TALLADEGA, Ala. - It didn’t take Juan Pablo Montoya long to adapt to restrictor-plate racing. Now that he’s got enough horsepower, he could be in position to master the art at Talladega Superspeedway.
Montoya won the first pole of his NASCAR career on Saturday, taking the top starting spot at Talladega Superspeedway to put himself in position for his first win on an oval. Since leaving Formula One in late 2006, the Colombian’s only wins have been on road courses.
“Is it going to make you the favorite to win the race? No,” Montoya said. “But we always run good here. The goal is to win the race.”
Montoya posted a lap at 188.171 mph, then had to wait almost two hours to see if his time would hold. He returned to his motor home for a snack and surfed the Internet as car after car failed to knock him from the top.
Greg Biffle almost knocked him off the pole, posting a speed of 188.141 to qualify second.
Montoya’s teammate Martin Truex Jr. was third with a lap at 187.971 mph.
Sam Hornish Jr. qualified fourth and Clint Bowyer was fifth.
Coverage for Sunday’s Aaron’s 499 begins at 10 a.m. on Ch. 10.