All-Star Showdown: Earnhardt Ganassi Racing preview

10 Notes on Earnhardt Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates 1. Last Week: Martin Truex Jr. and the No. 1 Bass Pro Shops/Tracker Boats team continued to build momentum with a sixth-place finish at Darlington Raceway last Saturday night. The finish...

10 Notes on Earnhardt Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates

1. Last Week: Martin Truex Jr. and the No. 1 Bass Pro Shops/Tracker Boats team continued to build momentum with a sixth-place finish at Darlington Raceway last Saturday night. The finish was Truex's third top 10 of the young season and moved him up to 19th in NSCS points, 127 markers away from the top 12. Teammate Juan Pablo Montoya drove his No. 42 Target Chevrolet to a 20th-place finish at the egg-shaped oval. The No. 42 team remains 14th in the overall NSCS driver point standings, 16 points away from the top 12 and 346 points outside of first.

2. Truex All-Star History: Truex has taken the green flag three times in both the Showdown and the All-Star Race. In 2005 he finished 10th in the Showdown but earned his first All-Star Race start by winning the fan vote. Truex won the Showdown in 2007 and went on to his best All-Star Race finish of 10th. 2008 marked the first year Truex did not have to race his way into the All-Star race after he earned a start with his first NSCS win at Dover. Martin Truex Jr. and the Bass Pro Shops/Tracker Boats team are the only ones to have earned the fan vote into the All-Star Race (2005), won the Pit Crew Challenge (2006) and the Sprint Showdown (2007).

3. Montoya All-Star History: Juan Pablo Montoya will participate in the Sprint Showdown to race his way into the All-Star Race for the second time in his NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Career. His first career Showdown start in 2007 was cut short after a lap-one accident relegated him to a 29th-place finish. Last year Montoya earned his first visit in the All-Star Race and took the checkered flag in 14th position.

4. Pit Crew Challenge: Both of the Earnhardt Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates pit crews will be participating in the NASCAR Sprint Pit Crew Challenge on Thursday evening at Time Warner Cable Arena in Charlotte, N.C. This will be the fourth appearance for the No. 42 crew in the five-year-old event. The No. 1 crew won the Challenge in 2006, and Jackman Jeff Kerr won the individual performance award that same year.

5. National Wild Turkey Federation: The National Wild Turkey Federation's (NWTF) "Flying Turkey" logo will appear on the No. 1 Bass Pro Shops / Tracker Boats Chevrolet driven by Martin Truex Jr. for the Sprint All-Star weekend and the Coca-Cola 600. The Bass Pro Shops partnership with NWTF is part of the Conservation Fund's "Racing for America's Wildlife" program. The program is designed to engage the NASCAR community in conserving America's hunting and fishing heritage through habitat protection, restoration, education, and outreach. The NWTF has over 500,000 members, with chapters across the United States, Canada, and 10 other countries around the world. The Federation has worked with their volunteers, partners and wildlife agencies to restore wild turkey populations in the U.S. and Canada.

6. Dale Earnhardt Inc. Fan Celebration: Come to the Dale Earnhardt Inc. Fan Celebration on Friday, May 15th, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. This year's event will be highlighted by a variety of activities at the Dale Earnhardt Incorporated facility in Mooresville, N.C., including the unveiling of the Earnhardt Elvis car, a presentation of Elvis Pressley artifacts on loan from Graceland and lunch in the trophy room. Kerry and Jeffrey Earnhardt will be at the shop from 2:30 to 3:30 p.m. ET to sign autographs and NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers Martin Truex Jr., Aric Almirola and Juan Pablo Montoya will be at the shop from 9 a.m. -- 10 a.m. to sign autographs. Please Note: Wristbands will be required for morning autograph session. Gates open for wristbands at 8 a.m. and will be given out to the first 300 people, limit one per person. Autograph session will begin at 9 a.m.

7. Meet Truex and Montoya: Meet Earnhardt Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates drivers Juan Pablo Montoya and Martin Truex Jr. on Friday, May 22. Each driver will be hosting autograph sessions at their primary sponsor's stores in Concord, N.C.

Martin Truex Jr. will host an autograph session at the Bass Pro Shops in Concord, N.C. from 3:00-4:00 p.m. Autographs are guaranteed for the first 300 fans that receive a wristband. Fans can pick-up their wristbands at Bass Pro Shops in Concord, N.C. starting at 1 p.m. on Friday, May 22nd. The store is located at 8181 Concord Mills Blvd., Concord, NC 28027.

Juan Pablo Montoya, driver of the No. 42 Target Chevrolet, will be making an appearance at the Afton Ridge Target store in Concord from 4:30-5:30 p.m. The Autograph line will open at 3:30 p.m. at the store. We will not be able to accommodate a line before this time. The first 200 fans will be allowed one autograph per person. No photographs will be available at this event. The store is located at 6150 Bayfield Parkway, Concord, NC 28027.

8. Charitable Causes: The Martin Truex Jr. Foundation (MTJF) along with the Second Harvest Food Bank of Metrolina and The Ryan Newman Foundation (RNF) will seek to end hunger in their local communities during race weeks at Lowe's Motor Speedway (LMS). The three organizations will collect canned goods, non-perishable food items and pet food at various locations during the Sprint All-Star week and the Coca-Cola 600 festivities. Truex's foundation will be set up next to the Newman's Pit Road Pets tent located on Little's property directly across from the main entrance at LMS on May 23 -- 24 from Noon to 5 p.m. to collect canned goods and pet food items.

Fans can also drop off canned goods at the Martin Truex Jr, LLC office located at 344 Rolling Hills Road in Mooresville, North Carolina during their open house May 18 -- 22. A drawing will be held at the end of the week for a prize package containing unique Truex Jr. Merchandise for those who donated to the cause. For more information concerning the food drive, locations and drop off times please visit www.martintruexjrfoundation.org or www.martintruexjr.com.

9. Rev the Vote: Voting is underway for the 2009 Sprint All-Star Race at Lowes Motor Speedway and both Martin Truex Jr. and Juan Pablo Montoya want your vote! By logging on to www.nascar.com/promos/allstar/, www.earnhardtganassi.com, texting "NASCAR" to "7777" on a Sprint phone or visiting your nearest Sprint retail store you can vote Truex and Montoya into the race. Voting continues through May 16th and votes are unlimited, so "Rev the Vote!"

10. Chevy Fast Fact: Since its last redesign in 2007, the Chevrolet Silverado 1500 has won a number of awards, including recognition as Car and Driver's "Best Pickup," Motor Trend's "Truck of the Year," and Motor Week's "Driver's Choice." The 2009 model still offers a staggering number of engines, trim levels, bed lengths, suspension configurations and other options.

CHASSIS INFO

No. 1 Bass Pro Shops/Tracker Boats Chevrolet (NSCS): Chassis #804. Crew Chief Kevin "Bono" Manion and the Bass Pro Shops team have elected to bring Chassis No. 804 to Lowe's Motor Speedway this weekend for the Sprint All-Star weekend. This chassis has never been raced before.

No. 42 Target Chevrolet (NSCS): Chassis #825. Crew Chief Brian Pattie and the Target team have elected to bring chassis No. 825 to Lowe's Motor Speedway this weekend. This chassis has never been raced before.

-credit: egr

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Juan Pablo Montoya
Teams Chip Ganassi Racing , Dale Earnhardt Incorporated