Fontana II: Chip Ganassi Racing preview

Reed Sorenson and No. 41 Target Dodge (NSCS) On the hood: After showcasing the TUMS paint scheme last weekend at Bristol Motor Speedway, the No. 41 Dodge will return to its signature red paint scheme with the Target Bullseye adorning the ...

Reed Sorenson and No. 41 Target Dodge (NSCS)

On the hood: After showcasing the TUMS paint scheme last weekend at Bristol Motor Speedway, the No. 41 Dodge will return to its signature red paint scheme with the Target Bullseye adorning the hood.

Hollywood bound: Reed Sorenson and his teammate Juan Pablo Montoya will join several drivers for the Pepsi 500 Running Wide Open event, where NASCAR meets Hollywood on Wednesday, August 27. The Hollywood affair includes a special performance by Williams' alternative rock/hip hop band, N.E.R.D. and music spun by DJ Cassidy.

California Stats: Sorenson has a total of five NSCS starts at Auto Club Speedway with a best finish of 21st (three times). He has an average start of 27.4, average finish of 28.6 and he has led a total of eight laps.

Soooo Close!: Sorenson and the Target team were just two laps shy of capturing their first victory in the September 2006 Auto Club Speedway race. A pit strategy gamble afforded Sorenson a commanding lead coming to the checkered flag, but the fuel cell ran dry relegating the team to a 21st-place finish.

In the points: The No. 41 entry remains 30th in the series' owner standings with 1904 points, 315 points out of 25th.

Last weekend: Starting in 30th spot, Sorenson patiently worked his way through the field. Overall, he was pleased with the handling of the car. While running in the 24th position, the 22-year-old was collected in a multi-car accident on lap 216. The No. 41 crew worked hard and was able to return the TUMS Dodge to the track.

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

T/H on the Track and on the Band?: The No. 42 Dodge will carry the Texaco/Havoline logos for this weekend's Pepsi 500 at Auto Club Speedway. Montoya's car will sport the infamous black and red scheme for six more races through the end of the season.

About last week: Montoya drove his No. 42 Dodge to a 19th-place finish under the lights at Bristol Motor Speedway on Saturday. Montoya started from deep within the field to bring home the top-20 finish.

California History: Montoya and the No. 42 crew are hoping to improve upon their three finishes at the 2-mile track. Montoya earned his best finish in February when he drove his Dodge to a 20th-place finish. He also finished 28th in February and 33rd in September of 2007.

Montoya, however, is no stranger to success at Auto Club Speedway. He competed in two CART events at the track, including his championship clinching fourth-place run in 1999 with Chip Ganassi Racing. Montoya also raced in the 2000 series finale where he started fifth, but settled for a 10th-place finish after a mechanical failure ended his day early.

Star in the Sky: Montoya's spotter Tab Boyd is once again providing fans with his view on the race from atop the spotter's stand with an in-depth post-race blog. Boyd recaps the race weekend from his point of view on www.texacohavoline42.com.

2008 Standings: Montoya maintained his position in the NSCS standings with his 19th-place finish last weekend. He currently sits 21st in the driver standings with 12 races remaining on the 2008 schedule.

Bryan Clauson and No. 40 Fastenal Dodge (NNS)

So, what have you been up to?: While Bryan Clauson's fellow teammates Scott Pruett and Dario Franchitti have been racing the No.40 Fastenal Dodge in the NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS), he has been doing some racing himself in the United States Auto Club (USAC) Midget Series. He also spent some time following a fellow high school classmate compete in the 2008 Olympic Games. First, Clauson grabbed a win at Kokomo (Ind.) Speedway on August 10, which marked his first ever dirt USAC National Midget feature win. Then, he made sure to see how his fellow Noblesville (Ind.) High School classmate David Boudia was fairing in the 2008 Olympic Games. Boudia competed in the 10m Platform Diving competition for the United States in Beijing. Boudia led the United States in the final 10m Platform dive, finishing 10th overall with his fellow United States diver Thomas Finchum finishing 12th.

His Last Run was a Home Run: Clauson's most recent NNS start was at his hometown track O'Reilly Raceway Park (ORP) this past July in Indianapolis, Ind. Growing up racing around the Indianapolis area and having raced at ORP in midgets, July's NNS run was one 19-year-old Clauson had wanted to make for a long time. The Noblesville, Ind., native lined up 19th for the initial green, and proceeded to maintain a top-20 run throughout the majority of the first half of the 200-lap competition. Unfortunately, his NASCAR debut at the short track was short lived as a mid-race incident slammed his No.40 Fastenal Dodge against the outside wall and derailed the rest of his run, leaving the Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates (CGRFS) NNS team 32nd on the final rundown of the night.

Team Standings Update: With nine races left to run this 2008 NNS season, the No.40 Fastenal Team is 19th in the owner standings. With a currently tally of 2,843, the team is just 121 points outside the top 15.

Rookie Standings Update: Clauson is third in the NNS Raybestos® Rookie of the Year standings. He is 13 points behind rookie class leader Landon Cassill (160-147) and 12 behind his fellow Fastenal Teammate Franchitti (159-147), who is currently second in the overall standings. Clauson has claimed rookie of the race honors four times in 14 total starts this year (Daytona-Feb.; Richmond-May; Kentucky-June; and Daytona-July). The last time Clauson was named Rookie of the Race was at Daytona International Speedway this past July where he grabbed his career-first pole position and then scored a 19th-place finish, sweeping Raybestos Rookie of the Race honors at the superspeedway this 2008 season. The car Clauson is racing this weekend in California helped him earn rookie of the race honors at Kentucky Speedway this past June, when he grabbed his career-best finish to date (fifth place).

Clauson's Last Cali Visit: Clauson is returning to Auto Club Speedway with the same car he raced at the 2-mile track in February. Clauson qualified the car in the 31st position and was charging forward through the field when a mid-race incident cut down one of his tires and forced him into the garage. He ultimately finished the race in the 40th position.

Hamlin Pilots No.81 Dodge in California: Clauson's fellow Fastenal Racing teammate Kevin Hamlin will race the No.81 Pat MacDonald Dodge this weekend at Auto Club Speedway. Hamlin is a member of the Fastenal Racing Team, but will drive the No.81 Mahindra Tractors Dodge in the NNS race.

No. 41 Target Dodge (NSCS): Chassis #633. This car competed in Atlanta and Indianapolis earlier this season.

No. 42 Texaco/Havoline Dodge (NSCS): Chassis #815. This chassis has made three starts in NSCS competition. Montoya ran this chassis at Pocono and Chicagoland, and teammate Sorenson ran it at Texas. Montoya finished 18th with the chassis at Chicagoland, and 39th at Pocono in June after being involved in a mid-race incident while running in the top 15.

No. 40 Fastenal Dodge (NNS): Chassis #654. This is the same car Clauson drove to a career-best finish of fifth place earlier this summer at Kentucky Speedway. On the eve of his 19th birthday, Clauson drove his No. 40 Fastenal Dodge inside the top 15 the entire night at Kentucky, and then utilized pit strategy and a timely yellow flag in the closing laps to grab a career-best, fifth-place finish.

-credit: cgr

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