Weekend Preview: Defending Champ Kurt Busch Looks for Repeat at Loudon


LOUDON, N.H., (June 25, 2008) – The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series heads to the 1.058-mile oval of New Hampshire Motor Speedway for Sunday’s LENOX Industrial Tools 301. The event kicks off the “Race to the Chase,” the 10-race stretch that ends at Richmond in September where the 12-driver field for the 2009 Chase for the Championship will be determined. Those 12 drivers will compete for the season championship and the Sprint Cup over the final 10 races of the season.

Dodge has three Sprint Cup wins at New Hampshire while earning the pole in six of the last 11 races including the track qualifying record set in 2003. All seven Dodge drivers are assured berths in Sunday’s LENOX Industrial Tools 301.

Kurt Busch (No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge Charger) is the defending winner of Sunday’s LENOX Industrial Tools 301. Thanks to good fuel mileage and a timely final pit stop, Busch was the leader when rain forced NASCAR officials to call the race after 284 laps, 16 short of the scheduled 300 circuits. Busch and the Pat Tryson-led Penske Racing team celebrated in an empty garage building amid a lightning-spiked downpour.

Busch currently sits fourth in the Sprint Cup driver point standings, 280 points behind leader Tony Stewart. He has one win — at Atlanta Motor Speedway — plus four top-five and eight top-10 finishes.

“To this day, there are still a lot of people who don’t realize the whole story when it came to our Miller Lite Dodge Team winning that race, Busch said. “In our eyes, it will always be a fuel mileage win. I don’t think that the record was ever set straight about what all came down there during the June race last year.

“When everybody pitted with, I don’t know, 30 laps to go — I was told, ‘you’re in the lead, there’s 26 laps to go’ — that’s the most motivation a driver could ever ask for,” Busch said, “because you want to hold it and bring it home for your team.”
Dodge’s Kasey Kahne (No. 9 Budweiser Dodge) claimed the first victory for Richard Petty Motorsports last weekend at Infineon and has moved within three points of the 12th and final Chase spot. The second win for Dodge this season, Kahne’s trip to Victory Lane marked his first road-course event victory and the 10th of his career. Heading into New Hampshire, Kahne has scored one top-five and four top-10 finishes in 10 starts at Loudon.
“Last weekend was a great weekend for everyone on this Budweiser Dodge team,” said Kahne. “We have some good momentum and confidence going into this weekend. New Hampshire is a fun track and I enjoy racing there. We’ve learned a lot over the last month and a half at the Indy tire test. Hopefully we can apply that this weekend and get another good finish.”

Other Notes:
• Elliott Sadler (No. 19 Best Buy Dodge) earned his second top-10 finish of the season last weekend at Infineon. In 20 career starts at Loudon, Sadler has five top-five finishes.
• AJ Allmendinger (No. 44 Berlin Auto Group Dodge Charger) made it a Richard Petty Motorsports ‘top-10 trifecta’ last weekend with his seventh-place finish. Allmendinger will be making his second career start at Loudon.
• David Stremme (No. 12 Penske Racing Dodge Charger) will make his fifth start at the Loudon track. He has a best finish of 11th.
2009 Top 12 Drivers
Driver Points
1. Tony Stewart 2,364
2. Jeff Gordon 2,280
3. Jimmie Johnson 2,207
4. Kurt Busch 2,084
5. Carl Edwards 2,051
6. Ryan Newman 2,046
7. Denny Hamlin 2,009
8. Greg Biffle 1,992
9. Kyle Busch 1,962
10. Matt Kenseth 1,957
11. Mark Martin 1,926
12. Juan Pablo Montoya 1,917

What You Need To Know
The Race: LENOX Industrial Tools 301
The Place: New Hampshire Motor Speedway
The Date: Sunday, June 28
Green Flag: 2:16 p.m. (ET)
The Track: 1.058-mile road course
The Distance: 317.4 miles/300 laps
Television: TNT, 1:30 p.m. (ET)

2009 Dodge Motorsports Driver Statistics
Driver Rank Points Behind Starts Poles Wins Top 5s Top 10s Earnings
Kurt Bush 4 2084 -280 16 0 1 4 8 $3,780,141
Kasey Kahne 13 1914 -450 16 0 1 2 5 $2,628,781
Elliott Sadler 23 1570 -794 16 0 0 1 2 $1,949,963
Sam Hornish Jr. 26 1496 -868 16 0 0 0 3 $2,028,303
Reed Sorenson 27 1487 -877 16 0 0 0 1 $2,220,158
AJ Allmendinger 29 1467 -897 16 0 0 1 3 $2,104,303
David Stremme 31 1362 -1002 16 0 0 0 0 $2,124,272

Dodge Weekend Motorsports on TV
(All Times Eastern)

Friday, June 26
11:30 a.m. – NASCAR Live (SPEED)
12:00 p.m. – Sprint Cup Practice at New Hampshire (SPEED)
1:30 p.m. – Nationwide Series Practice at New Hampshire (SPEED)
3:00 p.m. – Sprint Cup Qualifying (SPEED)
7:00 p.m. – NASCAR Now (ESPN2)
7:00 p.m. – Trackside at New Hampshire (SPEED)
Saturday, June 27
9:00 a.m. – Sprint Cup Practice (SPEED)
10:00 a.m. – Nationwide Series Qualifying (SPEED)
11:30 a.m. – Sprint Cup Final Practice (SPEED)
1:00 p.m. – NASCAR Live (SPEED)
1:30 p.m. – NASCAR Smarts (SPEED)
2:00 p.m. – Camping World Pole Qualifying from Memphis (SPEED)
2:30 p.m. – Nationwide Countdown (ABC)
3:00 p.m. – Nationwide Series Race (ABC)
5:30 p.m. – Camping World Truck Series SetUp (SPEED)
6:00 p.m. – Camping World Truck Series Race (SPEED)
Sunday, June 28
8:00 a.m. – NASCAR Now (ESPN2)
9:00 a.m. – NASCAR Performance (SPEED)
10:00 a.m. – Nationwide Series Race (ESPNC)
10:30 a.m. – NASCAR RaceDay (SPEED)
12:30 p.m. – NASCAR on TNT Live (TNT)
1:30 p.m. – Countdown to Green (TNT)
2:00 p.m. – Sprint Cup Race at New Hampshire (TNT)
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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