Tuesday, June 18, 2013

McMurray and Montoya carrying some momentum into Sonoma

Juan Pablo Montoya will be one of the drivers to beat Sunday
Earnhardt Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates Advance Notes


Race: Toyota/Save Mart 350 on June 23, 2013
Drivers: @jamiemcmurray @jpmontoya
Cars: No.1 Cessna Chevrolet SS, No. 42 Target Chevrolet SS
Track: Sonoma (1.99-mile, 12-turn, road course) Sonoma, Calif.
TV: TNT (3:00 pm ET)
Social: @EGRTeams #TeamGanassi

New Qualifying Format: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series teams (NSCS) will qualify in a group format for the first time ever this weekend at Sonoma. Cars will be divided into groups based on speeds from final practice on Friday. Each group will be on-track for a set amount of time (determined by series director). A cars best time during the group session will be the lap of record for qualifying to determine the starting line-up.

Target Team in the Spotlight: The No. 42 Target team will be front and center this weekend as TNT will show an all access feature on their pre-race show on Sunday. TNT went behind-the-scenes at the race shop and with the Montoya family on Monday to gather footage for the upcoming feature. In addition, the No. 42 team will have an in-car camera during the race.

Follow EGR on Twitter: Continue to follow Earnhardt Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates (EGR) on their official team Twitter page. Find in-race updates and weekly news on the No.1 and No.42 teams throughout the 2013 season by following “@EGRTeams”.

‏@No1Bono – “Proud of our team today, we were in every position today with a solid performance. Oh yeah just missing the finishes… #keepyourheadsup” – Crew chief Kevin Manion, following the Quicken Loans 400 at Michigan International Speedway


Jamie McMurray and No. 1 Cessna Team

Michigan Recap: The NSCS season made the first of two annual visits to the Irish Hills of Michigan and the Michigan International Speedway. Jamie McMurray started the Quicken Loans 400 from the 28th position, and quickly showed strength with the McDonald’s Chevrolet SS. After leading laps early and running in the top-10, the No. 1 team blew a right front tire with less than 35 laps to go and would cross the finish-line with a 33rd-place finish.

McMurray at Sonoma: This weekend’s race will be McMurray’s 11th start at Sonoma Raceway. McMurray has completed 1106 out of a possible 1107 laps and has zero DNF’s (did not finish) at the track. He has one top-five and one top-10 finish. The driver of the No. 1 Cessna Chevrolet SS qualified on the pole in 2007, and led 30 laps. His best finish at the track is second in 2004. McMurray’s driver rating of 84.4 ranks him the 12th-best among active drivers. In his 10 previous starts McMurray ranks 10th in green flag passes with 441, and has an average finish of 17.1 at Sonoma Raceway.

Take Off: Cessna Aircraft Company (Cessna) will be the primary sponsor once again this weekend on the No. 1 Chevrolet SS for Jamie McMurray. This marks just the second of seven races that the Cessna colors will adorn the race car.

Discover Flying: Cessna is once again offering a unique internship experience – the Discover Flying Challenge – for six aviation students from a field of applicants for a summer-long excursion across the United States. This year, Cessna has partnered with five not-for-profit organizations as part of this summer’s Discover Flying Challenge to bring awareness to their charitable efforts. The Discover Flying Challenge commenced on Saturday, June 15 at the Strother Field Industrial Park in Winfield, Kan., aboard six customized Cessna 172 Skyhawk aircraft. The Discover Flying Challenge pilots attended a Cessna 172 fly-in at the field, and then departed for their respective regions around the U.S. The pilots are assigned social media accounts through Cessna’s Facebook and Twitter pages, and will virtually document their journey. The students are challenged to make their social media content on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube both creative and engaging, as they will be competing against each other for various prizes at the conclusion of the program. Learn more at socialflight.com

Juan Pablo Montoya and No. 42 Target Team
Michigan Recap: Juan Pablo Montoya and Team Target headed north to the “Irish Hills” of Michigan over the weekend for the 15th race on the NSCS schedule. The No. 42 Target Chevy SS started from the 10th position and ran within the top-15 until an untimely caution in the closing laps shuffled the field. Montoya rebounded from going a lap down to finish 20th.

Montoya at Sonoma: This weekend will be Montoya’s seventh start at Sonoma Raceway. In his six races at Sonoma, he has one win, one top-five and four top-10s. His average start at the road-course is 18.8 with an average finish of 13.2. He has led a total of nine laps at Sonoma seven of them coming from the year he won in 2007. In his first year with EGR, he scored his first NSCS victory on the road-course. Other notables include:
* Montoya has a driver rating of 97.8, making him fifth best at Sonoma Raceway and has completed 662 of 667 laps (99.3%)
* Average running position of 11.8, fourth-best
* Average green flag speed of 89.332 mph, eighth-fastest
* 509 laps in the top 15 (76.3%), seventh-most
* 195 quality passes, fourth-most

Road Warrior: Montoya has won on three different road courses on the NASCAR circuit. Montoya’s first victory was March 3, 2007 in Mexico City driving in the NASCAR Nationwide Series. Montoya rolled off in third position and then went on to lead 43 of 82 laps on his way to victory. Along with a 2007 victory in Sonoma, Montoya has an additional NSCS victory at Watkins Glen in 2010. Montoya dominated at The Glen, starting fourth and leading 74 out of 90 laps.

99 Wins and Counting …: The Target Racing program, which began with Target and Chip Ganassi Racing in 1990, is just one win shy of the 100-win plateau. The first win for the program came in 1994 with Michael Andretti’s Indy car victory at Surfers Paradise, Australia when the team was just a two-car open wheel program. The partnership between Target and Chip Ganassi Racing is one of the longest consecutive team partnerships in motor racing history.

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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.

For more information log onto: www.earnhardtganassi.com

- Earnhardt Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates

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