A SURPRISING RISING?
Not so much, but Montoya’s 12th Indy car victory silenced his doubters once and for all
Any question marks that remained over
the wisdom of Juan Montoya coming back
to IndyCar from NASCAR – or the wisdom of
Roger Penske to hire him – were eradicated
over the middle part of the 2014 Verizon
IndyCar Series. It wasn’t quite like he’d
never been away, but Montoya’s pace and
consistency improved to such an extent
that he won the Pocono 500 and launched
himself into the thick of the title fight.
Montoya was self-confident enough to
not be surprised at his swift rehabilitation
to open-wheel racing, but also honest
enough to admit he’s still a work in progress.
“I’m still a little hesitant to throw it in
there like I used to on road and street
courses because I’m not 100 percent
All the latest IndyCar news at
Houston produced a Colombian podium sweep,
but more surprising was the fact that Dale
Coyne Racing’s Carlos Huertas took center
step between Montoya and Carlos Munoz.
Juan Montoya has won in Champ Cars, IRL
cars, Formula 1 cars (LEF T, first win at Monza
in 2001), NASCAR Nationwide, NASCAR
Sprint Cup, prototype sports cars and IndyCar.
Who said the era of racing versatility is over?
confident,” he said after an entertaining
and torrid street fight in Houston’s Race 1
brought him a second place finish.
“Anybody can throw it in there, but it’s
got to stick. I feel more comfortable on
ovals; I’m still working to get that last little
bit out of the car on a street circuit.”
Two rounds later, at Pocono Raceway,
the 38-year-old veteran scored his first
Indy car pole since Surfers Paradise in
2000 and went on to take his first win
since Gateway that same year. This lifted
him to fourth in the points standings, and
afterward the 1999 CART champion
admitted that a title run was a possibility.
“[The championship] wasn’t on my
radar when I was nearly 200 points out.