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The Hot Pass: Montoya case should force changes
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SPEEDWAY, Ind.Until NASCAR finds a way to display pit-road times and speeds to the fans in the stands and the media, someone will always question the sanctioning body's credibility and objectivity. Case in point, Sunday's Allstate 400 at the Brickyard. On Lap 125 of 160 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, NASCAR charged Juan Pablo Montoya with a penalty for "excessive speed entering the pits." Montoya had led 116 laps and had built more than a four-second lead before he pitted. Montoya's question to NASCAR on the radio? "Why would I speed if I had a five-second lead?" Why indeed? According to NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Director John Darby, Montoya exceeded the 55-mph speed limit by running 60.06 mph through the second speeding zone and 60.11mph through zone four. There are nine scoring loops with eight zones at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, but the zones vary from track to track. NASCAR provides drivers with a 4.99-mph buffer, but officials claim that Montoya was still in violation. Darby held the proof in his hands printouts that displayed Montoya's times through the speeding zones. So it must be true. Obviously not to Montoya, who said he was very conscientious of his speed on pit road. "I thought I was on the speed," Montoya said. "We got lights (on the dashboard to warn the driver of his speed). I was on the lights every time. I was where I was on the previous one and they say I was speeding. "We had a deal like that before and once it happens, you can't change it so it is pretty frustrating."
A furious Juan Pablo Montoya thanked NASCAR for "screwing" his day. Read what else he said |