No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge Charger Preview-Richmond
September 7, 2011
No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge Charger
Wonderful Pistachios 400
Richmond International Raceway
September 10, 2011
TV: ABC at 7:30 PM Radio: MRN/Sirius Channel 90 at 6:30 PM
No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge Charger News and Notes
• This Week’s Charger… The No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge Charger team will race chassis PRS-754 during Saturday’s Wonderful Pistachios 400 at Richmond International Raceway (RIR). This is a new chassis to the No. 2 fleet.
• No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge in 2011... After 25 points-paying events, Keselowski and the No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge Charger team are ranked 11th in the NASCAR Cup Series (NSCS) driver and owner point standings. In Atlanta last week, Keselowski secured the No. 1 wild card position for the 2011 Chase for the Championship.
• Starting Up Front at Richmond… In four starts at the RIR oval, Keselowski has never qualified outside the top 10. The average starting position of 7.5 represents Keselowski’s highest starting spot for any track on the Cup Series schedule.
• DIRECTV Hot Pass … Keselowski and the Miller Lite Dodge will be featured on one of the four DIRECTV Hot Pass channels for this weekend’s Wonderful Pistachios 400.
• Taste The Chase… The featured tag line on the bumper of the “Blue Deuce” this weekend at Richmond will be “Taste The Chase.’” This is in recognition of Keselowski and the No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge team securing a place in the 2011 Chase for the Championship, which begins next week at Chicagoland Speedway.
• Meet Brad… Keselowski will make an appearance at the Ruby Tuesday located at 7425 Bell Creek Road in Mechanicsville, Va. This is a combination appearance between Miller Lite and Ruby Tuesday, two of Keselowski’s sponsors.
• The Rest is History... Penske Racing has a long and storied Cup Series history at the RIR oval. The first start for the organization came in March of 1976 when Bobby Allison qualified on the pole for the Richmond 400, before relief driver Neil Bonnet took over for the remainder of the race. Bonnet drove the No. 2 to a third-place finish. In 81 Richmond starts, Penske Racing has five wins (Rusty Wallace – 4, Ryan Newman – 1), five poles and 27 top-five finishes.
Brad Keselowski on racing at Richmond International Raceway for the second time in 2011
“(Crew chief) Paul (Wolfe) has shown a tremendous ability to make improvements to his setups from the first visit to a racetrack to the second. Our first trip to Richmond this year didn’t produce great results, but we were able to get in a good qualifying lap. But we’ve made drastic improvements to our cars and a lot of what we’ve learned should transition easily to Richmond. It’s one of my favorite places to race. Coming from the short tracks of Michigan and Ohio really helps me when we go to places like Richmond. The track has characteristics of several places where I cut my racing teeth. But what helped me out the most was the competition that raced up there. You had to learn to get tough or go home. I learned a lot of lessons on the short tracks back home that helped make me into the racecar driver I am today.”
Brad Keselowski on securing a spot in the 2011 Chase for the Championship
“I can’t say enough about everyone at Penske Racing who has helped us turn our program around this year. It’s not just the guys on the Miller Lite Dodge team. It’s the people in the motor department and the paint shop, the fabricators and the machinists that rarely get the recognition they deserve. All that hard work will now be rewarded with a spot in the Chase and a chance to run for a championship. In Miller Lite, we have one of the most recognized sponsors in the garage. They do a lot for the team, and also for me as a driver, but they also expect results. I’m proud of the fact that we were able to deliver a playoff spot in our first year together, with basically a brand new team. Our confidence is pretty high right now and I feel good about our chances.”
Crew chief Paul Wolfe on preparing for Richmond International Raceway
“Richmond is a fast short track that has a lot of challenges. It almost drives like a speedway because the corner speed is very high. It takes the right balance of having the car turn in the center without giving up forward drive off the corner. Fuel mileage and pit strategy come in to play at times so you need to make sure you stay on top of that throughout the race. Richmond is a track where a driver can make a big difference and I feel that plays into our hands with Brad behind the wheel.”