Skip to comments.IndyCar: Montoya believes he can win title
Posted on 07/08/2014 6:10:41 AM PDT by gymbeau
Juan Pablo Montoya believes that he is emerging as a dark horse for this year's Verizon IndyCar Series championship following his win at Pocono on Sunday.
The 38-year-old's victory followed several weeks of solid results and elevated him to fourth in the championship, 55 points behind his Penske teammates and joint leaders Will Power and Helio Castroneves.
At the start of the season following seven years in NASCAR he had said that his expectations were to reacquaint himself with open-wheel racing, challenge for wins, and help support his teammates' title bids. But in the wake of his Pocono success, he says that he could be in the championship hunt if he can build upon his current momentum.
"I feel at this point we've got to step it up and work a little bit harder, because I think we're in a position now to win the championship," he said. "We've been having really good finishes and everything, but if we want to win the championship, we've got to make sure we perform a little better on the street courses and stuff like that.
"We haven't run on short ovals so I have no idea what to expect [at Iowa this weekend]. Hopefully it's as good as this."
The Colombian admitted that as recently as a few weeks ago, the prospect of a title challenge had not been on his mind. Montoya believes the recent run of results that has put him into contention has owed as much to his mental approach as it does his talent as a driver.
"It [the championship] wasn't [on my radar]," he said. "I was, I don't know, nearly 200 points out or something. I'm still a ways away, but hey, I think people know that I'm coming, and it's good. It's definitely a plus.
"I think it's something that is helping, and I've got to keep in mind, is I got to here because I've been really smart about it, and it's got to be that way.
"With [Jack] Hawksworth in Houston [whom he was fighting for third late in the Sunday race], I could have been stupid or braver or whatever you want to call it and ended up in the tires with him and prove a point and what's the point? That would have given away 20 or 30 points, and then you get to the end of the year, and you go, 'Oh, I shouldn't have been fighting with that dude.'"
Montoya became the first driver this season to win an IndyCar race from pole position. His 223.871mph pole speed reset Pocono's track record.
will power is going to blow it again. he’s the best driver in the series but can’t keep from boneheaded moves. Helio always fades, too. JPM seems like a good pick. Rahal had a nice save when his engine quit.
I’d like to see Helio get his first championship; he came so close last year!
That word “Montoya.” I don’t think it means who you think it means...
Indycar is ruined for me. The cars look ridiculous and sound ridiculous. F1 cars sound ridiculous now and NASCAR is a Joke. I look to other series’ now and NHRA for my racing fix.
I figured that he was looking to beat Racer X, the six fingered driver who had killed his father, “Pops” Racer Montoya.
Me? I get my racing fix from MOTO GP. 200+ mph on two wheels. Lean angles exceeding 60 degrees, they now drag their elbows. No roll cages, just leather and pads. Fabulous athletes
He hasn’t ran into any track driers yet? Sorry couldn’t resist. I wish him luck.
I marvel how 10,000hp can be contained. 300+ mph in 1/5th of a mile is amazing. it’s not over regulated. I marvel at MOTOGP too. Those guys are plain nuts.
If I’m not mistaken, JPM’s win at Pocono is his first win on an oval since before he left CART.
Always thought JPM has the coolest name in racing.
His unfortunate accidental meet up with the jet
dryer was the most bizzare and scary fire I ever saw.
Excellent book, highly recommended if you’re an Indy fan.
Just finished it.
Q: How many NASCAR drivers does it take to start a jet fuel fire?
A: It only takes Juan.
That was most bizarre. Race goes to caution, I head to the bathroom, come back two minutes later just in time to see the jet dryer explode.
I read an excerpt and am looking forward to the whole story.
Very well researched. Gives a lot of insight into how racing was in the 60s. Factual without being sensational.
Deaths and serious injuries were so numerous, there was so much turnover in the driver roster.