Montoya grabs pole for Brickyard 400

Sports Network

, Last Updated: 2:30 PM ET

Indianapolis, IN - Juan Pablo Montoya captured the pole for the Brickyard 400 after posting the quickest lap in Saturday's qualifying at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Montoya edged defending race winner Jimmie Johnson for the pole with a lap of 182.278 m.p.h. The 34-year-old Colombian claimed his second pole of the season and the fourth of his Sprint Cup Series career. Montoya was fastest in both practice sessions on Friday at Indy.

"Our cars have come a long way," Montoya said. "Last year, we had a really fast car here, and I feel the same way this year. We still got to run the race. It's exciting when you go to a place, especially Indy, and you have a shot at winning and being this competitive."

One year ago, Montoya had the dominant car at Indy, as he led 116 of 160 laps. But Montoya was caught speeding on pit road during the final round of stops and had to serve a pass-through penalty. Johnson went on to claim his third Brickyard 400 victory, while Montoya settled for an 11th-place finish.

Montoya will attempt to become the first driver in history to win both the Indianapolis 500 and the Brickyard 400 at Indy. He won the Indy 500 in 2000.

His team owner, Chip Ganassi, also will try to become the first owner to win the Daytona 500, as well as the Indy 500 and the Brickyard 400 in the same season. Jamie McMurray won at Daytona for Earnhardt-Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates in February, while Dario Franchitti captured the victory at Indianapolis for Target Chip Ganassi Racing in May.

"Our teams have had a good run of things here," Ganassi said. "We have a race to run tomorrow, and we have lots of goals in mind for the team this season, and this is just one more step today having the pole."

Johnson, the four-time defending series champion, qualified 0.04 seconds behind Montoya to take the outside pole.

"This qualifying session means a lot to people, not only for the track position and the pit stall, but it's just Indy," Johnson said.

Mark Martin, who won the pole at Indy last year, took the third spot, while Montoya's teammate, McMurray, claimed the fourth position.

"I had such a good race car that it didn't have to be perfect, but it was a good lap," Martin said. "We had no mistakes, but just tried to get a little too much in turn four."

Ryan Newman will start fifth, and Clint Bowyer will roll off sixth. Chevrolet swept the top-six starting positions for this race.

Greg Biffle gave Ford its best qualifying performance at Indy with a seventh starting spot.

Chevrolet drivers Jeff Gordon, Kevin Harvick and Jeff Burton completed the top-10. Harvick currently holds a 103-point lead over Gordon, who is a four- time Brickyard 400 winner.

David Gilliland, Casey Mears, David Stremme and J.J. Yeley failed to qualify.

Final practice at Indy is slated for later in the day, and Sunday's 400-mile race is scheduled to start around 1:00 p.m. (et).


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