MONTOYA LEADS FRIDAY PRACTICE AT INDY; BRICKYARD 400 QUALS NEXT INDIANAPOLIS, Friday, July 23, 2010 -- Juan Pablo Montoya's quest for revenge at the race that left him disappointed in 2009 got off to a good start Friday, July 23, as he dominated...
MONTOYA LEADS FRIDAY PRACTICE AT INDY; BRICKYARD 400 QUALS NEXT
INDIANAPOLIS, Friday, July 23, 2010 -- Juan Pablo Montoya's quest for revenge at the race that left him disappointed in 2009 got off to a good start Friday, July 23, as he dominated the speed chart in both practice sessions for the 2010 Brickyard 400.
Montoya drove the No. 42 Earnhardt Ganassi Racing Target Chevrolet to a top lap of 179.756 mph in the second session, only two-tenths of a mile per hour faster than his teammate, Jamie McMurray, who turned a lap of 179.526 in the No. 1 Bass Pro Shops/Tracker Boats Chevrolet.
The Earnhardt Ganassi duo has the opportunity to deliver team co-owner Chip Ganassi a historic "triple crown" of prestigious victories for 2010, as McMurray won the Daytona 500, Dario Franchitti won the Indianapolis 500 for Ganassi's IZOD IndyCar Series team, and the 2010 Brickyard 400 is clearly within the team's grasp. Montoya, who won the 2000 Indianapolis 500 for Ganassi as a race rookie, is also seeking redemption after leading 116 laps at the 2009 race. A pit road speed violation knocked him from contention, and Montoya settled for an 11th-place finish. A victory Sunday would place Montoya as the first driver to win both the "500" and "400" at the 101-year-old racing facility.
"It's too bad we didn't take the trophy home (in 2009), but in my mind I think anybody that is in that team knows that we had the fastest car and we had the pace to win the race," Montoya said. "I think that counts for a lot. From one side it's a little frustrating, but do I feel like they owe me one? No. Do I want to win it? Yeah, of course I want to win it."
Montoya and McMurray will have plenty of competition during pole qualifying Saturday, July 24, as the top five drivers in practice were separated by six-tenths of a mile per hour.
Hendrick Motorsports driver Mark Martin was third-fastest in the No. 5 GoDaddy.com Chevrolet at 179.340, Clint Bowyer was fourth in the Richard Childress Racing-prepared No. 33 Wheaties Fuel Chevrolet at 179.172 and three-time Brickyard 400 winner Jimmie Johnson was fifth at 179.151 in the No. 48 Lowe's Chevrolet. Johnson also has a shot at a lofty place in IMS history, as he could become the first driver to win a major event on the 2.5-mile IMS oval three consecutive years, having won the Brickyard in 2006 and again in 2008-09.
Brickyard 400 qualifying gets underway Saturday at 10:10 a.m. (ET) with two afternoon practices set for 2 p.m. and 3:30 p.m., respectively.
The 2010 Brickyard 400 is scheduled for a 1 p.m. start on Sunday, July 25.
*** Tickets: Tickets are on sale now for the Brickyard 400. Tickets can be purchased online at www.imstix.com at any time.
General admission tickets will be available for Brickyard 400 Race Day -- at a value price of just $40 each -- for the first time at this year's event. Any number of children 12 and under accompanied by at least one adult holding a general admission ticket will be admitted free.
Tickets for groups of 20 or more also are on sale. Contact the IMS Group Sales Department at (866) 221-8775 for more information.