Atlanta II: Chip Ganassi Racing preview

David Stremme and the No. 40 St. Jude Dodge Team Facts: * No Place Like St. Jude: Coors Light, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital and CGRFS are teaming up this weekend as the No. 40 Coors Light Dodge driven by David Stremme will be ...

David Stremme and the No. 40 St. Jude Dodge Team Facts:

* No Place Like St. Jude: Coors Light, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital and CGRFS are teaming up this weekend as the No. 40 Coors Light Dodge driven by David Stremme will be wrapped with a special St. Jude paint scheme for this weekend's Pep Boys Auto 500. The purpose of the paint scheme is to increase awareness of the hospital and its work as well as to support Coors Light's yearly pumpkin-themed "Halloween Pinups" fundraiser. Coors Light will make a $10,000 base donation to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital on race weekend, with an incremental donation for every lap Stremme completes in the race. Since 1997, Chip Ganassi Racing Teams, Inc. has raised more than $440,000 for St. Jude Hospital and Target House by donating $5,000 for each victory, $1,000 for each pole position and $25 for each lap led.

* Chassis: Crew chief Steve Lane and the Coors Light team have selected chassis #710 for the Pep Boys Auto 500 this weekend at Atlanta Motor Speedway. The team ran this car at the two-day Charlotte Test in early May when Stremme was second on the time sheets the first day and first overall on the second day of testing and again at California Speedway in September.

Reed Sorenson and the No. 41 Breast Cancer Awareness/Target Dodge Team Facts:

* Raising Breast Cancer Awareness: Reed Sorenson will be driving a Pink No. 41 Target Dodge this weekend at Atlanta Motor Speedway (AMS) to help raise Breast Cancer Awareness. Additionally, he has developed a donation pledge to coincide with the pink car during the Pep Boys Auto 500, which Target will match. Sorenson will donate $10,000 for a win, $5,000 for a top-five finish, $1,000 for a top-10 finish, $4,100 for a pole and $12.62 for each lap completed, totaling $4,100 if he completes all of the scheduled 325 laps. He will also auction his autographed custom race helmet and fire suit from the "Pink Car" races with proceeds from the pledge and auction benefiting The Breast Cancer Research Foundation and Project Pink House. For more information on the auction, which will begin on Tuesday, Oct. 23, please visit www.reedsorenson.com. Artwork available upon request.

* Golfing for Charity: The inaugural Reed Sorenson Charity Golf Classic took place on Wednesday, Oct. 24, at the White Water Creek Country Club in Fayetteville, Ga. Proceeds from the event will benefit Speedway Children's Charities. Participants included Sorenson's CGRFS teammates Juan Pablo Montoya and David Stremme, Target team crew chief Jimmy Elledge, FOX and SPEED TV personality Larry McReynolds, John Smoltz and Tim Hudson from the Atlanta Braves and various other local celebrities.

* Homecoming: This weekend's race at AMS will be a homecoming of sorts for Reed Sorenson, who hails from Peachtree City, Ga. AMS is the site of Sorenson's first NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series start, which came on Oct. 30, 2005. Sorenson started the event 22nd and finished 41st after an accident that took him out of contention on lap 133 of 325. Sorenson grew up racing Legends Cars (5/8 scale replicas of classic coupes and sedans of the '30s) at AMS, capturing three track championships ('98, '99, '01) 22 wins, 40 top-five finishes and 42 top-10 finishes in 43 starts.

* BFF: Sorenson's good friend and Target teammate Shane Bourgeois also hails from Peachtree City. The two grew up together and Bourgeois helped Sorenson on his ASA team before moving with him to North Carolina and to Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates (CGRFS). Bourgeois works in the suspension department and provides pit support on race day.

* Points Update: Sorenson and the Target team maintained 23rd position in the overall NEXTEL Cup Series driver standings after the last event at Martinsville Speedway. The team is 244 points out of 20th with four races remaining in the 2007 season.

* Chassis: Crew chief Jimmy Elledge has selected chassis #705 for this weekend's race at Atlanta. This is the same car Sorenson finished ninth with at AMS earlier this season.

Juan Pablo Montoya and the No. 42 Texaco/Havoline Dodge Avenger Team Facts:

* Back First Cup Top Five: Juan Pablo Montoya, making only his fifth start on the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup circuit, drove the No. 42 Texaco/Havoline Dodge to a fifth-place finish at Atlanta Motor Speedway in March. He started the race from the 16th position, and was running fourth for the final restart on lap 314. Montoya went on the high side when the green flag dropped, but ran out of road and scraped the wall trying to get around the No. 48 car. The brush with the wall caused some damage to the right rear of the Texaco/Havoline car and the No. 31 was able to get around Montoya. Over the final three laps Montoya battled with the No. 07 car to hold onto the fifth position. He crossed the finish line a nose ahead to earn his first-career top-five finish in the NEXTEL Cup Series.

* Standings: Montoya gained two spots in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup driver standings with his eighth-place finish at Martinsville Speedway. He now sits 19th (tied in points with Kasey Kahne) with four races remaining on the 2007 schedule. He also sits just 10 points behind the 18th-place driver Jamie McMurray and 56 points behind 2000 Cup Champion Bobby Labonte in 17th. The top-10 finish was Montoya and the Texaco/Havoline team's sixth top 10 of the season.

* Rookie Race: Montoya increased his lead in the Raybestos Rookie standings to 19 points over David Ragan (231-212). Montoya's eighth-place finish at Martinsville Speedway earned him Rookie of the Race honors for the 14th time this season. He also earned rookie of the race honors in the Atlanta race in March when he drove the Texaco/Havoline Dodge to a fifth-place finish. Montoya is poised to become the fourth driver for Texaco/Havoline to earn the Raybestos Rookie honor (Davey Allison, Kenny Irwin and Jamie McMurray).

* Chassis: Crew Chief Donnie Wingo and the No. 42 team are bringing chassis #706 to Atlanta Motor Speedway for the Pep Boys Auto 500. This will be the sixth time Wingo has loaded this car onto the team's transporter for a race weekend this season. Chassis #706 has earned the team two of its six top-10 finishes this season including the March race at Atlanta. This chassis has run at Texas (eighth-place finish), Atlanta (fifth-place finish), Pocono (20th-place finish), Chicagoland (15th-place finish), Michigan (26th-place finish) and most recently at Kansas (28th-place finish).

* Helping out a teammate: Montoya will be playing in the inaugural Reed Sorenson Charity Golf Classic on Wednesday, Oct. 24, at the White Water Creek Country Club in Fayetteville, Ga. Proceeds from the event will benefit Speedway Children's Charities. Participants include Sorenson, David Stremme, Target team Crew Chief Jimmy Elledge, FOX and SPEED TV personality Larry McReynolds, John Smoltz and Tim Hudson from the Atlanta Braves and other local celebrities.

-credit: cgr

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About this article
Series NASCAR Sprint Cup
Drivers Juan Pablo Montoya
Teams Chip Ganassi Racing