Season-Opener at Daytona Results in a Top-10 Finish for the Target Team
Results from Daytona International Speedway/Daytona 500
1. Trevor Bayne, No. 21 Ford
6. Juan Pablo Montoya, No. 42 Target Chevrolet
18. Jamie McMurray, No. 1 Bass Pro Shops/Tracker Boats Chevrolet
Daytona Beach, FL. (February 20, 2010) – Juan Pablo Montoya and teammate Jamie McMurray looked to defend Earnhardt Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates’ title of Daytona 500 champions at the 53rd running of the “Great American Race” over the weekend. The No. 42 Target endured two close calls out on the track and fell as low as 38th before gaining momentum and finishing out the day in the sixth-position.
Montoya started the Daytona 500 in the 13th position and paired up with McMurray as soon as the green flag waved. The two worked together in a two-car draft, swapping back and forth throughout the race. The No. 42 Target Chevrolet sustained some damage twice out on the track but was able to recover with multiple pit stops and some drafting help from his teammate to keep maintain track position. Crew chief Brian Pattie also made fuel only and two tire calls in order to keep valuable track position and align themselves with their teammate. With 25 laps remaining, Montoya found himself in an awkward position as McMurray lost a cylinder and was not able to draft with the No. 42 Chevrolet. Montoya looked for a new “dancing partner” and worked his way up in the top-10 after two green-white-checkered instances. The Target Chevrolet found itself in the mix at the end and crossed the finish line in the sixth position.
The Daytona 500 will go down in the record books with 74 lead changes amongst 22 drivers, and Montoya was one of those drivers leading five laps. The top-10 finish also places Montoya in the top-five in the point standings leaving Daytona. He currently sits fifth with 39 points, three points behind leader Carl Edwards.
“It was an eventful race,” Montoya stated. “We worked with Jamie all day and at the end of the day, he had a problem with the motor or the car and he couldn't keep up. We were lucky to get those cautions, I thought we had a shot at it coming down the back straight. Overall, it was a great points day. You know. It is points, points, points. We made really good points and I think we have really good cars. If you would have told me with 15 laps to go I was going to finish where I finished, I would have said no.
The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series will head out west next to Phoenix International Raceway for the Subway Fresh Fit 500. The race will air live on FOX and radio stations affiliated with MRN at 3:00 pm (ET).