Pocono: Chip Ganassi Racing preview

David Stremme and the No. 40 Coors Light Dodge Team Facts: * CGRFS statements on the passing of Bill France, Jr.: "Bill, Jr. was one of my dearest friends and for everyone that knew him and for any fan of NASCAR, this is a very sad ...

David Stremme and the No. 40 Coors Light Dodge Team Facts:

* CGRFS statements on the passing of Bill France, Jr.:

"Bill, Jr. was one of my dearest friends and for everyone that knew him and for any fan of NASCAR, this is a very sad time," said Felix Sabates. "Bill, Jr. gets a lot of credit for where NASCAR is today -- and he certainly deserves it, but what a lot of people don't realize is that he was also a mentor to a number of us. One of the most valuable things that he taught me was to never take anything personal and I have never forgotten that. I always enjoyed the time that I spent with him. We lost a great man and even a better friend. My heart goes out to Betty Jane, Brian, Lesa and the whole France family."

"This is a very sad day for NASCAR and all of auto racing because we lost a very great man," said Chip Ganassi. "Bill France, Jr. WAS NASCAR and gave everything he had to this sport. He will be sorely missed and my thoughts and prayers go out to the whole France family."

Reed Sorenson and the No. 41 Target Dodge Team Facts:

* Pennsylvanian: Target team transporter driver Rod Bussard hails from Everett, Pa., which is about three hours east of Pocono Raceway. This is Bussard's fourth season with CGRFS and he's been working in NASCAR for a total of 13 years. In addition to transporting the race cars, Bussard serves as pit support on race day.

* Points Update: The Target team currently stands 25th in the overall series standings. The team sits 114 points out of 20th position and 282 out of 12th -- the final transfer position for the Chase for the NEXTEL Cup.

* Chassis: Crew chief Jimmy Elledge and the Target team have selected chassis #708 for the race at Pocono. This is a new car that will see competition for the first time this weekend.

* Be Sure to Tune In: The Pocono 500 is set to go green at 2 pm ET on Sunday. The race will air live on TNT, MRN radio and Sirius Satellite Radio channel 128 (Live, 1:30 pm ET).

Juan Pablo Montoya and the No. 42 Texaco Havoline Dodge Team Facts:

* Standings: Juan Pablo Montoya and the Texaco/Havoline team held fast to the 22nd spot in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup standings following their 31st-place finish in Dover. It was Montoya's first trip to the 1-mile track known at the "Monster Mile." Montoya is only 38 points out of 20th and 206 points out of 12th -- the final transfer position for the Chase for the NEXTEL Cup.

* Running on Dirt: Montoya will participate in his first dirt race on Wednesday at Eldora Speedway in Rossburg, Ohio. The NEXTEL Prelude to the Dream will feature not only Montoya, but racing icons Tony Stewart, Jeff Gordon, Kasey Kahne, Kevin Harvick, Matt Kenseth, Mark Martin, Denny Hamlin, Bobby Labonte and others competing in 2,300-pound dirt late model stock cars. Montoya's late model will carry the colors and logos of his primary NASCAR sponsor Texaco/Havoline and associate sponsor Wrigley's Big Red. The race will be broadcast live on HBO Pay-Per-View with the proceeds from the groundbreaking telecast going to support the Victory Junction Gang Camp and the Tony Stewart Foundation. The broadcast begins at 7 p.m. ET.

* Chassis: Crew Chief Donnie Wingo and the Texaco/Havoline team have selected chassis #706 for this weekend's Pocono 500. This chassis has earned Montoya and the team its two top-10 finishes of the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup season. Chassis #706 has run at Texas (eighth-place finish) and Atlanta (fifth-place finish).

* Another First: Just like last weekend at Dover, Montoya will face Pocono Raceway for the first time on Friday when he takes to the track for his first NEXTEL Cup practice. The 2.5-mile track is one of the most unique on the circuits. Last year, Denny Hamlin became the first rookie to ever win at Pocono and only two other rookies have ever earned a top-five finish. He was however, not the only rookie to ever win the pole position.

* He's Leading What?: Montoya, the 2007 Rolex 24 At Daytona Champion for CGRFS, is still the laps led leader for the season in the Grand Am Rolex Sports Car Series. Montoya competed in just one event, the Rolex 24 at Daytona, in 2007. He led for 170 laps during the endurance race. Sitting second in laps led is CGRFS pilot and driver championship points leader Scott Pruett with 162.

* Rookie Race: Montoya's 31st-place finish at Dover on Monday kept him atop the rookie points. He leads David Ragan by five points (141-136) in the Raybestos® Rookie standings. Montoya is currently second in the NASCAR Busch Series rookie standings, just two points behind Ragan and Marcus Ambrose who are tied with 139 points each.

* Don't forget Hamlin: Kevin Hamlin will pilot the No. 42 Texaco/Havoline Busch car this weekend at Nashville Superspeedway. It is his second race in the No. 42 Dodge. Hamlin also drove at Nashville earlier this season where he finished the event in 28th. The NASCAR Busch Series race will air on ESPN2 and MRN Radio live on Saturday, June 9 at 7 p.m. ET.

-credit: cgr

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