MCMURRAY, MONTOYA HEAD TO ATLANTA
Atlanta Motor Speedway Advance Notes
Race: AdvoCare 500 on Sunday, Sept. 4
Track: Atlanta Motor Speedway (1.54-mile quad-oval)
Location: Hampton, Ga.
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.
Autograph Session: On Friday, September 2, Earnhardt Ganassi Racing drivers Jamie McMurray and Juan Pablo Montoya will be participating in a Sprint Cup Series autograph session at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Fans that purchased tickets to the AdvoCare 500 by July 31 were entered into a drawing to win autographs from select NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers. The event will be held at the speedway from 4:00-5:00 p.m.
Jamie McMurray and the No.1 McDonald’s Chevrolet
Atlanta History: McMurray will be making his 18th career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) start at Atlanta Motor Speedway (AMS) this weekend. In his previous 17 races at AMS, McMurray has tallied four top-10s, 10 top-15s and has been running at the finish of 14 events. His best start at the track came in the March 2009 race when he qualified third, and his best finish was a sixth-place effort in October of 2005. He has completed more than 96% of the laps run at Atlanta since his first race there October 2002 (5,264 of 5,473).
Back with Ganassi: This weekend’s AdvoCare 500 at AMS will be his 10th NSCS start at the track with Chip Ganassi Racing Teams. In his previous nine starts with owner Ganassi, he has scored three of his four top-10 finishes, completed 96% of the laps scheduled (2,750 of 2,864) and has a best start of fourth in his first race there with the team in 2002.
Passing Under Green: Over the last 12 races at Atlanta Motor Speedway, McMurray has made the most green flag passes of any driver in the Sprint Cup Series. With 806 passes, he leads second-ranked Brian Vickers by 12 with 794. He is the only driver with more than 800 in this statistical category and only six other drivers are above the 700 pass mark.
Welcome Back McDonald’s: McMurray and the No. 1 team will carry the “Golden Arches” of McDonald’s for the 10th time this season at this weekend’s AdvoCare 500 at Atlanta. Most recently, McDonald’s was the primary sponsor on the No. 1 Chevrolet three weeks ago at Watkins Glen International. After the upcoming race at Atlanta Motor Speedway, McDonald’s will return to the hood of the No. 1 at Chicagoland Speedway for the Geico 400.
Bristol Weekend: After two practice sessions on Friday afternoon, the No. 1 team felt they had a car that was capable of running up front during Saturday night’s 500 lap race. Knowing that track position is the key to top finishes at the high-banked short track, McMurray helped the cause when he posted the sixth fastest time in qualifying. Consistently competitive pit stops and positive adjustments on the Bass Pro Shops/Realtree Chevrolet allowed the No. 1 team to maintain their position up front for the majority of the night. McMurray was able to battle through lapped traffic and lead laps before settling into the top-five for the remainder of the race, coming home with a fifth-place finish.
Double Duty: McMurray will also compete in the NASCAR Nationwide Series race this weekend in Atlanta, driving the No. 7 GoDaddy.com Chevrolet for JR Motorsports. McMurray is the defending race winner of the Great Clips 300 at Atlanta Motor Speedway. In eight previous Nationwide starts at Atlanta McMurray has two wins, two top-five and four top-10 finishes.
Visit McDonald’s: Win the race against hunger by heading to two local McDonald’s locations and experiencing the wide variety on their breakfast, lunch and dinner menus. The closest restaurant to the speedway can be found at 11281 Tara Boulevard, Hampton, GA 30228. An additional location is at 2632 Highway 155 South, Locust Grove, GA 30248.
Juan Pablo Montoya and No. 42 Target Team
Atlanta History: Juan Pablo Montoya has competed in eight NSCS events at Atlanta Motor Speedway throughout his career. He has racked up three top-fives, four top-10s and has led 34 laps at the Hampton, Ga oval. His best start came in March of 2010 when the Target Chevrolet rolled off the grid in third, and his best finishes came in September 2009 and March 2010 when he finished in third-place. Montoya’s average start at AMS is 14.6 and his average finish is 17.1. He has completed 2,550 of the 2,625 laps run (97%) in his eight career starts.
Making “Quality Passes”: Montoya currently ranks first in the statistical category of “Average Quality Passes” at Atlanta, with an average of 45.4 quality passes per race. This stat calculates the number of cars passed inside the top-15 under green flag conditions. The second highest average is that of Jimmie Johnson with an average of 36.4 per race.
Learning the Track: Montoya has consistently been one of the fastest cars at the track over the last three race weekends at Atlanta. Since the fall race in 2009, he hasn’t finished worse than ninth and has qualified inside the top-10 twice. He has finished third twice, led all of his 34 career laps led and completed all 991 laps of competition during this time frame.
Gillette on the Quarter Panels: This weekend for the AdvoCare 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway, the No. 42 Chevrolet will have Target partner, Gillette on the rear quarter panels. Gillette® has been at the heart of men’s grooming for over 100 years. Each day, more than 600 million men around the world trust their faces and skin to Gillette’s innovative razors and shaving products. This commitment to giving men the very best is carried into their line of personal care products, including deodorant and body wash. All designed for the unique needs of men – helping them to look, feel and be their best every day.
Bristol Recap: The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series returned to Bristol Motor Speedway for a two day show. Juan Pablo Montoya buckled into No. 42 Target Chevrolet Saturday night for 500 laps of racing action. The team battled some handling woes early on but overcame those concerns after multiple pit stops for adjustments. The race experienced several long green flag runs and Montoya was caught one lap down just past the halfway point. The crew played on pit strategy and was able to regain valuable track position and fight it out to the end. When the checkered flag waved, the No. 42 Chevrolet crossed the finish line unscathed, on the lead lap and in the 19th position.
Points Position: After coming home 19th at Bristol last weekend, Montoya and the No. 42 team fell one spot to 23rd in the NSCS point standings. They are now 89 points behind 10th-place and the cutoff for the “Chase”. They are also only 10 points out of 20th-place and wild card contention.
No. 1 McDonald’s Chevrolet (NSCS): Chassis #1106. Crew Chief Kevin “Bono” Manion and the No. 1 team are bringing chassis #1106 to Atlanta Motor Speedway this weekend. This marks the second race of the season for this chassis, it was previously run at Kansas.
No. 42 Target Chevrolet (NSCS): Chassis #1105. Crew Chief Jim Pohlman and the No. 42 team are bringing chassis #1105 to Atlanta Motor Speedway this weekend, marking the fifth race of the season for this chassis. Montoya previously ran this chassis at the inaugural race at Kentucky Speedway and at Kansas in June, Darlington in May. Texas in April, and Las Vegas in March.