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Competitors Don’t Condone Juan Pablo Montoya’s Retaliation in Richmond

Rubbing is racing but Juan Pablo Montoya had none of it Saturday night in Richmond. Never known to back down, Montoya was out for revenge after contact with Ryan Newman sent his pole-winning car to pit road for repairs and an eventual 29th place finish.

[media-credit name=”Barry Albert” align=”alignright” width=”225″][/media-credit]The two got together on the backstretch on lap 106 after Newman got into Montoya’s right rear. It bounced the No. 42 off the wall and damaged the right quarter panel and spoiler. Upon returning to the track, Montoya went in search of Newman to return the favor and the Stewart-Haas Racing driver knew it was coming telling his team “it’s not cool.”

On lap 236 Montoya succeeded and Newman suffered damage to the left side and rear of his No. 39 Chevrolet. NASCAR did not black flag Montoya nor called him to the hauler for the obvious payback, instead telling him to steer clear of Newman the remainder of the race. When the checkered flag flew Montoya hightailed it out of the track, avoiding reporters and Newman who went to NASCAR for an explanation.

Fireworks were expected, media were in place as well the cameras after Newman stated during the race things would be taken care of outside the car. Instead everyone was left with nothing more than seeing what was once a hot ballon slowly deflate instead of explode. Short track racing at its best as tempers flared but there was no expected confrontation. It would be easy to pass off Montoya’s actions as just the repercussions of racing on a short track, but there’s a little more too it.

First, it’s not the first time Newman and Montoya have had a disagreement over track space. But it was seeing Montoya leave without confronting Newman that was much different than the Montoya seen in the past. In 2007 at Watkins Glen he got out of the car during the race and engaged in a discussion with Kevin Harvick, which turned to shoving and helmet pulling, after the two spun in turn one. Harvick said at the time it seems Montoya is running over someone every week.

At Homestead in 2009, he repaid Tony Stewart from early in the race when the two went door-to-door. The hit was again blatant and obvious, much like what occurred Saturday night. He’s not afraid to insult others, even his own teammate as he did last year at Las Vegas, or go at it with his pit crew and crew chief. Montoya can get as red hot as the color of his Target Chevrolet.

His competition is well aware of it too. They know what they’re getting into when they go head-to-head with Colombian. But whether Montoya was justified in feeling angry about the contact from Newman it doesn’t mean he has much sympathy.

Third place finisher Kasey Kahne normally isn’t aware of other on track action unless it’s around him. Kahne though, said Saturday night in regards to the incident that things are going to happen in this sport and a driver just needs to be strong and focus on getting what points he can.

Montoya has only made the Chase once in his NASCAR career, 2009. During that season his crew chief had to continually remind him about the big picture. He’s more of a here-and-now type driver and wants to get what he can, when he can and forget about the rest. If that means he has to ruffle a few feathers then so be it, he’s here to win not make friends.

Montoya is in a position to make the Chase early in the 2011 season. He sits ninth in points following his finish in Richmond with four top 10s in the first nine races. Actions though like on Saturday could end up costing him later in the season not only in terms of the Chase but he still searches for his first win on an oval.

There’s no room for repaying every driver who rubs him the wrong way. Whether it’s Newman or champions like Stewart, Jeff Gordon or telling Mark Martin he needs driving lessons, Montoya isn’t going to back down and neither will his competitor’s opinion’s of his racing style.

“I watch the screen,” said second place finisher Denny Hamlin when asked if he had seen the incident.

“I don’t like it. Every time Montoya has damage and you see who did it, they usually end up getting wrecked,” he continued. “You usually know that’s coming. You have to realize, Montoya, I like him, I think he’s a helluva driver but you can’t wreck everyone every time you get in an accident. Accidents happen. Guys make mistakes. Why hold grudges?”

More importantly said Hamlin “Makes it tough to get in the Chase, too.”

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of


  1. I see you still in the Montoya bashing bandwagon Ms. Crandall, fair enough , no crime in that , but so you know Newman drove right pass Montoya as he (Ryan) was driving to his hauler, he could of stopped and confronted Montoya if he wanted because Juan was walking, but instead Newman chose to go and cry to NASCAR like the baby he is. Ed Hinton who you know is one of the most respected writers in NASCAR said today on the-NASCAR NOW -program “Newman is one of the most inconsiderate drivers ..ever”..”he picked on the wrong guy ” end quote.
    As you well know I know just about everything there is to know about this driver, I can tell you one thing, he does not seamed to like to talk to anybody when he is mad. as far as I’m concern he did his talking and the massage was loud and clear in the style of the NASCAR HONOR CODE, if you race me clean I’ll race you clean if you don’t I’ll punt you, that is the NASCAR honor code not something made up by Juan.
    All I ask is for fans not to be Hypocritical about this, It is short track racing and that is how is done ..end of story..

    • I never knew I was on the bashing bandwagon to begin with. I heard the Ed Hinton comment and from what I was seeing, reading and hearing last night, there are others in the sport who do not agree with him.

      I understand that Montoya is your favorite driver and you have every right to defend him, but please don’t say I bash him because I don’t look past his nasty temper and very little patience. You said yourself that it was short track racing, what happened between Newman and Montoya in the first place was short track racing but then Montoya took it too far like he’s done in the past.

      • Ms. Kelly you and I have had robust debate on many subjects in the past and when I’m wrong I’ll admit it, but in this I was absolutely right, you mention nothing about Newman’s reputation of being a wrecker and the fact that many drivers don’t like him….
        I looked at the DVR many times , he had room to give there was no one around, he did it on purpose and he got paid back. As far as others not agree with Hinton well that is true, Larry Mac on FOX is one who in my opinion has no credibility, he a DW use the broadcast as their personal greeting card for their friends…just my opinion

        • I’m not sure that because of Newman’s reputation it makes it right what Montoya did. There is no way that Newman could have done that on purpose, it’s short track racing and Montoya either was not cleared by his spotter or just swung up anyway. Newman is a driver who races hard, that is for sure. Then again, that’s what the sport is about. Just my opinion though

          • Fair enough..good to run into you… again…lol….say hello to the old gang if you run into them in web….

  2. I give Montoya credit that he waited 130 laps before he shunted him. Montoya was hit from behind, unless he was in reverse he didn’t hit Newman.


  3. This type of temper and lack of big picture thinking is probably a big reason why Juan has only won one race and made the Chase only once.

  4. That’s a laugh! I hate to tell ya but Montoya was justified in wrecking Newman. Newman is a punk who can crash others and say “oh, I didn’t mean to” and people believe it. Newman plays by his own rules. That all good, I love hard nosed racers what I can’t stand are guys who cry foul when they get it in return. Nascar needs more of this hard nosed, racing! It reminds me a little of the glory days. But not really. People want the drivers to be too politically correct. Let them beat and bang and get wild with it. And in the end ignore the driver who is crying, it’s all part of it. Gentleman in this sport are the field fillers!!

  5. I hate Denny Hamlin probably more than any other driver, but what he did to Brad is the right way to do it. He waited until the right time during the right race. What he was basically saying is that there are racing accidents and there is always a time and a place to handle those. Montoya hasn’t learned that yet. Any time someone rubs him just a little, he’s on the warpath right then and there.

  6. Wow That from Denny Hamlin? The man who held his chips to cash them in on Brad Keselowski. Looks like Denny has either grown up or was embracing the opportunity to cash a few with the press on someone else.

    • Pretty awesome how a guy can wreck himself, blame the guy who’s nose he cut off doing it, and later wreck that guy (very obvious and intentional) with no word from NASCAR even though J.P. does this ALL THE TIME…never his fault, never the benefit of the doubt for anyone. The #39 obviously had position in the first incident and the #42 should have appologized for it but instead refuses to accept fault for what he clearly caused and chooses to take out a potential top 5 car for his own screw up. What a sad, sad driver. Go away Juan Pablo, gentlemen only in this sport.


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