Juan Pablo Montoya was as jovial as can be after winning at Pocono Raceway. A week later at Iowa Speedway, he was the exact opposite after being forced into an accident with 19 laps remaining in Saturday’s Iowa Corn Indy 300.
Montoya had recovered from losing a rear wing endplate early in the race to run amongst the Top 10 late. But as he attempted to make an inside move on Ed Carpenter in Turn 3 for position, Carpenter appeared to move down.
That caused Montoya to go below the yellow line, then slide up the race track and into the wall to end his night.
Before going in for his ride to the infield care center, Montoya and Carpenter traded gestures as the latter ran by under caution. Montoya stretched out his arms as if to say ‘What the heck?’ and Carpenter raised his right hand from the cockpit as if to say ‘What did I do?’
“I got inside of him and he just – he was running high and all of a sudden, he decides to run low,” a frustrated Montoya told NBCSN (see the interview clip above).
“He’d been running every lap on the top…They all love preaching ‘safe racing’ and everything, but when you’re gonna pass them, they’re just [d-bags], you know?”
When informed that INDYCAR chose to take no action against Carpenter, Montoya vowed that “[he’ll] take some action later.”
Perhaps sensing a confrontation in his near future, Carpenter tried to strike a conciliatory tone after going on to finish fifth.
“I feel bad,” said Carpenter, the Verizon IndyCar Series’ sole owner/driver. “I certainly wasn’t trying to take him out. I knew he had been working me inside. I was struggling, I was just gonna try the low side that time. I didn’t know he was that far in there.
“Lee [Bentham], my spotter, was trying to tell me he was there, but was too late – I had already started coming down. So, my apologies. I definitely wouldn’t appreciate that if I was on the end of it. At the same time, it wasn’t intentional.
“I have a lot of respect for Juan, so hopefully we can talk about it without me getting my butt kicked.”
Montoya was credited with a 16th-place finish.