Saturday, August 4, 2012

NSCS Pole Report: Juan Pablo Montoya nabs pole for Pennsylvania 400



Juan Pablo Montoya took the pole for Sunday’s Pennsylvania 400 at Pocono Raceway with a lap time of 51.124 seconds (176.043 mph). 
Denny Hamlin will start on the front row alongside Montoya. Also among the top 10 are Paul Menard, Kasey Kahne, Marcos Ambrose, Kurt Busch, Matt Kenseth, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Ryan Newman and Jimmie Johnson.
In 11 starts at Pocono, Montoya has one top five and four top 10s. The driver of the No. 42 Target Chevrolet finished 32nd in this race last year. So far this season, Montoya has just two top-10 finishes – his best finish is a couple of eighth places. He is currently ranked 21st in the point standings and heads into Sunday’s race with a career-best 17th-place finish at Pocono.
This is Montoya’s first pole since April 2011 at Richmond. The pole-sitter is currently winless and has yet to earn a top-five finish.
During his post-qualifying press conference Montoya explained the progress of his relationship with crew chief Chris Heroy and the need to keeping working toward success. “Yeah, it’s not so much momentum, but it’s work,” Montoya said. “We’ve really got to keep working; keep working on the cars and keep understanding what we need to do. You’ve got to remember that my crew chief (Heroy) is new at this. He’s a really smart guy and he’s got a lot of really smart people here, but it’s how do you put everything together; and we’ve been doing a really good job at it. So we’ll see.”
Hamlin will start from the front row. The driver of the No. 11 FedEx Toyota is no stranger to success at Pocono – he has four wins in 13 races, two poles, eight top fives and nine top 10s. 
Following his qualifying run, Hamlin explained how his success has rubbed off on his teammates. On whether the repave might impact his success at Pocono, Hamlin said, “I don’t know. It’s been a few years since we’ve won here. We’ve been in contention just about every time we’ve been at this racetrack and obviously some of that information transferred over to our teammates and they’ve been the ones to beat here lately. So, we feel like we have a decent FedEx Ground Toyota, but not the car that I was hoping for this weekend. 

Starting Lineup for the Pennsylvania 400:
  1. Juan Pablo Montoya
  2. Denny Hamlin
  3. Paul Menard
  4. Kasey Kahne
  5. Marcos Ambrose
  6. Kurt Busch
  7. Matt Kenseth
  8. Dale Earnhardt Jr.
  9. Ryan Newman
  10. Jimmie Johnson
  11. Regan Smith
  12. Greg Biffle
  13. Aric Almirola
  14. Joey Logano
  15. Martin Truex Jr.
  16. Jamie McMurray
  17. Carl Edwards
  18. Mark Martin
  19. Clint Bowyer
  20. Kyle Busch
  21. Kevin Harvick
  22. Landon Cassill
  23. Jeff Burton
  24. David Reutimann
  25. Sam Hornish Jr.
  26. David Gilliland
  27. Jeff Gordon
  28. Tony Stewart
  29. Casey Mears
  30. Mike Bliss
  31. Brad Keselowski
  32. David Ragan
  33. Scott Riggs
  34. Josh Wise
  35. JJ Yeley
  36. David Stremme
  37. Travis Kvapil
  38. Joe Nemechek
  39. Bobby Labonte
  40. Reed Sorenson
  41. Jason White
  42. Tony Raine
  43. Mike Skinner
Television: The Pennsylvania 400 will be live on ESPN at noon EST.

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