Richmond: Dodge Motorspors preview

DODGE AT Richmond * Lee Petty drove a Dodge to victory in the first NASCAR race at Richmond in 1953; a 200-lap event on what was then a .5-mile dirt track. * Dodge has 17 wins at Richmond including three since...

DODGE AT Richmond

* Lee Petty drove a Dodge to victory in the first NASCAR race at Richmond in 1953; a 200-lap event on what was then a .5-mile dirt track.

* Dodge has 17 wins at Richmond including three since the manufacturer returned to NASCAR's premier series in 2001.

* Dodge winners at Richmond include Lee Petty, Buck Baker, David Pearson, Cotton Owens, Bobby Allison, Richard Petty, Dave Marcis, Neil Bonnett, Ryan Newman, Jeremy Mayfield and Kasey Kahne.

* David Pearson posted three straight wins in a Dodge at RIR (1965-66).

*          Richard Petty has 13 wins at Richmond -- four in a Dodge
and nine in a Plymouth.  He had seven consecutive wins (1970-73).

* Kyle Petty won the spring race in 1986 after Dale Earnhardt tapped Darrell Waltrip in turn four on the final lap, sending both drivers into the wall. Petty managed to avoid the crash.


* Kasey Kahne claimed the first Sprint Cup Series victory of his career at RIR in May, 2005. He started from the pole and led 242 of the 400 laps including the last 106. He has two top-five and four top-10 finishes in eight outings at the .75-mile track.

* Ryan Newman has one win, four top-five and seven top-10 finishes at Richmond. He has led eight of 12 races for a total of 388 laps.

* Juan Pablo Montoya is inside the Chase (top 12) for the first time in his NASCAR career. He is currently 12th. His previous best position was 15th after the fourth race of 2007, his rookie season. Since Daytona, he has not finished outside the top 20. Montoya has 959 green flag passes this season, second most in the Sprint Cup Series.

* Kyle Petty has 53 career starts at RIR. He has one win, three top-five and 12 top-10 finishes.

* Dodge opened the 2008 season with a 1-2 finish in the 50th anniversary Daytona 500. Dodge drivers filled six of the top eight positions in the Great American Race.


* Sam Hornish Jr. -- The three-time IndyCar Series champion and 2006 Indy 500 winner had tire and mechanical issues at Talladega, but remains in the top 35 in car owner points and is assured a starting spot in Saturday night's race. Hornish is tied with Regan Smith for the lead in the Raybestos Rookie of the Year standings with 86 points.

* Dario Franchitti -- The reigning Indianapolis 500 and IndyCar Series champion fractured his left ankle in a Nationwide Series event at Talladega and will not compete at Richmond. It has not been determined how many races Franchitti will miss.

* Patrick Carpentier -- The driver of the Dodge Charger from Gillett Evernham Motorsports is outside the top 35 and must qualify for the race on speed. Carpentier has accomplished the task four consecutive races.

Kasey Kahne: "My first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series victory came at Richmond, so I always look forward to going back. It is the ideal short track - wide, fast, smooth, very competitive and there's plenty of room to set up the pass. This could be a good month or month and a half for us to get back to where we need to be and hopefully back in the top 12 in points."

Elliott Sadler: "We all started racing at some short track before we made it to this level, and most of them were Saturday night tracks. There's just something about a short track under the lights for the drivers and fans. It brings out an extra element that you don't normally get during Sunday races. I love the atmosphere that surrounds a night race. You never know what's going to happen during a short track race, but I guarantee you it's going to happen fast and someone is going to end up mad."

Ryan Newman: "Richmond is a fun race. It's under the lights on Saturday night -- it's always exciting. I think it is probably the best short track we have on the NASCAR circuit. The key to racing at Richmond is that you have to be considerate of the entries to the corners. Turn one is sweeping and you have to be sensitive to getting loose there. Turn three is pretty much a 90 degree corner and turn four opens up, so you will see a lot of passing there. Both ends are different so it really is a driver's race track. It's a place where it is rewarding to be patient and smooth, but you also have to be aggressive at times, too.

"We had a really good car at Phoenix, which is a sister track to Richmond. We sat on the pole, led quite a few laps, but then we had a motor problem that knocked us out early. We're looking forward to Richmond because we think that we have a really good car and a good setup for the race. We're hoping to build on the start we had at Phoenix and last weekend's top 10 at Talladega."

Patrick Carpentier: "Richmond will be a new experience for me in a stock car. I was there in the IRL in 2005 and finished third. I know it will be much different experience in the LifeLock car this weekend. When you enter the corners in an open-wheel car, the car immediately sets and you're off through the corner. But in a stock car, the car never seems to set in the corner so you really have to tip-toe through there. It's funny because people say that stock car racing is just turning left, but let me tell you I've spent a lot of time turning left, then right and left again this year."

-credit: dodge motorsports

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Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Juan Pablo Montoya