Season Finale Results in an Eighth-Place Finish in the Point Standings for Montoya
Results from Homestead-Miami Speedway
1. Denny Hamlin, No. 11 Toyota
9. Martin Truex Jr., No. 1 Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet
38. Juan Pablo Montoya, No. 42 Target Chevrolet
Homestead, FL. (November 22, 2009) – The 2009 season came to a close under the lights at Homestead-Miami Speedway over the weekend. Juan Pablo Montoya and the Target team sat sixth in points in their first ever Chase for the Championship heading into the race. A strong finish looked promising as Montoya ran as high as second until lap 116 where the fate of the team was sealed with an on-track altercation. The No.42 Target team would finish out their final race of the season in 38th and finish the season in eighth place in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Championship.
Montoya returned home to make his fourth start at Homestead-Miami Speedway. With a new chassis in tow, the homecoming started out with posting the second-quickest practice time right off the truck. Despite some challenges later in practice, Montoya placed the No. 42 Target Chevrolet in the 23rd position for the start of Sunday’s race but knowing full well that he had a car that could contend. The team made adjustments to the car and as the 10th race of the Chase began Montoya began his climb to the front. With some quick pit stops and quick maneuvering, the No. 42 Target Chevrolet was in the eighth position by lap 85. At lap 100 Montoya was sitting in the second position and running lap times consistent with the leader.
The forward progress was cut short on lap 116 when Montoya and Tony Stewart got together sending the No. 42 into the wall. Right side damage and a loss of brakes forced Montoya back to the garage for repairs. The team returned to the race track and at the close of the race would be 32 laps down and running in the 38th position.
Despite the unfortunate results at Miami-Homestead, Montoya and the Target team finished out their very first Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Championship in the eighth position. Montoya will be attending the awards banquet in Las Vegas next week in Las Vegas.
– credit: earnhardtganassi