Target Team Brings Home a Top-10 Finish at Michigan

MINNEAPOLIS - June 18, 2012
Results (starting pos.) from the Quicken Loans 400 at Michigan International Speedway
1.      (17) Dale Earnhardt Jr, No. 88 Chevrolet
8.      (21) Juan Pablo Montoya, No. 42 Target Chevrolet
14.    (19) Jamie McMurray, No. 1 McDonald’s Chevrolet

The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series was at the newly repaved Michigan International Speedway over the weekend. Teams had an extended week in the Irish Hills as they tested on Thursday and then ran their normal race weekend schedule. Juan Pablo Montoya and the Target team started in the 21st position and ran the majority of the race up in the top-10 before crossing the finish line in the eighth position.

Montoya remarked that the newly repaved Michigan International Speedway was “fast” and that held true as 42 out of 45 cars that took time in the initial practice session beat the previous track record time of 37.069 seconds. Not only was the track fast but teams were supplied with new left side tires due to blistering and were put on hold until a rain shower moved through the area before race time.

When the green flag finally waved Sunday afternoon, Montoya and the Target team worked on handling immediately and with a two-tire stop on lap 53 they were able to get themselves in position to run with the front pack. Montoya spent the remaining 150 laps up in the top-10 and would lead four laps just past the halfway point of the race.  As the checkered flag waved, Montoya brought the No. 42 Chevrolet across the finish line in the eighth position. This marks the second top-10 finish of the season for the Target team.

"We had a good day,” Montoya remarked. “The Target Chevrolet was really pretty good from the start. We had some handling concerns early on but the guys worked on it and got me up front. I’m very happy with the progress we’ve made. There’s still some work to do but it was fun to race out there today and great to bring home a top-10 finish for our team and Target.”

Notes:
-    This was the first race ran at Michigan International Speedway since the repave
-    The eighth-place finish ties Montoya’s best finish of the season which he got at Bristol
-    Montoya led four laps during the 200-lap race
-    Montoya gained three positions in the point standings to 18th and is tied with teammate Jamie McMurray. They both sit 81 points out of the Chase for the Sprint Cup

The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series will head out west to wine country next weekend as teams will race at Sonoma. The Toyota/Save Mart 350 will air on TNT and radio stations affiliated with PRN on Sunday, June 24 at 2 p.m. ET.

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