Montoya, Juan Pablo (1975–)

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Montoya, Juan Pablo (1975–)

Born in Bogotá, Colombia, on September 20, 1975, Juan Pablo Montoya was strongly encouraged by his architect father to race. He began on the kart level at age ten and first drove a car at fourteen. Inspired by his heroes Roberto Guerrero (Colombia) and Ayrton Senna (Brazil) and supported by his entire family, he attended the Skip Barber Racing School, then moved skillfully through various classifications in Colombia, Mexico, Britain, and the United States. He won seven races and the title as a rookie in the CART open-wheel circuit in 1999, captured the Indianapolis 500 in 2000 in his first attempt, and as a rookie in Formula One in 2001 won the Italian GP. Over six seasons he won seven F1 races but never finished better than third in the championship standings. Frustrated by the F1 style and by the dominance of seven-time champion Michael Schumacher, the outspoken Montoya signed with NASCAR in late 2006. His first season (2007) driving a Dodge for the NEXTEL Cup found him sixteenth overall after six races and first among rookies. In addition, his Chip Ganassi team won the Rolex 24 at Daytona in January, and he drove aggressively to victory in the Busch Series Telcel-Motorola 200 in Mexico City in March. His first Nextel win came at Infenion Raceway in Sonoma, California, in June, and he finished second in the Allstate 400 at Indianapolis in July. Although auto racing is a secondary sport in Colombia, Montoya's success has aroused widespread national pride.

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Hilton, Christopher. Juan Pablo Montoya. Newbury Park, CA: Haynes North America, 2003.

Juan Pablo Montoya: Official Web site. Available from

                                         Joseph L. Arbena

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Montoya, Juan Pablo (1975–)

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