Thursday, April 10, 2014

Darlington Driver Chassis Selections: 2014 Bojangle's Southern 500

Jeff Gordon (8/1) will be using anew chassis this week at Darlington
#2-Brad Keselowski: Primary Chassis for Darlington is PRS-904, which is a new chassis. The backup chassis is PRS-840 which last served as a backup at Las Vegas in March.

#3-Austin Dillon: will pilot chassis No. 453 in the Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway. This is the same DOW Chevrolet SS that Dillon raced to a 16th-place finish at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in March. Although Dillon has not yet competed at Darlington Raceway in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, he has made two appearances at the "Lady in Black" in the NASCAR Nationwide Series, securing his best starting position of third and his best finish of a fifth in 2012. He also finished 11th after starting eighth in 2013. The 2011 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series champion has two starts at the track in the Truck Series, earning his best finish of fifth in August 2010, coupled with a 15th-place result in March 2011.

#4-Kevin Harvick will pilot Chassis No. 4-843 in Saturday night's race at Darlington. Harvick last raced this car at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in March. In that event, Harvick led 23 laps before an issue with the left-front hub sent the team to the garage area for repairs, which relegated them to a 41st-place finish. Harvick has 17 prior NSCS starts at Darlington. He has earned three top fives and six top 10s, and has an average start of 17.2 and an average finish of 17.9.

#5-Kasey Kahne: Crew chief Kenny Francis will unload Hendrick Motorsports Chassis No. 5-829 for Saturday night's event at Darlington. Most recently, Kahne raced this chassis to an eighth-place finish at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in March. Kahne is two-for-two when it comes to racing in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series at Darlington. He led a combined 190 laps to win the 2004 and 2011 Truck events at the 1.366-mile oval.

#10-Danica Patrick will pilot Chassis No. 10-677, which was first used by Stewart-Haas Racing driver Ryan Newman in September 2011 at Chicago, where he started fourth and led 18 laps before finishing eighth. Newman next used the chassis in October 2011 at Kansas, where he started 11th and finished 18th. The last time Newman drove the car was in March 2012 at Auto Club, where he started sixth and finished seventh in a race that ended early due to rain. Danica Patrick made her second career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series start using Chassis No. 10-677 in May 2012 at Darlington, where she started 38th and finished 31st. Since that race, the car was converted into a Gen-6 Chevrolet SS. Chassis No. 10-677 was pressed into service last May, when Patrick was involved in an accident in her primary car during practice for the Southern 500 at Darlington. She started 40th and finished 28th in the backup car. She competed with the chassis one other time in September at Dover, where she started 31st and finished 29th.

#15-Clint Bowyer: Chassis No. 804 serves as the primary chassis for Bowyer at Darlington Raceway. Bowyer drove this Toyota to a 15th-place finish at Bristol Motor Speedway. 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, Las Vegas and Texas. Bowyer has one top-10 finish in eight starts and completed 2,749 of 2,940 laps (93.5%) and led 16 laps with an average start 18.9 and average finish 21.1 with a best finish of ninth came in May 2007. Bowyer captured one of his two NASCAR Sprint Cup Series poles at Darlington in May 2007 (the other coming at New Hampshire in Sept. 2007 where he won from the pole)

#16-Greg Biffle: and the Matt Puccia led #16 Red Cross team will run chassis RK-903 is a brand new chassis. The backup chassis will be RK-879 which last ran Las Vegas and finished 22nd. Biffle has 13 Sprint Cup career starts at Darlington, earning two wins, two top-five and five top-10 finishes. Darlington is the track where Biffle holds his second-best starting average of 9.5, with an average finish of 13.9.

#17-Ricky Stenhouse Jr.: and the #17 Nationswide team will be using primary chassis Chassis RK-902 at Darlington, which is a brand new chassis. The backup chassis is RK-860, which was last raced at Texas in 2013 and finished 16th. Stenhouse Jr. has one career Sprint Cup start at the 1.366-mile track where he finished 18th. With the Nationwide Eagle on the hood, the #17 Nationwide Insurance primary paint scheme has earned one top-five and two top-10 finishes this season.

#22-Joey Logano: Primary Chassis is PRS-903 for Darlington, which is a new chassis. The Backup Chassis is PRS-844 which was last used as a backup at Las Vegas.

#24-Jeff Gordon: crew chief Alan Gustafson has selected Hendrick Motorsports Chassis No. 24-861 for this Saturday night's race. This is a new chassis that has never been raced. Gordon, driver of the #24 Drive to End Hunger Chevrolet SS, has seven wins, three pole positions, 19 top-five finishes and 22 top-10s in 33 Cup starts at Darlington Raceway.

#27-Paul Menard will pilot chassis No. 463 in the Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway. This #27 CertainTeed/Menards Chevrolet SS has been never been used in competition and is new to the RCR stable of Sprint Cup cars. At the 1.36-mile oval of Darlington Raceway, Menard has seven previous starts with a best start of 14th and finish of 13th, which both took place in the 2012 event. His average start at the "Track too Tough to Tame" is 24.4 and average finish is 23.7. Menard has completed 2,527 of 2,573 laps attempted (98.2 percent) and led three laps.

#31-Ryan Newman will race chassis No. 441 in Saturday night's Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway. Chassis No. 441 was raced on March 2 at Phoenix International Raceway where the No. 31 team qualified 15th and finished seventh. Newman is looking to capture his first-career victory at his favorite track on the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series circuit. The Rocket Man won the 2003 pole at the 1.366-mile oval. In total, he owns seven top-five and 10 top-10 finishes. The South Bend, Ind. native has an average start of ninth and average finish of 12th. Plus, Newman ranks third in most championship points earned in the last five races at Darlington and ranks sixth in points earned over the last 10 events.

#48-Jimmie Johnson: Crew chief Chad Knaus has selected Chassis No. 48-824 for Saturday night's race. Johnson drove this car to a sixth-place finish at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in March. The backup car is Chassis No. 48-784 which Johnson most recently raced last season at Michigan International Speedway in June.

#55-Brian Vickers: Primary Chassis 808 has not raced. The backup chassis is 801, which finished 13th at Las Vegas.

#88-Dale Earnhardt Jr.: crew chief Steve Letarte and the #88 team has selected Chassis No. 88-745. Earnhardt last raced this chassis to a 24th-place finish at Bristol in March.

#99-Carl Edwards the #99 Ford EcoBoost team will unload primary chassis RK-874 at Darlington was last run in 2014 at Phoenix, finishing eighth. The backup chassis is RK-880 was last used in 2014 as a primary at Vegas, finishing fifth. Edwards has yet to capture a win at Darlington Raceway, finishing second in 2008 and 2011. Edwards has 10 Sprint Cup starts at Darlington with an average start of 15.9 and an average finish of 12.5.

- compiled by

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