NASCAR At Phoenix International Raceway: Sam Hornish Jr. Wins Nationwide Series Saturday Race

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Sam Hornish Jr. emerged victorious in Saturday’s Nationwide Series race after 200 laps. Hornish Jr. topped Brad Keselowski and Carl Edwards- who finished second and third, respectively- at Phoenix International Raceway in the Wypall 200.

Hornish Jr. drives a Dodge for Penske Racing. He is currently ranked 25th with 326 points and has one win in his 31 starts. He also four top-10 finishes in his career.

Both of the top two finishers- Hornish Jr. and Keselowski- race for Penske. Hornish Jr. heads the #12 team, sponsored by Alliance Truck Parts, while Keselowski heads the #22 team, sponsored by Discount Tire Company.

Following are unofficial results for the Wypall 200 in Phoenix. For full results, click here.

The weekend will showcase even more racing on Sunday with the Sprint Cup Series Kobalt Tools 500 race on Sunday.


Source: Arizona SBnation

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Busch Looking to Find Competitive Rhythm at Phoenix

2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, Daytona

AVONDALE, Ariz. (Feb. 22, 2011) – Shell-Pennzoil Dodge driver Kurt Busch had just returned to his team transporter on Sunday afternoon after visiting Victory Lane to congratulate longtime friends on the Daytona 500-winning Wood Brothers racing team. Still miffed for making the wrong move on the final lap of Sunday’s edition of the “Great American Race” which he felt cost him a sure win, he was consoled by team owner Roger Penske and Penske Senior Vice President Bud Denker.

Busch, who was going for history on Sunday, attempting to be the first driver to ever sweep all three NASCAR Sprint Cup races during a single Speed Weeks, emerged from the meeting with a smile and a great big-picture perspective.

“I realize that our Shell-Pennzoil Dodge Team had a tremendous Daytona Speed Weeks and we all are coming out of here with our heads held high,” Busch said back in the drivers’ motorcoach lot after finishing fifth in his 11th attempt at winning the Daytona 500. “Steve (Addington, crew chief) and the guys were all just incredible the whole time we have been in Daytona. Our Penske Racing Team certainly did their homework during the off-season and it paid big dividends. My hat goes off to everyone in the body shop, to the guys over in the engine department, our engineering group and all the support crew.

“We really wanted to claim that big chunk of racing history, but we came up just a little short,” said Busch, who finally cracked into the winner’s column in restrictor-plate competition but left Daytona still looking for his first points-paying plate race win after 41 career attempts. “Speed Weeks 2011 was huge for us and just a super way of kicking off our relationship with Shell-Pennzoil, Coca-Cola and all the great sponsors we have supporting our ‘Double-Deuce’ Dodge team.

“We’ve had a lot of success and fun at Daytona this time around, but like I told them, ‘the real season starts right now,'” said Busch, who left Daytona fourth in the Sprint Cup points after the first of 36 races has been put into the record books. “It’s kind of like a football team starting off with two wins and a tie going into a new season. We’ve tasted success, but there could have been even more.

“The important thing is that we didn’t leave Daytona in a hole like we have several times before,” said Busch, whose fifth-place finish Sunday upped his overall Daytona career Sprint Cup record to 10 top-five finishes and 12 top-10s in 21 races. “Now we need to get into a good competitive rhythm, build on the momentum and have another great weekend coming up at Phoenix . Then we can head into (Las) Vegas and on to Bristol , Fontana and Martinsville with a full head of steam.”

Busch, Addington and the “Double-Deuce” Dodge Team certainly have started to lay a sound foundation for a solid 2011 season with their Daytona performance. It’s the best start the 2004 series champion has enjoyed since finishing second in the 2008 Daytona 500, a race where he pushed then-teammate Ryan Newman to the win. His fifth-place finish last Sunday marks only the second time since he joined Penske Racing back in 2006 that he left Daytona in the top-five in the point standings.

“Kurt is right – it’s full steam ahead for our Shell-Pennzoil ‘Double-Deuce’ Dodge Team,” said Addington on Monday afternoon. “Daytona was a great two weeks for us, but our focus has turned totally on getting ready for Phoenix this week, Vegas the next and all the races on down the line. What’s really cool is that unlike last year when we tore up a lot of cars at Daytona, we came out of there totally unscathed. We should be in great shape for Talladega and when we head back to Daytona for the July race.

“Yeah, the big-picture situation is already our primary focus now,” said Addington, who has served as Busch’s team leader for only 37 points-paying races now, yet enjoys one of the most solid driver/crew chief relationships in the sport. “We’re testing at Gresham ( Motorsports Park , a half-mile asphalt track near Jefferson , Ga. ) this week and we’re looking to head out to Phoenix and keep the ball rolling. Kurt really loves that track and I do, too.

“We’re excited about starting off the year like we have and look to build on the success week after week,” said Addington. “We have a great group of guys on our ‘Double-Deuce’ Dodge team and -just like Kurt — we are all dedicated to do what it takes to be right there challenging for the championship at the end of the season.”

Busch has visited Victory Lane before at Phoenix as he won the April 2005 race, the first night race on the track when the second event per season there was added to the schedule. Busch’s overall career record at PIR boasts one win, four top-five finishes and nine top-10s in 16 career starts. He has a 13.6 average start and a 13.2 average finish. He has a 99.7% lap completion average (5,045 of 5,062 laps) and has led a total of 660 laps. He has been running at the finish in all 16 races and running on the lead lap in 12 or the races.

“Phoenix will always be a special track for me and it’s almost like a homecoming each and every time we race there,” said Busch who first visited the “Desert Mile” as a 13-year-old fan who later raced on the track in late model competition before speeding through the ranks in NASCAR Racing. “So much has changed at the track through the years, with them building the tunnel into the infield and adding all those thousands of seats. But it’s still the same old PIR as for it being the demanding one-mile flat track that I love racing on and the same old PIR that holds so many special memories for me personally.

Phoenix Sprint Cup action gets under way on Friday with practice sessions scheduled from 12:30 p.m. till 1:50 p.m. and from 4:00 p.m. till 5:25 p.m. Saturday’s 1:40 p.m. single round of qualifying will determine the entire 43-car starting field. Sunday’s Subway Fresh Fit 500 (312-lap, 312-mile, 500 kilometer) race is scheduled to get the green flag at 1:00 p.m. local time and features live coverage by FOX-TV and MRN Radio.


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No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge Charger Phoenix Preview

2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, Daytona

Brad Keselowski
No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge Charger
Subway Fresh Fit 500
Phoenix International Raceway
February 27, 2011

No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge Charger News and Notes
• This Week’s Charger…
The No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge Charger team will use chassis PRS-736 during Sunday’s Subway Fresh Fit 500 at Phoenix International Raceway (PIR). This is a brand-new chassis to the No. 2 team.
• No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge in 2011… After one event, Brad Keselowski and the No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge Charger team sit 27th in the Cup Series driver standings and 29th in the owner standings after an accident ended the team’s day early in last Sunday’s Daytona 500.
• Keselowski at Phoenix International Raceway… In addition to his three career Cup Series starts at PIR, Keselowski has raced in eight career NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS) events at the one-mile oval. In those races, he has recorded four top-five finishes and he has completed all 1,576 of 1,609 (97.9%) laps contested, with 68 laps led. Keselowski has also made two NASCAR Camping World Truck Series starts at PIR, with his best result of sixth coming in 2008 while driving his own Brad Keselowski Racing entry.
• The Rest is History… In the first start for Penske Racing at the one-mile PIR oval in 1991, Rusty Wallace qualified 10th and finished fifth. The organization has made a total of 56 starts at PIR with one win (Wallace – 1998), six poles and 13 top-five finishes.
• Follow Brad on Twitter… Fans can now follow Keselowski on Twitter at Followers can get a glimpse inside his everyday life while keeping up-to-date on the latest news for the No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge team.

Brad Keselowski on Phoenix moving to the second race of the season
“I think we are in the middle of a pretty big evolution of the NASCAR schedule. It will probably continue over the course of the next several years. The people in Fontana are great and I’m sure that the track will work to make their date in late March a very successful one. NASCAR has a history in Southern California and we need to be in that region. That being said, it’s exciting to go to Phoenix for the second race of the season. The fans have continued to embrace our sport after they were awarded a second date a few years ago. At the end of the day, no matter where we race after Daytona, it’s important that we don’t have a letdown after our biggest race of the season. I’m confident that everyone on the No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge team is focused on this weekend.”

Brad Keselowski on how the “Blue Deuce” will perform this weekend at PIR
“I enjoy the challenge that Phoenix provides. It’s a very unique layout that has little – if any – grip. The track is worn down and it sits in that Arizona sun and just bakes, so it’s hard to get your car hooked up. But that’s part of the reason it’s so much fun to race there. It just seems like you are sliding around the entire race because it doesn’t take long for your tires to wear out. You really have to be smooth.  That’s what I focus on when I get there and I think anyone that runs well there does the same thing. It’s also really important to work with your crew chief to come up with a setup that is balanced and will work well with the asphalt at Phoenix.”

Crew chief Paul Wolfe on PIR
“Phoenix is a ‘compromising’ track because the two ends of the track are different. The main area we’ll work on is the exit of Turn 4. You need to have good forward bite off that corner so that you can beat everyone to the start/finish line and down into Turn 1. It’s a tough, old racetrack. It can be tough on driver and equipment, so you need to make sure you take care of both. But after this race we can pretty much throw out all of our old setup notes. The new repaving, which will include the addition of some variable banking in the corners, will basically make this a new racetrack. I like it how it is so I hope they don’t change it too much.”


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Today’s kids, Tomorrow’s Stars Celebrating Extraordinary Youth


Twelve extraordinary youth, a memorable dinner, and a silent and live auction featuring some of the most spectacular and one-of-a-kind items available anywhere. Join the Boys & Girls Clubs of Metropolitan Phoenix at “Today’s Kids, Tomorrow’s Stars”, an event sponsored by Universal Technical Institute.

Racing legend Roger Penske will be honored at the star-studded Today’s Kids, Tomorrow’s Stars event, featuring a fabulous evening
of fine food, exciting live auction and a silent auction. The event culminates with one youth being named the Youth of the Year of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Metropolitan Phoenix.

Click here to learn more about the Boys & Girls Clubs of Metropolitan Phoenix.


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