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An Open Letter to Juan Pablo Montoya

An Open Letter to Juan Pablo Montoya

An Open Letter to Juan Pablo Montoya

Dear Juan Pablo,

Amigo, I never thought I would have to do this, but I think it’s time you and I talk (because somebody has to about this subject).

I have followed your career ever since I was young boy, back when my father told me to watch that “Colombiano” in the car with a Bulls eye on it.  No, you didn’t have the skill of my favorite driver, Ayrton Senna, but you did have his passion.  It was that particular characteristic that helped you claim victory in that first race I watched of yours (Long Beach in 1999), as well as several other victories through the years in Champ Car, IndyCar and Formula One competition.

However, you are in NASCAR now, and you can’t display that sort of fervor anymore.

Yes, all of your fans love your enthusiasm – and that’s why they cheer for you both here in the States and abroad.  Unfortunately, that is also why several drivers are frustrated with your antics, with even more debating whether they should stick up for you or just skip questions about you entirely.

You see, unlike all of the other forms of racing you have competed in, NASCAR racing (both NEXTEL Cup and to a lesser extent Busch Series competition) is a marathon, not a sprint.  While most won’t admit it, drivers do not look at each event as “individual races,” but rather as one long continuum per season – and every time you do something crazy like that move you tried to pull off in the All-Star Challenge last weekend (amongst others), they remember it for a long time.  While you can put it behind you because you see each race as a separate event, they will not.

I know that you — and all of your fans — will reply that you “Are not here to finish 15th – you are here to win,” but this is your first season, this is when you pay your dues and make friends.  At the rate you are going, you are making more enemies than friends, and that will not bode well for you as your stock car expertise increases to where you can seriously challenge for a championship (which I feel is about two years down the line at the earliest – not right now).

Take today’s 600 mile race at Lowe’s Motor Speedway – much like the season, this race is a marathon.  Take your time, don’t freak out if you start losing positions early, pace yourself and see what happens.  If you follow my advice, I will bet that you will probably leave the track with a top-10 finish and with your car in one piece – much better than your last NEXTEL Cup performance at this particular venue.

I know it will be tough, but please find a way to restrain that passion you are famous for.  If you do, you will find yourself doing a lot better, and with a lot more friends’ on-track come the end of the season and going into next year.

If you don’t, you’ll notice those “boos” you have been getting at some tracks will become stronger and stronger.  And at the rate you are going, drivers will be joining the fans at booing you pretty soon if you don’t calm down.

Just thought you should know.


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