Earnhardt Ganassi Racing preview


Jamie McMurray and No. 1 Bass Pro Shops®/Tracker Boats Team

Favored Track by JMac: “I don’t know what it is about racing at Fontana, but it’s a track that I really enjoy coming to on the circuit. Auto Club Speedway is more of a driver’s track where you as the driver can really dictate your times by which line you choose on the race track. Sometimes the high line works better and as the track changes, it could move to the middle or bottom groove, just depending on how your car seems to handle. That’s really what makes California a fun track to race on.”

After the Switch: For one afternoon, Jamie McMurray and Scott Dixon weren't professional drivers with high stakes on the line and thousands of fans watching their every turn. NASCAR's McMurray took a few laps around Barber Motorsports Park in suburban Birmingham in Dixon's No. 9 Target Honda Indy car.

McMurray on Driving Dixon’s Indy Car: “The acceleration of that car was way more than I expected because the horsepower is less than the Cup cars. I thought that the acceleration would be a fair bit less. But that was really fun to drive. I couldn't believe how quickly the car took off.”

Bristol Recap: After qualifying in the 24th-position on Friday afternoon at the “World’s Fastest Half-Mile”, the team went to work Saturday during the final two practice sessions to get the car where they felt they would be competitive for Sunday’s Jeff Byrd 500. Following an early accident, the Bass Pro Shops crew worked tirelessly throughout the remainder of the event to make repairs and changes on the damaged race car and pick up as many positions as possible. With the 21st-place finish the No.1 team was able improve three spots to 26th-place in the NSCS points standings after the Bristol race.

Mr. Consistent: Out of a possible 3,705 laps at Fontana in his 15 prior starts, McMurray has completed 3,546, making his percentage of laps completed 95.7 percent, with the help of three top-fives and five top-10s.

Front Row…Again? McMurray is the reigning pole sitter at the Auto Club Speedway. He swept both poles in 2010. McMurray and teammate Juan Pablo Montoya made a splash last year as they took the front row for the season’s first event at Fontana.

California History: McMurray will be making his 16th NSCS start at the Auto Club Speedway. His best finish of fourth (twice) came in 2004 and 2005. He has also led a total of 43 laps at the two-mile oval out of his 15 starts at the track.

Juan Pablo Montoya and No. 42 Target Team

Milestone for Montoya: JPM will be making his 150th career NSCS start at Auto Club Speedway this weekend. Montoya’s first start was in 2006 with Chip Ganassi Racing at Homestead-Miami Speedway. In just four full time seasons, Montoya has recorded two wins, fives poles, 19 top-fives, and 43 top-10 finishes, with Watkins Glen being his most recent win in August of 2010.

California History: Juan Pablo Montoya will be making his ninth NSCS start at the Auto Club Speedway on Sunday afternoon. His best race at this track was in 2009 where he started fourth and led for 78 laps before finishing third. In 2010, Montoya’s best start was the outside pole in the spring race. In the past four out of the five races, he has led a total of 111 laps.

Qualifying Consistency: Montoya has qualified in the top-five the previous three races held at Fontana. He has started fourth in the fall race of 2009, second in the spring race of 2010, and fourth in the fall race of 2010.

Last Week: The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series was back in action over the weekend at Bristol Motor Speedway. The No. 42 Target team looked to be on their way to a top-five finish at the “World’s Fastest Half-Mile” until a loose wheel would change the fate of the race team. After 500 laps, the Target Chevrolet would be credited with a 24th-place finishing position.


No. 1 Bass Pro Shops/Tracker Boats Chevrolet (NSCS): Chassis #1016 Crew Chief Kevin “Bono” Manion and the No. 1 Bass Pro Shops / Tracker Boats team are bringing chassis #1016 to Auto Club Speedway this weekend. This is the same chassis that gave McMurray his second pole at Fontana in 2010.

No. 42 Target Chevrolet (NSCS): Chassis #1103 Pattie and the No. 42 Target team are bringing chassis #1103 Auto Club Speedway this weekend. This is a brand new chassis.

-source: egr

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Juan Pablo Montoya
Teams Chip Ganassi Racing , Chip Ganassi Racing
Tags egr, ganassi racing, nascar, sprint cup