Watkins Glen: Earnhardt Ganassi Racing preview

Martin Truex Jr. and No. 1 Bass Pro Shops / Tracker Boats Team Watkins Glen History: This weekend marks Martin Truex Jr.'s fourth Sprint Cup Series start at Watkins Glen International. In his three prior starts at the track Truex has an average...

Martin Truex Jr. and No. 1 Bass Pro Shops / Tracker Boats Team

Watkins Glen History: This weekend marks Martin Truex Jr.'s fourth Sprint Cup Series start at Watkins Glen International. In his three prior starts at the track Truex has an average start of 21.6 and an average finish of 13th. The last two times Truex has taken on the 2.45 mile road course he has finished fifth and sixth respectively. Last year's fifth place finish was his best ever at the track and his best finish on a road course in his Sprint Cup Series career.

Last Weekend: Truex and his No. 1 Chevrolet team battled an ill handling racecar and some bad luck last weekend at Pocono Raceway. The team worked throughout the weekend practices to improve the handling of the car. Rain washed out qualifying so Truex started in 24th based on owner points. After the green flag dropped handling issues quickly emerged and the team worked for much of the race to correct their problems. Truex pitted with Montoya on lap 164 just as the caution came out, but due to a miscommunication went back out onto the track, missing a chance to gain valuable track position. Truex battled back from the 30th position to finish 19th.

NY Native: Tire specialist Russell Simpson is a native of Medford, N.Y., about five hours south of Watkins Glen. Simpson, who has been racing most of his life, joined the team in 2001. During the week he works in the shop as a mechanic.

In the Points: Truex and the No. 1 Chevrolet team remain in 24th-place in both owner and driver standings after finishing in 19th at Pocono.

Juan Pablo Montoya and No. 42 Target Team

Watkins Glen History: Montoya will make his third start at Watkins Glen International this weekend. In his first start Montoya was running sixth when he was hit from behind and sent spinning with less than 20 laps remaining. Last year Montoya took the green flag from the 25th position and raced his way into the top 5, taking home a fourth-place finish. In two starts at the 2.45-mile road course Montoya has an average start and finish of 21.5.

Perfect Combo: Juan Pablo Montoya and Crew Chief Brian Pattie make a perfect combo at road course races. Montoya has two road course victories in NASCAR and will visit Watkins Glen International for the second time with Pattie as his crew chief. Brian Pattie had a tremendous amount of success at The Glen when he was a crew chief in the NASCAR Nationwide Series. Pattie has three pole positions, one outside pole, three victories and one second-place finish to his credit at the road course in Nationwide competition. In their two road course races together, Montoya and Pattie have finishes of fourth (Watkins Glen '08) and sixth (Infineon '09).

About Last Weekend: Juan Pablo Montoya and the 42 team took home their best finish of the season, second place at Pocono Raceway, last weekend. Montoya took the green flag in 10th after rain washed out qualifying. The car was steady all race but Crew Chief Brian Pattie made a great call when he brought Montoya in for his last pit stop on lap 164. The Target team got him out of the pits quickly as the caution came out, bringing most of the field to pit road for their final stop. Montoya was able to stay out and moved to fourth place for the restart. He would fight his way up to second and challenge the No. 11 for the lead before finishing the race in second.

In the Points: A strong second place finish at Pocono Raceway moved Montoya up two spots in the NSCS standings to a career-high 8th place. Montoya sits only 102 points out of fifth in the standings while increasing his points cushion over 13th to 169 points with only five races remaining before the cutoff to the chase at Richmond.

2009 In Numbers: Montoya and team have one pole award, one top-five, 10 top-10 and 14 top-15 finishes in the 2009 season. Montoya has led 133 laps and averages a 13th-place start and a finishing position of 13.7 this season.

NY Native: Competition Director Steve Hmiel hails from Syracuse, north east of Watkins Glen. Hmiel joined the team in 2007 with over 30 years of NASCAR experience. He has been winning races and championships with some of the most recognized teams in the business including Petty Enterprises, Roush-Fenway Racing and Dale Earnhardt Inc.

CHASSIS INFO

No. 1 Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet (NSCS): Chassis #065. The No. 1 Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet team will bring chassis #065 to Watkins Glen. This marks the first race for the chassis.

No. 42 Target Chevrolet (NSCS): Chassis #811. The Target team will bring Chassis #811 to Watkins Glen International this weekend. This will be the first time chassis #811 will be used in NASCAR Sprint Cup Series competition this season. The Target team tested this chassis at Road Atlanta in July.

-credit: egr

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About this article
Series NASCAR Sprint Cup
Drivers Juan Pablo Montoya
Teams Chip Ganassi Racing