Martinsville: Chip Ganassi Racing preview

David Stremme and the No. 40 Coors Light Dodge Team Facts: * What a difference a year makes: Heading to Martinsville this weekend a year ago David Stremme was 38th in points and 456 markers out of first. This season he's up a hefty 27 point ...

David Stremme and the No. 40 Coors Light Dodge Team Facts:

* What a difference a year makes: Heading to Martinsville this weekend a year ago David Stremme was 38th in points and 456 markers out of first. This season he's up a hefty 27 point positions in 11th and just 204 markers behind the leader Jeff Gordon.

* Now THAT's some mileage: The recommended shelf life of Coors Light is 112/16. That's 112 days or 16 weeks. What does that equate to in racing terms over the next 112 days/16 weeks for Stremme? He'll be able to purchase his Coors Light this Sunday at Martinsville and still be able to enjoy it by the time he gets to the series' off weekend after Chicagoland Speedway in June!

* Car of Tomorrow works just fine today: After Stremme and crew chief Steve Lane wiped the setup slate clean following opening practice with the CoT in Bristol, they rebounded and ran on the lead lap of each of the event's 500 tours. Their 13th place finish was due to a faulty radio which hampered they ability to pit with the leaders with 10 to go, and was not indicative of their No.40 CoT's strong debut.

Reed Sorenson and the No. 41 Target Dodge Team Facts:

* Getting Prepared: Reed Sorenson participated in a couple of tests on Tuesday to prepare for upcoming events in both the NEXTEL Cup Series and Busch Series. On Tuesday morning Sorenson headed to Greenville (S.C.) Pickens Speedway to test a Car of Tomorrow (CoT) in preparation for this weekend's race at Martinsville. The two tracks are similar in banking and the Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates (CGRGS) teams used the test to dial in their flat-track setups. Tuesday afternoon, Sorenson headed up to Richmond International Raceway with fellow competitor Denny Hamlin to participate in the NASCAR scheduled Busch Series test at the .75-mile oval from 1-9 p.m.

* Moving on to Martinsville: After being eliminated in the opening laps at Bristol last weekend (43rd-place finish), Sorenson is hoping to repeat some of his previous success at Martinsville Speedway. In just his first start in the NEXTEL Cup Series at the challenging short track, Sorenson recorded an impressive 12th-place, lead-lap finish. He followed that up later in the summer with a fourth-place effort in the Busch Series.

* Chassis: Crew chief Jimmy Elledge and the Target team have selected chassis #734 for this weekend. It is a new CoT that has no prior starts.

* Points Report: Reed Sorenson and the Target team currently sit 29th in the overall NEXTEL Cup Series standings. The team is just 92 points out of the top 20 and 170 points behind 12th-place and the final transfer position for the Chase.

* Native Virginian: Bobby Burrell, front-tire changer for the Target team, hails from Hot Springs, Va. In addition to his race day duties, Burrell serves as a chassis engineer at the shop. This is his fourth year with CGRFS and prior to joining the team he worked with Robert Yates Racing, Hendrick Motorsports and DEI.

* Did You Know: Target opened its first store in Roseville, Minn., in 1962. Today, Target operates 1,502 stores in 47 states.

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

* Martinsville: Juan Pablo Montoya and the Texaco/Havoline team face their second Car of Tomorrow (CoT) race of the season at Martinsville Speedway. Montoya has never seen the Martinsville track and will take his first laps around the 0.526-mile oval at 10:30 a.m. on Friday.

* Standings: Montoya and the Texaco/Havoline team slipped to 19th in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup standings following their 32nd-place finish on Sunday in Bristol. The team is only 88 points out of the top 10 following the 500-lap race last weekend.

* Rookie Status: Montoya is now tied for the lead in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Raybestos Rookie standings. He led the standings by one point last week, and holds onto the top spot for the second-consecutive weekend in a tie with David Ragan. In the Busch Series, Montoya holds the lead in the rookie standings by six points over Marcos Ambrose.

* Crew Chief: Although Montoya will be making his first trip to Martinsville, his crew chief Donnie Wingo is no stranger to the paperclip. In fact, Wingo visited victory lane at Martinsville Speedway in 1992 with driver Geoffrey Bodine. Wingo and the Texaco/Havoline team have earned four top-10 finishes at the track since 2003, including a runner-up finish in 2004.

* It takes one to know Juan: One of Montoya's favorite things to do to relax following a race weekend is golf. In fact, Montoya golfed at the Doral on Monday, the same course where Tiger Woods just captured the World Golf Championship on Sunday and his third-straight victory at the Miami course.

* Chassis: Crew chief Donnie Wingo and the Texaco/Havoline team have chosen chassis #735 for this week's Martinsville 500. This is not the car Montoya ran last week at Bristol, but a new chassis out of the No. 42 Texaco/Havoline Dodge Avenger stable.

* Road Trip: Texaco/Havoline has just made traveling to the race track easier for race fans. Fans can go to www.texacohavoline42.com, click on the link for the road trip and enter their starting location and race destination. In addition to receiving the best route to the track, fans will also get directions to the nearest Xpress Lube and Texaco service stations along the way to make planning their trip to see Montoya easier.

* Star in the Sky: "Bristol is a one-of-a-kind place. When you walk into the track, it is one of the neatest places that you will ever see. It's like a stadium with seats all around that go so high into the air. When you walk in the track early in the morning the top of the grandstands are covered by the fog from the surrounding mountains of Tennessee. You have to come to this track with an open mind, anything can happen. It's a challenge to keep your temper in check and remain cool so you are able to finish the race. As a spotter, my goal is to first finish the race."

-credit: cgr

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