- Associated Press - Wednesday, February 15, 2012

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

SPONSOR: FedEx

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

SPONSOR: Geico

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

SPONSOR: 3M

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

HOMETOWN: Las Vegas

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.

CREW CHIEF: Jay Guy

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

SPONSOR: Target

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

SPONSOR: Lowe’s

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.

CREW CHIEF: Tony Furr

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

HOMETOWN: Las Vegas

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

SPONSOR: NAPA Auto Parts

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

HOMETOWN: Cato, N.Y.

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.

CREW CHIEF: Gene Nead

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.