Results from Talladega Superspeedway
1. Clint Bowyer, No. 33 Chevrolet
2. Kevin Harvick, No. 29 Chevrolet
3. Juan Pablo Montoya, No. 42 Target Chevrolet
36. Jamie McMurray, No. 1 Bass Pro Shops Tribute Chevrolet
Halloween weekend at Talladega Superspeedway almost proved to be a sweet victory for Juan Pablo Montoya and the Target team. Montoya claimed his third pole position of the season, led 18 laps and was running in the top-three before a caution on the final lap would credit the No. 42 Target Chevrolet with the third position. The finish marks the sixth top-five of the season for the team and Montoya's pole was the fifth of his career and his second at Talladega, where he made his stock car debut for Chip Ganassi four years ago in the ARCA RE/MAX series.
The Target team unloaded their primary car on Friday morning and opted to run just three timed laps during the practice sessions. The crew checked to make sure nothing was hitting the race track and that the tires were good for qualifying. Satisfied with the results, Montoya sat out the final practice session and then went on to claim the pole position on the following day.
The Amp Energy Juice 500 started just past noon on Halloween and Montoya played on strategy. He led a lap and then quietly fell back in the field to avoid any on track incidents. Right before the halfway point Montoya and McMurray hooked up out on the race track and made their way to the front. The two would run up front until McMurray suffered damage when a car came down on him causing right side damage. Montoya would continue his battle up front and on the final restart he hooked up with the leader, Clint Bowyer, and pushed him. The much anticipated “big one” came on the final lap when Allmendinger turned on his roof and hit the inside wall. The caution flag flew and the finishing order was determined by where the cars were running at the caution. NASCAR reviewed the scoring loop and the Target team finished in the third position.
Montoya said teaming with Bowyer was his best opportunity to win. “You know you’ve got to hook two cars up, and I was the pusher,” Montoya said. “The best chance I had to win the race was push Bowyer up front, and then make a move. If that caution flag hadn’t of come out at the end we may have had a shot at the win.”
Three races remain in the 2010 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season. Teams will head to the “Lonestar State” this weekend to compete in the AAA Texas 500 at Texas Motor Speedway. The race will air live on ESPN and radio stations affiliated with PRN this Sunday, November 7 at 3:00 pm (ET).
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