Martinsville Speedway Advance Notes
Race: Tums Fast Relief 500 on Sunday, Oct. 30
Track: Martinsville Speedway (0.526-mile oval)
Location: Martinsville, Va.
Earnhardt Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates
Follow EGR on Twitter: Continue to follow Earnhardt Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates on their official team Twitter page. Find in-race updates and weekly news on the No. 1 and No. 42 teams throughout the 2011 season by following “@EGRTeams”.
There’s an App for that: Chip Ganassi Racing Teams (CGRT) and SapientNitro SM recently launched one of the first mobile applications for the high-velocity world of racing. This new application brings fans updated driver and event information, and exclusive content in one centralized and expansive mobile experience, bringing to life the rich heritage and legendary success of Chip Ganassi Racing Teams. The unique mobile application conveys the high-octane rush of the racing experience for a team that competes at the highest levels in three series – the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, IZOD IndyCar Series and Rolex GRAND-AM Series.
Jamie McMurray and No. 1 McDonald’s Team
McMurray at Martinsville: During McMurray’s Sprint Cup Series career, he has made 17 starts at the paperclip known as Martinsville Speedway. In those races, he has scored one top-five, 10 top-10s and has started on the front row four times, including his first pole at the track back in April of this season. McMurray has an average start of 13.8 and average finish of 15.7 at Martinsville. He has completed 8,280 (97.2%) of a possible 8,519 laps run at the track, leading 117 of them. McMurray has been running at the finish in 16 of his 17 races, and his sole DNF came in his first race at the track (Spring 2003) when his engine expired on lap 319 to end his day.
Numbers Don’t Lie: Martinsville Speedway is arguably one of McMurray’s best venues on the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series circuit. His average starting position of 13.8 is the best among all tracks currently on the NSCS schedule and his average finish of 15.7 is third behind only Indianapolis Motor Speedway (13.1) and Darlington Raceway (14.5). Martinsville is also one of only five tracks where McMurray has at least 10 lead lap finishes (Michigan–14, Martinsville-12, Auto Club–12, Pocono–12 and Talladega–11). Martinsville is also the track at which he has the most top-10 finishes (10), two more than any other track on the circuit (Charlotte Motor Speedway-8).
Closing Time: Over the last 13 races at Martinsville Speedway, McMurray ranks first in the statistical category of “Closers”. This category measures the number of positions improved in the final 10% of laps in each race. McMurray has made a series leading 31 passes in the final laps of races at Martinsville. Second-place Ryan Newman is the only other NSCS driver with more than 25 passes in this time frame (30).
Talladega Recap: When the green flag dropped on the 188 lap race, the Bass Pro Shops team quickly paired up with teammate Montoya and raced to the front of the field. After an on-track incident on lap 104, the No. 1 team battled to make quick repairs to the damaged race car and stay on the lead lap. However, three laps after the race restarted McMurray cut down a left rear tire and was forced to pit under green flag conditions to make additional repairs. In the closing stages of the race, the team was able to get two laps back by virtue of the “lucky dog” and finished in 29th-place, four laps down.
I’m Lovin’ It: McMurray and the No. 1 team will carry the “Golden Arches” of McDonald’s for the 13th time this season at this weekend’s Tums Fast Relief 500 at Martinsville. Most recently, McDonald’s was the primary sponsor on the No. 1 Chevrolet four races ago at Dover International Speedway. After the upcoming race at Martinsville Speedway, McDonald’s will return to the hood of the No. 1 for the final time this season at Phoenix International Raceway on November 13th for the Kobalt Tools 500.
The Return of the McRib: The McRib is back by popular demand at McDonald’s locations across the United States. McDonald’s announced its specialty sandwich, made of boneless ribs smothered in barbecue sauce and topped with pickles and onions on a toasted bun, will make its long-awaited return until Nov. 14. If you are coming to the track this weekend you can get yours at one of the McDonald’s restaurants close to Martinsville Speedway, located at 2756 Greensboro Rd, Martinsville, VA 24112. An additional location is at 202 Commonwealth Ave, Martinsville, VA 24112.
Juan Pablo Montoya and No. 42 Target Team
Martinsville History: Montoya has made nine starts at Martinsville Speedway during his Sprint Cup career. In those races, he has totaled two top-fives, three top-10s and an average finish of 13.9, which is his highest average on any of the his NSCS oval tracks and third behind the series’ two road courses (Infineon Raceway-9.0, Watkins Glen International-11.4). He has completed 97.6% of the laps run (4,409 of 4,519) at Martinsville since his first start, leading 46 of them.
Run to the Finish: In his nine career starts at Martinsville Speedway, Montoya has never had a DNF, making it one of eight tracks where he has finished every race (Bristol, Chicagoland, Darlington, Infineon, Kentucky, Las Vegas, Martinsville and Phoenix). Montoya has also finished on the lead lap six times at Martinsville and has finished more than one lap down only once (Spring 2010).
Homestead Ticket Package: Fans who plan to attend the season finale Ford 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway should take advantage of the “Race Day with Juan” ticket package. The package, which fans may purchase for $142, will include:
· Ticket to Sprint Cup Championship-finale Ford 400 (Turn 1, rows 11-21)
· Private pre-race meet-and-greet with Montoya in the infield Driver’s Meeting Room
· Pre-Race Pit Pass access to front-stretch for photos, autographs, Q&A sessions
· No. 42 Target commemorative lanyard and credential holder
· $42 donation to the Formula Smiles Foundation headed by Montoya and wife Connie
For more information visit www.HomesteadMiamiSpeedway.com/Montoya
TUMS Sponsors the Race: This weekend, TUMS will be the title sponsor of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Martinsville Speedway. TUMS is also an associate sponsor and Target partner on the No. 42 team. TUMS is the No. 1 antacid America relies on to get past heartburn quickly and get on with life. And now, there are even more TUMS choices than ever – from the strongest TUMS ever, “TUMS Ultra”, to “TUMS Kids” for even the smallest bellies. Great-tasting, chewable TUMS go straight to the heartburn to neutralize acid fast.
Talladega Review: When the green flag dropped, Montoya and teammate Jamie McMurray paired up. The tandem worked their way through the field and would be leading by lap 50. Montoya led a total of 16 laps before getting tangled up in the “big one” on lap 104. The No. 42 sustained damage to the front of the race car, but the crew was able to fix the damage on pit road over multiple stops. Once he and his teammate came back together, the two went to work as McMurray pushed the Energizer Chevrolet around the track for the remaining laps. The closing laps saw Montoya involved in another incident causing more damage to the No. 42 Chevrolet. The team patched up the car and drove from 28th to 23rd on the final lap.
In the Points: With his 23rd-place finish in the Good Sam Club 500 at Talladega Superspeedway, Montoya is now tied for 19th in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series point standings with 841 points. He is now 74 points behind 13th-place, which is the highest points position a driver can reach if they are not a “Chase for the Sprint Cup” contender.
No. 1 McDonald’s Chevrolet (NSCS): Chassis #1116. Crew Chief Kevin “Bono” Manion and the No. 1 McDonald’s team will be bringing chassis #1116 to the Tums Fast Relief 500. This chassis was used for the first time last month at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.
No. 42 Target Chevrolet (NSCS): Chassis #1110. Pohlman and the No. 42 Target team are bringing chassis #1110 to Martinsville Speedway this weekend. This chassis was last run in September at New Hampshire, where Montoya started 31st and finished ninth. The chassis was also used in the first race at Loudon in July, and the first Martinsville event where Montoya finished fourth, overcoming a 27th-place qualifying effort.