Juan Pablo Montoya was fastest in practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup’s Brickyard 400.
The 2000 Indianapolis 500 winner jumped to the front in the closing minutes of the opening day’s sole session. Montoya produced a lap of 48.541 seconds/185.410mph in his Earnhardt Ganassi Chevrolet, sufficient to give him first place by 0.23sec over Furniture Row driver Kurt Busch.
Last year’s Brickyard 400 winner Paul Menard had briefly been quickest prior to Montoya’s lap, but ended up fourth behind rookie Austin Dillon.
For most of the 85-minute session it was Kasey Kahne who led the way, having set the early pace with his first flying lap of the morning.
The top five was entirely filled by Chevrolets, with Penske’s Joey Logano preventing an all-Chevy top six by slipping his Ford ahead of Kevin Harvick. Clint Bowyer was top Toyota in eighth.
Qualifying for Sunday’s race takes place on Saturday afternoon.
Montoya is still hunting for his first oval victory at Cup level. The 2009 Indianapolis race was one of his best chances, as he dominated until getting a pitlane speeding penalty.