Montoya Continues Rally: 6th Place Watkins Glen Finish Has Colombian Sitting 7th in Points
Just five races remain before the Chase contenders’ field is set for Ford Championship Weekend at Homestead-Miami Speedway, Nov. 20-22. But with his third win of 2009—this time at Watkins Glen in Race 22 of 36—Tony Stewart is doing all he can to leave just 11 spots available.
Former open-wheel star Juan Pablo Montoya, meanwhile, returned to the familiar surroundings of a road course, and it was yet another Top 10 finish for the Colombian-born Miami resident in his pursuit to become the first non-U.S. born driver to qualify for the Chase to the Championship, to be crowned at Homestead-Miami Speedway on Nov. 22.
The win was the third of the season for first-year team owner/driver Stewart, who is looking to join Alan Kulwicki as the only owner/drivers to win a Championship when it’s crowned at Homestead-Miami Speedway Nov. 22.
With his sixth-place finish, Montoya moved up to 7th in the Championship points standings—of which the Top 12 make the Chase “playoffs”—and finds himself among a star-studded field of contenders for the Nov. 22 Sprint Cup Championship in Miami (click here for tickets). With nine Top 12 finishes in his last 10 races, Montoya is on fire in his attempt to secure a berth in the Chase.
“For us, going to a road course is good, especially that one,” said Montoya, who was confident heading into Watkins Glen. “I know we can probably win the race….but [gaining] points for the Chase would be huge.”
Montoya also is confident that he is getting closer to recording a breakout victory on an oval to prove that his transition to NASCAR is complete. A win in the final four races before the Chase cut-off likely would assure Montoya of a chance to race for the Championship to be crowned Nov. 22 at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
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