MCMURRAY, MONTOYA HEADING BACK TO POCONO
Pocono Raceway Advance Notes
Race: Good Sam RV Insurance 500 on Sunday, August 7
Track: Pocono Raceway (2.5-mile oval)
Location: Long Pond, Pa.
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.
Sprint Summer Showdown: The Sprint Summer Showdown presented by the HTC EVO 3D is putting $3 million on the line for fans, drivers and driver charities. Any driver that wins an NSCS race between Indianapolis and Bristol will qualify to win $2 million if he is able to win the race at Atlanta during Labor Day weekend ($1 million for the driver, $1 million for their charity). One lucky fan paired with the winning driver also has a chance to win $1 million. Visit www.sprint.com/speed for more information.
DirecTV Head2Head: Beginning on August 7, NASCAR’s best will be put to the test in DirecTV’s Head2Head Knockout competition. This contest is an innovative bracket-style format that will showcase existing driver rivalries as well as create new ones amongst the best in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. Head2Head begins with the Good Sam RV Insurance 500 at Pocono Raceway and concludes with the Irwin Tools Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway. The driver who wins all of his matchups will earn $400,000 for a charity of his choice, and one fan will have the opportunity to win a brand new truck and could inherit $1 million. Fans can go online to www.DIRECTV.com/NASCAR until August 6th to fill out their brackets.
Jamie McMurray and No. 1 Bass Pro Shops ®/ Tracker Boats Team
Tricky Triangle History: This weekend Jamie McMurray will be making his 18th start at Pocono Raceway, when the No. 1 team returns to the triangle-shaped speedway in the mountains of Pennsylvania. In his previous 17 starts, he has tallied up three top-10s and a best finish of ninth (twice - June 2004, August 2008). His best start came in August of 2005 when he won the pole. McMurray has been consistent at Pocono, completing almost 97% of the laps run (3206 of 3314) and running at the finish in 14 of his 17 races.
First Time for Everything: Since McMurray re-joined Earnhardt Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates in 2010, he has never had Bass Pro Shops on his car at Pocono Raceway. That changes this weekend when the No. 1 team will go to the “Tricky Triangle” sporting the Bass Pro Shops colors. Bass Pro Shops has become a leader in outdoor retail for hunting, camping, nature gifts, outdoor cooking, and much more, serving over 75 million sportsmen a year throughout the United States and Canada.
Give Me the Green: In the last 13 races at Pocono Raceway, McMurray has made 1,084 passes under green flag conditions, putting him in a tie for second among all Sprint Cup series drivers. He is tied with Kasey Kahne for second, and the only driver with more green flag passes is Kevin Harvick with 1,121.
Top-Five at the Brickyard for the No.1: As the Brickyard 400 unfolded, the Bass Pro Shops crew was challenged by a car that was changing throughout the event with McMurray reporting that the car was switching between loose and tight handling conditions. At the 100 lap mark, McMurray radioed in that he thought something had broken on the car. After a brief assessment under the final caution, the No. 1 Bass Pro Shops car was ready to get back on the track. However, the team would need to conserve fuel to make it to the end of the race. McMurray capitalized on the strategy, leading five laps and taking the checkered flag in fourth for his first top-five of the season.
10 in a Row: With McMurray’s fourth place run at Indianapolis, he has extended his streak of consecutive seasons with a top-five finish to 10. His first top-five finish came at Charlotte Motor Speedway in October of 2002, when he won his first career Sprint Cup Series race in only his second career start.
In the Points: After his fourth-place run at the Brickyard, Jamie McMurray and the No. 1 Team moved up one spot to 28th in the NSCS points. He is now 165 points outside of the top-10, but only 86 points out of wild card contention.
Juan Pablo Montoya and No. 42 Target Team
Pocono History: This weekend Montoya will be making his 10th career start at the “Tricky Triangle” and is hoping to improve upon his best career finish of second in 2009 and score his first win at the 2.5 mile tri-oval. In his nine previous starts at Pocono, Montoya has tallied one top-five, four top-10’s, completed more than 94% of the laps run (1613 of 1710) and led 43 laps in the last two races. His best start at Pocono Raceway came in the summer race one year ago, when he started on the outside of the front row. Montoya’s average start at the track is 14.6, while his average finish is 17.2.
Bullseye: Since Target started sponsoring Montoya’s Sprint Cup Series effort in 2009, he has made five starts with them at Pocono. In those five starts, Montoya has gotten his best finish at the track with a runner-up finish in 2009, all four of his career top-10s and completed every lap of racing action (1004 of 1004). He has also not finished worse than 16th, which was his best finish prior to having the Target colors on the No. 42 Chevrolet.
Race to the Chase: With six races remaining in the “Race to the Chase”, Montoya is looking to propel himself back into contention with good finishes in the next few weeks. Montoya has 48 combined starts at the final six race tracks on the regular season portion of the 2011 NSCS schedule. In those starts he has one win (Watkins Glen-2010), six top-fives, 18 top-10s and one pole (Richmond-April 2011). He has also completed more than 14,000 laps at these tracks and over 17,000 miles of competition.
Brickyard Review: The Target Chevrolet qualified seventh for the Brickyard 400, and for the third straight year, Montoya spent much of the race near the front of the field. The No. 42 spent 128 of 160 laps in the top-15 and made a total of five pit stops. The race only saw five caution flags and subsequently longer, green flag runs were common. With 30 laps remaining, Montoya came down pit road for tires and fuel to make the final charge to the finish. The group rejoined the field mid-pack and battled with cars on different pit strategies for the remainder of the race. When the checkered flag flew, the No. 42 Chevrolet was credited with a 28th-place finish.
In the Points: With Montoya’s 28th-place finish at the Brickyard 400, he dropped three positions in the point standings to 20th. While he keeps himself in wild card contention, he is now 79 points out of the 10th-place cutoff for the Chase for the Sprint Cup.
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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. Along with this, Degree’s new QR code is featured on the racecar at Pocono Raceway and for the remainder of the 2011 season. 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 #1102. Chassis #1102 will be making its fifth start of the season this weekend at Pocono. McMurray drove this car earlier this year at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Texas Motor Speedway, Dover International Speedway and in the first race at Pocono Raceway, where the No. 1 qualified 13th and finished 33rd after losing third gear early in the race.
No. 42 Target Chevrolet (NSCS): Chassis #1103. The Target team will bring chassis #1103 to the racetrack for the fourth time this season when they come back to Pocono Raceway. Montoya last drove this chassis at Pocono in June, when he qualified 16th and finished seventh. Earlier in the season the chassis was used at Auto Club Speedway and at the All Star Race at Charlotte Motor Speedway.