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Auto Club 400 - Qualifying and practice times

25 March 2011

Juan Montoya's not had the best of starts to his season when it's come to qualifying. Despite being 8th in the Sprint Cup points standing, his average starting position has been around 23rd place - and until this weekend he had not managed a single top ten start.

He put that to rights at Fontana's Auto Club Speedway by being the only driver to break the 39s barrier with a lap in 38.992 seconds (184.653 mph) giving him pole by 0.081s over Denny Hamlin.

"As long as we have the race pace that we've had this year, I don't mind qualifying in the back," said Montoya. "If you have a good car, you can always come back. But this will make pit selection better. There's a lot of things that are better by qualifying good."

Behind them on the second row of the grid are Joey Logano and Regan Smith - whose average starting position of 5.8 for the season to date is the best of any driver in the series.

Championship leader Kurt Busch was having a less successful day, however. "We're still trying to figure out the balance," he admitted. "We're loose one run, tight the next. We're just struggling with the front-end ride quality. There wasn't a lot of practice time today."

Running time was limited on Friday because of early drainage issues in turns 1 and 2, following heavy rain in Southern California over the last week including showers on Friday morning itself. That left the track "weeping" moisture onto the track surface as it dried, which needed to be taken car of before running could commence in any of the NASCAR series practice and qualifying sessions.

Only 43 drivers took to the track on qualifying, and so all cars duly qualified for the race.

Qualifying/starting positions

1. #42 Juan Montoya Chevrolet 38.992s (Leader) 184.653mph
2. #11 Denny Hamlin Toyota 39.073s (-0.081) 184.270mph
3. #20 Joey Logano Toyota 39.102s (-0.110) 184.134mph
4. #78 Regan Smith Chevrolet 39.124s (-0.132) 184.030mph
5. #14 Tony Stewart Chevrolet 39.133s (-0.141) 183.988mph
6. #6 David Ragan Ford 39.196s (-0.204) 183.692mph
7. #31 Jeff Burton Chevrolet 39.211s (-0.219) 183.622mph
8. #18 Kyle Busch Toyota 39.241s (-0.249) 183.482mph
9. #39 Ryan Newman Chevrolet 39.245s (-0.253) 183.463mph
10. #5 Mark Martin Chevrolet 39.248s (-0.256) 183.449mph
11. #17 Matt Kenseth Ford 39.257s (-0.265) 183.407mph
12. #1 Jamie McMurray Chevrolet 39.292s (-0.300) 183.243mph
13. #9 Marcos Ambrose Ford 39.317s (-0.325) 183.127mph
14. #00 David Reutimann Toyota 39.320s (-0.328) 183.113mph
15. #27 Paul Menard Chevrolet 39.355s (-0.363) 182.950mph
16. #48 Jimmie Johnson Chevrolet 39.359s (-0.367) 182.932mph
17. #33 Clint Bowyer Chevrolet 39.366s (-0.374) 182.899mph
18. #99 Carl Edwards Ford 39.388s (-0.396) 182.797mph
19. #83 Brian Vickers Toyota 39.418s (-0.426) 182.658mph
20. #43 A.J. Allmendinger Ford 39.448s (-0.456) 182.519mph
21. #2 Brad Keselowski Dodge 39.450s (-0.458) 182.510mph
22. #4 Kasey Kahne Toyota 39.481s (-0.489) 182.366mph
23. #22 Kurt Busch Dodge 39.552s (-0.560) 182.039mph
24. #29 Kevin Harvick Chevrolet 39.580s (-0.588) 181.910mph
25. #13 Casey Mears Toyota 39.592s (-0.600) 181.855mph
26. #56 Martin Truex Jr. Toyota 39.602s (-0.610) 181.809mph
27. #21 Trevor Bayne Ford 39.603s (-0.611) 181.804mph
28. #09 Landon Cassill Chevrolet 39.627s (-0.635) 181.694mph
29. #24 Jeff Gordon Chevrolet 39.632s (-0.640) 181.671mph
30. #88 Dale Earnhardt Jr. Chevrolet 39.662s (-0.670) 181.534mph
31. #36 Dave Blaney Chevrolet 39.793s (-0.801) 180.936mph
32. #16 Greg Biffle Ford 39.826s (-0.834) 180.786mph
33. #66 Michael McDowell Toyota 39.866s (-0.874) 180.605mph
34. #47 Bobby Labonte Toyota 39.925s (-0.933) 180.338mph
35. #7 Robby Gordon Dodge 39.938s (-0.946) 180.279mph
36. #38 Travis Kvapil Ford 39.997s (-1.005) 180.014mph
37. #34 David Gilliland Ford 40.067s (-1.075) 179.699mph
38. #71 Andy Lally* Chevrolet 40.233s (-1.241) 178.958mph
39. #32 Ken Schrader Ford 40.463s (-1.471) 177.940mph
40. #87 Joe Nemechek Toyota 40.527s (-1.535) 177.659mph
41. #60 Todd Bodine Toyota 40.780s (-1.788) 176.557mph
42. #37 Tony Raines Ford 40.990s (-1.998) 175.653mph
43. #46 J.J. Yeley Chevrolet

Practice 1

1. #00 David Reutimann Toyota 38.680s (Leader) 186.143 mph
2. #11 Denny Hamlin Toyota 38.943s (-0.263) 184.886 mph
3. #16 Greg Biffle Ford 38.991s (-0.311) 184.658 mph
4. #2 Brad Keselowski Dodge 38.998s (-0.318) 184.625 mph
5. #1 Jamie McMurray Chevrolet 39.134s (-0.454) 183.983 mph
6. #4 Kasey Kahne Toyota 39.168s (-0.488) 183.824 mph
7. #42 Juan Montoya Chevrolet 39.186s (-0.506) 183.739 mph
8. #83 Brian Vickers Toyota 39.194s (-0.514) 183.702 mph
9. #17 Matt Kenseth Ford 39.206s (-0.526) 183.645 mph
10. #5 Mark Martin Chevrolet 39.211s (-0.531) 183.622 mph
11. #20 Joey Logano Toyota 39.258s (-0.578) 183.402 mph
12. #14 Tony Stewart Chevrolet 39.263s (-0.583) 183.379 mph
13. #39 Ryan Newman Chevrolet 39.263s (-0.583) 183.379 mph
14. #6 David Ragan Ford 39.268s (-0.588) 183.355 mph
15. #33 Clint Bowyer Chevrolet 39.342s (-0.662) 183.010 mph
16. #88 Dale Earnhardt Jr. Chevrolet 39.382s (-0.702) 182.825 mph
17. #99 Carl Edwards Ford 39.431s (-0.751) 182.597 mph
18. #7 Robby Gordon Dodge 39.433s (-0.753) 182.588 mph
19. #31 Jeff Burton Chevrolet 39.464s (-0.784) 182.445 mph
20. #48 Jimmie Johnson Chevrolet 39.509s (-0.829) 182.237 mph
21. #27 Paul Menard Chevrolet 39.517s (-0.837) 182.200 mph
22. #43 A.J. Allmendinger Ford 39.523s (-0.843) 182.172 mph
23. #09 Landon Cassill Chevrolet 39.549s (-0.869) 182.053 mph
24. #56 Martin Truex Jr. Toyota 39.561s (-0.881) 181.997 mph
25. #78 Regan Smith Chevrolet 39.566s (-0.886) 181.974 mph
26. #24 Jeff Gordon Chevrolet 39.585s (-0.905) 181.887 mph
27. #21 Trevor Bayne Ford 39.593s (-0.913) 181.850 mph
28. #29 Kevin Harvick Chevrolet 39.598s (-0.918) 181.827 mph
29. #22 Kurt Busch Dodge 39.638s (-0.958) 181.644 mph
30. #9 Marcos Ambrose Ford 39.661s (-0.981) 181.538 mph
31. #18 Kyle Busch Toyota 39.935s (-1.255) 180.293 mph
32. #38 Travis Kvapil Ford 39.970s (-1.290) 180.135 mph
33. #36 Dave Blaney Chevrolet 39.972s (-1.292) 180.126 mph
34. #46 J.J. Yeley Chevrolet 40.054s (-1.374) 179.757 mph
35. #47 Bobby Labonte Toyota 40.059s (-1.379) 179.735 mph
36. #71 Andy Lally* Chevrolet 40.092s (-1.412) 179.587 mph
37. #13 Casey Mears Toyota 40.254s (-1.574) 178.864 mph
38. #32 Ken Schrader Ford 40.343s (-1.663) 178.470 mph
39. #34 David Gilliland Ford 40.470s (-1.790) 177.910 mph
40. #87 Joe Nemechek Toyota 40.600s (-1.920) 177.340 mph
41. #60 Todd Bodine Toyota 40.678s (-1.998) 177.000 mph
42. #66 Michael McDowell Toyota 40.678s (-1.998) 177.000 mph
43. #37 Tony Raines Ford 40.969s (-2.289) 175.743 mph

* Denotes Rookie


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