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Press Snoop: Debut front row for JPM.

All eyes were on Talladega Superspeedway Thursday or at least those who closely follow stock car racing...and some who don't. It was the stock car racing debut of an open wheel veteran, JUAN PABLO MONTOYA of Colombia; it was the second NASCAR Truck Series race for Champ Car veteran, A.J. ALLMENDINGER of San Jose CA; and MARCOS AMBROSE of Australia announced his plans to move up from the Truck Series to the 2007 Busch Series. And let's not forget the rumours swirling about PATRICK CARPENTIER and JACQUES VILLENEUVE of Canada coming to NASCAR. Check out their web sites. And Friday there should be an announcement clearing up just which manufacturer MARK MARTIN will run in the 2007 Truck Series - Ford or Chevrolet. Stay tuned.

Montoya, who has joined the NASCAR Cup team of Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates, is getting his feet wet, so to speak, by running the ARCA race Friday. In a field of 41 cars, including some experienced ARCA veterans such as BOBBY GERHART/#5 Lucas Oil Chevrolet, FRANK KIMMEL/#46 Pork Ford, and BILLY VENTURINI/No.25 Hamptons Chevrolet, Montoya/#4 Texaco-Havoline Dodge qualified second fastest with a time of 50.546/189.451 mph. The pole went to Gerhart with a 50.537/189.485 mph.

Montoya said "Qualifying here makes your life easy. It makes you look really good, because you were flat (out) the whole time." In the race, he said "I'm probably going to get caught out a couple of times making the wrong moves, but that's part of the learning curve."

Kimmel is going for his eighth ARCA Championship, and Gerhart is trying to make it difficult. Gerhart has more experience on the 2.66-mile tri-oval. Factor in the new pavement and it should be a very interesting race. Kimmel qualified fourth and Venturini will start sixth.

Other road racers trying to make a go of it in Friday afternoon's ARCA-RE/MAX Food World 250 Race are Cyberspeed Racing Chevrolet teammates, TONY AVE/#87 who will start twenty-ninth; and SKIP CUMMINS/#97 Cyberspeed Racing Chevrolet.

The Truck Series had three Practice sessions Thursday, with 36 drivers going for the 36 starting spots in Saturday's John Deere 250 Race. The fastest all day was BOBBY HAMILTON Jr/#18 Fastenal Dodge at 49.366/193.791 mph. Allmendinger/#24 Bill Davis Racing Toyota was eleventh fastest with 49.665/192.812 mph.

Ambrose/#20 Team Australia Ford was fifth fastest in the final practice at 49.585/193.123 mph. He's run most of the 2006 season and is fourth in the Rookie standings, and twenty-fourth overall out of 78 drivers - with three less races.

Ambrose, who has been racing with the Woods Brothers, will continue that partnership and move full time to the Busch Series, with Kingsford as sponsor. Ambrose is at Mount Panorama this weekend for the annual Bathurst 1000 endurance race for the V8 Supercars. Ambrose is a two-time champion of the series.

Roush Racing is expected to make its announcement Friday morning regarding Mark Martin - will he or won't he be racing a Roush Truck in the Truck Series next season? Or...as garage gossip say, will he be sharing the MB2 #01 Chevrolet ride with Rookie REGAN SMITH in NASCAR Nextel Cup - a third car for the two-car team with JOE NEMECHEK and STERLING MARLIN.

Now that the Busch Series (and Grand-Am Rolex Series) have announced that they will run in Montreal next July at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, many expect that Carpentier will run that race, as well as other stock car races. He has been running CASCAR races in Canada and has experience in Montreal with the Atlantic and Champ Car Series. Allmendinger raced Atlantics in Montreal, and Villeneuve raced Atlantics and Formula one on the course named for his uncle. Carpentier and Allmendinger have been on pole with the Atlantic series, and all three have won Atlantic races in Montreal. Carpentier ran two Rolex Series races this season, so could be expected to run double-duty for the Montreal weekend. The Rolex race is a one-day event on Friday, with Busch running Saturday and Sunday.

It should be an interesting weekend in Talladega.


Related Pictures

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01.07.2006 Indianapolis, USA, Juan-Pablo Montoya (COL), Juan Pablo, McLaren Mercedes - Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 10, United States Grand Prix, Saturday
Juan Pablo Montoya, driver of the NASCAR Sprint Cup #42 Target/Kraft Chevrolet SS qualified 3rd Friday, September 13, 2013 for Sunday`s Geico 400 at Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, Illinois. Montoya is 19th in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. (Picture Credit: Brian Lawdermilk for Chevrolet)
Juan Pablo Montoya, driver of the NASCAR Sprint Cup #42 Target Chevrolet SS finished 7th and Kurt Busch, driver of the NASCAR Sprint Cup #78 Furniture Row Racing/Beautyrest Chevrolet SS finished 4th Sunday, September 1, 2013 in the Advocare 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway in Hampton, Georgia. Montoya is 19th in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. Busch moved up two positions in the point standings and now ranks 10th overall.  (Photo Credit: Harold Hinson for Chevrolet)
Juan Pablo Montoya, driver of the NASCAR Sprint Cup #42 Target Chevrolet SS qualified third Friday, August 30, 2013 for the Advocare 500 Sunday at Atlanta Motor Speedway in Hampton, Georgia. Montoya is 21st in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. (Photo Credit: Harold Hinson for Chevrolet)
Juan Pablo Montoya, driver of the #42 Target Chevrolet, climbs from his car during qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series AdvoCare 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway on August 30, 2013 in Hampton, Georgia. (Photo Credit: Justin Edmonds/Getty Images)
Juan Pablo Montoya, driver of the NASCAR Sprint Cup #42 Target Chevrolet SS finished 3rd and Paul Menard, driver of the NASCAR Sprint Cup #27 Schrock/Menards Chevrolet SS finished 6th Saturday, August 24, 2013 in the Irwin Tools Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway in Bristol, Tennessee. Montoya is 21st, Menard is 17th in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. (Rusty Jarrett for Chevrolet)
Juan Pablo Montoya, driver of the NASCAR Sprint Cup #42 Target Chevrolet SS finished fifth Sunday, August 11, 2013 at Watkins Glen International during the Cheez-It 355 At The Glen in Watkins Glen, New York. (Brian Lawdermilk for Chevrolet)
Tony Stewart, driver of the #14 Code 3 Associates/Mobil 1 Chevrolet, leads Juan Pablo Montoya, driver of the #42 Energizer Chevrolet, during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series FedEx 400 benefiting Autism Speaks at Dover International Speedway on June 2, 2013 in Dover, Delaware. (Photo by Jerry Markland/Getty Images)  (Photo Credit: Jerry Markland/Getty Images)
Juan Pablo Montoya, driver of the #42 Energizer Chevrolet, races Tony Stewart, driver of the #14 Code 3 Associates/Mobil 1 Chevrolet, during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series FedEx 400 benefiting Autism Speaks at Dover International Speedway on June 2, 2013 in Dover, Delaware. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)  (Photo Credit: Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Juan Montoya, driver of the #42 Earnhardt Ganassi Racing Chevrolet, hits the wall after an incident the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway on May 26, 2013 in Concord, North Carolina. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Juan Pablo Montoya, driver of the NASCAR Sprint Cup #42 Target Chevrolet SS, qualified third Friday, May 17, 2013 for the 40-lap Sprint Showdown race that will determine two of the entries for Saturday’s NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race at Charlotte Motor Speedway in Concord, North Carolina. (Photo Credit: Chevrolet)
Juan Pablo Montoya, driver of the NASCAR Sprint Cup #42 Target Chevrolet SS races to finish eighth at Darlington Raceway in the Bojangles` 500 in Darlington, South Carolina May 11, 2013. (Photo Credit: Chevrolet)
Juan Pablo Montoya, driver of the NASCAR Sprint Cup #42 Depend Chevrolet SS finished sixth in the qualifying run Friday, April 26, 2013 at Richmond International Raceway for Saturday`s Toyota Owners 400 race in Richmond, Virginia. (Photo by Harold Hinson for Chevrolet)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the NASCAR Sprint Cup #48 Lowe`s/Kobalt Tools Chevrolet SS finished third April 21, 2013 at Kansas Speedway during the STP 400 in Kansas City, Kansas. Johnson continues to lead the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. (Photo by Brian Lawdermilk for Chevrolet)
Juan Pablo Montoya, driver of the NASCAR Sprint Cup #42 Target Chevrolet SS qualified sixth during practice Friday, April 12, 2013 at Texas Motor Speedway for the NRA 500 in Fort Worth, Texas. (Photo by Christa Thomas for Chevrolet)
The #1 McDonald`s Chevrolet, driven by Jamie McMurray, and the #42 AXE Apollo Chevrolet, driven by Juan Pablo Montoya, seen covered in the garage area during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on March 8, 2013 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Denny Hamlin, driver of the #11 FedEx Express Toyota, Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s Toyota, Juan Pablo Montoya, driver of the #42 Target Chevrolet, Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Drive To End Hunger Chevrolet, Martin Truex Jr., driver of the #56 NAPA Auto Parts Toyota, Mark Martin, driver of the #55 Aaron`s Dream Machine Toyota, and Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe`s Yellow Chevrolet, are involved in an incident during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Sprint Unlimited at Daytona International Speedway on February 16, 2013 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images) (Photo Credit: Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)
Juan Montoya, driver of the #42 Target Chevrolet, during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway on February 16, 2013 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo Credit: Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images for NASCAR)

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