Montoya's Breakthrough Win

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Colombia’s Juan Pablo Montoya scored his first victory in NASCAR’s premier series since his surprise switch from Formula One as he took the Toyota/Save Mart 350 in Northern California on Sunday.

Montoya, whose other NASCAR victory came earlier this year in a second-tier Busch Series race on the road course in Mexico City, showed his prowess on a twisting road circuit to win the Nextel Cup event at Infineon Speedway.

"It’s huge," Montoya said. "I would say right now it’s the biggest thing I’ve done. In open-wheel, that’s what I was meant to be winning in. In stock cars, I wasn’t."

"To get our first win in our first year is huge. We know we’re a little bit behind on some of the ovals, but I think this is a big boost for everybody working in the shop."

Montoya signed for team owner Chip Ganassi last July and gave Ganassi his first win in NASCAR’s leading series since Jamie McMurray won in October 2002.

Montoya also joins Mario Andretti and Dan Gurney as the only drivers who have won races in NASCAR and Formula One. He is also a past winner of the Indianapolis 500.

Author

Staff Writer

Date

June 25, 2007