Weekend Preview: Kurt Busch Leads Dodge Contingent Into Richmond

RELEASE

RICHMOND, Va. (April 30, 2009) – The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series moves from NASCAR’s biggest track – 2.66-mile Talladega Superspeedway – to the smaller confines of Richmond International Raceway, a .75-mile, D-shaped oval, for Saturday night’s Crown Royal 400 – the 10th of 36 events on the Sprint Cup regular-season schedule.

With his sixth-place finish last weekend at Talladega, Penske Racing’s Kurt Busch vaulted into the top spot in the Sprint Cup driver standings by five points over four-time series champion Jeff Gordon. It’s the first time that Busch has been at the top of the standings since March of 2005, 149 races ago.

In previous years, the point standings after the first 10 event have served as a good indicator of what the eventual makeup of the Chase would look like. Since the Chase began in 2004, nearly 80 percent of the drivers that leave Richmond following the May event inside the top-12 have qualified for the Chase.

Dodge has 17 wins at Richmond including three since the manufacturer returned to NASCAR’s premier series in 2001. All seven Dodge Chargers are guaranteed spots in the field of 43.

Kurt Busch (No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge Charger) will make his 17th Cup start at RIR where he has posted one win, two top-five and five top-10 finishes. The 2004 Sprint Cup Series champion is one of only four active drivers to post six top 10s at RIR.

“Our plan when we entered this season was to attack each and every race like it was the most important race on the schedule, with our first major goal being to make the Chase,” said Busch. “Our strategy has been to attack every race with the attitude of getting everything we can out of it. If we have a top?10 car, then we strive to make sure we come out of the race with a top?10 finish.”

Kasey Kahne (No. 9 Budweiser Dodge Charger) will certainly be a driver to watch at Richmond this weekend. In 10 RIR starts, Kahne has one win, two top-five and five top-10 finishes. He claimed his first career Sprint Cup Series victory at RIR in 2005, starting from the pole and leading 242 of the 400 laps. He currently sits just 33 points out of 12th in the 2009 driver point standings.

“Whether our results show it or not, I feel like we’re usually a pretty fast car,” said Kahne. “We’re usually real close to a top-10 or top-15 car. The wreck at Talladega hurt us in the points and that was a deal that you just can’t control. Richmond, Charlotte, Dover and Darlington – all those tracks, I’ve ran well at. This could be a good month or month-and-a-half for us to get back to where we need to be and hopefully back in the top 10 in points.”

Other Notes
• Sam Hornish Jr. (No. 77 Mobil 1 Dodge Charger) qualified on the outside pole at last year’s spring event.
• AJ Allmendinger (No. 44 PVA.org King’s Cup Dodge Charger) will be making his fifth career start at RIR.
• David Stremme (No. 12 Penske Racing Dodge Charger) has a career-best finish of eighth in five starts at Talladega.
• Elliott Sadler (No. 19 Stanley Tools Dodge Charger) has a career-best Richmond finish of seventh.
• Reed Sorenson (No. 43 McDonald’s McCafe Dodge Charger) has raced to two top-15 finishes (12th Phoenix, 11th Talladega) in the last two NSCS events.

2009 Dodge Motorsports Driver Statistics
Driver Rank Points Behind Starts Poles Wins Top 5s Top 10s Earnings
Kurt Bush 1 1299 – 9 0 1 3 6 $1,397,490
Kasey Kahne 14 1030 -269 9 0 0 1 2 $1,421,900
David Stremme 22 899 -400 9 0 0 0 0 $1,322,410
Reed Sorenson 24 881 -418 9 0 0 0 1 $1,369,500
AJ Allmendinger 27 847 -452 9 0 0 1 2 $1,503,440
Elliott Sadler 28 845 -454 9 0 0 1 1 $1,284,990
Sam Hornish Jr. 31 775 -524 9 0 0 0 1 $1,150,730

2009 NASCAR SPRINT CUP SERIES POINT STANDINGS
(After 9 of 36 races)

1. Kurt Busch 1,299 points
2. Jeff Gordon 1,294
3. Jimmie Johnson 1,235
4. Tony Stewart 1,232
5. Denny Hamlin 1,193
6. Kurt Busch 1,124
7. Carl Edwards 1,119
8. Clint Bowyer 1,098
9. Jeff Burton 1,092
10. Greg Biffle 1,098
11. David Reutimann 1,077
12. Matt Kenseth 1,063

What You Need To Know
The Race: Crown Royal 400
The Place: Richmond International Raceway
The Date: Saturday, May 2
The Time: 7:30 p.m. (ET)
The Track: .75-mile oval
The Distance: 300 miles/ 400 laps
TV: Fox, 7:00 p.m. (ET)
Radio: SIRIUS Satellite Radio

Dodge Weekend Motorsports on TV
(All Times Eastern)

Friday, May 1
12:00 p.m. – Sprint Cup Practice – Richmond (SPEED)
1:30 p.m. – NASCAR Live (SPEED)
2:00 p.m. – Sprint Cup Final Practice (SPEED)
3:30 p.m. – NASCAR Live (SPEED)
4:00 p.m. – Nationwide Series Pole Qualifying – Richmond (SPEED)
5:30 p.m. – Sprint Cup Pole Qualifying (SPEED)
7:00 p.m. – Nationwide Series Countdown (ESPN2)
7:30 p.m. – Nationwide Series Race (ESPN2)
11:00 p.m. – Trackside at Richmond (SPEED)

Saturday, May 2
10:00 a.m. – NASCAR Now (ESPN2)
11:00 a.m. – Nationwide Series at Richmond [Replay] (ESPNC)
11:00 a.m. – Trackside at Richmond (SPEED)
5:00 p.m. – NASCAR Raceday (SPEED)
7:00 p.m. – Sprint Cup Pre-Race Show (Fox)
7:30 p.m. – Sprint Cup Race – Richmond (Fox)

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  • 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