By admin | September 6, 2011
By Richard Allen
Throughout the course of a racing season every driver is bound to have at least one confrontation with another driver. Unfortunately for him(and those who race around him), Juan Pablo Montoya is compiling a long list of fellow drivers who no longer speak of him in friendly terms.
On Tuesday in Atlanta it was Clint Bowyer who found himself at odds with the former IndyCar and Formula 1 star. On lap 243, Bowyer raced to the inside of Montoya as the two moved through turns three and four of the 1.5 mile track. At the exit of turn four, Bowyer moved up and Montoya clipped his right rear. Bowyerâ€™s Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet suffered heavy damage when it nosed into the outside retaining wall.
As the cars circulated back around under caution, Bowyer expressed his displeasure with Montoya by means of a hand gesture.
In a later television interview Bowyer declared, â€œYou can’t race around the jackass. You never can. Anybody in this sport knows what you’re up against when the 42 comes up. He dive bombs the starts and bullies his way up in there, and before you know it, he’s in the way and wrecking with somebody.
â€œUnfortunately, I was the victim this week,â€ the angry driver went on. â€œIt’s just a shame. We’re out here racing for a spot in the Chase. He’s racing for nothing, you know? I’m tired of it. Everybody in the garage area fights him. He’s just an idiot.â€
This incident came on the heels of two other high profile run-ins for the Colombian native in 2011.
In May at the Richmond International Raceway, Montoya made contact with Ryan Newman during the course of the 400 lap event there. A number of threats were sent via radio channels from each driver to the other. A post race confrontation seemed inevitable but never actually transpired. That, however, was remedied the next week in Darlington, when allegedly, Newman struck Montoya during what was supposed to be a soothing over meeting inside the NASCAR hauler.
And thatâ€™s not all for Montoya. During the June race in Sonoma, California the Earnhardt-Ganassi Racing driver found himself on the receiving end of some sharp verbal barbs dished out by Kasey Kahne after a late race tangle on the road course.
â€œLast year when (the Earnhardt Ganassi Racing) cars were really, really good and Jamie McMurray was the man, Juan still couldnâ€™t win a race,â€ Kahne said in a post race interview. â€œThat shows about what he can do here in NASCAR anyways.â€
Some of these incidents were likely Montoyaâ€™s fault and some may not have been. The situation with Bowyer looked as if it could be interpreted either way based on the viewerâ€™s perspective. Perhaps Bowyer came up into him or perhaps Montoya could have lifted and let him in.
But the problem for Montoya is that he continues to have these sorts of troubles. And in so doing, he has developed a reputation as a reckless driver. So, as Bowyer said, the garage area is going to blame him whenever he is involved.
Juan Pablo Montoya should not be expecting to receive very many Christmas cards from his fellow racers this year.
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