INDIANAPOLIS- We all knew this season may take some time for Juan Pablo Montoya to get up to speed. The 38-year old is making a comeback to American open wheel racing for the first time in 14-years. He previously raced in Formula One and NASCAR since 2001, but Team Penske swayed him back to the Verizon IndyCar Series for 2014 .
Montoya, was talked about by many on his return to Indianapolis this month as the last time he was here in an IndyCar he won. But, this is a much different series now and a different car. Plus, his time being away had many wondering how he would do?
The Colombian only has one top 10 finish in four races this year. In fact, he has finishes of 15th, 16th and 21st in three of those four races. That’s not what many were expecting despite that long absence.
After his qualifying run on Saturday where he was the lone Penske car outside the Firestone Fast Nine, most thought he was a good story but this may not be his year to win.
After Sunday – it now may be.
Montoya, showed his determination on “Pole Day” as he turned a four-lap average of 231.007 mph in his No. 2 Verizon Dallara/Chevrolet. In fact, at the end of the day it was the second quickest qualifying time in the 33-car field.
How about his chances now?
Yes, it was set in the early afternoon compared to the fast nine in the heat of the day, but what he did in that car was nothing short of remarkable. He turned a bad day on Saturday to a good performance on Sunday and now set to claim a second Indy 500 victory.
Montoya, is aggressive and that showed on a beautiful day today at the famed 2.5-mile track. Now, his car has the speed it takes to win. We all know the drivers ability.
Eric Smith is a Senior Writer for the Indiana Sports Report covering Racing. He’s covered both IndyCar and NASCAR action since 2009 and is recognized as an accredited member of the media by both the IndyCar Series and all three divisions of NASCAR racing.
All images appearing in the Indiana Sports Report web site are the exclusive property of Indiana Sports Report, the photographer and are protected under the United States and International Copyright laws. The images may not be reproduced, copied, transmitted or manipulated without the written permission of Indiana Sports Report and/or the photographer.
All Content and Images (c) 2013-2016, Indiana Sports Report. All Rights Reserved.