Chip Ganassi announces 2006 driver lineup

Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates Announces 2006 Driver Line Up CONCORD, N.C. (August 12, 2005) - Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates (CGRFS) announced today its complete 2006 driver line up for its NASCAR NEXTEL Cup programs. The ...

Chip Ganassi announces 2006 driver lineup

Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates Announces 2006 Driver Line Up

CONCORD, N.C. (August 12, 2005) - Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates (CGRFS) announced today its complete 2006 driver line up for its NASCAR NEXTEL Cup programs. The multi-car team will expand its Concord-based racing stable to four NEXTEL Cup Series teams in 2006 with drivers Casey Mears, Reed Sorenson, Jamie McMurray and David Stremme piloting the Dodge Chargers.

"I'm extremely excited about our 2006 driver line-up," said team owner Chip Ganassi. "We began working toward this goal in 2002 when Felix and I signed David, and it continued with the addition of Reed, Jamie and Casey in 2003. This is a testament to Lorin Ranier and our driver development program as well as our unparalleled sponsor services team and the investments we've made over the past few years to achieve our goal of a four-car operation. It is my belief that these four drivers will help us accomplish our mission of winning races and adding value to our sponsor partners."

Mears will continue his driving duties with CGRFS in 2006, but will pilot the Home123 Dodge Charger for a full season with backing from one of America's largest providers of home mortgage loans, New Century Mortgage subsidiary Home123. Mears is set to begin his fourth year with CGRFS next season after serving as driver of the No. 41 Target Dodge since 2003.

Having already notched victories at Nashville and Gateway, and establishing himself a championship contender in his first full season of NASCAR Busch Series racing for CGRFS in the No. 41 Discount Tire Dodge, Sorenson's reward will come in the form of a full-time NEXTEL Cup Series ride in 2006 behind the wheel of the No. 41 Target Dodge. The 19-year-old rookie will remain the driver of the Discount Tire Busch machine next season, and will benefit significantly from running a full slate of Busch and Cup Series races in 2006.

As previously announced, Stremme will be piloting the No. 40 Coors Light and No. 40 Lonestar Steakhouse & Saloon Dodges for 2006 in the NEXTEL Cup Series for CGRFS. Stremme, the 2003 NASCAR Busch Series Rookie of the Year, will be making a run at the NEXTEL Cup Rookie of the Year honors alongside Sorenson. And if last weekend's Busch Series performances at Indianapolis Raceway Park were any indication of things to come, the two will have plenty for the competition as they stand third (Sorenson) and eighth (Stremme) in the championship standings.

As the team's leading contender for 2005's edition of "The Chase for the NEXTEL Cup," McMurray (11th) will again pilot the No. 42 Texaco/Havoline Dodge in his fourth year of tenure at CGRFS. The former NEXTEL Cup Series race winner will return to the familiar black and red Dodge Charger with the Texaco/Havoline sponsorship he's enjoyed every season at CGRFS since joining the squad in 2003.

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