Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Fast Facts: Juan Pablo Montoya

Credit: Tom Warshaw/Getty Images for NASCAR


Juan Pablo Montoya went from open-wheel champ to NASCAR winner with relative ease, which isn’t always the case. JPM is an international star who has proven he won’t back down to anyone – or any track. Here’s a few Fast Facts on this championship driver:
  • Juan Pablo Montoya Roldan (Montoya is his paternal family name, Roldan is his maternal family name) was born September 20, 1975 in Bogota, Columbia. He got started in racing thanks to his father Pablo, who was an architect and racing fan.
  • From Karting, Montoya moved on to Columbian Formula Renault in 1992, the Swift GTI Championship in 1993 and spent 1994 in three series – Sudam 125 Karting (won the championship), USA Barber Saab (finished third in points) and Mexico’s Formula N (won the championship). From 1995 to 1998 he ran in various series around the globe, including Formula 3000, and became a test driver for the Williams Formula 1 team.
  • As part of a driver swap with Chip Ganassi Racing, Montoya moved to CART in 1999 - in place of Alex Zanardi, who won two championships with Ganassi before returning to F1. Montoya won the CART title and Rookie of the Year award in 1999; the following year, the Ganassi team “crossed the line” over to the Indy Racing League’s Indianapolis 500, where Montoya dominated, leading 167 of 200 laps and winning the race as well as the Indy 500 Rookie of the Year award.
  • Montoya moved on to F1 in 2001, racing there until 2006 and claiming seven wins and 13 poles for both Williams and McLaren. In 2006, he announced his intentions to move to NASCAR; that year, he made his stock car debut in the ARCA Racing Series race at Talladega in October - qualifying second, leading nine laps and finishing third.
  • 2007 saw Montoya earn his first Nationwide and Cup Series wins, both on road courses (Nationwide – Mexico City and Cup – Infineon); for his efforts, he was named the Rookie of the Year in the Cup Series. He has a top finish of eighth in Sprint Cup points (2009) and also won the 2010 Cup Series race at Watkins Glen.
  • Montoya and his wife Connie have three children: son Sebastian, daughters Paulina and Manuela.
  • Find out more about Juan Pablo Montoya at http://www.jpmontoya.com/.



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