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Author Topic: PR-DODGE-Weekend preview  (Read 81 times)
Michael F. Hollander
Editor, Racing Information Systems
Racing commentor
Posts: 2663

« on: August 30, 2007, 04:35:59 PM »

Weekend Preview

Busch Just a Few Points Away from The Chase; Miller Lite Dodge Team Faces Unusual Problem

Fontana, Calif. – (Oct. 30, 2007) – Usually by the 25th race of the season a team is looking for one good car. It doesn’t seem to work that way with Kurt Busch and the No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge Charger team.

Crew chief Pat Tryson calls it a ‘delightul dilemma.’ The problem is the team has one Dodge Charger that led seven times for 175 of 200 laps en route to victory at Pocono. His Charger at Michigan led four times for 92 of 203 laps.

So what’s the answer? Only the shadow knows and he’ll show up at California Speedway on Friday.

Busch has a win, three top fives, four top 10s and two poles to his credit at California Speedway. His average finish there is 11.5.

“Regardless of which car we race at California, it certainly is a great feeling to be in that situation,” said Busch, now holding down the 12th and final “Chase-eligible” points position by 158 points with only Sunday’s California race and the Sept. 8 race at Richmond, Va., remaining to determine this year’s Chase players.  “It’s a testament to all the hard work Pat and everyone on our team has put into preparing these cars and engines.  To have the luxury of choosing between two great rides like we have ready for California is a cool spot to be in.”

Busch isn’t the only Dodge driver running up front these days. Coming off their second consecutive top-10 finish, Bobby Labonte and the #43 Cheerios/Totino’s Pizza Rolls Dodge team is looking to continue their success of recent finishes of ninth and eighth.  Labonte has moved into the 17th point’s position the past two weeks.  The team is 156 points out of 15tth and only 52 points out of 16th.  Labonte has had success in California.

He will be making his 15th start at the track on Sunday.  He has finished second on two different occasions and in the top-five a total of four times. He has five top-10 finishes at California Speedway.  Sunday’s start will be his 499th career start.

NHRA POWERade Drag Racing

Following strong results during the three-day NHRA open test session at O'Reilly Raceway Park last week, four-time NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series world champion Gary Scelzi is stoked for this weekend's prestigious U.S. Nationals, the Countdown and the Showdown.

In his five full seasons in the Funny Car class, the driver of the Mopar/Oakley Dodge Charger R/T has not won the Skoal Showdown in his three appearances in the $100,000 bonus event held at the U.S. Nationals. And he does not count the U.S. Nationals as the site of one of his 10 victories in the Funny Car class. He has, however, won in Top Fuel at the U.S. Nationals, in 1998.

No. 7 in the Countdown to the Championship, with a revamped hot rod under him, Scelzi is eager to strut his and his Mopar/Oakley Dodge crew's stuff this weekend, as the Countdown to Four begins.

"I don't think I've ever been past the second round in the Showdown," said Scelzi, who joins his DSR teammates Ron Capps and Jack Beckman in both the Countdown and the Showdown contests.

The U.S. Nationals is notorious for its grueling schedule, including five qualifying passes in three days, the Skoal Showdown held during qualifying, Monday's eliminations, as well as the battle for a spot in the Countdown to Four. This next phase of the new playoff system will see a champion crowned from those four in the last two events of the season.

"When you wake up Tuesday morning to go home when you leave the U.S. Nationals, you feel empty," said Scelzi, "because you're so used to driving your race car every day for four days. But, you know what, I am so excited about going into it this year. I feel we've got a car that's as good if not better than anybody's. Everybody's excited on the team. Todd's excited, Phil's excited, Capps is excited, so is Beckman. There's a lot of energy right now. What better place is there than Indy to go into a race like that and have that kind of advantage?"

NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series

Ken Schrader will be making his fourth career NASCAR start at Gateway International Raceway when he pilots the No. 18 Fastenal Dodge Ram on Saturday night. He has one previous NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series start and two NASCAR Busch Series starts at his home track.

The Missouri/ Illinois Dodge Dealers Ram Tough 200 will mark Schrader’s 84th NCTS start. In his previous 83 NCTS races, Schrader has an average starting position of 15th and finishing of 17th.

Schrader will pilot “SLIM” this week at Gateway. He has driven this particular chassis in five races this season scoring a third place finish at Mansfield and a fifth place finish at O’Reilly Raceway Park.

World of Outlaws

Joey Saldana, driver of the Mopar-powered No. 9 Open Joist JEI, scored his 10th victory of the season at Cottage Grove Speedway in Oregon.

Donny Schatz finished second, but Saldana pulled within 32 points of the series leader heading into Saturday night’s showdown at Calistoga Speedway in California.


Dodge Weekend Motorsports on TV, Radio

Friday, Aug. 31

·        Noon – NASCAR Live! (SPEED-TV)

·        2:30 p.m. Cup Practice (SPEED-TV)

·        4 p.m. NASCAR Live! (SPEED-TV)

·        5 p.m. NASCAR Live! (SPEED-TV)

·        6 p.m. Cup Qualifying (SPEED-TV

Saturday, Sept. 1

·        5 p.m. NCTS Setup (SPEED-TV)

·        5:30 p.m. Truck Race (SPEED-TV and MRN-Radio)

·        8 p.m. Cup Happy Hour (SPEED-TV)


Sunday, Sept. 2

·        12:30 a.m. NHRA Qualifying (ESPN-2 TV)

·        2 p.m. NHRA Qualifying (ESPN-2 TV)

·        8:10 p.m. Green Flag Cup race (ESPN)

·        6 p.m. NASCAR Raceday (SPEED-TV)


Monday, Sept. 3

·        Midnight NHRA Qualifying (ESPN-2 TV)

·        Noon NHRA Eliminations (ESPN-2 TV)

·        7 p.m. NHRA Eliminations (ESPN-2 TV)



Posted by:

Michael F. Hollander, Editor
Racing Information Systems
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