BUSCH: Texas II: Chip Ganassi Racing preview

Bryan Clauson and the No. 41 Memorex Dodge Team Facts: * Pleasure before Business this week in Texas: The No.41 and No.42 Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates (CGRFS) Busch teams are going to have some fun when they first get into town...

Bryan Clauson and the No. 41 Memorex Dodge Team Facts:

* Pleasure before Business this week in Texas: The No.41 and No.42 Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates (CGRFS) Busch teams are going to have some fun when they first get into town this weekend for the O'Reilly Challenge. Both the Memorex and Target teams are planning to take in some paint ball action at Gatsplat in Lewisville, Texas, on Thursday, November 1, prior to heading to the track on Friday. Bryan Clauson plans on checking in on the fun, as well.

* Standings Update: After finishing 18th this past weekend in Memphis, the No.41 CGRFS Busch team maintained its 17th-place stance in the overall NASCAR Busch Series (NBS) owner ranks. With a current tally of 3,295 points, the team is just 47 away from the top-15.

* Chassis: The purple colors of Memorex will be carried by chassis #653 this weekend at Texas Motor Speedway. This is the same chassis Juan Pablo Montoya raced earlier this year with which he collected an impressive top-10 start and finish at Atlanta Motor Speedway in the NBS March race (started 10th, finished eighth). Montoya also raced the same Busch car at Darlington in May, when he scored an impressive 15th-place finish (started 19th) in his debut at the place notoriously known as "the track too tough to tame." The chassis most recently carried Reed Sorenson to an eighth-place start and 33rd-place finish in the Busch race at Bristol Motor Speedway this past August. It has since been completely rebuilt to compete this weekend at Texas.

Dario Franchitti and the No. 42 Target Dodge Team Facts:

* Franchitti Speeds to Q3 DOTY Award: Open wheel racer turned stock car driver Dario Franchitti will accept another trophy in Texas this weekend, as he receives the SPEED Driver of the Year Award for the second consecutive quarter. This quarter's honors came on the strength of winning the Indianapolis 500 and the IRL Championship. Franchitti captured his first IndyCar Series title this season after taking the win on the last lap at Chicagoland Speedway-- one of four victories of the season. In the voting, Franchitti took seven first-place ballots, totaling 100 points. Tony Stewart finished second in the voting, with Jimmie Johnson in third and Target IndyCar driver Scott Dixon in fourth.

* Next Step: Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates (CGRFS) announced earlier this week Franchitti will make a second run in NASCAR Busch Series (NBS) competition this weekend at Texas Motor Speedway in the O'Reilly Challenge. The run will mark the fourth official step in Franchitti's stock car development process. Franchitti will again race under the guidance of CGRFS Crew Chief Brian Pattie in the No.42 Target Dodge.

* Looking Back: Franchitti's most recent stock car effort was at the Memphis Motorsports Park this past Saturday, October 27, in the Sam's Town 250. Franchitti qualified an impressive third on the grid in the third race of his stock car development schedule, and ran in the top 15 for over 75% of the race. He moved his way up to the second position and stayed in the top 10 over half the race distance until his brake pedal went to the floor on lap 192 resulting in unavoidable contact with the rear of the No.77 car. The No.42 Target Dodge sustained right-front damage and the crew spent the final pit stops keeping the car on the track for Franchitti, who finished the race running in 32nd position. Prior to Memphis, Franchitti competed in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race at Martinsville Speedway and the ARCA race at Talladega Superspeedway.

* Even More Preparations: In preparation for the 200-lap (300-mile) Texas NBS race, Franchitti participated in the two-day NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Open Test at Atlanta Motor Speedway that concluded on Tuesday.

* He's got talent: Franchitti joins CGRFS with impressive open-wheel credentials. The 34-year-old recently captured the 2007 Indianapolis 500 title, becoming only the second Scottish-born driver to win the race (Jim Clark in 1965), before going on to win the 2007 IndyCar Series Championship over Ganassi driver Scott Dixon in the final turn of the season. With over 180 starts under his belt between the CART and IndyCar Series resulting in 18 wins, 17 poles, 63 top-five and 95 top-10 finishes (1997-2007), Franchitti is the winningest driver in U.S. open-wheel history from Great Britain. He also captured the prestigious 12 Hours of Sebring in the LMP2 Class earlier this season in his first ever American Le Mans Series start -- much like Montoya did in February at the Rolex 24 At Daytona for CGRFS in his first sports car start.

* Chassis: Pattie and team are racing chassis #756 this weekend at Texas. It is a new race car that had its most notable run this year at Kentucky Speedway in June when David Stremme and team raced their way from a 27th-place starting position to a fourth-place finish. This weekend will mark the car's fourth career start.

* Standings Update: The No.42 team now stands 21st in the overall NBS owner points, with a current 3,132. They are just 20 points away from 20th.

-credit: cgr

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Drivers Tony Stewart , Dario Franchitti , Scott Dixon , Jimmie Johnson , Jim Clark , Chip Ganassi , David Stremme , Reed Sorenson , Bryan Clauson , Felix Sabates
Teams Chip Ganassi Racing