Montoya to backup car

LAS VEGAS — Juan Pablo Montoya hit the wall on his first lap of practice Friday and will drive a backup car in Sunday’s Cup race.

The impact with the outside wall knocked a brake rotor off the car, and the cars of Kyle Busch and Jeff Burton sustained minor damage from the debris.

“It sucks,” Montoya said. “It was our first lap. It felt really good in (Turns) 3 and 4 (coming to the start/finish line). I went into 1 and got a little tight over the bumps. So I got on the gas, and it just stepped out on me. I thought, ‘My God,’ and I was in the fence.

Juan Pablo Montoya, driver of the #42 Clorox Chevrolet, stands on the grid during qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Kobalt Tools 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on March 9, 2012 in Las Vegas, Nevada.  (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Juan Pablo Montoya, driver of the #42 Clorox Chevrolet, stands on the grid during qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Kobalt Tools 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on March 9, 2012 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Getty Images for NASCAR)

“It sucks. Everybody on this team has been working their butts off. We tested this week, and I thought we made a lot of gains, and the car looked very promising — but it’s still early in the weekend.”Â

LVMS PRESIDENT ADAMANT ABOUT FRIDAY QUALIFYING

Las Vegas Motor Speedway president Chris Powell used the announcement of a pole day sponsorship extension with Stratosphere Casino, Hotel and Tower to underscore his unqualified support for keeping Cup qualifying sessions on Fridays.

Recently, a number of International Speedway Corporation tracks have moved their Cup qualifying sessions to Saturday. Speedway Motorsports properties, including Las Vegas, have not followed suit.

“We have no interest in that at all,” Powell said tersely, reaffirming his belief that tracks need to provide meaningful competition on all three weekend days.

In addition, if pole day were folded into Saturday’s track activities, which include a Nationwide Series race, Powell, said, there wouldn’t be a pole day sponsorship to sell to a partner such as the Stratosphere.

Comments