Tag Archives: Juan Pablo Montoya

Indy Cars

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MONTOYA, DIXON, CASTRONEVES, KANAAN TALK ABOUT THE 500—

JUAN PABLO MONTOYA (Team Penske): “Every year you came here and you’re not in an Indy car, it’s cool, but you want to come to the Museum to see the Indy cars. It’s not the same. The Brickyard is a big deal, but it’s not the Indy 500. I never thought I’d be back here to try to get another win. I’m excited and to race here for Team Penske is a hell of a chance (to win).”

(What’s it like to be back at Indianapolis Motor Speedway?): “It’s pretty exciting. I really haven’t thought about it too much. I’m more of a guy who goes, ‘What’s next? Are we testing? Are we doing this or are we doing that? I try not to think about it too much. Once we need to come to Indy, I’ll worry about Indy and not before. Still it’s exciting. If you think about it, I’m 1-for-1 here and it would be cool to be 2-for-2.”

SCOTT DIXON (Target Chip Ganassi Racing): For a driver, and anyone involved with the Indy 500, the Speedway is a really special place. The history and everything about it. Coming from New Zealand this is pretty spectacular and I think you can say that about anybody. The way the year works out, you can break it down into two goals. You can try to win the Indianapolis 500 and then try to win the championship. It’s always an exciting time. To try to get everything right in just a three hour time is nearly impossible.”

(Can Juan Pablo Montoya step in and be competitive at the top level?): “Yes. Absolutely. As they just said, he’s won in every kind of formula that he’s ever been in. It’s going to be a learning curve, but it’s not something that he’s not done before. Yes, the past six or seven years have been a totally different kind of car, but this year with some of the changes in testing, it’s opened it up a bit. There’s 18 days in total now, which seems like more than what we’ve had recently.  That’s good for him, but the addition of being in a really strong team and having really strong teammates will definitely quicken that process up. Say he comes in a little slow; it won’t take long if he does. I expect him to be quick straight out of the box and having the possibility of going for race wins straight on.”

(Has the manufacturer switch affected the team’s preparation for the upcoming season?): “In some ways, change is enlightening.  Over a two year period – if you look at the previous four or five years with Honda it wasn’t the same because there was no competition – the last two years was a short time, but it was relationships you’d be working on for quite some time. The change is what it is, but it makes it interesting, too. The engine is totally different, even though they are very close and competitive on track. The ways they have reached that power and drivability from different directions and that’s quite exciting.”

HELIO CASTRONEVES (Team Penske): “Being in Indianapolis is always incredible. Winning three times and being so close to winning four. I’m sure these other guys feel the opposite. But if I get four, I’ll be able to join Rick Mears, who I work with and is my mentor and hero. It would be amazing and a dream come true to be in the same group as Rick, A.J. Foyt and Al Unser Sr. I know it’s a big task, but I have big dreams as well.”

TONY KANAAN (Target Chip Ganassi Racing): “Now I know why these guys enjoyed winning the Indy 500 so much. You get to celebrate for a year. It’s January and tomorrow I go to Detroit to finally get my Baby Borg. I don’t have my ring yet, which I’m waiting for quite anxiously. A lot of things have happened since (May). But I have to say, all the good things that happened was because of the win.”

(About his transition to Target Chip Ganassi Racing): “It’s been pretty smooth. We did a test in December, but I was in the 8 car… I haven’t driven the 10 car yet, but we’ll see what that’s like on Friday.

(About communicating with Dario Franchitti): “I’ve been with him all day, yesterday. We had dinner last night. We’re having dinner tonight. We’ve been talking. It’s funny. I expected that we were going to be talking more, even if he was still racing, because we are in the same team. Since his retirement, we’ve been talking every day. More than ever. He’s still part of the team, so for me, it’s still hard for me to see that he’s not going to be around driving the car. Not a lot of things have changed. We’re not going to bang wheels on the track but we still talk a lot.”

Motorsports Mondial

Dramatic Debut Win at Daytona for Trevor Bayne


Photo. Matthew Stockman/Getty Images for NASCAR

Knoxville Knockout. Move over Jeff Gordon. #24 was 25 when he became the youngest winner of Daytona 500. Sunday Trevor Bayne entered his name in NASCAR history as the youngest winner at 20.

The 2011 NASCAR season got off to a rolling start in dramatic fashion. The winner, after a record 16 caution periods and record 74 lead changes, was 20-year old Trevor Bayne in only his second Sprint Cup start.

“They gave me a rocket ship that definitely did me a lot of justice today,” said the young winner from Knoxville, TN. For Ford this was their 600th win in NASCAR’s top division.

He also rang in as the only Rookie to win the “The Great American Race” since the inaugural 1959 Daytona 500, which was won by Lee Petty, papito of King Richard.

Photo. John Harrelson/Getty Images for NASCAR

Race craft. The winning team Wood Brothers is NASCAR’s oldest and last won the season opening classic in 1976 with David Pearson. They were also behind Dan Gurney’s success in stock cars at Riverside in southern California.

Bayne held off a strong challenge from “Cousin” Carl Edwards and four other drivers in the final two laps to give the legendary Wood Brothers team their first Cup victory in a decade. David Pearson – “The Silver Fox” – also won the Daytona 500 for Wood Brothers in 1976, and Sunday’s winning machine carried the same # 21.

The winner’s purse was a cool $1,462,563 or just over $7,300 for each of the 200 laps.

Photo. Chris Graythen/Getty Images for NASCAR

St. Devote to Daytona. Montoya may have missed his target in Formula 1 but the Colombian ace has become a heavy hitter in tin-top racing of America.

David Gilliland was third, followed by Bobby Labonte, Kurt Busch and Juan Pablo Montoya in sixth.

Crowd and sentimental favorite Dale Earnhardt Jr was involved in a late race crash and was eliminated. Previous winner Kevin Harvick was one the first retirements with an “engine done blowed-up.”

In the championship three points separate the top five. Edwards leads with 42. Gilliland and Labonte have 41 points each. Busch is one point behind with Montoya fifth with 39 points.

The race winner, Bayne, is not eligible for points under the new NASCAR points system as he is running a limited schedule in Cup races while doing a full season in the second-tier Nationwide series.

Next stop for the series is at Phoenix International Raceway, track once described by Bernard Ecclestone as “shitty little oval.”

— Nasir Hameed

Greetings and “bogitty, bogitty” regards.

P.S. F1 Weekly familia member Larry Carta, the King of Cool Album of the Day, informs us that Wood Brothers also supplied the pit crew to Jim Clark’s victory at Indy in 1965.