Earnhardt Ganassi Racing – Auto Club Speedway Advance Notes

Auto Club Speedway Advance Notes

Race:                   Pepsi MAX 400 on Sunday, Oct. 10

Track:                  Auto Club Speedway (2.0-mile oval)

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Location:               Fontana, Calif.

Earnhardt Ganassi Media Contacts at Auto Club Speedway

NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS)                

John Olguin             No. 1   McDonald’s Chevrolet

Shayna Keller           No. 42 Target Chevrolet

NOTES

Jamie McMurray and No. 1 McDonald’s Team

Fontana Review:  McMurray will be making his 15th NSCS start at the Auto Club Speedway. He is the reigning track pole-sitter (first of three for 2010) from the first 2010 NSCS visit in February.  McMurray followed his 2010 Daytona 500 victory and subsequent media tour, by making a splash with teammate Juan Pablo Montoya as they took the pole and outside pole positions for this season’s first event at Fontana.  His best finish of fourth (twice) came in 2004 and 2005 when he previously raced for Chip Ganassi. He has five top-10 finishes; zero DNF’s and has led 43 laps at the two-mile oval.

About Kansas:  Jamie McMurray and the No.1 Bass Pro Shops / Tracker Boats team looked to continue a streak of very consistent racing which prior to Kansas included, one win, four top-five, five top-10, and seven top-15 finishes in the previous 10 races.  They did just that as the driver from Joplin, MO returned to the Midwest, racing in front of some of his most-loyal fans, the driver surged into the top 10 late in the race, eventually finishing in the 11th position.  The finish marks his eighth top-15 in the last 11 races.

Return of “Big Mac”:  Jamie McMurray and the No.1 Team will welcome back the iconic Golden Arches to the hood of their No. 1 Chevrolet as McDonald’s returns as the primary sponsor.  The driver has had quite the success with the Golden Arches on the hood, including two pole awards (Darlington and Chicago), three top-five, four top-10, and seven top-15 finishes in 10 starts with the McDonald’s paint scheme.  His average starting position with the Golden Arches on the hood is 10.9 with an average finish of 15.9. 

Consistency Key for McMurray and No.1 Team:  Jamie McMurray and the No.1 Team have rattled off an impressive list of stats over the last 11 races.  These stats include one pole award (Chicago), one win (Indy), four top-five, five top-10, and eight top-15 finishes, with an average start of 11th and average finish of 10.5. 

Impressive Season Stats For McMurray:  Currently McMurray is ranked in the top 10 among drivers in the following categories… Tied for first in number of pole awards (3), second in race winnings, and eighth in top-five and top-10 finishes.

Visit Bass Pro Shops:  Race fans visiting the Auto Club Speedway should be sure to visit the Rancho Cucamonga, CA. store located just 10 minutes from the Speedway at 7777 Victoria Gardens Lane.  For more information on in-store sales and events, race fans should visit www.basspro.com or call the store at 909.922.5500. 

Inside View With McMurray:  Watch for different angles and views from the No. 1 McDonald’s Chevrolet this weekend at Auto Club Speedway.  McMurray will carry an in-car camera 400 miles around the 2-mile speedway this Sunday during the Pepsi Max 400.

Juan Pablo Montoya and No. 42 Target Team

MEDIA ALERT:  Juan Pablo Montoya will be available at the No. 42 Target hauler for a brief Hispanic Media Q&A session on Friday, October 8 from 11:15am – 11:30am (PDT) 

California History:  Juan Pablo Montoya will be making his eighth NSCS start at the Auto Club Speedway on Sunday afternoon.  Montoya is coming off a starting-best of second from the first 2010 NSCS visit to Fontana.  His career best weekend came at this event last season where he started fourth and led for 78 laps before finishing third.  He had previously only led for one lap with a best finish of 11th in the first event of 2009.

Kansas Recap:  The Target team started out the weekend strong with their 11th consecutive top-10 qualifying position at Kansas Speedway.  The No. 42 Target Chevrolet lined-up seventh and handling concerns quickly became an issue.  Montoya brushed the wall on lap 42 due to a loose handling race car and the team worked throughout the day to get a strong finish out of the race.  In the end, Montoya would settle for a 29th-place finishing position.

Montoya Appearance:  Visit the Chevy Stage located outside of Auto Club Speedway this Sunday, October 10.  Montoya will participate in a Q&A Session from 8:45am-9:00am (PDT).  

Montoya Plays Golf:  Prior to the weekend events at Auto Club Speedway Montoya will arrive in California early to participate in fellow NSCS driver Jimmie Johnson’s foundation golf tournament.  The tournament will take place on Wednesday, October 6 in San Diego, Calif.

Meet The Target Team:  Visit the Chevy display area this Sunday, October 10 to meet the No. 42 Target pit crew.  The Target team will be signing autographs for race fans at the display from 10:15am-10:30am (PDT).

Back-to-Back IndyCar Titles for Target Chip Ganassi Racing: Target Chip Ganassi Racing claimed their eighth open wheel crown last Saturday night at Homestead-Miami Speedway as Dario Franchitti drove to an eighth place finish, locking up the 2010 IndyCar Series championship in the final race of the season. It marks the third IndyCar championship for Franchitti (2007, 2009), and second with Team Target.  In addition, it marked the third straight IndyCar championship for Target Chip Ganassi Racing as teammate Scott Dixon captured the title in 2008.

Qualifying Consistency:  Montoya and the No. 42 Target team continued their qualifying streak of top-10 starting positions this past weekend in Kansas.  The No. 42 Chevrolet has started in the top-10 for 11 straight weeks beginning with Chicagoland in mid-July.  This also includes one of the two pole awards for Montoya this season and five top-five starting positions.

CHASSIS INFO

No. 1 McDonald’s Chevrolet (NSCS): Chassis #1016. The No. 1 team will bring chassis #1016 to Auto Club Speedway this weekend.  This chassis was first used a month ago at Atlanta where McMurray qualified 12th and finished 15th.

No. 42 Target Chevrolet (NSCS):  Chassis #1003.  Pattie and the No. 42 Target team are bringing chassis #1003 to Auto Club Speedway this weekend marking the fourth time this chassis has been used in 2010.  The team last used this chassis at Atlanta in September where Montoya started eighth and finished ninth.   Montoya also ran this chassis at Chicagoland where he qualified 10th and finished 16th and in the Coke 600 where he finished 38th due to an on-track incident.

2010 STATS

NASCAR Sprint Cup Series

        Starts  Wins    Poles   Top 5s  Top 10s Ave Start       Ave Finish      Pts. Pos./(Prev)       
Jamie McMurray  29      2       3       8       10      13.8    16.5    14/14  
Juan Pablo Montoya      29      1       2       5       13      10.2    18.0    16/16  

CAREER STATS

NASCAR Sprint Cup Series

        Starts  Wins    Poles   Top 5s  Top 10s Ave Start       Ave Finish     
Jamie McMurray  287     5       6       38      90      19.7    19.1   
Juan Pablo Montoya      138     2       4       17      40      17.4    19.9   
       

TEAM ROSTERS

Tony Glover – Team Manager

Steve Hmiel – Director of Competition

No. 1 (NSCS)    Hometown                Hometown       
Crew Chief:  Kevin Manion       Boylston, MA    Rear Tire Changer: Chris Taylor         West Plains, MO
Chief Mechanic:  Gary Putnam    Vernon, CT      Rear Tire Carrier:  Adam Mosher Fort Mill, SC  
Front Tire Changer:  Cory DeMarco       St. Louis, MO   Gas Man:  Benjy Grubbs  Richmond, VA   
Front Tire Carrier:  Doug Riepe Danbury, CT     Catch Can:  Eric Hoyle  Asheville, NC  
Jack Man:  Tracy Duncan Lincolnton, NC  Spotter:   Keith Barnwell       Hudson, NC     

No. 42 (NSCS)   Hometown                Hometown       
Crew Chief:  Brian Pattie       Zephyrhills, FL         Rear Tire Changer:  Chris McMullen      Troutman, NC   
Chief Mechanic:  Heath Silver   Asheville, NC   Rear Tire Carrier:  Chip Goode  Statesville, NC        
Front Tire Changer:  Trevor Lysne       Fergus Falls, MN        Gas Man:  Mike Bodick   Norwalk, CT    
Front Tire Carrier:  Eric Bilyeu        Waterford, MI   Catch Can:  Heath Silver        Asheville, NC  
Jack Man:  TJ Ford      Charlotte, NC   Spotter:  Tab Boyd      Pensacola, FL

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of SpeedwayMedia.com.

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