At the halfway point of the 2011 season, teams headed to the “magic mile” at the Lenox Industrial Tools 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. The No. 42 Target team started in the eighth position and played with pit/fuel strategy all day in hopes of bringing home a top spot. With two laps remaining that hope would disappear as Montoya radioed in that he was out of fuel. The No. 42 Chevrolet would have to settle for a 30th-place finish. Jamie McMurray started at the 25th position and had and afternoon filled with ups and downs throughout the 301 lap event. The team’s hopes to stretch fuel mileage after final pit stops came up three laps shy and dropped the Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet to a 31st-place finish.
Juan Pablo Montoya and the Target team returned to the “World Center of Racing” over the 4th of July weekend. The team qualified in the 30th position and spent 170 laps drafting with teammate Jamie McMurray. The race ended with two green/white/checkered attempts in a shootout to the finish where the No. 42 Target Chevrolet closed out the night in the ninth position.
The Cottonelle team returned to the site of Juan Pablo Montoya’s very first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series win over the weekend. The team worked on the set-up of the race car throughout the weekend and found the right balance come race time. Montoya was a top 10 contender throughout the race until an on-track altercation with seven laps remaining took him out of contention for a top spot. Jamie McMurray started the Toyota/ Save Mart 350 from the outside front row on the 1.99-mile road course in Sonoma, and worked hard all day to overcome on track issues and post a 15th-place finish in the McDonald’s Chevrolet at Infineon Raceway.
Teams headed to the ‘Irish Hills’ of Michigan [Michigan International Speedway] over the weekend for a 200-lap race. The No. 1 McDonald’s team began the Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips 400 from the 14th-position and battled with a tight race car most of the event. With solid pit stops throughout the race the team worked to find the right balance on the car and managed to keep McMurray running among the top 25 all afternoon to bring home a 19th-place finish. Juan Pablo Montoya and the Target team sported a new paint scheme over the weekend to promote the upcoming film, Cars 2. The No. 42 Chevrolet qualified in the 25th position and battled the right balance with handling for the entire weekend. He would eventually have to settle for a 30th-place finish.
Juan Pablo Montoya and the Target team were a permanent fixture up in the top-10 for 200-laps at Pocono Raceway. The No. 42 Chevrolet started in the 16th position, led a total of 38 laps and overcame a transmission problem in the closing laps to finish seventh. This marks the fifth top-10 finish for the Target team this season and advances Montoya to the 13th position in the point standings; 22 out of 10th. Jamie McMurray started from the 13th-position and the McDonald’s team showed strength early on in the race and McMurray quickly drove the No. 1 Chevrolet into the top-10. However, hopes of staying up front all day would come to an abrupt end when the team lost third gear in the transmission, resulting in a lengthy repair and a 33rd place finish.