Loudon: Chip Ganassi Racing preview

Dario Franchitti and the No. 40 Target/Guitar Hero: Aerosmith Team (NSCS) and the No. 40 Fastenal Dodge Team (NNS) First start for Franchitti: This week will be Dario Franchitti's first start at the New Hampshire Motor Speedway (NHMS) in the ...

Dario Franchitti and the No. 40 Target/Guitar Hero: Aerosmith Team (NSCS) and the No. 40 Fastenal Dodge Team (NNS)

First start for Franchitti: This week will be Dario Franchitti's first start at the New Hampshire Motor Speedway (NHMS) in the Sprint Cup Series. So far this season, Franchitti has an average start of 30.28 and an average finish of 35.85 at tracks where he was making his first NASCAR Cup series start. In the Nationwide Series, he has an average start of 14th and an average finish of 25.5 at tracks where he was making his first start. This weekend also marks the first time Franchitti will compete in a NASCAR Nationwide Series event at NHMS. Last year at New Hampshire, his NNS crew chief Brad Parrott helped Reed Sorenson and the No. 41 NNS team earn a ninth-place finish.

Dario at SMI Tracks: Franchitti has three starts at an SMI owned track in his Sprint Cup Series career. In those three races--at Atlanta, Bristol and Las Vegas, Franchitti has an average starting position of 30.33 and average finishing position of 34th. His best start of 23rd came at Atlanta and his best finishes of 33rd came at Atlanta and Las Vegas.

Events with Guitar Hero: Aerosmith: Franchitti and Sorenson will be making an appearance to show case their guitar skills at the Guitar Hero: Aerosmith bus Sunday, June 29, just outside of NHMS from 10:15-10:45 am ET. Prior to their arrival, the bus will be open to fans all weekend at NHMS so they, too, can get a sneak peak of the game which will be released June 29. Franchitti will also be joining SPEED's Trackside Live on Friday to test the hosts' Guitar Hero: Aerosmith skills.

Where They Stand: After nine races this season in NSCS competition, Franchitti is fifth in the NSCS Rookie of the Year standings, 42nd in NSCS driver points and 39th in NSCS owner points. He is 66 points out of the lead in the chase for rookie honors and 281 points out of 35th place in owner points.

Where They Stand on the NNS Side: The Fastenal team is 17th in the NNS owner ranks. With a current tally of 1,864, the NNS CGRFS team is 54 points outside of 15th and 189 out of 10th.

No. 40 at Milwaukee: Bryan Clauson drove the No. 40 Fastenal Dodge to a 20th-place finish at the Milwaukee Mile last weekend. After qualifying in the 22nd position, the young driver struggled all night with a tight race car. Despite multiple adjustments, the team could not shake the car's stubborn handling. Because of the problem, Clauson went a lap down, but was able to earn it back after scoring the Lucky Dog position on the final yellow of the night.

Dario's Last Run: Franchitti last climbed behind the wheel of the No. 40 Fastenal Dodge in the Nationwide Series race at the Dover International Speedway. After qualifying in the 23rd position, Franchitti moved forward through the field, but battled handling early on. After going one lap down, Franchitti was able to receive the Lucky Dog award. In the final 36 laps of the race, Franchitti charged ahead, finishing in the 15th position and winning the Raybestos Rookie of the Race award.

Reed Sorenson and the No. 41 Target Dodge Team (NSCS)

Infineon Results: The No. 41 Target team would like to thank Scott Pruett who substituted for Sorenson at Infineon Raceway this past weekend. Pruett, who holds the record for most wins with CGR at 18, drove the car to a 38th-place finish after a late-race incident sent him to the garage. After qualifying in the 27th position, he was able to charge forward to make a run at a top-15 finish. With three laps remaining, Pruett was hit from behind by the No. 20 car, ultimately ending his day. In addition to competing at Infineon, Pruett along with teammate Memo Rojas drove the No. 01 TELMEX Lexus Riley to an eighth-place finish in the EMCO Gears Classic at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course on Saturday, June 21.

New Hampshire History: Sorenson has made a combined seven starts at NHMS in NASCAR's top two series. His average start in a NASCAR Sprint Cup is 14th and his average finishing position is 20.25. In the Nationwide Series, Sorenson has an average starting position of 12th and an average finishing position of 13.3. His best finish at the track in the Cup series came last September when he scored a 14th-place finish.

In the Points: After finishing in the 38th position this weekend the No. 41 car dropped to 35th in owners standings with 1,228 points. The No. 41 car is 410 points out of the 20th position. Sorenson is 34th in NSCS driver points, 437 out of 20th.

Congratulations Wheldon: Target teammate Dan Wheldon celebrated his 30th birthday in victory lane this past weekend after winning the Corn Indy 250 at the Iowa Speedway on Sunday. After starting in the third position, Wheldon was able to take the lead on lap 60 and win the race.

Wheldon and Dixon Donate Winnings to Iowa Disaster Relief: Wheldon donated his Iowa winnings to relief programs for victims of flooding in Iowa. Coupled with Dixon's prize money for finishing fifth, the TCGR drivers donated the money to Iowa disaster relief funds. "It's very small in the grand scheme of things, but we're very proud to be able to do something," Wheldon said. "Hopefully it will put a smile on people's faces."

98 and counting: Thanks to a victory at the Iowa Speedway this weekend by Wheldon, team owner Chip Ganassi has 98 wins under his belt, leaving him just two wins away from reaching a milestone of 100 victories as an owner. His wins have come across a wide variety of racing series including CART, IndyCar, NASCAR Sprint Cup, NASCAR Nationwide, ARCA and Grand Am. Sorenson has four of those victories: three NNS and one ARCA.

Juan Pablo Montoya and the No. 42 Texaco/Havoline Dodge (NSCS)

T/H: The No. 42 Dodge will carry the black and red colors of Texaco/Havoline again this weekend at NHMS.

NHMS: Juan Pablo Montoya will be making his third start at NHMS this weekend at the 1.058-mile track. In his first race at NHMS, Montoya qualified fifth and battled a tight-handling car to finish 19th. Montoya qualified 31st in the July 2007 event and finished 23rd.

About last week: Running second, Montoya and the No. 42 Texaco/Havoline Dodge appeared to be a threat to defend their 2007 race win at Infineon Raceway, until Montoya was spun by the No. 21 car on lap 75. Montoya was able to re-fire the car and continue on to finish the road course race sixth. It was the team's second top-10 finish of the season, and the first for the pairing of Montoya and Crew Chief Brian Pattie.

Two to Go: Team Owner Chip Ganassi is just two wins away from reaching a milestone of 100 victories as an owner. His wins have come across a wide variety of racing series including CART, IndyCar, NASCAR Sprint Cup, NASCAR Nationwide, ARCA and Grand Am. Montoya has contributed to 15 of Ganassi's victories over five series: 10 CART, one IndyCar, one Sprint Cup, one Nationwide and two Grand Am.

Home track: Car Chief Mike Brill hails from Woodsville, N.H., which is about two hours north of the track. Brill worked for several years in the Busch North Series, and considers NHMS his home track. Mike Bodick, mechanic and gas man for the No. 42 car, hails from Norwalk, Conn.

2008 Standings: Montoya moved up three spots in the NSCS driver standings after his sixth-place finish at Infineon Raceway on Sunday. He now sits 19th and 254 points out of the 12th position, the cut-off for the "Chase for the Sprint Cup."

CHASSIS INFO

No. 40 Target/Guitar Hero: Aerosmith Dodge (NSCS): Chassis #746. This is the second start this season for chassis #746 in the NASCAR Cup series. Earlier in the year it was raced at Lowe's Motor Speedway and Auto Club Speedway.

No. 41 Target Dodge (NSCS): Chassis #737. This weekend's event at the NHMS will be the first time this chassis has been used in NASCAR Sprint Cup Series competition.

No. 42 Texaco/Havoline Dodge (NSCS): Chassis #818. Sorenson competed with this chassis at Martinsville Speedway earlier this season. It was also used at a Caraway Speedway test session in Asheboro, N.C. Montoya will race this chassis this weekend for the first time.

No. 40 Fastenal Dodge (NNS): Chassis #851. Earlier this year, Clauson raced this car at Richmond, starting in the 16th position. After dealing with a tight-handling race car all night, he finished 21st. Franchitti will pilot the car this weekend.

-credit: cgr

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About this article
Series Monster Energy NASCAR Cup , NASCAR XFINITY
Drivers Juan Pablo Montoya
Teams Chip Ganassi Racing