Busch and Dodge Dominant in Road-Course Win at Infineon!

 

Our own Kurt Busch earned his 23rd career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series victory Sunday in dominant fashion, leading a race-high 76 of 110 laps in the No. 22 Shell/Pennzoil Dodge Charger at Infineon Raceway.  Busch’s winning margin of four-seconds over second-place Jeff Gordon was never in jeopardy and continued a month-long hot streak that includes three poles and a race win. It was the second win of the season for Dodge.  Brad Keselowski gave Dodge its first victory earlier this month at Kansas.

 

Kurt’s win vaulted the 2004 series champion three positions to fourth in the Sprint Cup driver point standings.  He’s only 34 points behind the leader.  Busch’s win at the 1.99-mile, 12-turn road course was the first road-course victory of his career and first win since the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte in May, 2010.  Busch’s previous best finish in 10-career starts at Infineon was third in 2005.

 

After dominating Friday’s practice, the driver of the “Double-Deuce” was a bit off the mark in qualifying, posting the 11th fastest lap.  With track position always a key at Infineon, Busch would need a fast race car and great race strategy to contend for a win.  He got both.  The fastest car all day, Busch drove to the front of the field on lap 13 and led all but 21of the final 97 laps.

 

“It was an unbelievable setup,” said Kurt.  “Once we got into the groove with this car, it seemed to get better after lap five or six.  Our cars have never done that before.  I’m real proud of this Dodge team, everybody from Shell and Pennzoil.  If that doesn’t inspire you to go get a SRT8 Dodge Charger, I don’t know what will.  That was an awesome handling Dodge.  I’m so proud of these guys for stepping up after what we’ve been through.  Man, we’ve been on a high these last few weeks.”

Led by crew chief Steve Addington, the Shell/Pennzoil Dodge team elected to go with the two pit-stop strategy over the course of the 110-lap race.  With a fast race car and incredible fuel mileage, Busch only needed to get to the race lead and let his Dodge Charger do the rest.  Once in clean air, Addington’s race strategy and Busch’s fast race car easily pulled away from the 43-car field.  It became apparent very early in the race the No. 22 Dodge was the car to beat.

 

We stuck to it, our strategy,” said Steve.  “We had a game plan.  Kurt said he was going to try to get a couple of positions there at the start.  I was thinking, okay, if we start 11th, we’ll get to 7th or 8th.  He drove by everyone, took the lead.  That made it easier on me and my guys to make a decision.  We felt like we had the speed in our car to go to our designated lap before stopping.  It didn’t matter what everybody else was doing.”

The next stop for our hard “Charging” drivers will be the Coke Zero 400 at the Daytona International Speedway on July 2.

 


  • HEMIhead

    WOW! Congrats Kurt and Team! Great win for Dodge. Awesome jump in the Cup points to 4th also. Keep it up “DODGE BOYS” We are watching!

  • Mark ROgers

    I hope Busch and Penske dont give up on Dodge, like Evernham and Petty did.

  • http://www.diecastcray.com MoparBob

    Now this is the kind of performance us DODGE Rebellion fans expect.  Great job!  Keep it up!

  • mary

    Get this crap off my computer–If I wanted a truck I wouldn’t buy one by looking at an ad on my computer

  • Mopar_Dodge_91

    @Mary: wtf??

    Anyways, congrats to Kurt B, and Dodge. This is what keeps me watching Nascar as a Mopar fan. Hope to get another pole, or even better a win at Daytona.

  • Mopar_Dodge_91

    Also big up’s to Jacques Villeneuve in the NNS race on Saturday. He made that race run to watch. Yes he did do a crazy move, but after all that, he came back and finish 3rd. Hope to see him back at another Road Course race for Penske Dodge.

  • Mopar_Dodge_91

    *fun

  • tr4petty

    RLD, you’re a little slow to post these things.  I’d commented on this already in a Nascar related article below but since you’ve updated, I’ll post again:
    WAY TO GO, KURT AND TEAM!  This is what us Dodge/Nascar fans (and there are still a lot of us left) want to see on the weekends!  Kurt dominated the race, just like a Dodge should, and Brad got a 10th place, which is quite respectable for someone with as little road course experience as he has.  Robby’s 18th place finish was decent, considering the way his year has been going, but I was really expecting him to get a top 10.
    C’mon, Dodge, let’s take advantage of this rally by the Penske teams and use their recent successes as a catalyst for investing more into Nascar!  We need more teams and greater participation in the Nationwide and Truck series.
    Again, CONGRATS to Kurt, Brad, and their teams!

  • RobbieinVA

    Mark,

    Petty didn’t give up on Dodge nor vice versa.  At the time the change was made Petty only owned 4% of RPM hardly any decision making power.  The real owners the Gilletts had been looking for a toyota deal since the second half of 2008 before RPM was ever formed.  Why do you think Evernham left as quickly and quietly as he did?  Gillett tried and failed to aquire Bill Davis’ 22 and that fell through because of lack of funds so he moved on to the 43.

    When Mopar was forced to cut the racing effort its a no brainer that they chose Penske over a group that was looking elsewhere anyway.  It was just unfortunate RP was tied in at the time with the Gilletts.

    Google Petty’s Garage.  You’ll find RP still has a strong tie to Mopar and that it is fully factory so RP is getting money from both Dodge and Ford as  we speak.

    Robbie

  • tr4petty

    Richard “the KING” Petty has been and always will be a Mopar guy.  The change from Dodge to Ford was not his idea.  I continue to hope that Dodge will expand their Nascar effort and offer RPM a deal that will put the famous #43 back onto a Dodge Charger where it belongs!!!