Charlotte: Chip Ganassi Racing preview

Franchitti Update: Dario Franchitti, full-time driver of the No. 40 CGRFS Dodge, will sit out this weekend's NSCS race at Lowe's Motor Speedway. Franchitti will take another weekend off to give his ankle more time to heal. His status behind the...

Franchitti Update: Dario Franchitti, full-time driver of the No. 40 CGRFS Dodge, will sit out this weekend's NSCS race at Lowe's Motor Speedway. Franchitti will take another weekend off to give his ankle more time to heal. His status behind the wheel of the No. 40 Dodge will continue to be evaluated on a week-to-week basis. Last year over Memorial Day weekend, Franchitti captured the Borg Warner trophy in the Indianapolis 500 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. He went on to capture the 2007 IndyCar Series championship before beginning his transition to stock cars at CGRFS. Franchitti is one of three former Indy 500 winners running in the 2008 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.

Marlin Lends a Hand at LMS: Former CGRFS driver and NASCAR Veteran Sterling Marlin will drive the No. 40 Wii Fit Dodge Challenger in this Sunday's NSCS 600-mile event at Lowe's Motor Speedway, while its full-time driver Dario Franchitti continues to recover from a race injury he received in the NNS event at Talladega Superspeedway last month (April 26). Marlin raced full-time for CGRFS when the team started in 2001, during which he scored two wins, two poles, 12 top-five and 20 top-10 finishes. Marlin led a total of 535 laps and then topped the team's rookie season off with a third-place finish in the overall championship standings. The following year, Marlin remained first in the championship standings for 25-consecutive weeks (Rockingham to Richmond) before his season was cut short due to a fractured C2 vertebra. Altogether, Marlin drove for CGRFS from 2001-2005 tallying 172 starts, four wins, three poles, 24 top-fives, 57 top-10s and led a total of 1,444 laps. Marlin is no stranger to LMS where, since 1978, he has made 53 starts. His average start at LMS is 24.5 and his average finish is 21st. In the 600, Marlin has made 26 starts and has an average finish of 22nd.

Don't Miss CGRFS Fan Day 2008: CGRFS will thank its fans for their support this Friday, May 23, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., during the Third Annual CGRFS Fan Appreciation Day. This year's event will be highlighted by a variety of activities at the team's Concord, N.C., race shop, including an extended view of the race facility that will take fans through interactive stations and displays, as well as pit stop and car wrapping demonstrations. A complimentary lunch will also be provided (while supplies last). The entire CGRFS NASCAR drive line-up, including Dario Franchitti, Reed Sorenson, Juan Pablo Montoya, Bryan Clauson and Kevin Hamlin, will be at the shop from Noon to 2 p.m. ET to meet their fans and sign autographs. Please Note: Wristbands will be required to receive an autograph. For more information go to www.chipganassiracing.com.

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

100% for the 600: Sorenson has completed all laps of competition (800) in his two starts for the 600-mile event at Lowe's Motor Speedway. The 22-year-old has two top 10 finishes in the NSCS Spring race, finishing fourth last May.

Crazy Fact: Reed raced a total of 3,851.238 miles in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series so far this year, which equals 2,567.5 laps around Lowe's Motor Speedway!

In the points: The Target Team slipped two positions to 32nd in the NSCS owner standings after posting a 32nd-place finish at Darlington Raceway two weeks ago. Sorenson is 256 points out of 20th and 394 out of 12th, the final cut-off to the Chase.

Juan Pablo Montoya and the No. 42 Texaco/Havoline Dodge (NSCS)

20 Years at LMS: Montoya's No. 42 car will look familiar to the fans at Lowe's Motor Speedway (LMS) as it will sport the Texaco/Havoline logo this weekend for the Coca-Cola 600. In 20 Coke 600 events dating back to 1987, Texaco/Havoline has racked up one win, six top-five and nine top-10 finishes. The win came in 1991 with Davey Allison behind the wheel of the Texaco/Havoline machine. In those 20 events, a Texaco/Havoline car has driven a total of 11,212.5 miles; enough to drive halfway around the world.

Charlotte '07: Montoya will be making his third NASCAR Sprint Cup start at Lowe's Motor Speedway in this weekend's Coca-Cola 600. In his first start at the 2007 600-mile race, Montoya posted a 28th-place finish after getting caught up in a wreck on lap 52. His average starting position at LMS in the points races is 28th and average finish is 32.5. Last fall the right-front tire blew on the black and red Dodge Charger ending the team's evening shy of the checkered flag.

2008 Standings: Montoya sits 16th in the NASCAR Sprint Cup standings at the All-Star break. At this point last season, Montoya and the No. 42 team were sitting 21st in points. Despite the 16th-place driver ranking, Montoya is just 76 points out of the 12th position and the cutoff for the "Chase to the Sprint Cup."

Looking for three: Montoya is looking for his first stock car victory over Memorial Day weekend to add to his collection of May victories. Montoya has already claimed the top spot in two of the three top races in the world run at the end of May, the Indianapolis 500 and the Monaco Grand Prix. In 2000, the Colombian became the first rookie to win the Indy 500 since 1966 when Graham Hill went on to win the Borg-Warner trophy. Montoya led three times for 167 out of 200 laps, a rookie record. He then made the switch to Formula One and drove to victory lane in the 2003 in the Monaco Grand Prix, one of the most coveted wins in racing.

Last Race: Montoya made his first appearance in the Sprint All-Star race on Saturday night when he drove his No. 42 Dodge to a 14th-place finish. Montoya's entrance in the 100-lap race came as a result of his first NASCAR Sprint Cup victory at Infineon Raceway in June of 2007.

Bryan Clauson and the No. 40 Fastenal Dodge Team (NNS)

Clauson at Lowe's: Bryan Clauson is making his second start at Lowe's Motor Speedway in the No. 40 Fastenal Dodge. Last year, he qualified 14th with a time of 29.796 seconds at 181.232 mph. After avoiding two accidents, Clauson made slight contact with the outside wall but went on to finish 20th overall.

At a Glance: In seven starts in the Nationwide Series this season, Clauson has qualified an average of 14.5. His best qualifying effort to date is a sixth-place position at Daytona. Clauson's average finishing position is 23rd, with a best finish of sixth at Daytona.

Rookie Update: Clauson is still second in the NNS Raybestos® Rookie of the Year standings, trailing his fellow teammate and NNS rookie class leader Dario Franchitti by 16 points (89-73). Clauson has grabbed Raybestos® Rookie of the Race honors twice in seven starts this season. His first rookie of the race honor was received at Daytona International Speedway (finished sixth) in February and then just earlier this month at Richmond International Raceway (finished 21st).

Standings Update: After Clauson and team finished 18th at Darlington Raceway a couple of weeks ago, the No. 40 Fastenal Team advanced two positions in the overall NASCAR Nationwide Series owner standings, where the team is now 15th. With a current tally of 1,321 points, the team is 159 points away from the top 10 and 546 points outside of first.

CHASSIS INFO

No. 40 Wii Fit Dodge (NSCS): Chassis #819. This 2008 car has been run in two races so far this year at Las Vegas (Nev.) Motor Speedway in early March (started 42nd, finished 33rd) and Darlington Raceway just a couple of weeks ago (started 14th, finished 34th). The team also ran this car during the LMS test session earlier this month.

No. 41 Target Dodge (NSCS): Chassis #634. The No. 41 team has not raced this chassis; however teammate Juan Pablo Montoya raced this car to a 15th-place finish at Bristol Motor Speedway in March. Additionally, this chassis tested at Lowe's Motor Speedway earlier this month.

No. 42 Big Red Dodge (NSCS): Chassis #731. Montoya and the team raced this chassis just once this season at California Speedway and earned a 20th-place finish.

No. 40 Fastenal Dodge (NNS): Chassis #654. This car was tested at LMS last week, but has yet to see any on-track competition this season. This weekend will be the car's first start of 2008.

- credit: cgr

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