Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Non-Chaser of Note: Juan Pablo Montoya

Juan Pablo Montoya high fives fans after being introduced
at Talladega Superspeedway
In the days leading up to race weekend, if you asked folks which non-Chaser had the best shot to win Talladega, they'd likely say Jamie McMurray.

McMurray was the obvious choice.  The Earnhardt-Ganassi driver is having the season of his life, winning the Daytona 500, the Brickyard 400, the Bank of America 500 and also the fall Dega race last year.

His teammate Juan Pablo Montoya wasn't even on the radar.

But Montoya surprised the crowd Saturday by clocking the fastest qualifying time, putting him on the Talladega pole. And, during the race, he avoided the on-track drama to end the day in third spot.

McMurray, on the other hand, finished thirty-sixth.

Although Montoya hasn't won as many races as his EGR teammate, he is having a pretty good year.

So far, JPM can boast a win at Watkins Glen, three poles, six top fives and 14 top 10 finishes.

And if team owner Chip Ganassi stays with Chevy and those Childress-built engines, Montoya will be a huge threat in 2011.

You can bank on it.

1 comment:

  1. Many have written off JPM's 2009 success as a fluke due to his numbers this season, but if you erase the horrendous bad luck he had this summer (a lot of which he had nothing to do with) he probably would have easily made the top 12. While the results may not have been where the 42 team would like, Juan has become a much better driver overall this season IMO (although shades of 2007 Juan popped up in 2010 at the All Star Open and the first Loudon race).