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Problems hamper Montoya's Daytona debut

Problems hamper Montoya's Daytona debut

Problems hamper Montoya's Daytona debut

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - Juan Pablo Montoya struggled in his first Daytona 500, running at the rear of the pack and eventually breaking all but three gears in the transmission of his No. 42 Chip Ganassi Racing Dodge before finishing 19th.

The open-wheel veteran from Colombia had run well during Speedweeks, running up front in his Gatorade Duel qualifying race before blowing an engine. But in the 500, the former Formula One star never was a factor.

"Stock car racing is good," Montoya said. "Here, it's easy. You just get a good handling car and put yourself in the right position to move forward. That's all you can do. [The car] started really bad. We were really tight, and we were struggling. The car was so bad, and I don't know what happened. We didn't change the car at all from the 150, and it just got tighter and tighter and tighter."

During a pit stop, Montoya needed to put his car in reverse, but the transmission got stuck in between two gears.

"When I went to get out of gear, it got stuck between two gears, and it broke half the gearbox," Montoya said. "We're not even going to run, and [team manager] Tony [Glover] is like, 'Drop the clutch.' I put it in fourth gear and said 'Guys push me back, push me out and let's go.' The transmission had second, and when I went to third it just broke it in pieces."

Montoya finished the race with only fourth gear.

"I was lucky to get a good run on the last restart," Montoya said. "It's a shame. We had great motors here. A top-20 is kind of what I wanted to do here."

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Re: Problems hamper Montoya's Daytona debut

He has a lot to learn and I think you might make some money betting against him in matcups.

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