JUAN PABLO MONTOYA TO ENTER NASCAR NEXTEL CUP SERIES FORD 400 AT HOMESTEAD-MIAMI SPEEDWAY ON NOVEMBER 19 HOMESTEAD, Fla. -- (November 14, 2006) -- Juan Pablo Montoya wants his NASCAR experience to be a memorable one this weekend during ...
JUAN PABLO MONTOYA TO ENTER NASCAR NEXTEL CUP SERIES FORD 400 AT HOMESTEAD-MIAMI SPEEDWAY ON NOVEMBER 19
HOMESTEAD, Fla. -- (November 14, 2006) -- Juan Pablo Montoya wants his NASCAR experience to be a memorable one this weekend during Ford Championship Weekend at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
If Montoya racing in this weekend's NASCAR Busch Series Ford 300 at Homestead-Miami Speedway this Saturday wasn't enough for people in South Florida, now race fans will be able to see the Miami, Fla. resident attempt to make his NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series debut by qualifying on Friday for the Ford 400, scheduled for Sunday.
Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates will enter Montoya in the Ford 400 qualifying field in the #30 Texaco/Havoline Dodge. It will be his first attempt at making a NEXTEL Cup starting grid.
Last July, the Colombian-born Montoya announced his plans to switch to NASCAR where he will pilot the No. 42 Texaco/Havoline Dodge Charger in 2007 while running for the NEXTEL Cup Rookie of the Year title, along with an assortment of NASCAR Busch Series races. In doing so, Montoya will become the first Formula 1 regular to ever join the NEXTEL Cup ranks.
"This will be a very special day for NASCAR fans in South Florida," said Homestead-Miami Speedway president Curtis Gray. "Juan Pablo Montoya is a household name in the Miami area and around the world and it will be great if he can make the field for the Ford 400. We're already ecstatic about him racing in the NASCAR Busch Series Ford 300, so this will add even more excitement to the weekend."
The 31-year-old Montoya captured the CART Championship and Rookie of the Year honors in 1999 becoming the youngest champion in the history of the series. The following year he visited victory lane three times for the Ganassi team, including a win at the prestigious Indianapolis 500
"I am so happy to be entering the fastest growing racing league in the world," Montoya said back in July. "I've thought about this for quite some time but the opportunity had to be right. I know the transition will not be easy but I can't wait to get behind the wheel."
A South Florida resident, Homestead-Miami Speedway is considered the 'home' track for Montoya as he regularly frequents Homestead-Miami Speedway's 560,000-square-foot go-karting track. In 2007, Montoya will be the only Hispanic driver to compete regularly in the NEXTEL Cup Series, and with his large international fan-base, will bring a new group of fans to NASCAR.
Homestead-Miami Speedway (HMS) is a wholly-owned subsidiary of International Speedway Corporation, a leading promoter of motorsports activities in the United States, currently promoting more than 100 events at 12 major motorsports facilities annually. Homestead-Miami Speedway is a multi-purpose - 65,000 seat speedway which includes a 1.5 mile oval and 2.21 mile road course that serves home to premier NASCAR, IRL IndyCar Series, Grand Am, USAC and CCS Motorcycle events each year.