Recap: Juan Pablo Montoya recovered from an unusually poor starting position to record the best finish of his three career Verizon IndyCar Series races at Barber Motorsports Park on Sunday. Montoya started last on the 21-car grid after failing to make it out of the first round of qualifying Saturday. However, he quickly orked his way through the field and ran as high as third place before producing a fifth-place finishThe effort kept Montoya in the thick of the point standings as he is now third in the championship rundown after the first four races of the 16-race season. Montoya benefitted from an incredible start to Sunday’s race at Barber Motorsports Park. He improved 10 positions over the first five laps in the Verizon Chevy, taking advantage of some early contact on track between competitors and using aggressive maneuvers to move up in the running order. The result marked Montoya’s third top-five finish to start the season. His previous best result at Barber was a 14th-place effort in 2015. The Verizon IndyCar Series season resumes May 14 with the Angie’s List Grand Prix of Indianapolis, followed by the 100th Running of the Indianapolis 500, where Montoya will return as defending champion and try to secure this third career Indy 500 victory.
Quote: “The Verizon Chevy was very good. We had a good car all weekend, but just in qualifying, our tires just didn’t come in. I don’t know what happened and we’ll go back and look at what went wrong there. We knew we had a fast car. It was fun and we made some good moves today. On the red (Firestone) tires, I ran them all day pretty much. They were wearing at the end a little bit, but we kept pushing it. At the start of the race, if you would have told me I would have finished fifth, I wouldn’t have believed it. I’m pretty happy where we finished and now we look ahead to Indy.”
Track: Barber Motorsports Park, Birmingham, Ala.
Race: Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama
Date: April 24, 2016
No. 2 Verizon Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet – Juan Pablo Montoya
Laps Completed: 90/90
Laps Led: 0
Points Position: 3rd (-52)