Texas: Chip Ganassi Racing preview

Dario Franchitti and the No. 40 Kennametal Dodge Team (NSCS) and No. 40 Fastenal Dodge Team (NNS) Rookie Round-Up: Franchitti still has the lead in the NSCS Raybestos Rookie of the Year race, but is now tied with Regan Smith. Both drivers have...

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

Rookie Round-Up: Franchitti still has the lead in the NSCS Raybestos Rookie of the Year race, but is now tied with Regan Smith. Both drivers have a current tally of 60 with Sam Hornish Jr. just three points behind them in second place with a current score of 57. Franchitti also still leads the NNS Raybestos Rookie off the Year standings. With a total of 58 points, he leads fellow CGRFS teammate Bryan Clauson (whose current tally is 52) by six points.

Catching On: In this past Sunday's NSCS race at Martinsville Speedway, Franchitti scored a NSCS career-best finish of 22nd place in the No. 40 Kennametal Dodge. The effort topped his previous best of 20th place, which he earned earlier this year at Daytona.

Back to Double Duty: This weekend Franchitti will return to juggling two different competition schedules, competing in both the NNS and NSCS races at Texas Motor Speedway. He will be making his 10th career start in NNS competition and seventh in NSCS.

Standings Update: On the NNS side of things, Franchitti's No. 40 Fastenal Team currently stands 21st in the overall NNS owner points rundown. With a current tally of 632, the team is 93 points outside the top 10 and 261 out of first. In the NSCS garage, Franchitti's No. 40 Kennametal Team is currently 38th, and only 22 points outside the top 35.

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

Reed's TMS Results: In four NSCS starts at Texas Motor Speedway, Sorenson has averaged a 22nd-place starting position and 27th-place finish. His best effort at the track was when he made his Sprint Cup debut in April 2006. The then-rookie lined up 13th to take the green flag and then finished exactly where he started--in 13th place.

Fore!: Before getting on track at TMS this Friday for NSCS practice, Sorenson is going to take in a game of golf for a good cause. He will be participating in the Speedway Children's Charities Golf Tournament this Thursday, April 3, at the Trophy Club Country Club in Trophy Club, Texas. Fox commentator Larry MacReynolds will also take part in the golf outing. For more information about the tournament and the Speedway Children's Charities initiatives go to www.scctexas.org.

Rankings Report: Sorenson and the Target team currently sit 26th in the overall NSCS driver point standings. The team is 224 points out of 12th place -- the final cutoff position for the Chase.

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

On the hood: The Texaco/Havoline logo will be back on the No. 42 Dodge Charger for Texas Motor Speedway (TMS). Texaco has been operating in the United States, specifically in Texas, for more than 100 years from its beginnings in Beaumont (outside of Houston). The Texaco brand has grown into one of the most trusted and familiar brands in the world.

Steady Improvements: Montoya and the No. 42 team have improved their finish in every race so far this season. After a 32nd-place finish in the season opener in Daytona, the team has finished 20th at California, 19th at Las Vegas, 16th at Atlanta, 15th at Bristol and most recently 13th at Martinsville last weekend.

2008 Standings: Montoya and team continue to move up steadily in the NASCAR Sprint Cup standings and now sit 17th after the sixth race of the season. The team is just 107 points out of 12th, the cutoff to the Chase for the Sprint Cup, and 282 points behind the leader Jeff Burton.

Kyle Krisiloff and the No. 41 Polaroid Team (NNS)

Krisiloff at TMS: Krisiloff has competed at Texas Motor Speedway two times in his young NNS career. Both runs took place last season in the No. 14 car for Greg Pollex. Krisiloff finished 27th both times, starting 27th in April 2007 and 36th in November. This weekend will mark his third NNS start of the 2008 season.

Owner Standings Update: Krisiloff and the No. 41 Polaroid team are coming off of a clean and promising effort at Nashville Superspeedway. Krisiloff and team seemed to really gain some ground in the last quarter of their effort at the Tennessee track two weeks ago, crossing the finish line in 25th place (started 31st). The No. 41 CGRFS NNS team is 29th in the overall NNS owner standings with 467 points. The team is 299 away from the 10th spot and 426 out of first.

Juan Pablo Montoya

On Texas: "Texas has been a good place for the team in the past. We had good cars at both races last year so it will be interesting to see how we do. We were fortunate enough to participate in the Goodyear Tire test earlier this year and it was good practice for us on the mile-and-a-half track. I think the test should help us get a good starting point going into the weekend in the Texaco/Havoline Dodge. We weren't really fast off the truck or on the short runs, but we were really good on the longer runs during the test. We will see!"

Brad Parrott

On Franchitti's upcoming NNS effort at TMS: "We are going back to racing this weekend with an emphasis on Dario having a good run in Las Vegas a few weeks ago. We are taking the same car we ran at Las Vegas, in Fontana and in Bristol. So far, it has been Dario's favorite car. We had a really good run in Vegas so we are going to take that same information and apply it to this weekend's run at Texas Motor Speedway, although it is a little faster race track than Vegas ... probably the biggest benefit at Texas is going to be Dario has raced there before in the Nationwide Series. Last November, he came off the truck and had an accident, then had to be careful to not wreck the back-up car and take a more conservative approach to that weekend's effort. I believe he started 18th and finished 25th. So, taking the car he has been in already this year and likes, and then racing at a venue where he has already competed will all play a role in Saturday's outcome.

"I know the guys are ready to get back to racing. We all had this past weekend off. I put 120 bales of pine straw on my yard over the weekend and went on a motorcycle ride with my dad on Friday. One of the guys camped out at Martinsville all weekend. They can't get away from the track, I guess. I also know a bunch of them had family coming in to visit so we are all rested and ready to get back at it this weekend."


No. 40 Kennametal Dodge (NSCS): Chassis #746. This chassis has run once already this season by Crew Chief Steve Lane and the No. 40 team in Fontana.

No. 41 Target Dodge (NSCS): Chassis #815. This chassis has not been run out of the Target team's stable yet this season. It is one of the newer chassis built by Crew Chief Jimmy Elledge and the No. 41 crew.

No. 42 Texaco/Havoline Dodge (NSCS): Chassis #744. Montoya ran this chassis at Las Vegas Motor Speedway after wrecking his primary car. Crew Chief Donnie Wingo and the team were able to unload the car in time for Montoya to get some practice time and finish the race in the 19th position. Although it has been rebuilt for the 2008 season, this chassis also raced twice last season at Richmond and Phoenix.

No. 40 Fastenal Dodge (NNS): Chassis #653. This will be the fourth time Crew Chief Brad Parrot has chosen to take chassis #653 to the track. This chassis has competed at Fontana (24th-place finish with Franchitti), Las Vegas (sixth-place finish with Franchitti) and Bristol (22nd-place finish with Franchitti) already this season.

No. 41 Polaroid Dodge (NNS): Chassis #756. Crew Chief Brian Pattie and the No. 41 team are bringing chassis #756 to Texas this weekend. This chassis ran at the Fontana race (34th-place finish with Clauson) and was also tested at Las Vegas earlier this season.

-credit: cgr

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Drivers Juan Pablo Montoya
Teams Chip Ganassi Racing