Danica Patrick delivers a special video message to young Katie Whatley, who is battling cancer.
In-depth look at men calling the shots for title contenders RELATED: Crew chiefs aim to keep it the same " Learn more about Newman's pit crew MORE: Follow your picks in the Chase Battle Grid Presented by Toyota Where did these four guys come from? What have they done in the past? A glance at the crew chiefs who will try to guide their respective teams to their first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship Sunday at Homestead-Miami Speedway : RODNEY CHILDERS Age: 38 " Hometown: Mooresville, North Carolina Team: Stewart-Haas Racing No. 4 Chevrolet Driver: Kevin Harvick Career crew chief wins: 7 Chase appearances: 1 Championships: 0 First premier series win as crew chief: 2009 Coca-Cola 600 , Charlotte Motor Speedway , with driver David Reutimann ( Michael Waltrip Racing No. 00 Toyota) Previous NASCAR racing experience • 2003: Mechanic, Penske-Jasper Racing No. 77 Dodge in NASCAR Sprint Cup Series with driver Dave Blaney • 2004: Car chief, Penske-Jasper Racing No. 77 Dodge with driver Brendan Gaughan • 2005: Replaced Doug Randolph after 14 races as crew chief of the MB2 Motorsports No. 10 Chevrolet with driver Scott Riggs • 2006: Crew chief for Riggs, MB2 Motorsports; finished 20th in points • 2007: Crew chief for Riggs, Patrick Carpentier and Elliott Sadler (MB2 Motorsports No. 10 Dodge) • 2008: Crew chief for Elliott Sadler (35 of 36 races) and Gillett Evernham Motorsports No. 19 Dodge; 24th-place points finish • 2009: Began three-year tenure as crew chief for driver David Reutimann , Michael Waltrip Racing No. 00 Toyota; 16th-place points finish, which was best of relationship. • 2012: Crew chief for No. 55 MWR Toyota with drivers Mark Martin , Brian Vickers and Michael Waltrip • 2013: Crew chief for No. 55 MWR Toyota with drivers Mark Martin , Brian Vickers and Michael Waltrip TODD GORDON Age: 45 " Hometown: Camden, New York Team: Team Penske No. 22 Ford Driver: Joey Logano Career crew chief wins: 6 Chase appearances: 2 Championships: 0 First premier series win as crew chief: 2013 Pure Michigan 400 , Michigan International Speedway with driver Joey Logano (Team Penske No. 22 Ford) Previous NASCAR racing experience • 2000-02: Fabricator, mechanic and race engineer with Joe Gibbs Racing • 2002: Joined ppc Racing in the NASCAR Nationwide Series • 2005: Named crew chief of ppc Racing No. 10 Ford with drivers Michel Jourdain and Brent Sherman • 2006: Crew chief for Jourdain, Todd Kluever, Kenny Wallace at ppc • 2007: Crew chief and general manager for CJM Racing and No. 10 Chevrolet with driver Jason Keller, Kyle Krisiloff, Marc Mitchell • 2008: Eleventh in points with Keller through 28 races before departing to join Baker Curb Racing; three races with Scott Lagasse as driver • 2009: Crew chief for Keller at Baker Curb Racing in No. 27 Ford; eighth-place points finish • 2010: Race engineer Diamond-Waltrip Racing • 2011: Scored six wins (five with Brad Keselowski , one with Kurt Busch ) as crew chief of Team Penske’s No. 22 NASCAR Nationwide Series Ford • 2012: Named crew chief of the Team Penske No. 22 Ford with driver AJ Allmendinger (subsequently replaced by Sam Hornish Jr . after 17 races) in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series • 2013: Guided Joey Logano to one win, eighth-place points finish in Chase for the Sprint Cup DARIAN GRUBB Age: 39 " Hometown: Floyd, Virginia Team: Joe Gibbs Racing No. 11 Toyota Driver: Denny Hamlin Career crew chief wins: 21 Chase appearances: 5 Championships: 1 First premier series win as crew chief: 2006 Daytona 500 , Daytona International Speedway with driver Jimmie Johnson (Hendrick Motorsports No. 48 Chevrolet) Previous NASCAR racing experience • 2006: Won twice in interim crew chief role for Hendrick Motorsports with driver Jimmie Johnson , including Daytona 500 • 2007: Won Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway with Hendrick Motorsports and driver Casey Mears ; 15th-place points finish • 2009: Moved to Stewart-Haas Racing to become crew chief for Tony Stewart and No. 14 SHR team. Won four points races, as well as Sprint-All Star race; sixth-place points finish • 2010: Two wins with Stewart at SHR; seventh-place points finish • 2011: Won five times, all in the Chase, with Stewart at SHR en route to series title after learning he would not be retained for 2012 • 2011: Named crew chief for Joe Gibbs Racing No. 11 team and driver Denny Hamlin on Dec. 9 • 2012: Guided Hamlin to five wins and sixth-place points finish • 2013: One win with Hamlin, who missed four races due to injury; 23rd-place points finish Note: Grubb was fined $125,000, suspended by NASCAR for six races and placed on six months probation earlier this season for a rules violation at Indianapolis Motor Speedway . LUKE LAMBERT Age: 32 " Hometown: Mount Airy, North Carolina Team: Richard Childress Racing No. 31 Chevrolet Driver: Ryan Newman Career crew chief wins: 0 Chase appearances: 1 Championships: 0 First premier series win as crew chief: None Previous NASCAR racing experience • 2005-08: Junior engineer at Richard Childress Racing • 2008-11: Lead engineer, Richard Childress Racing No. 31 Chevrolet • 2011: Replaced Todd Berrier as crew chief of Richard Childress Racing No. 31 Chevrolet with driver Jeff Burton for final 17 races of season; 20th-place points finish • 2012: Crew chief of Richard Childress Racing No. 2 Chevrolet in NASCAR Nationwide Series and driver Elliott Sadler ; led Sadler to four wins and second-place points finish. • 2013: Returned to Sprint Cup Series as crew chief of Richard Childress Racing No. 31 Chevrolet with driver Jeff Burton ; 20th-place points finish Note: Lambert and Newman are one of two first-year driver/crew chief pairings contending for the championship, along with Childers/Harvick. MORE: READ: Latest Chase news PLAY: Monitor your Chase Grid Game picks WATCH: Latest NASCAR video FOLLOW LIVE: Get RaceView
Take a stroll through the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series garage with Matthew Dillner at Richmond International Raceway.
Matt Strickert and Matthew Dillner look at the trends from previous short-track races in 2015, and at Richmond International Raceway, as the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series prepares for the Toyota Owners 400.
Jeff Gordon, Matt Kenseth and Danica Patrick react after their top-10 finishes at Martinsville Speedway.
No. 10 driver finished sixth at Atlanta in 2014, now ranks 18th in standings Play: NASCAR Fantasy Live HAMPTON, Ga. -- Danica Patrick , 21st a week ago in the season-opening Daytona 500, returns to the site of her best finish in a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race this weekend as teams prepare for Sunday's Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway (1 p.m. ET, FOX). Patrick , beginning her third season of full-time Sprint Cup competition, finished sixth here last August, one of four top-10 results since she debuted in the Stewart-Haas Racing No. 10 Chevrolet. It's her fifth race with crew chief Daniel Knost after SHR made a crew chief swap late in the '14 season. Knost had previously worked with teammate Kurt Busch while Patrick's efforts had been under the direction of veteran Tony Gibson. "It went good the last time," Patrick said Friday of her last visit to the 1.54-mile track. "It probably sucked before that. That's just the way racing is -- sometimes you're good and sometimes you're not." Teams spent almost four hours on the track Thursday, testing the new 2015 rules package in two separate sessions. Patrick ended the first 18th on the board and was 14th in the final session. Patrick called Thursday's efforts "a good, steady day." "We found some things that were good and some ... that weren't as good," she said. "I feel like in a race weekend, if you can find one or two good changes to your race car that don't hurt it in ... any way but help it somewhere ... that you have a shot at a decent weekend and being competitive." Her first outing with Knost atop the pit box "was kind of a disaster," she said, referring to a 36th-place finish in the fall race at Texas last season. But the team closed the year with a 22nd-place result on the one-mile Phoenix layout and an 18th a week later in the season-ending stop at Homestead-Miami Speedway. She finished 28th in points, one spot below her 2013 results. At Daytona this year, where track position is often dictated by the whims of the draft, Patrick ran as high as the top 10 as well as outside the top 25. The same could be said for many of those competing in the season-opening event. She enters this weekend’s race 18th in the standings, with 83 career starts in the series. It's still a learning process, and the potential for continued improvement exists. "It is our unrealized potential that is exciting to me," she said. "It is my fourth year in stock cars (she ran a partial Sprint Cup schedule in '12 while competing fulltime in the XFINITY Series), and my third year in Cup. It's Daniel's sixth year in NASCAR and his second year as a crew chief. We don't have a ton of experience and you would think that there is only 'up' to go. "The potential of where we could end up and where we can get to is encouraging." MORE: READ: Latest NASCAR news PLAY: Sign up for Fantasy Live WATCH: Latest NASCAR video FOLLOW LIVE: Get RaceView today FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
Danica Patrick and Denny Hamllin involved in wreck during practice for the DAYTONA 500 that forces Danica to a back-up car.
Denny Hamlin makes contact with Danica Patrick with 3 laps to go in the second Budweiser Duel at Daytona.
Danica Patrick talks about how unpredictable the Daytona 500 will be and how she's prepared for the 2015 season.
Drivers Danica Patrick and Kasey Kahne talk about starting the 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup season off with new crew chiefs.