* Fast off the truck: CGRFS drivers David Stremme and Juan Pablo Montoya finished an impressive third and fourth, respectively in the first official on-track session in preparation for Sunday’s Daytona 500. Stremme led all three CGRFS entries with a top qualifying time of 48.521 seconds– a scant 0.2 seconds off the pole time.
* 2006 rookie rewind: Stremme’s rookie NNCS season saw him compete in 34 of 36 races on the season tour, completing 9,841 of 10,460 laps (94.1%), with seven laps led.
* Practice makes perfect: Stremme recently turned the fifth fastest lap of 56 cars at the final NNCS test session at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in late January, showing a marked improvement on the speed charts as a result of the team’s off-season development.
* Twice as nice: In addition to running a full schedule in the NNCS, Stremme is scheduled to run seven Busch Series events this season in the No. 41 Juicy Fruit Dodge for CGRFS. He will share driving duties with teammate Reed Sorenson (No. 41 Winterfresh Dodge) and CGRFS development driver Bryan Clauson (No. 41 Memorex Dodge).
Reed Sorenson and the No. 41 Target Dodge Team Facts:
* Daytona 500 qualifying: Sorenson and the Target team experienced electrical problems during their qualifying effort for the Daytona 500. Their one lap run placed them 44th out of 61 teams attempting to make the race.
* Daytona Stats: Sorenson has six starts at DIS in either the NNCS or Busch Series with a best finish of fifth coming in his first start at the track in the Busch Series race on Feb. 19, 2005. His best NNCS finish at the 2.5-mile track is 29th, which came in last season’s Daytona 500.
* Birthday Boy: Sorenson recently celebrated his 21st birthday while testing in Las Vegas on Feb. 5. He is the youngest driver competing full time in the NNCS.
* Double Duty: In addition to running a full schedule in the NNCS, Sorenson is scheduled to run 18 Busch Series events this season, 15 in the No. 41 Juicy Fruit Dodge and three in the Memorex Dodge. He will share driving duties with teammate Stremme (No. 41 WinterFresh Dodge) and CGRFS development driver Bryan Clauson (No. 41 Memorex Dodge).
* TUMS-tu-TUMS-TUMS: Sorenson, Stremme and TUMS Racing will host a special media event at Daytona to unveil the new TUMS “Diner-mobile”, release the TUMS Track Tour and provide interview opportunities. The event will take place from 4:45-5:15 p.m. on Wed., Feb. 14, in the Daytona International Speedway display area located on the front stretch.
Juan Pablo Montoya and the No. 42 Texaco Havoline Dodge Team Facts:
* Inaugural Daytona 500: Juan Pablo Montoya will be making his first start in the Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway on February 18, only his second NASCARNEXTEL Cup career start. Montoya has won such prestigious events as the Monaco Grand Prix, the Indianapolis 500 and most recently the 24 Hours of Daytona.
* Cup quals; Montoya qualified fourth in his first Daytona 500 qualifying effort on Sunday, the top Raybestos Rookie qualifier. He will start on the inside of row two in the second Gatorade 150 Duel on Thursday to determine his starting position for the “Great American Race.” His teammates David Stremme and Reed Sorenson qualified third and 42nd respectively.
* Happy 20th!: For 20 years, the distinctive star of Texaco/Havoline Racing has been an icon of NASCAR in America. No other professional sport unites fans, teams and sponsors with such an inspired sense of loyalty. Texaco/Havoline enter its 20th year as a primary sponsor in Cup racing with a new pilot, Montoya, and a celebrated history of drivers like Davey Allison, Ernie Irvan, Kenny Irwin, Dale Jarrett and Ricky Rudd.
* Star in the Sky: Tab Boyd, Montoya’s spotter, will be posting exclusive insights, track happenings and commentary that someone can only get from being inside the No. 42 team on the Texaco/Havoline website. Boyd will have a one-of-kind look at Montoya’s rookie year from atop the spotters stand. His blog will be posted weekly at www.texacohavoline42.com/boyd.
* Road Trip: Texaco/Havoline has just made traveling to the race track easier for race fans. Fans can go to www.texacohavoline42.com, click on the link for the road trip and enter their starting location and race destination. In addition to receiving the best route to the track, fans will also get directions to the nearest Express Lube and Texaco filling stations along to the way to make planning their trip to see Montoya easier.
* New Havoline Debut: The new Havoline with Deposit Shield commercial makes its national debut at Daytona this week. Havoline with Deposit Shield provides outstanding protection and value for a cleaner, smoother-running engine.