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Here’s what Juan Pablo Montoya has to race for over the next eleven weeks

By admin | September 9, 2010

By Richard Allen

Most NASCAR drivers define success in a given season by winning races and making the Chase for the Championship. In 2009, Juan Pablo Montoya accomplished half of the definition of success by making the playoff and ultimately placing 8th in the final standings. However, he did not win a race last year.

2010 has proven to be just the opposite for Montoya. He won a race on the road course at Watkins Glen but he will fail in his attempt to make a second consecutive Chase.

There are a couple of major things the 34 year old Colombian driver needs to work on during the final eleven weeks of this NASCAR Sprint Cup season.

First, Montoya and his team need to show that they can maintain a level of consistency more like what they had in 2009. Last year the Earnhardt-Ganassi Racing #42 had seven top-5 finishes and 18 top-10s. And perhaps most importantly, there were only five finishes of 30th or worse on this team’s record in 2009.

This season, Montoya has five top-5s and twelve top-10s. However, he has already in 2010 had eight results of 30th or worse.

Aside from eliminating the finishes outside the top-30, Montoya needs to once and for all prove he is capable of winning on tracks other than road courses. Of his two Sprint Cup wins and his one Nationwide Series win, all have come on tracks that feature right hand turns.

Juan Pablo Montoya is not going to be a part of this year’s Chase for the Championship. There are two major steps he can take over the next eleven weeks that could assure such will not be the case in 2011.

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Richard Allen is a member of the National Motorsports Press Association. His weekly columns appear in The Mountain Press and The Knoxville Journal.

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