MCMURRAY, MONTOYA HEAD TO THUNDER VALLEY
Bristol Motor Speedway Advance Notes
Race: IRWIN Tools Night Race on Saturday, Aug. 27
Track: Bristol Motor Speedway (0.533-mile oval)
Location: Bristol, Tenn.
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.
Jamie McMurray and No. 1 Bass Pro Shops® / Tracker Boats / REALTREE® Team
Thunder Valley History: McMurray will be making his 18th NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) start at Bristol Motor Speedway in the IRWIN Tools Night Race. He has tallied two top-fives, six top-10s, and has started inside the top-10 seven times. His best start of third came in the spring 2007 event at the track and his best finish was third-place twice (August 2003, August 2010). McMurray has completed 8,253 of a possible 8,513 laps (96.9%) at the “World’s Fastest Half-Mile”.
REALTREE® Comes Aboard: This weekend at Bristol Motor Speedway, Realtree® can be found as the primary and associate sponsor on four NASCAR Sprint Cup Cars as part of a promotion in which they are debuting their new “Antler” Logo. Look for this new logo above the rear quarter panels on the No. 1 Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet. Realtree® is a brand of camouflage based in Columbus, Georgia that manufactures camouflage for hunting.
You Gotta Finish: McMurray has kept his nose clean and has been running at the finish of every one of his 17 career starts at Bristol Motor Speedway. He is the only driver in Sprint Cup Series history with more than 15 starts at BMS and zero DNFs.
Go Around!: McMurray has made 642 green flag passes in the last 13 races in Thunder Valley. That is good enough to rank him second-best among Sprint Cup Series drivers. The only driver to pass more cars under green flag conditions is Dale Earnhardt Jr., who has made 676 passes.
Showing Improvement: Starting in 2007, every time the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series has returned to Bristol Motor Speedway for the August night race, McMurray has finished better than he did the season before. He finished 29th in the 2006 summer event and went on to finish 26th, 12th, 11th and third in the next four years respectively. McMurray will be looking for his first win at the “World’s Fastest Half-Mile” this weekend.
Last Weekend: After Saturday morning’s final practice at Michigan, Jamie McMurray told the crew, “This is the best turning car that we have had all year”. The No. 1 Chevrolet ran competitive lap times in the early stages of the race although he was battling a tight condition. The crew made an adjustment on their first stop that dropped McMurray to mid-pack by lap 50. Once the crew was able to go back on their changes they were able to regain valuable track position and race near the top-10. On lap 196 while the No. 1 was running 12th, McMurray was unable to avoid contact from another competitor and was collected in a turn one incident. The team made quick repairs to the Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet, and McMurray was able to bring the car home in 23rd-place.
Thank a Tradesman: The No. 1 Earnhardt Ganassi team will host Kenny Thompson throughout the IRWIN Tools Night Race weekend. Thompson was selected as the winner of the Irwin Tools "Thank a Tradesman" sweepstakes. By being selected, he will be able to enjoy a VIP race weekend for two including round-trip air transportation, luxury RV accommodations right at the track, and two days of exclusive at-track hospitality. Additionally, if McMurray wins the race on Saturday night, Thompson will also win $1 MILLION from IRWIN Tools.
Bass Pro Shops Sevierville: Heading South on Interstate 81 from Bristol Motor Speedway is the Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World in Sevierville, Tenn. The Bass Pro Shops retail store in Sevierville is a leader among Tennessee hunting outfitters hosting seminars and classes on everything from fishing and hunting to educating about the outdoors. Whether you need gear for fishing in Tennessee, or simply want to maximize your outdoor fun, shop Bass Pro. The Outdoor World can be found at 3629 Outdoor Sportsmans Place, Kodak, TN 37764.
In the Points: With his 23rd–place finish at Michigan, McMurray and the No. 1 team remained in 27th position in the NSCS point standings. He is now 183 points out of the 10th-place the cutoff to the Chase and is 93 points out of wild card contention.
Juan Pablo Montoya and No. 42 Target Team
Look Back at Bristol: Montoya will be making his tenth NSCS start at Bristol Motor Speedway on Saturday night. In his previous nine races in “Thunder Valley”, he has earned two top-10s and has qualified inside the top-10 three times. His best start at Bristol came in the summer of 2007 when he qualified on the outside-pole in just his second start at the track. The 2010 spring race marked his best finish at BMS, driving his No. 42 to a seventh-place finish. Montoya has been running at the finish of all of his nine starts, leading 29 laps and completing 4496 of the 4513 laps raced (99.6%).
Strong Finisher: Montoya and the No. 42 team currently have the fourth-longest active streak of races running at the finish having now finished 23 consecutive events. The three drivers with more are Carl Edwards-51, Ryan Newman-41 and Marcos Ambrose-38.
“Race Day with Juan”: South Florida resident Juan Pablo Montoya has partnered with Homestead-Miami Speedway to offer fans a special ticket package that benefits the “Formula Smiles Foundation”. For the third consecutive year, fans will be able to purchase a “Race Day with Juan”, which includes a ticket to the Sprint Cup season finale, Private pre-race meet-and-greet with Montoya, Pre-Race Pit Pass access to front-stretch for photos and autographs, and a No. 42 Target commemorative lanyard and credential holder. By purchasing the package, a $42 donation will be made to the Formula Smiles Foundation headed by Montoya and his wife, Connie.
Montoya Visits Cedar Point: Juan Pablo Montoya, driver of the No.42 Target Chevrolet recently visited Cedar Point Amusement Park in Sandusky, OH as part of a promotional appearance for Target partner, PepsiCo’s Mountain Dew. During his time at the “Roller Coaster Capital of the World”, Montoya spent time with the fans, signed autographs in the Midway, and took pictures. In addition to mingling with the fans, 20 t-shirts were thrown out into the crowd and those select few experienced a VIP ride with Montoya on “Millennium Force”, the park's most famous attraction.
Last Week: With only four races remaining until the cut-off for the Chase, Montoya and the team had been working to pick up their first win of the 2011 season. The Target Chevrolet practiced and qualified mid-field and the team made some final adjustments before heading into Sunday’s race. When the green flag waved, the track temperatures started to change, and so did the handling of the race car. The 42 crew brought Montoya down pit road a total of six times for tires, fuel and adjustments. At the end of the 200 lap event the Target team finished where they started in the 25th position.
In the Points: With his 25th-place finish in the Pure Michigan 400, Montoya fell two spots to 22nd in the Sprint Cup Series driver point standings. He is now 98 points out of 10th place and the “Chase for the Sprint Cup”.
Bristol Native: Tony Glover hails from Kingsport, Tenn. He is a team manager at the Earnhardt Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates Concord, N.C. race shop. Throughout his career Glover has built the reputation as one of the top mechanical minds in motorsports. In addition, Glover has a knack for developing drivers and winning big races. Under his guidance, Ernie Irvan, Sterling Marlin and Joe Nemechek all captured their first NASCAR Sprint Cup wins.
No. 1 Bass Pro Shops® / REALTREE® Chevrolet (NSCS): Chassis #1004. Crew Chief Kevin “Bono” Manion has elected to bring chassis #1004 to Bristol Motor Speedway this weekend. This will be the second race of 2011 for this car, after running the inaugural race at Kentucky. The chassis also ran at Texas Motor Speedway, Michigan International Speedway and Pocono Raceway in 2010.
No. 42 Target Chevrolet (NSCS): Chassis #1003. The No. 42 team has selected chassis #1003 for the IRWIN Tools Night Race at Bristol. This will be the third race of 2011 for this chassis, after it was used in the spring races at both Bristol and Dover. This car also ran five times last year (Charlotte-May, Chicago-July, Atlanta-September, Fontana-October and Texas-November).