Dover: Chip Ganassi Racing preview

Dover: Chip Ganassi Racing preview
May 29, 2008, 12:08 AM

Jeremy Mayfield and the No. 40 Target Dodge Team (NSCS) Franchitti Update: Dario Franchitti, full-time driver of the No. 40 CGRFS Dodge, will sit out this weekend's NSCS race at Dover International Speedway, but will return to the action in the ...

Jeremy Mayfield and the No. 40 Target Dodge Team (NSCS)

Franchitti Update: Dario Franchitti, full-time driver of the No. 40 CGRFS Dodge, will sit out this weekend's NSCS race at Dover International Speedway, but will return to the action in the No. 40 Fastenal Dodge on Saturday in the NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS) race (Please note additional information below.). Jeremy Mayfield will be the substitute driver of the No. 40 Target Dodge this weekend at Dover International Speedway.

Mayfield at Dover: Mayfield will fill in for Franchitti this weekend at Dover. The last time Mayfield competed at Dover was this same race last year, piloting the No. 36 Toyota for Bill Davis Racing (started 20th, finished 38th). Altogether, Mayfield has 25 starts at the Monster Mile, where he still holds the track qualifying record (161.522 mph, 22.288 seconds) which he earned in June 2004. In addition to that pole position he holds two more, one coming in September 2000 and then again in September 2004. He also has tallied four top-five and eight top-10 finishes. Mayfield's average finish at Dover is 18.8 and start is 16.3. Overall, he has made 427 career NSCS starts which include five wins, nine poles, 48 top-five and 96 top-10 finishes.

Testing at Pocono: Franchitti and the No. 40 CGRFS Cup team tested at Pocono Raceway this week along with the majority of the NSCS teams. It marked Franchitti's first time back in the No. 40 NSCS car since he was injured in the NNS race at Talladega Superspeedway in late April.

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

Monster Mile History: Sorenson has a solid record at the track known as the "Monster Mile." Sorenson has appeared in four NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) starts at the 1-mile oval, with his best finish 11th in 2006. In six NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS) starts, Sorenson has three top-five finishes and five top-10 finishes.

Target wins the Indy 500: Scott Dixon concluded a successful month of May at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway as the pole sitter and winner of the 92nd running of the Indianapolis 500 in the No.9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing (TCGR) Honda Dallara. Leading the most laps of the race (115), Dixon remained in the top-five throughout the entire 200-lap event. Sunday's win marks Chip Ganassi's third Indy 500 victory (2000-Juan Pablo Montoya; 1989-Emerson Fittipaldi).

In the points: The No. 41 Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates (CGRFS) team gained one position in the overall NSCS owner standings, now marked in 31st after posting a 22nd-place finish last weekend at Lowe's Motor Speedway. With a current tally of 969, the team sits 485 points out of 12th and 271 points away from the top 20.

Last Weekend: The No. 41 Target Dodge started 17th and finished 22nd in the 600-mile event on Sunday night. Sorenson battled handling conditions throughout the 400-lap event. Sorenson was one lap shy of a perfect 600 record. To date the 22-year-old has completed 1,199 out of 1,200 laps (three starts) in the Coca-Cola 600.

Target Fast Fact: Target Corporation has donated a total of $500,000 to support the earthquake recovery efforts in Central China. Donations of $250,000 were made to both the Red Cross Society of China to aid in basic relief efforts and to Save the Children to provide assistance to affected areas with a focus on providing emergency education and safe spaces for children.

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

Dover colors: Montoya's No. 42 Dodge will carry the Texaco/Havoline logo for the second week in a row at Dover International Speedway this weekend.

Dover '07: Montoya will be making his third NASCAR Sprint Cup start at Dover International Speedway on Sunday. In his first Sprint Cup race at the 1-mile track he brought his Texaco/Havoline Dodge home in the 31st position after a late-race incident. Montoya returned to the track in September and earned his third outside pole position of the season and went on to finish in the top 10. His average starting position at Dover is ninth, while his average finish is 20.5.

2008 Standings: Montoya lost one position in the 2008 NSCS driver standings after his 30th-place finish at Lowe's Motor Speedway on Sunday. At this point last season, Montoya and the No. 42 team were sitting 22nd in points. Montoya is now 191 points out of the 12th position, the cut-off for the "Chase to the Sprint Cup."

Golfing for Autism: On Thursday, Montoya will play in the 7th Annual Drive for Autism Research Celebrity-Am Golf Outing to be held at the world-class DuPont Country Club located in the Brandywine Valley, Wilmington, Del. The money from the golf outing will go directly to the Autism Society of Delaware whose mission is to improve the lives of people with autism and their families. Autism is a complex developmental disability that typically appears during the first three years of life. It is the result of a neurological disorder that affects the functioning of the brain. Autism associated behaviors have been estimated to occur in as many as 1 in every 150 births.

Testing: Montoya and the No. 42 crew are participating in the NASCAR-sanctioned test at Pocono Raceway this weekend. It will be the first test session for the CoT at the 2.5-mile track.

Last Race: Montoya drove his No. 42 Texaco/Havoline Dodge to a 30th-place finish in the Coca-Cola 600 on Sunday at Lowe's Motor Speedway. Montoya qualified 42nd on Thursday, but worked his way up to 18th with new Crew Chief Brian Pattie atop the pit box. Unfortunately on lap 167, Montoya was pushed down on the grass by the No. 10 car and spun through the grass which caused damage to the front splitter. The team was able to repair the splitter, but the damaged Dodge fell four laps down to the leader to finish 30th.

Dario Franchitti and the No. 40 Fastenal Dodge Team (NNS)

Franchitti is Back: After taking the last few weeks off from racing to allow time for his ankle to heal, Dario Franchitti will climb back behind the wheel of the No. 40 Fastenal Dodge Saturday, May 31, to compete in the 14th NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS) race of the 2008 season. Franchitti has been on the mend since he fractured his left ankle in the NNS race at Talladega Superspeedway in late April. He participated in the NSCS test session at Pocono (Pa.) Raceway earlier this week, but this Saturday will mark his first official racing effort since Talladega. Welcome back, Dario!

At a Glance: In eight starts in the Nationwide Series this season, Franchitti has an average qualifying effort of 14.5. His best starting spot to date is fourth which he initially scored at Daytona in February and then tied at Talladega in late April, which was his most recent start in an NNS car. His average finishing position is 20th, with a best to date being sixth at Las Vegas.

Clauson Pilots No. 81 Dodge at Dover: Franchitti's fellow Fastenal Racing teammate Bryan Clauson will race the No. 81 Pat MacDonald Dodge this weekend at Dover to get some extra seat time. Clauson is a member of the Fastenal Racing Team, but will drive the No. 81 Vector Security Dodge this weekend at Dover. Matt Chambers, a fellow CGRFS team member, will serve as his crew chief while he also supported by a CGRFS pit crew.

CGRFS NNS Rookie Class Update: Franchitti currently holds a six-point lead (89-83) over Clauson in the NNS Raybestos® Rookie standings. Although he has had to sit out the last three NNS races due to a fractured ankle, Franchitti has managed to hold on to his lead in the NNS rookie standings. In fact, he has led for the past 11 consecutive races. Franchitti has grabbed rookie of the race honors five times in eight starts this season, including California, Las Vegas, Bristol, Texas, and Phoenix. Clauson has grabbed Raybestos® Rookie of the Race honors twice in eight starts this season, first at Daytona and then just earlier this month at Richmond.

Standings Update: The No. 40 Fastenal Team is now 19th in the overall NNS owner standings. With a current tally of 1,391 points, the team is 181 points away from the top 10 and 646 points outside of first.


No. 40 Target Dodge (NSCS): Chassis #733. This is the first the car has raced this year.

No. 41 Target Dodge (NSCS): Chassis #814. The No. 41 team drove this chassis to a 12th-place finish at Richmond International Raceway last month after starting fifth, the team's highest qualifying run of the season. Additionally, teammate Juan Pablo Montoya raced this car to a 16th-place finish at Phoenix International Raceway in April.

No. 42 Texaco/Havoline Dodge (NSCS): Chassis #744. Montoya will compete in chassis #744 this weekend at Dover. He previously ran this chassis this season at Texas Motor Speedway and at Las Vegas Motor Speedway after wrecking his primary car. He finished 19th at Las Vegas and 19th at Texas.

No. 40 Fastenal Dodge (NNS): Chassis #653. This car is Franchitti's favorite NNS car in the CGRFS stables. It was last run at Darlington Raceway where his fellow Fastenal teammate Bryan Clauson started 11th and finished 18th. This will be the sixth start of the 2008 season for this car. Franchitti last raced the car at Texas Motor Speedway in early April when he drove it to an 11th-place finish (started 21st). Prior to that, the car was run at Fontana (24th-place finish with Franchitti), Las Vegas (sixth-place finish with Franchitti) and Bristol (22nd-place finish with Franchitti) already this season.

-credit: cgr

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Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Juan Pablo Montoya
Teams Chip Ganassi Racing , Bill Davis Racing
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