Montoya Scores Top-10 Finish for Team Target at Darlington Raceway
NASCAR - Darlington, SC
1. (7) Matt Kenseth, No. 20 Toyota
8. (12) Juan Pablo Montoya, No. 42 Target Chevrolet SS
16. (25) Jamie McMurray, No. 1 McDonald’s Chevrolet SS
The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series made a stop at the historic Darlington Raceway for their traditional Mother’s Day weekend race. Juan Pablo Montoya made his best qualifying effort of 12th at the “Lady in Black” and ran within the top-10 throughout the 367-lap race to finish out the evening in the eighth position.
Team Target spent all day Friday preparing for the race under the lights on Saturday. The No. 42 Chevy SS posted some impressive numbers with an eight-place run in first practice and then topping the leader board in final practice. That momentum would continue into qualifying and, despite an early qualifying draw, Montoya placed the Target Chevy SS in 12th for the start of the race.
The Bojangles’ Southern 500 only experienced five caution flags for 25 laps, with the first caution not coming until lap 125. Montoya and Team Target focused on track position and pit strategy to stay within the lead group of cars. The handling fluctuated throughout the night and the No. 42 was brought down pit road multiple times for fresh tires and adjustments. By lap 146, the Target Chevy SS broke into the top-10 and settled in for the night. Montoya avoided any altercations out on the track and was able to maintain track position for the remainder of the race. When the checkered flag waved, the No. 42 crossed the finish line in the eighth position. The finish marked the team’s second top-10 finish of the season.
“It turned out to be a really good night for the Target team,” Montoya remarked. “The handling was off in the beginning but the guys kept after it and the car started handling a lot better. Everybody on the Target Chevy has been doing a great job. We have been running like this all year. We’ve just had all kinds of mistakes and things.”
• The top-10 finish marks the second one for Team Target this season and the second top-10 finish at Darlington Raceway
• Montoya’s 12th-place qualifying position marks his best qualifying effort at Darlington
• Montoya advanced three positions in the point standings to 22nd, 77 points out of the Chase for the Sprint Cup
The next event on the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series schedule will be the NASCAR Sprint Show down and Sprint All-Star Race at Charlotte Motor Speedway. The races will air live on SPEED and radio stations affiliated with MRN beginning at 7:30 p.m. ET Saturday, May 18.
About Chip Ganassi Racing
Chip Ganassi has been a fixture in the auto racing industry for over 25 years and is considered one of the most successful as well as innovative owners the sport has anywhere in the world. Today his teams include three cars in the IZOD IndyCar Series, two cars in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, and one Daytona Prototype in the GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series. Overall his teams have 15 championships and over 150 victories, including four Indianapolis 500s, a Daytona 500, a Brickyard 400 and five Rolex 24 At Daytonas. Ganassi boasts state-of-the-art race shop facilities in Indianapolis and Brownsburg, Ind. and Concord, N.C., with a corporate office in Pittsburgh, Penn.
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