Brad Keselowski could send Dodge out of NASCAR as a champion.
Dodge decided this season to withdraw from NASCAR competition in both the Sprint Cup Series and Nationwide Series at the end of this season.
Keselowski has the points lead after his win Sunday at Dover International Speedway. Penske Racing currently fields two Dodge Chargers in Sprint Cup and two Dodge Challengers in Nationwide, but Penske announced in February that it was switching to Fords for the 2013 season, leaving Dodge in the lurch.
Owner Roger Penske said there was no awkwardness in teaming with Dodge to win a title in a lame-duck season.
“The greatest thing we could do would be to bring a championship to Dodge this year,” he said. “But I’m sorry to see them get out of the Cup side. Hopefully they might do something in Nationwide. At the moment, we represent them. They’re partners. We’re going to do our best.”
Dodge returned to NASCAR competition in 2001 after an absence of nearly a quarter- century and currently only the two Penske teams, the No. 2 driven by Keselowski and the No. 22 driven by Sam Hornish Jr.
Penske Racing has been with Dodge since 2003.
“It’s a unique situation for sure, but one I know we’re committed to making the most out of,” Keselowski said. “Certainly it would be very special to do (win the championship considering the circumstances.”
Phoenix team looking
With Kurt Busch set to bolt Phoenix Racing after next week’s race at Talladega, the team is on the hunt for a replacement driver for the final six races. Team owner James Finch has been talking to drivers, but the team is without major sponsorship, making it a less than attractive option.
“I know James has talked to Regan Smith and a couple of other guys,” crew chief Nick Harrison said. “With no sponsor on the car, we’re looking for a driver who might have a sponsorship opportunity or maybe a chance of getting a driver who might have a sponsor.”
Harrison said the team was committed to running a full season. But the team needs sponsors.
Brown wins Top Fuel again
Antron Brown raced to his sixth Top Fuel victory of the season Sunday in Madison, Ill., winning the NHRA Midwest Nationals to increase his championship points lead. Brown beat championship rival Spencer Massey in the final round and moved 21 points ahead with three races left in the Full Throttle Countdown to the Championship playoffs. Brown had a run of 3.766 seconds at 325.22 mph.
Jack Beckman won in Funny Car, Erica Enders in Pro Stock, and Eddie Krawiec in Pro Stock Motorcycle.
Beckman moved within 30 points of Funny Car points leader Ron Capps by racing to his third victory of the season. Beckman took the final over a red-lighting Matt Hagan.
NASCAR Trucks Series
Nelson Piquet Jr. raced to his second NASCAR Trucks Series victory of the year Saturday night, passing Matt Crafton on the final lap at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in Las Vegas. Piquet, whose father won three Formula One titles, also won at Road America in June.