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.
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.
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.