Watkins Glen: Round 22 preview

* Montoya Seeks History Making Road Course Win * Kurt Busch Moves Into The 12th Position * Second Half Of Race To The Chase Unfolds At The Glen Montoya Talks About Trifecta DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Aug. 7, 2007) -- Juan Pablo Montoya (No. 42 ...

* Montoya Seeks History Making Road Course Win
* Kurt Busch Moves Into The 12th Position
* Second Half Of Race To The Chase Unfolds At The Glen

Montoya Talks About Trifecta

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Aug. 7, 2007) -- Juan Pablo Montoya (No. 42 Wrigley's Big Red Dodge) will look to make NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series history this Sunday at Watkins Glen International by becoming the first driver to win on three road courses in the same season. Earlier this year, Montoya won road-course events in the NASCAR Busch Series (Mexico City) and in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series (Infineon), becoming only the third NASCAR driver to ever post two road-course wins in different series in the same year. Ernie Irvan in 1992 at Infineon, NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series; Watkins Glen, NASCAR Busch Series; and Darrell Waltrip in 1986 at Riverside, NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series; Road Atlanta, NASCAR Busch Series have also accomplished that feat.

Montoya participated in the NASCAR teleconference on Tuesday and says he's looking forward to the task ahead.

"I think it's going to be pretty exciting. I think we have been having a good season lately. The last few races we have been getting better. We have been getting very good results. I think it should be exciting. We actually are driving the Wrigley's Big Red car in both races, the NASCAR Busch Series and NASCAR NEXTEL Cup."

Race To The Chase, Round 6: Busch's Win Elevates Him To 12th

Kurt Busch's (No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge) dominant win at Pocono last Sunday has elevated him to 12th place in the standings, seven points ahead of Dale Earnhardt Jr. (No. 8 Budweiser Chevrolet). Busch delivered a perfect (150.0) Driver Rating at Pocono and also set a track record by leading 174 laps. Over the last eight races, Busch has picked up five spots and 95 points to move into 12th place. Following the race at Dover and a subsequent penalty that cost him 100 points, Busch had fallen to 17th place, 88 points behind Earnhardt Jr.

Earnhardt Jr. had been in the top 12 for six straight weeks and seven overall this season before slipping out last week at Pocono, despite a season-best second-place finish.

Ryan Newman (No. 12 Kodak Dodge) finished seventh at Pocono and is currently 14th-place, 90 points behind teammate Kurt Busch. Mark Martin (No. 01 U.S. Army Chevrolet), who is driving a limited schedule this year, is 15th and 216 points out of 12th, while Greg Biffle (No. 16 Dish Network Ford) is 16th and likewise 216 points behind Busch.

Race To The Chase Reaches Halfway Point

This week's event at Watkins Glen marks the halfway point in the Race to the Chase. And with just five races remaining before the Chase for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup, the drama and competition is only thickening as the battle for seeding order and the 12th and final position takes shape.

A new wrinkle in this year's Chase format is that the top 12 drivers in the standings qualify for the Chase and have their point totals 'reset" to 5,000. They then will have bonus points -- 10 per victory -- applied. Jeff Gordon (No. 24 DuPont Chevrolet) continues as the leader and would be seeded first in the Chase following Pocono. Gordon and teammate Jimmie Johnson (No. 48 Lowe's Chevrolet) share the series lead with four victories each this year, but Gordon would get the top seed. Seeding ties are broken by the comparison of drivers' best finishes beyond victories. Johnson would jump from seventh to second because of the seeding process.

Kurt Busch's win last week at Pocono was his first of the year and would enable him to climb from the 12th seed to the 10th seed with the new format that places a premium on winning.

Jeff Gordon, Tony Stewart Have Successful Track Records At The Glen

Jeff Gordon and Tony Stewart (No. 20 Home Depot Chevrolet) have combined for six NASCAR NEXTEL Cup championships and between the two, have claimed seven wins, 10 top-fives and 13 top-10s at Watkins Glen.

Gordon leads all current drivers with four trips to Victory Lane at The Glen. Stewart has practically owned this road course over the past five years, with three wins and one runner-up finish during that time. In 2005, he put on one of the more impressive performances in NASCAR history, leading 83 of the 92 laps en route to victory.

Of the two drivers battling for the 12th position in the Chase, Dale Earnhardt Jr. holds an edge over Kurt Busch in performing at The Glen. In seven career starts there, Earnhardt.has posted two top-fives, three top-10s and one DNF here. His average finish is 17.6. Busch has six starts, one top-10, one pole and two DNFs at The Glen. His average finish is 25.0.

Kevin Harvick (No. 29 Shell/Pennzoil Chevrolet) is the defending champion of this race. Harvick came on strong towards the end of last year's event, overtaking Tony Stewart on Lap 87 to post the win by .892 seconds.

More on Montoya -- As mentioned earlier, no NASCAR driver has ever won three national road course events in the same season. Both of Montoya's victories this year were career firsts-- his first NASCAR NEXTEL Cup win at Infineon and his first NASCAR Busch Series victory at Mexico City. Montoya, the 2000 Indianapolis 500 winner and Formula One star, finished second two weeks ago at Indianapolis and 16th last week at Pocono -- both flat, 2.5-mile tracks with road course characteristics. Montoya didn't participate in last Saturday's inaugural NASCAR Busch Series event at Montreal, another road course race, but he is entered in Saturday's NASCAR Busch Series' ZIPPO 200 at Watkins Glen.

-credit: nascar

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series NASCAR Sprint Cup
Drivers Juan Pablo Montoya