Category: Juan Montoya

Jun 24 2007

Juan Pablo Montoya Wins in Sonoma

Juan Pablo Montoya and the 42 race team gambled to win big in Sonoma in the Toyota/Save Mart 350 to win his first Nextel cup race. The word was that they were short on fuel and would have to pit before the end of the race, but they stuck it out to outlast Jamie McMurray, who ran out of gas, and outrun the rest of the field.

“It’s huge,” Montoya said. “I would say right now it’s the biggest thing I’ve done. In open-wheel, that’s what I was meant to be winning in. In stock cars, I wasn’t.

“To get our first win in our first year is huge. We know we’re a little bit behind on some of the ovals, but I think this is a big boost for everybody working in the shop.” Source: Montoya able to conserve fuel, post first Cup victory

The Richard Childress Racing teams are starting to live up to their potential in these COT races, finishing 2nd, 3rd and 4th with Kevin Harvick in 2nd, Jeff Burton in 3rd and Clint Bowyer in 4th. Greg Biffle finished 5th, Tony Stewart 6th and Jeff Gordon finished 7th, which is his 14th top ten this year, but could end up being more like a 30th or 40th position finish with the penalty looming from Nascar. Kyle Busch, Boris Said and Denny Hamlin rounded out the top ten.

Robby Gordon led a bunch of laps, the most of all drivers this race I believe, but only finished 16th because he didn’t have as good of gas mileage as the others and had to pit later. He was pretty bitter about gas mileage being the reason someone wins a race and complained about it after the race. On Sports center he was saying that Montoya didn’t win that race, he got lucky, so Robbie was whining pretty loudly.

Here is how they finished: (Which TNT did not show!)

1 32 42 Juan Montoya
2 22 29 Kevin Harvick
3 6 31 Jeff Burton
4 10 07 Clint Bowyer
5 17 16 Greg Biffle
6 5 20 Tony Stewart
7 41 24 Jeff Gordon
8 24 5 Kyle Busch
9 4 160 Boris Said
10 36 11 Denny Hamlin
11 28 88 Ricky Rudd
12 43 00 P.J. Jones
13 3 8 Dale Earnhardt Jr.
14 12 19 Elliott Sadler
15 11 96 Ron Fellows
16 2 7 Robby Gordon
17 42 48 Jimmie Johnson
18 15 99 Carl Edwards
19 7 21 Bill Elliott
20 9 12 Ryan Newman
21 33 18 J.J. Yeley
22 14 2 Kurt Busch
23 8 9 Kasey Kahne
24 18 1 Martin Truex Jr.
25 35 38 David Gilliland
26 16 44 Dale Jarrett
27 38 25 Casey Mears
28 30 36 Butch Leitzinger
29 37 6 David Ragan
30 26 01 Regan Smith
31 34 70 Johnny Sauter
32 40 40 David Stremme
33 13 43 Bobby Labonte
34 27 17 Matt Kenseth
35 25 55 Terry Labonte
36 21 191 Marc Goossens
37 1 26 Jamie McMurray
38 39 13 Joe Nemechek
39 23 45 Kyle Petty
40 29 41 Reed Sorenson
41 19 22 Dave Blaney
42 31 66 Jeff Green
43 20 14 Sterling Marlin

Feb 12 2007

Red Rover, Red Rover Send Michael Right Over

If Ray Evernham has his way, Michael Schumacher will be driving a Dodge and rubbing on a Nascar track on day, but don’t expect it to happen anytime soon. Michael has said in the past, “Personally, I wouldn’t do it. What do you do in NASCAR? What is exciting there? I can’t see that, running around on ovals.” What is exciting? Apparently, he has never watched a race, and apparently, he doesn’t want any Nascar fans. But, with the success that everyone is already laying on Juan Montoya’s feet, I would expect more and more to come over and give it a shot and see what real racing is all about.

If Michael Schumacher wants a ride in NASCAR, Ray Evernham has one waiting for him.

Evernham, who works with German company DaimlerChrysler, has issued an open invitation to the seven-time Formula One champion to give stock car racing a try.

The German driver retired from racing red Ferraris after the 2006 season. Asked recently about Juan Pablo Montoya leaving F1 to drive in NASCAR, Schumacher told The New York Times: “Personally, I wouldn’t do it. What do you do in NASCAR? What is exciting there? I can’t see that, running around on ovals.”

But Evernham would like him to reconsider.

“I’ll put him in a red car, a real good car, any time he wants to come over here and try it,” he said. “A lot has changed in recent years. These cars are looked on as much more sophisticated than they used to be. I think he’d find them technical enough to keep him happy.” Source: Kenseth, Kahne Fail Qualifying Inspections

Ray, you can have him as far as I am concerned, sounds like he doesn’t get Nascar at all, so let him retire, he’s to old for Nascar anyway. ;) And Ray, you should’ve stuck with Gordon, you will never find another combination like you all had.

Feb 08 2007

Juan Montoya the All South-American Boy

If there is anything that can compare to the DEI controversy that is currently going on, it is the focus on Juan Montoya’s first full season in Nascar, and according to Mark Aumann, of Nascar.com, says he is taking it all in stride and called him the All-(South) American Boy. He also called him the most suave spokesman for Dodge since Ricardo Montalban peddled Chrysler Cordobas and their “fine Corinthian leather.” If it wasn’t for Jeff Gordon and his interest in the open wheel cars, Juan might never have even driven a stock car.

“When I drove Jeff’s car, I was really comfortable in it,” Montoya said. “I was talking to Chip [Ganassi] about it and it really motivated me to do the deal.

“I got in it and within three laps on a road course, I was up to speed. I thought it felt good.” Source: Montoya embracing role as the ‘new guy’

Sounds like a racer all right. While he is drawing comparisons to legends like A.J. Foyt and Mario Andretti, who also made the transition from open wheel racing, this time it is different, Juan says he’s in it for good, unlike AJ and Mario, who never really left the open wheel world, and Nascar is hoping he will bring new fans with him, both open wheel and Hispanic.

NASCAR is hoping the Colombian-born Montoya finally will unlock the door to a new — and diverse — fan base. With Montoya, NASCAR in essence is trying to do what CART tried but failed to accomplish: Market itself to the untapped and growing American minority population.

“It’ll change this place forever,” Homestead-Miami Speedway President Curtis Gray said after Montoya’s Nextel Cup debut in November. “We’ve got a good motor-sports fan base here, but in order to grow, we’ve got to attract the Hispanic market. To have a driver they can relate to and root for is a reason for them to come to the speedway.” Source: Montoya making big jump

Juan has said that Nascar drivers are much friendlier than the formula 1 guys, at least when you compare the talk in the garage.

Learning how to adjust to the “nice” garage-area banter between competing drivers; in F1, it’s “every man for himself,” to the point where drivers quietly celebrate another driver’s ignorance.

And he is already drawing praise from his fellow drivers, like Jeff Gordon who said he did some drafting with him to try to evaluate his progress, and he said Juan pushed him to the lead once, so he was happy with him so far. ;)

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