Weekend Recap: Elliott Sadler Posts Best Finish Since Season Opener At Daytona

RELEASE

DARLINGTON, S.C. (Saturday, May 9, 2009) – Darlington Raceway proved once again why it is referred to as “The Lady In Black” and “Too Tough To Tame”. Saturday night’s Southern 500 had a record 17 cautions with 20 of the 43 starters involved in mishaps, some more than once. Most of the remaining 23 cars carried significant battle scars, many with a signature “Darlington Stripe” after contact with the retaining walls.

All seven Dodge teams were competitive on the 1.366-mile, egg-shaped oval. At one point, four Dodges were running in the top 10. When the checkered flag fell on the 367-lap event after just over four hours of racing, the results didn’t reflect the performance.

Elliott Sadler finished 14th in the Stanley Tools Dodge Charger, best among the Dodge teams. It was Sadler’s best finish since the season-opening Daytona 500 where he was fifth.

Sadler led once in the race and competed in the top 15 most of the race. He managed to elude most of the major mishaps, but there were anxious moments. Sadler though he had a major problem on lap 238 when he radioed his crew he had run over something on the track and thought he had cut down a tire. His crew urged him to stay out as long as possible, hoping for another yellow flag. The 11th caution on lap 250 gave the team a chance to bring the No. 19 Dodge to pit road for service.

“I’m real proud of my guys on this Stanley Tools Dodge Charger tonight,” Sadler said. “The last time that we ran this car, we didn’t run real with it. They took it back to the shop and figured out how to put some more weight in it, maybe 40 or 50 pounds more weight in it than we’ve run all year. It made a hell of a difference. We could adjust on it all night and make it better throughout the race. We’re still missing a few things. We had great pit stops all night. Baby steps, yes, but we’re going to make it.”

Kurt Busch, who entered the event second in the season point standings, battled an ill-handling race car throughout the night. He managed to stay on the lead lap the entire event, but the team never found a solution for its problem. Busch finished 16th. He has finished outside the top 20 only once in the first 11 races.

“It was a really tough night out there for the Miller Lite Dodge,” Busch said. “We started eighth and that was as far up front as we ever ran (all night). We missed the setup really bad. We were so loose during the first part of the race, it was like I was going to crash every lap. When we started adjusting on it, we got it better, but really got the balance of the car messed up. The last 100 laps out there were about as wild as it gets. It was survival of the fittest. Guys running in the top-10 were spinning and hitting the wall. It was unbelievable how the pit stops kept shuffling everything around. We got our car too tight at the big end of the track and too loose at the little end. We were just way too loose with no side bite. We started with a setup that was so loose that all the crutches that we used to tighten it up just killed the balance of it. It’s amazing that we weren’t wrecked in the garage.”

Busch is now third in the season point standings, 55 behind the leader.

AJ Allmendinger went a lap down early in the race, but worked his way back with the leaders and finished 17th. Teammate Reed Sorenson finished 19th.

“We stayed about the same the whole race,” said Sorenson. “The back of the car felt real good. We were just too tight. We made a ton of adjustments, but couldn’t make it better.”

Kasey Kahne, Sam Hornish Jr. and David Stremme looked strong early and on their way to potential top-10 finishes or better before misfortune struck.

Kahne led five times in the race for 45 laps and was running in the top 10 when cars started checking up in front of him. He couldn’t stop and the contact damaged the nose of the No. 9 Budweiser Dodge which required an unscheduled pit stop. Kahne finished 23rd.

“It was a great effort,” he said. “It felt good having a car capable of winning again. We made a lot of gains throughout the weekend, from setup to overall information on performance. We just ran into some bad luck there in the later stages of the race. But for sure, this gives us a lot of confidence heading into Charlotte next weekend.”

Crew chief Kenny Francis was disappointed with the results, but pleased with the performance.

“Our Budweiser Dodge was really good tonight,” he said. “I thought we were one of the cars to beat there at the beginning. It’s unfortunate we got in that little fender-bender there which tore the nose up pretty bad. We had enough cautions to work on it and got it pretty good there toward the end of the race. We just never could quite get back on the lead lap. Getting the nose knocked in, the car got hot and we had to pit under green and lost two laps. It’s unfortunate because we had a really good car. I’m really proud of the guys and all the hard work we put in. We hit on some stuff that we’ve been doing a little bit different and it seemed to work, so we’ll build on that and keep going. It’s unfortunate for the results, but real happy and encouraged by the improvement in how the car was running.”

Stremme was running just outside the top 10 when contact with another car put the No. 12 Penske Dodge into the wall.

“It was a tough night,” said Stremme. “We had a good race car early in the race until another car put me in the fence. We had to pit under green and fell back to finish 24th. The Penske Racing Dodge guys did a good job getting the back-up car ready to race; it just wasn’t the finish that we deserved.”

Hornish overcame an early mishap and was running in the top 15 when a second spin forced an unscheduled green-flag pit stop. He finished 30th.

“It was a long night for sure,” said Hornish. “We had a good race car to start out the race. We got a little behind on some adjustments; a couple guys took two tires, we took four on the first stop like everyone did and for as tight as we were getting, we probably should have just taken two. Then we got back in traffic and were trying to play with the line in (Turn) 2 and just spun our Mobil 1 Dodge around. It took almost 150 laps to get our lap back. Then we got turned around when Junior (Dale Earnhardt) and Matt (Kenseth) got together and had to pit under green because the yellow flag didn’t come out. The car freed up after the pit stop and I ended up in the wall again with a lot of damage that sent us to the garage.”

THE DODGE BOYS

Driver Team Finished
Elliott Sadler No. 19 Stanley Tools Dodge Charger 14
Kurt Busch No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge Charger 16
AJ Allmendinger No. 44 Best Buy Dodge Charger 17
Reed Sorenson No. 43 Valvoline Dodge Charger 19
Kasey Kahne No. 9 Budweiser Dodge Charger 23
David Stremme No. 12 Penske Racing Dodge Charger 24
Sam Hornish Jr. No. 77 Mobil 1 Dodge Charger 30


Driver Rank Starts Points Behind Wins Poles T5s T10s

Kurt Busch 3 11 1546 -55 1 0 3 6
Kasey Kahne 16 11 1205 -396 0 0 1 2
Reed Sorenson 23 11 1090 -511 0 0 0 1
AJ Allmendinger 25 11 1059 -542 0 0 1 2
Elliott Sadler 26 11 1059 -542 0 0 1 1
David Stremme 27 11 1039 -562 0 0 0 0
Sam Hornish Jr. 31 11 998 -603 0 0 0 2

NASCAR SPRINT CUP
POINT STANDINGS
(After 11 of 36 Races)

1. Jeff Gordon 1,601
2. Tony Stewart -29
3. Kurt Busch -55
4. Jimmie Johnson -136
5. Denny Hamlin -156
6. Jeff Burton -217
7. Kyle Busch -221
8. Ryan Newman -238
9. Greg Biffle -256
10. Matt Kenseth -275
11. Mark Martin -285
12. Carl Edwards -330

– 30 –


  • MoparsForever

    Come on Kasey, a few top 5 finishes and you will be in the Chase. Once they start the Chase, then Kurt and Kasey can win every race. Lets see all the Dodge Boys get in the Chase!

  • TAZ Allen

    It is up to the NASCAR Dodge boys to give the Mopar Faithful some good news…. GO out there and win,win,win!!!! Get some people interested in Dodge and into the showrooms..

    MOPAR FOREVER!!

    Tazallen

  • 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!!!!

  • Norm Kowalski

    Don’t close Bob Fredericks dealership. That would be a mistake. He’s basically the reason a lot of us haven’t totally lost faith in Chrysler Corporation. Bob deserves a medal from you guys.

  • MOONDOGNYC

    I can not believe what I have read…
    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 ?

  • djwhog

    There is no way possible that this can happen! If you close Fredricks Dodge you are closing not only on of the best dealers that ever has been there for the Mopar brand, but a store that has made you “MOPAR” live as long as you have.

    Bob has been there for not only his customers, but folks that purchased cars fom other stores, people that were so frustrated they were ready to buy a Honda or Toyota as a result of poor customer service from Dodge and or the other selling dealers.

    But Bob was able to comunicate with the correct parties to keep folks from jumping ship. Fredricks Dodge is also so responsible for product imput, feedback, and helping 1000s of others to purchase a Mopar rather than look else where.

    If you had more dealers Like Bob Fredricks you would not be in the situation you are in today. It is that simple!

    LOOK CHRYSLER, I understand you are going through hard times, many are, but this dealership in NO WAY needs to be cut. if you do that, even though I worked for GM for 18 years, and drive all Mopar products, I will never again buy a darn thing from you.

    I am sure that this goes for 1000s of our folks on many a Mopar Internet Bulliten board. So listen up and get Fredricks Dodge off this chop list and back in the game. You are cutting your own throat if you do not!

  • http://www.dodgechallengerregistry.com Venthos

    So yesterday I read the dealer closure list. I’ve waited until now to post to ensure I didn’t type a knee-jerk reaction post. One of the first things I did was scan through the list to see if the 3 local dealerships who had jerked me around and treated me like garbage were on the list to be closed. One of the 3 were, and it was the one that was the worst of the 3 I personally delt with in my quest for a Challenger. Tamaroff Dodge of Southfield, MI. I saw that listing and thought “Hmm, this list may actually be fairly accurate”. IF the people who refused to return my phone calls, seemed annoyed with me despite having a deposit down from me, and whose general manager rolled his eyes with me and walked away in a “screw it, not worth it” type of gesture was going to be closed – how can this list be that far off.

    Then I was brought to then attention that Frederick Chrysler Jeep Dodge of Boardman, Ohio (Robert Frederick II) had his dealership listed. I was FLOORED. Bob Frederick has over 30 individuals who bought Challengers from him based out of a relatively small (in the scheme of overall Challenger buyers) niche forum on the internet. (See: http://www.challengertalk.com/forums/f5/frederick-scat-pack-owners-stand-up-counted-17359/ ). That’s THIRTY Challengers sold from a niche community alone. This doesn’t count the people Bob has sold to locally or who simply aren’t a part of the ChallengerTalk.com community. I’m sure I would be AMAZED at the Challengers sold from Frederick CJD.

    Here’s the kicker – his sales volume is on the minor side of what makes Bob Frederick and his dealership so great. When my local dealerships were gouging SRT8s at $80,000 and refusing to return my calls, Bob was responding to my emails even outside of business hours and taking action that has redefined “going above and beyond” to me.

    Bob isn’t the only one at his dealership with a TRUE commitment to excellence (how often that phrase is thrown around nowadays with nothing to back it up). One time I went to call in for Bob and the receptionist said he was currently on the phone and whether or not I wanted to go to his voicemail. I said waiting was fine so she put me on hold. Throughout the next 10 minutes or so the receptionist had checked in with my 3 separate times concerned that I was waiting so long and double-checking to see if I wanted to drop to his voicemail instead. I didn’t mind the waiting – due to reception in the area I had to go outside to make that call, so it was a restriction on my part and the waiting was not a problem in the slightest. But even your first contact with Bob’s dealership is amazing. Most reception desks would probably let you sit on hold until you hung up or maybe check on you after 15+ minutes. Not here, not at Bob’s.

    Likewise, Mark was the individual who worked with me on my financing and getting that setup. I had some questions and was comparing it to some other offers and Mark gave me no BS about it. He was straight up and honest throughout the whole time and helped me with my questions and explained things in-depth.

    Back to Bob’s service. I have [ 70 ] (Seventy) emails from Bob in my inbox dated from 05/10/2008 through 11/14/2008 which is the span from when I first contacted him up through a few days after I got my car. How does Bob find the time? That’s probably one of the great mysteries of our time since I’m sure MANY other people can chime in likewise. The emails are from all hours of the day and even NIGHT. Right from the start these emails were personal and never tried to “lead” me into additional purchases. The constant with Bob is he puts his customer before his dealership. By that I mean he’s focused on what YOU want more than what might maximize his profits for his dealership personally. The funny thing is, by him doing that he’s net so many referrals and so many people asking for dealer-added upgrades just BECAUSE feeling so safe with Bob’s service level that I’m sure it’s worked out well.

    Here’s the fun part, so far all I’ve talked about is how Bob treats prospective, current, and past customers with his dealership. Again, that’s just one facet to Bob. Ask around, and I’m sure others will post soon enough if not already – Bob has done the work for other competing dealerships FOR them despite no personal gains to Bob or his dealership. Where other dealers have failed to communicate with their customer or are just plain subpar in general, Bob has picked up that dropped ball and helped them find out where their car was or just answering questions about anything going on surrounding the challenger that the dealership that individual is going through just doesn’t care about finding the answers to. Probably because there’s no direct profit in it. So Bob has not only garnered extreme support for himself and his own dealership, but he has supported Chrysler products all around in general by helping anyone, regardless of their dealership of choice, find the answers and piece of mind they need.

    Your system won’t show you how many orders Bob has saved at other dealerships which the customer would’ve otherwise pulled. Many dealers have Bob to thank for some of their sales.

    I could keep typing. I don’t think I could ever type enough about how great Bob and his dealership are. But here’s the reality.

    In October my sister’s lease on her Jeep is running out. She was looking at a Charger. Late this year, I was looking to get myself a winter driver. Still up in the air, but we’ll see as the the snow months close in. For BOTH counts I was planning on seeing what Frederick CJD could do for me, and feeling safe that it was going to be another great buying experience. But, if this list goes through, Frederick CJD will be closed. You’re forcing my hand back to the 3 dealerships local to me (Michigan, 48375) who I had personally tried to deal with back in April ’08 with getting a Challenger. The same dealerships who jerked me around, tried to double the price of these cars with price gouging, and refused to return my phone calls.

    You know what? It’s not worth it. Without the piece of mind Bob and Frederick CJD supplies, I’m not going through that hassle again. With THREE dealerships around me all being horrendous, why should I expect if I go out any further I’ll find one who does — and that involves some real drive time at that point just to HOPE. Nope, pass. If you guys take Frederick CJD away from me, away from the Challenger community, away from Chrysler buyers – that’s it, I’m done. Even my sister (previously mentioned) heard about Bob from me and was exciting asking if I would ask Bob if he could help her. When I tell her that’s not an option, I’m going to help sway her back to her original choice (which I’m sure won’t be tough to do when she hears about Frederick CJD), the Ford Mustang. Perhaps a different car. But it’s going to be one, possibly two sales that Chrysler loses out on this fall if you guys take Frederick CJD away from the Chrysler community. It’s just NOT worth the hassle to deal with the other local dealerships you’re leaving me with who I’ve already tried to deal with last year. Time to switch to Ford or GM for future purchases if that’s the case.

    Someone made a mistake. Someone screwed up, and screwed up BAD. Get Frederick CJD off your list.

  • http://challengertalk.com RSJ

    I think simply saying that closing Frederick CJD is a mistake is not enough. It doesn’t mean anything unless everyone knows why this dealership in Boardman Ohio is so special. I’d like to explain, as others already have, why I feel this way.

    My local dealerships would not give me the time of day when it came to the Challenger. They would literally walk away with a smile when I would ask to test drive or order a car. This actually led to a small verbal confrontation with a salesman at Sheets CJD in Fayetteville WV. I don’t need to tell you that arguing with a customer over whether or not he can get inside a car is not a good way to sell a product. Well this was the final straw, I was ready to make my way to the Ford dealership to check out the new Mustangs when I ran across a thread on Challengertalk.com about Frederick CJD. I sent an email to Bob jr. and quickly received a response. He told me to come by anytime and he would let me drive anything I wanted. This was a shock!

    I ordered a B5 R/T Classic from Bob and was one of the first to receive their cars. Bob was EXTREMELY patient with me through the entire wait! I just checked my email and I have 56 messages from Bob! 56!! To say Bob went out of his way to keep me up to date on everything would be quite an understatement!

    I went to pick up my car about 2 weeks ago, and was even more impressed when I met Bob. He got in the car with me and showed me every thing in the car. All the switches, lights, storage compartments, everything. It really meant a lot to have a guy as busy as Bob sit down and make sure I know how to set the presets on my radio! He had everything from build sheets to plastic headrest covers in a box in the trunk for me to keep. He’s truly passionate about these cars and it shows. He has a huge following in the Mopar world and Chrysler needs to take care of him. It would be a huge mistake to let Bob go!

    Several people in my area have had the same problem with the local dealerships. I have given away several of his cards to people interested in buying one of your products. I gave out so many that I had to ask him to send me some more, which he did. At the risk of sounding corny, Bob is more than a dealer to us, he truly is a friend. Chrysler don’t let him go!

    RSJ