Michigan: Chip Ganassi Racing preview

David Stremme and the No. 40 Coors Light Dodge Team Facts: * Racing Close to Home: David Stremme will get a small glimpse of home this weekend at Michigan. Stremme grew up in South Bend, Ind., just a few hours away from the speedway. * Happy...

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

* Racing Close to Home: David Stremme will get a small glimpse of home this weekend at Michigan. Stremme grew up in South Bend, Ind., just a few hours away from the speedway.

* Happy Birthday, David!: Just a few days after this weekend's 400-mile race, Stremme will be celebrating his 30th birthday on June 19. Don't worry David, the 30s are the news 20s these days ... or at least that is what we've been told.

* Standings Update: Stremme and the No. 40 Coors Light team finished 23rd at Pocono Raceway last Sunday, after the race was cut short due to rain. Stremme and team are now ranked 22nd in the NNCS points standings right behind teammate Juan Pablo Montoya. The team is now 255 points out of 12th -- the final transfer position for the Chase for the NEXTEL Cup.

* Happy Father's Day, Lou: Stremme is really close to his father Lou, who had his son put school first before he started racing as a teenager and then continued to support his son in his pursuit to become a NASCAR driver. Stremme took a minute this week to talk about the close friendship he has with his father and the significance of Father's Day:

"Father's Day means a lot to me because my dad and I are really close. We did a lot together when I was growing up working on race cars. It would be cool if I could get a win for him, but he always says coming home to see him would be nice so I'm going to do that on Monday because this definitely has a lot of meaning to me. I'm going to get him something, but I have no idea what that is yet. I might get him a set of tires for his race car. I'm not sure because he's pretty low key. He won't be at Michigan this weekend because he'll be racing, so I'll be sure to call him on Sunday morning."

* Chassis: Crew Chief Steve Lane and the No. 40 Coors Light time are bringing chassis #704 to Michigan this weekend. The chassis was last run in Charlotte where the team raced its way to a 17th-place finish. This chassis was only used once before Charlotte and helped the team grab a 13th-place finish at Atlanta this past March.

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

* Michigan Momentum: Sorenson has only two starts at Michigan International Speedway (MIS) in the NEXTEL Cup Series, but his results are rather impressive. He posted a fifth-place finish in last year's June event and followed that up with an eighth-place effort in August. He also finished seventh that weekend in the NASCAR Busch Series. In four starts at the track in either the NEXTEL Cup Series (2) or Busch Series (2), Sorenson has one top-five finish and three-top 10 finishes.

* Like Father, Like Son: Prior to focusing his attention on his son Reed's racing career, Brad Sorenson was a racer himself. He began at the age of 15 competing on two wheels instead of four. Brad cut his racing teeth in motocross and competed professionally in the AMA ranks for a short period. From there, he began racing late models around the Atlanta area and even competed in one Busch Series race at Lanier National Speedway (13th-place finish). After that, his passion turned to seeing his son succeed. Brad will be at MIS this weekend supporting his son on the Father's Day race.

Reed Sorenson on Father's Day: "My dad has been very supportive and instrumental throughout my racing career and life in general. We worked together on all of my cars and he served as my crew chief all the way up through the ASA ranks. He's not as involved these days, but he still watches every race and we talk about how everything went after it's over. I appreciate all that he has done for me over the years. He and my mom made a lot of sacrifices to get me to this level. No matter what, I can always call my dad for advice. Whether it's racing related, or a big decision I need to make, or if I just need to talk, he's always there. He tells me he's coming up to Michigan this weekend. I'd love to give him the ultimate Father's Day gift and win the race. If not, I'll probably get him a polo shirt or something like that (smile)."

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

* Standings: Juan Pablo Montoya and the Texaco/Havoline team jumped to 21st in the overall series standings after their solid 20th-place run at Pocono. Montoya is only 35 points out of 20th and 254 points out of 12th -- the final transfer position for the Chase for the NEXTEL Cup.

* Chassis: Crew Chief Donnie Wingo and the Texaco/Havoline team have selected chassis #707 for this weekend's race at Michigan International Speedway (MIS). This will be the second time the team has run this chassis this year. Montoya ran chassis #707 in the 600-mile race at Lowe's Motor Speedway in May, where he started from the 20th position and finished 28th after being involved in a multi-car incident.

* Back to MIS: Montoya is no stranger to the 2-mile track in Brooklyn, Mich. In fact, the last time Montoya turned laps at MIS he drove to victory lane in July of 2000 for Chip Ganassi Racing in the CART Series. Montoya started the race from the seventh position and led 39 laps before taking the checkered flag. He also competed in the CART race in 1999 where he started third, led for 28 laps and finished on the podium in second place. This will be the first time Montoya has driven the heavier stock car in Michigan.

* Happy Father's Day: Montoya credits much of his success to his father Pablo Montoya. Pablo first introduced his son to racing when he was just five years old in their hometown of Bogota, Colombia, and since has gone on to win a CART Series Championship, the Indianapolis 500 and the Grand Prix of Monoco, just to mention a few.

Juan Pablo Montoya on Father's Day: "My Dad is a great guy and the single most important person responsible for my racing career. He started me in racing, managed my development and provided support both on and off the track. From managing my career, to a big decision in life or just growing up and being a kid, he was, and still is, always there looking out for me, with guidance and love. I hope to have the same type of positive influence on my kids that he has had on me."

* Rookie Race: Montoya collected his sixth Raybestos Rookie of the Race honor of the season with his 20th-place finish at Pocono. He currently leads David Ragan by six points (152-146) in the Raybestos® Rookie standings.

* Two in a row for Hamlin: Kevin Hamlin will pilot the No. 42 Texaco/Havoline Busch car again this weekend at Kentucky Speedway. This will be the third race for Hamlin, a Snohomish, Wash. native. Hamlin has driven twice this season at Nashville Superspeedway finishing 23rd last weekend and 18th in April. The NASCAR Busch Series race will air on ESPN2 and MRN Radio live on Saturday, June 16, at 8 p.m. ET.

-credit: cgr

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