Casey Mears

CAR: No. 07 Chevrolet.

TEAM: Richard Childress Racing.

BORN: March 12, 1978.

HOMETOWN: Bakersfield, Calif.

CREW CHIEF: Gil Martin.

NOTES: Moving from Hendrick Motorsports to become RCR's fourth Cup driver, Mears takes over the car driven into the Chase last year by Clint Bowyer, who moves to RCR's new No. 33. In six full seasons in Cup, Mears has 12 top-fives, including a victory at Lowe's Motor Speedway in the 2007 Coca-Cola 600.

Martin Truex Jr.

CAR: No. 1 Chevrolet.

TEAM: Earnhardt Ganassi Racing.

BORN: June 29, 1980.

HOMETOWN: Mayetta, N.J.

CREW CHIEF: Kevin " Bono" Manion.

NOTES: Part of newly merged team that brought together Dale Earnhardt Inc., for whom he has driven since starting his first Nationwide Series race in 2001, and Chip Ganassi Racing. Had disappointing season in 2008 after getting first Cup victory and making the field for the Chase the previous year. He starts on the pole today.

Kurt Busch

CAR: No. 2 Dodge.

TEAM: Penske Racing.

BORN: Aug. 4, 1978.

HOMETOWN: Las Vegas.

CREW CHIEF: Pat Tryson.

NOTES: 2004 Cup champion ran his string of seasons with at least one victory to seven with a rain-shortened win at New Hampshire. Otherwise, season was disappointing as Busch failed to make the Chase for only the second time since the postseason competition was initiated the year he won the title.

Mark Martin

CAR: No. 5 Chevrolet.