Friday, March 20, 2015

Fontana Driver Chassis Selections: 2015 Auto Club 400

Danica Patrick getting old SHR hand-me-downs this week 

#3-Austin Dillon will pilot Chassis No. 481 in the Auto Club 400 at Auto Club Speedway. Dillon raced this Chevrolet to a 39th-place finish at Atlanta Motor Speedway in March, after spending time in the garage making repairs. This is the same Chevrolet SS that Dillon raced in 2014 to a 25th-place finish at Homestead-Miami Speedway, a 13th-place finish at Charlotte Motor Speedway in October, a 16th-place finish at Chicagoland Speedway in September, a 22nd-place finish at Michigan International Speedway in August and a 10th-place finish at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in July.

#4-Kevin Harvick: Chassis No. 4-846: Kevin Harvick will pilot the No. 4 Jimmy John's/Budweiser Chevrolet SS built on Chassis No. 4-846 in the Auto Club 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race Sunday at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. Built in 2014, Chassis No. 4-846 made its debut at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway in March, when it started 27th and led 28 laps before being collected in a late-race accident and finishing 39th. It made its second appearance at Dover (Del.) International Speedway in June, when it started eighth, led 24 laps and finished 17th. At Pocono (Pa.) Raceway in August, No. 4-846 started sixth, led five laps and finished second. In its most recent appearance, Harvick started fourth, led 17 laps and finished fifth at Richmond (Va.) International Raceway in September.

#5-Kasey Kahne: Crew chief Keith Rodden has selected Hendrick Motorsports Chassis No. 5-923 for Sunday's race at Fontana. It is a brand new chassis.

#10-Danica Patrick: Chassis No. 761: Danica Patrick will pilot Chassis No. 761 in the Auto Club 400. Previously raced by Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) teammates Kurt Busch and Ryan Newman, Chassis No. 761 has two prior starts. In June 2013, the car made its debut with Newman at the wheel at Dover (Del.) International Speedway. He started fifth and finished 36th in that event after getting caught up in an accident. Last May, Busch raced Chassis No. 761 in the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway. He started the race from the tail of the field and was running inside the top-10 before the car's engine expired at lap 271.

#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 in April 2013 at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth, where it qualified 13th and struggled with its handling before finishing 21st. Its last start of 2013 came in the 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 sat idle until 2014, where under the direction of crew chief Chad Johnston, it was completely rebuilt. It came out of the box strong in its fourth career start in April at Texas, winning the pole and leading three times for 74 laps before finishing 10th. Chassis No. 14-754 made a second All-Star Race appearance at Charlotte in 2014. It had a quiet night, starting 15th and finishing 12th. The car hasn't turned a wheel since, but with new Chevy SS sheet metal honed in the wind tunnel, it returns to action this weekend at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California.

#15-Clint Bowyer: Chassis No. 800 serves as the primary chassis for Bowyer at Fontana. This chassis raced in 2014 at Kentucky in July (23rd), Dover in June (4th) and Bristol in August (17th). Chassis No. 816 serves as the back-up chassis. This chassis raced in 2014 at Atlanta and Charlotte in the Fall where parts failures relegated him to 38th-place and 43rd-place finishes.

#24-Jeff Gordon: Crew chief Alan Gustafson has selected Hendrick Motorsports Chassis No. 24-921 for Sunday's race, scheduled for 200 laps. The chassis is brand new and has never been raced.

#27-Paul Menard will pilot chassis No. 487 for this weekend's 400-mile event in Fontana., Calif. This No. 27 Chevrolet SS has already seen NASCAR Sprint Cup Series action in 2015 at Atlanta Motor Speedway where Menard started and finished in the 13th spot.

#31-Ryan Newman will drive chassis No. 504 in Sunday's Auto Club 400 at Auto Club Speedway. This No. 31 Chevrolet SS is a brand new car and will take to the track for the first time on Friday when the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series teams practice and qualify at the two-mile, D-shaped oval.

#32-Mike Bliss Crew Chief Clinton Cram will be bringing chassis 784 to serve as the primary car. This chassis previously ran in Atlanta three weeks ago. Chassis 742 will serve as the backup car.

#33-Brian Scott is scheduled to pilot chassis No. 441 in Sunday's Auto Club 400. This No. 33 Chevrolet SS is a brand new car taking to the track for the first time on Friday when the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series teams practice and qualify at the two-mile speedway.

#41-Kurt Busch Chassis No. 837: Kurt Busch will pilot Chassis No. 837 in Sunday's Auto Club 400 at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. Formerly a No. 10 chassis for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) teammate Danica Patrick, Chassis No. 837 debuted in May 2014 at Kansas Speedway in Kansas City, where Patrick had one of the best outings of her career as she started ninth and finished seventh. Its next event was in June at Kentucky Speedway in Sparta, where she started 10th and finished 21st. Chassis No. 837 was then tested Aug. 25 and 26 at Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, Illinois before being used at the same racetrack in September, where Patrick started 18th and finished 19th. Chassis No. 837 will see its first laps of 2015 competition this weekend.

#48-Jimmie Johnson: For this weekend's event, crew chief Chad Knaus has selected chassis No. 48-891, which finished ninth in Homestead last November. The backup car is No. 48-824, which Johnson raced at Pocono last June.

#55-Brian Vickers: Primary: 808- In 2014, Vickers finished 26th at Darlington, 42nd and 19th at the Michigan races, 15th at Dover in September and 23rd at Homestead. Backup: 813-Clint Bowyer drove chassis to 17th at Charlotte in May, 10th and sixth at Michigan races and ninth at Dover in September. 

#88-Dale Earnhardt Jr.: Crew chief Greg Ives will unload Hendrick Motorsports Chassis No. 88-924 for this weekend's 400-mile event. It is a brand new chassis that has not been raced.


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