BUSCH: Bristol: Chip Ganassi Racing preview

Reed Sorenson and the No. 41 Wrigley's Juicy Fruit Dodge Team Facts: * Tough Luck: Last Saturday at Atlanta Motor Speedway, Sorenson and the No. 41 Wrigley's Juicy Fruit team were knocking on the door of the top 15 when the No. 38 car...

Reed Sorenson and the No. 41 Wrigley's Juicy Fruit Dodge Team Facts:

* Tough Luck: Last Saturday at Atlanta Motor Speedway, Sorenson and the No. 41 Wrigley's Juicy Fruit team were knocking on the door of the top 15 when the No. 38 car suddenly broke loose and slammed the No. 41 CGRFS Dodge into the outside wall. Unfortunately, Sorenson's car was damaged beyond repair and thus the team had to reluctantly call it a day on lap 64 of the 195-lap competition in 39th place. The team stands 32nd in owner points with a total of 383. It is just 93 outside the top 20 going into this weekend's run at Bristol.

* Tennessee Tony: Tony Glover--a Kingsport, Tenn., native--is the team manager at the CGRFS Concord, N.C. race shop. He has been going racing for 34 years and throughout his career Glover has built the reputation as one of the top mechanical minds in motorsports. In addition, Glover has a knack for developing drivers and winning big races. Under his guidance, Ernie Irvan, Sterling Marlin and Joe Nemechek captured their first NASCAR Cup wins.

* In the Other Garage: After grabbing a ninth-place finish in Sunday's NASCAR NEXTEL Cup race at his home track--Atlanta Motor Speedway--Sorenson and the No. 41 Target team took six steps forward in the championship standings. They now stand 25th in the overall standings and are just 45 points outside the top 20 and 100 points away from the top 10.

* Chassis: Crew Chief Brian Pattie and the Wrigley's Juicy Fruit team are bringing chassis #452 to Bristol Motor Speedway this weekend. The car proved to be the team's best chassis last season. With a total of six starts in 2006, the car tallied four top-five finishes and five top-10 finishes. It most recently raced at the Memphis (Tenn.) Motorsports Park last October, where Sorenson turned a 38th-place starting position into a seventh-place finish. The same chassis played a key part in the team's high point of 2006 when Sorenson drove the car to two fourth-place finishes back-to-back in July at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway and Gateway International in St. Louis, Mo. Sorenson went on to record a second-place finish in early August at the O'Reilly Raceway Park in Indianapolis, Ind. The only time the chassis finished outside the top five was at RIR in May when the team practiced, qualified and raced inside the top 10 all day and night. Unfortunately, a late hit from another car on lap 229 sent the No. 41 CGRFS Dodge slamming into the outside wall and out of the race the remainder of the night (finished 36th).

* When to Watch: The Wrigley's Juicy Fruit team and Sorenson head to Bristol Motor Speedway this Saturday, March 24, to race in the Sharpie Mini 300. The race is scheduled to start at 3 p.m. ET.

***

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

* Welcome to Bristol, Juan!: The Sharpie Mini 300 will be Montoya's first official NASCAR competition at the infamous Bristol Motor Speedway. He tested at Bristol during the NEXTEL Cup Car of Tomorrow test earlier this month, but has never run his Busch car on the .533-mile Tennessee track.

* Impressive First Impression: Montoya first visited Atlanta Motor Speedway this past weekend and made quite a good first impression on the 1.54-mile Georgia quad-oval, as well as all of those watching both the NASCAR Busch Series and NEXTEL Cup races. Montoya's first Busch Series competition at Atlanta resulted in a top-10 start (10th place) and eighth-place finish. Then, on Sunday, he lined up in 16th place to start the 500-mile NEXTEL Cup race and concluded the day in fifth-place, which marked his second-best career finish in NASCAR (His best was first place in the Busch race at Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez in Mexico City, Mexico, March 4).

* So Far So Good: The No. 42 Texaco/Havoline Busch team now stands 11th in the overall NASCAR Busch Series owner points. They have a total of 529 points and are just 18 points outside the top 10. Montoya is 10th in the driver standings and is just 53 points outside the top five.

* Head of the Class: Last Saturday in the NASCAR Busch Series race at Atlanta Motor Speedway, Montoya's eighth-place finish helped him claim Rookie of the Race honors for the second time this season. Montoya now stands first in the Raybestos Rookie of the Year ranks with a total of 58 points. Marcos Ambrose is four points behind him in second place.

* Moving on Up in Cup: After Montoya's impressive, first-ever NASCAR NEXTEL Cup start at Atlanta, which resulted in a fifth-place finish, he and the No. 42 Texaco/Havoline team moved seven positions forward--into 15th place--in the NEXTEL Cup standings with a current tally of 443 points. They are just 28 points outside the top 10. Montoya also took a step up in the NEXTEL Cup Raybestos Rookie standings, moving into first place. He now leads the NEXTEL Cup rookie class with 47 points. He is one point ahead of second-place David Ragan. Montoya also took Raybestos Rookie of the Race honors for the second consecutive week in a row. He claimed the rookie honor first at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

* Chassis: The No. 42 Texaco/Havoline Busch team is bringing chassis #652 to Bristol this weekend. The car most recently raced at Las Vegas Motor Speedway just a couple of weeks ago, when Montoya and team wheeled their way to a 20th-place finish. Before that, the chassis was entered at Texas Motor Speedway last April, when Brad Parrot made his race debut as the crew chief of the No. 42 team. Parrot, Casey Mears and team went on to score a top-10 start and a third-place finish in their first run together in the Lone Star State.

-credit: cgr

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