Dodge Remains Winless In Nextel Cup Season
June 21, 2007
Going into the Citizens Bank 400 at the Michigan International Speedway, Dodge teams are counting on history to give them their first win at the Nextel Cup season. At the said track, only Dodge and Ford cars have won for five straight years excluding the last one held last Sunday. Another factor that gave Dodge teams the confidence that they will finally rack up a win at the Citizens Bank 400 is the back-to-back second place finish by Dodge driver Ryan Newman.
Unfortunately for Dodge teams though, they have to wait for the next race of the season to take their first win this season. This is because not only did they not take a top ten finish, the highest finish of a Dodge driver at the Citizens Bank 400 is 23rd which was taken by Reed Sorenson in his No.41 Target Dodge Charger.
“We had a real fast car in practice, and I thought we were going to qualify better than we did,” says Sorenson. “I really didn’t know what to expect in the race, but we hung in there and got a decent finish. I guess we had the best finishing Dodge, but the Dodge Boys didn’t have a real good day today. We’ll get ‘em next week in Sonoma.” The next race of the season will be the Toyota/Save Mart 350 which will be held at the Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, California.
The second highest finish by a Dodge driver in a Dodge brake pad-equipped Charger is the 25th spot which was taken by Kurt Busch on his No. 2 Penske Racing Dodge. “We had a good car that ran in the top five most of the day. We had to come in on lap 166 to change a loose lug nut, and the car got really loose after that,” says Busch about his car’s performance at the race.
John Andretti, onboard his No. 45 Petty Enterprise Dodge Charger, finished 27th. The next Dodge on the ranking is the No. 9 Evernham Motorsports Dodge which was driven by Kasey Kahne. “We were able to get the car to turn in the corners with the 2006 nose, but we couldn’t get the back of the car hooked up,” says Kahne. “We made progress as the race went on, but we couldn’t overcome the early deficit. I thought we made progress with the car yesterday and was optimistic we could have a good finish. It didn’t work out that way.”
Behind Kahne is Scott Riggs driving the No. 10 Valvoline Evernham Racing Dodge. Riggs has this to say about his performance at the race: “We were way too free on entry for most of the race. By the time we got the handling improved we had already been caught two laps down after a green flag stop. The guys on pit road did an incredible job today, and everyone has been working really hard and doing the right things.”
Ryan Newman, the most promising driver for Dodge going into the Citizens Bank 400, is hampered by a blown out tire. This cost him a good deal of time which eventually forced him to finish at 37th. “We had a real good car, but we didn’t have a car that could have beat Carl Edwards today. We just caught a piece of debris or something and it popped that tire. It wrapped itself around the caliper and rotor and stuff and it cost us three laps.”
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