If Juan Pablo Montoya doesn’t make the Chase, the No. 42 team could be looking at Bristol as the fatal blow to their post-season hopes.
Two huge mistakes by the crew chief and driver cost the team two spots and about 50 points Saturday night in the Sharpie 500.
Trying to make a top-five car out of a top-ten race ca, never brings good results. The No. 42 finished 25th
With 44 laps to go, while battling for the second position, Juan Pablo Montoya had a loose race car. He lost about six spots.
A caution due to a wreck by Sam Hornish Jr. gave the team a chance to look into the problem.
The o. 42 team made a call not to pit. Apparently they thought it was just a loose car and not a problem.
"Good! What has changed on this thing?" Montoya asked. "We're going to wreck."
"You're going to be fine," crew chief Brian Patty said. "You're still P8, Just get a top 10 like we talked about."
The car was driving on a flat tire, and during the restart it just about finished Montoya’s day.
In my opinion, two huge mistakes were made here:
One, they did not need to battle for the front spot, they had been racing in the top ten all night long, avoiding confrontations by giving up spots rather than racing hard.
It’s points racing!
That battle for the second spot wore out that tire, or maybe they just got a bad one. I don’t think that was the case. Juan Pablo did not take care of his tires.
I actually got out of my seat as they started to battle for the top-three spots. After a few censored words, I said to some friends, “he is going to wreck!”
He didn’t wreck, but he did drive that car hard and maybe caused tire damage.
Two, they should of pitted and taken four new tires. Even the broadcast crew couldn’t figure that call out.
That was a top-ten car and their race decisions made it a mid-twenties race car.
The no. 42 team just doesn’t look like a they have the experience to get this Chase done.
Just too many mistakes. They seemed to shoot themselves in the foot when they were just about ready to close the deal.
Two missed opportunities to solidify this Chase were wiped out by mistakes.
If they don’t make the Chase, they should remember Indy and Bristol as their Waterloo.
I personally don’t think they will make it as inexperience is beginning to show on this team.
And remember this is coming from a big Montoya fan.
I hope I’m wrong!