Juan Pablo Montoya: A World Class Driver Working at NASCAR

al asifyouknowSenior Analyst IJuly 13, 2009

CONCORD, NC - MAY 25:  Juan Pablo Montoya, driver of the #42 Target Chevrolet, prepares to run the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coca-Cola 600 on May 25, 2009 at Lowe's Motor Speedway in Concord, North Carolina.  (Photo by Jason Smith/Getty Images)

I said "working at," because he has been working at this hard, NASCAR is the longest season of any racing series, it’s got to be brutal on this drivers.

Most drivers, if they have the opportunity may opt for a better situation like F1 or INDY where the seasons are shorter and drivers can spend more time with their families.

Juan Pablo chose NASCAR.                                        

Juan Pablo Montoya has been on Chip Ganassi’s ears from day one, I guarantee he has been pestering Chip about improving equipment and crew everyday.

There are not many drivers who have ability to do that with their boss, but these two have a long history together.

Sometimes I think Montoya is one of Chip’s son.

There is no doubt in my mind the reason this team has improved ten fold has everything to do with Juan’s persistence.

He reminds me of that kid from next door who’s visiting and  just won’t go home

From day one, the wed has been full of negative comments from folks who had no idea, who Montoya was, what he had done in racing or if he ever won anything.

Many of them bordering in racism , like, well you know , go back from where you came from etc. etc., you know the sentiments, no need to repeat them.

But let me give you part a dribble of this nonsense, this was posted by a bloger in NASCAR.com:

“Then you have Ghip Ganassi, the man responsible for bringing Montoya and other open wheel drivers over here. Since the DEI merger, the new EGR team has not set the world on fire, and hopefully will be out of Nascar soon.

"Ganassi may be a standout in the scripted world of IRL, but in the real world of racing, he just can’t cut it. And, am I the only person who is still upset that the late Dale Earnhardts team name is now associated with this guy? Seriously.”

"This guy?" I guess is like saying “them people,” just got to love it.

This is typical of the…well, I’ll take the high road and just say the opinions of the intellectually challenged.

What many NASCAR fans don’t know and probably don’t care, and that’s fair enough , Montoya is one of the premier drivers in the world.

If you Google Juan Pablo Montoya and hit news and click back about the ninth or 10th page , that’s where the foreign news articles usually appear.

You will noticed NASCAR’s name in just about every European, Asian, and all around the world, the reports are about that week's race.

I don’t think that was not happening three years ago, NASCAR has been exposed to more folks around the world because of the name recognition in the racing world of Juan Pablo Montoya.

Is that important? Not really, most fans could care less, but to the money and marketing people, this exposure may spark some interest from overseas sponsors, or maybe not, but it doesn‘t hurt.

I’ve seen the slow but determined progression of this great driver navigating through the idiosyncrasies of the NASCAR world.

All this done in what has been considered at best, marginal equipment .

Even though this year he has a new chassis and Childress horsepower, is probably safe to say he is still not in one of the best cars NASCAR has to offer.

Here is a curious fact, of all the Childress powered cars in NASCAR only No. 42 is in the top 12.

That is something that makes you go Hummm.

The main factor in this teams success is of course the crew, Brain Pattie has been a god send to the No. 42 team, he has put together a winning crew.

If they can keep off the wall, they will make the chase, they have not had one DNF this year, that worries me.

There is always one around the corner.

That could throw a monkey wrench in the whole mission of making the chase.

Speaking of the chase, if the 42 team makes it, you will probably see a different type of driver, aggressive and going to the front, and god bless him who gets in the way.

Just ask M. Schumacker or Raikkonen.

That’s the Montoya I remember and is the one I hope to see in the last 10 races of the year.