Montoya’s high expectations, race car both run out of gas at Sonoma

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Juan Pablo Montoya did everything he could to win Sunday’s Toyota/Save Mart 350 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Sonoma Raceway.

He ran up front and challenged for the lead numerous times during the 110-lap event that was won by Martin Truex Jr.

In the final year of his current contract with Earnhardt Ganassi Racing, Montoya has struggled terribly with just two top-five and one other top-10 finish in the first 16 races. He came into Sunday’s race ranked 22nd in the Sprint Cup standings.

A strong finish would likely have gotten him into the top 20 and may have served as motivation to edge closer to make the Chase for the Sprint Cup.

Unfortunately, all of the hopes of Montoya and his team for a great finish ended on the final lap of Sunday’s race when his car ran out of fuel.

In the end, Montoya finished a disappointing 34th.

“It’s just a heartbreak, a heartbreak for me and everyone on the team,” Montoya said when interviewed by TNT after the race.

Not to add insult to injury or pour salt into his fresh wounds, but Montoya’s final pit stop came on Lap 69, the same lap Truex made his final stop.

One wound up having too much of a lead foot, while the other feathered his gas pedal all the way to Victory Lane.

Ferrari signs Callum Ilott to young driver academy

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Ferrari has confirmed the signing of rising British racer Callum Ilott to its prestigious driver academy ahead of the 2018 season.

Ilott, 18, is a former member of Red Bull’s junior program, and has spent the last three years racing in the FIA European Formula 3 series, taking eight race wins.

After finishing the 2017 season fourth in the championship with Prema Powerteam, Ilott has now linked up with the Ferrari Driver Academy in the next step of his racing career, becoming its first British member.

“Ferrari Driver Academy is pleased to announce that British driver Callum Ilott is the latest promising young driver to be selected for its development program,” an announcement from Ferrari reads.

“18 years old, Ilott joins the FDA in his third season in car racing, having just finished the FIA F3 European Championship. He comes with a strong pedigree in international Formula 3 racing, having made the jump directly from karting as reigning European Champion.

“Ilott joins Charles Leclerc, Antonio Fuoco, Guan Yu Zhou, Giuliano Alesi, Marcus Armstrong and Enzo Fittipaldi in the programme, which supports talented young drivers on their career path in motorsport.”

Besides its existing roster, the Ferrari Driver Academy also played a part in the careers of Sergio Perez, Lance Stroll and the late Jules Bianchi.