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Saturday, September 19, 2009

Welcome To The Chase Juan

Just a few years ago, the announcement came that made people talk. Juan Pablo Montoya, a successful Indy driver, was going to NASCAR. Many people didn't know how he would do. Some, thought he would make it, some didn't.

When he first started, he didn't make a lot of noise. He started his NASCAR Cup career at Homestead Miami Speedway in 2006, a year before he would race full time. He finished 34th. But, that could have been considered both good or bad, it depended on who you asked. But, it still wasn't enough information to know.

In 2007, his career officially began. He did OK. He did win in NASCAR however. But, it was at a road course, and he has a lot of road course experience. It was a nice relief, but it was almost expected in a way. Over the first season of his career, he had an average finish of 22.7. It was an OK start, but he had a while to go before he would be successful in NASCAR.

His next year, in 2008, was even worse. He had an average finish of 23.9. He didn't win either. It was a step backwards from the previous year, and people started second guessing the team.

But, in 2009, the tone changed. His team merged with another team, DEI. The newly renamed team was Earhnardt Ganassi Racing, and was moved to race a Chevy. And so far, it has worked out well. They have not won any race yet, but they have gotten close to it multiple times, and came up short. He is also in the Chase, for the first time in his career. He now has a pretty good shot at the Championship.

He may not win the championship this year. His team still has a lot more work to do. He has a lot of experienced teams to beat, but one year, he will win it. It may or may not be this year. But there is no question about this: Juan Montoya has succeded in NASCAR. He has lived up to expectations, and then some. And he's not even done yet.

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