Texas II: Dodge Motorsports preview

DID YOU KNOW? * There have been 24 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races in the state of Texas -- 14 at Texas Motor Speedway, eight at Texas World Speedway and one at Meyer Speedway (Houston). Dodge has visited victory lane six times (twice at...

DID YOU KNOW?

* There have been 24 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races in the state of Texas -- 14 at Texas Motor Speedway, eight at Texas World Speedway and one at Meyer Speedway (Houston). Dodge has visited victory lane six times (twice at TMS, three times at TWS and at Meyer Speedway). Bobby Allison was the winner at Meyer Speedway (1971) while Bobby Isaac (1969), Buddy Baker (1972) and Richard Petty (1973) were the Dodge winners at TWS, a two-mile track in College Station.

DODGE ROOKIE CONTENDERS

* Sam Hornish Jr. leads Regan Smith by two points (195-193) in the Raybestos® Rookie standings entering the Dickies 500 at Texas Motor Speedway. Hornish Jr. has sole possession of first-place in the standings for the first time since the LENOX Industrial Tools 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway (race No. 17).

DODGE DRIVER QUOTES

Kasey Kahne, No. 9 Budweiser Dodge Charger

Talk about Racing at Texas this weekend. "I always look forward to racing at Texas, especially after Atlanta and the troubles we had there. Texas is a track that we run pretty well at. We are running the same car that we ran second with at Charlotte so hopefully we can challenge for a top-five. In the spring race we had a top-10 car, but had an issue with our splitter that forced us to make a green-flag pit stop so we didn't get the finish that we were capable of."

What separates Texas from the other mile-and-a-half tracks? "Getting into Turn 1 can be tricky. It is real flat and then as you are coming into the corner, you get into the banking. It's almost like you fall into the corner at 190 miles per hour. Turn 3 is similar, but it is not as drastic. It is a difficult place to get your car to handle the way you want. It is a great track, but you really need your car to handle well on entry to be competitive."

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

On going back to Texas Motor Speedway: "I always look forward to going back to Texas. Being from Corpus Christi, I have a lot of fans in the Lone Star State. I can't wait for the day that we can get to victory lane there. The track is so similar to Charlotte and Atlanta and I love both of those places. I think it's just a matter of time before we break into the win column. We've had good cars at Texas and we've run well there in several races, but we're still looking for that first win. This weekend would be a great time to pick that up."

Chad McCumbee, No. 45 RPDE/ TheGPSStore.com Dodge Charger

On this weekend at Texas: "Texas is a track that I took to pretty quickly in my Craftsman Truck Series career. We came really close to a win there last year and the fact that we didn't get the win drives me every time that I go back there. We're bringing a new setup to the track this weekend, one that we have a lot of confidence in. Our engineer department has been working on the shaker rigs and wind tunnels to develop setups from the notes package that our crew chiefs have put together this year."

"I knew that coming into these races that the guys in the series are the best racecar drivers in the world. But until you get out here on the track with them you don't fully understand how good they are. It's amazing how much I have learned from racing guys like Jeff Gordon, Mark Martin and my teammate, Bobby Labonte. I'm already a better racecar driver because of it and it will make me an even better one in the future."

AJ Allmendinger, No. 10 Country Crock Dodge Charger

On this weekend at Texas: "Texas is a similar track to Atlanta and Charlotte. That should mean good things for our Country Crock team. We had a solid day in Atlanta. This is a strong team and if you look back over the past two weeks, we've had to start in the back and work our way up front.

"I'm hoping we get the chance to qualify this weekend at Texas. Although we have a secured spot in the lineup if it rains, I know this team is better than our 39th place starts. Maybe we'll get a chance to prove that his weekend. If we can get a decent start it will go a long way in helping to get the Country Crock team its first top 10 of the year."

Kurt Busch, No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge Charger

On this weekend: "What's so promising is that we've been looking back at Sunday's race at Atlanta and we can point to several changes on our race setup that we are convinced would have made us more competitive. It's a work in progress and that's so much better than what we've seen the majority of this season. Most of the races this year, we've been left scratching our heads because we've been so far out in left field.

"We're certainly heading into Texas this weekend hoping we can keep that competitive level going. It feels really good to be able to run up front again and lead laps. To be within striking distance at the end of the race is something I crave every week we're out there."

Ryan Newman, No. 12 Alltel Dodge Charger

On the final three races: "We started off the year with a bang (at Daytona) and it would be nice to be able to finish it with a bang. We have three races to do it, and they are all tracks where we have had good runs in the No. 12 Alltel Dodge. Earlier this year, we were fourth at Texas. We won the pole at Phoenix, and I'm pretty confident we would have had a solid run there, but we had a motor issue that took us out of the race early. And at Homestead last year, we started second and finished 18th. I have had a good career at Penske Racing and I am grateful for everything the team has done for me. I would like to say thanks and be able to leave on a high note, and scoring a string of good finishes here at the end of the season would be the perfect way to do just that."

-credit: dodge motorsports

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Bobby Labonte , Kurt Busch , Ryan Newman , Richard Petty , Kasey Kahne , Regan Smith , Bobby Allison , Chad McCumbee , Buddy Baker , Sam Hornish Jr. , Mark Martin
Teams Team Penske