BUSCH: Nashville II: Chip Ganassi Racing preview

David Stremme and the No. 41 Wrigley's Winterfresh Dodge Team Facts: * Stremme Stands Out at Nashville: David Stremme likes Nashville Superspeedway for many reasons. First, Nashville is where he made his NASCAR Busch Series (NBS) career debut ...

David Stremme and the No. 41 Wrigley's Winterfresh Dodge Team Facts:

* Stremme Stands Out at Nashville: David Stremme likes Nashville Superspeedway for many reasons. First, Nashville is where he made his NASCAR Busch Series (NBS) career debut during the April race in 2003. It wasn't just any debut either. It was an impressive first run for the then 25-year-old rookie, as he qualified 15th and finished seventh. This past April, the now 29-year old returned to the Tennessee track to debut the Wrigley's Winterfresh Dodge in its first-ever NASCAR race. The initial run for the Winterfresh brand proved to be quite a first as Stremme scored his career-second NBS pole position, which not only solidified the top spot on the starting grid for Stremme and team, but broke the track qualifying record, as well. He and the No. 41 Wrigley's Winterfresh team grabbed the pole and track record by lapping the 1.333-mile track at 166.561 mph in 28.811 seconds. The pole win marks the No. 41 Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates (CGRFS) Busch team's second this 2007 season. Scott Pruett grabbed the No. 41 team's first pole of the year last month in Mexico City, Mexico, in the No. 41 Wrigley's Juicy Fruit Dodge.

* Career-First Shuffle: Stremme won't be pulling his first double-duty shuffle this upcoming weekend, competing in both the NASCAR Busch and NEXTEL Cup races, but it will be his first double-duty shuffle in two separate states. This weekend is the first of two this month that Stremme will be splitting his time between two separate competition events in the same weekend that are also in two separate states. First, he will start off in Pocono, Pa., practicing and qualifying the No. 40 Coors Light Dodge at Pocono Raceway on Friday and then he will jump on a plane to head to Nashville Superspeedway to practice the No. 41 Wrigley's Winterfresh Dodge. Saturday morning, he will wake up in Pocono to take advantage of the final NEXTEL Cup practice sessions of the weekend, and then he will fly back to Lebanon, Tenn., to qualify and race the No. 41 Wrigley's Dodge that evening. After that, he will jump back on a plane and return to Pennsylvania to go race in Sunday's Pocono 500.

* Lagasse Jr. to Lend a Hand: During Stremme's temporary absence this weekend at Nashville Superspeedway, Scott Lagasse Jr.--a CGRFS development driver--will help the No. 41 Wrigley's Winterfresh team by piloting the No. 41 Dodge during practice at the Tennessee track. Lagasse Jr. is coming off of a recent win and consecutive top-five finishes in the ARCA/REMAX Series. He scored his career-first ARCA/REMAX victory in the Kansas Lottery $150 Grand at Kansas Speedway in late April, and then went on to score a fourth-place finish at Kentucky Speedway last month. Lagasse Jr. officially became part of the CGRFS driver development program in 2005, after graduating from Flagler College with a bachelor's degree in business/finance.

* Fifth Time's the Charm?: Although Stremme has racked up 96 NBS career starts, this weekend's run in the No. 41 Wrigley's Winterfresh Dodge will be only his fifth Busch Series start for CGRFS. He signed to become part of the CGRFS driver development program in 2002, but has raced for multiple team owners including James Finch, Todd Braun and Fitz/Bradshaw throughout his Busch career. His first start for the CGRFS Busch Series program came last June at The Milwaukee (Wis.) Mile, where he and the No. 41 team spent the entire first half of the race inside the top five, but an unexpected long green-flag run sidetracked the team's pit stop strategy and dealt them a 26th-place finish instead. In his four starts for CGRFS, Stremme has collected one pole, two top-five starts and two 11th-place finishes.

* Clauson Joins the Team in Tennessee: Bryan Clauson, CGRFS development driver and future full-time pilot of the No. 41 Memorex Dodge this upcoming fall, is coming to Nashville Superspeedway this weekend to cheer on his teammates and to just hang out with his new team. Clauson started this month with a high school graduation last Friday and will be celebrating a very important 18th birthday on June 15, which will make him officially legal to compete in NASCAR. Clauson is coming off of another impressive performance in the ARCA/REMAX Series. He competed at Iowa Speedway this past weekend in the Prairie Meadows 250, during which he scored his second-consecutive top-five finish (fifth place). Saturday's run was Clauson's second ARCA start. His first was at USA International Speedway in Lakeland, Fla., this past March when he made an impressive debut, scoring a top-five start and finish. Clauson, led by crew chief Steve Boyer, qualified to start the race in third place, and then led a total of 61 laps in the No. 40 Memorex Dodge en route to the second-place finish. His first Busch Series start with the No. 41 Memorex team will be this upcoming September at Richmond International Raceway.

* Chassis: Crew Chief Brian Pattie and his Wrigley's Winterfresh crew are returning with chassis #752 to compete at Nashville this weekend. The same car was entered in the April race at the Tennessee track, which carried Stremme to the pole position that also broke the track qualifying record, and then helped the team score an 11th-place finish.

Kevin Hamlin and the No. 42 Texaco/Havoline Team Facts:

* Taking on Nashville for the Second Time: This weekend's Nashville race will be Kevin Hamlin's second NASCAR Busch Series (NBS) start of 2007. It's also his second race in the No. 42 Texaco/Havoline Dodge and for CGRFS. His first start was this past April at the Tennessee track in the Pepsi 300. Hamlin started 28th and brought home an 18th-place finish, four spots away from his series best 14th. This weekend's Federated Auto Parts 300 will be the second of eight NBS races Hamlin will be driving in this year. Hamlin has been part of the CGRFS driver development program since 2005. To date, he a total of 16 NBS starts.

* Hamlin Scores First Top 10 of 2007: Hamlin was proclaimed the Raybestos Rookie of the Race in last month's NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series (NCTS) event in Mansfield, Ohio. He started the race 27th and finished in the 10th spot, which marked his first top-10 finish of the year. Hamlin also drove to a 25th-place finish in the NCTS race at Lowe's Motor Speedway last month. In both races, Hamlin was competing in the No. 4 Dodge for Bobby Hamilton Racing.

* Driving Toward Fatherhood: It seems as though Hamlin's pre-race ritual of kissing his wife and favorite past time of spending time with her has paid off. Hamlin and wife Mandi recently announced they are expecting. The newest addition to the Hamlin family will be their first born and will be a baby brother or sister to their beloved dog, Tucker.

* Hamlin Sits Down for Story Time: During the first annual CGRFS Kids Day this past May, Hamlin volunteered to read to the more than 100 kids who attended the event. The kids' ages ranged from 3 to 12. Hamlin read two children's books written by CGRFS Rolex Series driver Scott Pruett and Pruett's wife Judy--"Twelve Little Race Cars" and "Rookie Racer." After story time, Hamlin took some time to sign autographs and take pictures with the kids.

* Chassis: The No. 42 Texaco/Havoline team led by crew chief Brad Parrot is bringing chassis #653 to Nashville. This is the same chassis that was used in Hamlin's April debut in the Texaco/Havoline car. The chassis was only used once since the Nashville race and that was at Darlington, where Montoya made his debut at the "Track Too Tough to Tame" and scored an impressive 15th-place finish.

* Where They Are Now: The No. 42 team had a nice clean first run at Dover International Speedway with Juan Pablo Montoya behind the wheel. The driver and team scored a 14th-place finish that helped them maintain their 12th-place standing in the NBS owner points. They are just 11 points outside the top 10 and 264 away from the fifth spot.

-credit: cgr

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