Chip Ganassi Racing Atlanta, Memphis preview

Bryan Clauson and the No.40 Target/Guitar Hero® World Tour Dodge (NSCS) Clauson's NSCS Debut Take Two: Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates (CGRFS) driver Bryan Clauson was scheduled to make his NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) debut at...

Bryan Clauson and the No.40 Target/Guitar Hero® World Tour Dodge (NSCS)

Clauson's NSCS Debut Take Two: Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates (CGRFS) driver Bryan Clauson was scheduled to make his NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) debut at Lowe's Motor Speedway earlier this month, but qualifying was rained out. Therefore, Clauson will attempt to make his NSCS debut again this weekend at Atlanta Motor Speedway (AMS) in the No.40 Target/Guitar Hero® World Tour Dodge. Clauson--a 19-year-old from Noblesville, Ind.--has competed in 24 NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS) races throughout this 2008 season, driving the No.40 Fastenal Dodge. To-date, the teen racer has collected one pole, one top-five and two top-10 finishes.

Clauson on Track at AMS: Clauson has one start at AMS and that was this past March, when he drove the No.41 NNS Dodge to a 29th-place finish (started 18th) in his eighth-career NNS start.

Rookie Recap: Clauson is leading the NNS Raybestos® Rookie of the Year race. He leads fellow NNS rookie Landon Cassill by two points (177-175). Clauson has grabbed Rookie of the Race honors seven times in 19 total starts this 2008 season, most recently winning the title at Lowe's Motor Speedway. Clauson has also claimed rookie honors at Kansas Speedway in September; Auto Club Speedway in August; Daytona International Speedway this past July and February; Kentucky Speedway in June; and Richmond International Raceway this past May.

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

Atlanta History: Sorenson has six NSCS and four NNS starts at the 1.54-mile quad-oval track. In the NSCS garage, Sorenson has one top-five and three top-10 finishes with an average start of 21st-place and average finish of 20th at AMS.

Best NSCS Finish: Sorenson's career-best NSCS finish of third came from AMS in the fall race of 2007.

Welcome Home, Reed!: Sorenson, who hails from Peachtree City, Ga., will visit his home track of Atlanta Motor Speedway AMS this weekend. AMS is the site of Sorenson's first NSCS start, which came on Oct. 30, 2005. Sorenson started the event 22nd and finished 41st after an accident that took him out of contention on lap 133 of 325. Sorenson grew up racing Legends Cars at AMS, capturing three track championships ('98, '99, '01) 22 wins, 40 top-five finishes and 42 top-10 finishes in 43 starts.

Last Race: After two solid practice sessions on Saturday, The No.41 team went into Sunday's TUMS QuikPak 500 at Martinsville Speedway with a positive outlook. However, the Target team's day was ruined when Sorenson experienced brake issues late in the race which forced the team to settle for a 35th-place finish.

Points Update: The Target team dropped back to 30th in the overall Sprint Cup Series owner standings. The team now stands 371 points outside of the top 25 with four events remaining.

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

On the Hood: Texaco/Havoline will adorn the hood of the No.42 Dodge Charger for the next three NASCAR Sprint Cup races -- Atlanta, Texas and Phoenix.

Atlanta History: Montoya will be making his fourth Cup start at Atlanta Motor Speedway this weekend. In his rookie season, he earned his first career top-five finish in the NSCS at the 1.54-mile track in March of 2007. Last fall, Montoya blew a tire and finished the race in the 34th position.

Most recently, Montoya finished 16th after starting from the 19th position earlier this season. He struggled to find the grip he was looking for on the track, but held on to earn the top-20 finish. Montoya averages an 18th-place start and finish in his three races at the Georgia track.

About last week: Montoya drove his No.42 Dodge Charger to a 14th-place finish at Martinsville Speedway last Sunday. Montoya has finished in the top 20 in each of his four starts at the Virginia short track and averages a 13th-place finish.

Meet Montoya in Peachtree City This Thursday: Montoya will make a stop by Kroger on his way to the race track this weekend. On Thursday, Oct. 23, from 6 to 7 p.m. ET, Montoya will visit the Kroger store located at 1101 North Peachtree Parkway in Peachtree City, Ga., to sign autographs and mingle with customers and race fans.

2008 Standings: Montoya remains 23rd in the NASCAR Sprint Cup driver standings after his 14th-place finish at Martinsville Speedway last Sunday. He is now sits just 124 points out of 20th behind Bobby Labonte.

Kevin Hamlin and No. 40 Fastenal Dodge (NNS)

Welcome Aboard, Hamlin: CGRFS announced last week Kevin Hamlin will drive the No.40 Fastenal Dodge at the Memphis Motorsports Park this weekend in the NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS) Kroger On Track for The Cure 250 presented by the Southern Dodge Dealers race. Hamlin -- a 29-year-old native of Snohomish, Wash. -- will be the fifth different driver to climb behind the wheel of the Fastenal Dodge this 2008 season. He is a member of the Fastenal Team of Drivers which has included Bryan Clauson, Dario Franchitti, Scott Pruett and Reed Sorenson.

Just to Recap this Year: Hamlin has spent the majority of this year serving as a test driver and spotter for CGRFS. He has recorded two NNS starts so far this season, driving for Pat MacDonald during both efforts in the No.81 Dodge. He first drove for MacDonald at Auto Club Speedway this past August and then more recently at Dover International Speedway this past September. Both runs resulted in top-25 finishes.

Hamlin on Track at Memphis: Hamlin has one start at Memphis. That run was in October 2005, when Hamiln drove the No.4 Dodge for Fred Biagi (started 17th, finished 14th).

A Little Bit about His Career: Hamlin made his career-first Nationwide Series start at Pikes Peak International Raceway in July 2005 (finished 17th) and signed up to be part of the CGRFS Driver Development Program later that same year. In just 24 NNS runs to-date, Hamlin currently holds a career-best 10th-place start (July 2005) and seventh-place finish (July 2007). Both have resulted out of Gateway International Raceway efforts.

NNS Owner Standings Update: The No.40 Fastenal Dodge Team is currently 20th in the NNS owner standings. With a current tally of 3,243, the team is 338 points away from the top 15. Altogether, the Fastenal Drivers and crew have grabbed three poles, three top-five and three top-10 finishes throughout the 2008 season.


No.40 Target/Guitar Hero® World Tour Dodge (NSCS): Chassis # 733. This car was last entered at Dover International Speedway this past June. Jeremy Mayfield was behind the wheel and drove the car to a 25th-place finish (started 10th).

No.41 Target Dodge (NSCS): Chassis #806. This chassis is the same car Sorenson and the No.41 team ran at Las Vegas Motor Speedway earlier this season to an 18th-place finish. In addition, the Target Team raced this car in the All-Star Showdown at Lowe's Motor Speedway in May. Sorenson was racing in the top five prior to another car forcing him into the outside wall. The car also ran in Michigan (June) and Bristol (August).

No. 42 Texaco/Havoline Dodge (NSCS): Chassis #815. This chassis has made five starts in NSCS competition this season. Montoya ran this chassis at Pocono, Chicagoland, Fontana and Kansas, while teammate Sorenson ran chassis #815 at Texas. Montoya finished 18th with this chassis at Chicagoland, 39th at Pocono in June, at California Speedway where he drove to a 20th-place finish and most recently at Kansas where he finished 20th.

No.40 Fastenal Dodge (NNS): Chassis #851. This car was entered at Richmond International Raceway (RIR) last month (started 19th, finished 38th) and this past May (started 16th, finished 21st). Both times it was driven by Clauson. It is also the same car Franchitti piloted to a top-15 finish at New Hampshire Motor Speedway (started 10th) this past June.

-credit: cgr

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Drivers Juan Pablo Montoya
Teams Chip Ganassi Racing