Friday, February 15, 2013

2013 Sprint Unlimited Driver Chassis Selections

Dale Earnhardt Jr. will be driving an entirely new chassis (Getty)
Kasey Kahne: Crew chief Kenny Francis and the #5 team will unload Hendrick Motorsports Chassis No. 5-636 for the Feb. 16 Sprint Unlimited event. Kahne last raced this chassis at Daytona’s exhibition event last February, where he finished 13th.

Tony Stewart: After a two-year hiatus, Chassis No. 14-532 returns to action in the Sprint Unlimited at Daytona. 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 has served as a backup ever since, but was totally rebuilt this offseason. This car debuted in February 2009 during Daytona Speedweeks where it served 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.
But those numbers weren’t indicative of the car’s performance, for Stewart was able to use Chassis No. 14-532 to climb to as high as second before engine woes dropped Stewart from eighth to 23rd in the race’s last three laps. 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.

Joey Logano and his Todd Gordon-led Penske Racing #22 Team will be utilizing the “651” Shell-Pennzoil Ford in this weekend’s Sprint Unlimited at Daytona International Speedway. The chassis is brand new for 20013 and did not test at Daytona in January.

Kevin Harvick: will pilot Chassis No.387 from the Richard Childress Racing NASCAR Sprint Cup Series stable in the Sprint Unlimited. This Budweiser Chevy has seen significant superspeedway track time making laps at Daytona International Speedway last February and at Talladega Superspeedway in October 2012. The 2013 Sprint Unlimited will mark Harvick's ninth appearance in the pre-season, non-points paying event. During his first eight entries, Harvick has earned two wins (2009 & 2010), four top-five and six top-10 finishes.

Jimmie Johnson: Chassis No. 764 serves as the primary for Johnson in the Sprint Unlimited at Daytona International Speedway, a brand new chassis. Chassis No. 618 serves as the backup and finished 14th in last years event and 4th in the 2011 event..

Mark Martin: will drive MWR chassis 747 in the Sprint Unlimited at Daytona International Speedway.
Dale Earnhardt Jr.: For the Feb. 16 Sprint Unlimited, crew chief Steve Letarte and the #88 engineers have chosen Hendrick Motorsports Chassis No. 88-756, which will be adorned with the blue National Guard paint scheme. This is a brand new chassis that has not been raced.

Carl Edwards: The #99 Fastenal team will be bringing chassis RK-835 to the track this weekend for the Sprint Unlimited at Daytona International Speedway. Edwards will make his seventh start in the Sprint Unlimited Saturday night. His best finish to date is seventh in 2009. He has led 54 laps in his previous six starts. Edwards’ average start at Daytona International Speedway is 16.2; his average finish is 16.6. Edwards’ best finish at Daytona is second place, captured in 2011 500 (and in July 2008).

- from team press releases reported by

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