3 March 2012
Montoya 'lucky to have survived'
One good thing was that Montoya was quickly out of the wrecked car almost before anyone realised just what had happened, which meant that at least Montoya's wife Connie had little time for anxiety. "She was okay," said Montoya. "She saw me get out of the car and it's like, it's all good. You know what I mean. As long as you get out, it's all good, no?
"I'll tell you, my kid was freaked-out," he went on to admit. "My oldest kid was a little bit freaked-out, but he's okay. It's okay. It's part of racing. It happens. And that's it."
It had taken him a while to get to see video footage of what happened. "It's kind of interesting a week later, or five days later, and you're looking back on that," he said. "The replay the first time didn't show anything. It showed the car heading toward the jet dryer and the flame. There's another shot where you can actually see the car hitting. And that's what I do for a living, I guess.”
Fortunately for Montoya, the momentum of the impact threw the #42 clear and he was quickly out of the car before the fire took told.
"There was a little flames for a second. It wasn't much," Montoya insisted. "It didn't even get hot. It's like I saw the flames everywhere and I'm like, I'd better get out of this fast. That was it.”
As for how he felt five days on, Montoya shrugged and said: "I'm feeling okay. My feet are still a little sore, but not bad." He had posted on Twitter earlier in the day "I have my foot in cold and then hot water" about how he was taking care of his injury.
"It's just the top of my feet where it hit; it actually broke the boot [the protective heat shield that goes on the driver's shoe] and everything," he said.
"We're here in Phoenix and everyone was okay from that accident," he said, moving on and determined to look on the brighter side of Monday night's events. "It's very important the guy driving the jet dryer was okay, and the positives are we're here now."
The driver of the jet dryer at Daytona, Duane Barnes, has declined any media interviews about Monday night's crash, but issued a statement confirming that he was all right after the scary incident.
"I appreciate everyone for taking the time to write, call and ask how I am," read the statement. "I am okay and I am amazed at how many people have wished me well. I am also glad Juan Pablo Montoya is okay, and thank him for his concern."
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