Pocono: Chip Ganassi Racing preview

Dario Franchitti and the No. 40 Target Dodge Team (NSCS) Franchitti Update: Dario Franchitti, full-time driver of the No. 40 CGRFS Dodge, will return to NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) competition this weekend at Pocono Raceway after sitting...

Dario Franchitti and the No. 40 Target Dodge Team (NSCS)

Franchitti Update: Dario Franchitti, full-time driver of the No. 40 CGRFS Dodge, will return to NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) competition this weekend at Pocono Raceway after sitting out the last six weeks to allow his left ankle time to heal. Franchitti fractured his ankle in the NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS) race at Talladega Superspeedway this past April. Franchitti did compete last Saturday at Dover International Speedway in the NNS race where he earned a 15th-place finish.

Testing at Pocono: Franchitti and the No. 40 CGRFS Cup team tested at Pocono Raceway last week along with the majority of the NSCS teams. It marked Franchitti's first time back in the No. 40 NSCS car since he was injured in the NNS race at Talladega Superspeedway in late April. The team's fastest lap was recorded on day two with a lap time of 53.755 seconds at 167.426 mph, which put them 12th fastest at the end of the day.

Thanks Jeremy: A big THANKS goes out to Jeremy Mayfield for stepping into the No. 40 Target Dodge last weekend at Dover International Raceway for the sidelined Franchitti. Mayfield and the No. 40 Target Dodge team scored their best qualifying effort of the 2008 season, which lined the CGRFS team up 10th to take the green Sunday. The team went on to battle a tight-handling condition and long green-flag runs at The Monster Mile to call it a day with a 25th-place finish.

Where They Stand: Mayfield and the No. 40 Target Dodge team finished the day 25th in Dover, Del., last Sunday, which edged the team a little closer to the top 35 in the NSCS standings. The team is 38th overall and 164 points away from the 35th spot going into this weekend's run at Pocono.

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

Pocono history: Reed Sorenson has participated in four NSCS events at Pocono Raceway. His best start to date is 10th (Aug. 2007) and finish is 24th (June 2007) at the 2.5-mile tri-oval. Sorenson led five laps during his last competition at the track.

Testing at Pocono: Sorenson and the No.41 Target team participated in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series test session on May 27 and May 28 in preparation for this weekend's Pocono 500. Sorenson's fastest time of 54.249 came in the evening session on day two of the test.

VIR Testing: Sorenson along with teammates Franchitti, Juan Pablo Montoya and Scott Pruett headed to VIR (Virginia International Raceway) to participate in an open-test session Tuesday. The test session is in preparation for the upcoming Infineon Raceway and Watkins Glen road-course events.

In the points: The No. 41 Target Team remains 31st (1,054 points) in the NSCS owner point standings after its 26th finish at the "Monster Mile." The team sits 139 points out of 25th place and 273 outside the top 20.

Last Weekend: The No. 41 Target Dodge started 42nd after suffering a cut tire on its qualifying lap for the 400-lap event on Sunday. Sorenson, in his fifth NSCS race at the 1-mile track, battled his way to a 26th-place finish.

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

Pocono: Montoya's No. 42 Dodge will again carry the Texaco/Havoline logo for the third week in a row for the Pocono 500. In preparation for this weekend's 500-mile race Montoya and the No.42 team participated in the two-day test at Pocono Raceway on May 27 and May 28. Montoya's posted his fastest lap on the second day of the test when he turned a lap time of 54.216 seconds at a speed of 166.003 mph. This will be the first race for the CoT at the tri-oval.

Pocono '07: Montoya will be making his third NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) start this weekend at Pocono Raceway. Last season Montoya earned top-20 finishes at both events at the 2.5-mile tri-oval. In his first trip to Pocono, Montoya finished the rain-shortened event in the 20th position with a bent up front fender. He qualified ninth in his second trip back to Pocono and went on to finish 16th.

2008 Standings: Montoya remains 17th in the NASCAR Sprint Cup driver standings following a top-15 finish last weekend at Dover. Before his trip to the "Monster Mile" Montoya was 191 points out of 12th, the cut-off to the Chase for the Sprint Cup. He now sits just 134 points out of 12th. At this point last season Montoya was sitting 21st in the standings.

Testing again: Montoya and the No. 42 crew are testing again this week in preparation for the upcoming road course race at Infineon Raceway where Montoya will be defending his 2007 race win. The team headed to Virginia International Raceway on Tuesday to test two cars with teammates Sorenson, Franchitti and Pruett.

Recognized: Montoya was recently named the first-quarter winner of the National Motorsports Press Association Pocono Spirit Award. This award recognizes character and achievement in the face of adversity, sportsmanship, and contributions to motorsports. Montoya and wife, Connie, were recognized for the work that they do with their Formula Smiles Foundation in Colombia. In March, NASCAR CEO and Chairman Brian France along with other NASCAR executives went to Cartagena, Colombia to observe the work done by the foundation. France, on behalf of the NASCAR Foundation, donated $25,000 to help with the efforts of the Formula Smiles Foundation.

Last Race: Montoya drove his No. 42 Texaco/Havoline Dodge to a 12th-place finish at Dover International Speedway last Sunday. It was his third top-15 finish of the 2008 season. He took the green flag for the 400-lap event in the 35th place, but with the help of his No. 42 crew and Crew Chief Brian Pattie finished 12th, one lap down to the leader.

CHASSIS INFO

No. 40 Target Dodge (NSCS): Chassis #738. This car was tested at Pocono last week, but this Sunday will be the car's first competition run of 2008.

No. 41 Target Dodge (NSCS): Chassis #735. Chassis #735 has not been run this season by the No. 41 team. Teammate Juan Pablo Montoya drove this car to a 13th-place finish at Martinsville earlier this year under the direction of then Crew Chief Donnie Wingo. Last week Wingo took this car to the Pocono test session with the No. 41 Target team.

No. 42 Texaco/Havoline Dodge (NSCS): Chassis #815. Montoya will compete in chassis #815 this weekend at Pocono. Montoya tested this car last week at Pocono and it was raced by teammate Sorenson earlier this season at Texas Motor Speedway. Sorenson brushed the wall in qualifying and started 42nd, but went on to finish 24th.

-credit: cgr

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