Shell-Pennzoil Dodge


AJ Allmendinger Newest Member of the Penske Racing Dynasty

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The Newest Member of the Penske Racing Dynasty

On December 21, 2011 Penske Racing announced that AJ Allmendinger would be driving the No. 22 Shell-Pennzoil Dodge in the 2012 Sprint Cup Series. Allmendinger joins a juggernaut in Penske Racing with a rich history of winning championships. Racing icons like Rusty Wallace, Mario Andretti, and Rick Maers are just a few of the notable performers to come before Allmendinger.  So what does Allmendinger think about joining the team?

“I am really excited about the opportunity to join Penske Racing and drive the No. 22 Shell-Pennzoil Dodge in 2012. I have always admired Roger Penske and the way his teams compete and win in every series where they race. It is a privilege for me to represent such iconic and respected brands as Shell and Pennzoil, AAA and Dodge. I am honored to join Penske Racing and I will do my very best to continue to build on the standard of excellence established across the organization.”

At 30 years old Allmendinger brings a promising resume to the table. 2011 was a successful season for the California native that saw him finish 15th in the series standings among other achievements while driving the No. 43 car for Richard Petty Motorsports.

Allmendinger Issues a Statement To Penske Racing Fans

Here is what Roger Penske had to say about the new acquisition:

“AJ is a very talented and motivated driver and we believe he will be a terrific fit with our team. He has shown great promise and consistent results on the track over the last few seasons and working with Todd and the Shell-Pennzoil Dodge team will allow him to take the next step and compete for race wins and a spot in the Chase in 2012.”

For more on the newest member of the Penske Racing team visit:

Click here to check out AJ Allmendinger’s personal website.

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Busch Believes Pocono Really is the “Tricky Triangle”

2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, Martinsville

NEWS FLASH!!! Shell-Pennzoil Dodge driver Kurt Busch will be a special guest on Friday night’s edition of “Trackside” on SPEED TV. Join Steve Byrnes, Larry McReynolds, Jeff Hammond, Darrell Waltrip and guests as they work hard and play hard to bring a fun and insightful show LIVE from the track. Friday night’s show will be live and is scheduled to begin at 7:00 p.m. EDT.

Kurt Busch and his Steve Addington-led Shell-Pennzoil “Double-Deuce” Dodge Team will be racing their “PRS-744” Dodge Charger this weekend at Pocono. “This is the car that we debuted at Vegas back in March and ran again in April at Texas,” said team engineer Dave Winston. “We led laps and finished in the top-10 in both races. We’ve massaged on it quite a bit the last month in getting it ready for Pocono.” Busch first ran the car in the March 6 Kobalt Tools 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway where he started 22nd and finished ninth. The team ran the car again in the April 9 Samsung Mobile 500 at Texas Motor Speedway where Busch started 10th and finished 10th, leading the race on five occasions for a total of 50 laps. The “PRS-738” (Phoenix car) will serve as the backup Dodge Charger at Pocono.


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Busch Ready for “Challenging” Martinsville Speedway

2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, Bristol

MARTINSVILLE, Va. (March 29, 2011) – Shell-Pennzoil Dodge driver Kurt Busch returns to Martinsville Speedway for this weekend’s Goody’s Fast Relief 500 with a positive attitude about Sunday’s bullring battle. The 2004 NASCAR Sprint Cup Champion has never tried to hide the fact that the circuit’s smallest track continues to present one of his biggest challenges.

“We’re coming back into Martinsville with a lot of confidence and a really positive attitude about racing there this weekend,” said Busch, who finished 17th at Fontana, Calif., on Sunday and is now third in the standings, trailing leader Carl Edwards by 10 points. “I’ll be the first to admit that the Martinsville races have always been so challenging to me and that goes all the way back through my career. But ever since Steve Addington came aboard as our crew chief at the beginning of last season, things have really begun to turn for the better.

“Steve deserves so much credit for rallying the troops every week and having our team’s confidence level up for all of these races,” Busch said of the veteran crew chief who will serve as his team leader for the 42nd race this weekend at Martinsville. ” I told him when he first joined the team that Martinsville was a weak track for me personally and he vowed back then that we’d work hard together in changing that. I think we’ve already made so much progress, but it’s a case of the numbers just not showing that.

“I guess he could see that if there was an Achilles’ heel in the mix of tracks for me, it was this track. He’s been really helpful in our positive attitude adjustment during the two races we’ve been together racing there so far. He has been able to bring the best cars I’ve driven at Martinsville and has our team really prepared for those races. We’re thinking the third time’s the charm and we’ll be able to come out of there with the best finish we’ve had there in years.”

In 21 career Cup races on the picturesque .526-mile paper-clip-shaped track, Busch has recorded one win, two top-five finishes and four top-10s. He has been running at the finish in 20 of the races and has a 97 percent lap completion average (10,211 of 10,519 laps) and finished on the lead lap in nine races. He has a career average start of 19.5 and career average finish of 21.3 at Martinsville.

“The biggest thing I’ve tried to stress to Kurt about racing at Martinsville is to keep his cool, stay focused and hang in there and keep plugging away,” said Addington, who has as much experience on the bullrings of the Southeast as anyone in the business. “It’s a 500-lap race and you have to be running at the finish to have a shot at the win or a solid finish up front. It’s a place that puts a premium on patience like no other track we race on.

“We tested down at Gresham last week just like we did before heading to Martinsville last year,” Addington said of his team’s March 22 testing on the half-mile Gresham Motorsports Park located near Jefferson, Ga. “We did that to make sure our car is ready to go when we unload there at Martinsville on Friday. We need to maximize all the track time they give us in getting prepared for Sunday’s race. We’re confident that will be the case and we can come out of there with a really solid performance and the good finish to go with it.”

When Busch discussed his 10 years of competing on the tough and demanding Martinsville track, it’s evident that Addington has already had a major influence in just the one season they have worked together.

“We’ve run very well there through the years, but you wouldn’t know that by just looking at the statistics,” said Busch. “The biggest thing is that it’s been seldom that we’ve been able to put together a whole race at Martinsville. We’d start out strong and not be able to get the good finishes we needed. Many times we’ve been strong enough to win a 400-lap race there, but the problem is that Martinsville races are 500-lappers, not 400.

“Our races at Martinsville last year were perfect examples of what I am talking about,” said Busch. “We had some of the strongest cars we’ve ever had there and didn’t get the solid finishes we should have. We had a loose wheel that bit us in the first race and some loose lug nuts that were the big culprit there last fall.

“We’re bringing in a brand new Shell-Pennzoil “Double-Deuce” Dodge Charger this weekend and feel like it will be fully capable of getting the job done,” Busch said of the new “PRS-741” chassis. “We were able to shake it down at Gresham last week and look to be really ready to rock and roll with it at Martinsville on Friday.

“We’re looking to hunker down and get all we can out of Sunday’s battle,” said Busch. “I know Steve will be on the radio preaching patience and I’ll do the best I can during the grind. I know what the drill is there. We need to survive the first 400 laps and be in a position to really get after it during those final 100 laps. That’s our game plan and if we execute like I think we can, we’ll be in good shape there late Sunday afternoon.”

This weekend’s Sprint Cup schedule at Martinsville Speedway gets under way with Friday’s opening practice from 12:30 until 2:00 p.m. The final practice is set for Friday from 3:30 p.m. till 5:00 p.m. Coors Light Pole Award qualifying to establish the starting grid for Sunday’s 500-lap battle is set for Saturday at 12:10 p.m. local (live on SPEED-TV). Sunday’s Goody’s Fast Relief 500 (500 laps, 263 miles) has a scheduled 1:00 p.m. EDT starting time. FOX-TV and MRN Radio will provide live coverage of all the action.


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Kurt Busch Finishes Seventh In Jeff Byrd 500 At Bristol

2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Bristol

BRISTOL, Tenn. (March 20, 2011) – Shell-Pennzoil Dodge driver Kurt Busch battled to a solid seventh-place finish in today’s Jeff Byrd 500 here at Bristol Motor Speedway.  The 2004 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion’s fourth top-10 finish in as many races this season has him in sole possession of the points lead.

“It was a good day for us with our Shell-Pennzoil Dodge,” Busch said after the grueling 500-lap battle had been completed.  “We were in good position early on, riding around in third and could see the leaders.  We pushed our car hard on some of the restarts trying to get up there and lead a lap.  It just didn’t seem we had the mojo to compete.  Those guys were pretty tough today.

“Overall, we had a solid day,” said Busch.  “We couldn’t adjust on the car as the race got past halfway.  That seems to be our struggle.  We had another top 10 which is great.  We’ll take that.  It’s a point-leader type effort.  We just want to get up there and try to win one of these things.  We’ll keep pushing hard.”

Busch started 20th in today’s race and made steady progress toward the front.  He cracked the top 15 on the seventh lap and was up to 10th on Lap 43.  A competition yellow on Lap 50 here today due to the tire situation saw the Steve Addington-led team go with four new Goodyears and Busch fell back to 13th for the restart.

By Lap 87, the “Double Deuce” Dodge was back in the top 10.  He cracked the top five for the first time on Lap 146 and held a top-five position for the next 200 circuits around this .533-mile oval.  The track started rubbering in and Busch had fallen to sixth with 100 laps remaining.

He remained a fixture among the top-10 drivers for the remainder of the race except for a brief period when he overshot his pits on a pit stop (on Lap 430 under the seventh caution period of the race) and fell from sixth to 14th for the restart.  Only 15 laps later, he was back inside the top 10 and continued to gain ground until the final laps of the race.

Although Busch never led a lap here today, he did run as high as second-place on two occasions.  He lined up ninth for the final restart on Lap 464 and clawed his way up to sixth with 15 laps remaining.  A three-car battle for fifth was where the action was on the final two circuits.  Busch was on the high line and trapped behind Paul Menard, while Kevin Harvick made the low lane work to his favor and nipped Busch at the line for the sixth finishing position.

Kyle Busch came home the winner here today, with a 0.946-second victory over runner-up Carl Edwards.  It was his fifth career Cup win here and 20th career victory overall.  Jimmie Johnson finished third, with Matt Kenseth fourth and Menard fifth.  Harvick edged out Kurt Busch for sixth, with Greg Biffle, Kasey Kahne and Ryan Newman rounding out today’s top-10 finishers.

“We’ve shown some pretty good consistency so far this season and that’s something our Shell-Pennzoil Dodge Team is very proud of,” crew chief Addington offered.  “If we can keep it up, we’re hopeful that the wins will come our way.  It really feels good to come out of Bristol with the points lead, but we realize that we have to get stronger to stay up there running with these guys every week as the season goes on.”

Kurt Busch entered today’s race tied with Tony Stewart for the points lead, but Stewart’s 19th-place finish today saw him fall to third in the standings.  After four races have been placed into the 2011 record books, Kurt Busch leads the standings with 150 points.  Edwards is second with 149 and Stewart is third with 138.  Newman also has 138 and holds down the fourth spot, with Menard in fifth with 136 points.

Penske Racing teammate Brad Keselowski fought back from going several laps down early here today and brought his Miller Lite “Blue Deuce” Dodge home in the 18th finishing position.  His finish today moved him up to 21st in the points (with 89 points).

The Sprint Cup tour now heads out to Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif., for next Sunday’s running of the Auto Club 400 on that 2.0-mile track.  This weekend’s Sprint Cup schedule at Auto Club Speedway gets under way with Friday’s practice from 12:00 noon until 1:30 p.m.  Coors Light Pole Award qualifying to establish the starting grid for Sunday’s battle is set for Friday at 4:10 p.m. local (live on SPEED-TV).  Saturday’s action begins with morning practice from 11:30 a.m. till 12:15 p.m.  The final “happy hour” practice session is scheduled from 12:50 p.m. till 1:50 p.m. Sunday’s Auto Club 400 (200 laps, 400 miles) has a scheduled 12:00 noon PDT starting time (3:00 p.m. PDT).  FOX-TV and MRN Radio will provide live coverage of all the action.


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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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Busch Flirts With History, Finishes Fifth in Daytona 500


DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Feb. 20, 2011) – Shell-Pennzoil Dodge driver Kurt Busch was going for a major piece of racing history in today’s 53rd Annual Daytona 500 here at Daytona International Speedway.  After winning last weekend’s Budweiser Shootout and his 150-mile qualifying race on Thursday, Busch was attempting to be the first driver to ever claim all three NASCAR Sprint Cup winner’s trophies in a single Speed Weeks.  His effort came up just a little short as he finished fifth in today’s edition of the “Great American Race.”

“What a race,” Busch said of his 11th attempt to win NASCAR’s most prestigious race.  “On that last lap, I just needed to stay on the bottom of the track and it just didn’t seem like (Juan Pablo) Montoya could stay together and get enough steam built up on the run.  I was in perfect position to win the race; running third and just made a mistake.  It’s tough.  We came all this way and came up a little shy.

“All in all, it was a great points day for us, though,” said Busch, already taking a look at the big picture.  “We’ll take it.  To have a run at history was something special.  I tried to block it out all day.  We fought through adversity when we knocked a hole in the grille.  For Shell/Pennzoil and Dodge, AAA, Coca-Cola…this was a great day.  Now we can move on to Phoenix and get the real season started.  I’m really happy with this fifth-place finish.  To make a mistake on the last lap, I’m going to be the one that has the sour feeling in my stomach, though.”

Busch took the green flag from the pole position in today’s race, led the first lap and was a contender throughout the 200-lap, 500-mile battle that required an overtime of eight laps or 20 additional miles to determine today’s winner.  Busch went on to lead a total of 19 laps spread out over 10 occasions.

“It was a heart-fought battle all day,” said Busch.  “Every lap seemed like it was something different today.  As the race got down to the end, I thought that I was in perfect position to put this Shell/Pennzoil Dodge car into victory lane.  We just kept battling back with different guys.  I feel horrible for Regan Smith.  Those guys were with us all day.  Tony Stewart came up behind us with a head of steam.  I got on the brakes as hard as I could not to hit the 78; he got the short end of the stick.  For us, finding different guys to work with, I thought I was in perfect position to bring it on home.  I was just one step behind on the last lap. I went to the middle; I needed to be on the low side.  I had Montoya behind me.  Those guys behind just pulled Juan away from my rear bumper and took away the head of steam that we needed.  We finished fifth.  This was a great Speed Weeks.  It’s a great way to start off the season in the Double-Deuce.”

Busch was running third after the incident with Smith brought out the 15th caution flag of the race and set up the first green-white-checkered run to the finish.  At that point, it appeared that Kurt and younger brother, Kyle, would team up and make a run to the finish.  But when Stewart drafted into the back of Dale Earnhardt Jr.  a bit too hard, it triggered another multi-car crash on Lap 202 and forced a second green-white-checkered finish.  Meanwhile, Kyle Busch had a tire going flat and was forced to hit pit road.

The strategy was for the “Double Deuce Dodge” to hook up with Montoya when the green flag was displayed again and that plan worked all the way down to the final circuit’s run to the checkered flag.  While the 2004 NASCAR Spring Cup Champ was taking it hard on himself immediately after the race, such was not the case of the other Penske team players.

“I think Kurt drove a masterful race today,” said team owner Roger Penske.  “It was just one of those days at the end where we needed the right partner.  With all the green-white-checkered flags (two), you want to be careful because we’re running for the championship.  Two wins (Bud Shootout and Gatorade Duel) and a fifth-place today in the 500, this month at Daytona is a great finish for us.  It’s great for Dodge and Shell-Pennzoil and all of our sponsors.”

“What a stressful day!” said crew chief Steve Addington.   “We got a hole knocked in the grille and fought back to get our Shell/Pennzoil Dodge back up to the front.  Kurt was patient all day long and worked really well with Regan (Smith).  It was a tough deal for him getting spun like he did.  I just want to thank all the guys that lay a hand on this race car.  We had a great month and they worked their tails off to give us race cars down here in Daytona.  It’s a great way to start the season.”

At the finish line here this afternoon, it was 20-year-old Trevor Bayne pulling off a shocking win behind the wheel of the legendary Wood Brothers Ford.  It was a page right out of the history books as the Wood Brothers claimed their fifth win in the 500 here today.  The popular Virginia family-owned team was sporting retro colors for their famous No. 21 car and had Hall-of-Famer and former team driver David Pearson advising the driver and team here today.

“Now that was so cool what happened out there that I just had to go to Victory Lane and congratulate those guys,” said Busch of the win in the race that featured a record number of lead changes (74 among 22 drivers) and a record number of cautions (16 for 60 laps). “The Wood Brothers – all that family – means so much to the history of our sport.  And here’s this 20-year-old kid who puts them back into the winner’s circle in the biggest stock car race in the world.  That’s really incredible and I am so happy for those guys.”

At the finish, it was Carl Edwards pushing winner Bayne across the line and taking the runner-up spot.  David Gilliland finished third, with Bobby Labonte fourth and Busch fifth.  Montoya finished sixth, with Smith, Kyle Busch, Paul Menard and Mark Martin rounding out the top-10 finishers.

Penske Racing teammate Brad Keselowski had his Miller Lite “Blue Deuce” Dodge in contention for the majority of the race until contact from Robby Gordon’s Dodge sent him crashing into the outside wall on Lap 167.  Keselowski had led two times for nine laps during the race, but had to settle for a 29th-place finish.

With Bayne not being a declared full-time Cup competitor, he is not credited with the points lead after the first of 36 2011 points-paying races has officially been placed in the record book.  Edwards is the current leader with 42 points.  Gilliland is tied for second with 41, with Busch fourth (40) and Montoya (39) fifth.  Smith (38) is sixth, with Kyle Busch (37) seventh, Menard (36) eighth, Martin (34) and A.J. Allmendinger (34) tied for ninth.

The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series now heads out to Phoenix International Raceway for next weekend’s Subway Fresh Fit 500.  The Phoenix 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 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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