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Stewart can empathise with Montoya

27 July 2009

With an open-wheel background, Tony Stewart knew what it would have meant for Juan Pablo Montoya to have won Sunday's race. Montoya, the 2000 Indianapolis 500 champion, was trying to become the first driver to win both the Indy 500 and the Allstate 400.

Montoya dominated the event, leading 116 of the first 125 laps before a speeding penalty on pit road deprived him of the chance for the historic double and relegated him to an eleventh-place finish.

“I firmly believe if that didn't happen, we were all going to have a hard time with him, for sure,” said Stewart, who ran third. “He never really was challenged all day.

“He did a great job today. I know what he's feeling like. It's got to make him sick inside 'cause, I mean, to be able to accomplish what he would have accomplished today, just a remarkable feat. And he had the car and he had the talent to do it today. He just made a mistake, and it cost him.”

by Reid Spencer/Sporting News


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