(photo courtesy Leon Hammack)
Today Juan Pablo Montoya (JPM) captured the pole for the 17th running of The Brickyard 400 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in his Earnhardt-Ganassi Racing #42 Target Chevy. JPM, the 2000 winner of the Indianapolis 500, won the pole with a lap time of 40.375 seconds and a speed of 182.278 mph. Juan appears to be picking up just where he left off in the 2009 Brickyard 400. He was the most dominate car leading 116 laps until he was issued a “speeding ticket” as he lefts the pits late in the race last year.
Second fastest at the end of qualifying was the four-time champ and three time winner of this race, two consecutively 2008 and 2009, Jimmie Johnson. Johnson’s Hendrick Motorsports team mate, Mark Martin, will come to the green flag in the third starting position. JPM’s EGR team mate, Jamie McMurray wound up in the fourth starting position for tomorrow’s race.
Montoya could certainly use a victory on Sunday. A Chaser a year ago, he is 21st heading into the Brickyard. He sits 242 points out of the final Chase berth. It would appear that both of the EGR Chevy’s are contenders for the win on Sunday. Again both cars have been strong every since they unloaded off of their haulers.
If Montoya is successful in capturing the win at The Brickyard 400, he would become the first race car driver to win both The Indy 500 and The Brickyard 400, quite a feat. Additionally, if either of the EGR drivers, Montoya or McMurray, were to win the race, Chip Ganassi would be the first car owner to win The Daytona 500, The Indy 500, and The Brickyard 400 all in one year. That would be a monumental victory for motor sports!
Sunday could prove to be a very exciting race at The Brickyard 400. There are a quite few side stories that can possibly unfold, and make for great entertainment:
1. The Ganassi boys and Chip’s place in history;
2. Johnson going for 3 wins in a row at Indy;
3. Gordon trying be a 5 time winner at Indy;
4. A change in the “chasers” standings;
5. Edwards and “Blazingly Bad” Brad K;
6. Could Kurt Busch give Penske his first Brickyard 400;
The story lines could get very interesting before the race comes to it’s conclusion!
Here is the starting lineup for The Brickyard 400.
TILL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!