Talladega: Chip Ganassi preview

Dario Franchitti and the No. 40 TUMS Dodge Team (NSCS) and No. 40 Fastenal Dodge Team (NNS) Rookie Update: Franchitti is still third in the NSCS Raybestos Rookie of the Year race, just seven points (71) behind rookie class leader Sam Hornish...

Dario Franchitti and the No. 40 TUMS Dodge Team (NSCS) and No. 40 Fastenal Dodge Team (NNS)

Rookie Update: Franchitti is still third in the NSCS Raybestos Rookie of the Year race, just seven points (71) behind rookie class leader Sam Hornish Jr. (78). Franchitti still leads the NNS Raybestos Rookie off the Year standings. With a total of 80 points, he leads fellow CGRFS teammate Bryan Clauson (whose current tally is 52) by 28 points.

Talladega was His First: When Franchitti gets on track Thursday for NNS first practice it won't be his first time driving a stock car on the 2.66-mile tri-oval. Franchitti made his career-first stock car start at Talladega Superspeedway last October in the ARCA Re/Max race (started sixth, finished 17th) after announcing earlier that same month he had signed a multi-year deal with the CGRFS to compete in the NSCS and NNS beginning this year.

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

Say Cheese: Reed Sorenson will document his Talladega weekend through a Polaroid Photo Diary. Polaroid will be making its NSCS debut on the No. 41 Dodge this weekend in the Aaron's 499. Sorenson's diary will be showcased on yahoosports.com and Polaroid.com.

Talladega Results: Sorenson has recorded four NSCS starts at the Superspeedway, averaging a 35th-place starting position and a 25th-place finish. His best finish was earned during his last visit to the 2.66-mile tri-oval in October 2007 when he crossed the finish line in 10th (started 28th).

Points Report: Sorenson and the Target team currently sit 31st in the overall NSCS driver point standings. The team is 271 points out of 12th place -- the final cutoff position for the Chase -- and 571 points out of first place.

Happy Birthday: The Target team will celebrate two birthdays this weekend. Front-tire changer and Target team mechanic Jason Sheets will celebrate his 31st birthday on Sunday, April 27, and the No. 41 Hauler driver, Jeff Neuendorf will turn 36-years-old on Monday, April 28.

Juan Pablo Montoya and the No. 42 Juicy Fruit Dodge Team (NSCS)

Atop the pit box: Montoya will hear a new voice over his radio this weekend for the Aaron's 499 as Jimmy Elledge takes over crew chief duties for the No. 42 team. Elledge has been with CGRFS for five years and led the No. 41 team since joining the company.

Dega in '07: Not only has Montoya run twice in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series at Talladega Superspeedway, he also made his stock-car debut at the 2.66-mile track in 2006. Last year, Montoya and his No. 42 team finished 31st and 15th in the two events. He was running in the top 10 on lap 149 when a steering failure forced him to bring the car to pit road. The team repaired the Dodge, but fell six laps down to the leaders to finish the Talladega 499 in the 31st position. In the fall event, Montoya was running in third before the final restart but was shuffled out of the draft and finished the race 15th.

2008 Standings: Montoya moved up two spots in the driver standings to 17th following the race at PIR. The team made huge strides towards the "Chase to the Sprint Cup" two weeks ago, as Montoya sits just 61 points out of 12th heading into this weekend's race.

Kyle Krisiloff and the No. 41 Polaroid Team (NNS)

Krisiloff at Talladega: Krisiloff has recorded only one other start at Talladega and that was last April (2007) when he scored his career-best finish to date of fifth place (started 23rd).

Owner Standings Update: The No. 41 CGRFS NNS team remains 29th in the overall NNS owner standings. With a current tally of 698 points, the team is 298 outside the top 15 and 378 outside the top 10.

CHASSIS INFO

No. 40 TUMS Dodge (NSCS): Chassis #810. This is the same car Franchitti raced at Daytona International Speedway during the season-opening Daytona 500 (started 40th, finished 33rd).

No. 41 Polaroid Dodge (NSCS): Chassis #809. This will be the first points race for Chassis #809. However, the No. 41 team introduced this chassis earlier this year in the Budweiser Shootout, resulting in a fifth-place finish.

No. 42 Juicy Fruit Dodge (NSCS): Chassis #808. Montoya and the team have not raced chassis #808 this season; however this is one of the cars the team tested at Daytona International Speedway during Preseason Thunder.

No. 40 Fastenal Dodge (NNS): Chassis #751. This is the same car Franchitti raced at Daytona International Speedway during the season-opening Camping World 300 (started fourth, finished 20th). It is also the same car Montoya raced at Talladega in April 2007 during which he and the team started 20th and then finished seventh.

No. 41 Polaroid Dodge (NNS): Chassis #551. This is the same car CGRFS development driver Bryan Clauson raced at Daytona International Speedway earlier this year to score an impressive career-best sixth-place finish in only his sixth-career NNS start. Clauson, who just saw DIS for the first time in January during the NNS test session, also scored a career-best start of sixth place and was named the Raybestos Rookie of the Race.

-credit: cgr

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About this article
Series NASCAR Sprint Cup , NASCAR XFINITY
Drivers Juan Pablo Montoya