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Juan Pablo Montoya Returns To NASCAR

Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

At the end of last season Juan Pablo Montoya left NASCAR and returned to the IndyCar Series – but this weekend he’s back.

Montoya will be in the Team Penske No. 12 Ford for today’s 400-mile race at Michigan International Speedway, his first Sprint Cup Series race since heading back to IndyCar after last season. So far this year in IndyCar, Montoya’s best finish came last week when he was third at Texas Motor Speedway. He finished fifth in the Indy 500 on Memorial Day weekend.

In qualifying at Michigan on Friday, Montoya was 28th. His Penske teammates Brad Keselowski and Joey Logano will start 6th and 9th. Kevin Harvick won the pole for today’s race – his third pole of the year. Jeff Gordon will start on the outside pole, followed by Dale Earnhardt Jr, Aric Almirola, and Paul Menard rounding out the top five starters.

In yesterday’s morning practice, Jimmie Johnson was the fastest over Gordon and Harvick. Michigan is one of five tracks that Johnson has never won at. Chicago, Homestead, Kentucky and Watkins Glen are the others. Johnson starts 7th today.

Final practice yesterday afternoon found the driver who succeeded Montoya in the No. 42 Chip Ganassi Chevrolet, rookie Kyle Larson, the fastest ahead of Gordon and Harvick. Larson will start 12th in the race today. Here is the complete starting lineup.

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