If my name were Chip Ganassi, I would certainly be very disappointed at the results Brian Pattie and Juan Pablo Montoya have been able to achieve this season. I have to give the 2010 season a grade of “unacceptable.”
After a great 2009 season, most fans were expecting a team with more experience and faster cars for the 2010 cup chase. We can agree on that.
Well, we could say they got plenty of speed and experience this year, and even though I think this team finally “got it,“ there is still something missing.
What’s missing? Here is my best guess.
I was looking through some of Montoya’s video clips going back to Indy and F1 and one thing came to my attention: His face had a serious look, that “eye of the tiger,” if you will, and even his walk looked determined.
I don’t see that this year. He looks almost too relaxed, with an “oh well, it's racing” attitude every time something bad happens.
He doesn’t seamed passionate this year. Maybe it's just the perception I get from watching him on television; it may be a different story if I could see him in person. The “I’m going to give them hell attitude” is just not present this season.
Again, this is just a fan's perception; I may be wrong or maybe not.
Maybe Chip needs to have a talk with the No. 42 team. It appears they got all the equipment they need to be at least in the top 12; instead they’re hanging out in cheap seats, 20th in the standings.
It’s undeniable that they got as good a car as any of the top 10 teams. They are topping the speed charts in every practice this year.
Actually, if they gave points for practice times he may be leading the standing, but of course we all know points are only earned on race day. Apparently, that is the problemsomehow they can’t get it done consistently when it counts.
Time is running out fast for Juan Pablo Montoya.
They are about 175 points from the chase. Realistically they’re about 250 points from being in a spot where the No. 42 can be certain to make the chase. If you're in 12th spot you’re just a bowling pin waiting to get bumped off at Richmond.
The next 13 races will take Montoya to some of his best tracks, so it will be up to him and his team to decide if they want to be a player or just another team burning fuel so they can fill out the chase field—in other words, become an irrelevant racer.
There are only 12 spots that make a difference in NASCAR, the chase, anything else is just...well, the only word I can come up with is “irrelevant.”
They say big time players play big in big time games. What a great opportunity for the No. 42 team to step up and prove to the NASCAR community that Juan Pablo Montoya is a big time driver.
I believe he is, and I believe he will make the chase.