Juan Pablo Montoya returned to IndyCar this year after a 14-year absence from American open-wheel racing. It wasn’t a swan song, he said. He was coming back to IndyCar to win races, he promised. And, earlier today, 13 years, 9 months and 20 days after his last Indy car victory, the former CART Champion and Indy 500-winning Juan Montoya drove the PPG-sponsored Penske Chevy-Dallara to victory at the Pocono 500.
It was a commanding win, too – one that was reminiscent of Montoya’s run at Long Beach earlier in the year. In that race, Montoya charged from the back of the pack up to 3rd before a poorly-timed pit stop under caution forced him to re-start from the back of the pack on lap 30 before Montoya began his charge to the front anew- passing everyone (again!) all the way to a 4th-place finish … or at Indianapolis, where Montoya fought his way from 11th up to the lead, went a lap down due to a pit lane speeding penalty, then fought his way back, again, to finish in 5th place. He suffered no such bad luck at the Pocono 500, however, and won the race from pole in a manner that race announcers called “expert” and “flawless”.
It’s like he never left.
“I want to thank Roger for believing in me after so many years out of (the car),” said Montoya in a post-race interview. “This is fantastic. Things were going good, but you never know when you’re going to get a win.
Behind Montoya, Helio Castroneves finished 2nd, followed by rookie driver Carlos Muñoz, who is not driving like a rookie anymore, if I may say so. Finally, another favorite (and, hopefully, a contender for Haas’ new American F1 team) Josef Newgarden started from the last row before charging all the way to P1 – but their fuel strategy didn’t take a (nearly) yellow-free race, and he was finally relegated to a strong 8th place finish.
You take a look at how Montoya won the 2014 Pocono 500 with this handy-dandy infographic, provided by the Verizon IndyCar series’ press people, below. Enjoy!
Source | Images: IndyCar.