MCMURRAY, MONTOYA READY FOR TALLADEGA
Talladega Superspeedway Advance Notes
Race: Good Sam Club 500 on Sunday, Oct. 23
Track: Talladega Superspeedway (2.66-mile oval)
Location: Talladega, Ala.
Follow EGR on Twitter: Continue to follow Earnhardt Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates on their official team Twitter page. Find in-race updates and weekly news on the No. 1 and No. 42 teams throughout the 2011 season by following “@EGRTeams”.
There’s an App for that: Chip Ganassi Racing Teams (CGRT) and SapientNitro SM recently 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.
‘Dega Offers Bonus: Talladega Superspeedway is considered one of NASCAR’s most competitive tracks and now it’s looking to back up that reputation with cold hard cash. Track officials believe that this month’s running of the Good Sam Club 500 could eclipse 100 lead changes during the race and should that happen, the driver who takes the lead the most times throughout the race will earn $100,000. Talladega Superspeedway currently holds the NASCAR record with 88 lead changes in a race, a mark that has been reached twice. Both instances occurred in the spring race at Talladega Superspeedway (2010 & 2011) with the 2010 fall race narrowly missing the mark with 87 lead changes.
Jamie McMurray and No. 1 Bass Pro Shops / Tracker Boats® Team
Talladega Preview: This weekend at Talladega, McMurray will be making his 19th career start on the 2.66-mile superspeedway. In his 18 previous races, he has scored one win (Fall 2009), five top-fives and six top-10s. McMurray has completed 3,088 of the 3,413 laps run (90.5%) since his first race at the track in 2002 and has led 171 of them (5.0%). His best start in Alabama is a second-place qualifying effort in the Fall of 2003. He has also been running at the finish in 15 of his 18 career starts, with none of his three DNFs coming while driving for current team owner Chip Ganassi.
What Restrictor Plate?: McMurray has made 36 career starts on restrictor plate superspeedways (Daytona International Speedway and Talladega Superspeedway). In those starts, he has compiled three wins (Daytona – 2007 Pepsi 400, 2010 Daytona 500; Talladega – 2009 AMP Energy 500), eight top-fives and 10 top-10s. He has been able to complete 5,954 laps out of a possible 6,556 (90.8%) at these two tracks and has led 189 of them (2.9%). McMurray has been running at the finish in 27 of his 36 starts and has only two DNFs in the 15 races since 2008 (One at each track).
Line Leader: Over the last 13 races at Talladega Superspeedway, McMurray has led the fifth most laps of any driver in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series with 147. He trails only Jeff Gordon (330), Dale Earnhardt Jr. (218), Tony Stewart (211) and Denny Hamlin (196) in this specific category. McMurray is also seventh in “Speed in Traffic” with an average speed of 192.076 mph (Trevor Bayne – 192.304 mph) and ranks tenth in “Green Flag Speed” with an average of 191.897 mph (Bayne – 192.669 mph).
Charlotte Recap: As soon as McMurray started the Bank of America 500, he immediately reported handling concerns back to his pit crew. Using several adjustments throughout the 334 lap event, the team would continue to provide McMurray with quick pit stops and alternative strategy to help the No. 1 gain valuable track position. In the end, the caution flag was displayed only a few laps after McMurray came down pit road under green flag conditions, leaving him two laps down. With a limited number of laps remaining, the team was unable to come back from the deficit, resulting in a 27th-place finish.
McMurray is Going to BPS: On Thursday, October 20th, McMurray will be going to the Leeds, Ala. Bass Pro Shops store for a Q&A and autograph session. Beginning at 6:00pm, he will be making his appearance along with fellow Bass Pro Shops drivers Tony Stewart and Austin Dillon, and the Bass Pro Shops/Tracker Boats® show car. The 150,000 square-foot store in Leeds offers equipment for hiking, backpacking, camping, outdoor cooking and more. Like other Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World stores, it takes on the atmosphere of the region and becomes a living museum of Alabama’s outdoor legacies. Fans can visit the Leeds, Ala. store located at 5000 Bass Pro Blvd. for all of their tailgating and camping needs.
Juan Pablo Montoya and No. 42 Energizer Team
Talladega History: Montoya has made nine starts at Talladega throughout his NASCAR Sprint Cup Series career. In those races he has scored three top-fives, three top-10s and has started from the pole twice (Spring 2009, Fall 2010). He has completed more than 98% of the laps run (1,680 of 1,713) in the “Yellowhammer State” leading 41 of them (2.4%). Montoya’s best finish at Talladega is a runner-up result in the Spring of 2008, after rebounding from his worst career starting position at the track (26th). He has been running at the finish in eight of his nine starts, with his only DNF coming in the Fall 2008 event.
Moving Up the Charts: Coming into Talladega, Montoya finds himself near the top of the charts in multiple statistical categories at the track. Using stats from the 13 most recent races at Talladega, Montoya is currently third in “Average Running Position” with an average place of 14.952, which only trails Joey Logano (12.673) and Dale Earnhardt Jr. (14.307). Other categories which he is in the top-10 include “Green Flag Speed” (eighth – 191.939 mph), “Speed in Traffic” (eighth – 192.075 mph) and “Average Quality Passes” (10th – 210.7 per race).
Miami Hall of Champions: In honor of “lifetime contributions to sports,” South Florida resident and NASCAR Sprint Cup Series star Juan Pablo Montoya has been selected for induction into the Miami Sports Hall of Champions. Montoya will be inducted Wednesday, Oct. 19, during ceremonies at the 20th Annual Sports Hall of Champions Awards at American Airlines Arena in Miami. The Hall of Champions, in conjunction with the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce, honors individuals who have brought “significant recognition to Greater Miami through achievements in, and contributions to, sports and the competitive spirit of the local community.”
Homestead Ticket Package: Fans who plan to attend the season finale Ford 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway should take advantage of the “Race Day with Juan” ticket package. The package, which fans may purchase for $142, will include:
• Ticket to Sprint Cup Championship-finale Ford 400 (Turn 1, rows 11-21)
• Private pre-race meet-and-greet with Montoya in the infield Driver’s Meeting Room
• Pre-Race Pit Pass access to front-stretch for photos, autographs, Q&A sessions
• No. 42 Target commemorative lanyard and credential holder
• $42 donation to the Formula Smiles Foundation headed by Montoya and wife Connie
For more information visit www.HomesteadMiamiSpeedway.com/Montoya
All Charged Up: The Energizer Bunny® will be powering the No. 42 car of Juan Pablo Montoya this weekend at Talladega Superspeedway and he is all charged up and ready to Keep Going all the way to victory lane. The Energizer Bunny® is leading his company into new and exciting territory in 2011 and beyond. From solar-powered lights to exciting new chargers for smart phones Energizer is proving that they are way more than just a battery company.
About Energizer: Energizer Holdings, Inc. is one of the world’s largest manufacturers of primary batteries, portable battery-powered devices, and portable flashlights and lanterns. Energizer is a global leader in the dynamic business of providing power solutions with a full portfolio of products including Energizer® brand battery products Energizer® MAX® premium alkaline; Energizer® Ultimate Lithium; Energizer® Advanced Lithium; Rechargeable batteries and charging systems; and portable flashlights and lanterns. For more information, visit www.energizer.com and www.facebook.com/energizerbunny.
Looking Back at Charlotte: The No. 42 team went to work on the brand new chassis for the duration of all three of the weekend’s practice sessions. After qualifying 32nd for the Bank of America 500, work on the race car would continue until Saturday evening when the green flag waved. Montoya experienced some handling concerns early and the crew made seven pit stops to help adjust the challenging car. As the race continued the handling began to turn around and Montoya was able to rebound from being two laps down to get back on the lead lap. In the closing laps, Montoya drove the No. 42 Target into the top-15 and finished out the evening in the 14th-place.
In the Points: With his 14th-place finish in the Bank of America 500 at Charlotte Motor Speedway, Montoya maintained the 19th position in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series point standings. He is now 49 points behind 13th-place, which is the highest points position a drive can reach if they are not a “Chase for the Sprint Cup” contender.
No. 1 Bass Pro Shops / Tracker Boats® Chevrolet (NSCS): Chassis #1118. The No. 1 team will be bringing chassis #1118 to Talladega for this weekend’s Good Sam Club 500. This is a brand new chassis that has never been used before.
No. 42 Energizer Chevrolet (NSCS): Chassis #1117. Crew Chief Jim Pohlman and the No. 42 Energizer team have decided to bring chassis #1117 to Talladega Superspeedway this weekend. This brand new chassis will see its first race action of the year in the Good Sam Club 500.