BUSCH: Homestead: Chip Ganassi Racing preview

AJ Allmendinger and the No. 41 Memorex Dodge Team Facts: * Off the Road with Brad Parrott: The off-season is almost here and the No. 41 Memorex Dodge crew chief Brad Parrott has plans of his own. Parrott will enjoy his time off the...

AJ Allmendinger and the No. 41 Memorex Dodge Team Facts:

* Off the Road with Brad Parrott: The off-season is almost here and the No. 41 Memorex Dodge crew chief Brad Parrott has plans of his own. Parrott will enjoy his time off the road by spending quality time with his wife and two children. He will also find himself back on the road heading out to Tulsa, Okla., to run the 22nd Annual Chili Bowl Nationals with Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates (CGRFS) development driver Bryan Clauson. The weekend of Midget car racing is scheduled to take place at Tulsa Expo Raceway January 8-12.

* Report Card: The No. 41 Memorex team is currently 18th in the NASCAR Busch Series (NBS) owner rankings entering into this weekend's season finale. The team is 27 points outside the top 15. Overall, with one race remaining, the No. 41 CGRFS Dodge has carried five different drivers in its seat to tally one win, one pole, four top-five finishes, seven top-10s, and 14 top-15s. The team has averaged a 16th-place starting position and 21st-place finishing position throughout the year, leading a total of 150 laps to date, encountering eight DNFs. The team has completed the last 17 NBS races, experiencing its most recent DNF at The Milwaukee (Wis.) Mile this past June.

* Congratulations, Hamlin!: CGRFS development driver Kevin Hamlin became a father earlier this week. He and wife Mandi welcomed a baby girl into their family on Monday, November 12. The little lady weighed in at 7lbs 14oz. Mandi and baby are both healthy and doing fine, and dad never flapped out during the delivery.

* Chassis: The No. 41 Memorex team will ride out the final NBS race of the 2007 season in chassis #653 this weekend at Homestead-Miami Speedway. It is the same car the No. 41 team raced at Texas Motor Speedway earlier this month when Clauson earned his career-best Busch start to date (10th place) and then worked to overcome two setbacks that sent him and team into an unrecoverable lap deficit to finish 28th. This is the same chassis Juan Pablo Montoya raced earlier this year with which he collected an impressive top-10 start and finish at Atlanta Motor Speedway in the NBS March race (started 10th, finished eighth). Montoya also raced the same Busch car at Darlington in May, when he scored an impressive 15th-place finish (started 19th) in his debut at the place notoriously known as "the track too tough to tame."

Dario Franchitti and the No. 42 Target Dodge Team Facts:

* Up to Now: This weekend's NASCAR Busch Series (NBS) race will mark Dario Franchitti's fourth NBS start and sixth career stock car start. His latest NBS run at Phoenix International Raceway last Saturday began with another impressive top-10 starting position (eighth place), and then a 29th-place finish after Franchitti got caught up in a four-car incident that red flagged the event three laps shy of the checkered flag. Franchitti's stock racing resume also includes NBS starts at Texas Motor Speedway (started 18th, finished 25th) and the Memphis Motorsports Park (started third, finished 32nd). The Memphis run was a notable performance by the 34-year-old racer as he ran in the top 15 over 75 percent of the race, until brake pedal failure resulted in unavoidable contact with another car and relegated the potential top-10 day. Franchitti is averaging a top-10 start in NBS competition. He also competed in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race at Martinsville Speedway and the ARCA race at Talladega Superspeedway this past October.

* Off the Road with Brian Pattie: The No. 42 Target Team crew chief Brian Pattie plans to utilize his off-season by spending time with his wife and four children. Pattie will enjoy the holidays at home in Huntersville, N.C., and follow it up with a family ski trip to Snowshoe Mountain, W.Va. However, he adds, "The off-season is always spent preparing for the next season."

* Full of Floridians: Four members of the No. 42 Target team will be racing a little closer to home this weekend in the Sunshine State. Crew chief Brian Pattie and Adam Cooke, the team shock specialist, hail from Zephyrhills, Fla. The two grew up together in the Florida town. Bruce Jones, a team mechanic, is also from Florida. He calls Lakeland his hometown and still has many family and friends who reside in the area. Target team jack man Marc Jacobs is originally from Ft. Walton Beach, Fla.

* Chassis: Franchitti will race chassis #755 this weekend at Homestead. The new car's one and only start was this past July a Chicagoland Speedway, where Juan Pablo Montoya and the No. 42 team crossed the finish line in 21st place (started 17th).

-credit: cgr

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