MARTIN LEADS ALLSTATE 400 AT THE BRICKYARD PRACTICE 2000 Indianapolis 500 winner Montoya second INDIANAPOLIS, Friday, July 24, 2009 -- Mark Martin topped the speed charts in Allstate 400 at the Brickyard practice at Chevy Day at the Brickyard,...
MARTIN LEADS ALLSTATE 400 AT THE BRICKYARD PRACTICE
2000 Indianapolis 500 winner Montoya second
INDIANAPOLIS, Friday, July 24, 2009 -- Mark Martin topped the speed charts in Allstate 400 at the Brickyard practice at Chevy Day at the Brickyard, Friday, July 24 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Martin, driving the No. 5 CARQUEST/Kellogg's Chevrolet for Hendrick Motorsports, turned a fast lap of 180.643 mph on the 2.5-mile IMS oval. 2000 Indianapolis 500 Mile Race winner Juan Pablo Montoya wasn't far behind, posting a lap of 180.581 in the No. 42 Target Chevrolet for Earnhardt Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates.
Montoya, whose car carries a "Retro Target" paint scheme this weekend reminiscent of the colors he carried to victory in the 2000 Indy 500, sat atop of the speed chart for much of the second practice session until Martin posted his lap.
Kasey Kahne was third fastest in the No. 9 Budweiser Dodge at 180.245, 2003 Allstate 400 at the Brickyard winner Kevin Harvick was fourth at 179.727 and Reed Sorenson, who won the Brickyard pole in 2007, was fifth in the No. 43 Valvoline Dodge at 179.716.
"Our run was pretty good," said Montoya, who is ninth in Sprint Cup points. "I think we've got a good race car. It ran good in race trim and ran good in qualifying trim, but at the end of the day for this Target team, it's all about points. If we're smart enough, I think we can make Sunday a very good points race for us. We've got a car close enough to make a run for the pole."
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series qualifying is scheduled for 10:10 a.m. (ET) Saturday, July 25, with afternoon practices set for 2-3 p.m. and 3:30-4:30 p.m. Public gates open at 7 a.m.
Among the drivers with Indiana ties, South Bend native Ryan Newman was eighth fastest at 179.215, while his Stewart-Haas Racing teammate/team owner Tony Stewart, of Columbus, was 12th at 178.855. Four-time Allstate 400 at the Brickyard winner and former Pittsboro resident Jeff Gordon was 20th at 178.264 and South Bend's David Stremme was 27th at 177.922.
Drivers reported that the extensive Goodyear tire testing that took place at IMS since the 2008 event paid off, as a rubber "groove" developed on the track at the beginning of practice and tire wear was durable and excellent.
"The tires were great," Stremme said. "I didn't have any worries coming in here. Goodyear has done a great job. The race is going to be fun. Double-file restarts are going to be wild."
The 16th Allstate 400 at the Brickyard is scheduled to start at 2 p.m. Sunday, July 26.
2009 IMS tickets: Established in 1909, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway has long prevailed as an icon of motorsports excellence. Beginning in 2009, the Speedway celebrates its Centennial Era, commemorating the 100th anniversary of the facility in 2009 and the 100th anniversary of the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race in 2011.
Tickets for the two remaining events in 2009 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway -- the Allstate 400 at the Brickyard and Red Bull Indianapolis GP -- can be purchased online at www.indianapolismotorspeedway.com at any time. Tickets for groups of 20 or more also are on sale. Contact the IMS Group Sales Department at (866) 221-8775 for more information.