Montoya claims Coors Light Pole award at Watkins Glen

[media-credit id=24 align=”alignright” width=”224″][/media-credit]Following a day of rain yesterday here at Watkins Glen International, the drivers of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) were given the opportunity to test their equipment early this morning in a 1.5 hour final practice session. With the sun still hidden behind the clouds and a cool breeze aiding the cause, the speeds were at a blistering pace around the 2.45-mile course this morning.

The 2008 winner, Kyle Busch, claimed the top of the leader board with Juan Montoya second, Carl Edwards third and road course specialist, Marcos Ambrose finishing the session fourth. Five-time Watkins Glen winner, Tony Stewart was shown thirteenth on the charts and four-time race winner Jeff Gordon was sixth.

During NSCS qualifying, it was a new track record for Juan Montoya at a speed of 127.020 mph that claimed his second Coors Light Pole award for the 27th Annual Finger Lakes 355 at The Glen. This is his ninth career pole award in 203 NSCS races and his second pole in as many weeks. Though he does have a win here at the 2.45-mile short course configuration, he has never started from the point position here in six attempts.


American Muscle

“Our Target Chevy has been pretty good this weekend. It has been pretty stable; put it in qualifying trim it was really quick in practice. We ran a little slower than practice, but with the sun out, it’s like 20 degrees hotter. I don’t know. I had a pretty good lap. You can always say I could have got a little more, but sometimes when you want a little more you actually lose.” Montoya said.

Happy Hour winner Kyle Busch, who will start the race on the outside of Montoya, just five-hundredths of a second behind the pole-sitter.

The 18 M&M’s Camry was really good during qualifying. It was really fast. I thought it was good and I thought it would be close to the pole. It was close, but it wasn’t first.” Busch said.

Five-time NSCS Champion, Jimmie Johnson will make the start from the third position and Brad Kesolowski qualified fourth.

“A really solid lap for the Miller Lite Dodge team. We haven’t qualified well this year but today was a great effort. Track position is key on road courses especially at a fast place like The Glen. I’m a little disappointed that we didn’t get the pole.” Kesolowski said.

Marcos Ambrose rounded out the top-five starters.

“I made a mistake in turn six and just didn’t quite have enough rear grip there. That’s OK.  We’ve got a great race car and we’ll just play the strategy game and see what comes out of it.” Ambrose said.

Green flag is slated for just after 1PM tomorrow, and with the grid set the way it is, the 27th Annual Finger Lakes 355 at The Glen is shaping up to have a short-track swagger about it.

As always, follow me on Twitter @ML_B_Lo for all the up to the minute action.

Finger Lakes 355 at the Glen, Watkins Glen Int’l
http://www.speedwaymedia.com/Cup/qual.php?race=22
===========================================
Pos. No. Driver Make Speed Time
===========================================
1 42 Juan Montoya Chevrolet 127.02 69.438
2 18 Kyle Busch Toyota 126.928 69.488
3 48 Jimmie Johnson Chevrolet 126.925 69.49
4 2 Brad Keselowski Dodge 126.626 69.654
5 9 Marcos Ambrose Ford 126.524 69.71
6 39 Ryan Newman Chevrolet 126.312 69.827
7 14 Tony Stewart Chevrolet 126.15 69.917
8 15 Clint Bowyer Toyota 126.061 69.966
9 56 Martin Truex Jr. Toyota 126.049 69.973
10 1 Jamie McMurray Chevrolet 125.959 70.023
11 98 Michael McDowell Ford 125.713 70.16
12 24 Jeff Gordon Chevrolet 125.643 70.199
13 78 Regan Smith Chevrolet 125.612 70.216
14 20 Joey Logano Toyota 125.518 70.269
15 16 Greg Biffle Ford 125.516 70.27
16 88 Dale Earnhardt Jr. Chevrolet 125.5 70.279
17 22 Sam Hornish Jr. Dodge 125.42 70.324
18 99 Carl Edwards Ford 125.409 70.33
19 29 Kevin Harvick Chevrolet 125.389 70.341
20 5 Kasey Kahne Chevrolet 125.339 70.369
21 195 Scott Speed Ford 125.334 70.372
22 27 Paul Menard Chevrolet 125.199 70.448
23 11 Denny Hamlin Toyota 125.08 70.515
24 17 Matt Kenseth Ford 124.917 70.607
25 32 Boris Said Ford 124.791 70.678
26 47 Bobby Labonte Toyota 124.715 70.721
27 51 Kurt Busch Chevrolet 124.455 70.869
28 31 Jeff Burton Chevrolet 124.208 71.01
29 43 Aric Almirola Ford 124.187 71.022
30 13 Casey Mears Ford 124.131 71.054
31 36 Dave Blaney Chevrolet 124.108 71.067
32 34 David Ragan Ford 123.868 71.205
33 55 Brian Vickers Toyota 123.71 71.296
34 38 David Gilliland Ford 123.576 71.373
35 83 Landon Cassill Toyota 123.471 71.434
36 87 Joe Nemechek Toyota 123.436 71.454
37 10 J.J. Yeley Chevrolet 123.27 71.55
38 26 Josh Wise* Ford 122.531 71.982
39 33 Stephen Leicht* Chevrolet 122.335 72.097
40 119 Chris Cook Toyota 118.879 74.193
41 249 Jason Leffler Toyota 118.742 74.279
42 30 Patrick Long Toyota 117.551 75.031
43 93 Travis Kvapil Toyota

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