Juan Pablo Montoya and No. 42 Target Team
MEDIA ALERT: Juan Pablo Montoya will be available in the media center for a brief media Q&A session on Friday, Oct. 9 at 10:15 a.m. ET followed by a Hispanic media Q&A session in Terrace Suite 8 above the media center.
The Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup: The fourth-place finish at Kansas marked Montoya’s third consecutive top-five performance in the Chase. Through the three Chase races, Montoya is the only driver to finish in the top-five in all of them. In addition, his Kansas finish helped him maintain third place in the point standings and cut his points deficit to 51 behind leader Mark Martin heading into California.
The Chase Stats: After three Chase races, the statistics for Montoya are impressive. Compared to the 11 other Chase drivers, Montoya has the best average starting position of 5.7, the best average running position of 4.69 and the highest percentage of laps run in the top-15 with 99.4%. He is ranked second in the best average finishing position with 3.7 just a .4 difference between him and Martin with 3.3. In addition, Montoya has the second best driver rating in the Chase with 122.2 compared to Johnson with a 128.4.
California History: Juan Pablo Montoya will be making his sixth NSCS start at Auto Club Speedway this weekend. This marks the fourth race of the Chase. Montoya has an average starting position of 22 and an average finishing position of 22 in his five prior NSCS starts. Montoya’s best finish of 11th occurred at the spring race earlier this year. He has completed 99.6% of the possible laps at California; 1245 out of 1250.
About Kansas: Starting from the 14th position, Montoya wasted no time moving through the field as the green flag waved and by lap 20 the No. 42 Target Chevrolet was sitting in the top-10. When the grooves on the race track expanded, Montoya found his rhythm and was frequently the fastest car on the track. From lap 20 on, the Target Chevrolet never looked back and consistently ran among the leaders. All but three of the 267 laps were run in the top-15 and Montoya had an average running position of seventh throughout the race. The Target Chevrolet led one lap and gained five valuable bonus points towards the Chase standings. At the end of the day, Montoya crossed the finish line in the fourth position and gave the team their fifth top-five finish of the season and third in the last three weeks.
Get Geared Up!: Fans should be sure to visit www.earnhardtganassi.com to get their Exclusive and Official 2009 Juan Pablo Montoya Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup gear. Fans that spend $42 will receive free shipping, just like buying your favorite No. 42 Team Target gear trackside!!
Going for Three: The NASCAR Sprint Cup, IndyCar and Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series are all in the stretch runs of their seasons and Chip Ganassi has four cars competing for three titles as the racing world prepares to crown its 2009 champions. Scott Dixon is currently first and Dario Franchitti second in the IndyCar Series point standings coming into the season finale at Homestead this weekend. In the Rolex Grand-Am Series, Scott Pruett and Memo Rojas are third place in the title hunt with one race remaining at Homestead on Saturday. Now with Montoya making the Chase for the Sprint Cup and sitting third in the points, Ganassi has drivers vying for championships in each series that he participates in.
2009 In Numbers: Montoya and the Target team have accumulated two pole awards, five top-fives, 15 top-10 (51.7%) and 19 top-15 finishes this season. In the 29 Cup races run this season Montoya has earned 23 top-20 finishes. He has led 270 laps and averages a starting position of 12.1 and a finishing position of 12.8 for the season. They have completed 8286 of out 8303 possible laps (99.8%) this season which ranks third for active drivers.
No. 42 Target Chevrolet (NSCS): Chassis #819. Pattie and the No. 42 Target team are bringing chassis #819 to Auto Club Speedway this weekend. This is one of the favorite chassis’ in the Earnhardt Ganassi Racing stable. It has run at Atlanta in September (3rd), Michigan in August (19th), Pocono in August (2nd), and most notably Indy where Montoya led 116 laps and had a win in sight until a late race penalty eliminated his chances (11th).
No. 1 Guitar Hero® 5 Chevrolet (NSCS): Chassis #803. The No. 1 Guitar Hero® 5 team will bring chassis #803 to Auto Club Speedway this weekend. This chassis was last used for the 2009 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series events at Pocono (6/7/09 and 8/2/09).