T E C H N O L O G Y


IRT Home

News Page

Contents Page

Newsletter & Books

email Paul




uploaded 4/23/99

Montoya Wins at Long Beach

Back toLong Beach start page

Juan Montoya of Bogata, Columbia stepped into Alex Zanardi's ride at Ganassi Racing and won the third race of his rookie season in CART, an amazing feat. Tony Kanann driving the newly sponsored McDonald's car for Steve Horne had the race in hand when he made a small mistake that put him into the wall. Tony was gaining at least a tenth of second on Montoya in second spot when he crashed. Both drivers were in the best "package," a Honda-powered Reynard on Firestone tires.

Juan Montoya leading Dario Franchitti

Montoya and Dario Franchitti were running in second and third when I took this shot in Turn 10. Later Montoya stretched out his lead.

Montoya in Victory Circle

In Victory Circle Montoya posed before the winner's interview with Gary Gerould.

Franchitti, Ganassi, Montoya, Herta

The post-race press conference started with the drivers but Chip Ganassi joined them. From the left: Dario Franchitti, Chip Ganassi, Montoya, and Bryan Herta.

Ganassi & Montoya

On Friday during the post-qualifying press conference Montoya was asked by a reporter, "Do you think you are gaining some respect from your fellow drivers?"

Montoya's answer was something like, "I don't need no [stinking?] respect from the drivers. I come here to do a job and I do it the best I can."

In that press conference he came off mean spirited and belligerent so it felt good to see him more humble and appreciative as a winner. Ganassi was asked how he compared with Zanardi. His answer, "I don't do comparisons. That's you guys' job. They're both good friends of mine and great drivers. Juan is better looking than Zanardi, though." Amid the laughter, Montoya's smile turned into an embarrassed grin and he put his forehead down onto the table top.

Montoya faces the press

After the press conference it was time for one-on-one interviews in the glare of the TV lights and camera flashes.

In the middle of the photo is TNN TV announcer Ralph Shaheen. I told Ralph he looked a little slimmer and he said he'd lost some weight. "It's tough on the road, as you know," he said. "You can snack all day. It takes some will power to avoid that."

Target Ganassi Racing earned the last three CART championships: Jimmy Vasser in '96 and Alex Zanardi in '97 and '98. As testimony to the team's impeccable car preparation and development Zanardi was third in points in '96, Vasser was third in '97, and he was second last year. There's not much turnover at the team thanks to Managing Director Tom Anderson. They also have two of the best race engineers in race with Julian Robertson (Vasser) and Morris (Mo) Nunn (Montoya).

Ganassi will be tough to beat again this year.


 The contents of this web site are copyrighted by Paul Haney. No reproduction other than for your own personal use unless full source attribution is quoted. All Rights reserved by Paul Haney, 1999.