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Feb 12, 2013 - 06:00 PM
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2013 Daytona 500 (Unlimited): Earnhardt Ganassi NASCAR Sprint Cup Race Preview
Posted by: newsla on Feb 12, 2013 - 05:59 PM
2013 Daytona 500 (Unlimited): Earnhardt Ganassi NASCAR Sprint Cup Race Preview


New Name, New Format: To kick-off the 2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) season, Sprint recently announced the newly named and formatted Sprint Unlimited. The non-points race formerly known as the Budweiser Shootout will allow fans to determine the format and rules by voting via NASCAR Mobile ’13 and NASCAR.com. Fans can vote on race format, pit stop strategy, drivers being eliminated during the race based on performance and the Miss Sprint Cup firesuit design to be worn in Victory Lane.


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Introducing the Chevy SS: When Team Chevy hits the track in Daytona, they will be sporting a new look as NASCAR announced their plans for the “Gen 6” cars last year. Chevy unveiled the brand new model in Las Vegas during the NASCAR Champions Week in November. The new NASCAR race car closely resembles the all-new rear wheel drive V-8 Chevrolet SS performance sedan that will debut early this year.

CGRT Mobile App: Download the Chip Ganassi Racing Teams mobile app for the latest driver news, event information, social media updates and exclusive content. This season, the app will introduce a weekly interactive game called “Call the Race”, which allows fans to predict the outcome of the upcoming NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race and ranks the game players on a leaderboard based on their correct answers throughout the season. Each week, the top-three players with the highest score will receive a digital Target gift card by email. Head to the iTunes store and check it out: http://bit.ly/YGJQxf

Juan Pablo Montoya and No. 42 Target Team:

Keep the Momentum Rolling: Juan Pablo Montoya recently returned to Victory Lane at Daytona International Speedway in the Rolex 24 At Daytona with teammates Scott Pruett, Memo Rojas and Charlie Kimball. The victory marked the third win for Montoya and Rojas, and the first milestone win for Kimball in the Rolex 24 At Daytona. The win was the fifth for Chip Ganassi Racing Teams (CGRT) in 10 appearances at the twice-around-the-clock endurance race and the fifth for Pruett, who now ties Hurley Haywood’s record for overall victories in the Rolex 24 At Daytona. Montoya drove the final stint and prevailed in a battle of splash-and-go fuel stops in the closing minutes to beat the second-place team to the checkered flag by 21.922 seconds.

Where he Stands: Montoya returns for his seventh full NSCS season at Earnhardt Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates (EGR) in the No. 42 Target Chevrolet. The 2013 season brings about the return of Target who celebrates their 12th year in the NSCS with Chip Ganassi. Chris “Sunshine” Heroy will return for his second season as crew chief on the No. 42 Chevrolet. In addition to the introduction of the new Gen 6 cars, EGR made a change to Hendrick Motors during the offseason.

Year in Review: In 2012, Montoya finished the season 22nd in the NSCS point standings. He accumulated two pole positions and two top-10 finishes during the season. The Target driver had an average starting position of 22.3 and an average finishing position of 21.7 with five DNF’s (did not finish).

Superspeedway Review: In 24 superspeedway starts in NSCS competition Montoya has a best finish of second (Talladega, 2008) three top-fives and seven top-10 finishes with 77 laps led. Team Target unfortunately did not finish a superspeedway race in the 2012 season due to unforeseen accidents and a motor problem.

Unlimited History: Montoya returns to the 35th running of the newly named Sprint Unlimited for the fourth time in his career. Last year, Montoya started last and finished in the top-10 after overcoming an early incident to drive the No. 42 to the 10th position. In six starts, the Target car has never placed outside of the top-20.

Top Dog at Daytona: Bullseye the loveable target mascot will be on hand at the Daytona 500. Bullseye is making the Daytona 500 her first ever NASCAR race! This is a once in a life time opportunity for this very special terrier.

100th Victory: Montoya is hoping to give Target and Chip Ganassi Racing Victory 100 if he wins the Daytona 500. This will be a momentous occasion for Target as they enter in their 7th season with Juan Montoya and its 24th with Chip Ganassi.

Driver Highlights:
· Montoya will enter his seventh full-time year in the NSCS in 2013 with Target returning as the sponsor

· Montoya is coming off of his recent win in the Rolex 24 At Daytona. It marks his third win in the endurance race as he joined teammates Scott Pruett, Memo Rojas and Charlie Kimball

· Only Latino, only Formula 1 driver, and only Indianapolis 500 winner to make the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup
· Three wins and nine poles in his stock car career (ARCA, Nationwide, NASCAR) with 22 top-five and 55 top-10 results in 242 combined starts. 1,061 laps led.
· One of only three drivers to win in Formula 1, IndyCar and NASCAR Sprint Cup (Dan Gurney and Mario Andretti).

Target: Minneapolis-based Target celebrates its 24th season in motorsports with Chip Ganassi in 2013. The partnership continues to rank as one of the longest current sponsor relationships in motorsports. Target serves guests at 1,763 stores across the United States and at Target.com. The company plans to open its first stores in Canada this year. Since 1946, Target has given 5 percent of its income through community grants and programs; today, that giving equals more than $3 million a week.

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