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.
Audi bid farewell to its iconic head of motorsport, Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich, at its end-of-season ‘Race Night’ event in Germany on Friday upon his retirement.
Ullrich took over the reins as Audi’s head of motorsport in 1993 and stayed in the role for 23 years, overseeing its arrival in the prototype class of sports car racing and domination of the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
Ullrich stepped down from the position at the end of 2016, handing the reins over to ex-Audi DTM chief Dieter Gass, and attended his final racing event with the German marque at its first works Formula E outing in Hong Kong earlier this month.
Ullrich was honored at the Race Night event on Friday and thanked for his efforts in developing Audi into a force within global motorsport.
“In 566 factory-backed commitments during this period he celebrated 209 victories, 13 of them in the 24 Hours of Le Mans, eleven in the 12-hour race at Sebring and nine in the ‘Petit Le Mans’ at Road Atlanta,” a piece on Ullrich’s tenure for Audi’s website reads.
“31 driver titles in super touring car racing, in the DTM and in the sports prototype category are credited to him. 57 campaigners were Audi factory drivers during Wolfgang Ullrich’s era and he was responsible for 18 new developments of racing cars – an impressive tally.”