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Juan Montoya dominates Indy again, but more bad luck, and teammate Jamie McMurray wins the Brickyard 400 for Chip Ganassi

  Jamie McMurray -- now one of only three men to win the Daytona 500 and Brickyard 400 the same season (Photo: Getty Images for NASCAR)

   By Mike Mulhern

   It was another heartbreaker for Juan Pablo Montoya, but teammate Jamie McMurray – the other bullet for team owner Chip Ganassi's – was right there to make it happen, winning the Brickyard 400...and making Ganassi the first team owner in history to win the Daytona 500, the Indianapolis 500 and the Brickyard 400 all in the same year.
    "Let's kiss the bricks, boys!" McMurray radioed his crew after crossing the finish line of the three-hour race, becoming only the third man in NASCAR history to win the Daytona 500 and Brickyard in the same year, joining Dale Jarrett (1996) and Jimmie Johnson (2006)
   Montoya said he had no comment after slapping the wall in traffic in the final miles and finishing behind the wall. Montoya dominated this 400 just as he did last summer's 400, again leading the most laps. But a late race yellow, and some critical pit stop decisions – two tires or four – turned the day around.
   Montoya and Greg Biffle had the fastest cars most of the warm but pleasant afternoon. And they held a 10-second lead on their closest rivals with 100 miles to go.
   But the caution with 60 miles left changed all that. Montoya and Biffle both took four tires on their stops; their rivals, including McMurray, took just two, and thus gained track position. Montoya and Biffle restarted seventh and eighth with 50 miles to go.
     Then Montoya, trying to race through traffic back to the front moments later, slapped the wall hard and crashed out.
    Montoya's crew chief Brian Pattie blamed himself.
   "My heart goes out to Juan, he had a great day....but this is a big, big day for our team," Ganassi said.
   "This is incredible."
   "Juan had the dominant car again, and it's just horrible the luck that team has had," McMurray said of Montoya.
   "I really thought it was his day."  
   When Montoya fell out, the race was quickly down to Kevin Harvick, McMurray and Biffle. And once McMurray got around Harvick he used the clean air to good advantage and sprinted away, leaving Harvick and Biffle to battle it out for second.
    "The first restart (at the end) we were great....but the second restart not so great, and Jamie was just able to carry the momentum around me on the outside," Harvick said. "We had a top-five car, not a winning car, but we had a shot at winning there at the end."
   The second-place finish keeps Harvick and crew chief Gil Martin atop the Sprint Cup standings. That's quite a turnaround from where Harvick and his team were last year....and this race last summer was the start of Harvick's resurgence.
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                          The results of Sunday's Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway



  For Juan Pablo Montoya, this finish wasn't exactly what he'd hoped (Photo: Getty Images for NASCAR)



I'm starting to wonder if it

I'm starting to wonder if it was more Montoya (head case) vs the 4-tire pit strategy? Just like last year, got in "dirty" air and it was game over, but at the same time Biffle's car (4-tires) was in the same dirty air and got up to P3. Could Montoya's not being patient got the best of him? You think he's still telling 11th place finisher Mark Martin he needs to learn how to drive?

Think not.

And it's possible for Jamie Mac to make the chase. With the way EGR motors are running, the next few races are up for grabs. He's decent on the road course, running strong a couple of times with Roush, although the finishes may not have been there. Strong on the short tracks. We all know what he can do at Talladega. And this year, strong on the 1 1/2 - 2 mile "cookie cutter" tracks. But if he can get the 12th spot, he'll move up the ladder to start the Chase with 2 wins in his back pocket.

Also. Where is Teresa Earnhardt with all this celebration going on?

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