David Reininger - motorsport.com - Motorsport News International Nazareth, PA (May 2, 1999) Juan Montoya won today's Bosch Grand Prix at Nazareth Speedway, his second consecutive win in the CART FedEx Series Championship. The last rookie to...
David Reininger - motorsport.com - Motorsport News International
Nazareth, PA (May 2, 1999) Juan Montoya won today's Bosch Grand Prix at Nazareth Speedway, his second consecutive win in the CART FedEx Series Championship. The last rookie to win back to back to back races was Nigel Mansell at Michigan and Loudon in 1993. Mansell went on to claim the PPG Cup Championship and earn Rookie of the Year honors that year.
Montoya led 210 of today's 225 laps, crossing the finish line a mere 5.103 seconds ahead of second place finisher P. J. Jones.
Helio Castro-Neves was the only other driver to lead today's race leading fifteen laps and running with the leaders all day before crashing into the turn three wall with 50 laps to go.
"In turn two it felt like the throttle stuck a little bit, but then it stopped, so I figured it was just me, maybe just not feeling things right at that particular second." said Castro-Neves. "I touched the brake, and it was fine. As I headed for three and lifted off, the throttle stuck. When I hit the brakes, the pedal went straight to the floor. The next thing I knew I was in the wall."
Castro-Neves suffered bruises to his right elbow and knee. He was credited with finishing in the twenty-first position.
P. J. Jones scored his career best finish bringing the Patrick Racing Swift chassis home in second place today. Jones overcame a brief mishap when he spun his Visteon Ford-powered car late in the race.
"I knew the only way to pass was to use a lapped car as a pick. I saw an opportunity, Helio got bogged down in some traffic so I got a good run on him and got by him," said Jones. "Juan got held up in traffic too and I got a run on him. We came down through the kink and I was a little loose at that point in traffic. I pinched the kink a little bit too much and it just sent me sideways. It happened to be perfect timing for a yellow by our pit sequence."
The spin dropped Jones from third to fourth on the track but the position was regained by the quick work of the Patrick Racing crew in the pits.
Paul Tracy finished third today. This was his best finish since his win at Gateway in 1997. Tracy started out strong, faded a bit during the mid-point of the race but came back to finish strong.
"I made a good start and slotted into third," Tracy said. "Juan and Helio checked out in the first couple of laps. The car felt pretty good so I started to move up. Suddenly my car turned into a John Deere instead of the KOOL Green machine. I was mowing the grass across the front straightaway. That was a bit frustrating."
"My tires were flat spotted but I didn't want to pit and lose a lap. I drove another thirty, forty laps with flat spots and I couldn't see where I was going and I lost a bunch of positions."
"I came in on the first stop and got some fresh tires, made a change and went way overboard on taking front wing out of it. I put a big push in it so I kind of struggled the next session too."
"The second stint the car was okay but then we caught a break, a break I haven't had in a long time, with the yellow just before the last stop. I was thinking about making a run at P. J. on the restart and I thought I better count my eggs right now and cash them in."
Rounding out the top five were rookie Cristiano de Matta in the Toyota-powered MCI WorldCom entry and Adrian Fernandez who was driving in the Reynard chassis today.
The FedEx Championship now takes a two week break before heading to Rio de Janeiro for the May 15 Rio 200, the second overseas race of the season.