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.

Fernando Alonso confirmed for Toyota LMP1 test in Bahrain

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SAKHIR, Bahrain – Fernando Alonso will take his first step towards a possible entry to the 24 Hours of Le Mans when he tests an LMP1 car for Toyota on Sunday at the Bahrain International Circuit.

McLaren Formula 1 driver and two-time world champion Alonso is hoping to appear at Le Mans next year as part of his bid to become just the second man in history to complete the ‘Triple Crown of Motorsport’.

Alonso has already completed one leg by winning the Monaco Grand Prix twice, and made his debut at the Indianapolis 500 in May with McLaren-Honda-Andretti, retiring late on due to an engine failure.

Momentum is building for Alonso to make his Le Mans debut with Toyota in 2018, starting with a first sports car run-out in the FIA World Endurance Championship’s end-of-season rookie test in Bahrain on Sunday.

Alonso arrived in Bahrain on Saturday to watch the six-hour WEC race as an invited guest of the Bahraini royal family, with his participation in the test being confirmed after the race.

“We are very excited that Fernando will test our car. When he visited us in Cologne everyone who met him could sense his enthusiasm and passion for our sport; he is a true racer,” Toyota Gazoo Racing team president Hisatake Murata said.

“We very much respect his interest in different forms of motorsport and it is a pleasure to offer him this chance to drive a hybrid LMP1 car. It will be interesting to hear his feedback on the TS050 Hybrid.”

Alonso will share running in the Toyota car with 19-year-old Thomas Laurent, who received a test as a prize for his star display during his rookie WEC campaign this year, while regular Toyota racer Mike Conway will also complete laps.