Friday, May 3, 2013

2013 Talladega Aaron's 499 Driver Chassis Selections

Danica using Daytona chassis this week
#2-Brad Keselowski: Primary Chassis for Talladega is PRS-649, a new chassis that tested at Daytona in January. Backup Chassis is PRS-648, which is a new chassis.

#5-Kasey Kahne: Crew chief Kenny Francis will unload Hendrick Motorsports Chassis No. 5-768 for Sunday's event at Talladega. Most recently, Kahne drove this chassis to earn the sixth starting spot in the 2013 Daytona 500. In 18 Sprint Cup starts at Talladega, Kahne has recorded three top-five finishes, four top-10s and has led 49 laps at the high-banked oval. Most recently, he won the pole position there in October 2012 and went on to finish 12th. In this race one year ago, he crossed the finish line fourth after lining up fifth.

#9-Marcos Ambrose: The #9 Stanley team has prepared chassis No. 836 for Talladega. Ambrose drove this chassis to an 18th-place finish in the Daytona 500 earlier this year.

#10-Danica Patrick will pilot chassis No. 10-758, this was a new car for 2013 that was wind-tunnel tested in January before being used by Patrick in the 55th Daytona 500. Patrick qualified the car on the pole with a speed of 196.434 mph and then started first and finished 17th in the first Budweiser Duel. She started on the pole and led five laps in the Daytona 500 before finishing eighth the best finish ever for a woman in the "Great American Race." The car has not been used since. The team used chassis 10-573 during a Goodyear tire test April 16-17 and will apply data learned on that test to chassis 10-758. The Aaron¡¦s 499 at Talladega Superspeedway will mark Danica Patrick¡¦s 20th career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series start and her first at Talladega. Patrick has one NASCAR Nationwide Series start at Talladega in May 2012. She qualified 17th, led one lap and finished 13th.

#14-Tony Stewart: Chassis No. 14-532 returned to action in the Sprint Unlimited in February at Daytona after a two-year hiatus.. There, Stewart drove from his 15th-place starting spot to lead twice for five laps and was second on the final lap before being passed by Greg Biffle and Joey Logano to finish fourth. While this car was tested at Daytona Jan. 10-12, it was the first time Chassis No. 14-532 had been on a racetrack since the 2011 Budweiser Shootout at Daytona, where it started second and led four laps before finishing 11th. It served as a backup afterward, but was totally rebuilt this offseason. This car debuted in February 2009 serving as the team's primary machine for the Daytona 500. After clocking the 10th-quickest time during time trials, Chassis No. 14-532's first race of any kind was the Gatorade Duel qualifying race. There, it started sixth and led two laps before finishing second to race-winner Jeff Gordon. But during final practice before the season-opening Daytona 500, Chassis No. 14-532 was caught up in an accident. With the damage too significant to fix at the track, the team was forced to use a backup racecar for the Daytona 500. Fully repaired, Chassis No. 14-532 returned to action in April at Talladega for its first career, point-paying start. There, it qualified 29th and finished 23rd. The Coke Zero 400 at Daytona marked the car's third career start, and it was a dandy. It started first when qualifying was rained-out and the field was set by car owner points. It then went on to lead nine times for a race-high 86 laps en route to victory. Chassis No. 14-532 was used in the final restrictor-plate race of the 2009 season at Talladega, where it was caught up in a late-race accident and finished 35th, delivering Stewart's first DNF (Did Not Finish) in 55 races. With a new body honed in the wind tunnel, it served as a backup for most of 2010 until reappearing at Talladega in October. It ran well but was handed a poor finish when it was caught up in a last-lap crash that turned a top-10 effort into a 31st-place result. With new front and rear clips, as well as a new body, Chassis No. 14-532 reappeared in the 2011 Budweiser Shootout.

#16-Greg Biffle: and the Matt Puccia led #16 3M Safety Ford Fusion team will bring primary chassis RK-852 is a brand new chassis. The backup chassis RK-794 first ran the Sprint Unlimited in Daytona last year earning a sixth-place finish. Then ran the Sprint Unlimited this year earning a second-place finish. Biffle has 20 Sprint Cup career starts at Talladega, earning two top-five and five top-10 finishes. In 2012 Biffle finished inside the top 10 at both Talladega races. The #16 3M team will be wearing special safety shirts on Friday and Saturday.

#17-Ricky Stenhouse Jr.: and the #17 Best Buy Racing team will be using primary chassis RK- 830 which last ran at Daytona and finished 12th. Backup Chassis is RK-792 which last ran during Daytona test. Stenhouse Jr. will make his first NASCAR Sprint Cup series start at the 2.66-mile superspeedway.
#22-Joey Logano: Primary Chassis for Talladega is PRS-655 a new chassis. Backup Chassis is PRS-651 which last race at Daytona in the Sprint Unlimited and finished 3rd.

#27-Paul Menard will pilot chassis No. 406 at Talladega Superspeedway. This #27 CertainTeed/Menards Chevrolet SS was previously tested this season at Daytona International Speedway in January. Menard has 13 starts at Talladega Superspeedway. His best start of fifth took place in 2008 and 2011, and best finish of second came in 2008. The Wisconsin native has completed 2,053 of 2,472 laps attempted (83.1 percent) at the 2.66-mile track, leading 28 of them.

#29-Kevin Harvick: will utilize chassis No. 334 from the Richard Childress Racing (RCR) stable this weekend. Harvick's RCR teammate Austin Dillon raced this car to a 31st-place finish in February at the Daytona 500. Harvick has made 24 NSCS starts at Talladega Superspeedway and has earned one win, six top fives and 10 top 10s. He has completed 97.8 percent of the laps run in those 24 races (4,446 of 4,548), and holds an average starting position of 22.0 and an average finish of 15.4 at the 2.66-mile track.

#31-Jeff Burton will race chassis No. 337 this weekend at Talladega Superspeedway. This is a brand new #31 Caterpillar Chevrolet that will see its first on-track action during Friday's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series practice session. The Aaron's 499 marks Burton's 38th start at the 2.66-mile superspeedway and 665th-career Sprint Cup Series entry. He has earned five top-five and 16 top-10 finishes, along with 153 laps led at the historic track. Thompson Tractor Company Inc. and Puckett Machinery Company will be featured on the deck lid of the #31 Caterpillar Chevrolet this weekend at Talladega Superspeedway.

#39-Ryan Newman will pilot Chassis No. 39-701 at Talladega. This chassis debuted at Daytona in the 2012 running of the Daytona 500. Despite an incident that left him two laps down early, Newman and the #39 team were able to fight their way back onto the lead lap and contend for a top-10 finish before getting collected in a multi-car accident in the waning laps of the Great American Race. Although the racecar sustained substantial damage, the crew was able to make repairs and sent Newman back onto the 2.5-mile oval to record the best result possible a lead-lap finish in the 21st position. Since then, the car's body has been updated for 2013, and it was wind-tunnel tested in January in preparation for 2013 superspeedway racing.

#43-Aric Almirola:: The #43 Gwaltney team has prepared chassis No. 780 for Talladega. The team built chassis No. 780 this season.

#48-Jimmie Johnson: will drive chassis No. 764 at Talladega which last ran at Daytona in the Sprint Unlimited in February, starting 14th and finishing 11th. Chassis No. 756 serves as the backup and last served as the #88 primary in the 2012 Sprint Unlimited at Daytona, finishing 8th

#88-Dale Earnhardt Jr.:crew chief Steve Letarte and the #88 crew will unload Hendrick Motorsports Chassis No. 88-773. This is the same chassis Earnhardt raced to a second-place finish in February at the 2013 Daytona 500. In 26 Cup starts at Talladega Superspeedway, Earnhardt has recorded five wins, nine top-five finishes and 13 top-10s. He scored a record-setting four consecutive wins at the 2.66-mile superspeedway from October 2001 to April 2003. Earnhardt's five wins at Talladega are the most for him at any track and rank him third all-time among drivers at the Alabama oval. Earnhardt's father Dale Earnhardt Sr. earned 10 wins at the track, while Hendrick teammate Jeff Gordon has recorded six. Earnhardt Jr. has led in all but two of the 26 Sprint Cup races he has entered at Talladega for a total of 737 laps. He has led a lap in each of his 10 starts behind the wheel of a Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet. The 38-year-old has led more career laps at only two other venues: short tracks Martinsville Speedway (868 laps) and Bristol Motor Speedway (758 laps).

#99-Carl Edwards the #99 Fastenal team will be bringing chassis RK-835 for the weekend at Talladega which last ran in the Budweiser Duels in Daytona. Chassis RK-829 is the backup backup which last ran as the primary for the Sprint Unlimited at Daytona. In his previous 17 starts at Talladega, Edwards has one top-five and four top-10 finishes. Edwards' average start at Talladega is 14.9, his average finish is 21.8. Edwards has completed 88.4 percent of his laps attempted at Talladega, and led 25 laps. Fastenal returns to the track with Lenox, Milwaukee, Panduit and Louisville suppliers on the hoot, TV panel, deck lid and B-post.

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