Montoya's crew did excellent job, but so did Stewart's


Juan Pablo Montoya had just about everything going for him on Sunday.

He knew the racetrack, so he was familiar and comfortable.

His crew brought a strong car, which they proceeded to adjust the heck out of throughout the race. He even caught a couple of breaks, blowing a tire but not until he was already on pit road.

The only thing going against him, it seemed, was that Tony Stewart had a stronger car. Though Montoya's crew did everything it could to offset any advantage there, it was bested by the No. 20 crew.

Nevertheless, both the No. 20 and No. 42 crews share honors as best of the bunch during the Allstate 400.

"The only hiccup we had all day was the right-front blew coming down pit road on that green-flag stop," said Donnie Wingo, Montoya's crew chief. "But other than that, it was a pretty smooth day.

"We got the car better as the race went on, and that's all you can ask for."

Montoya's crew turned all of its pit stops in less time than any other crew on pit road. After five pit stops, it released its driver after a total of only 63.6 seconds in the pit box. Stewart's crew came in second, spending just 67 seconds in the pit box.

Stewart was able to get on and off pit road faster, though. While Montoya was on pit road for 224.9 seconds, Stewart was there for a race-low of 224.4 seconds.

"It makes it easy when the car and crew are that good," Stewart said.

Rupen Fofaria is a regular contributor to ESPN.com.
He can be reached at rupenisracin@yahoo.com.


The five fastest four-tire and fuel stops of the day

1. No. 2 Dodge team, driver Kurt Busch: 13.6 seconds, Lap 39
T2. No. 5 Chevy team, driver Kyle Busch: 13.8 seconds, Lap 127
T2. No. 24 Chevy team, driver Jeff Gordon: 13.8 seconds, Lap 90
T2. No. 29 Chevy team, driver Kevin Harvick: 13.8 seconds, Lap 90
T5. No. 2 Dodge team, driver Kurt Busch: 14 seconds, Lap 76
T5. No. 40 Dodge team, driver Reed Sorenson: 14 seconds, Lap 90
T5. No. 42 Dodge team, driver Juan Pablo Montoya: 14 seconds, Lap 39

Denny Hamlin and his crew couldn't get their pit strategy going consistently and paid dearly.

The No. 11 team came out of the gates with stops of over 15 and 17 seconds before spending more than a minute on pit road following an accident.

Hamlin and the team rebounded, though, and were scratching their way back up the top 10 when they made a fatal gamble in fuel strategy.

The team tried to stretch its fuel on its last pit stop and ran out of fuel on pit road. The car had trouble restarting as the seconds ticked away, along with any hope of a high finish.

"For some reason we just didn't pick up the fuel that we had in months past," Hamlin said. "We should have played it a little more conservative there. You know, we preach about being more aggressive, but we didn't need to stretch it right there."

Hamlin spent 69.2 seconds in the pit box on that last stop, trying to get the car started. In sum, he spent 101.9 seconds on pit road on that one stop.


Draft Track: Introduction