Thursday, February 21, 2013 9:11 pm
A look at drivers competing in 2013 Daytona 500
By The Associated Press
DRIVER: Tony Stewart
BORN: May 20, 1971
HOMETOWN: Columbus, Ind.
CREW CHIEF: Steve Addington
SPONSOR: Bass Pro Shops/Mobil 1
NOTES: The only full-time driver/owner in the Sprint Cup Series. ... Won 2011 championship and finished ninth in points last season. ... Has fallen short 14 times in the Daytona 500. He's won 18 career races at Daytona, including four in the July race, but never in the biggest race of them all. ... Team had three of the fastest five cars in pole qualifying.
No. 55 Toyota, Michael Waltrip Racing
DRIVER: Mark Martin
BORN: Jan. 9, 1959
HOMETOWN: Batesville, Ark.
CREW CHIEF: Rodney Childers
NOTES: Has a 105-race winless streak in NASCAR's top series. ... Winless in 54 Cup races at Daytona. Came oh-so-close in the 2007 Daytona 500, losing by inches to Kevin Harvick. ... Ran 24 of 36 races in 2012 and finished 26th in points. ... Martin will compete in 24 races this season, sharing the ride with Brian Vickers and team co-owner Michael Waltrip.
No. 2 Ford, Penske Racing
DRIVER: Brad Keselowski
BORN: Feb. 12, 1984
HOMETOWN: Rochester Hills, Mich.
CREW CHIEF: Paul Wolfe
SPONSOR: Miller Lite
NOTES: Defending Sprint Cup champion. The 29-year-old driver had a coming out party of sorts in 2012. First, he made headlines by texting during a red flag at the Daytona 500. Then he won the championship, the first for legendary car owner Roger Penske. Keselowski celebrated in Homestead by swigging beer in Victory Lane.
No. 27 Chevrolet, Richard Childress Racing
DRIVER: Paul Menard
BORN: Aug. 21, 1980
HOMETOWN: Eau Claire, Wis.
CREW CHIEF: Richard "Slugger" Labbe
NOTES: Finished a career-best 16th in points last season, not bad for a driver with no wins and just one top-five. ... Could be his final year at Richard Childress Racing. His contract is up at the end of 2013. "I hope by middle of summer we will have an answer for everybody."
No. 13 Ford, Germain Racing
DRIVER: Casey Mears
BORN: March 12, 1978
HOMETOWN: Bakersfield, Calif.
CREW CHIEF: Robert "Bootie" Barker
NOTES: Has one win in 344 Cup starts, none since 2007. ... Finished 29th in points last season. ... Beginning his third full season at Germain Racing. ... Looking for considerably better results this season, especially after showing decent speed during tests at Daytona and Charlotte in January.
No. 31 Chevrolet, Richard Childress Racing
DRIVER: Jeff Burton
BORN: June 29, 1967
HOMETOWN: South Boston, Va.
CREW CHIEF: Lucas Lambert
NOTES: Winless since 2008 - his streak's at 149 races and counting - Burton enters 2013 desperate to get back into the Chase for the championship for the second time in five years. He finished 19th in points last season. ... Teammates Paul Menard and Kevin Harvick are set to become free agents after this season, so RCR could be in for huge changes.
No. 88 Chevrolet, Hendrick Motorsports
DRIVER: Dale Earnhardt Jr.
BORN: Oct. 10, 1974
HOMETOWN: Kannapolis, N.C.
CREW CHIEF: Steve Letarte
SPONSOR: National Guard
NOTES: NASCAR's most popular driver should be a contender again in 2013. ... Finished 12th in points last season, but was running considerably better before a concussion slowed him down. ... Loves NASCAR's redesigned car. ... Was down on power in the exhibition Sprint Unlimited, where he finished eighth, but knowing how to get around Daytona International Speedway could serve him well in the opener.
No. 1 Chevrolet, Earnhardt Ganassi Racing
DRIVER: Jamie McMurray
BORN: June 3, 1976
HOMETOWN: Joplin, Mo.
CREW CHIEF: Kevin "Bono" Manion
NOTES: Doesn't have a win since winning the Daytona 500, the Brickyard 400 and at Charlotte in the same season (2010). ... Finished 21st in points last season. ... Along with teammate Juan Pablo Montoya, McMurray is looking for better results this season with NASCAR's redesigned "Generation 6" car.
No. 22 Ford, Penske Racing
DRIVER: Joey Logano
BORN: May 24, 1990
HOMETOWN: Middletown, Conn.
CREW CHIEF: Todd Gordon
SPONSOR: Shell Pennzoil
NOTES: Starting over at Penske Racing after four mediocre seasons at Joe Gibbs Racing. The can't-miss kid nicknamed "Sliced Bread" won twice in 144 starts with JGR. ... Now teamed with defending Cup champion Brad Keselowski, Logano takes over a car recently driven by Kurt Busch (fired) and AJ Allmendinger (suspended).
No. 34 Ford, Front Row Motorsports
DRIVER: David Ragan
BORN: Dec. 24, 1985
HOMETOWN: Unadilla, Ga.
CREW CHIEF: Jay Guy
SPONSOR: Detail Doctor
NOTES: Second season driving for Front Row Motorsports after getting cut loose by Roush Fenway Racing. Finished 28th in points last year, highlighted by two top-10s at Talladega. ... Crashed on the second lap of the 2012 Daytona 500.
No. 47 Toyota, JTG Daugherty Racing
DRIVER: Bobby Labonte
BORN: May 8, 1964
HOMETOWN: Corpus Christi, Texas
CREW CHIEF: Brian Burns
NOTES: The 2000 Cup champion hasn't won a race in NASCAR's top series since 2003. ... Finished 23rd in points last season, his second with JTG Daugherty Racing. ... Hasn't won a Cup race at Daytona, an 0-for-40 streak that's unlikely to end in 2013.
No. 9 Toyota, Richard Petty Motorsports
DRIVER: Marcos Ambrose
BORN: Sept. 1, 1976
HOMETOWN: Launceston, Tasmania
CREW CHIEF: Drew Blickensderfer
NOTES: Finished 18th in points last season, with the highlight being a win at Watkins Glen. ... Is working with his third crew chief in the last six months. He started 2012 with Todd Parrott, switched to Mike Ford in the middle of the season and ended the year with Drew Blickensderfer.