Saturday, November 1, 2014

Texas Driver Chassis Selections: 2014 AAA Texas 500

Kurt Busch using a chassis that was part of Danica's fleet
#2-Brad Keselowski: will drive Primary Chassis PRS-918 at Texas, which last raced at Bristol in August, finishing 2nd. The Backup Chassis is PRS-902 which was last used as a backup at Kansas in October and last ran at Sonoma as the #22 car, finishing 16th.

#3-Austin Dillon will pilot Chassis No. 475 in the AAA Texas 500 at Texas. This is the same Dow Chevy that Dillon raced to an eighth-place finish at Kansas in October, and a 15th-place finish at Pocono in August. He also utilized this Chevrolet SS at Michigan in June, where he ran in the top 10 for a majority of the event before making two unscheduled pit stops in the closing laps, resulting in a 30th-place finish. Dillon has three NASCAR Sprint Cup Series starts to his credit at Texas finishing 33rd and 22nd in 2013, and 21st in April 2014.

#4-Kevin Harvick will pilot Chassis No. 884 in Sunday's race at Texas. Harvick has competed in this car three times so far this year: In July, he scored the pole award and finished eighth at Indianapolis. In August, he scored the pole award, led 195 laps and finished 19th after getting caught up in a late-race accident at Atlanta. Earlier this month, Harvick started seventh, led 162 laps and drove this car to Victory Circle at Charlotte. Harvick has 23 previous starts at Texas. He has earned three top fives and 11 top-10 finishes. He also has an average start of 20.3 and an average finish of 13.6 at the 1.5-mile track.

#5-Kasey Kahne: Crew chief Kenny Francis has selected Hendrick Motorsports Chassis No. 5-888 for Sunday's race at Texas. Kahne led 70 laps and finished sixth driving this chassis at Indianapolis in July and raced it at Pocono in August, where he started 12th and finished 10th. He also drove this chassis to a 16th-place finish at Michigan in August. Most recently, Kahne raced with this chassis at Kansas in October. Kahne went to Victory Lane at Texas on April 9, 2006, after starting from the pole position and leading 63 laps. Three of the 27 (11.1 percent) NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Texas have been won from the pole position, which includes Kahne (2006). The driver of the #5 Chevrolet SS has five top-five finishes and six top-10s and has led a total of 218 laps in 20 Cup starts at the Fort Worth, Texas, oval. A year ago in this race, Kahne scored a fifth-place result. Most recently, he started 32nd and finished 11th.

#10-Danica Patrick: will drive Chassis No. 10-748 which debuted in October 2012 at Charlotte with former Stewart-Haas Racing driver Ryan Newman at the controls and Tony Gibson as crew chief. Newman started third but fell to 20th in the race. Newman and crew chief Matt Borland took the car to Texas in November 2012 and started 36th, but led six laps and rallied to 12th. Newman and Borland used it five times in 2013 and earned top-10 finishes at Auto Club Speedway, as well as Texas, Charlotte and Atlanta. In 2014, Kurt Busch and crew chief Daniel Knost raced it at Fontana and Chicago, finishing third and eighth, respectively. Backup Chassis No. 10-828 was first used at Homestead-Miami Speedway in November 2013, when Patrick started 24th and finished 20th. It was then put to use in March at Las Vegas where she started 22nd and finished 21st. The last time it was used was in late March at Auto Club Speedway, where she started 27th and finished 14th. It was a backup car at Pocono, Michigan, Bristol, Atlanta, Chicago and Dover.

#14-Tony Stewart: Chassis No. 14-827 debuted in July during the Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis. Stewart used it to qualify sixth, but in the race the car was persistently loose and it finished 17th. It was a reversal of fortune for the car, for in its lone test prior to Indianapolis it excelled, as Kevin Harvick drove it to the fastest speed of anyone participating in the Dec. 9, 2013 test session at Charlotte. Chassis No. 14-827 next raced at Chicago, where it had a quiet weekend, qualifying 22nd and finishing 18th. The car returned to Charlotte in October where it made its third career start, qualifying a strong fourth but finishing 21st, bedeviled by a tight-handling condition. Chassis No. 14-827 is back in action this weekend at Texas.

#15-Clint Bowyer: Chassis No. 813 serves as the primary chassis for Bowyer at Texas. This chassis raced at Dover in September (9th) Michigan in August (6th), June (10th) and Charlotte in May (17th). Chassis No. 800 serves as the back-up chassis and raced at Bristol in August (17th), Kentucky in July (23rd) and Dover in June (4th). Bowyer has three top-five and 10 top-10 finishes in 17 starts at Texas with an average start 15.0 and average finish 12.5.

#16-Greg Biffle: will drive primary chassis RK-930 which was brand new in Kansas where Biffle earned a 15th-place finish. The Backup Chassis is RK-890 which last ran Pocono and finished fifth. In his 21 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 12.3 with an average finishing position of 14.7. Ortho will make its final of three appearances of the season on the #16 Ford this weekend at Texas. Ortho was on the hood for a 10th-place finish at Atlanta and a 16th-place finish at Loudon.

#17-Ricky Stenhouse Jr.: primary chassis RK-929 is the same chassis that the #17 team raced at Chicago leading the Roush Fenway Racing efforts with his 17th-place finish after a competitor made contact with his Ford with ten laps remaining. The backup chassis, RK-877, last ran at New Hampshire and finished ninth. Stenhouse has three Sprint Cup career starts with an average starting position of 19.0 and average finishing position of 27.3.

#22-Joey Logano: will drive Primary Chassis PRS-917 at Texas, which last ran at Bristol in August and won. The backup chassis is PRS-903 which last raced at Richmond in September and finished 6th.

#24-Jeff Gordon: crew chief Alan Gustafson has selected Hendrick Motorsports Chassis No. 24-907 for this Sunday's race. This chassis has been raced twice previously with Gordon posting runner-up finishes at Chicago in September and Charlotte in October. Gordon has one win, two pole positions, nine top-five finishes and 12 top-10s in 27 Sprint Cup starts at Texas. The 43-year-old driver is the only individual to compete in every Sprint Cup event at Texas. On April 5, 2009, Gordon led 105 laps en route to his lone victory in The Lone-Star State. That win was his 82nd career victory in NASCAR's premier division.

#27-Paul Menard will utilize chassis No. 487 during the 334-lap event at Texas. This Richmond/Menards Chevy has seen racing action at Kansas last month where Menard started 13th and finished ninth. Menard has 16 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series starts at the 1.5-mile track. He has three top-five starts and earned one top-five and three top-10 finishes. He has completed 96.5% of the laps with two laps led in competition.

#31-Ryan Newman will drive chassis No. 491 on Sunday at Texas. This is a new Caterpillar Chevy being utilized under race conditions for the first time this weekend. Newman is looking to capture his second-career victory at the 1.5-mile oval when he makes his 23rd NASCAR Sprint Cup Series start at Texas. 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. Newman has an average start of 16.6 and average finish of 19.1. HOLT CAT and Warren CATwill be featured on the #31 Caterpillar Chevy this weekend at Texas.

#41-Kurt Busch: will pilot Chassis No. 839 at Texas. Formerly a #10 chassis for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) teammate Danica Patrick, Chassis No. 839 was used in May at Charlotte, where Patrick started fourth, but an engine failure caused her to finish 39th in the Coca-Cola 600. The #10 team then raced Chassis No. 839 at both events at Michigan, where Patrick finished 17th and 18th, respectively. Most recently, Chassis No. 839 was raced at New Hampshire where Patrick finished 19th. The AAA Texas 500 will mark Busch's 24th career Sprint Cup start at Texas. Busch has one win, three top-five finishes and 12 top-10s at the 1.5-mile oval. Additionally, the 36-year-old driver has led 235 laps, has an average starting position of 16.1, an average finish of 16.3, and has completed 98 percent (7,542 of 7,699) of the laps he's contested there.

#48-Jimmie Johnson: Crew chief Chad Knaus has selected Hendrick Motorsports Chassis No. 48-910 for this weekend's event in Texas. This car most recently finished third in Dover in September. The backup car is Chassis No. 48-799, which was last raced at Kansas in September when Johnson finished 40th. Johnson has three wins, 10 top five-finishes, 16 top 10s and one pole at Texas. In the last 19 races at the track, he has a series-high 522 fastest laps run and the second-best average driver rating of 103.6. Johnson is the defending winner of this race. He leads the series in runner-up finishes at Texas Motor Speedway with five and also leads all active drivers in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series with an average starting position at Texas Motor Speedway of 8.818. Johnson is the only active driver with an average starting position at Texas in the top 10.

#55-Brian Vickers: will drive primary chassis 815 which finished 15th at Atlanta & 10th at Kansas. The backup chassis is 797 finished 7th at California, 6th at Charlotte in May, 26th at Kentucky & 21st at Bristol in August.

#88-Dale Earnhardt Jr.: This weekend at Texas, crew chief Steve Letarte will unload Hendrick Motorsports Chassis No. 88-810. Earnhardt drove this chassis to Victory Lane at both Pocono races this season. He most recently raced this chassis at Kansas Speedway earlier this month. In 24 Sprint Cup starts at Texas, Earnhardt has scored one win, two pole positions, four top-five finishes and 13 top-10s. He has an average starting position of 11.6, 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 Aflac team will unload primary chassis RK-927 which was last run at Kansas, starting in the 12th spot and finishing 5th and at the second Michigan race, starting in the 19th spot and finishing 10th. Backup chassis RK-897 was Backup for second Charlotte race. Edwards has three wins at Texas in the Sprint Cup Series to include 2005 and a sweep in 2008. Edwards has 19 Sprint Cup starts at Texas with an average start of 12.9 and an average finish of 15.5.

- compiled by

No comments: