Richmond II: Chip Ganassi Racing preview

Reed Sorenson and No. 41 Target Dodge (NSCS) Last Richmond Race: Reed Sorenson and the Target team had a strong weekend last time at Richmond International Raceway. Sorenson qualified fifth and then drove a solid race to finish 12th. The...

Reed Sorenson and No. 41 Target Dodge (NSCS)

Last Richmond Race: Reed Sorenson and the Target team had a strong weekend last time at Richmond International Raceway. Sorenson qualified fifth and then drove a solid race to finish 12th. The opening laps of the race appeared to be very promising with Sorenson keeping his Target Dodge in the top five for the first 42 laps. As the race continued Sorenson was able to avoid several wrecks including a multi-car crash on lap 226 which brought out the red flag. He continued to stay on the lead lap for the remainder of the event and crossed the finish line in 12th place.

RIR History: Sorenson has a total of 10 starts at Richmond International Raceway with a NSCS best finish of 12th last May. The 22-year-old has two top-15 finishes in five NSCS starts. In the other garage, Sorenson has one top-five and three top-10 finishes at the .75-mile track in the Nationwide Series.

Target Donates to Hurricane Relief: Target is donating more than $300,000 in product for relief packages to support Hurricane Gustav relief assistance efforts, in partnership with the Red Cross. Target is donating product for a total of 40,000 relief packages, 40,000 emergency food packs, and an additional 10,000 comfort kits and emergency food packs. Target is also providing additional critical support to this effort by offering The Salvation Army a vacant Target store in Texas to stock relief product and providing the American Red Cross use of the parking lot in the Covington, L.a., Target store for their Central Command Center.

Franchitti Joins Target Team: Target Chip Ganassi Racing announced they will be adding former IndyCar Series and Indy 500 champion Dario Franchitti as a teammate of the 2008 Indy 500 winner and current points leader Scott Dixon, as the driver of the No. 10 Target Honda in 2009. In addition, Chip Ganassi Racing and Target announced the details of their joint plans to take their partnership into its 20th season and beyond in both the IndyCar and NASCAR Series.

Gregg Steinhafel, CEO, Target: "We are excited about our relationship with Ganassi in both their IndyCar and along with Felix Sabates in their NASCAR operations, and we look forward to celebrating our 20th year with the team in 2009. This program has had tremendous success over the years, and we look forward to even more success in the years to come."

In the Points: Sorenson's 27th-place effort last weekend in California marks the No. 41 team 30th in the NSCS owner point standings, with a total of 1,986 points. The Target Team sits 318 points away from the top 25.

Juan Pablo Montoya and No. 42 Juicy Fruit® Slim Pack Dodge (NSCS)

Another Sweet Ride: The No. 42 Dodge will once again carry the signature yellow scheme of Juicy Fruit gum for this weekend's race at Richmond International Raceway (RIR). Montoya will pilot the Juicy Fruit Slim Pack Dodge for the eighth time this season.

About last week: Montoya finished 20th in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) race at Auto Club Speedway on Sunday evening. Montoya started the 250-lap event from the 23rd position, ran as high as seventh before driving his No. 42 Dodge to a top-20 finish.

Richmond History: Montoya will be making his fourth start at the Richmond short track this weekend. He started a career-best sixth at the .75-mile track in May, but was collected in a multi-car incident on lap 231 that forced the No. 42 Dodge behind the wall for repairs. The No. 42 crew repaired the damaged Dodge in 20 laps and then sent Montoya back on the track to take the checkered flag in 32nd place.

Montoya competed in the two races as a rookie at RIR last year and finished 26th and 41st in the events. Montoya started with a fairly strong top-15 run through the first 100 laps of the April race of 2007, but a tap from the No. 12 car on lap 119 sent the No. 42 up into the No. 70 car. The incident dropped them back to 38th place, but the team stuck it out to call it a day in 26th. He lined up 15th at RIR one year ago and proceeded to maintain a top-15 run the entire first half of the race. Then, on lap 242, the No. 42 Dodge was running 10th when a multi-car accident left Montoya with no way to escape as he was hit from behind and pushed into the car ahead of him. Fortunately, Montoya escaped the crash unscathed, but the No. 42 was damaged beyond repair and called it a night in 41st place.

Testing: Montoya, Crew Chief Brian Pattie, Engineer Billy Curwood and the CGRFS test team traveled to The Milwaukee Mile this week. Montoya is testing Tuesday and Wednesday as the team continues to work on the COT car and prepare for the final 11 races on the 2008 schedule.

2008 Standings: Montoya maintained his position in the NSCS standings with his 20th-place finish last weekend in California. He currently sits 21st in the driver standings with 11 races remaining on the 2008 schedule.

Bryan Clauson and No. 40 Fastenal Dodge (NNS)

Clauson to Drive More Ahead: As Dario Franchitti returns to IndyCar competition in 2009 to become a Target Racing teammate of the 2008 Indy 500 winner and current points leader Scott Dixon, Franchitti will step aside the remainder of his 2008 NASCAR Nationwide races to provide more developmental seat time for Bryan Clauson. Therefore, Clauson will pick up the majority of the remaining races on the 2008 NNS schedule, piloting the No.40 Fastenal Dodge.

Happy Anniversary, Clauson!: This Friday night's race at Richmond International Raceway will mark the one-year anniversary for Bryan Clauson as a NASCAR driver. The teenage racer made his career-first NASCAR start during the September 2007 race at RIR. In his NASCAR debut at RIR, Clauson raced up to as high as 21st before a left-front tire rub relegated him into a four-lap deficit to finish the night in 36th place. Overall, it was a solid first step and clean run for the then 18-year-old racer and his Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates (CGRFS) crew. Since that night, Clauson has made a total of 20 NNS starts which includes one pole (Daytona-July '08), one top-five (Kentucky-June '08) and two top-10 finishes (Daytona-February '08 and Kentucky-June '08).

Rookie Standings Update: Bryan Clauson was the Raybestos® Rookie of the Race last weekend at Auto Club Speedway which marked the fifth time this season he has grabbed the top rookie honors in a NNS competition. Clauson is currently third in the NNS Raybestos® Rookie of the Year standings, just two points behind rookie class leader Landon Cassill (160-158). The Noblesville, Ind., native has claimed rookie of the race honors five times in 15 total starts this year (California-Aug.; Daytona-Feb.; Richmond-May; Kentucky-June; and Daytona-July). The car Clauson is racing this weekend at RIR is the same car he raced at the Virginia track this past May, which helped him earn rookie of the race honors at RIR with a 21st-place finish (stared 16th).

NNS Owner Standings Update: With eight races left to run this 2008 NNS season, the No.40 Fastenal Team is 19th in the owner standings. With a currently tally of 2,952, the team is just 138 points outside the top 15.

Fastenal Racing Internship at CGRFS: This year, CGRFS is proud to partner with Fastenal to offer an internship to two automotive trade students. Participants in the program will get to spend one week at the CGRFS facility in Concord, N.C., learning what it takes to prepare a car for race day. They will also be flown to Texas Motor Speedway to support the team at track this upcoming November. The opportunity is available to graduates, or soon-to-be graduates of an automotive trade program. For more information on eligibility and application deadline visit Fastenal.com.

CHASSIS INFO

No. 41 Target Dodge (NSCS): Chassis #737. This weekend's event at RIR will be the second time this chassis has been showcased by the CGRFS team. Sorenson drove this car to a sixth-place finish in the rain-shortened race in New Hampshire after qualifying sixth.

No. 42 Juicy Fruit Slim Pack Dodge (NSCS): Chassis #817. This will be jus the second start for chassis #817 this season. Montoya raced this car earlier this season at RIR where he started the race sixth and finished 32nd.

No. 40 Fastenal Dodge (NNS): Chassis #851. This car was entered at RIR earlier this year with Clauson behind the wheel (started 16th, finished 21st). It is also the same car Dario Franchitti piloted to a top-15 finish at New Hampshire Motor Speedway (started 10th) this past June.

-credit: cgr

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