Montoya confirmed for two NASCAR starts at Michigan, Brickyard 400

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As was hinted at earlier this week, Juan Pablo Montoya will be back in NASCAR for at least a couple of Sprint Cup races in the 2014 season.

The Colombian will drive Team Penske’s No. 12 Ford at Michigan June 15 and the Brickyard 400 July 27. SKF will sponsor the entry at Michigan with the sponsor for the Brickyard TBD; Greg Erwin serves as crew chief.

“Juan is a proven winner in multiple racing disciplines and he is one of the most versatile racecar drivers competing today,” Roger Penske said in a team release. “Michigan and Indianapolis are two important races for Team Penske. We know Juan has the ability to race for wins in both of those events while still focusing on his full-time program in the Verizon IndyCar Series.”

Montoya, who failed to win an oval race during his seven full-time seasons in NASCAR before coming back over to IndyCar this year, always ran very well at these particular two ovals but often ran out of luck.

“It has been a good start to the season with Team Penske in the Verizon IndyCar Series and it will be fun to get back behind the wheel of the Cup car,” said Montoya. “It’s hard to believe, but Roger Penske has never won the Brickyard 400. I think that Brad, Joey and I will give Roger and Team Penske a great opportunity to check that off the list and we should be strong at Michigan as well.”

The No. 12 is also scheduled to roll out for Penske development driver Ryan Blaney, Kansas in May and Talladega in October, also with Erwin as crew chief.

Steve Torrence takes NHRA points lead with Gatornationals victory

NHRA Gainesville Steve Torrence
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Two-time defending NHRA Top Fuel champion Steve Torrence took the points lead Sunday in the AMALIE Motor Oil Gatornationals, beating his father, Billy, in the final round at Gainesville Raceway.

Torrence had a 3.809-second run at 322.11 mph to win for the third time this year and 39th overall. He is now on track for another championship despite missing the season opener.

“We’ve got some good momentum and to be in the points lead, it’s a testament to how hard these guys work,” Steve Torrence said after the NHRA Gainesville victory. “We’ve just got to stay focused and concentrate on what the task at hand is, and that’s trying to win a championship. These guys give me an unbelievable race car and you just try not to screw it up.”

Ron Capps won in Funny Car, Alex Laughlin in Pro Stock and Matt Smith in Pro Stock Motorcycle.

Capps raced to his second win this year and 66th overall, beating Tim Wilkerson with a 3.937 at 323.12 in a Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat.

Laughlin topped Aaron Stanfield with a 7.068 at 204.76 in a Chevrolet Camaro for his first win this season and fourth in his career. Smith rode to his first victory in 2020 and 25th overall, topping Andrew Hines with a 6.843 at 196.99 on an EBR.