Weekend Preview: Kasey Kahne Looking For Success in Darlington

RELEASE

DARLINGTON, S.C. (May 7, 2009) – Who can tame the ‘Lady in Black’ is the question NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers have heading into this weekend’s Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway. One year after NASCAR celebrated its 60th year, Darlington Raceway is set for a 60-year celebration of its own. Darlington is the second-oldest track in NASCAR and has hosted 105 Sprint Cup races over the past 59 years.

Saturday night’s event is the 11th of 36 point races on the 2009 Sprint Cup schedule. All seven Dodge drivers entered are guaranteed starting positions in the 43-car field for the 367-lap event on the 1.366-mile, egg-shaped track.

Kasey Kahne (No. 9 Budweiser Dodge Charger) certainly knows his way around the tricky track considered by many the toughest in NASCAR. With three career poles, Kahne has proven he is plenty fast at the track called ‘Too Tough To Tame’. Currently 17th in the point standings, Kahne has two-top five and two top-10 finishes in 10 Darlington starts.

Staying away from the dreaded Turn 2 wall and a ‘Darlington Stripe’ are paramount. In an effort to accomplish that objective, many drivers say they focus on racing the track and not the competition.

“Just don’t hit the wall,” Kahne said. “I think every car on the track is going to hit it (wall); it’s just how hard everyone is going to hit it. It’s a pretty tough track. It’s fast. It’s really going to be tough to pass. I think the key is how hard you’re going to hit it (wall), that’s a big thing.”

Sam Hornish Jr. (No. 77 Mobil 1 Dodge Charger) looks to build on his recent success. He claimed his second top-10 finish in three weeks last weekend in Richmond. Hornish posted a career-best sixth after starting 28th.
“I am so proud to look at the progress of this No. 77 team compared to where we were as a newly-constructed team just a year ago,” said Hornish. “We’ve had some real good runs and been real strong this year. I feel like I’m learning all the time. The Mobil 1 team is growing and getting stronger and things are really starting to come together. I think the same can be said for Penske Racing as a whole.”

Kurt Busch (No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge Charger) has a little Darlington history in his blood. At the 2003 Carolina Dodge Dealers 400 at Darlington Raceway, Busch and Ricky Craven staged the closest finish in the history of electronic scoring and timing in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. Craven took the win by a mere .002 seconds over Busch.

“When Ricky and I staged that nail?biter at Darlington back in 2003, we were racing the smaller cars on old asphalt with softer tires,” said Busch. “The conditions are totally different now than then. We have the bigger and boxier cars. We have the newer asphalt and harder Goodyear tires to race on.

And despite racing with the COT, the Penske Racing veteran has one goal in mind. He wants a win at Darlington and the fact this year’s event is being called the Southern 500 makes it an even bigger trophy.

“The goal remains the same as it was from the very first time I ever raced at Darlington,” said Busch, who competed for the first time at Darlington on March 18, 2001. “Regardless of all the factors involved, the goal and strategy is the same as it ever was. It really is true that you race the track first and don’t worry about the competition until the later stages of the race. I just want to get a win at Darlington.”

Other Notes:
• AJ Allmendinger (No. 44 Best Buy Dodge Charger) will be making his third Darlington start this weekend.
• David Stremme (No. 12 Penske Racing Dodge Charger) qualified fourth for the 2006 spring event.
• Reed Sorenson (No. 43 Valvoline Dodge Charger) has one top-12 finish in three starts at Darlington.
• Elliott Sadler (No. 19 Stanley Dodge Charger) earned his first career pole at Darlington in 2003. He finished second in the 2002 spring event.

2009 Dodge Motorsports Driver Statistics
Driver Rank Points Behind Starts Poles Wins Top 5s Top 10s Earnings

Kurt Bush 2 1431 -10 10 0 1 3 6 $1,490,960
Kasey Kahne 17 1106 -335 10 0 0 1 2 $1,533,150
Reed Sorenson 22 984 -457 10 0 0 0 1 $1,482,360
David Stremme 27 948 -493 10 0 0 0 0 $1,422,470
AJ Allmendinger 28 947 -494 10 0 0 1 2 $1,576,910
Elliott Sadler 29 933 -508 10 0 0 1 1 $1,365,910
Sam Hornish Jr. 30 925 -516 10 0 0 0 2 $,271,770

2009 NASCAR SPRINT CUP
POINT STANDINGS

(After 10 races)
Driver Pts (Wins)
1. Jeff Gordon 1,441 (1)
2. Kurt Busch 1,431 (1)
3. Tony Stewart 1,402
4. Denny Hamlin 1,321
5. Kyle Busch 1,314 (3)
6. Jimmie Johnson 1,290 (1)
7. Jeff Burton 1,257
8. Clint Bowyer 1,212
9. Carl Edwards 1,204
10. Ryan Newman 1,198
11. Greg Biffle 1,193
12. Matt Kenseth 1,187 (2)

Dodge Weekend Motorsports on TV
(All Times Eastern)

Friday, May 8
11:00 a.m. – NASCAR Live (SPEED)
11:30 a.m. – Sprint Cup Practice – Darlington (SPEED)
1:00 p.m. – NASCAR Live (SPEED)
1:30 p.m. – Sprint Cup Final Practice (SPEED)
3:00 p.m. – Nationwide Series Pole Qualifying (SPEED)
4:30 p.m. – NASCAR Live (SPEED)
4:30 p.m. – NASCAR Now (ESPN2)
5:00 p.m. – Sprint Cup Qualifying (SPEED)
7:00 p.m. – Nationwide Countdown (ESPN2)
7:30 p.m. – Nationwide Series Race at Darlington (ESPN2)
11:00 p.m. – Trackside at Darlington (SPEED)
Saturday, May 9
10:00 a.m. – NASCAR Now (ESPN2)
11:00 a.m. – Trackside at Darlington (SPEED)
1:00 p.m. – Nationwide Series at Darlington [Replay] (ESPNC)
3:30 p.m. – NASCAR Performance (SPEED)
4:00 p.m. – NASCAR Smarts (SPEED)
4:30 p.m. – NASCAR In a Hurry (SPEED)
5:00 p.m. – NASCAR RaceDay (SPEED)
7:00 p.m. – Sprint Cup Pre-Race Show (Fox)
7:35 p.m. – Sprint Cup Southern 500 (Fox)
– 30 –


  • http://turpis Curtis

    Mike,

    I have a great deal of respect for you and the great products that Chrysler makes.

    What the heck are the bean counters doing? Bob is one of the best marketing tools Chrysler has. I live in Idaho and I have a Challenger Classic on order with Bob!!!!

    Bob has been one of your best Ambassadors.

    I don’t know how much pull you have but I sure hope you can help Bob out.

    I hope Chrysler reconsiders their decision!

    Curtis

  • nadz

    I can’t believe that Chrysler wants to close down Fredericks. Bob Frederick is the ONLY dealer that I have spoken to in my pursuit of purchasing a Challenger that was both honest and fair. I was just working out a deal with him when this mess happened. In fact, if not for Bob, I would probably have already changed my mind to another car given all the frustration that I have had to deal with. Numbers are one way to make these decisions but reputation is going to mean a lot more coming out of Bankruptcy. If consumers don’t have confidence in the brand anymore and the only dealers left are sheisters, then you are going to still have a dog on your hand. Bean counters got you into this mess, don’t let them keep digging the hole. If you actually go through and cut out a dealer like Fredericks from the list, then, as a company, you have just shown the world how you are making decisions as the “new Chrysler”. And if that’s the direction, I don’t want any part of it.

  • http://challegertalk.com Trukcrazy

    Frederick CDJ (Boardman, OH) on the closure list must be a mistake. If you read how many people Bob has delivered Challengers to on just the challengertalk.com forums, it would have to be more than any other dealer. At least his is the most famous at the moment. This is like putting Grand-Spaulding Dodge on the list at the height of it’s days. think again, Frederick’s Dodge brings in a boatload of respect for Chrysler when it is needing it the most. Bob and the gang represent to most of us the integrity that auotmobile companies need the most. Think again and then again before you lose one of your best assets. Frederick CDJ RULES!!!!

  • MOONDOGNYC

    Closing Frederick Dodge ?
    As someone that drove 1600 miles round trip to purchase from this dealership, I can tell you that Chrysler has made yet another financial mistake. Bob Federick has done more for Chysler than just sell cars. He has restored my faith in American cars by delivering on his word. Something that is very hard to come by in these financially tumultuous times. Every dealership in my home state was busy gouging the customer and hurting a struggling company that deperately needed to sell cars. It was so sad to see dealers(that are not on your list)charging $10,000 over invoice for Challengers, making customers confused,upset and even angry that these dealers were more interested in their time honored practice of price gouging while the corporation sank into bankruptcy. Amazing….
    When will this company make wiser choices ?

  • NotSure

    Mike,

    We as consumers of your product ask a favor of you.

    Mr Bob Frederick has been one of the most stand up people to deal with concerning buying a DCJ product I and many others have ever dealt with.His dealership is a shrine to us all who know Bob and his passion for this industry and your product. Why then is his dealership on the list to be closed as he has made so many customers happy coast to coast.
    I know the many aspects of business applies here however please consider doing something to make this right as he is one of the guys you should use as a keystone dealership and not discard.

    Please make this right as if he goes this will leave a bitter taste in the mouths of the 1000’s of people he helped get into your products giving Fiat someone like Bob and his staff is a plus plus..

    Make this a human decision please and not a business guided mistake.

    Thank you for your time.
    NOTSURE