Talladega II: Dodge Motorsports preview

DODGE AT TALLADEGA SUPERSPEEDWAY * Richard Brinkhouse drove a winged Dodge Daytona to victory in the inaugural Talladega 500. The event was boycotted by virtually all the top NASCAR drivers. DODGE ROOKIE CONTENDERS * Sam ...


* Richard Brinkhouse drove a winged Dodge Daytona to victory in the inaugural Talladega 500. The event was boycotted by virtually all the top NASCAR drivers.


* Sam Hornish Jr. -- The three-time IndyCar Series champion and 2006 Indy 500 winner sits only three points shy of first place in the Raybestos Rookie of the Year standings.

* Patrick Carpentier -- The driver of the No. 10 Dodge Charger from Gillett Evernham Motorsports currently sits 37th in driver points.


Kasey Kahne, No. 9 Budweiser Dodge Charger

Describe racing at Talladega: "I like racing at Talladega, but I hate wrecking there. It's so easy to get caught up in somebody else's mess, but that's part of racing at Talladega. If you're not in one of the wrecks, it's fun running that close together for 500 miles. It's a hectic, but exciting day. Anytime we go to Talladega I know it's going to be a wild race. There are some things that are out of my control, but I have to make sure that I take care of what I can and get the Budweiser Dodge to the finish, hopefully with a chance to win."

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

On preparing for Talladega: "The guys in the motor department have been working hard to get ready for Talladega. When you go to restrictor-plate track you can use all of the extra horsepower that you can get because you motor is already down a couple of hundred horsepower already due to the plate. The last two races that we had at Talladega showed that we could pass, which was something that had been lacking, you just need to have the motor to do so. We're happy with the motor that we are taking down and we hope that it will pull us to the front."

On his induction into the Talladega Walk of Fame: "It's special to receive an award like induction into the Talladega Walk of Fame because it's voted on by the fans. It's the fans that allow us to do what we do and their appreciation is the highest one of the highest honors a driver can receive. If you look at the list of drivers that already have a place in that walk of fame, it's the best of the best that have ever been in this sport. To be able to put my name beside theirs is pretty cool, especially my brother Terry's."

Terry Labonte, No. 45 Spirit of America Motor Oil Dodge Charger

On Talladega: "Early in my career I had a love-hate relationship with Talladega. From our first race there in 1979 we knew that we could run up front and challenge for wins, but something always happened. Most of the time it was an engine problem. Talladega motors weren't nearly as durable as they are today because they turned a lot more rpm without the plates. If it held together we would usually finish in the top-10. In 1989 we were able to put a complete race together and get our first win. I'm proud of what I was able to accomplish down there, but that first win really sticks out."

Patrick Carpentier, No. 10 Tow Truck in a Box Dodge Charger

On racing at Talladega Superspeedway: "This will be my third restrictor plate race in the Cup Series and I'm glad I know what to expect running in those big packs. I wouldn't say it's something that you can ever get comfortable doing --running 200 mph inches away from each other -- but you can get used to it. That's something I have going for me now that I didn't have going into Talladega in the spring.

"We just need to be smart and keep the Tow Truck in a Box Dodge clear of trouble so we can be there for the closing laps. That's what really matters. But in the back of your mind you still know it's Talladega and anything can happen at that place. You can never let your guard down."

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

"I really look forward to racing at Talladega Superspeedway. The larger tracks seem to suit me and we have run well at restrictor-plate races this season. One of the biggest transitions from racing in the IndyCar Series to NASCAR is learning the different types of tracks. Most of my previous experience has been at tracks that are 1.5 miles and larger. I think that is why I enjoy the bigger tracks. We are focused on racing the Mobil 1 Dodge back into the top-35 in owner points. We need to race smart and stay out of trouble to gain valuable points on Sunday."

-credit: dodge motorsports

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Bobby Labonte , Terry Labonte , Patrick Carpentier , Kasey Kahne , Sam Hornish Jr.