Juan Pablo Montoya, who qualified for the 2009 Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup in his third full year in the series, sees the addition of Jamie McMurray as a positive move for Earnhardt Ganassi Racing.
The team announced Wednesday night that McMurray will drive the #1 Chevrolet in the Cup series next year. McMurray replaces Martin Truex Jr., who will drive the #56 Michael Waltrip Racing Toyota in 2010.
The hiring represents a reunion between team owner Chip Ganassi and McMurray, who drove for Ganassi from 2002 to 2005 before moving to Roush Fenway Racing.
“Chip is really committed to building the team,” Montoya said Thursday. “Jamie is a guy with talent who can bring a lot to the table, so I'm pretty excited to have him as a team-mate.”
Montoya, who lives in Miami, has never won a NASCAR race on an oval track; his only win came in 2007 at the Infineon Raceway road course. To score a breakthrough in Sunday's Ford 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway, he'll have to overcome distractions.
“Well, we'll come here and run as hard as we can, like we do every week, and hopefully what we bring to the table this week is good enough,” he said. “It's a little frenzied (racing at the home track). A lot of people come here (asking for tickets). It's more of a headache than a good thing.”
by Reid Spencer/Sporting News