JPM Finished 18th at Chicagoland. Race 19 of 36
Posted in the Juan Pablo Montoya Forum
#1 Aug 3, 2008
Top-20 Finish for Montoya and No. 42 Team at Chicagoland
Results from Chicagoland Speedway
1. Kyle Busch, No. 18 Toyota
18. Juan Pablo Montoya, No. 42 Wrigley’s™ Juicy Fruit® Dodge
31. Reed Sorenson, No. 41 Target/Maxwell House Dodge
JOLIET, Ill.(July 12, 2008)– Juan Pablo Montoya and the Wrigley’s™ Juicy Fruit® Dodge finished 18th at Chicagoland Speedway to earn Montoya’s second consecutive top-20 finish at the 1.5-mile track. Montoya moved up one position in the NASCAR Sprint Cup driver standings to 20th.
The week in Chicago began on Wednesday with Montoya visiting Wrigley associates and a team trip to Wrigley Field. With the No. 42 team in right field standing by the Juicy Fruit Dodge, Crew Chief Brian Pattie and Montoya headed to the pitchers mound where Pattie threw out the first pitch. The pair then proceeded to the announcer’s booth to lead the ballpark in singing “Take Me Out to the Ballgame.”
It was back to business on Thursday at the track where the team got in one practice session before a storm rolled in to cancel qualifying. That meant Montoya would line up 21st for the start of the 400-mile night race. He soon reported the car was loose in and tight through the center after the green flag dropped. NASCAR threw a competition caution on lap 35 and Montoya had slipped back to 28th. However, the No. 42 crew performed a flawless pit stop and boosted Montoya up three spots for the restart on lap 39.
Pattie continued to call for adjustments on the Juicy Fruit Dodge throughout the race to improve its handling, while the pit crew did an outstanding job picking up spots during pit stops. Through the midpoint of the race, Montoya was able to run in the top 25 but unable to break into the top 20 until lap 236 of the scheduled 267 laps.
The caution flag waved on lap 245 and Montoya told Pattie the car was plowing through the middle of the corners. Pattie called him down pit road for a final stop despite being only one of a handful of cars to pit. Pattie knew the fresh tires and final adjustment would help Montoya in the closing laps. When racing resumed on lap 248, Montoya was back in the 26th position. It took him just six laps to maneuver his way back up to 20th, and when the caution flag was displayed on lap 261 Montoya was sitting 19th. The caution set up a green-white-checker finish on lap 265. Montoya was able to pass the No. 31 car on the final lap to finish 18th.
Montoya and the No. 42 team will enjoy their final off weekend on the 36-race Sprint Cup schedule this weekend before heading to Indianapolis Motor Speedway in two weeks for the Brickyard 400.
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