Fast Times Continue For Red-Hot Jamie Mcmurray
SAN BERNARDINO COUNTY, CALIF. (Feb. 19, 2010) – Just five days after his victorious run to the Daytona 500 title, Jamie McMurray (No. 1 Bass Pro Shops / Tracker Boats Chevrolet) landed the Coors Light Pole Award Friday with a blazing two-mile lap of 39.185 seconds (183.744 miles per hour) at Auto Club Speedway.
Apparently not fatigued by his cross-country victory tour – which included an appearance on CBS’ “Late Show” with David Letterman in New York and a double-decker bus tour through Los Angeles with a select group of Auto Club Speedway season ticket holders – McMurray earned the lead spot for Sunday’s Auto Club 500 and his first in 14 races at the Auto Club Speedway.
“I thought our car was a little bit too tight to have a chance to be on the pole,” said McMurray, who nabbed his fourth pole in 260 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races. “I am still amazed at the week I’ve had and to come here and to be on the pole I just really can’t believe it. It’s pretty awesome.”
McMurray’s Earnhardt Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates teammate Juan Pablo Montoya (No. 42 Target Chevrolet) will start in the No. 2 spot. He finished his lap at 183.477 mph. “It was good. We had a really good car,” Montoya said. “Chevy motors run great. Both cars run amazing so I’m very happy. I thought this year I had it. I knew I was going to get really close to the wall. I said I have a good race car I don’t want to scratch it.”
It was the second Top 10 start of 2010 and his third in seven races at Auto Club Speedway. It also marked the first time that the Earnhardt Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates has claimed both front row starting positions.
Clint Bowyer (No. 33 Cheerios/Hamburger Helper Chevrolet) posted his fifth Top 10 start at Auto Club Speedway and his second in two races this season. He will start in the third spot Sunday and finished Friday at 183.127 mph. “It was a good way to start the season,” Bowyer said. “When you go out first you don’t expect to be third, but when you sit on the pole as long as I was it’s easy to get greedy. I’m very proud of our efforts so far. Hopefully, we can get out there and get some practice runs in because I’d really like to see that outside groove.”
Starting alongside Bowyer on Row 2 Sunday will be Kasey Kahne (No. 9 Budweiser / Team USA) at 182.913 mph. Completing the top five was Dave Blaney (No. 66 Prism Motorsports Toyota) at 182.908 mph.
Kevin Conway (No. 37 Extenze Ford) was the fastest qualifying rookie.
Three drivers failed to qualify: Johnny Sauter (No. 35 Tommy Baldwin Racing Chevrolet), Casey Mears (No. 90 Keyed-Up Motorsports Chevrolet) and Terry Cook (No. 46 Whitney Motorsports Dodge).