Weekend Preview: Kahne, Hornish Jr. Look to Build on Recent Success at Lowe’s

RELEASE

CONCORD, N.C. (May 20, 2009) – The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series returns to the 1.5-mile quad-oval of Lowe’s Motor Speedway for this weekend’s 50th running of the Coca-Cola 600 – a four hundred lap, 600-mile endurance test of both man and machine.

As NASCAR’s longest race, the Coca-Cola 600 has embraced career-defining debuts, victories and action each year since its 1960 christening — an inimitable formula of distance and difficulty that hasn’t mellowed with the years.

All seven of the Dodge drivers entered in the Coca-Cola 600 are assured berths in the event which starts in the late afternoon and concludes under the lights and requires extensive adjustments over the course of the event which lasts just over four-and-a-half hours.

Kasey Kahne (No. 9 Budweiser Dodge Charger) returns to Lowe’s as the defending event champion. With his 2008 win, Kahne became just the sixth driver in NASCAR history to win both the Sprint All-Star and Coca-Cola 600 races back-to-back.

“This is definitely one of the toughest races on the driver both mentally and physically,” Kahne said. “We didn’t have the success that we were looking for early on in the All-Star Race so we were able to turn it into a test session. We found out what did and didn’t work and hopefully we can apply that to this weekend’s race.”

Sam Hornish Jr. (No. 77 Mobil 1 Dodge Charger) is marking the best month of his young NSCS career. Hornish won last weekend’s Sprint Showdown, the preliminary race that sends the winner to the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race and has two recent top-10 finishes (Phoenix and Richmond). Add a pair of fourth-place starts at Talladega Superspeedway and Darlington Raceway, and Hornish believes he may have overcome last year’s rookie trials and this year’s tough start.

“I love racing at Lowe’s Motor Speedway,” Hornish Jr. said. “It is by far one of my favorite tracks. Having the chance to compete in the All-Star Race gave me an additional 100 laps of practice for this weekend’s Coca-Cola 600. I also earned my first NASCAR trophy by winning the Sprint Showdown and it was such a thrill for me and the entire Mobil 1 team.”

Other Notes:
• Kurt Busch (No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge Charger) has finished 12th or better in eight of the 11 races in 2009.
• AJ Allmendinger (No. 44 Hunt Brothers Dodge Charger) won the 2008 Sprint All-Star Showdown at LMS.
• David Stremme (No. 12 Penske Racing Dodge Charger) has a career-best finish of 17th at 600-mile races at LMS.
• Reed Sorenson (No. 43 Air Force Dodge Charger) has scored the 13th most points over the last four races and climbed seven positions since Texas.
• Elliott Sadler (No. 19 Stanley Dodge Charger) owns the LMS track qualifying record after a lap of 193.216 mph (2005).

Coca-Cola 600 Fast Facts
What: Coca-Cola 600
When: Sunday, May 24, 5:45 p.m.
Where: Lowe’s Motor Speedway
Distance: 400 laps/600 miles
Television: FOX, 5:00 p.m.
Past Champ: Kasey Kahne

2009 Dodge Motorsports Driver Statistics
Driver Starts Wins Top 5s Top 10s Poles Laps Led Avg. Start Avg. Finish Earnings
Kurt Bush 11 1 3 6 0 322 12.6 10.3 $1,591,313
Kasey Kahne 11 0 1 2 0 46 14.1 18.5 $1,654,372
David Stremme 11 0 0 0 0 3 25.9 23 $1,535,509
Elliott Sadler 11 0 1 1 0 29 28 22.9 $1,461,610
Reed Sorenson 11 0 0 1 0 0 30.6 21.4 $1,603,905
AJ Allmendinger 11 0 1 2 0 0 25.8 22.6 $1,662,963
Sam Hornish Jr. 11 0 1 2 0 3 22.1 24.5 $1,368.774

Dodge Weekend Motorsports on TV, Radio
(All Times Eastern)

Thursday, May 21
12:00 p.m. NASCAR Live SPEED
1:00 p.m. NNS Practice LMS SPEED
2:30 p.m. NASCAR Live SPEED
3:00 p.m. NSCS LMS Practice SPEED
5:00 p.m. NASCAR Now ESPN2
6:00 p.m. NNS Final Practice SPEED
7:00 p.m. NSCS Coca Cola 600 Qualifying SPEED

Friday, May 22
No track activity

Saturday, May 23
2:30 p.m. NSCS Practice SPEED
3:30 p.m. NNS Pole Qualifying SPEED
6:00 p.m. NSCS Final Practice SPEED
7:00 p.m. NNS Countdown ESPN2
7:30 p.m. NNS: CARQUEST Auto Parts 300 ESPN2

Sunday, May 24
1:30 p.m. NASCAR Performance SPEED
2:00 p.m. NASCAR Smarts SPEED
2:30 p.m. NASCAR in a Hurry SPEED
3:00 p.m. NASCAR RaceDay SPEED
5:00 p.m. NSCS Pre-Race Show FOX
5:45 p.m. NSCS: Coca-Cola 600 at LMS
8:00 p.m. SPEED Report SPEED
9:00 p.m. Wind Tunnel with Dave Despain SPEED

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  • MoparForever

    Come on Kasey and Sam, keep improving so you get in the Chase and then you can win every race.