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Montoya Wins Brickyard 400 Pole, Can Make IMS History Sunday

Brickyard 400 Starting Grid

Juan Pablo Montoya already has his name in the Indianapolis Motor Speedway history books after a convincing victory in the 2000 Indianapolis 500 Mile Race, but he’s one step closer to a new level of immortality after taking the 2010 Brickyard 400 pole July 24.

Montoya could become the first driver in IMS history to win both major oval events at the world-renowned 2.5-mile track. He won the “500” in 2000 as a rookie, leading 167 laps, and on Saturday he beat three-time Brickyard 400 winner Jimmie Johnson to the pole, turning a lap of 182.278 mph in the No. 42 Target Chevrolet.

“It was a good lap,” Montoya said. “I think in (Turn) 2, I got a little tight and I had to brake a little bit coming off, but I don’t think it was a major deal.

“The car has been pretty good. You know, we came here and tested and when we got off the truck, it was good; put it in the truck, it was good; brought it here, it was good. So (we) just got to make sure, you know, like Chip (Ganassi) says, do everything right tomorrow and see what happens.”

The Brickyard 400 starts at 1 p.m. (ET) Sunday, July 25.

Montoya or his Earnhardt Ganassi Racing teammate Jamie McMurray also could deliver team co-owner Chip Ganassi his first stock car win at Indianapolis, in the same year McMurray won the Daytona 500 and Dario Franchitti won the Indianapolis 500 for Ganassi’s Target-sponsored IZOD IndyCar Series team.

“It’s a pretty special thing to come back here each year,” Ganassi said. “This is where racing started and where obviously my career got jump-started, if you will.

“Good performance today by the team and the driver. It’s a long day, and we have a lot of things to do yet. This is just one step in a long flight of steep stairs for the weekend.”

Johnson will start alongside Montoya after posting a lap of 182.142 in the No. 48 Lowe’s Chevrolet. Mark Martin will start third in the No. 5 Chevrolet after a lap of 181.803. McMurray qualified fourth in the No. 1 Bass Pro Shops/Tracker Boats Chevrolet at 181.748.

Among the drivers with Indiana ties, Ryan Newman was fastest with a fifth-place qualifying effort at 181.741 in the No. 39 Haas Automation Chevrolet. Four-time Brickyard 400 winner Jeff Gordon will start eighth in the No. 24 DuPont Chevrolet, and two-time winner Tony Stewart will start 15th in the No. 14 Old Spice/Office Depot Chevrolet.

1995 Indianapolis 500 winner Jacques Villeneuve qualified for his first Brickyard 400, and at the drop of the green flag on Sunday will join Montoya as the only drivers in Indianapolis Motor Speedway history to compete in all three of the track’s major auto racing events: the Indianapolis 500, Brickyard 400 and Formula One United States Grand Prix.

Villeneuve drove in the “500” twice, earning Chase Rookie of the Year honors in 1994 before winning in 1995, and the USGP at Indianapolis five times – in 2000-03 and again in 2006, with a best finish of fourth in 2000.


Tickets: Tickets for the 2010 Brickyard 400 remain available Race Morning.

Fans wanting to attend the race need to go to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway ticket office at the corner of 16th Street and Georgetown Road or to one of the satellite ticket offices, located outside of Gates 3, 6, 9 and 10.

Tickets start at $40 for general admission. All children 12 and under will be admitted free with a general admission ticket holder.

All ticket offices will open at 7 a.m. and remain open until 1 p.m.

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