MILWAUKEE – A year ago Juan Pablo Montoya was frustrated to finish second in Milwaukee. On Sunday, he made some lemonade out of lemons to end fourth.
The driver of the No. 2 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet recovered from an early race drive-through, and then a late gamble to finish the race on old tires, to finish with another top-five finish and extend his Verizon IndyCar Series points lead.
“We pitted early and I was running third and I came for a stop and I downshifted and and I pressed the (pit-speed limiter) button,” Montoya said post-race. “I don’t know if I didn’t press the button hard enough or something and we got behind the 8-ball there.”
Montoya definitely enjoyed the race in the waning stages as he fought teammate Helio Castroneves, Graham Rahal and Scott Dixon.
“We do what we need to be doing. You gotta drive aggressive. Be smart when you need to be smart,” Montoya told MotorSportsTalk.
“I thought I could hold off Helio. Then Graham came and I thought, ‘I‘m not gonna waste my time on him.’ So I let him go. I thought it would be quick enough. The 9 car [Dixon] came and his tires were off, he couldn’t pass me.
“It was tough but it makes it fun. You gotta drive the (expletive) out of it, but that’s what they pay me to do.”
Montoya now holds a 54-point lead over Dixon with just four races to go. He had led Power by 46 coming into the race.
Unofficial points standings are as follows in the top 10:
1. 2-Juan Pablo Montoya, 439
2. 9-Scott Dixon, 385
3. 15-Graham Rahal, 370
4. 3-Helio Castroneves, 370
5. 1-Will Power, 369
6. 11-Sebastien Bourdais, 343
7. 27-Marco Andretti, 332
8. 10-Tony Kanaan, 314
9. 67-Josef Newgarden, 309
10. 22-Simon Pagenaud, 278