Gracias Dios! Montoya Wins! (Sorry Will)

By on March 30, 2015

 

 

(photo Rodney Meyering  / RSEN)

(photo Rodney Meyering / RSEN)

St. Petersburg, Fla. —  On lap 80,  I jokingly said to photographer Rodney Meyering, if Will Power wins I don’t even want victory lane podium photos.  He said (while laughing), “Yes, you can just run last year’s.”   At that point Power had led 61 of the 80 laps after starting number one pole by setting a qualifying track record.

Sorry Will Power, who has been a guest on my show before (so I like him), I just felt this Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg and Indy Car needed someone different than Power to win.  At this point in time,  this day was setting up to be extremely boring chalk.  After a sweep of qualifying by Team Penske put four Penske teammates in the front four,  you had to figure a Penske driver would take the checkered.   I thought just not Will Power, sorry Will.  After winning last year’s race, winning the 2014 Indy Car Championship, then dominating practice and qualifying for the pole this weekend in record setting fashion … I’m like really?!  This is like someone telling you the end of a movie and you’ve only seen the trailer.  Or worse, getting the final score of a game you have DVR’d and have not watched yet.

Will Power here during the warm up session, appeared to be unstoppable (photo Rodney Meyering  / RSEN)

Will Power here during the warm up session, appeared to be unstoppable (photo Rodney Meyering / RSEN)

It was an inauspicious start to the 2015 Firestone Grand Prix of Saint Petersburg, with a caution on lap one.  Can we just leave now I thought? At this point I went for another cup of coffee knowing this was going to be a long day, and even envisioned the drudgery of making the walk to the winner’s circle and of being there listening to Will Power talk of Penske’s greatness, thanking Verizon.  Sorry Will.   The race had a total of five cautions for 22 laps… but it was like Miami Beach in July, you know the temperature is 96 degrees but it feels like 190… that is what we were going through. I believe the five cautions were in the first 20 minutes of the thing.  Warning, warning… the next paragraph is a facetious but venting paragraph.

The new “AERO KIT” era took a flying full force start in St. Petersburg yesterday, ah… well… maybe not.  The first caution, along with the next three were all due to the old “debris on track.”  The debris were pieces of Indy Car Aero Kits.  Now my first thought was, who’s idea was it to design this stuff of paper mache or what seemed to be a paper mache like substance?  Then I thought, what Indianapolis elementary school won  project of the year for this.  Replaceable nose and wing parts?  That fall off? What the…….???  No one in the meeting stood up and said, I think that s–t is going to fall off!  WOW!  Let’s look for a middle school project team next year.

# 7 John Jakes showcasing the ugly "paper mache like" "aero kits"  - Jakes finished 22nd (photo Rodney Meyering  / RSEN)

# 7 John Jakes showcasing the ugly “paper mache like” “aero kits” – Jakes finished 22nd (photo Rodney Meyering / RSEN)

OK, thanks…  Now  we did get some green flag time in and on lap 84, Juan Pablo Montoya took the lead for good, not looking back, well maybe on the white flag lap as teammate, that Aussie speedster, Will Power finished just less than a second behind. Sorry Will.

Juan Pablo Montoya celebrates with and signs autographs for the Colombian contingency (RSEN staff photo)

Juan Pablo Montoya celebrates with and signs autographs for the Colombian contingency (RSEN staff photo)

But that 0.9930 of a second was good enough to make the trip to victory lane where it felt like half the country of Columbia packed in the victory lane fan gallery.  Chats of MON-TOY-A! MON-TOY-A! MON-TOY-A!  and CO-LUM-BIA! Filled the confetti & champagne laden-ed air.  I was extremely impressed with the Montoya  following and plus seeing fans happy always brings a smile to my face.  Remember the whole Rocket Sports & Entertainment Network pledge, it’s about the fans!   After all,  remember athletes, owners and my media colleagues… the fans are our customers let’s take care of them.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

RACE RESULTS AND MORE RACE PHOTOS BELOW

#10 Tony Kanaan finished 3rd breaking up the team Penske dominance.  Penske place 1st, 2nd, 4th and 5th (photo Rodney Meyering  / RSEN)

#10 Tony Kanaan finished 3rd breaking up the team Penske dominance. Penske place 1st, 2nd, 4th and 5th (photo Rodney Meyering / RSEN)

Helio Castroneves finished 4th for Team Penske (photo Rodney Meyering  / RSEN)

Helio Castroneves (3) finished 4th for Team Penske.  Castroneves was the last driver to lead.  It was lap 83 and that’s when Montoya (2) stole the show  (photo Rodney Meyering / RSEN)

Simon Pagenaud finished  5th for Team Penske (photo Rodney Meyering  / RSEN)

Simon Pagenaud finished 5th for Team Penske (photo Rodney Meyering / RSEN)

Montoya (foreground) and Power celebrate on the podium with the bubbly (photo Rodney Meyering  / RSEN)

Montoya (foreground) and Power celebrate on the podium with the bubbly (photo Rodney Meyering / RSEN)

Juan  Pablo Montoya has his beautiful family waiting in the winner's circle (photo Rodney Meyering  / RSEN)

Juan Pablo Montoya has his beautiful family waiting in the winner’s circle (photo Rodney Meyering / RSEN)

Will Power pulling into the paddock after the Sunday warm-up (photo Rodney Meyering  / RSEN)

Will Power’s Verizon #1 pulled  into the paddock after the Sunday warm-up (photo Rodney Meyering / RSEN)

Montoya with ABC/ESPN (photo Rodney Meyering  / RSEN)

Montoya with ABC/ESPN as the crew celebrates in background(photo Rodney Meyering / RSEN)

Power and Montoya running 1st and 2nd respectively  (photo Rodney Meyering  / RSEN)

Power and Montoya running 1st and 2nd respectively (photo Rodney Meyering / RSEN)

Montoya 1st, Power 2nd and Kanaan 3rd... and the best of Firehawk (photo Rodney Meyering  / RSEN)

Montoya 1st, Power 2nd and Kanaan 3rd… and the best of Firehawk (photo Rodney Meyering / RSEN)

(photo Rodney Meyering  / RSEN)

(photo Rodney Meyering / RSEN)

(photo Rodney Meyering  / RSEN)

(photo Rodney Meyering / RSEN)

Montoya and Kanaan spray each other (photo Rodney Meyering  / RSEN)

Montoya and Kanaan spray each other (photo Rodney Meyering / RSEN)

Single file down the straight behind Sabastien Bourdais (photo Rodney Meyering  / RSEN)

Single file down the straight behind Sabastien Bourdais (photo Rodney Meyering / RSEN)

Ryan Hunter Rey, the 2014 Indianapolis 500 winner, finished 7th.  The highest finishing Honda engine behind six Chervolets (photo Rodney Meyering  / RSEN)

Ryan Hunter Rey, the 2014 Indianapolis 500 winner, finished 7th. The highest finishing Honda engine behind six Chervolets (photo Rodney Meyering / RSEN)

(photo Rodney Meyering  / RSEN)

(photo Rodney Meyering / RSEN)

Rookie Sage Karam finished 19th, one spot off his staring position.  Look for a feature in RocketSports-ent.com by Brennie on the Indy Car Rookies (photo Rodney Meyering  / RSEN)

Rookie Sage Karam finished 19th, one spot off his staring position. Look for a feature in RocketSports-ent.com by Brennie on the Indy Car Rookies (photo Rodney Meyering / RSEN)

Kanaan (photo Rodney Meyering  / RSEN)

Kanaan (photo Rodney Meyering / RSEN)

Graham Rahal, winner in 2008 in St. Pete, finished 11th (photo Rodney Meyering  / RSEN)

Graham Rahal, winner in 2008 in St. Pete, finished 11th (photo Rodney Meyering / RSEN)

Scott Dixon 15th (photo Rodney Meyering  / RSEN)

Scott Dixon 15th (photo Rodney Meyering / RSEN)

Marco Andretti looks strong at times finished 10th two spots up from start (photo Rodney Meyering  / RSEN)

Marco Andretti looks strong at times finished 10th two spots up from start (photo Rodney Meyering / RSEN)

Simon Pagenaud (photo Rodney Meyering  / RSEN)

Simon Pagenaud (photo Rodney Meyering / RSEN)

Will Power with teammate Helio Castroneves behind(photo Rodney Meyering  / RSEN)

Will Power with teammate Helio Castroneves behind (photo Rodney Meyering / RSEN)

(photo Rodney Meyering  / RSEN)

MON-TOY-A! MON-TOY_A! MON-TOY-A! (photo Rodney Meyering / RSEN)

Kanaan (photo Rodney Meyering  / RSEN)

Kanaan (photo Rodney Meyering / RSEN)

(photo Rodney Meyering  / RSEN)

(photo Rodney Meyering / RSEN)

(photo Rodney Meyering  / RSEN)

(photo Rodney Meyering / RSEN)

Montoya claps (photo Rodney Meyering  / RSEN)

Montoya claps (photo Rodney Meyering / RSEN)

(photo Rodney Meyering  / RSEN)

(photo Rodney Meyering / RSEN)

(photo Rodney Meyering  / RSEN)

MONTOYA (photo Rodney Meyering / RSEN)

(photo Rodney Meyering  / RSEN)

KANAAN (photo Rodney Meyering / RSEN)

(photo Rodney Meyering  / RSEN)

(photo Rodney Meyering / RSEN)

Marco Andretti (photo Rodney Meyering  / RSEN)

Marco Andretti (photo Rodney Meyering / RSEN)

Sage Karam (photo Rodney Meyering  / RSEN)

Sage Karam (photo Rodney Meyering / RSEN)

(photo Rodney Meyering  / RSEN)

Is Helio smoking the competition?  (photo Rodney Meyering / RSEN)

Sebastien Bourdais (photo Rodney Meyering  / RSEN)

Sebastien Bourdais (photo Rodney Meyering / RSEN)

 

(photo Rodney Meyering  / RSEN)

(photo Rodney Meyering / RSEN)

 

RACE RESULTS WITH (STARTING POSITION)

1. (4) #2 Juan Pablo Montoya, Dallara-Chevrolet, 110, Running.

2. (1) #1 Will Power, Dallara-Chevrolet, 110, Running.

3. (7) #10 Tony Kanaan, Dallara-Chevrolet, 110, Running.

4. (3) #3 Helio Castroneves, Dallara-Chevrolet, 110, Running.

5. (2)  #22 Simon Pagenaud, Dallara-Chevrolet, 110, Running.

6. (6)  # 11 Sebastien Bourdais, Dallara-Chevrolet, 110, Running.

7. (8) #28 Ryan Hunter-Reay, Dallara-Honda, 110, Running.

8. (21)  # 41 Jack Hawksworth, Dallara-Honda, 110, Running.

9. (19) # 20 Luca Filippi, Dallara-Chevrolet, 110, Running.

10. (12) #27 Marco Andretti, Dallara-Honda, 110, Running.

11. (15) #15 Graham Rahal, Dallara-Honda, 110, Running.

12. (10) #67 Josef Newgarden, Dallara-Chevrolet, 110, Running.

13. (5) #14 Takuma Sato, Dallara-Honda, 110, Running.

14. (14) #26 Carlos Munoz, Dallara-Honda, 110, Running.

15. (9) #9 Scott Dixon, Dallara-Chevrolet, 110, Running.

16. (16) #5 James Hinchcliffe, Dallara-Honda, 110, Running.

17. (22) #98 Gabby Chaves, Dallara-Honda, 110, Running.

18. (11) #26 Simona de Silvestro, Dallara-Honda, 110, Running.

19. (18) #8 Sage Karam, Dallara-Chevrolet, 109, Running.

20. (17) #4 Stefano Coletti, Dallara-Chevrolet, 109, Running.

21. (13) #83 Charlie Kimball, Dallara-Chevrolet, 109, Running.

22. (20) #7 James Jakes, Dallara-Honda, 100, Running.

23. (23) #19 Francesco Dracone, Dallara-Honda, 70, Mechanical.

24. (24) #18 Carlos Huertas, Dallara-Honda, 19, Mechanical.

 

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