Juan Pablo Montoya Will Win at Indianapolis Motor Speedway

 

Sam Sharpe-USA TODAY Sports

NASCAR Driver Juan Pablo Montoya has one of the best records at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in all forms of racing. He won the Indianapolis 500 in his only Indy Car start in 2000. He also has two top ten finishes in a Formula One car. He finished fourth in the inaugural GRAND-AM race. Montoya would love to win the Brickyard 400. NASCAR returns to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the Crown Royal Presents the Samuel Deeds 400 at The Brickyard Powered by BigMachineRecords.com.

The Indianapolis Motor Speedway is a large 2.5 mile track like Daytona and Talladega, but the similarities end right there.  At those tracks the cars need restrictor plates in order to keep the speeds down.  At the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, or Indy as it is called by race fans, the track is very different from any other track.  This track races kind of like a short track due to only having 9 degrees of banking in the corners, and 0 degrees in the straight aways.

Every track has four turns but this track is the only one that actually has four corners.  Indy is actually a big rectangle; the front and back stretch are long and there is actually a small straight away between turns one and two and between turns three and four.

The race is 400 miles, or 160 laps.  During the race, look for race teams to work on their cars for the first 110 laps until they get them fast and handling right.  After that they will be using pit strategy to get to the front. On more occasions than not the strategy for this race is much like a road course where the crew chief chooses based on fuel millage when to make that last pit stop.

Each and every week we look at driver ratings to find out who is good at a particular track. Jimmie Johnson leads all drivers with an impressive 106.3 followed by Tony Stewart and Mark Martin. Juan Pablo Montoya follows with the seventh best of 95.6 but like some tracks driver ratings don’t really tell the story.

In 2009 Montoya was dominating the race on his way to a sure win only to be caught speeding on pit road during his final pit stop. As luck would have it the next year he took four tires when everyone took two and ended up hitting the wall, his teammate Jamie McMurray, ended up winning the race.

Montoya said, “We’re excited to go back to Indianapolis. Jamie (McMurray) and I tested there earlier this month and the cars were really good. It seems as though every place we test at this year we run really well at (Richmond, Dover) so expectations are high. I think it would be very special to win at Indianapolis. After winning the ‘500’ here and to be able to win in NASCAR I think, would be amazing. It’s funny because when I was at Indianapolis in Formula One, I was very close to winning a couple times, and it never happened.

Montoya and his team will quietly work on their car throughout the race, will learn from their mistakes and take the Target Chevrolet to victory lane in the Brickyard 400. If they do it will be the biggest win since Tony Stewart won his first Brickyard 400.

If you can’t get to Indianapolis Motor Speedway this race is the first race for ESPN this season.  Coverage starts at 12 PM ET.  The race starts at 1 PM ET.

Brian Berg Jr. is a NASCAR writer for RantSports.com.

Follow him on Twitter @brian_jr1 during the race and throughout the week for more NASCAR news and commentary, or on Facebook, Pinterest, and Google.

Top 12 Driver Rating at Indianapolis
Jimmie Johnson…………………… 106.3
Tony Stewart………………………. 102.8
Mark Martin………………………… 102.5
Jeff Gordon………………………… 101.8
Greg Biffle……………………………. 98.6
Kyle Busch…………………………… 96.6
Juan Pablo Montoya………………. 95.9
Matt Kenseth………………………… 94.7
Kasey Kahne………………………… 94.0
Kevin Harvick……………………….. 91.9
Denny Hamlin……………………….. 89.9
Jeff Burton…………………………… 87.9
Note: Driver Ratings compiled from 2005-2012 races (eight total) among active drivers at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.


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  • Brian Berg Jr.

    This article marks my two year anniversary of writing about NASCAR for Rant Sports.