A glance at the drivers competing in the 2012 Sprint Cup Series:
No. 1 Chevrolet, Earnhardt Ganassi Racing
DRIVER: Jamie McMurray
BORN: June 3, 1976
HOMETOWN: Joplin, Mo.
CREW CHIEF: Kevin ``Bono'' Manion
SPONSOR: Bass Pro Shops/McDonalds
NOTES: McMurray had a rough 2011 season, notching just four top-10 finishes. He was 27th in the final point standings.
No. 2 Dodge, Penske Racing
DRIVER: Brad Keselowski
BORN: Feb. 12, 1984
HOMETOWN: Rochester Hills, Mich.
CREW CHIEF: Paul Wolfe
SPONSOR: Miller Lite
NOTES: Keselowski is coming off a breakthrough season, with three wins and a spot in the Chase for the Sprint Cup championship. He was fifth in the final standings.
No. 5 Chevrolet, Hendrick Motorsports
DRIVER: Kasey Kahne
BORN: April 10, 1980
HOMETOWN: Enumclaw, Wash.
CREW CHIEF: Kenny Francis
SPONSOR: Farmers Insurance
NOTES: Signed with Hendrick Motorsports in early 2010 but had to wait until this season to get into his new seat. Brought his longtime crew chief with him.
No. 9 Ford, Richard Petty Motorsports
DRIVER: Marcos Ambrose
BORN: Sept. 1, 1976
HOMETOWN: Launceston, Tasmania
CREW CHIEF: Todd Parrott
SPONSOR: Stanley/Black & Decker/DeWalt/Kwikset
NOTES: Ambrose won his first career Sprint Cup Series race last season on the road course at Watkins Glen. He had 12 top-10 finishes and was 19th in the final points.
No. 10 Chevrolet, Stewart-Haas Racing
DRIVER: Danica Patrick
BORN: March 25, 1982
HOMETOWN: Roscoe, Ill.
CREW CHIEF: Greg Zipadelli
SPONSOR: GoDaddy.com
NOTES: Patrick is making her Sprint Cup Series debut in the Daytona 500 and will run 10 races total for new boss Tony Stewart. She also will run the full Nationwide Series schedule for JR Motorsports.
No. 00 Chevrolet, Tommy Baldwin Racing
DRIVER: David Reutimann
BORN: March 2, 1970
HOMETOWN: Zephyrhills, Fla.
CREW CHIEF: Tommy Baldwin
SPONSOR: (To Be Determined)
NOTES: Lost his ride with Michael Waltrip Racing late in 2011 season. Has teamed with Baldwin to run 26 races in which Patrick does not compete, but actual entries will depend on sponsorship.
No. 11 Toyota, Joe Gibbs Racing
DRIVER: Denny Hamlin
BORN: Nov. 18, 1980
HOMETOWN: Chesterfield, Va.
CREW CHIEF: Darian Grubb
NOTES: Had a miserable 2011 season after just missing out on the championship the year before. Team replaced longtime crew chief Mike Ford in December with Grubb, who led Tony Stewart to the title.
No. 13 Ford, Germain Racing
DRIVER: Casey Mears
BORN: March 12, 1978
HOMETOWN: Bakersfield, Calif.
CREW CHIEF: Robert ``Bootie'' Barker
NOTES: Beginning his second season with Germain Racing, Mears made all but the season-opening Daytona 500 last season. Team was a start-and-park at times last year but hopes to race entire season in 2012.
No. 14 Chevrolet, Stewart-Haas Racing
DRIVER: Tony Stewart
BORN: May 20, 1971
HOMETOWN: Columbus, Ind.
CREW CHIEF: Steve Addington
SPONSOR: Office Depot/Mobil 1
NOTES: Stewart turned it up at the start of the Chase, winning five of the 10 races and his third championship. But he overhauled his organization during the offseason, replacing crew chief Darian Grubb with Addington, who spent last year with Kurt Busch.
No. 15 Toyota, Michael Waltrip Racing
DRIVER: Clint Bowyer
BORN: May 30, 1979
HOMETOWN: Emporia, Kan.
CREW CHIEF: Brian Pattie
SPONSOR: Five Hour Energy Drink
NOTES: Bowyer begins his first season with MWR after six seasons with Richard Childress Racing. He won at Talladega last fall and finished 13th in points.
No. 16 Ford, Roush Fenway Racing
DRIVER: Greg Biffle
BORN: Dec. 23, 1969
HOMETOWN: Vancouver, Wash.
CREW CHIEF: Matt Puccia
NOTES: Biffle had an off year and missed the Chase for the first time since 2007. He finished 16th in points with 10 top-10 finishes.
No. 17 Ford, Roush Fenway Racing
DRIVER: Matt Kenseth
BORN: March 10, 1972
HOMETOWN: Cambridge, Wis.
CREW CHIEF: Jimmy Fennig
SPONSOR: Valvoline/Best Buy
NOTES: Had his best season in years in 2011, winning three races and finishing fourth in the final standings.
No. 18 Toyota, Joe Gibbs Racing
DRIVER: Kyle Busch
BORN: May 2, 1985
CREW CHIEF: Dave Rogers
SPONSOR: M&Ms/Interstate Batteries/Doublemint
NOTES: Busch ended the regular season as the top seed in the Chase but faltered in his title run. Suspended by NASCAR for intentionally wrecking Ron Hornaday Jr. in a truck race at Texas, and that incident nearly cost him his job with JGR. Won't run in any Trucks Series races this year and is cutting back his Nationwide participation.
No. 20 Toyota, Joe Gibbs Racing
DRIVER: Joey Logano
BORN: May 24, 1990
HOMETOWN: Middletown, Conn.
CREW CHIEF: Jason Ratcliff
SPONSOR: Home Depot/Dollar General
NOTES: Logano was rumored to be in danger of losing his job as JGR courted Carl Edwards over the summer. He's back, with a new crew chief, but in the final year of his contract.
No. 21 Ford, Wood Brothers Racing
DRIVER: Trevor Bayne
BORN: Feb. 19, 1991
HOMETOWN: Knoxville, Tenn.
CREW CHIEF: Donnie Wingo
SPONSOR: Ford Motorcraft/Quick Lane
NOTES: An upset winner of the Daytona 500, Bayne didn't run the full season as sponsorship issues with the Wood Brothers and a bout with Lyme disease limited him to 17 events.
No. 22 Dodge, Penske Racing
DRIVER: AJ Allmendinger
BORN: Dec. 16, 1981
HOMETOWN: Los Gatos, Calif.
CREW CHIEF: Todd Gordon
SPONSOR: Shell-Pennzoil/AAA
NOTES: Landed the best job of his NASCAR career when Penske Racing parted ways with Kurt Busch in December. Goes into the season on a high after driving the final leg for the winning team in the prestigious Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona race.
No. 24 Chevrolet, Hendrick Motorsports
DRIVER: Jeff Gordon
BORN: Aug. 4, 1971
HOMETOWN: Pittsboro, Ind.
CREW CHIEF: Alan Gustafson
SPONSOR: Drive To End Hunger/DuPont
NOTES: Gordon went into the Chase with high hopes of winning his fifth NASCAR championship. Had troubles at the start though and finished eighth in the final points after a three-win season.
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
NOTES: Scored the first win of his Cup career with an emotional victory at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Had a career-best eight top-10s and finished a career-best 17th in the final points.
No. 29 Chevrolet, Richard Childress Racing
DRIVER: Kevin Harvick
BORN: Dec. 8, 1975
HOMETOWN: Bakersfield, Calif.
CREW CHIEF: Shane Wilson
SPONSOR: Budweiser/Jimmy Johns/Rheem
NOTES: Harvick won four races and figured to be a strong threat for the championship. Instead, he finished third in the standings for the second consecutive year.
No. 30 Toyota, Inception Motorsports
DRIVER: David Stremme
BORN: June 19, 1977
HOMETOWN: South Bend, Ind.
CREW CHIEF: Steven Lane
SPONSOR: (To Be Determined)
NOTES: Ran 18 races last season with a best finish of 32nd at Bristol.
No. 31 Chevrolet, Richard Childress Racing
DRIVER: Jeff Burton
BORN: June 29, 1967
HOMETOWN: South Boston, Va.
CREW CHIEF: Drew Blickensderfer
SPONSOR: Caterpillar/BB&T
NOTES: Had his third consecutive winless season and finished 20th in the standings - his lowest finish in the points since 1995. Goes into the year with a new crew chief.
No. 34 Ford, Front Row Motorsports
DRIVER: David Ragan
BORN: Dec. 24, 1985
HOMETOWN: Unadilla, Ga.
SPONSOR: (To Be Determined)
NOTES: Despite winning his first career race - at Daytona in July - Ragan lost his ride with Roush Fenway Racing when his sponsor pulled back. He landed with Front Row in January.
No. 36 Chevrolet, Tommy Baldwin Racing
DRIVER: Dave Blaney
BORN: Oct. 24, 1962
HOMETOWN: Hartford, Ohio
CREW CHIEF: Ryan Pemberton
SPONSOR: Accell Construction
NOTES: Finished season inside top-35 in points but lost his guaranteed spot in the Daytona 500 when the team made a deal with Stewart and Patrick for points.
No. 38 Ford, Front Row Motorsports
DRIVER: David Gilliland
BORN: April 1, 1976
HOMETOWN: Riverside, Calif.
CREW CHIEF: Pat Tryson
SPONSOR: (To Be Determined)
NOTES: Although he finished 30th in the final standings, Gilliland was outstanding in restrictor-plate races and was third in the Daytona 500.
No. 39 Chevrolet, Stewart-Haas Racing
DRIVER: Ryan Newman
BORN: Dec. 8, 1977
HOMETOWN: South Bend, Ind.
CREW CHIEF: Tony Gibson
SPONSOR: U.S. Army/Haas/Tornados/Quicken Loans
NOTES: Newman won one race and had 17 top-10 finishes - his most since 2003. He finished 10th in the Chase.
No. 42 Chevrolet, Earnhardt Ganassi Racing
DRIVER: Juan Pablo Montoya
BORN: Sept. 20, 1975
HOMETOWN: Bogota, Colombia
CREW CHIEF: Chris Heroy
NOTES: Had a slow year as he notched just eight top-10 finishes and went winless. Finished 21st in the standings and goes into season with a first-year crew chief.
No. 43 Ford, Richard Petty Motorsports
DRIVER: Aric Almirola
BORN: March 14, 1984
HOMETOWN: Tampa, Fla.
CREW CHIEF: Greg Erwin
SPONSOR: Smithfield Foods/U.S. Air Force
NOTES: Landed a return to the Cup Series as part of late musical chairs created when Penske parted ways with Kurt Busch. Almirola replaced Allmendinger.
No. 47 Toyota, JTG-Daugherty Racing
DRIVER: Bobby Labonte
BORN: May 8, 1964
HOMETOWN: Corpus Christi, Texas
CREW CHIEF: Todd Berrier
SPONSOR: Bush's/Clorox/Kingsford/Kleenex/Lance
NOTES: Labonte, the 2000 Cup champion, hasn't won a race since 2003. Was 29th in points last season with two top-10s.
No. 48 Chevrolet, Hendrick Motorsports
DRIVER: Jimmie Johnson
BORN: Sept. 17, 1975
HOMETOWN: El Cajon, Calif.
CREW CHIEF: Chad Knaus
NOTES: His streak of five consecutive titles was snapped last season as Johnson, who won a career-low two races, finished a career low sixth in points.
No. 49 Toyota, Robinson-Blakeney Racing
DRIVER: J.J. Yeley
BORN: Oct. 5, 1976
HOMETOWN: Phoenix, Ariz.
SPONSOR: (To Be Determined)
NOTES: Ran 31 races last year, mostly in start-and-park situations.
No. 51 Chevrolet, Phoenix Racing
DRIVER: Kurt Busch
BORN: Aug. 4, 1978
CREW CHIEF: Nick Harrison
SPONSOR: (To Be Determined)
NOTES: Although he won two races and made the Chase, Busch struggled with anger issues and parted ways with Penske Racing at the end of the season. He has said he's seeing a sports psychologist.
No. 55 Toyota, Michael Waltrip Racing
DRIVER: Mark Martin
BORN: Jan. 9, 1959
HOMETOWN: Batesville, Ark.
CREW CHIEF: Rodney Childers
SPONSOR: Aaron's Dream Machine
NOTES: Cutting back his schedule, Martin won't run all the races. Team owner Waltrip wants to run some events when Martin does not.
No. 56 Toyota, Michael Waltrip Racing
DRIVER: Martin Truex Jr.
BORN: June 29, 1980
HOMETOWN: Mayetta, N.J.
CREW CHIEF: Chad Johnston
NOTES: Truex enters his third season at MWR still looking for his first victory and a berth for MWR in the Chase.
No. 78 Chevrolet, Furniture Row Motorsports
DRIVER: Regan Smith
BORN: Sept. 23, 1983
CREW CHIEF: Pete Rondeau
SPONSOR: Furniture Row
NOTES: Had the best year of his career, winning at Darlington and finishing a career-best 26th in points.
No. 87 Toyota, NEMCO Motorsports
DRIVER: Joe Nemechek
BORN: Sept. 26, 1963
HOMETOWN: Lakeland, Fla.
CREW CHIEF: Steve Gray
SPONSOR: (To Be Determined)
NOTES: Started all 36 races last season but was running at the end of only one, Daytona in July. Completed 1,259 of 10,650 laps.
No. 88 Chevrolet, Hendrick Motorsports
DRIVER: Dale Earnhardt Jr.
BORN: Oct. 10, 1974
HOMETOWN: Kannapolis, N.C.
CREW CHIEF: Steve Letarte
SPONSOR: Diet Mountain Dew/National Guard
NOTES: NASCAR's most popular driver made the Chase for the first time since 2008 but went winless for a third consecutive year. Finished seventh in the points.
No. 98 Ford, Phil Parsons Racing
DRIVER: Michael McDowell
BORN: Dec. 21, 1984
HOMETOWN: Glendale, Ariz.
SPONSOR: (To Be Determined)
NOTES: McDowell was a start-and-park for this team last year and was running at the end of three of his 32 starts.
No. 99 Ford, Roush Fenway Racing
DRIVER: Carl Edwards
BORN: Aug. 15, 1979
HOMETOWN: Columbia, Mo.
CREW CHIEF: Bob Osborne
SPONSOR: Fastenal/Kellogg's/Best Buy
NOTES: Narrowly lost the championship to Tony Stewart in the season finale. Signed a contract with RFR in August, ending a frenzied free agency period for Edwards.

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