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Press Snoop: More about Montoya.

by Lynne Huntting


Rookie JUAN PABLO MONTOYA/#42 Dodge said his NASCAR Nextel Cup victory at Infineon Raceway was “as big as any other victory I've had. Personally, winning the Long Beach Grand Prix was cooler than winning the Indy 500 because it was my first big race win. This is my first big stock car victory.”

Montoya said he was more relieved than excited with his first Cup win. He knew they could do it. JPM ran the last Cup race of the 2006 season so actually has 17 starts, not 16 as previously reported here. And he races for Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates, not Team Penske.

“I'll tell you the truth. I was very surprised by the level of the drivers here. In Mexico (where he won the Busch Series race) I had a very good car and the drivers were very strong; but here, man the top 20 were - you had to work for your money.”

Montoya won $310,600 and is unofficially twenty-first in the points, 982 points out of first place.

JPM also, unofficially, leads the Rookie standings by 15 points ahead of DAVID RAGAN/#6 Ford. This was the eighth race in which Montoya was top Rookie. The last time a Rookie led a Cup race was his Ganassi sports car team-mate, SCOTT PRUETT, in 2000.

Montoya had only run 12 or so oval track races before starting NASCAR. He said there isn't that much practice time at each race before qualifying, and he's mostly running new tracks.

Crew Chief DONNIE WINGO said there was about a gallon of fuel left and the team kept telling Montoya to save fuel ... as he needed some for the victory lap. “Everybody did a good job on stops and the motor shop did a great job. Without the fuel mileage we ever would have made it. Juan did a good job. He kept the fenders on and passed what he needed to pass and fuel mileage is what saved us.”

Team Owner CHIP GANASSI said Montoya is “a lot calmer now (compared to his CART days with Ganassi), if you can imagine that. He's a changed man. During the race he came on the radio and said it's too early to race these guys. Wingo and I just looked at each other.”

Team Owner CHIP GANASSI said it has been so long since the team won a race he forgot how to find Victory Circle. In describing his driver, he said: “The guy just likes the action. Ten days ago he raced in the dirt at Eldora. The guy has the disease. It's not about the money, and it's easy to work hard for a guy like that.”

Montoya is part of a small, select group of drivers who have won races, titles and championship in so many different world-famous events. He's won his first NASCAR Cup race, this year's Rolex 24 at Daytona sports car endurance race, the 2000 Indianapolis 500, the 1999 CART Championship as a Rookie, and seven Formula One races including the 2003 Monaco Grand Prix.

Other drivers to run in such races include MARIO ANDRETTI and DAN GURNEY.


Related Pictures

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Juan Montoya - #42 Texaco Havoline Chip Ganassi Dodge Avenger   [pic credit: image.net]
Juan Pablo Montoya - Texaco Havoline Ganassi Dodge   [pic credit: image.net]
Ryan Newman, driver of the #31 Caterpillar Chevrolet, speaks during a press conference prior to practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Quicken Loans Race for Heroes 500 at Phoenix International Raceway on November 7, 2014 in Avondale, Arizona.  (Photo Credit: Sean Gardner/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Matt Kenseth, driver of the #20 Dollar General Toyota, speaks to the media during a press conference after failing to advance to race for the championship in the season finale after the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Quicken Loans Race for Heroes 500 at Phoenix International Raceway on November 9, 2014 in Avondale, Arizona. (Photo Credit: Todd Warshaw/Getty Images)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Axalta Chevrolet, speaks to the media after failing to advance to race for the championship in the season finale after the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Quicken Loans Race for Heroes 500 at Phoenix International Raceway on November 9, 2014 in Avondale, Arizona. (Photo Credit: Rainier Ehrhardt/Getty Images)
Michael Waltrip, driver of the #66 MyAFibStory.com Toyota, poses for a photo during a press conference before practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series GEICO 500 at Talladega Superspeedway on October 17, 2014 in Talladega, Alabama. (Photo Credit: Jonathan Ferrey/NASCAR via Getty Images)
The #42 Chip Ganassi Racing car is readied for practice (Photo Credit: Rainier Ehrhardt/Getty Images)
Kyle Larson, driver of the #42 Target Chevrolet, speaks at a press conference following practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on September 19, 2014 in Loudon, New Hampshire. (Photo Credit: Sarah Glenn/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Brian France, chairman & CEO of NASCAR, Mike Helton, president of NASCAR, and Robin Pemberton, NASCAR Vice President, hold a press conference following a meeting with drivers for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series at Chicagoland Speedway on September 14, 2013 in Joliet, Illinois.  (Photo Credit: by Sean Gardner/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Drive To End Hunger Chevrolet, speaks at a press conference during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Geico 400 at Chicagoland Speedway on September 13, 2013 in Joliet, Illinois. Gordon was awarded a 13th spot in the Chase for the Sprint Cup by NASCAR.  (Photo Credit: Jeff Zelevansky/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Juan Pablo Montoya, driver of the NASCAR Sprint Cup #42 Target/Kraft Chevrolet SS qualified 3rd Friday, September 13, 2013 for Sunday`s Geico 400 at Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, Illinois. Montoya is 19th in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. (Picture Credit: Brian Lawdermilk for Chevrolet)
Brian France, chairman & CEO of NASCAR, and Mike Helton, president of NASCAR, speak during a press conference following practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Geico 400 at Chicagoland Speedway on September 13, 2013 in Joliet, Illinois. NASCAR announced that Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Drive To End Hunger Chevrolet, would be added as a 13th driver in the Chase for the Sprint Cup.  (Photo Credit: John Harrelson/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Tony Stewart, NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver and co-owner of Stewart-Haas Racing, speaks to the media in his first appearance since his sprint car accident at Stewart-Haas Racing on September 3, 2013 in Kannapolis, North Carolina. (Photo Credit: Streeter Lecka/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Tony Stewart, NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver and co-owner of Stewart-Haas Racing, speaks to the media in his first appearance since his sprint car accident at Stewart-Haas Racing on September 3, 2013 in Kannapolis, North Carolina. (Photo Credit: Streeter Lecka/NASCAR via Getty Images)
NASCAR driver, Mark Martin, who is filling in for an injured Tony Stewart, NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver and co-owner of Stewart-Haas Racing, watches the press conference at Stewart-Haas Racing on September 3, 2013 in Kannapolis, North Carolina. (Photo Credit: Streeter Lecka/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Tony Stewart, NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver and co-owner of Stewart-Haas Racing, speaks to the media in his first appearance since his sprint car accident at Stewart-Haas Racing on September 3, 2013 in Kannapolis, North Carolina. (Photo Credit: Streeter Lecka/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Josh Katz pushes the wheelchair of Tony Stewart, NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver and co-owner of Stewart-Haas Racing, before he speaks to the media in his first appearance since his sprint car accident at Stewart-Haas Racing on September 3, 2013 in Kannapolis, North Carolina. (Photo Credit: Streeter Lecka/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Juan Pablo Montoya, driver of the NASCAR Sprint Cup #42 Target Chevrolet SS finished 7th and Kurt Busch, driver of the NASCAR Sprint Cup #78 Furniture Row Racing/Beautyrest Chevrolet SS finished 4th Sunday, September 1, 2013 in the Advocare 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway in Hampton, Georgia. Montoya is 19th in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. Busch moved up two positions in the point standings and now ranks 10th overall.  (Photo Credit: Harold Hinson for Chevrolet)

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