Montoya Wins Pole for Pennsylvania 400 at Pocono Raceway
Posted by: Candice Corrigan, follow @candicecorrigan
August 4, 2012
Juan Pablo Montoya won his eighth career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series pole Saturday afternoon at Pocono Raceway with a time of 51.124 sec. at 176.043 mph. After rolling off in the 16th starting position, Montoya watched from the ESPN broadcast booth as the other 28 cars attempted to dethrone him.
His first pole of the season comes after a series of disappointing finishes for the entire Ganassi team. Montoya has posted only two top-10 finishes this season in his No. 42 Target Chevy and his teammate Jamie McMurray shares that statistic.
Montoya said that the qualifying run reflects the hard work that his crew chief Chris Heroy, who he calls “Sunshine,” and the team have put in and his belief they are making progress.
Denny Hamlin and Paul Menard will start in the second and third positions, respectively. They were 18th and 17th in the qualifying order because of their practice times yesterday. Menard wrecked his primary car during yesterday’s practice session and posted his qualifying time in a back-up car.
The trend between qualifying order and starting position did not go without notice. Many of the top-starters did not try mock-qualifying runs in practice yesterday, leaving them with slower practice times. Since their times were slower, they were higher in the qualifying order. This could reflect a deliberate strategy by these teams to qualify when track conditions are ideal.
Birthday boy Jeff Gordon brushed the wall in qualifying, leaving him with a 27th place starting position for tomorrow’s race.
Marcos Ambrose had a notable qualifying run and will start in the fifth position.
The race has been won from the pole fourteen times at Pocono, with Joey Logano most recently this past June.
Complete Qualifying Results for the Pennsylvania 400 at Pocono Raceway
|2||11||Denny Hamlin||Toyota||FedEx Ground||175.795||51.196||-0.072|
|3||27||Paul Menard||Chevrolet||Menards / Serta||175.627||51.245||-0.121|
|4||5||Kasey Kahne||Chevrolet||Farmers Insurance||175.439||51.300||-0.176|
|6||51||Kurt Busch||Chevrolet||Phoenix Construction Services||175.339||51.329||-0.205|
|8||88||Dale Earnhardt Jr.||Chevrolet||Diet Mountain Dew / AMP Energy / National Guard||175.131||51.390||-0.266|
|9||39||Ryan Newman||Chevrolet||Haas Automation / Quicken Loans||175.097||51.400||-0.276|
|11||78||Regan Smith||Chevrolet||Furniture Row / Farm American||175.036||51.418||-0.294|
|13||43||Aric Almirola||Ford||Automotive Lift Institute||174.805||51.486||-0.362|
|14||20||Joey Logano||Toyota||The Home Depot||174.795||51.489||-0.365|
|15||56||Martin Truex Jr.||Toyota||NAPA Auto Parts||174.618||51.541||-0.417|
|16||1||Jamie McMurray||Chevrolet||Bass Pro Shops / Allstate||174.561||51.558||-0.434|
|18||55||Mark Martin||Toyota||Aaron’s Dream Machine||174.419||51.600||-0.476|
|19||15||Clint Bowyer||Toyota||5-hour Energy||174.314||51.631||-0.507|
|22||83||Landon Cassill||Toyota||Burger King / Dr Pepper||174.162||51.676||-0.552|
|23||31||Jeff Burton||Chevrolet||Enersys / Odyssey Battery||173.920||51.748||-0.624|
|25||22||Sam Hornish Jr.||Dodge||Shell / Pennzoil||173.524||51.866||-0.742|
|27||24||Jeff Gordon||Chevrolet||Drive to End Hunger||173.300||51.933||-0.809|
|28||14||Tony Stewart||Chevrolet||Office Depot “Back to School”||173.197||51.964||-0.840|
|30||119||Mike Bliss||Toyota||Plinker Tactical||172.619||52.138||-1.014|
|31||2||Brad Keselowski||Dodge||Miller Lite||172.371||52.213||-1.089|
|32||34||David Ragan||Ford||Taco Bell||172.038||52.314||-1.190|
|33||23||Scott Riggs||Chevrolet||North Texas Pipe||171.917||52.351||-1.227|
|34||26||Josh Wise*||Ford||MDS Transport||171.913||52.352||-1.228|
|35||37||J.J. Yeley||Chevrolet||Max Q Motorsports||171.808||52.384||-1.260|
|36||30||David Stremme||Toyota||Inception Motorsports||171.638||52.436||-1.312|
|37||93||Travis Kvapil||Toyota||Burger King / Dr Pepper||171.246||52.556||-1.432|
|38||87||Joe Nemechek||Toyota||AM / FM Energy Wood & Pellet Stoves||170.804||52.692||-1.568|
|39||47||Bobby Labonte||Toyota||Scott Products||170.658||52.737||-1.613|
|40||191||Reed Sorenson||Ford||Plinker Tactical||170.581||52.761||-1.637|
|42||33||Stephen Leicht*||Chevrolet||Little JoesAutos.com||170.487||52.790||-1.666|
|44||36||Tony Raines||Chevrolet||@TMone / CRM Hiring Veterans||-||-||-|