Weekend Preview: Red-Hot Kasey Kahne Ready to ‘Kiss the Bricks’ at Indy

RELEASE

SPEEDWAY, Ind. (July 23, 2008) – After enjoying a rare non-race NASCAR Sprint Cup Series weekend, the ‘Dodge Boys’ return to action at the hallowed grounds of Indianapolis Motor Speedway for this weekend’s Allstate 400 at The Brickyard.

The 20th event on the Sprint Cup regular-season schedule, the Allstate 400 at The Brickyard is the fourth event in the 10-event “Race to the Chase” which leads into NASCAR’s playoffs – The Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup.

The Indy traditions such as the winner kissing the bricks at the start-finish line and taking a sip of milk in victory lane are still in place, but the major question throughout the season about the stop at the Brickyard has been about tires. Has the problem that plagued last year’s race been resolved?

Leading into this year’s event, Goodyear has conducted seven tire tests at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, with 30 teams logging more 13,000 miles on the 2.5-mile track in search of a compound that will wear longer. Reports indicate the test have produced positive results. Participating in some of those tests were Dodge drivers Kasey Kahne, Reed Sorenson and Kurt Busch.

Dodge has recorded two pole positions at IMS (Sadler – 2005 and Sorenson – 2007). Bill Elliott drove a Dodge to victory in the 2002 event.

Kasey Kahne (No. 9 Budweiser Dodge Charger) continues his surge up in the Sprit Cup driver standings. In the last four races, Kahne has improved seven positions and is now eighth, 42 points ahead of the 12th and final position that will complete for the season championship in the final 10-races of the season. Kahne, who will be making his 200th NASCAR Sprint Cup Series start this weekend, has marked four-consecutive top-five starts at the Brickyard.

“It’s hard to believe this will be the 200th start,” Kahne said. “It doesn’t seem like that long ago that I was racing sprint cars in Washington. I feel pretty fortunate to be able to do what I do for a living. I’ve celebrated a lot of great moments in racing and I hope to celebrate more. I still have a lot of goals. I want to win races and compete for and win championships. I’ve had a lot of great support getting to this point and I’m thankful for the success that I have had in NASCAR.”

Elliott Sadler (No.19 Stanley Dodge Charger) certainly has felt comfortable on the 2.5-mile track. He has two top-five finishes (third in 2004, fourth in 2008) and started from the pole in 2005 in 10 previous IMS starts. Sadler will have the new Dodge R6P8 engine under the hood of the No. 19 Dodge for the first time and looks to build on his previous Indy success.

“I’m excited about racing the new Dodge R6 engine this weekend,” Sadler said. “I really feel like we are going to be fast and racing for a chance to win at the end. This is the first time that we’re running that engine in the No. 19 this year, so I guess you could say I’m pretty optimistic based on what we’ve seen from the No. 9 over the last couple weeks.”

Other Notes:
• Kurt Busch (No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge Charger) remains fourth in the Sprint Cup driver point standings. He has been in the top 12 all season and finished 15th or better in 13 of the 19 races.
• AJ Allmendinger (No. 44 Hunt Brothers Dodge Charger) finished 10th last year in his lone Sprint Cup start at the Brickyard.
• David Stremme (No. 12 Penske Racing Dodge Charger) earned a career-best IMS finish of 18th in his inaugural Brickyard 400 in 2006. He did not compete at IMS last year.
• Reed Sorenson (No. 43 Valvoline Dodge Charger) earned his first NSCS pole position at the 2007 Brickyard 400 where he raced to his highest IMS finish (fifth).
• Sam Hornish Jr. (No. 77 Mobil 1 Dodge Charger) looks to capture Indy glory once again. The 2006 Indianapolis 500 champion finished 21st last year in his first Sprint Cup outing at the track.

Allstate 400 at The Brickyard Fast Facts
What: All-State 400 at the Brickyard
When: Sunday, July 26, 2:19 p.m. EDT (green flag)
Where: Indianapolis Motor Speedway
Distance: 160 laps/400 miles
TV: ESPN, 1:00 p.m. EDT.

2009 Dodge Motorsports Driver Statistics
Driver Rank Points Behind Starts Poles Wins Top 5s Top 10s Earnings
Kurt Bush 4 2,526 -358 19 0 1 6 10 $2,667,880
Kasey Kahne 8 2,336 -548 19 0 1 3 7 $3,111,950
Elliott Sadler 23 1,881 -1,003 19 0 0 0 1 $2,246,890
AJ Allmendinger 27 1,770 -1,114 19 0 0 1 3 $2,374,550
Reed Sorenson 28 1,759 1,125 19 0 0 0 1 $2,590,060
Sam Hornish 29 1,754 1,130 19 0 0 0 4 $2,348,580
David Stremme 32 1,584 1,300 19 0 0 0 0 $2,473,920

Dodge Weekend Motorsports on TV
(All Times Eastern)
Friday, July 24
2:00 p.m. – Sprint Cup Practice at Indy (ESPN2)
3:00 p.m. – NASCAR Live (SPEED)
3:30 p.m. – Sprint Cup Practice at Indy (ESPN2)
4:30 p.m. – NASCAR Live (SPEED)
5:00 p.m. – Camping World Pole Qualifying at ORP (SPEED)
6:30 p.m. – NASCAR Now (ESPN2)
6:30 p.m. – Trackside at Indianapolis (SPEED)
7:30 p.m. – Camping World SetUp at ORP (SPEED)
8:00 p.m. – Camping World Race at ORP (SPEED)
10:30 p.m. – Trackside at Indianapolis (SPEED)
Saturday, July 25
10:00 a.m. – Sprint Cup Pole Qualifying at Indy (SPEED)
12:30 p.m. – Nationwide Series Final Practice at ORP (ESPN2)
2:00 p.m. – Sprint Cup Practice at Indy (SPEED)
3:00 p.m. – NASCAR Live (SPEED)
3:30 p.m. – Sprint Cup Final Practice at Indy (ESPN2)
4:30 p.m. – Nationwide Series Pole Qualifying at ORP (ESPN2)
6:30 p.m. – NASCAR Live (SPEED)
7:30 p.m. – Nationwide Series Countdown (ESPN)
8:00 p.m. – Nationwide Series Race at ORP (ESPN)

Sunday, July 26
10:00 a.m. – NASCAR Now (ESPN2)
10:00 a.m. – NASCAR Smarts (SPEED)
10:30 a.m. – NASCAR In A Hurry (SPEED)
11:00 a.m. – NASCAR RaceDay (SPEED)
1:00 p.m. – Sprint Cup Countdown (ESPN)
2:00 p.m. – Sprint Cup Allstate 400 at Indy (ESPN) Green Flag: 2:19 p.m.
7:00 p.m. – SPEED Report (SPEED)
8:00 p.m. – NASCAR Victory Lane (SPEED)
9:00 p.m. – Wind Tunnel with Dave Despain (SPEED)
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  • Frank

    Go Kasey you have been close in the past. This is your year. Put that #9 DODGE in victory lane and keep driving to a championship. That car has been looking great for the last seven to eight races. Keep up the good work DODGE boys.