Franchitti Back in Fastenal Dodge
CGRFS Texas Motor Speedway Advance Notes
Race: O’Reilly 300 on Saturday, April 5 (NNS)
Track: Texas Motor Speedway (1.5-mile)
Location: Fort Worth, Texas
Dario Franchitti and the No. 40 Kennametal Dodge Team (NSCS) and No. 40 Fastenal Dodge Team (NNS)
Rookie Round-Up: Franchitti still has the lead in the NSCS Raybestos Rookie of the Year race, but is now tied with Regan Smith. Both drivers have a current tally of 60 with Sam Hornish Jr. just three points behind them in second place with a current score of 57. Franchitti also still leads the NNS Raybestos Rookie off the Year standings. With a total of 58 points, he leads fellow CGRFS teammate Bryan Clauson (whose current tally is 52) by six points.
Catching On: In this past Sunday’s NSCS race at Martinsville Speedway, Franchitti scored a NSCS career-best finish of 22nd place in the No. 40 Kennametal Dodge. The effort topped his previous best of 20th place, which he earned earlier this year at Daytona.
Back to Double Duty: This weekend Franchitti will return to juggling two different competition schedules, competing in both the NNS and NSCS races at Texas Motor Speedway. He will be making his 10th career start in NNS competition and seventh in NSCS.
Not His First Rodeo at TMS: When Franchitti gets on track Thursday for NNS practice it won’t be his first time driving a stock car on the 1.5-mile tri-oval. Franchitti made his second-career NNS start at Texas last November, driving the No. 42 CGRFS Target Dodge to a 25th-place finish (started 18th).
Check out the Parrott Perspective: Franchitti’s NNS crew chief Brad Parrott is keeping fans up to date on what is going on in the world of the Fastenal Racing Team through an on-line log he will be keeping throughout the 2008 NNS season. Check out the Parrott Perspective at www.fastenalracing.com.
Standings Update: On the NNS side of things, Franchitti’s No. 40 Fastenal Team currently stands 21st in the overall NNS owner points rundown. With a current tally of 632, the team is 93 points outside the top 10 and 261 out of first. In the NSCS garage, Franchitti’s No. 40 Kennametal Team is currently 38th, and only 22 points outside the top 35.
On Franchitti’s upcoming NNS effort at TMS: “We are going back to racing this weekend with an emphasis on Dario having a good run in Las Vegas a few weeks ago. We are taking the same car we ran at Las Vegas, in Fontana and in Bristol. So far, it has been Dario’s favorite car. We had a really good run in Vegas so we are going to take that same information and apply it to this weekend’s run at Texas Motor Speedway, although it is a little faster race track than Vegas … probably the biggest benefit at Texas is going to be Dario has raced there before in the Nationwide Series. Last November, he came off the truck and had an accident, then had to be careful to not wreck the back-up car and take a more conservative approach to that weekend’s effort. I believe he started 18th and finished 25th. So, taking the car he has been in already this year and likes, and then racing at a venue where he has already competed will all play a role in Saturday’s outcome.
“I know the guys are ready to get back to racing. We all had this past weekend off. I put 120 bales of pine straw on my yard over the weekend and went on a motorcycle ride with my dad on Friday. One of the guys camped out at Martinsville all weekend. They can’t get away from the track, I guess. I also know a bunch of them had family coming in to visit so we are all rested and ready to get back at it this weekend.”
No. 40 Fastenal Dodge (NNS): Chassis #653. This will be the fourth time Crew Chief Brad Parrot has chosen to take chassis #653 to the track. This chassis has competed at Fontana (24th-place finish with Franchitti), Las Vegas (sixth-place finish with Franchitti) and Bristol (22nd-place finish with Franchitti) already this season.