Montoya Conquers the Track “Too Tough to Tame” with a Top-Five Finish

MINNEAPOLIS - May 10, 2010
Results from Darlington Raceway
1.    Denny Hamlin, No. 11 Toyota
2.     Jamie McMurray, No. 1 McDonald’s Chevrolet
5.     Juan Pablo Montoya, No. 42 Target Chevrolet
Team Target has posted consecutive top-10 finishes over the course of the last three weeks. Darlington was the latest addition to the strong performances run on a track Montoya has never finished better than 20th. The fifth- place finish at a track labeled “Too Tough to Tame” now gives Team Target six top-10 finishes out of 11 races and four top-five’s.
Montoya was a bit skeptical heading into Darlington Raceway over the weekend. In three starts there he had an average finishing position of 22nd, easily making it one of toughest tracks for him statistically. Team Target came in ready to conquer the “lady in black” and by final practice Montoya was running times in the top-five. The same momentum carried on into qualifying where Montoya was on track to lay down a solid time until he got loose and couldn’t hold the throttle wide open. Montoya would have to settle for starting 15th on the grid.
The Showtime Southern 500 started under the lights Saturday night and Montoya wasted no time heading to the front. On lap 32, the No. 42 Target Chevrolet broke into the top-10. Montoya would battle changing handling conditions throughout the evening and the Target pit crew would service the No. 42 Chevrolet seven times for adjustments. Pit strategy also played a key role on track position with crew chief Brian Pattie calling for two tire stops multiple times to gain track position. The pit calls and adjustments worked out favorably for the team and Montoya was displayed in the top-five for the closing laps. When the checkered flag waved, the Target Chevrolet was credited with fifth place and teammate Jamie McMurray came home as the runner-up to winner Denny Hamlin.
 "This Target Chevy has been pretty darn good, “Montoya stated. “We worked really hard all day. In the beginning it was really fast, and then it went away. It was hard work. I hit the wall a couple of times, but nothing major. I was pretty happy. I'm just relieved we got to the end to tell you the truth with a top-five finish."
The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series heads to Dover International Speedway next to take on the “Monster Mile”. The Autism Speaks 400 presented by Hershey's Milk & Milkshakes will air Sunday, May 16 at 1:00 pm (EST) on FOX and radio stations affiliated with MRN.
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