Double points reverse Montoya’s IndyCar championship hopes (VIDEO)


As Scott Dixon celebrated his season finale win at Sonoma Raceway, his fourth career IndyCar championship and Chip Ganassi Racing’s 100th series win, “Fortune Days” by The Glitch Mob played amid the party.

Not celebrating was runner-up Juan Pablo Montoya, who may find Metallica’s “Nothing Else Matters” an appropriate theme song to the conclusion his 2015 season.

Moments after losing the championship to Dixon not by points, but by the single digits of their respectful win totals, Montoya shared the sentiment of the band’s hit song from 1991.

“When you do this and you put double points in the last race, it doesn’t matter what you did all year,” Montoya told NBCSN’s Kevin Lee after finishing sixth, one agonizing spot away from celebrating his own “Fortune Days.”

“We had one bad race where it’s double points, and we’re out of the championship.”

It doesn’t matter that with Montoya’s win in the season opener at St. Petersburg on March 29 and bolstered by his Indianapolis 500 win in May and five podiums, that the No. 2 Penske Chevrolet had been chased for six months.

“We fought all year,” Montoya said. “It’s just a shame. We had two ways to win the championship and we just threw it away.”

What matters is that Montoya and Dixon, both previous IndyCar champions, entered Sunday with two wins apiece.

Dixon, with two fewer podiums and his last win coming at Texas Motor Speedway in June, entered the race trailing Montoya by 47 points.

“Dixon had a shit season all year and had one good race, and we paid the penalty,” Montoya said, bluntly, in his post-race press conference.

It doesn’t matter that Montoya was once on the opposite end of a tiebreaker, winning the 1999 CART title over Dixon’s longtime teammate Dario Franchitti.

For Montoya, in 2015, there were more than enough “variables” thrown at the six championship contenders in the final race.

“It sucks, but when you make double points the last race in a road course and you change the tire and you do everything you did for this weekend and you put so many variables, it doesn’t even matter what you do all year,” Montoya said.

The biggest variable, the one that ultimately mattered more than sanctioning body rules, started on a Lap 39 restart as the field swept through Turn 5. Montoya, running behind Penske teammate Will Power, dove into corner and unexpectedly clipped Power, sending his No. 1 Chevrolet into the dirt.

The variable itself was Montoya’s front wing, damaged enough to force the Colombian to bring his No. 2 Chevrolet to pit road to be replaced.

When the race resumed past the halfway point of the 85-lap race, Montoya and Power found themselves 23rd and 24th in a field of 25 cars.

“I think there’s been only three races all year decided on merit,” Power told NBCSN’s Kevin Lee. “It’s an absolute lottery and I feel horrible for Juan … we got to decide if we’re a sport or whether we’re a casino, cause it’s just the luck of the draw here.

“There are ways to leave the pits open under yellow, so the racing and the championship isn’t decided by race control, it should be decided by people doing a good job on the track.”

It doesn’t matter that the Penske drivers battled back through the pack, aided by cautions and a penalty to Sebastien Bourdais, which gave Montoya his last spot. It wasn’t the one he needed.

It matters that Montoya “had like 45 laps to figure it out” and couldn’t overcome the variables everyone races against in Casino IndyCar.

“They like the excitement for the last race. Is it fair? No, but we go into the last race of the year knowing it’s a double-points race,” Montoya said. “It’s the rules they want to play with, and if you don’t like the rules, don’t race.”

Peacock to stream all Supercross and Motocross races in 2023, plus inaugural SuperMotocross Championship

Peacock Supercross Motocross 2023
Feld Entertainment, Inc.

NBC Sports and Feld Motor Sports announced that Peacock and the NBC family of networks will stream all 31 races of the combined Monster Energy Supercross, Lucas Oil Pro Motocross and the newly created SuperMotocross World Championship beginning January 7, 2023 at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, California and ending October 14 in the place where Supercross was born: the Los Angeles Coliseum.

The combined series will create a 10-month calendar of events, making it one of the longest professional sports’ seasons in the United States.

The agreement is for multiple years. The season finale will air live on Peacock and the USA Network.

Peacock will present live coverage of all races, qualifying and heats across both series. The 31 total races will mark a record for the combined number of Supercross and Pro Motocross events that NBC Sports will present in a single season.

NBC, USA Network and CNBC will provide coverage of all races, including the SuperMotocross World Championship Playoffs and Final, through 2023 and beyond. For more information about the Peacock streaming service, click here.

“With our wide array of live and original motorsports offerings, Peacock is a natural home for Supercross and Pro Motocross races,” said Rick Cordella, Chief Commercial Officer, Peacock. “We’re looking forward to providing fans with an easily-accessible destination to find every race all season long, including the exciting finish with the newly formed SuperMotocross World Championship.”

MORE: A conversation about media rights created the new SuperMotocross World Championship Series

The NBC family of networks has been home to Supercross for the past several seasons and this is a continuation of that relationship. The media rights for both series expired at the end of 2022, which allowed Supercross and Motocross to combine their efforts.

In fact, it was that conversation that led to the formation of the SuperMotocross World Championship (SMX).

The SMX series will begin on September 9, 2023 after the conclusion of the Pro Motocross season. Points will accumulate from both series to seed the SMX championship, which creates a record number of unified races.

“The SuperMotocross World Championship adds a new dimension to the annual Supercross and Pro Motocross seasons that will result in crowning the ultimate World Champion,” said Stephen C. Yaros, SVP Global Media and Supercross for Feld Motor Sports. “We are thrilled to be extending our relationship with NBC Sports so our fans can watch all the racing action streaming live on Peacock and the option to also watch select rounds on NBC, USA Network and CNBC.”

Complete 2023 coverage schedules for Supercross, Pro Motocross and the SuperMotocross World Championship on Peacock, NBC, USA Network and CNBC will be announced in the near future.