MCMURRAY, MONTOYA HEAD TO NEW ENGLAND
New Hampshire Motor Speedway Advance Notes
Race: Lenox Industrial Tools 301 on Sunday, July 17
Track: New Hampshire Motor Speedway (1.058-mile oval)
Location: Loudon, N.H.
Follow EGR on Twitter: Continue to follow Earnhardt Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates on their official team Twitter page. Follow the No. 1 and No. 42 teams throughout the 2011 season @EGRTeams.
Jamie McMurray and No. 1 Bass Pro Shops® / Tracker Boats Team
Bass Pro Shops Returns: After a six week absence, Bass Pro Shops® returns as the primary sponsor of the No. 1 Chevrolet team this weekend at New Hampshire. Bass Pro Shops is an outdoor retail leader in hunting, camping, nature gifts, outdoor cooking, and much more. From a simple beginning, Bass Pro Shops has become one of America’s premier outdoor retailers with destination outdoor retail stores across the United States and Canada, serving over 75 million sportsmen a year.
New Hampshire History: Jamie McMurray will be making his 17th NASCAR Sprint Cup series start at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on Sunday afternoon at the 1.058-mile oval. McMurray has three top-five starts with a best of third in September 2003. He has also picked up two top-five and four top-10 finishes at NHMS with a best finish of third in the opening race of last season’s chase.
Keep on Running: McMurray has been running at the finish in 13 of his 16 career starts at New Hampshire. He has completed over 91% (4378 of 4766) of the laps run at the track since his first start in 2003.
Kentucky Recap: The No. 1 team would start the event from the 34th-position. The crew went to work from the first pit stop, a NASCAR mandated competition caution on lap 30, to adjust the car and keep McMurray competitive and on the lead lap. Everything was going according to plan as the McDonald’s Chevrolet was able to maintain position on the lead lap and continue to improve handling. However, just 15 laps after pitting on lap 186 the night of hard work would come to an abrupt end when the engine on the McDonald’s Chevrolet let go resulting in a 36th-place finish.
In the Points: Following his 36th-place finish at Kentucky Speedway, McMurray and the No. 1 Team dropped a spot in the NSCS point standings to 28th. He is now 238 points behind the leader and 143 points outside of the top-10.
Mid-Season Report: To this point, the 2011 NSCS season has tested the will of the No. 1 team. Since racing began at Daytona in February, McMurray has earned two top-10 finishes and one pole-position. His average start is 16.1 and his average finish is 22.9. The No. 1 team has completed 90.6% of the 5295 laps run this season and has been out front for 62 of them. The Bass Pro Shops® / Tracker Boats Chevrolet is currently 28th in the points standings and 143 points out of 10th-place, the cut-off for the Chase.
Sweet Homecoming: Several of the team members from the No. 1 Earnhardt Ganassi team hail from New England and consider NHMS to be their home-track on the NSCS schedule. These team members are: Crew Chief Kevin “Bono” Manion (Boylston, Mass.), Car Chief Gary Putnam (Vernon, Conn.), Front Tire Carrier Doug Riepe (Danbury, Conn.), and Pit Support Tim Kean (Worchester, Mass.)
- Manion got his start working in the NASCAR Modified Series. After several years working with some of the top names in that division, he relocated to North Carolina, eventually joining the Dale Earnhardt Inc. family, and becoming the crew chief of the Bass Pro Shops/Tracker Boats team for Earnhardt Ganassi Racing.
- At the age of 16, Gary Putnam also began his racing career in the modified series. Putnam has moved through the ranks and served as both car chief and crew chief for several teams in the NSCS including Bahari Racing, Bill Elliott Racing, MBV Motorsports, Petty Enterprises and PPI Motorsports before joining EGR as Chief Mechanic on the No. 1 team.
- Doug Riepe was a standout baseball player at Immaculate High School and was named the 2000 Connecticut Athlete of the Year. Riepe played baseball at Wake Forest University and was a member of the Deacon’s team that won the 2001 ACC Championship. Upon graduating from Wake Forest, he was hired by Chip Ganassi Racing as part of the pit crew development team. He currently handles the duties for partnership management with the team sponsors, along with his pit crew duties.
- Kean is another graduate of the NASCAR modified series, getting his start in 1996 as a crew member at Sheba Racing, eventually making his way to North Carolina and the NSCS in 2007 to work with Bono Manion on the No.1 team at Dale Earnhardt, Inc., currently he works in the suspension shop and travels with the raceday crew as pit support
Juan Pablo Montoya and No. 42 Target Team
Follow Juan on Twitter: Follow @jpmontoya for all the happenings and inside information on the driver of the No. 42 Target Chevrolet for Earnhardt Ganassi Racing.
TomTom Along for the Ride: This weekend at “The Magic Mile” the No. 42 Chevrolet will sport the TomTom logo on both its quarter panels. Founded in 1991, TomTom is the world’s leading supplier of location and navigation products and services focused on providing all drivers with the world’s best navigation experience. Their products include portable navigation devices, in-dash infotainment systems, fleet management solutions, maps and real-time services, including the award winning HD Traffic.
Loudon Background: Montoya will be making his ninth career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series start at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on Sunday afternoon. He has found recent success at New Hampshire, especially when he goes out to qualify. Montoya has started inside the top-five in the last three races at “The Magic Mile”, including two poles in September 2009 and June 2010. His best finish at the track in New England is third, back in September of 2009. He has been very consistent at NHMS, running at the finish in seven of his eight starts, leading 147 laps in the last four races and completing almost 99% (2334 of 2358) of the laps run at the track since his first New Hampshire start in 2007.
Kentucky Review: Montoya started on the outside front row and found himself running inside the top-10 for the majority of the race. Crew chief, Brian Pattie, continually reported in that the No. 42 Target Chevrolet was the fastest car on the track. The closing laps of the Quaker State 400 quickly changed the fate of the team. Montoya pitted a final time for tires and fuel when NASCAR radioed in that the No. 42 needed to start at the tail-end of the longest line on the restart. The Target Chevrolet received a penalty for exiting pit road too fast and would restart in the 18th position. Montoya gained three spots and would eventually cross the finish line in the 15th position.
In The Points: With Montoya’s 15th-place finish in the Quaker State 400, he moves up one position to 13th in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series point standings. He is currently 32 points out the 10th, the cut-off for Chase contention.
2011 Mid-Season Report: Since the 2011 season opener at Daytona, Montoya has accumulated two top-fives, six top-10s and earned two pole-positions in his 18 starts. He has an average start of 17.0, average finish of 16.9. He has also completed 99.4% (5263 of 5295) of the laps run this season, ranking him third, and he has led in 10 races for a total of 99 laps. Montoya has a driver rating of 80.1 ranking him 18th among Sprint Cup Series drivers, but his highest rating this season was 118.5 which is 13th-best among NSCS drivers.
Race to the Chase: After Kentucky, Montoya currently sits in 13th in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series standings. There are now eight races remaining in the “Race to the Chase” before the playoff field is set following the event at Richmond International Raceway. Montoya has a total of 60 starts at the final eight tracks leading up to the chase. He has one win (Watkins Glen International - 2010), eight top-fives, 20 top-10s and has been running at the finish in 51 of those 60 starts. His average start at those tracks is 14.6, while his average finish is 19.4.
Adrenaline Rush: New Degree Men® V12TM Juan Pablo Montoya special edition, available exclusively at Target, is designed to respond to increases in adrenaline and provide top protection when men need it most. To support the new stick, Degree Men® is giving NASCAR fans a sneak peek inside the adrenaline-fueled racing life of Juan Pablo Montoya and his Earnhardt Ganassi teammates at Facebook.com/DegreeMen. Along with this, Degree has debuted the first-ever QR code to be featured on a racecar. This QR code, which directs consumers to Degree’s homepage, can be seen on the rear quarter-panels of the No.42. Montoya will also hit the track later this season with a Degree Men® V12TM -inspired paint scheme in the Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on Sept. 25.
No. 1 Bass Pro Shops® / Tracker Boats Chevrolet (NSCS): Chassis #1007. The No. 1 team has elected to bring chassis #1007 to New Hampshire Motor Speedway this weekend. This chassis qualified on the pole and finished seventh at Martinsville in April. This car also ran last season in both races at Martinsville and Richmond, and was the backup car for the first race in Loudon.
No. 42 Target Chevrolet (NSCS): Chassis #1110. Chassis #1110 will make its second appearance of the 2011 season this weekend at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. The Target team also ran this chassis at Martinsville earlier this year, where it came home with a fourth-place finish.