MONTOYA, MCMURRAY GEAR UP FOR RICHMOND
Richmond International Raceway Advance Notes
Race: Wonderful Pistachios 400 on Saturday, Sept. 10
Track: Richmond International Raceway (0.750-mile oval)
Location: Richmond, Va.
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.
Get Your “App” in Gear: Chip Ganassi Racing Teams (CGRT) and SapientNitro SM announced that they have launched one of the first mobile applications for the high-velocity world of racing. This new application brings fans updated driver and event information, and exclusive content in one centralized and expansive mobile experience, bringing to life the rich heritage and legendary success of Chip Ganassi Racing Teams. The unique mobile application conveys the high-octane rush of the racing experience for a team that competes at the highest levels in three series – the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, IZOD IndyCar Series and Rolex GRAND-AM Series.
Jamie McMurray and No. 1 Bass Pro Shops / Tracker Boats / 9/11 Tribute Team
Richmond History: McMurray has 17 previous NSCS starts at Richmond International Raceway (RIR). He has three top-10 finishes in his starts and has completed 92.7% of the laps run (6,307 of 6,803) since his first race in 2003. McMurray’s best NSCS finish came in the 2009 Spring event when he finished seventh and his best start was eighth in the 2010 Spring NSCS visit to RIR. In the past 13 races at Richmond, McMurray has 678 green flag passes which ties him for fourth among Sprint Cup drivers and he has been running at the finish in 13 of his 17 career races.
Driving for Awareness: During the AdvoCare 500 weekend at Atlanta Motor Speedway, Jamie McMurray spent more than an hour giving rides in a Chevrolet Camaro pace car to breast cancer survivors in an event orchestrated by Chevrolet. “This was probably the most energetic group of people I’ve ever been around. It’s amazing how, when someone’s been through something as devastating as breast cancer, their perspective on life is different and how energetic they are,” McMurray said. McMurray hit a top speed of 130 mph during the ride-arounds, but kept things interesting for the participants by driving close to the outside wall of the 1.54-mile track.
Remembering Those We Lost: This weekend marks the 10th anniversary of the September 11, 2001 attacks on America. This weekend at Richmond International Raceway, to commemorate this solemn day, Jamie McMurray, along with several other NASCAR drivers will be sporting patriotic paint schemes in honor of those who lost their lives in the attacks of September 11, 2001 and also our nation’s military heroes.
Bass Pro Shops Returns: Bass Pro Shops® returns as the primary sponsor of the No. 1 Chevrolet team this weekend at Richmond. 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, serving over 75 million sportsmen a year.
Atlanta Weekend: When the green flag waved for the AdvoCare 500, McMurray was able to drive the McDonald’s Chevrolet from the 25th starting spot up to the top-10 in the running order. The No. 1 crew would benefit from early cautions allowing the team to make adjustments on pit road under yellow as the field was slowed by nine cautions, including a 24 minute red flag after the mid-way point of the race. The McDonald’s team would make use of the red flag period to discuss strategy for the remainder of the event. After the restart, McMurray ran as high as ninth and continued to run competitively until after the final pit stop when he radioed the crew saying that he may have something broken in the right front. He would have to preserve the car and ultimately take home a 16th-place finish.
In the Points: With McMurray’s 16th-place finish, he and the No. 1 team move up one more spot to 25th in the NSCS point standings. He is now 78 points behind 20th and wild card contention.
Meeting Military Heroes: McMurray will be meeting with U.S. Army Specialist Brendan Marrocco and USMC Corporal Todd Nicely at 3:15pm EST on Saturday, September 10th at Richmond International Raceway. Marrocco and Nicely are two of only three American soldiers to survive after losing all four of their limbs in combat. During their meet and greet time, they will be presenting McMurray with a piece of debris from the World Trade Center, which will be displayed at the No. 1 pit box Saturday night. Marrocco and Nicely will also lead the crowd in the speaking of the “Pledge of Allegiance” during pre-race ceremonies.
McMurray is Going to BPS: On Thursday, September 8th, McMurray will be going to the Ashland, Va. Bass Pro Shops store for a Q&A and autograph session. Beginning at 5:30pm, he will be making his appearance along with the Bass Pro Shops/Tracker Boats® show car. The entire store highlights the diversity of the Virginia landscape, its history and the culture of its people. Like other Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World stores, it takes on the atmosphere of the region and becomes a living museum of Virginia's outdoor legacies. Fans can visit the Ashland, Va. store located at 11550 Lakeridge Parkway for all of their tailgating and camping needs.
Juan Pablo Montoya and No. 42 Target Team
Richmond Review: Montoya has made nine career starts with Earnhardt Ganassi Racing at Richmond International Raceway. Montoya has tallied three top-10s and completed 3,424 of a possible 3,610 laps (94.8%) in those races. His best finish at RIR came in May of 2010 when he brought the No. 42 home in sixth and his best start came earlier this season when the Target Chevrolet led the field to the green flag from the pole, the seventh of his career. Montoya has also run inside the top-15 for 52.3% of the laps he has run there. In his last two starts at RIR, he has started on the front row and led all of his 28 career laps led.
Short Track Ringer?: Montoya has led more laps on the three NSCS short tracks (Martinsville, Bristol, and Richmond) than he has at the road courses in Sonoma and Watkins Glen (103 laps led on short tracks, 89 on road courses). Montoya has also been running at the finish of all but one of his 28 career short-track starts. During his time on the short tracks, Montoya has amassed two top-five’s, eight top-10’s and has one pole (Richmond in April 2011).
Virginia is for Montoya: During the 2011 season, the NSCS has already made trips to the commonwealth of Virginia twice (Martinsville Speedway and Richmond International Raceway in April). In the two races run in the “Old Dominion” state, Montoya and the No. 42 team has run near the front, picking up one pole position (Richmond), one top-five (Martinsville) and leading 25 laps.
Aim for the “Target”: Since Target became the primary sponsor of the No. 42 team in 2009, Montoya has had some of his best results at Richmond. In his five races with the Bullseye on the hood, he has picked up all three of his career top-10s, and both of his front row starting spots. He has completed 1,995 of the 2,000 laps run and led every single one of his 28 laps led at the “D-shaped” oval. He has four lead lap finishes in those five starts and has not had a DNF.
See You at the Chevy Stage: On Saturday, September 10, Montoya will be participating in a Fan Q&A at the Chevy Stage in the Midway area at Richmond International Raceway. Located near the main gate behind the Sprint grandstands, his appearance will be from 4:20-4:30pm EST.
Wild Card “Chaser”: Montoya (22nd in points) still has a chance to be in the 2011 “Chase” field. In order to clinch a spot, he not only needs to win the Wonderful Pistachios 400 on Saturday night, but also needs help from other drivers. Along with the win, Montoya has to finish seven spots ahead of Paul Menard (20th) and Marcos Ambrose (21st) AND have either Brad Keselowski (11th) or Denny Hamlin (12th) race their way into the top-10. If these things happen, Montoya would be the 12th and final driver in the “Chase for the Sprint Cup”.
Atlanta Recap: When the green flag waved, the No. 42 Target Chevrolet started 12th and worked its way up to the fourth position before a mandatory competition caution on lap 30. Montoya returned to the track, but had some handling concerns knowing about the changing track conditions. The team pitted a total of 10 times for tires, fuel, adjustments and to make repairs after an on-track incident on lap 242. A total of 64 caution laps were run and a red flag was displayed on lap 202 for rain showers. Despite some fender damage and a lengthy race, the No. 42 team persevered and finished 15th.
In The Points: Montoya’s 15th-place finish at Atlanta keeps him in wild card contention for the Chase for the Sprint Cup. He has moved up one spot to 22nd in the NSCS standings. He now sits seven points behind 20th and a possible wild card berth, if multiple dominoes fall correctly.
No. 1 Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet (NSCS): Chassis #1007. The No. 1 Bass Pro Shops/Tracker Boats team has elected to bring chassis #1007 to Richmond International Raceway this weekend. This chassis was used earlier this season at New Hampshire in July and Martinsville in April, when McMurray scored the pole and finished seventh. This car also ran in both races at Martinsville and Richmond during the 2010 season.
No. 42 Target Chevrolet (NSCS): Chassis #1109. Crew Chief Jim Pohlman and the No. 42 team are bringing chassis #1109 to Richmond International Raceway this weekend. This will be the third race of the 2011 season for this car. This chassis was used at Phoenix International Raceway in February and at Richmond in April, when Montoya started on the pole.