Montoya and No. 42 Team Earn Another Top-20 Finish AVONDALE, Ariz. (April 12, 2008)--Juan Pablo Montoya and the No. 42 team earned their seventh-consecutive top-20 finish this weekend in the Subway Fresh Fit 500 at Phoenix International Raceway.
Montoya and No. 42 Team Earn Another Top-20 Finish
AVONDALE, Ariz. (April 12, 2008)--Juan Pablo Montoya and the No. 42 team earned their seventh-consecutive top-20 finish this weekend in the Subway Fresh Fit 500 at Phoenix International Raceway. Montoya drove the No. 42 Wrigley's Big Red Dodge from a 15th-place starting spot to a 16th-place finish on Saturday night. The finish also moved Montoya up three spots in the NASCAR Sprint Cup driver's standings.
The green flag waved for the 312-lap race with Montoya rolling off in the 15th position. He told Crew Chief Donnie Wingo the car was pretty good at the start of the event. Despite an early caution, Wingo didn't call Montoya down pit road until lap 42 for four tires, fuel and a track bar adjustment to fix the loose condition Montoya was experiencing.
He remained in the top 15 through the first 100 laps of the race on the 1-mile flat track as a round of green-flag stops began on lap 106. Montoya drove the No. 42 Big Red Dodge down pit road on lap 110 for tires and fuel. Unfortunately, the caution flag waved four laps later when the No. 78 spun before all the front running cars had pitted. Montoya, as well as several other cars, was now on the tail end of the lead lap for the restart on lap 121 with leader just five cars behind him.
Montoya and the team got the break they needed when the yellow flag waved on lap 133 after the No. 12 car lost an engine and dropped oil all over the track. Montoya's teammate Reed Sorenson, along with four other cars, slid in the oil and received damage as a result. The melee brought out the red flag to clean up the oil and debris. When the yellow flag was displayed, Montoya came down pit road for tires and fuel. The quick stop by the pit crew moved the No. 42 Dodge up to 13th for the restart on lap 140 with just 20 cars remaining on the lead lap.
Montoya took a trip through the grass on lap 147 after contact with the No. 7 car as he was slowing for a caution. He brought the Big Red Dodge into the pits on lap 149 for an adjustment, four tires and to have the fenders repaired on his Charger. He fell back to 18th on the restart on lap 153. The team continued to work on the car as Montoya was complaining of a lack of forward bite. With 100 laps remaining in the race, Montoya had maneuvered his way back up to 16th.
Wingo called for a big change during a pit stop on lap 230 including the removal of a spring rubber and an air pressure adjustment. The race remained under green-flag conditions from lap 233 until the checkered flag waved. While running in the 14th position, Montoya had to pit on lap 301 for three seconds of fuel to make it to the finish. Several other cars pitted also and Montoya crossed the stripe in the 16th spot.
Montoya gained three positions in the driver standings and now sits 16th. He is just 61 points out of the top 12, the cut off to the Chase for the Sprint Cup heading into the off weekend on the schedule. Montoya and the team will return to the track on April 27 for race nine of the 2008 season at Talladega Superspeedway.
Montoya: "I'm proud of the team. We really stepped it up this week and had such a better car. We kind of got lost in the middle of the race but came back strong in the end and got another top-20 finish. We'll take the points and try to keep gaining on the top 12 guys leading in the points."