Friday, May 2, 2014

Talladega Driver Chassis Selections: 2014 Aaron's 499

Winning Daytona 500 chassis for Junior is on display at Daytona USA

#2-Brad Keselowski: Primary Chassis for Talladega is PRS-659, which is a new chassis. The backup chassis is PRS-649 which last served as a backup at Daytona. Keselowski owns two NASCAR Sprint Cup Series victories (2009 and 2012) at Talladega Superspeedway.

#3-Austin Dillon: will pilot chassis No. 440 in the Aaron's 499 at Talladega Superspeedway. This is the same Chevrolet SS Dillon drove to a ninth-place finish in the Daytona 500 after earning the pole award for the Great American Race in February. Dillon subbed for Tony Stewart in the #14-Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet at Talladega last year and was in position to win at the restrictor-plate track, but was involved in a multi-car crash in the closing laps of the event, posting a 26th-place finish. He also has two starts in the NASCAR Nationwide Series and two starts in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series.

#4-Kevin Harvick will pilot Chassis No. 4-833 at Talladega. Built new for 2014, Chassis 4-833 was utilized for a test session at Daytona in January. Chassis 4-833 will see its first laps of competition this weekend at Talladega. Sunday's Aaron's 499 will mark Harvick's 27th career Sprint Cup start at Talladega. Harvick has one win (April 2010), one pole, six top-five finishes and 10 top-10s at the 2.66-mile superspeedway. Harvick has an average starting position of 22.5, an average finish of 16.2 and has completed 95% of the laps he's contested (4,681 of 4,928).

#5-Kasey Kahne: Crew chief Kenny Francis will unload Hendrick Motorsports Chassis No. 5-856 for Sunday's event at Talladega. This is a new chassis. In 20 Sprint Cup Series starts at Talladega, Kahne has recorded three top-five finishes, four top-10s and has led 50 laps at the high-banked oval. In the October 2012 event, Kahne won his first pole position at the 2.66-mile track.

#10-Danica Patrick will pilot Chassis No. 10-758 which was wind-tunnel tested in January 2013 before being used by Patrick in the 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." Patrick next drove Chassis 10-758 in May at Talladega, where Patrick started 23rd and finished 33rd after being involved in a late-race accident. The car was rebuilt and wind-tunnel tested throughout the summer and then Patrick drove it in October at Talladega, where she finished 33rd after a pit-road speeding penalty cost her any chance of a good finish. Patrick drove chassis No. 10-758 in January 2014 testing at Daytona before piloting it once again in the non-points-paying Sprint Unlimited at Daytona in February. Patrick, who ran as high as fourth in the early part of the event, was caught up in a multicar accident on lap 35, relegating her to a 16th-place finish. The car has been rebuilt and wind-tunnel tested since that race in preparation for Sunday's Aaron's 499.

#14-Tony Stewart: Chassis No. 14-836 is a brand new car for 2014 and has only seen action during testing Jan. 9-10 at Daytona. It served as a backup throughout Budweiser Speedweeks and has spent considerable time in the wind tunnel since. Chassis No. 14-836 will make its first career start Sunday at Talladega. Stewart has one win, six second-place finishes, nine top-fives, 13 top-10s and has led a total of 317 laps in his 29 career Sprint Cup starts at Talladega. His average start is 16.8, his average finish is 16.1 and he has a lap completion rate of 97.7%.

#15-Clint Bowyer: Chassis No. 754 serves as the primary chassis for Bowyer at Talladega Superspeedway. Martin Truex Jr. drove this Toyota to a 24th-place finish in the 2013 Daytona 500. He also drove this Chassis to a eighth-place finish in the May 2013 Talladega race. Chassis No. 755 serves as the back-up chassis. Bowyer drove this car to an 11th-place finish in the 2013 Daytona 500 and to an 18th-place finish at Talladega in May 2013.

#16-Greg Biffle: and the Matt Puccia led #16 Red Cross team will run chassis RK-798 which last ran at Daytona and finished 8th. The backup chassis will be RK-852 which last ran at Talladega finishing 17th. Biffle has 22 Sprint Cup career starts at Talladega, earning two top-five and five top-10 finishes.

#17-Ricky Stenhouse Jr.: and the #17 Zest team will be using primary chassis Chassis RK-830 at Talladega, which was last run at Daytona, finishing 7th. The backup chassis is RK-872, which is a new chassis. Stenhouse has two Sprint Cup starts at Talladega earning one top-five and one top-10 finish.

#22-Joey Logano: Primary Chassis is PRS-656 for Talladega, which is a new chassis. The Backup Chassis is PRS-654 which was raced in the Sprint Unlimited at Daytona, finishing 3rd.

#24-Jeff Gordon: crew chief Alan Gustafson has selected Hendrick Motorsports Chassis No. 24-855 for this Sunday's race. This chassis has been raced previously only one time with Gordon starting sixth and finishing fourth in the 2014 season-opening Daytona 500. Gordon leads active, full-time drivers at Talladega in the following statistical categories: starts (42), wins (six), top-five finishes (15), top-10s (19) and laps led (843). Gordon is the all-time leader in restrictor-plate victories with 12. Dale Earnhardt Sr. ranks second with 11 while Hendrick Motorsports teammate Dale Earnhardt Jr. is third with eight.

#27-Paul Menard will pilot chassis No. 445 in the Aaron's 499 at Talladega. This #27 Menards / Richmond Chevy was utilized in this year's Daytona 500 when the primary car was wrecked in practice. After starting in the back, Menard led 29 laps before getting caught up in a wreck and finishing 32nd. In 15 previous starts at the 2.66-mile superspeedway, Menard has two top-five finishes to his credit. His best start of fifth took place twice at the Alabama track, fall 2008 and spring 2011. His best finish of second took place in spring 2008. Through the last seven races at Talladega, Menard has earned one top-five and four top-15 finishes. Through the 15 starts, he's completed 2,429 of 2,552 laps contested (85.2%) and led 29 laps.

#31-Ryan Newman will race chassis No. 436 on Sunday at Talladega. Chassis No. 436 was raced in the Sprint Unlimited exhibition race on February 15 at Daytona International Speedway where the #31 team finished eighth. Newman owns four top-five and nine top-10 finishes at Talladega and has an average start of 14th and average finish of 22nd. His best start of second came in the fall of 2012, while his best finish of third took place in the spring of 2009.

#33-Brian Scott will pilot chassis No. 432 in this weekend's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Talladega Superspeedway. This Chevrolet SS was made it's on-track debut last season at Talladega where it finished 12th.

#41-Kurt Busch will pilot Chassis No. 664 in Sunday's Aaron's 499 at Talladega, a former #39 Chevy for Stewart-Haas Racing. Chassis 664 started 34th and finished fifth in the 2013 Daytona 500 with driver Ryan Newman. Newman started 21st and finished 10th at Daytona in July 2013. Chassis No. 664 served as a backup for Budweiser Speedweeks at Daytona in 2014.

#48-Jimmie Johnson: Crew chief Chad Knaus has selected Chassis No. 48-871 for this weekend at Talladega which is a new car. The backup car is Chassis No. 48-853, which Johnson most recently raced to a fifth-place result at Daytona in February. In 24 Cup starts at Talladega, Johnson has two wins, six top-five finishes and 10 top-10s. He has an average finish of 17th and has led 297 laps. Johnson has earned one pole position at the 2.66-mile superspeedway.

#55-Brian Vickers: Primary Chassis 810 has not raced. The backup chassis is 753, which finished 30th in the Daytona 500.

#66-Michael Waltrip: will drive Chassis No. 748 at Talladega. Waltrip drove this chassis to a 41st-place finish in the 2014 Daytona 500. Martin Truex Jr. also drove this chassis to a ninth-place finish in the 2013 Sprint Unlimited. Chassis No. 749 will serve as the backup. It has not raced. In 55 starts at Talladega Waltrip owns one win (September 2003), eight top-five and 16 top-10 finishes. He has also led 233 laps.
#88-Dale Earnhardt Jr.: crew chief Steve Letarte and the #88 National Guard team will unload Hendrick Motorsports Chassis No. 88-872. This is a new chassis that has not been raced. In 28 Cup starts at Talladega, Earnhardt has recorded five wins, 10 top-five finishes and 14 top-10s. He scored a record-setting four consecutive wins at the 2.66-mile superspeedway from October 2001 to April 2003.

#99-Carl Edwards the #99 Ford Fastenal team will unload primary chassis RK-906 at Talladega, which is a new chassis. The backup chassis is RK-870 was last used in 2014 as a backup at the Daytona 500, and as a primary during Daytona testing. Edwards will visit the 2.66 mile superspeedway for the 20th time in his Sprint Cup career this weekend. His highest finish is third which came in May 2013 after starting from the pole. Edwards has an average start of 13.6 and an average finish of 20.6 at Talladega. Edwards has finished in the top-five two times and in the top-ten five times.

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