Daytona 500: Dodge Motorsports preview

DODGE CHARGER IN 2008 * Dodge, which has a storied heritage in auto racing with the Charger, has elected to continue the winning tradition that legends David Pearson, Bobby Isaac and Richard Petty established in the 1970s by designating the ...

DODGE CHARGER IN 2008

* Dodge, which has a storied heritage in auto racing with the Charger, has elected to continue the winning tradition that legends David Pearson, Bobby Isaac and Richard Petty established in the 1970s by designating the Charger as the nameplate Dodge teams will use in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in 2008 and beyond.

* The Dodge Charger has won at least one race each season since it returned to NASCAR's premier series in 2005.

* The Dodge Charger has been to victory lane 136 times since 1966.

* The last driver to win a race with a Dodge Charger was Kurt Busch. (3M Performance 400 at Michigan International Speedway, Aug. 21, 2007)

Dario Franchitti's Dodge Charger will carry an "All-New Dodge Journey" paint scheme for the 50th running of the Daytona 500

DODGE AT DAYTONA

* Richard Petty (1973, 1974) and Ward Burton (2002) have both won the Daytona 500 driving a Dodge.

* Bill Elliott won the pole for the 2001 Daytona 500 driving a Dodge.

* Forty drivers have driven a Dodge in competition in the Daytona 500 since 2001

* The most Dodge cars to compete in a Daytona 500 were 17 in 2004.

DODGE ROOKIE CONTENDERS

* Dario Franchitti -- The 2007 Indianapolis 500 winner will drive the No. 40 Dodge Charger in 2008. The Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates driver is locked into the Daytona 500 field based on 2007 owner points.

* Sam Hornish, Jr. -- The three-time IndyCar Series champion and 2006 Indy 500 winner is assured a starting spot in the first five races of the 2008 season in the No. 77 Mobile 1 Dodge Charger. A transfer of points from Penske Racing teammate Kurt Busch has Hornish in the top 35 in owner points.

* Patrick Carpentier -- The former open-wheel driver, who made his Sprint Cup debut last year at Watkins Glen, will have to race his way into the Daytona 500 field in the No. 10 Valvoline Dodge Charger from Gillett Evernham Motorsports. The No. 10 did not finish in the top 35 in owner points in 2007.

DAYTONA ROOKIE HISTORY

* Reigning Raybestos Rookie of the Year Juan Pablo Montoya started the 2007 Daytona 500 in 36th position in route to a 19th-place finish.

* Kasey Kahne, the top rookie in 2004, didn't finish the Daytona 500 that year due to mechanical problems, but posted runner-up finishes in the next two races en route to 13 top-five finishes during the season.

* Thirteen rookies driving a Dodge have competed in the Daytona 500 since 2001.

* The most rookie contenders driving a Dodge to compete in the Daytona 500 since 2001 is three (2004 and 2006).

DID YOU KNOW?

* The first Dodge victory in NASCAR's premier series came in 1964 when Junior Johnson and Bobby Isaac, both driving Dodges, swept the two 100-mile qualifying races.

* Richard Petty posted his first Daytona 500 win in 1964 in a Plymouth which swept the top three positions.

* The first Dodge Charger victory in NASCAR's premier series came in 1966 when Earl Balmer won a 100-mile qualifying race in the No. 3 Dodge Charger owned by Ray Fox.

* Ward Burton was the last Dodge driver to win the Daytona 500 (2002).

* Elliott Sadler and Kasey Kahne finished sixth and seventh, respectively, in last year's Daytona 500, best among the 10 Dodge drivers in the field.

* Kasey Kahne drove a Dodge to victory six times in 2006, best in NASCAR's premier series.

UPCOMING MILESTONES -- 2008

* Kyle Petty will be making his 27th start in the 50th running of the Daytona 500 and 815th of his career.

* Reed Sorenson will make his 75th career start at Daytona.

STREAKS

* Ryan Newman has started from the pole 42 times during his career, second only to Jeff Gordon among active drivers. He has claimed at least one pole seven consecutive seasons. Kasey Kahne has at least one pole in each of the last four seasons.

Quote of the Week:

"Dodge Motorsports has clearly defined goals for the 2008 season -- win races, have multiple drivers competing in the Chase and challenge for our first championship since returning to NASCAR's premier series in 2001." -- Mike Accavitti Director -- Dodge Brand and SRT Marketing Communications, Chrysler LLC

-credit: dodge motorsports

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