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A look at drivers competing in 2013 Daytona 500

  • Article by: The Associated Press
  • Associated Press
  • February 21, 2013 - 8:11 PM

No. 14 Chevrolet, Stewart-Haas Racing

DRIVER: Tony Stewart

BORN: May 20, 1971

HOMETOWN: Columbus, Ind.

CREW CHIEF: Steve Addington

SPONSOR: Bass Pro Shops/Mobil 1

TWITTER: None

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

SPONSOR: Aaron's

TWITTER: (at)55MarkMartin

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

TWITTER: (at)keselowski

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

SPONSOR: Menard's

TWITTER: (at)RCR27PMenard

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

SPONSOR: Geico

TWITTER: (at)CaseyMears13

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

SPONSOR: Caterpillar

TWITTER: None

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

TWITTER: None

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

SPONSOR: McDonald's

TWITTER: (at)jamiemcmurray

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

TWITTER: (at)joeylogano

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

TWITTER: (at)DavidRagan

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

SPONSOR: Kroger

TWITTER: (at)Bobby_Labonte

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

SPONSOR: Stanley

TWITTER: (at)MarcosAmbrose

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.

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