Thursday, April 3, 2014

Texas Driver Chassis Selections: 2014 Duck Commander 500

Earnhardt Jr. is usinf 2nd-place Las Vegas car this week at Texas

#2-Brad Keselowski: Primary Chassis for Texas is PRS-862, which is a new chassis. The backup chassis is PRS-840 which last served as a backup at Las Vegas in March. With 11 NSCS starts at Texas to his credit, Keselowski owns a best result of second-place. The finish, which came after Keselowski earned an eighth-place starting spot, was recorded at the fall race of his 2012 championship winning season.

#3-Austin Dillon: will pilot chassis No. 465 in the Duck Commander 500 at Texas Motor Speedway. This is a new Dow Powerhouse Chevrolet SS that will be utilized for the first time this weekend. Dillon has two NASCAR Sprint Cup Series starts to his credit at Texas Motor Speedway, earning finishes of 33rd and 22nd in 2013.

#4-Kevin Harvick will pilot Chassis No. 4-858 at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth. Built new for 2014, Chassis 4-858 will see its first laps of competition this weekend. In 22 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series starts at Texas, Harvick has three top-five finishes and 11 top-10s. Additionally, the 38-yearold driver has an average starting position of 21.1, an average finish of 12.3 and has completed 99.8 percent of the laps he's contested (7,345 of 7,359).

#5-Kasey Kahne: Crew chief Kenny Francis will unload Hendrick Motorsports Chassis No. 5-863 for Sunday's race at Texas. This is a new chassis. Kahne went to Victory Lane at Texas on April 9, 2006, after starting from the pole position and leading 63 laps. The driver of the No. 5 Chevrolet SS has five top-five finishes, six top-10s and has led a total of 218 laps in 19 Cup starts at the Fort Worth, Texas, oval. Most recently, Kahne scored a fifth-place result there in November 2013.

#14-Tony Stewart: Chassis No. 14-754: This car debuted in March 2013 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, where it qualified ninth and finished a solid 11th. Prior to Las Vegas, it had never turned a wheel on a racetrack, but it did spend considerable time in the wind tunnel. Its second start came last April at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth, where it qualified 13th and struggled with its handling before finishing 21st. Its most recent start came in last year's NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway, where it started 13th and finished 14th in the non-points event. Chassis No. 14-754 has sat idle since, but under the direction of new crew chief Chad Johnston, has been rebuilt for the 2014 season. It will make its fourth career start Sunday at Texas.

#15-Clint Bowyer: Chassis No. 802 serves as the primary chassis for Bowyer at Texas Motor Speedway. Bowyer drove this Toyota to a 23rd-place finish at Las Vegas Motor Speedway after hitting the wall with just 35 laps remaining. Chassis No. 800 serves as the back-up chassis. This chassis has never seen action on the race track but has served as the back up for Fontana and Las Vegas.

#16-Greg Biffle: and the Matt Puccia led #16 3M ESPE Dental Give Kids A Smile team will bring primary chassis RK-896 at Texas, a brand new chassis. The backup chassis is RK-879 which last ran at Las Vegas and finished 22nd. In his 20 career Cup Series starts at the 1.5-mile track, Biffle has two wins, eight top-five and 12 top-10 finishes. His average starting position is 12.7 with an average finishing position of 15.1. This is the fourth year that Give Kids a Smile has been on the hood of Greg's No. 16 Ford and they were on the hood last year for his win at Michigan.

#17-Ricky Stenhouse Jr.: and the #17 Ford EcoBoost team will be using primary chassis Chassis RK-899 at Texas, which is a brand new chassis. The backup chassis is RK-860, which was last raced at Texas in 2013 and finished 16th. Stenhouse has two Sprint Cup career starts with an average starting position of 13.0 and average finishing position of 28.0.

#22-Joey Logano: Primary Chassis is PRS-848 for Texas, which last raced at New Hampshire, finishing 14th. The Backup Chassis is PRS-844 which was last used as a backup at Las Vegas. After finishing fifth in the first Texas race last season, Logano backed it up with a third-place finish in the fall race at TMS. The only other time Logano has finished inside the top five at Texas came at the end of 2010 when he finished fourth.

#24-Jeff Gordon: crew chief Alan Gustafson has selected Hendrick Motorsports Chassis No. 24-830 for this Sunday's race. This chassis has been used in competition twice - once at Las Vegas Motor Speedway earlier this year when Gordon raced it to a ninth-place finish and once in the 2013 season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway where he finished 11th.: Gordon, driver of the #24 Axalta/Texas A&M College of Engineering Chevrolet SS, has one win, two pole positions, eight top-five finishes and 11 top-10s in 26 Cup starts at Texas Motor Speedway. Currently tied with Jeff Burton, Bobby Labonte and Mark Martin for the most Cup starts at the 1.5-mile track, Gordon will move into sole possession of most starts with a 27th on Sunday.

#27-Paul Menard will pilot chassis No. 454 this weekend at Texas Motor Speedway. This Quaker State/Menards Chevrolet SS was last used at Las Vegas Motor Speedway this year where Menard scored a third-place finish. Through 15 starts at the 1.5-mile track, Paul Menard has achieved one top-five, two top-10s and two laps led. He's completed 4,835 of 5,021 laps (96.3 percent) contested with an average start of 19th and a 20.6 finishing average. Menard's best start of fourth was achieved twice (Nov. 2011 and Nov. 2013). His best finish of fifth was in April 2011.

#31-Ryan Newman will race chassis No. 456 in Sunday's Duck Commander 500 at Texas Motor Speedway. Chassis No. 456 was raced on March 9 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway where Newman qualified 10th and finished seventh. Newman is looking to capture his second-career victory at Texas when he makes his 22nd NASCAR Sprint Cup Series start. His win came in the spring of 2003 making him the youngest Texas winner at 25 years, 3 months and 22 days. The Rocket Man also won the pole for both Sprint Cup Series events in 2005 to complete the sweep. In total, he owns three top-five and five top-10 finishes. The South Bend, Ind., native has an average start of 17th and average finish of 19th. When calculating points earned through the last 10 races at TMS, Newman ranks 10th in most championship points earned.

#48-Jimmie Johnson: Crew chief Chad Knaus has selected Chassis No. 48-797 which Johnson drove to Victory Lane last November at Texas. The backup car is Chassis No. 48-784 which Johnson most recently raced last season at Michigan International Speedway in June. In 21 starts at Texas Motor Speedway, Johnson has three wins, 10 top-five finishes and 16 top-10s. Johnson has an average starting spot of 8.5 and an average finish of 8.7 during this timeframe. Last April, Johnson started seventh and finished sixth at the 500-mile event. He won the race in November en route to his sixth Cup series championship.

#55-Brian Vickers: Primary Chassis 803 has not raced. The backup chassis is 801, which finished 13th at Las Vegas. In 28 MWR starts, Vickers has posted a win, 12 top-10 (43%) and 5 top-five finishes (18 percent).

#88-Dale Earnhardt Jr.: crew chief Steve Letarte and the #88 team has selected Chassis No. 88-822. Earnhardt last raced this chassis to a second-place finish at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in March. In 23 Sprint Cup starts at Texas Motor Speedway, Earnhardt has scored one win, two pole positions, four top-five finishes and 13 top-10s. He has an average starting position of 11.3, which is his second-best at all tracks. He has led at least one lap in 13 of those starts for a total of 448 laps.

#99-Carl Edwards the #99 Fastenal blue team will unload primary chassis RK-897 at Texas, which is a new chassis. The backup chassis is RK-880 which was last used in 2014 as a primary at Vegas, finishing fifth. Edwards is tied with Jimmie Johnson for the most NASCAR Sprint Cup Series wins at Texas Motor Speedway with three. Edwards first went to victory lane in 2005 at the track and then swept the season in 2008. Edwards has 18 Sprint Cup starts at Texas Motor Speedway with an average start of 13.4 and an average finish of 15.6. Edwards has finished in the top-five six times and in the top-ten eight times.

- compiled by

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