Montoya Records His Fifth Top-Five Finish in the Chase for the Championship
Results from Martinsville Speedway
1. Denny Hamlin, No. 11 Toyota
3. Juan Pablo Montoya, No. 42 Target Chevrolet
28. Martin Truex Jr., No. 1 Vaseline® MEN Body Lotion Chevrolet
Martinsville, Va. (October 26, 2009) – Stats wise, Juan Pablo Montoya has the strongest average finishing position at Martinsville Speedway out of any other track on the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series schedule. He pulled together another strong showing at the half-mile facility and gave the Target team a third-place finish. The top-five finish marks the fifth one out of six Chase races this season and advances Montoya one position in the Chase standings to fifth.
Historic Martinsville Speedway marked the sixth race in the Chase and the Target team was looking to turn their luck around after an unfortunate 35th place finish the weekend prior. Teams unloaded Friday morning and got right to work with a practice session followed by qualifying later that afternoon. Montoya was the second quickest car in the first practice session. In qualifying, Montoya got loose and had to settle for a 21st starting position despite having a strong car. All track activity was cancelled Saturday due to inclement weather.
Sunday afternoon the green flagged waved for 500 laps around the track. Montoya wasted no time advancing through the field and by lap 29 the Target Chevrolet had broken into the top 10. That charge to the front continued as Montoya took over the lead on lap 140 and was displayed up front for 37 laps. A total of seven pit stops were made for new tires, fuel and adjustments to help with forward bite. Montoya was frequently displayed as the fastest car out on the track and maintained a top-five position throughout the closing half of the race. In a green/white/checkered finish, Montoya found himself in familiar territory battling it out with Johnson, Gordon and Hamlin. From the fourth position, Montoya gained one spot and gave the Target team a third-place finish.
“We did what we had to and everybody on this Target team keeps doing an amazing job every week. Last week we had a bad race but we had a fast car again, and it’s great,” remarked Montoya post-race.
Leading into the next race at Talladega Superspeedway, Montoya is fifth in the Chase driver standings with 5898 points. He’s 200 out of first place and only eight points behind Stewart who sits in fourth. The Amp Energy 500 will air this Sunday, Nov. 1 at noon (EDT) on ABC and radio stations affiliated with MRN.