Thursday, April 23, 2015

Richmond Driver Chassis Selection: 2015 Toyota Owners 400

Uh-oh, Harvick is using that beast chassis from Phoenix

#3-Austin Dillon: will pilot Chassis No. 475 in the Richmond 400 at Richmond International Raceway. Dillon recently participated in a NASCAR-sanctioned open test with this Chevrolet SS at RIR and earned a 15th-place finish at Phoenix International Raceway in March 2015. In 2014, Dillon raced this Chevrolet SS to a 21st-place finish at Texas Motor Speedway in November, an eighth-place finish at Kansas Speedway in October and a 15th-place finish at Pocono Raceway in August. He also utilized this Chevrolet SS at Michigan International Speedway 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 of the event, resulting in a 30th-place finish.

#4-Kevin Harvick: will pilot the No. 4 Jimmy John's/Budweiser Chevrolet SS built on Chassis No. 4-841 in the Richmond 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race Saturday at Richmond (Va.) International Raceway. Built in 2014, Chassis No. 4-841 served as an unused backup for 19 races last season, and never saw racing action of any kind. Chassis No. 4-841 finally made its Sprint Cup debut this past March at Phoenix International Raceway, where it scored a dominant win from the pole and led 224 laps to score Harvick's second win of the 2015 season.

#5-Kasey Kahne: Crew chief Keith Rodden has selected Hendrick Motorsports Chassis No. 5-897 for Saturday evening's race at Richmond. Kahne raced with this chassis at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in September 2014, where he finished 23rd.

#14-Tony Stewart: Chassis No. 14-735: This car debuted in the 2012 Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway where Stewart qualified 28th and rallied to score a top-10 finish. Chassis No. 14-735 made its second career start in October 2012 at Kansas Speedway in Kansas City. It was impressive as Stewart used it to overcome a 33rdplace starting spot, a botched pit stop, an incident with Jeff Burton and a lap-166 spin to finish fifth. The car made its third career start in the 2012 season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway. There, it rallied to a top-20 finish after starting 35th and dealing with handling issues throughout the 267-lap race. Stewart's milestone 500th career Sprint Cup start also came at Homestead in Chassis No. 14-735. With 2013 Chevrolet SS bodywork covering it, Chassis No. 14-735 returned to action in May for the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway. It rallied again, coming from 25th in the field to lead six laps before finishing seventh. The car's fifth career start and second of 2013 was slated to come in June at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn, but a crash in the opening minutes of the weekend's first practice session sidelined the car. Rebuilt, Chassis No. 14-735 returned to Michigan in August with interim driver Austin Dillon, qualifying 27th and finishing 14th. The car sat idle until this past May when Stewart drove it at Kansas. He qualified eighth and finished 20th after giving up valuable track position for a late-race fuel stop. Its next start came in late June at Kentucky Speedway in Sparta, where Stewart rallied it to an 11th-place finish after having to start 42nd due to a transmission change prior to the race. It then tested Sept. 2-3 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon in preparation for the series' race there on Sept. 21. However, it was a rocky run for Chassis No. 14-735 in the Granite State, as it qualified 28th and finished 30th. The car returned to a flat track when it made its final start of 2014 at Phoenix International Raceway. It qualified 29th and finished 20th as a loose-handling condition persisted. New Chevrolet SS sheetmetal adorns Chassis No. 14-735 and it saw action during a Goodyear Tire Test at Richmond April 7-8. It returns to Richmond for this weekend's race and its 10th career start.

#15-Clint Bowyer: Chassis No. 805 serves as Bowyer's primary chassis for Richmond. The chassis was tested at Charlotte Motor Speedway and Richmond International Raceway this year. Chassis No. 809 serves as back up at Richmond. It also served as back up at Phoenix in March.

#24-Jeff Gordon: Crew chief Alan Gustafson has selected Hendrick Motorsports Chassis No. 24-881 for this Sunday's race. The chassis has been raced twice previously to a pair of 26th-place finishes at New Hampshire in 2014. During the July event, Gordon ran out of fuel while running third when the race ran past its scheduled distance. In September, he cut a tire and hit the wall in Turn 1 while running sixth with less than 10 laps to go.

#27-Paul Menard: will utilize chassis No. 485 during Saturday night's 400-lap event at Richmond International Raceway. This Chevrolet SS was utilized earlier this year at Phoenix International Raceway where Menard started 21st and finished 14th. 

#31-Ryan Newman: will drive chassis No. 462 at Richmond International Raceway. This No. 31 Chevrolet competed for the first time this season at Phoenix International Raceway. Newman qualified fifth and finished third.

#32-Joey Gase: Crew Chief Clinton Cram will be bringing chassis GGR-755 to serve as the primary car. This chassis last raced at Phoenix in March with Mike Bliss finishing 33rd. Chassis GGR-289 will serve as the backup car.

#41-Kurt Busch: will pilot Chassis No. 839 in Saturday night's Richmond 400 at Richmond (Va.) International Raceway. It was previously a No. 10 chassis for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) teammate Danica Patrick. Chassis No. 839 was used in May 2014 at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway, where Patrick started fourth, but an engine failure caused her to finish 39th in the Coca-Cola 600. The No. 10 team then raced Chassis No. 839 at both events at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn, where Patrick finished 17th and 18th, respectively. Chassis No. 839 next raced at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon, where Patrick finished 19th. Busch first raced Chassis No. 839 last November at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth, where he started fourth and finished eighth. Chassis No. 839 underwent updates and saw its first laps of 2015 in March at Phoenix International Raceway, where Busch started eighth and finished fifth.

#48-Jimmie Johnson: For this weekend's event, crew chief Chad Knaus has selected chassis No. 48-804, with which Johnson finished eighth at Richmond last fall. The backup car is 48-749, which last raced in Martinsville in the spring of 2014.

#55-Brett Moffitt: Primary: 803 - Brian Vickers finished 41st at Phoenix in 2015. In 2014, Vickers finished fourth at Texas in April, eighth in All-Star Race, 19th at Indy and 24th at Chicago. Backup: 813 - Clint Bowyer drove chassis to 17th at Charlotte in May,10th and sixth at Michigan and ninth at Dover in September.

#88-Dale Earnhardt Jr.: This weekend, crew chief Greg Ives will unload Hendrick Motorsports Chassis No. 88-932. This is a brand new chassis that has not been raced.

- compiled by

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