Juan Pablo Montoya got to do it right this time.
For the second time in his historic career, Montoya’s face was added to the surface of the Borg-Warner Trophy.
The trophy is the one given to winners of the Indianapolis 500 and Montoya earned the distinction after winning the 99th running of the Indy 500 last May. The first win came 15 years ago in 2000.
Montoya’s image on the trophy was unveiled in a ceremony at the museum at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. But this was the first time, Montoya was present for the reveal.
“Driving to the speedway to day was really cool, knowing I was going to see the face again,” Montoya said at the ceremony.
“To be honest, this is kinda cool to be doing all of this. The last time I did this, I left to Europe,” Montoya said, referencing when Montoya departed for Formula One.
“I didn’t get to do any of this,” Montoya continued. “Now that you’re here and you appreciate the history and you appreciate what Indy is, it’s pretty amazing. It’s special having been here with (team owner) Roger (Penske), winning it for Roger and knowing what it means to everyone at Team Penske.”
Montoya said that while his face is on the trophy – located to the right of 2014 winner Ryan Hunter-Reay, and between the nameplates of 2002 winner Helio Castroneves and 2003 winner Gil de Ferran – the faces of every member of crew that worked on his car should be cemented on the trophy.
“People don’t realize how much the team is part of this,” Montoya said. “They make us look really, really good.”
Montoya was also presented with a one-of-a-kind t-shirt. The shirt has a Montoya’s bust on it, but instead of just a smiling face, Montoya’s tongue is sticking out. The type on the shirt says “You think Roger would mind? I’m not brave enough to as.”
Montoya was first the winner of the Indy 500 who visited a sculptor to have his likeness crafted in clay in order for it to be duplicated on the trophy.
The sculptor was William Behrends, who has sculpted the likeness of Indy 500 winners for the trophy since Arie Luyendyk in 1990.
“Creatively, is it’s all similar,” Behrends told indycar.com. “We got to know each other quite a bit. Having him here was a tremendous help,” Behrends says. “What I got with him in that two hours is his sense of humor and other subtle things.”