Monday, March 5, 2007

Montoya Scores First Busch Win in Mexico City and Thumbs Down to Scott Pruett

Juan Pablo Montoya had the fastest car and his car had one determined racer driving it. Leading most of the Mexico City Busch race on Sunday, a pit-stop mishap put him back in 21st position with about 24 laps to go. Passing on a road-course is treacherous at best, but Montoya raced his way up through the field, finally catching the current leader, Scott Pruett, who was driving the #41 Juicy Fruit car. Pruett, who is a teammate to Montoya, threw a block when Montoya made a move to pass him on the inside. Pruett's car got loose and spun. If you watch the replays a few times, you'll note that Pruett then attempted to steer his spinning car into Montoya's in retaliation, but Montoya, having the quick reaction time of the world class racer that he is, managed to avoid Pruett's car, go around him through the grass, and get back on the track.

Seems to me that Pruett's move to block and then try to wreck his teammate was a pretty classless move. Of course, Pruett whined after the race about Montoya 'taking him out,' but just because a driver gets camera time, it doesn't mean they're telling the whole story or what really happened....Pruett's on-camera 'thumbs down' gesture and remarks about Montoya may have been made in the heat of the moment; his team owners were more cautious and Chip Ganassi said he'd have to look at the tape before he commented on it.

If there's a faster car behind you, basically you have a handful of choices. Go faster and maintain your lead, get out of the way of the clearly faster car or, if you insist on trying to stay in front of a faster car and wind up wrecked, don't whine about it.

Congratulations to Juan Pablo Montoya on an exciting, well-deserved first Busch Series win. As I have said many times, there are drivers--and there are racers. Montoya belongs in the elite class of racers.

A little bumping and banging? Well, that's racin'.