Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Montoya Holds Off Will Power To Win Indy 500 - May 24, 2015

May 24, 2015
Juan Pablo Montoya
(Photo;nydailynews.com)
2015 Indianapolis 500 Champion.
Juan Pablo Montoya passed Will Power with four laps to go to win the 2015 Indianapolis 500. Montoya, who won the race 15 years earlier in his first start, held off reigning Verizon IndyCar Series champion and teammate Power by .1046 of a second -- the fourth-closest finish in race history -- in a thrilling battle over the final 15 laps that also included pole sitter and 2008 race winner Scott Dixon. Five of the 37 lead changes occurred in those 15 laps following a restart, with Montoya overtaking Dixon in Turn 1 for second place and Power in Turn 4 to lead Lap 197 by .0420 of a second. The victory extended Roger Penske's record of Indy 500 victories to 16.

 Montoya, who started 15th in the No. 2 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet, fell to 30th early in the race after being hit from behind while under caution, which necessitated a pit stop to change out the rear wing assembly. He then overshot his pit box on Lap 95, which cost precious seconds. Montoya worked his way up to third by Lap 102 and remained in the top five to challenge for the win. Power was two-tenths of a second behind Montoya entering the white flag lap, but couldn't make a dramatic last-turn pass.

Montoya is one of the few drivers to have participated in NASCAR, Formula One, CART and IRL. After a seven-year stint in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series with Chip Ganassi Racing, he returned to the Verizon IndyCar Series in 2014, driving for Team Penske.

The highlights of his career include winning the 2000 & 2015 Indy 500, the International F3000 championship in 1998, and the CART FedEx Championship Series in 1999, as well as victories in some of the most prestigious races in the world. He is the only driver to have won the premier North American open-wheel CART title, the Indianapolis 500 and the 24 Hours of Daytona, all at the first attempt. Montoya is one of two drivers to have won the CART title in his rookie year, the first being Formula One World Champion Nigel Mansell in 1993. He has also equaled Graham Hill's feat of being a Monaco Grand Prix and Indianapolis 500 race winner; Montoya is one of two active drivers (along with Jacques Villeneuve) who has won two legs of the Triple Crown of Motorsport.

Montoya has also become a crossover race winner by winning races in Formula One, CART, IndyCar, Grand-Am and NASCAR.

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