Daytona 500: GM Racing pre-race notes

Team Chevy Ready for 50th Running of Daytona 500 The Impala SS of Jimmie Johnson Will Lead 43-Car Field to the Green Flag Daytona Beach, FL - February 16, 2008 - Jimmie Johnson, No. 48 Lowe's Impala SS, left no doubt in the minds of the ...

Team Chevy Ready for 50th Running of Daytona 500
The Impala SS of Jimmie Johnson Will Lead 43-Car Field to the Green Flag

Daytona Beach, FL - February 16, 2008 - Jimmie Johnson, No. 48 Lowe's Impala SS, left no doubt in the minds of the competitors that, as the defending and two-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) champion, he was picking up right where he left off when he grabbed the pole for the 50th running of the Daytona 500. The Team Chevy driver will lead the 43-car field to the green flag for The Great American Race kicking off the start of the 2008 NSCS season.

Johnson's Hendrick Motorsports (HMS) teammate, Dale Earnhardt, Jr. (Junior), No. 88 AMP Energy/National Guard Impala SS, continued his winning ways by scoring two victories in his HMS debut during Speedweeks at Daytona. He won both the Budweiser Shootout on February 9 and the first of the two Gatorade Duel 150-mile qualifying races on February 14. That victory earned Junior the number three starting position in the Daytona 500, inside of row two, directly behind Johnson.

The success of Team Chevy drivers behind the wheel of their Impala SS race cars is reflected in the final starting line-up for the 500. Four of the top-10 starters are members of Team Chevy. A total of 16 Chevys will roll to the starting line Sunday, more than any other manufacturer represented in the 43-car starting field.

Jeff Gordon, No. 24 DuPont Impala SS and Casey Mears, No. 5 Kellogg's/CARQUEST Impala SS will start eighth and ninth respectively in the 200-lap/500-mile race.

"We are pleased with the performance of all the Chevrolet teams thus far in Speedweeks," said Mark Kent, Director of GM Racing. "It is always exciting to see our Impala SS leading a pack of cars to the checkered flag at Daytona.

"As we approach the 50th running of the Daytona 500, we know it is going to be a very competitive. Our teams have worked very hard preparing for Sunday's race. We are looking forward to cheering for all of our Team Chevy drivers in an effort to capture our 21st victory in the biggest race of the year. Daytona always offers close, exciting racing and we anticipate tomorrow's race will be action packed from start to finish!"

Chevrolet has won the Daytona 500 20 times in the previous 49 races, more than any other manufacturer. Team Chevy drivers have captured the last five consecutive Daytona 500 victories. Gordon leads the active Bowtie driver win-list with three Daytona 500 wins - 1997, 1999 and 2005. Gordon's 1999 victory was won from the pole.

-credit: gm racing

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Dale Earnhardt , Jeff Gordon , Casey Mears , Jimmie Johnson
Teams Hendrick Motorsports