No. 979
January 16, 2018

About The UjianNasional

Author, commentator, influencer. The Consigliere. Minister of the High-Octane Truth. Editor-in-Chief of .

Peter DeLorenzo has been in and around the sport of racing since the age of ten. After a 22-year career in automotive marketing and advertising, where he worked on national campaigns as well as creating many motorsports campaigns for various clients, DeLorenzo established on June 1, 1999. Over the years DeLorenzo's commentaries on racing and the business of motorsports have resonated throughout the industry. Because of the burgeoning influence of those commentaries, DeLorenzo has directly consulted automotive clients on the fundamental direction and content of their motorsports programs. DeLorenzo is considered to be one of the most influential voices commenting on the sport today.

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September 16, 2009


A vote for Montoya.

By Peter M. De Lorenzo

(Posted 9/15, 2:45pm) Detroit.
As reluctant as I am to actually write about NASCAR this week - probably as much as the people who read this column on a regular basis are wincing about reading about it I'm sure - I feel that Juan Pablo Montoya deserves more than a little attention for making "The Chase" for the Sprint Cup. Convoluted and contrived as it is, "The Chase" will, for the first time, have a foreign-born driver in the field of twelve and I'm glad it's the great Colombian who walked away from the political cesspool that has come to define Formula 1 to live life in Miami and give American-style stock car racing a whirl.

And in his third year, it appears that Montoya is well and truly getting the hang of it.

No, Juan Pablo probably won't win it - although it would be perfectly delicious if he did, seeing as it would send the NASCAR establishment into fits of hand-wringing I'm quite certain - I hope to see him go for it in his balls-out style, now that he's in the "Chase" and doesn't have to do the points-racing regimen.

Anyone who doesn't believe that Montoya isn't one of the most talented drivers ever to don a helmet really doesn't have an appreciation for what he has accomplished in just three seasons in NASCAR. To leave what was then considered to be the top rung of international road racing and take on a completely different driving discipline like NASCAR with its predominant mix of short, medium and long oval tracks punctuated by just two road races - and succeed - is a tremendous accomplishment and a testament to Montoya's talent. Other notable road racers have tried NASCAR and have not had nearly the success in the sport that Juan Pablo has, not anywhere even close as a amatter of fact. Montoya was walking away with the Brickyard 400 at Indy this year, only to run afoul of the pit speed limit, and even though the tracks that make-up the "The Chase" are allegedly not on Montoya's radar screen for running well (based on earlier season performances), I expect Juan Pablo to acquit himself quite well.

As for who will win "The Chase" it will be between four drivers: Mark Martin, Tony Stewart, Jeff Gordon - in what will probably be his last real shot at the championship due to his looming retirement - and Jimmie Johnson.

But I also hope Montoya and Kyle Busch (who didn't make "The Chase") run well and make it very interesting.


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Publisher's Note: As part of our continuing series celebrating the "Glory Days" of racing, we're proud to present another noteworthy image from the Ford Racing Archives. - PMD

(Courtesy of the Ford Racing Archives)
Riverside, California, January 17, 1965. Robert Glenn "Junior" Johnson Jr. at speed in his No. 27 Holly Farms Poultry Ford in the Motor Trend 500 at Riverside International Raceway. Johnson started on the pole but would finish second to Dan Gurney's No. 121 Wood Brothers Ford. The legendary Johnson, who began his driving career outrunning the Feds while transporting moonshine in the south - and serving jail time for it although he was never actually caught on the road - was one of NASCAR's earliest stars. Credited with discovering the phenomenon of "the draft," Johnson won 50 races during his career before becoming a successful car owner fielding cars for stars like Cale Yarborough and Darrel Waltrip. Johnson was immortalized by Tom Wolfe in an article he wrote about Johnson - published in the March 1965 Esquire - and reprinted in Wolfe's infamous The Kandy-Kolored Tangerine Flake Streamline Baby. Wolfe referred to Johnson as "The Last American Hero."