Earnhardt Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates/ Kentucky Advance Notes

Kentucky Speedway Advance Notes

Race:                             Quaker State 400 on Saturday, June 30

Track:                            Kentucky Speedway (1.5-mile tri-oval)

American Muscle

Location:      Sparta, Ky.

Earnhardt Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates Media Contacts at Kentucky Speedway

Jeff Dowling                 No. 1      McDonald’s Chevrolet

Shayna Keller              No. 42    Target Chevrolet


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 2012 season by following “@EGRTeams”.

EGR at Kentucky:  Juan Pablo Montoya and Jamie McMurray will make their second NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) starts at Kentucky Speedway this weekend.  EGR has five NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS) starts at the 1.5-mile speedway, averaging a starting and finishing position of 14.6 and completing 859 laps out of a possible 1,000 laps. One ACRA Series start for EGR resulted in an 11th-place start and a 14th-place finish at the 1.5-mile tri-oval.

Larson Takes on Trucks:  EGR developmental driver Kyle Larson will make his first national touring series start in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series at Kentucky Speedway on Thursday, June 28, with a unique paint scheme aimed to drive awareness toward the team’s social media engagement.  The 19-year-old will race the No. 4 Turner Motorsports entry branded by EGR social and digital media assets, including: @EGRTeams, EarnhardtGanassi.com and the Chip Ganassi Racing Teams (CGRT) mobile application.

There’s an App for that:  CGRT and SapientNitro SM recently re-launched an updated mobile application, which is one of the first for the high-velocity world of racing.  The 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 CGRT.  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 – NSCS, IZOD IndyCar Series and GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series.  Click here to visit the iTunes Application store and download the CGRT mobile app.


McMurray on Twitter:  Catch the latest from the driver of the No. 1 McDonald’s Chevrolet by following McMurray’s personal Twitter account, @JamieMcMurray.

Sonoma Recap:  From the time that McMurray hit the 2.5-mile road course for practice on Friday afternoon he would voice concerns about the handling on the McDonald’s Chevrolet.  Known for being slick and challenging for teams to chase the correct set-up, McMurray commented after practice on Saturday, “the brakes are better, the engine is better, we just need some luck and work on the handling for the race”, he felt everything was in place to challenge for a strong finish. Crew chief Bono Manion had a plan in place to use fuel mileage strategy to put the No. 1 Chevy in position for a top finish. Starting 25th, the team would plan to pit only twice and hope for some timely cautions to make up track position.  The cautions would be limited as the race was slowed only two times for caution.  A late race spin for McMurray after one of the restarts would hurt his chances for a better finish, as he brought the McDonald’s team home with a 19th-place finish.

Last Year at Kentucky:  The No. 1 team would start the event from the 34th-position at the Quaker State 400.  The crew went to work from the first pit stop, a NASCAR mandated competition caution on lap 30, to adjust the car to keep McMurray competitive and on the lead lap. Everything was going according to plan as the McDonald’s Chevrolet was able to maintain position on the lead lap and continue to improve handling.  However, just 15 laps after pitting on lap 186 the night of hard work would come to an abrupt end when the engine let go resulting in a 36th-place finish.

McMurray at Kentucky:  McMurray will make his second NSCS start at Kentucky this weekend.  He made two NNS starts in 2001 and 2002 finishing 10th and sixth, respectively.  He has completed 598 laps out of a possible 667 laps, has an average starting position of 24th and an average finishing position of 17.3.

Intermediate Stats:  At intermediate tracks (tracks greater than one mile, but less than two miles), McMurray has 126 starts, collecting two victories (Charlotte: 2002, 2010), 16 top-five finishes, 38 top-10 finishes and leading 603 laps.

Back in the Bluegrass State:  Spotter for the No. 1 McDonald’s Chevrolet, Lorin Ranier comes back to his home state of Kentucky for this weekend’s Quaker State 400.  Raised in Prestonsburg, Ky., Ranier got his start in horse racing before moving to a sport with a different kind of horsepower.  Ranier has a family history of racing; his grandfather was a car owner in the 1950s and his father was a successful NASCAR team owner in the 1970s & 80s and has several victories to his credit, including three Daytona 500 wins as an owner. After working with drivers like Davey Allison, Tony Stewart and Bill Elliott, Ranier has been in the spotters’ stand for more than 15 years, returning to McMurray and the No. 1 team in the 2011 campaign.

MickyD’s Please:  Grab a Big Mac and McFlurry before heading to Kentucky Speedway.  Just three miles from the track, the nearest McDonald’s is located at 503 Loves Drive, Sanders, Ky., Get directions‎ and can be reached at (859) 567-1216.


Montoya on Twitter:  Catch the latest from the driver of the No. 42 Target Chevrolet by following Montoya’s personal Twitter account, @jpmontoya.

Sonoma Recap:  The No. 42 Target Chevrolet qualified a track best with a 12th-place qualifying spot.  When the green flag waved, Montoya made his move to the front.  Unfortunately just 15 laps into the 110-lap race, Montoya recognized some problems with the No. 42.  Long green flag runs worked against the team and Montoya made several green flag stops as well as spent a few laps back in the garage to try and remedy the mechanical problem.  Back out on the track, Montoya was able to take the checkered flag and finish out the day in the 34th position.

Montoya at Kentucky: Montoya started on the outside front row at the Quaker State 400 and found himself running inside the top-10 for the majority of the race.  The closing laps of the Quaker State 400 quickly changed the fate of the team as Montoya pitted a final time for tires and fuel when NASCAR radioed in that the No. 42 needed to start at the tail-end of the longest line on the restart.  The Target Chevrolet received a penalty for exiting pit road too fast and would restart in the 18th position.  Montoya gained three spots and would eventually cross the finish line in the 15th position.

Did You Know?:  Montoya made his first laps in a NSCS car at Kentucky Speedway in a 2006 test session.

Intermediate Stats:  In his NSCS career at intermediate tracks, Montoya has 72 starts, earning seven top-fives, 13 top-10’s and leading 227 laps.

Can’t Ignore the Roar:  At Kentucky Speedway, Montoya is tied with Carl Edwards for fifth in the number of laps run in the top-15, ranked sixth in quality passes with 58 passes and stands in sixth with an average running position of 7.9.

“Go Wildcats”:  Jackman Mark Jacobs hails from Fort Walton Beach, Florida, but his alma mater is the University of Kentucky, where he played defensive tackle for the Wildcats from 1995-1998, lettering in all four seasons.  Before joining EGR, he got his start working as a member of Bill Elliott’s pit crew in 2000, only months after receiving his degree from the Lexington, Ky. institution.

Spot the Bullseye:  Stock up on all your race day supplies at the nearest Target, just 30 minutes from Kentucky Speedway at 1100 Hansel Avenue Florence, Ky. Call ahead to make sure they have everything you need at Get directions‎(859) 371-7771.


No. 1 McDonald’s Chevrolet (NSCS): Chassis #1208.  Manion and the No. 1 McDonald’s team will bring Chassis #1208 to Kentucky this weekend. This chassis has raced this season at Las Vegas, Kansas and Charlotte finishing eighth, 14th and 21st respectively.  Most recently, this chassis raced at Michigan International Speedway, finishing 14th.

No. 42 Target Chevrolet (NSCS):  Chassis #1205.  Crew Chief Chris “Shine” Heroy and the No. 42 Target team will bring Chassis #1205 to Kentucky this weekend.  This chassis raced to a 12th-place finish at Kansas this season and a 20th-place finish in the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

2012 STATS

NASCAR Sprint Cup Series




Top 5s

Top 10s

Ave Start

Ave Finish

Pts. Pos.

Jamie McMurray









Juan Pablo Montoya










NASCAR Sprint Cup Series




Top 5s

Top 10s

Ave Start

Ave Finish

Jamie McMurray








Juan Pablo Montoya









Max Jones – Team Manager

John Probst – Technical Director

No. 1 (NSCS)



Crew Chief:  Kevin Manion

Boylston, MA

Rear Tire Changer: Jeremy Fuller

Newnan, GA

Chief Mechanic:  Randall Burnett

Fenton, MO

Rear Tire Carrier:  Doug Riepe

Danbury , CT

Front Tire Changer:  Bryan Jacobsen

Honesdale,  PA

Gas Man:  Benjy Grubbs

Richmond, VA

Front Tire Carrier:  Brett Morrell

Windham, ME

Jack Man:  Mitch Lash

Salisbury, NC

No. 42 (NSCS)



Crew Chief:  Chris Heroy

Angola, IN

Rear Tire Changer:  Chris McMullen

Canton, MI

Chief Mechanic:  David Bryant

Concord, NC

Rear Tire Carrier:  Chip Goode

Statesville, NC

Front Tire Changer:  Pedro Martinez

San Antonio, TX

Gas Man:  Ed Watkins

Richmond, VA

Front Tire Carrier:  Eric Bilyeu

Waterford, MI

Jack Man:  Mark Jacobs

Fort Walton Beach, FL

About Chip Ganassi Racing Teams, Inc.

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 four 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 14 championships and 148 victories, including four Indianapolis 500s, a Daytona 500, a Brickyard 400 and four 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

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.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here