our goal is to get the No. 12 Dodge into the Chase, and to do what we can to have solid runs without any issues for the next several races. We have to take that mentality and the momentum we have into this weekend's race and have another good one." Ryan Newman, Driver No. 12 Alltel Dodge Charger

ON POCONO: "The biggest confidence-builder for me this weekend is that we ran the COT model cars there back in the June race and we were pretty competitive from the time we took the car off the trailer until the very end of the race. Throw into the equation that we're bringing the exact same car we raced there last month (the PSC-550) back this time around. We ran this car at Darlington, Pocono and Chicago and have a good feeling it can get the job done for us this weekend." Kurt Busch, Driver, No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge Charger

ARE YOU LOOKING FORWARD TO GOING BACK TO POCONO: "Yes, we saved the same car. The car was brand new for the first Pocono race and it's been waiting to go back. As fast as it was in June during qualifying and the race, I think it should be strong, a car that can run in the top 10 if we make the right adjustments. I don't see why we can't have a shot at another win. As good as it was the first race, if we do the right things, we should have another shot." Kasey Kahne, Driver, No. 9 Budweiser Dodge Charger

-credit: dodge motorsports

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Dale Earnhardt , Bobby Labonte , Jeremy Mayfield , Kurt Busch , Ryan Newman , Patrick Carpentier , Richard Petty , Kasey Kahne , Regan Smith , Elliott Sadler , Sam Hornish Jr.