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Montoya makes it back-to-back poles

Juan Montoya clearly enjoyed pole position last week at Pocono so much that he wanted to do it all over again at Watkins Glen, setting a new track record to pip Kyle Busch at the top.
Juan Montoya's pole position last week at Pocono had shocked even the 36-year-old Colombian driver, but there was perhaps less surprise when he made it a double cause for celebration with pole this time around at Watkins Glen.

"This week we've genuinely been good all weekend," said Montoya, admitting the last week's pole had been a real out-of-the-blue 'how did that happen?' moment for the whole Earnhardt-Ganassi Racing team, while lamenting that they had then missed the race set-up entirely for the Sunday. "I think this week we can contend," he continued, adding: "Having track position is a good thing because you can do it smart and see what it brings us."

After all, this is where the former F1 driver claimed his most recent NASCAR Sprint Cup series, win two years ago. But despite his pedigree, it is actually Montoya's first pole position at a road course race in a stock car.

"I think the lap was a really good lap," he said. "You always make mistakes here and there. It's never perfect. You always think I went too far here, I went too little there, I lost it there, but I think everybody does. It's about how well you can put it all together. I thought we did a pretty good job of that

"We ran a little slower than practice, but with the sun out, it's like 20 degrees hotter," Montoya admitted. "You can always say I could have got a little more, but sometimes when you want a little more you actually lose."

Even so, Montoya's time of 69.438s (127.020mph) was a new track qualifying record, and left him 0.05s clear of Kyle Busch, last year's pole position winner. Busch had topped the Saturday morning practice session with a time of 69.199s, in a late addition to the weekend schedule after rain wreaked havoc on Friday and thwarted most of the track time, as Sprint Cup cars don't have rain tyres for wet weather running even at road courses.

"The #18 was really good during qualifying," said Busch. "It was really fast. I thought it was good and I thought it would be close to the pole. It was close, but it wasn't first."

Busch badly needs an outright win this weekend to put him back in with a chance of making the post-season Chase shoot-out via one of the "most wins" wildcards.

“For the next five or whatever it is, it's 'win or bust', basically," he admitted. "Finishing second or third or fourth isn't going to get us anywhere."




Related Pictures

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Juan Pablo Montoya, driver of the #42 Target Chevrolet, stands in the garage area during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway on February 24, 2012 in Daytona Beach, Florida. [Photo by Tyler Barrick/Getty Images for NASCAR]
Juan Pablo Montoya poses with his son Sebastian and Miss Coors Light after winning the Coors Light Pole Award in qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series` Finger Lakes 355 at Watkins Glen International. (Photo Credit: By Jeff Zelevansky, Getty Images)
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Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet, passes Denny Hamlin, driver of the #11 FedEx Express Toyota, to take the lead and win the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 16, 2014 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet, celebrates with his wife DeLana and son Keelan in victory lane after winning during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 16, 2014 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
Marcos Ambrose, driver of the #9 Stanley Ford, poses with his team before his last race, the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 16, 2014 in Homestead, Florida.  (Photo Credit: Jerry Markland/Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet SS, celebrates his victory and the 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship Sunday, November 16, 2014 winning the final NASCAR Sprint Cup race of the season at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Homestead, Florida. Ryan Newman, driver of the #31 Caterpillar Chevrolet SS finishes 2nd. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet SS, celebrates his victory and the 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship Sunday, November 16, 2014 winning the final NASCAR Sprint Cup race of the season at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Homestead, Florida. Ryan Newman, driver of the #31 Caterpillar Chevrolet SS finishes 2nd. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet SS, celebrates his victory and the 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship Sunday, November 16, 2014 winning the final NASCAR Sprint Cup race of the season at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Homestead, Florida. Ryan Newman, driver of the #31 Caterpillar Chevrolet SS finishes 2nd. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet SS, celebrates his victory and the 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship Sunday, November 16, 2014 winning the final NASCAR Sprint Cup race of the season at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Homestead, Florida. Ryan Newman, driver of the #31 Caterpillar Chevrolet SS finishes 2nd. (Photo by Christa L Thomas/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet SS, celebrates his victory and the 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship Sunday, November 16, 2014 winning the final NASCAR Sprint Cup race of the season at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Homestead, Florida. Ryan Newman, driver of the #31 Caterpillar Chevrolet SS finishes 2nd. (Photo by Garry Eller/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet, leads Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Drive To End Hunger Chevrolet, during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 16, 2014 in Homestead, Florida.  (Photo Credit: Sean Gardner/Getty Images)
Denny Hamlin, driver of the #11 FedEx Express Toyota, Ryan Newman, driver of the #31 Caterpillar Chevrolet, Miss Sprint Cup Kim Coon, Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell-Pennzoil Ford, and Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet, pose for a photo prior to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 16, 2014 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images)
Chase Elliott, driver of the #9 Napa Auto Parts Chevrolet, wins the EnjoyIllinois.com 300 race at Chicagoland Speedway on July 19, 2014 in Joliet, Illinois. (Photo Credit: Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
Chase Elliott, driver of the #9 NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet, celebrates winning the series championship during the NASCAR Nationwide Series Ford EcoBoost 300 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 15, 2014 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #51 ToyotaCare Toyota, pits during the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Ford EcoBoost 200 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 14, 2014 in Homestead, Florida.  (Photo Credit: Jerry Markland/Getty Images)
Ryan Newman, driver of the #31 Caterpillar Chevrolet SS, who is in the Championship Four final phase of the Chase, qualified for 21st position Friday, November 14, 2014 for Sunday`s final NASCAR Sprint Cup race of the season at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Homestead, Florida. Newman is 3rd in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings.(Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)

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