Brickyard 400 finished 39th
Posted in the Juan Pablo Montoya Forum
Since: Aug 07
#1 Aug 3, 2008
INDIANAPOLIS, IN. July 28, 2008
Juan Pablo Montoya and the No. 42 Big Red® Slim Pack Dodge were victims of tire issues at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Sunday for the Brickyard 400. Montoya's hope of repeating last year's runner-up performance was shattered early when the right rear tire blew out on lap 28. The team was able to repair the car and finish the event in the 39th position.
The weekend started out well for Montoya, Crew Chief Brian Pattie and the entire team as the car was balanced during the first two practice sessions. Montoya then went out and qualified 13th, his first top-15 start since Richmond, for the 260-lap event. During the final practice sessions, teams became concerned with tire wear as cords began showing with only five laps on new tires. Before the race began on Sunday, NASCAR informed the crew chiefs and drivers it would monitor the situation during the race and would wave a competition caution on lap 15 to assess the tires.
The green flag waved and it was immediately evident Montoya had an extremely fast car. By lap three he was already up to the seventh position from his 13th-place starting spot when the caution waved. He said the car was a little tight, so when the caution waved again on lap 13 Pattie called for right side tires and a wedge adjustment. Pattie told Montoya the right side tires looked bad and to take it easy until the next caution. Racing resumed on lap 17 with Montoya in 10th, and by lap 27 he was up to fifth. Unfortunately, the right rear tire gave out on the Big Red Slim Pack Dodge on lap 28 bringing out the caution.
The tire had shredded and caused severe damage to the right rear of the Dodge, which included destroying the crush panels. The crew jumped the wall and changed the tires while trying to repair the damaged right side. Montoya was able to stay on the lead lap, but with the damaged crush panels the heat from the exhaust was circulating into the car. The team tried to repair the car on pit road but with the extreme heat inside the Big Red Slim Pack car Montoya was getting too hot. He eventually pulled the car into the garage so the team could fix the car and make it safe for Montoya.
It took the team 34 laps, but Montoya was back on the track to finish the race. Tire wear continued to be an issue, not only for the team, but for everyone on pit road. NASCAR threw competition cautions approximately every 12 laps to keep the drivers safe and limit the amount of blown tires. Montoya finished the race in the 39th position while Jimmie Johnson brought home the Brickyard trophy. Montoya slipped two spots in the NASCAR Sprint Cup driver standings to 22nd going into this weekend's race at Pocono.
JUAN PABLO MONTOYA: "It's frustrating because our Big Red Dodge was amazing today. We blew off the right-rear tire and broke some right side panels. We came in the pits, fixed the car and thought we had it taken care of but every time I lifted off the throttle, header flames were coming into the car and it was just burning me up. We didn't have a choice but to come to the garage and fix it.
"The race was tough for everyone. I think NASCAR did the best that they could in trying to manage the race with what they had to work with. It's just unfortunate."
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