Montoya surprised by helping hands

Former McLaren and Williams F1 driver Juan Pablo Montoya initially couldn't believe fellow NASCAR competitors would be so nice in helping him learn the ropes in stock-car racing.
Given his background in cut-throat F1 racing, you can imagine Juan Pablo Montoya's surprise in discovering that his Sprint Cup competitors were more than willing to help him learn the ropes.

Quite often, Montoya has sought the counsel of veteran Mark Martin, one of the most respected racers in the garage.

"Yeah, I was surprised," Montoya admitted Friday at Martinsville Speedway. "The first person that did it was Kevin Harvick.

"We were testing in Miami (in 2006) for that first Cup race, and there was an open test there, and he came down and said, 'You've got to try to do this.' I didn't even go to him, he came to me and said you've got to go a little deeper and do a little of this and a little of that.

"I was like, 'Are you kidding me? You actually came here to help me?' It's crazy, because in F1, if you see somebody doing something wrong, you probably actually enjoy it and don't help them. You would. You would get a kick out of it.

"It's great, it's great to see that people are that open about it (in Cup racing), but when you're on the race track, it's time for business."

Martin said rival drivers don't share technical information on car setups any more, but he's happy to give advice.

"First of all one of the biggest forms of flattery is to have someone come and want to talk to me and want my opinion or advice," Martin said. "And I'm flattered that he (Montoya) asked me the questions. He'll figure out a way to beat me on any given day whether I answer honestly or not.

"So, we don't share technical race car information today like we did 15 years ago. Rusty (Wallace) and I always told each other what we had in our cars 15 years ago here at Martinsville. And the drivers don't do that. So it has closed up a lot."

by Reid Spencer / Sporting News

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Juan Montoya sports retro Target paint scheme at Indianapolis   [pic credit: NASCAR/Getty]
Juan Montoya sports retro Target paint scheme at Indianapolis   [pic credit: NASCAR/Getty]
2009 Sylvania 300 pole-sitter Juan-Pablo Montoya, New Hampshire Motor Speedway [pic credit: NASCAR media]
Juan Pablo Montoya [Pic credit: Getty for NASCAR]
Mark Martin and Juan Montoya [Pic credit: Getty for NASCAR]

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