Montoya Off And Running In Loudon
Juan Pablo Montoya got off to a fast start in his first Chase for the Sprint Cup on Friday as he won the pole for Sunday’s Chase-opening Sylvania 300 and also posted the fastest lap in the day’s practice session.
Montoya, who admitted to points racing in an effort to get into the Chase, posted a qualifying lap at 143.431 mph. That was a new track record.
“It was really good,” Montoya said. “We really nailed the lap. Both laps were really good. In practice we were faster and I wasn’t too happy with the lap there but I really nailed the lap. I was surprised with the sun came out and I’m like oh, man, but I went out there. And everybody on the Target team is doing such an amazing job. These motors are amazing and it’s just great. Everything is running so good. It’s nice to see.”
Second fastest and joining Montoya on the front row at New Hampshire Motor Speedway is Tony Stewart.
If we qualify good here, we normally race good here,” Stewart said. “So I am pretty excited about today so far. This is the best I have qualified here for a long time”
Third fastest was Kurt Busch while Denny Hamlin and Carl Edwards were fourth and fifth respectively.
David Stremme was fastest among non-Chase drivers as he was sixth.
Mark Martin, who leads the Chase after having the points reset, was 14th fastest Friday.
Two spots behind Martin, 16th in qualifying, was Jimmie Johnson, who is looking to win a record fourth-straight championship.
Behind Montoya in practice were two non-Chase drivers, Kevin Harvick and Clint Bowyer, who are teammates at Richard Childress Racing.
Behind the RCR guys were Chase drivers Tony Stewart, Mark Martin and Kurt Busch.No Comment