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Preseason Thunder entry list takes shape

January 08, 2013, Staff report, NASCAR.com

Preseason Thunder entry list takes shape
Robust roster of 35 Sprint Cup teams set for three-day test

A total of 35 cars make up the preliminary entry list for this week's Preseason Thunder, the first on-track activity for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series this year.

PRESEASON THUNDER
BROADCAST SCHEDULE

Sprint Cup Series testing; all times Eastern

Live stream: Watch Preseason Thunder morning sessions on SPEEDtv.com

Thursday, Jan. 10
9 a.m.-noon - SPEEDtv.com
1 p.m.-5 p.m. - SPEED

Friday, Jan. 11
9 a.m.-noon - SPEEDtv.com
1 p.m.-5 p.m. - SPEED

Saturday, Jan. 12
9 a.m.-noon - SPEEDtv.com
1 p.m.-5 p.m. - SPEED

The entry list, which includes defending Sprint Cup champion Brad Keselowski, was released Tuesday by NASCAR in advance of Thursday's opening day of the three-day test at Daytona International Speedway.

The test session features seven hours of testing each day, providing teams the chance to shake down the sixth-generation Sprint Cup car that will make its competition debut on the 2.5-mile oval next month. A select number of teams will participate in the newly renamed Sprint Unlimited (formerly the Budweiser Shootout) on Feb. 16 as a prelude to the Feb. 24 Daytona 500 -- NASCAR's crown jewel race.

The test, which includes a fan festival and autograph session for spectators, will mark the first laps for the Gen-6 car on a restrictor-plate track since October's one-day session at 2.66-mile Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway. SPEED will broadcast live coverage of testing on all three days from 1 to 5 p.m. ET, and have live streaming coverage here from 9 a.m. to noon ET each day.

Hendrick Motorsports and Richard Childress Racing will have the most representation at the three-day event with four teams each in attendance.

While the Hendrick contingent will comprise its four full-time drivers from last season, the Childress bunch will include an extra entry for Austin Dillon, last year's top rookie in the NASCAR Nationwide Series.

Dillon is scheduled to make his Daytona 500 debut and compete in a handful of Sprint Cup races this season in preparation for a full-time ride in NASCAR's premier series in 2014.

While Keselowski returns with the same crew chief, car owner and car number all intact, the Roger Penske-owned championship team will continue to bond with new teammate Joey Logano and adjust to a switch in manufacturers. Penske changed from Dodge to Ford in the offseason, returning to the blue oval fold after a 10-year absence.

See below for the complete preliminary entry list:

Car No.
Team Name Driver
1
Earnhardt Ganassi Racing Jamie McMurray
2
Penske Racing Brad Keselowski
5
Hendrick Motorsports Kasey Kahne
9
Richard Petty Motorsports Marcos Ambrose
10
Stewart Haas Racing Danica Patrick
11
Joe Gibbs Racing Denny Hamlin
13
Germain Racing Casey Mears
14
Stewart Haas Racing Tony Stewart
15
Michael Waltrip Racing Clint Bowyer
16
Roush Fenway Racing Greg Biffle
17
Roush Fenway Racing Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
18
Joe Gibbs Racing Kyle Busch
20
Joe Gibbs Racing Matt Kenseth
21
Wood Bros Racing Trevor Bayne
22
Penske Racing Joey Logano
24
Hendrick Motorsports Jeff Gordon
27
Richard Childress Racing Paul Menard
29
Richard Childress Racing Kevin Harvick
31
Richard Childress Racing Jeff Burton
33
Richard Childress Racing Austin Dillon
36
Tommy Baldwin Racing Dave Blaney
38
Front Row Motorsports Josh Wise
39
Stewart Haas Racing Ryan Newman
42
EGR Juan Pablo Montoya
43
Richard Petty Motorsports Aric Almirola
47
JTG-Daugherty Racing Bobby Labonte
48
Hendrick Motorsports Jimmie Johnson
51
Phoenix Racing Regan Smith
55
Michael Waltrip Racing Mark Martin
56
Michael Waltrip Racing Martin Truex
78
Furniture Row Racing Kurt Busch
83
BK Racing Travis Kvapil/David Reutimann
88
Hendrick Motorsports Dale Earnhardt Jr.
95
Leavine Family Racing Scott Speed
99
Roush Fenway Racing Carl Edwards