*Montoya, Papis Set For Texas-Style Reunion *Chevrolet Comes To Texas On Five-Race Winning Streak *All-Time Texas Winner Mark Martin Makes Final Series Start Of 2006 For Montoya And Papis, Old Rivalry Continues In A New Series For one ...
*Montoya, Papis Set For Texas-Style Reunion
*Chevrolet Comes To Texas On Five-Race Winning Streak
*All-Time Texas Winner Mark Martin Makes Final Series Start Of 2006
For Montoya And Papis, Old Rivalry Continues In A New Series
For one weekend, everything old might seem new again for Juan Pablo Montoya (No. 42 Texaco/Havoline Dodge) and Max Papis (No. 36 Sport Clips Chevrolet).
The former open-wheel competitors in Champ Car during the 2000-01 seasons have turned their attention to stock cars and will prepare to make their second career starts in the NASCAR Busch Series at Texas. Montoya made his series debut last week at Memphis. The native of Colombia overcame a spin midway through the race to finish 11th after starting ninth. He had to qualify on time for that event as he will this weekend since the No. 42 Dodge isn't in the top 30 in owner points to guarantee a starting position.
Papis, from Italy, debuted in a more familiar surrounding last August on the road course at Watkins Glen International.
After starting 43rd in the field, Papis made up ground quickly and finished 14th.
"We had a great run at The Glen and I'm looking forward to proving myself on an oval track in NASCAR and prove that I belong here," Papis said.
Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates announced that Montoya will also compete in the NASCAR Busch Series races at Phoenix International Raceway and Homestead-Miami Speedway to close out the year.
Montoya will see yet another open-wheel alum in two weeks at Phoenix as Indianapolis 500 winner Sam Hornish Jr. will attempt to make his NASCAR debut in the NASCAR Busch Series race for Penske Racing.
Harvick's Win At Memphis Keeps Chevrolet's Streak Intact
The countdown continues for Chevrolet, now needing to sweep the remaining three races on the NASCAR Busch Series schedule to tie the record of 24 victories it set in 1999 for most wins by a manufacturer in a season.
Kevin Harvick's (No. 21 U.S. Coast Guard Chevrolet) win at Memphis last week gives Chevy 21for the year, now tied for fourth all-time. Pontiac had a series-record 21 wins in the inaugural 1982 series season, a record that stood until Chevy registered 23 wins in 1998.
Chevrolet is on a five-race winning streak -- its second such streak of the season -- coming to Texas and has won six of the 11 previous races there.
Ford remains in second place in the standings with six wins and 188 points. Dodge is third with five wins and 175 points, but has won two of the last three series races at Texas, including Kurt Busch's victory in last April's event.
On The Right Track
Mark Martin, the all-time winner at Texas (3), is scheduled to make his final NASCAR Busch Series start of the season at the track. Martin is one of four former winners at Texas in Saturday's field -- defending winner Kevin Harvick (2001, '05); Matt Kenseth (No. 17 Ameriquest Ford -- 2004) and Kasey Kahne (No. 9 Hellman's Mayonnaise Dodge). Harvick and Bowyer have two top-five finishes at Texas, best among drivers entered. Jason Leffler (No. 38 Great Clips Chevrolet -- 2000), Kenseth (2001) and Denny Hamlin (No. 20 Rockwell Automation Chevrolet -- 2006) are former Busch Pole winners at Texas entered in the field. Kenseth is the active leader at Texas with four top fives and nine top-10 finishes. He's also first in races led (6) and laps led (298) and looks to start his series-tying 11th race.
There have been 17 different winners in the NASCAR Busch Series this season; if an 18th new driver wins at Texas, he will tie the record of 18 set in 1988-89. ... A few veteran drivers will look to mark milestones in their NASCAR Busch series careers at Texas. Kenny Wallace (No. 22 AutoZone Ford) seeks the 380th start of his career while two-time series champion Randy LaJoie (No. 37 AmeriCashAdvance.com Chevrolet) aims at No. 350 and Mark Martin chases No. 220. ... There have been 151 different drivers to start series races this year. Clint Bowyer (No. 2 ACDelco Chevrolet) and Kyle Busch (No. 5 Lowe's Chevrolet) are scheduled for triple duty at Texas. In addition to Saturday's NASCAR Busch Series race, Bowyer and Busch are entered in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race on Friday and the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series event on Sunday. Bowyer made his NASCAR Busch Series debut at Texas 2004, finishing 36th... Shane Huffman (No. 88 U.S. NAVY Chevrolet) is also entered in the truck race and has been signed by Key Motorsports to drive in the final three races in that series. Huffman finished a career-best fifth after starting third, another career mark, at Memphis last week. ... Jorge Goeters (No. 63 Extreme Gel/Envent YS Ford) returns to the NASCAR Busch Series at Texas. Goeters, a native of Mexico City who won the Busch Pole at the inaugural series race in his hometown in 2004, last started at Nashville Superspeedway this past April, finishing 24th. ... Bobby Labonte (No. 77 Dollar General Chevrolet), the only driver to win titles in the NASCAR Busch Series (1991) and in NASCAR NEXTEL Cup (2000), returns to his home track for Saturday's race. The Labonte family hails from Corpus Christi. ... Tony Stewart (No. 19 Banquet Chevrolet) is the only driver other than Kevin Harvick to lead the points. Stewart was in first place following his win at the season-opener at Daytona International Speedway. Harvick -- who owned the car Stewart drove to victory that day -- was fifth, but took the lead for good the next week at California Speedway. ... There's plenty of suspense left in the NASCAR Busch Series point race. Third-place Clint Bowyer is 67 points behind second-place Carl Edwards, while Denny Hamlin is 76 points behind Bowyer. Kyle Busch, despite missing the race last week in Memphis, is in seventh, 86 points in back of sixth-place Paul Menard (No. 11 Menard's Chevrolet). Ninth-place Johnny Sauter (No. 00 Yellow Transportation Chevrolet) who posted his best finish in exactly one year with a fourth at Memphis after also claiming the Busch Pole, is lurking 47 points behind Greg Biffle in eighth, while Reed Sorenson (No. 41 Discount Tire Co. Dodge) doesn't give Sauter much time to relax, sitting 40 points out in 10th.
From The NASCAR Busch Series '25 Seasons Running' Archives
Matt Kenseth has a remarkable record at Texas Motor Speedway in NASCAR Busch Series competition. He has 10 starts at the 1.5-mile facility and has finished outside the top 10 only once.
Kenseth won at Texas in 2004 and has a total of four top fives, including a runner-up spot to Mark Martin in 2000. His worst finish was an 18th in 1999 after leading 127 of the event's 163 laps. The Wisconsin native also won a Busch Pole at Texas in 2001 and has started in the top five on four occasions.
His car owners have included his current crew chief Robbie Reiser, Robbie's father John Reiser and his current team owner, Jack Roush.
On Deck: Phoenix International Raceway
Phoenix International Raceway is the destination of the final trip out west for the NASCAR Busch Series in 2006, set for a Veteran's Day start on Nov. 11.
Carl Edwards is the defending winner of the Arizona Travel 200, capturing last year's victory from the Busch Pole.
Kevin Harvick, the 2006 NASCAR Busch Series champion, won the Phoenix race this past spring, then went on to capture the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup race the following day.
Greg Biffle's two wins are the most at Phoenix, while Jason Leffler has two poles, best among all drivers.
The Race: O'Reilly Challenge
The Place: Texas Motor Speedway
The Date: Saturday, Nov. 41
The Time: 2 p.m. (ET)
TV: TNT 2 p.m. (ET)
Track Layout: 1.5-mile oval
Race Distance: 300 miles
Race Purse: $1,220,348
2005 Winner: Kevin Harvick
2005 Pole: Ryan Newman