I’m not ashamed to admit it — I’ve got a total mancrush on Juan Pablo Montoya, and if you care even a little bit about racing, you should too. Not only does JPM have the most impressive and diverse resume of any modern day racer (7 wins in Formula One, including the Monaco GP, multiple wins in the Indy 500 and 24 Hours of Daytona, multiple NASCAR road course wins), but the way he’s gone about it has been exactly the way all of us weekend racing warriors wish we could do it.
He’s been just as likely to win a race as he has been to give the chrome horn to a competitor who crossed him. If Montoya were on your bumper in an Oldsmobile Alero, you’d be nervous that he’d either fly by you or put you into the wall. My friend Sam Smith says that he’s one of the last, true, IDGAF dudes in racing, and a unique talent, and he’s right.
I had the chance to flag JPM down for a few minutes in the media center at the Rolex 24 this weekend (more on that experience tomorrow), where he was the anchor driver for the #6 Acura ARX-05 Daytona Prototype car. I don’t often find myself nervous around another grown man, but I was a bit starstruck for this conversation. Apologies in advance that it kinda goes everywhere. (Disclosure — Acura invited me to the Rolex 24 for the weekend, and provided flights, hotels, meals, and tickets to the race.)
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