Montoya is NASCAR Brickyard 400 leader after 110 laps
Juan Pablo Montoya held a slim lead over Greg Biffle after 110 laps in the Brickyard 400 NASCAR race Sunday at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Biffle had passed Montoya, the pole-sitter, earlier in the 160-lap race to take the lead. But after the two made green-flag pit stops near the Lap 96 mark, Montoya's stop was a tick faster, and he re-assumed the front spot.
In a big surprise, Jimmie Johnson fell back to 23rd as his No. 48 Chevrolet dropped sharply off the pace. Johnson, the reigning Sprint Cup Series champion who started second Sunday, had won the Brickyard 400 three times, including the last two.
The race got off to a rocky start when a spinning Kyle Busch triggered a multi-car crash on the second turn of the first lap. Sam Hornish Jr. and David Reutimann also were among the drivers involved.
But Busch steadily clawed his way back through the field and was running seventh in his No. 18 Toyota prepared by Joe Gibbs Racing.
Several other drivers also experienced various problems with their cars early in the race, including Denny Hamlin, Carl Edwards and Dale Earnhardt Jr.
Jeff Gordon, seeking an unprecedented fifth Brickyard 400 victory, struggled with handling problems on his No. 24 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet and was 14th.
This was the 17th running of the Brickyard 400; NASCAR stock cars began racing at the famed Indy speedway in 1994.
-- Jim Peltz
Photo: Juan Pablo Montoya (red No. 42) leads the field out of the pits during the Brickyard 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race Sunday at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Credit: Rusty Jarrett / Getty Images