Montoya penalized for run-in with Busch

Discussion in 'Racing Card Talk' started by Leafsfan1967, Jul 1, 2008.

  1. Leafsfan1967

    Leafsfan1967 Well-Known Member

    Montoya penalized for run-in with Busch

    By MIKE HARRIS, AP Auto Racing Writer


    LOUDON, N.H. (AP)—Juan Pablo Montoya was hit with a two-lap penalty Sunday after he intentionally ran into NASCAR Sprint Cup points leader Kyle Busch during a late caution period at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.

    Montoya spun out Busch, but the move backfired when Busch’s car came back across the track and hit Montoya’s.

    The former open-wheel star, in his second full season in NASCAR, was called to the NASCAR hauler after the race for a talking to, although officials said there would be no further penalties. The penalty dropped Montoya to 32nd place, while Busch finished 25th.

    Montoya said after leaving the NASCAR hauler that he was just trying to defend himself.

    “On the restart, I got around on the outside of him in turn two and he just went wide like I wasn’t even there,” he explained. “Then we touched each other and (I) got beside him to the next corner and he starts banging on me like he was trying to wreck me.

    “I said, `OK.’ I went into the corner and the wreck happened. … I thought we had a decent car today and I don’t appreciate when people race me like that.”

    Busch said he had no idea what happened.

    “I didn’t turn down into him and just barely touched his quarterpanel,” he said. “Then I got by him in (turns) three and four and he run me up the racetrack in the left rear. Then we came to that caution flag and he thought he beat me to the caution flag and I was just trying to get around the car in front of us there and touched him on the door. He just turned left and spun me down the front straightaway.

    “I don’t know what his beef is but, obviously, NASCAR should probably fix it.”

    Neither Montoya nor Busch were contenders during the Lenox Industrial Tools 301.

    SURPRISE FINISH: J.J. Yeley, who failed to qualify for two of the last three Cup events and hadn’t finished better than 24th this season, found himself in rarified air at the end of Sunday’s race.

    Yeley’s Toyota was among the eight cars that stayed on track during the final round of pit stops by the leaders, and that was good enough to give him a third-place finish when the race was cut 17 laps short by rain.

    “This particular week I found the way to the back door so I could sneak in and sit in this seat,” Yeley said in the postrace news conference.

    “We got to where we had a really fast race car, just didn’t have the track position,” he added. “There’s a lot of times we ran as fast as the leader for 20 or 30 laps under any kind of run.”

    Yeley, who drives for Hall of Fame Racing, said the result was an important one for the struggling team.

    “It’s tremendous,” he said. “Last week (at Sonoma) was a big **** because I didn’t feel that I was going to miss the race. … To go out there and miss the race by five one-hundredths (of a second), get ourselves further behind, was devastating. It makes it even worse because I have to stay there Sunday, and I have to do hospitality and I have to go see fans.

    “You try to explain to people why you missed the race. It is the toughest thing in the world. It’s very surreal. Sitting in the grandstands or sitting in the suite having to watch the entire race makes you want it even worse than you could have ever possibly imagined. It was an extra fire for me coming here after Sonoma.”

    He added, “Hopefully, this is just a sign of things to come.”

    BIG PLANS: Bruton Smith, whose Speedway Motorsports Inc., bought the New Hampshire track last fall for $340 million, is still working on plans for the future of the facility.

    But, while SMI also recently bought Kentucky Speedway and Smith has repeatedly said he wants to get at least one Cup date for that track, SMI’s chairman said Sunday he has no plans to move either of the NHMS Cup dates.

    “Somewhere, as I gaze into my crystal ball, I can see a (Kentucky) date coming from somewhere,” Smith said.

    Asked if that might be one of the current races here, he quickly replied: “New Hampshire? No. We’ll try to accomplish that in another way. We’re working on some things.”

    Smith also said there has been no decision on possible changes to the nearly flat 1.058-mile New Hampshire oval.

    He said his engineers will study a topography map to determine the possibility of adding banking to the track, but noted, “I was pleasantly pleased with the races (Modified and Nationwide) we had yesterday and how racy it was. But we’ll study it and see if something needs to be done.”

    Jerry Gappens, executive general manager of the track, said, whatever changes are made, the track will remain a mile oval.

    Smith said the idea of building an all-new facility somewhere else on the vast NHMS grounds has been broached by one of his engineers, but the SMI boss said, “I doubt that’s going to happen.”

    Smith said he does plan to add lights for night racing, expand the current motorhome parking by 100 acres, add more restrooms “and make this place more fan friendly.”

    He also said SMI is negotiating with the IndyCar Series, which already races at the company’s Kentucky, Texas and Sonoma tracks, for a 2009 race here.

    Smith said there are no plans to build a dragstrip here, but did note that the dragstrip he is building near SMI’s Lowe’s Motor Speedway in Concord, N.C., will be completed ahead of schedule on Aug. 10, a month before the debut NHRA event.<

    SPARK PLUGS: Sunday’s race was the 27th consecutive Cup sellout at the New Hampshire track. Track officials estimated attendance at 101,000. … Winner Kurt Busch’s average speed in the race was 106.719 mph. … There were nine lead changes among eight drivers, with Busch leading only the last 10 laps. … Matt Kenseth, who finished 18th, fell to 13th in the standings, while Kevin Harvick, who finished 14th, moved into 12th, the final qualifying position for the Chase for the championship. The two are separated by just five points.
     
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