Sunday, August 8, 2010

Montoya and Pattie - Victors at Last

Juan Pablo Montoya and Brian Pattie finally did it.

After a few weeks of shoulda woulda couldas, Montoya wheeled his No. 42 Chevrolet in dominating fashion Sunday, fending off Marcos Ambrose for a win at Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips at The Glen.  The win marks Montoya's second in Sprint Cup competition and Pattie's first as a Sprint Cup crew chief.

While the racing between Montoya and Ambrose was hot, heavy and riveting early on, Ambrose's car slowed in the final laps allowing Montoya to cruise to a much-deserved victory.

In fact, it was a victory that was so long in coming, that Pattie got a bit choked up after his driver took the checkers.

"It means a lot," Pattie told the press after the race. "Some of the team left Tuesday after work to drive up here because they love it (Watkins Glen) so much. It couldn't happen at a better place."

The trophy also came with a little redemption after the team's disappointing run at the Brickyard 400 - a race in which Pattie made a four-tire call that cost Montoya the win. Pattie's call also threw a wrench into his relationship with Montoya.

Today Montoya apologized for the heated radio exchange at Pocono, in which he yelled "screw you" after Pattie suggested Montoya practice pit stops in Charlotte.

"You know, as competitive as I am, he's as competitive with the race car,"  Montoya said in the post-race press conference.

"I think we both come here every weekend with one goal:  win. When the wins slip away, either my fault, his fault, I think the fault doesn't really matter. When you go home empty-handed, it's frustrating.

The good news is that the No. 42 team is empty-handed no more.  And today's win also gives the team a guaranteed spot in the 2011 Sprint All-Star Race.

Said Montoya, "To come out here today and get the job done the way we did today, it was big."

And that's an understatement.

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