DOVER, Del. (June 1, 2009) – Juan Pablo Montoya didn’t have the race he anticipated at Dover International Speedway. He started third in the 400-lap race, but the No. 42 Target Chevrolet suffered tire issues, relegating him to a 30th-place finish.
The “Monster Mile” was kind to the team Friday during qualifying. Montoya turned a lap time Friday afternoon that earned him the third starting spot. This marked his second top-10 start at Dover International Speedway and fifth of the season, to date. On Saturday, Crew Chief Brian Pattie and the team continued to work on race runs during both practice sessions. Very optimistic for the 13th race of the season, Montoya rolled off third on Sunday.
Montoya immediately drove his Target Chevrolet up front and earned five bonus points for the NSCS Driver Points. The caution flag waved on lap 30 and Montoya told the crew the car was tight in the center of the corner. Pattie called for an air pressure and track bar adjustment, four tires and fuel. Montoya restarted 11th. Another caution flag waved on lap 44 and the Target team elected to pit for two tires. Montoya could not make up the ground after the restart due to the loose handling car.
On lap 163, Montoya blew a front right-side tire. Being able to keep it off the wall, Montoya drove it pit road to work on the fender damage and get fresh tires. However, tires continued to be an issue for Montoya and others throughout the remainder of the race. Montoya and team decided to learn more about the car for future races, making several “test session” air pressure adjustments and set-ups throughout the remainder of the event.
The 30th-place finish moved Montoya down one place to 15th in the NSCS point standings. Up next, the Target team heads to Pocono Raceway next weekend for the Pocono 500 on Sunday, June 7, 2009. Racing action will air live on the TNT television network beginning at 12:30 p.m. EDT and will be broadcast live on MRN Radio starting at 1:15 p.m. EDT.