Date registered: Sep 2004
Vehicle: 1985 500SEC, 1991 190E 2.6.
Location: Los Angeles / Hannover Germany
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Montoya bumps teammate for first NASCAR win
Montoya bumps by teammate for first NASCAR win
Mon 05 Mar, 05:50 PM
MEXICO CITY (AFP) - Former Formula One star Juan Pablo Montoya will long remember his first National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR) victory. His teammate will not soon forget or forgive either.
Colombia's Montoya won Sunday's 200-mile event here at Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez, a Busch Series race one level below such elite events as the Daytona 500 on the US closed-cockpit schedule.
After a restart with eight laps remaining, Montoya made an inside passing move on US teammate Scott Pruett, bumping Pruett into a spinout as he drove off the course across the dirt to grab the lead for good.
"I felt really bad because we both needed a really good finish," Montoya said. "We were both breaking at the same time, but he started slowing down. He kind of stayed wide, and I went to the inside. I feel really sorry about it."
Pruett, who finished fifth, was even sorrier.
"Of all the people to take you out, it was a teammate," Pruett said. "That was just no-good, low, nasty, dirty driving. I can't even put it into words, I'm so disappointed. That's just bad driving."
Brad Parrott, Montoya's crew chief, said Montoya still has some key things to learn.
"I'm upset that we wrecked Scott Pruett," Parrott said. "I'm glad we won the race but I'm upset that we got our teammate. Juan's got a long way to go. He's a great driver but he's got to get his head on straight."
It was a rare non-oval event, allowing the South American star to showcase the moves he honed in Formula One and Indy-car as well as what he has learned since making the switch last year to cars that can bump and run.
"It was a great day," said Montoya. "We got this win out of the way now, but the next win needs to be at an oval. We need to win at an oval. That's where we need to be good."
Montoya led 33 of the first 48 laps, then fell to 19th due to fuel tank problems before rallying. He averaged 74.969 mph to claim the top prize of 125,646 dollars and the first series triumph by a Latino racer.