Earnhardt Ganassi Racing/ Darlington Advance Notes

Track:                            Darlington Raceway (1.366-mile oval)

Location:      Darlington, S.C.  


American Muscle

Sign Here Please: Jamie McMurray and Juan Pablo Montoya will be signing autographs Thursday, May 26th at 10:00 a.m. at the Earnhardt Ganassi Race shop in Concord, NC. Wristbands will be available starting May 9th and will be available until Thursday, May 26th at 9:30 a.m. Fans can call or stop by the shop at anytime from 9:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. in order to reserve their wristband. Pick-up for the wristbands begin Wednesday, May 25th from 3:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Limit two wristbands per person.  

Jamie McMurray and No. 1 Bass Pro Shops Team   “Too Tough to Tame”:  McMurray has a total of 10 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) starts at Darlington and is the defending pole sitter of the Southern 500. Last year, McMurray qualified first and ran up front the entire race leading 71 laps and finishing second, a career-best for McMurray at Darlington. Additionally, McMurray has two fourth-place finishes and four top-10’s total, all while driving for Chip Ganassi.  McMurray has also led 150 laps in NSCS competition at the South Carolina track and has an average finishing position of 15.0, his personal-best on any track that he has competed on a minimum of ten races. McMurray also has accumulated three top-fives and one win (2004 fall race) in nine career Nationwide Series starts at the track “Too Tough to Tame”.   

Richmond Recap:  Jamie McMurray and the McDonald’s Chevrolet team started the Crown Royal 400 at Richmond International Raceway in the 17th-position.  Following a late-race incident that resulted in some sheet metal damage on the No. 1 car, McMurray was able to bring home an 18th-place finish.   

In the Points:  Jamie McMurray and the No. 1 team currently sit 24th in the 2011 NSCS Championship standings, just 55 points out of 12th, the cutoff for the Chase, and 68 points out of 10th .   Mothers Day:  McMurray, along with many other members of the NASCAR Community will celebrate Mother’s Day trackside by welcoming their mothers as participants in the Pre-Race Driver Introduction ceremonies.  McMurray’s mother, Sue, will help welcome her son as he is introduced to the thousands of NASCAR fans in attendance and will also participate in the command to start engines.    

Juan Pablo Montoya and No. 42 TargetTeam   Lady in Black History:  Montoya will be making his fifth start at Darlington Raceway this weekend. His best starting position is 15th and his best finish is fifth, which occurred in last year’s Southern 500.  Montoya has completed 1465 of the 1468 (99.8%) laps at the track “too tough to tame”.  

Richmond Review: The Target team nabbed their second pole award of the season over the weekend at Richmond. The pole marked the seventh career for Montoya and his first ever short track pole. The No. 42 was running up in the top-10 when an on-track altercation occurred causing significant damage to the Target Chevrolet. The team would settle for a 29th-place finish.  

Twice as Nice: For the second time this season, Montoya put the No. 42 Target Chevrolet on the pole as he won the top spot for the Matthew and Daniel Hansen 400 at Richmond International Raceway.  Last weekend’s pole marked the first short track pole for Montoya. Montoya has a total of seven career poles in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.  His first NSCS pole was in 2009 at Talladega Superspeedway for the Aaron’s 499.  

In the Points:  Montoya currently sits 12th in the point standings, 73 markers out of first.  This time last year Montoya was sitting in the 18th position, improving six spots.   Let There be Light!: In celebration of their 16year partnership, Earnhardt Ganassi Racing has teamed up with Energizer to “Light Up The Night” at Charlotte Motor Speedway for the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Challenge on May 21st. Energizer hopes to help fans set a world record for shining the most flashlights simultaneously at a sporting event. Thousands for LED headlights will be distributed as fans are asked to shine them during pre-race festivities.  

CHASSIS INFO No. 1 Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet (NSCS):Chassis #1016. Crew Chief Kevin “Bono” Manion has elected to bring chassis #1016 to Darlington this weekend.  This chassis was previously raced this year at Fontana where McMurray started 12th and finished 23rd.  This chassis was also raced in last year’s Texas fall race (started 25th, finished 16th), the 2010 fall race at Fontana (started first, finished 17th), and the 2010 fall race at Atlanta (started 12th, finished 15th).  

No. 42 Target Chevrolet (NSCS): Chassis #1105.  Brian Pattie will bring chassis #1105 to Darlington this weekend.  It was previously raced at Texas this year where it started 14th and finished 13th.  This chassis was also raced at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in March of this year where it started 23rd and finished 3rd.

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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