No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge Charger Preview-Kobalt Tools 500
November 9, 2011
No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge Charger
Kobalt Tools 500
Phoenix International Raceway
November 13, 2011
TV: ESPN at 3:00 PM ET Radio: MRN/Sirius Channel 90 at 2:00 PM ET
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-801 during Sunday’s Kobalt Tools 500 at Phoenix International Raceway (PIR). This is a new chassis to the No. 2 fleet.
• No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge in 2011... After 34 points-paying events, Keselowski and the No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge Charger team are ranked fifth in the 2011 Chase for the Championship standings. Keselowski sits 47 points behind series leader Carl Edwards following a 24th-place finish in the AAA Texas 500 at Texas Motor Speedway last Sunday afternoon.
• New Surface… The newly-configured PIR surface will provide another “wild card” race for the 2011 Chase for the Championship. Variable banking and a longer backstretch are two of the new elements implemented on the racing surface. Keselowski, who picked up the first NASCAR Nationwide Series win at Iowa Speedway in 2009, will look to be the first to tame the new “Jewel of the Desert” on Sunday.
• Cheers To Chasing Greatness… The featured tag line on the rear bumper of the “Blue Deuce” this weekend in Texas will be “Cheers To Chasing Greatness.” Keselowski continues to battle for the Cup Series championship, which would be a “great” accomplishment in his first season driving the iconic car.
• Deuces Wild… When Brad wins a race during the 2011 Chase for the Championship, two lucky fans will win their own “man cave,” compliments of Miller Lite. The man cave gear includes a “kegerator,” a dart board, Miller Lite neon sign, a basketball game and pub furniture. Visit MillerLite.com/Brad to enter.
• The Rest is History... The first start for Penske Racing at the one-mile PIR oval came in 1991 as Rusty Wallace qualified 10th and finished fifth. The organization has made a total of 58 starts at PIR with one win (Wallace – 1998), six poles and 13 top-five finishes.
Brad Keselowski on the newly-configured Phoenix International Raceway
“You have to applaud Phoenix for having the forethought to re-surface the track before it became a problem. No one can deny that the surface was aging, but it did produce some great racing. I have seen the new track and I truly believe that once it gets some age on it, it will be a fantastic place to race. Racing two-wide down the backstretch will be exciting and nerve-racking at the same time. However, it may take a couple of years for it to get to where we can do all of those cool things. I know they are taking great measures to make sure we can put on the best show possible this weekend. I’m just excited to get the Miller Lite Dodge out there and see what it’s all about.”
Brad Keselowski on the Chase for the Championship thus far
“These last two weeks definitely haven’t been what we were looking for with the Miller Lite Dodge. We need to find ways to finish races in the spots we deserve because we’ve had much better cars than where we’ve finished lately. This weekend at Phoenix is wide open and anything can happen so the points could be heavily altered going into Homestead. But to look at what Tony (Stewart) is doing, it’s been amazing. He came into the Chase with guns blazing. I think we’ve had the cars, minus Dover, to compete with him and Carl, but we just haven’t had the luck. Luck, just like performance, can go in cycles. Hopefully we get it back on our side over the last two weekends and that will carry over into 2012.”
Crew chief Paul Wolfe on preparing for the newly-configured Phoenix International Raceway
“One of the drawbacks of a new surface is that there will only be one racing groove until the track cures. The good thing is that shouldn’t take long with it being in the desert. That being said, track position will be very important this weekend and that will place a big emphasis on qualifying. Phoenix is still a mix of intermediate and short-track setups, but with the smooth surface you can get a little more aggressive to get more speed out of the car. I don’t foresee there being much falloff in the tires throughout the race, so there will be a lot of strategy that will come into play. The Miller Lite Dodge has shown speed on all types of tracks this year so we feel good about having the speed necessary to win this weekend.”