Weekend Preview: Busch, Kahne Inside Top 12 With Eight Races Remaining to Chase for the Championship

RELEASE

JOLIET, Ill., (July 8, 2009) – The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series heads to the heat and humidity of the Midwest as Chicagoland Speedway hosts Saturday night’s LifeLock.com 400. Sitting nearly 50 miles from the Windy City, Chicagoland represents the start of the second-half of NASCAR’s 36 race regular-season point’s schedule.

Seven Dodge Chargers will compete in the event including Kurt Busch and Kasey Kahne, both of which sit inside the top-12 in the Sprint Cup driver standings with only eight races remaining in the ‘Race to the Chase’.

Dodge has one victory (R. Newman – 2003) in eight races at the 1.5-mile tri-oval.

Kurt Busch (No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge Charger) is no stranger to success at Chicagoland. In eight starts, Busch has scored five top-10 finishes and has qualified as high as second. The Penske Racing veteran earned his sixth top-five and 10th top-10 of the season last weekend in Daytona and currently sits fourth in the Cup point standings.

“Chicago to me always feels like a second home with my love of the city, my family being from that area of the country and just trying to put our Miller Lite Dodge in Victory Lane,” Busch said. “We know that it’s going to be a hot, slick race track and rain is always a possibility in the Midwest this time of year. We’re bringing another strong Penske Racing Dodge Charger to the track this weekend and hope to build on the success that we’ve had so far this year on the intermediate tracks.”

Kasey Kahne (No. 9 Budweiser Dodge) used a 15th-place finish last Saturday at Daytona International Speedway to move up to 12th in the standings. He leads 13th-place Martin by only 65 points heading into this weekend’s race and is looking to shed the bad luck that has followed him at Chicagoland. In five starts, Kahne has yet to score a top-10 finish. Kahne has an average Chicagoland finish of 12th-place.

“I enjoy Chicagoland,” Kahne said. “We haven’t run that well there in a Cup car. I think that (Chicagoland) is just one of those tracks that we haven’t hit our stride for some reason. When you haven’t run well somewhere, you hope at some point it’s going to change because it’s a track that you like. I think this weekend can be one of those weekends where we qualify well and have a good race Saturday night.”

Other Notes:
• Elliott Sadler (No 19 Insignia/Best Buy Dodge) is one of 14 Sprint Cup drivers to have competed in all eight Chicagoland races.
• Reed Sorenson (No. 43 McDonald’s McCafe Dodge Charger) has two top-15 finishes in three NSCS starts at Chicagoland.
• AJ Allmendinger (No. 44 Hunt Brothers Pizza Dodge Charger) finished 13th in his only Sprint Cup start at Chicagoland Speedway. His season-best finish in 2009 is third at the season-opening Daytona 500.

2009 Top 12 NSCS Drivers
Driver Points
1. Tony Stewart 2,719
2. Jeff Gordon 2,539
3. Jimmie Johnson 2,525
4. Kurt Busch 2,414
5. Carl Edwards 2,317
6. Denny Hamlin 2,302
7. Ryan Newman 2,235
8. Kyle Busch 2,234
9. Greg Biffle 2,215
10. Matt Kenseth 2,201
11. Juan Pablo Montoya 2,187
12. Kasey Kahne 2,166
What You Need To Know
The Race: LifeLock.com 400
The Place: Chicagoland Speedway
The Date: Saturday, July 11
Green Flag: 8:16 p.m. (ET)
The Track: 1.5-mile tri-oval
The Distance: 400 miles/267 laps
Television: TNT, 6:30 p.m. (ET)

2009 Dodge Motorsports Driver Statistics
Driver Rank Points Behind Starts Poles Wins Top 5s Top 10s Earnings
Kurt Bush 4 2254 -270 17 0 1 5 9 $2,414,210
Kasey Kahne 13 2048 -476 17 0 1 2 6 $2,755,630
Elliott Sadler 23 1660 -864 17 0 0 1 2 $2,035,610
Sam Hornish Jr. 25 1638 -886 17 0 0 0 4 $2,141,810
Reed Sorenson 26 1604 -920 17 0 0 0 1 $2,337,630
AJ Allmendinger 29 1534 -990 17 0 0 1 3 $2,177,350
David Stremme 31 1441 -1083 17 0 0 0 0 $2,233,790

Dodge Weekend Motorsports on TV
(All Times Eastern)

Thursday, July 9
2:00 p.m. – NASCAR Live (SPEED)
3:00 p.m. – Nationwide Series Pole Qualifying at Chicagoland (ESPN2)
5:00 p.m. – NASCAR Now (ESPN2)
5:00 p.m. – Sprint Cup Practice at Chicagoland (SPEED)
6:00 p.m. – Sprint Cup Final Practice (SPEED)
7:30 p.m. – NASCAR Live (SPEED)
7:30 p.m. – Nationwide Series Countdown (ESPN)
8:00 p.m. – Nationwide Series Race at Chicagoland (ESPN)
11:00 p.m. – Trackside at Chicagoland (SPEED)

Friday, July 10
4:30 p.m. – NASCAR Live (SPEED)
5:00 p.m. – Sprint Cup Practice at Chicagoland (SPEED)
6:30 p.m. – NASCAR Now (ESPN2)
6:30 p.m. – NASCAR Live (SPEED)
8:00 p.m. – Drafting Partners featuring Ryan Newman / Josh Turner (GAC)
8:30 p.m. – Sprint Cup Pole Qualifying at Chicagoland (SPEED)
9:00 p.m. – Inside Track: Refueling the Business of NASCAR (CNBC)
10:00 p.m. – Inside Track: Refueling the Business of NASCAR (CNBC)

Saturday, July 11
4:30 p.m. – NASCAR RaceDay (SPEED)
6:30 p.m. – NASCAR on TNT Live! (TNT)
7:30 p.m. – Countdown to Green (TNT)
8:00 p.m. – Sprint Cup LifeLock 400 at Chicagoland (TNT)
8:16 p.m. – Green Flag for LifeLock 400 (TNT)

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  • MoparForever

    Lets see all of the Dodges finish in the top ten. Especially, Kasey and Kurt so they can stay in the Chase.

  • DodgeRulz

    Speaking of Chargers, when will we see the new Charger that is suppose to look like a 1968-1970? Lets get some excitement back in the lineup. The only car that improved sales from last year was the Challenger and it would have done a lot better if you offered it in all of the High Impact colors. Thanks!

  • DodgeRulz

    Good job Kasey…up to 8th in the chase points.

  • DodgeRulz

    How ’bout those mopars at the Mopar Nationals in Denver. Great job Ron Capps and Allen Johnson!