BUSCH: Kentucky: Chip Ganassi Racing preview

David Stremme and the No. 41 Wrigley's Winterfresh Dodge Team Facts: * Two out of Three Ain't Bad: David Stremme has competed at Kentucky Speedway three times in his NASCAR career, scoring two back-to-back top-10 finishes in 2003 and 2004.

David Stremme and the No. 41 Wrigley's Winterfresh Dodge Team Facts:

* Two out of Three Ain't Bad: David Stremme has competed at Kentucky Speedway three times in his NASCAR career, scoring two back-to-back top-10 finishes in 2003 and 2004. He also has lined up inside the top-15 all three times to take the green flag at the Sparta, Ky., track, grabbing his best qualifying effort of eighth place in June 2003. Stremme topped off the top-10 start with a 10th-place finish, and then followed that up with a ninth-place finish in June 2004.

* Motor Whirled?: The Wrigley's Racing Team just released "Motor Whirled," an online video that gives race fans an inside look at drivers Juan Pablo Montoya, David Stremme, Reed Sorenson and Kasey Kahne. Hosted by Dick Casper, a guy who isn't quite on the up and up when it comes to racing, the drivers participate in an off-the-wall question and answer session that covers everything from "boxers or briefs" to "who's a better date: Sorenson or Stremme."

* Not Too Far from Home: Tim O'Brien, the No. 41 team engineer, hails from Lebanon, Ohio. He is a 2005 graduate from Purdue University with a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering technology. He first came on board at CGRFS in 2002 as an engineering intern, and then upon graduating from Purdue he was invited to join the team full-time in May 2005. O'Brien is a 2001 graduate from Bishop Fenwick High School, and grew up racing go-karts around the Buckeye State.

* Doing the Shuffle: Stremme will be pulling his second double-duty, state-to-state shuffle this weekend, competing in both the NASCAR Busch and NEXTEL Cup races that will be taking place in two different states. First, he will start off in Brooklyn, Mich., practicing and qualifying the No. 40 Coors Light Dodge at Michigan International Speedway on Friday and then he will jump on a plane to head to Kentucky Speedway to practice the No. 41 Wrigley's Winterfresh Dodge. Saturday morning, he will wake up in Brooklyn to take advantage of the final NEXTEL Cup practice sessions of the weekend, and then he will fly back to Sparta, Ky., to qualify and race the No. 41 Wrigley's Dodge that evening. After that, he will return to Michigan to go race in Sunday's Citizens Bank 400.

* Lagasse Jr. to Help Out Again: Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates (CGRFS) development driver Scott Lagasse Jr. will help shake down the No. 41 Wrigley's Winterfresh Dodge this weekend at Kentucky Speedway while Stremme is doing the same thing with the No. 40 Dodge at Michigan. Lagasse Jr.--who also helped the No. 41 team last weekend in Nashville, Tenn.--is scheduled to pilot the No. 41 Busch Dodge during the first Busch Series practice on Friday. Weather permitting in both Michigan and Kentucky, Stremme is planning to drive the car in the final Busch practice of the weekend early Friday night. Lagasse Jr. officially became part of the CGRFS driver development program in 2005, after graduating from Flagler College with a bachelor's degree in business/finance. One of the biggest highlights in Lagasse's racing career was this past April when he scored his career-first win and consecutive top-five finishes in the ARCA/REMAX Series. First, he won the Kansas Lottery $150 Grand at Kansas Speedway in late April, and then went on to score a fourth-place finish at Kentucky Speedway in May. To learn more about Lagasse Jr., go to www.scottlagasse.com.

* Meet Lagasse at Kentucky: Lagasse Jr. and more than 20 other NASCAR Busch Series drivers will say good night at Kentucky Speedway Friday, June 15, by meeting with area fans and signing autographs during the track's fan fest festivities. The group autograph session will be conducted in the Kentucky Speedway Busch garage from 8:15 to 9:15 p.m. ET. For more information go to www.kentuckyspeedway.com.

* Sixth Start Stats: This weekend's run in the No. 41 Wrigley's Winterfresh Dodge at Kentucky Speedway will mark Stremme's sixth Busch Series start for CGRFS. He signed on to become part of the CGRFS driver development program in 2002, but has raced for multiple team owners including James Finch, Todd Braun and Fitz/Bradshaw throughout his Busch career. His first start for the CGRFS Busch Series program came last June at The Milwaukee (Wis.) Mile, where he and the No. 41 team spent the entire first half of the race inside the top five, but an unexpected long green-flag run sidetracked the team's pit stop strategy and dealt them a 26th-place finish instead. In his five starts for CGRFS, Stremme has collected one pole, two top-five starts, and three top-15s, which include two 11th-place finishes.

* Chassis: Crew chief Brian Pattie and the No. 41 Wrigley's Winterfresh team are taking a new chassis #756 to Kentucky Speedway this weekend to race under the lights Saturday in the Meijer 300.

* NBS Standings Update: The No. 41 Busch team took another step up in the NASCAR Busch Series points standings, where the team is now listed in 27th place, just 41 points away from the top 25.

* When to Watch: The Meijer 300 is scheduled to start at 8:30 p.m. ET Saturday, June 16, and will broadcast live on ESPN2 (TV), MRN (Radio) and Sirius Satellite Radio channel 128. Qualifying for the 300-mile competition is scheduled to start at 5:10 p.m. ET Saturday and will be broadcast live on ESPN2.

* Checking in on Clauson and Bacon: After taking this past weekend to hang out with his future CGRFS teammates at Nashville Superspeedway, CGRFS development driver Bryan Clauson will head to the O'Reilly Raceway Park in Clermont, Ind., to compete in the USAC National Sprint car race on Saturday, June 16. Brady Bacon, another CGRFS development driver, is preparing to race in the USAC Regional Midget race tonight (Wednesday, June 13) at Plymouth (Ind.) Speedway racing the same car Clauson won with at Mount Lawn Speedway in New Castle, Ind., May 16. Bacon just finished a three-race stretch that included a fifth-place USAC Sprint car feature finish at Grandview Speedway in Bechtelsville, Pa., on June 7; a ninth-place finish at Big Diamond Speedway in Minersville, Pa., on June 8; and a fifth-place finish in the National Sprint car race at Hagerstown (Md.) Speedway June 9.

Kevin Hamlin and the No. 42 Texaco/Havoline Team Facts:

* Hamlin's Career-First at Kentucky: Kevin Hamlin is heading to Kentucky Speedway this weekend to make his first run at the 1.5-mile Sparta, Ky., track. Hamlin has recorded 17 NASCAR Busch Series starts in his young racing career, with a career best of 14th (Memphis, 2005). This upcoming weekend will mark his third start of the 2007 season.

* Coincidental Starts? In addition to making his second start of the 2007 season this past weekend at Nashville Superspeedway, Hamlin also grabbed his second-consecutive 28th-place starting position. It isn't unusual for a driver to have similar results at certain tracks like Hamlin had this past weekend at Nashville, but it is a bit of a coincidence to think about the fact that both of Hamlin's starts have been in the No. 42 Texaco/Havoline Dodge that has been carrying a very special paint scheme reminiscent of the late Davey Allison's No. 28 Texaco/Havoline Ford. Allison was Hamlin's favorite driver growing up, so will it be 28th again for Hamlin at Kentucky? To be continued ...

* Meet Hamlin at Kentucky: Hamlin and more than 20 other NASCAR Busch Series drivers will say good night at Kentucky Speedway Friday, June 15, by meeting with area fans and signing autographs during the track's fan fest festivities. The group autograph session will be conducted in the Kentucky Speedway Busch garage from 8:15 to 9:15 p.m. ET. For more information go to www.kentuckyspeedway.com.

* Chassis: The No. 42 Busch team is bringing chassis #654 to race in this weekend's Meijer 300. The same chassis was entered in a total of six NASCAR Busch races in 2006. The most memorable run was at Chicagoland in July when Casey Mears drove the chassis to his first NASCAR victory. Juan Pablo Montoya also raced the same chassis to a 14th-place finish in the last NASCAR Busch race of the 2006 season at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Homestead, Fla. Altogether, chassis #654 collected one win, three top-five and five top-15 finishes last year. It was most recently entered at Dover International Speedway earlier this month, where Montoya and team raced from a 24th-place starting position to a 14th-place finish.

* Where They Are Now: Hamlin and the No. 42 team brought home a 23rd-place finish last Saturday at Nashville Superspeedway. The top-25 finish helped them maintain their 12th-place position in the NASCAR Busch Series standings, where they are just 39 points outside the top 10.

-credit: cgr

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