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Juan Pablo Montoya wins pole for NASCAR Brickyard 400

July 24, 2010 | 10:21 am

This year's NASCAR Brickyard 400 appears to be Juan Pablo Montoya's race to lose.

After having the fastest car in the first two practice sessions, Montoya on Saturday won the pole position in his No. 42 Chevrolet with a lap of 182.278 mph at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Reigning Sprint Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson, who's also has won three of the last four Brickyard 400s, qualified second at 182.142 mph and will start alongside Montoya on the front row of the 43-car field.

Johnson teammate Mark Martin of Hendrick Motorsports qualified third. Jamie McMurray, Montoya's teammate at Earnhardt Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates, was fourth.

Montoya, who won the Indianapolis 500 in 2000 in Indy-style race cars before he switched to NASCAR in 2007, had the dominant car in last year's Brickyard 400. But a pit-road speeding penalty ruined his chances of winning, and he finished 11th.

The Colombian has won one Cup race since he joined NASCAR, on the twisty road course in Sonoma in 2007. But he has yet to win on an oval track.

-- Jim Peltz in Indianapolis

Photo: Juan Pablo Montoya answers questions Saturday after winning the pole for the Brickyard 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Credit: Christian Petersen / Getty Images