Juan Pablo Montoya. Verizon Team Penske driver
JPM HOW WAS THE HAWK PERFORMANCE CHEVY IN THE FIRST RACE IN TORONTO? “We made a little bit of a mistake staying on red tires and the tires just really fell off. When you're competing there's nothing you can do but just get out of the way. But we looked forward to Race #2 and went for it in the Hawk Chevrolet."
Facts About the race:
- Rains showers in the Toronto area on Saturday forced INDYCAR officials to postpone Race 1 of the “2 in T.O.” until Sunday morning, creating a true doubleheader with two races being run on the same day.
- Juan Pablo Montoya qualified his No. 2 Hawk Performance Chevrolet in the 11th position during the Saturday morning qualifying session. However, he was forced to start at the rear of the field for the first race – a 65-lap event – of the Honda Indy Toronto doubleheader as the team had to replace many of the electrical units in the No. 2 Team Penske car while INDYCAR attempted to start the race on Saturday afternoon.
- The start of the race featured a red-flag period for a multi-car incident on lap one. When the red flag was lifted, Montoya brought his Hawk Performance Chevy down pit road for a fuel-only pit stop to alter the team’s fuel strategy.
- Team strategist Jon Bouslog called Montoya down pit road on lap 35 for the final time for four Firestone “red” alternate tires, fuel and a front wing adjustment to help the handling.
- Montoya valiantly tried to move up through the field – making his way as high as the 14th position – but the handling of the No. 2 Chevy deteriorated and he was forced to give up several spots in the waning laps to finish in the 18th position in the first race of the doubleheader.
- With the field for the second race set by Verizon IndyCar Series entrant points per the 2014 INDYCAR rulebook, Montoya began the standing start from the fifth position.
- Montoya started the race on the “red” tires but a light sprinkling of rain fell over the course in the early laps. While attempting to make his way onto pit lane for Firestone rain tires, Montoya slid into the tire barrier in Turn 8. In addition, the No. 27 car driven by James Hinchcliffe made contact with Montoya’s Hawk Performance Chevy and the No. 7 car driven by Mikhail Aleshin slid and became lodged underneath the No. 2 car after also losing handling on the wet surface.
- After the safety team dislodged the cars, the resulting damage to the front and rear wings were quickly repaired by the No. 2 Team Penske crew. Unfortunately, Montoya lost four laps to the leaders in the process.
- Montoya turned some of the fastest laps on the track over the closing stages of the second event – which was changed to a timed race instead of 65 laps – but he could not make up all of the lost laps and crossed the finish line in the 19th position.
- With the two finishes on Sunday, Montoya remained fifth in the championship standings, but he now trails Team Penske teammate Helio Castroneves by 105 points.
“Our PPG Chevy was really good today. We had some issues during the weekend but we never gave up. Yesterday in qualifying got really loose and we came back today really strong, passing people. I got inside of (Ed Carpenter) and he was running high and then all of a sudden (he) decided to run low. He had been running every lap on the top. I got a run – I got inside of him and he just turned down on me. Very frustrating deal but we have to move on. We’re still in good shape.”
“First off all, I want to thank Verizon, IndyCar, PPG, Chevrolet and everyone who supports this car and Team Penske. I want thank Roger (Penske) for believing in me after how many years out of open-wheel, coming back and believing I could do it. Here we are. It’s awesome that we could do it. You have to be patient and you have to be smart. On days like this, if you do everything right the opportunity will come.”
As one of the most gratifyng wins on his career, JPM is back on the top! Perfect Weekend for JPM and team 2 Verizon Penske Team, today dressed as PPG Automotive. JPM want to give a big thank you to to all his fans, his team, his Country Colombia & Mr. Penske for believing in him.