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The Daly Planet

What I Like About You

Juan Pablo Montoya - From F1 to NASCAR, He Hasn't Changed
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By Carol Einarsson | 12/11/2009
Category: What I Like About You

Photo Credit:
Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

I like that you've driven in Formula One and now you're in NASCAR. I only wish I'd been watching F1 to see you race there first.

I like that you've won the Indy 500 and the CART Championship, too. I only wish I'd been watching that Indy 500 and CART to see you race there first.

I like that you've won the 24 Hours of Daytona. I only wish... well... you know. But I also like that your teammates were Dario Franchitti and Scott "That is no-good, low-down dirty racing right there" Pruett. Yes, Memo Rojas was also there, but he's like "that other guy" in the Three Tenors, isn't he? (And I like that it was you that inspired that infamous Pruett quote!)

I like that your accent is understandable most of the time but that you can get cuss words past the censors because they aren't expecting them and don't know what you said until it's too late to bleep you.

I like that you love radio-controlled airplanes and building them in your shop.

I like that you are sarcastic and that your humor is so evident in the Juicy Fruit commercial you did. "Hey, don't look at me, I'm not your puppet!"

I like that you sometimes tweet in Spanish.

I like that the Skip Barber driving school instructors said you were one of the best students to ever come through. Certainly you are the most successful of their students, I'm sure!

I like that you are who you are and you don't change. When I read that you brake-checked Ralf Schumacher and caused a four-car collision, I wasn't surprised at all.

I like that while some guys deny speeding on pit road, none were ever as convincing as you. I still think you weren't speeding.

I like that the "Pablo" in your name is after your dad, and that it sounds so strange when anyone leaves that out.

I like that while some guys can go by one name (i.e. "Junior"), you get three initials and everyone knows it's you.

I like that you won in your rookie year of Sprint Cup, and that you also captured the Rookie of the Year title as well!

I like that you are as bemused as the rest of us about why it was such a big deal for someone to say you were having a taco. And I like that you then twittered for all to guess what you were having for lunch..."TACOS!!!!! and I'm serious about it!!!!"

I like that you're a fan of Top Gear and you even record it on your DVR like me!

I like that you drive your kids to school like any other dad.

I like that you're the only driver I know who twitters from the chiropractor. I sometimes wonder if they say you wouldn't need as many adjustments if you didn't spend so much time grasping your phone and tweeting.

I like that you refer to your wife as "the wife". There's something nostalgic about that.

I like that you lie in bed with your kids and watch Special Agent Oso together.

And one more thing I like about you, Juan Pablo Montoya

I like that the name of your foundation is Formula Smiles because so many other guys just use their name in their charitable foundation. And I like that your foundation is focused on using sports to help kids become better people and stay away from trouble on the streets.



12/10/2009 10:45 pm (1)
I like that JPM is real, and not afraid of it.

I have long been anti- "overly politically correct" drivers, and with JPM, you don't have to worry about that. :)

Sometimes he's brash, sometimes he's angry, sometimes he does things he shouldn't- but he's always Juan Pablo.

I like that.
12/11/2009 1:45 am (2)
The dear husband and I did not like that Juan swore on his children's and his wife's heads that he was not speeding. He was.

We do not like that he sometimes (okay, more than sometimes) races dirty. It's okay to do the bump and run, or push a guy out of the way---without wrecking the guy---it's cool. Juan is just, in OHO, a bull in a china shop. He spins guys around and puts them into the wall. Bet yet it is not his 'fricking' fault, someone else 'made' him do what he did. Oh that is so tiresome :(

We do not agree that calling Connie 'the wife' is a nostalgic thing. Sounds like patronizing. It's like being called the little woman. On the other hand we like that Mark and Jimmie and Jeff B and Kevin lovingly say their wive's names, thank them for their support.

And the first year Juan was running NASCAR he wrecked his team mate, Scott Pruett. Boo and hiss.....and yes, that was down and dirty racing.

And as dear Larry Mac likes to say: the cream rises to the top. If Juan throws his wife under the bus to get attention and not support her and his children, give back to them, then he will never be a champion.

just sayin............

12/11/2009 2:10 am (3)
Another thing I like, and I left out... maybe I should go back and add it..

I like that he is the face of NASCAR "diversity", in spite of NASCAR's efforts. They've tried to manufacture diversity, and failed miserably. And then in waltzes Juan Pablo, a real racer, who just happens to be everything they've been hoping for. Problem is, just like when someone that's not NASCAR has a great idea, it doesn't count. Since JPM didn't come out of NASCAR's diversity program, he doesn't count. Sorry, JPM, you're still not "diverse" enough, because you can actually DRIVE.

Bill B
12/11/2009 6:11 am (4)
What I like about JPM:

Bill B
12/11/2009 6:21 am (5)
LOL... couldn't resist that... hahaha

Mama always said "if you can't say something good about someone don't say anything at all" or was it, "life is like a box a chocolates....". Well anyway, she said something.

Seriously, I do like the fact that he speaks his mind although sometimes the things that come out make me want to smack him.

I do wish he wasn't as wreckless on the track as he is. He seems to lack patience. I understand that in the last 50 laps but not the first 100.
12/11/2009 7:46 am (6)
I like that JPM is a hard nose racer, I don't always like it when one of my drivers is next to him because ya never know what he is going to do...lol, but he is a good racer and he made this season a little more exciting.

I love his accent... and I like to say Juan Pablo Montoya really fast, of course with my own little southern accent.

I also like that he brings diversity to the sport and as you stated Carol, in a "real" way.

I like that he came from F1, has worked hard and that hard work is finally paying off for him. I like someone who will stand in there and keep digging through the good and bad times... JPM has done that.

I like that he appears to be a really loving husband and father.

I loved those Juicy Fruit and Big Red commercials.

I like that he made the Chase, he actually made the early part of the Chase a bit more exciting!

Now to the one thing that I dislike, but yet like at the same time. I like that he speaks his mind, but I often do not like what he has to say...lol But hey, the sport would be a bore if we all liked everything about every driver.

IMO All of the drivers speak their mind, some just choose to do so without being sarcastic, or blunt, some choose to be funny, goofy, cautious, PC, professional..etc.. either way they are all being themselves, and that is what the sport needs, the diversity of different personalities.

Congrats to Juan Pablo Montoya on a great season, I fully expect that he will be in contention next season as well. I look forward to it!

12/11/2009 2:34 pm (7)
Hi Carol,

You wrote: "I like that you've won the 14 Hours of Daytona."

Hmmm, I don't recall 10 hours of red-flag conditions in either the 2007 or 2008 races. :-)

To the subject at hand, I like JPM because he (like Tony Stewart) is a throwback to the old time drivers. Like AJ Foyt (Indy winner, NASCAR winner, Le Mans winner, sprint car winner) or Mario Andretti (Indy winner, NASCAR winner, F1 winner, sprint car winner) Montoya races everything, is successful in everything, and, just like Foyt or Stewart, doesn't back down from anyone in the process.

Speaking of which, in JPM's list of accomplishments let's not forget a run in the Prelude at Eldora. For a first try in a dirt car, finishing 15th right behind Kevin Harvick wasn't doing too bad.

And, I like JPM because he's the local boy (South Florida), and it's always nice to have a local guy to root for.

12/11/2009 2:36 pm (8)
I agree with most of Carol's points, and those are exactly the reason that JPM has become my favorite driver after I went so many years without one.

As for the "the wife" thing, I see the point that it could be construed differently from how Carol perceives it. However, my guess from reading JPM's tweets and from his interviews is that this is a little joke between JPM and his wife. I could be wrong, but its use always seems playful to me.

And I have to agree with Debster48 that I was bothered by him swearing on the lives of his wife and children. I believe that NASCAR clocked him speeding, but I do not think he believed that he was speeding. However, I do not believe he threw anyone under the bus for attention. His comment was to his crew chief, not to the world at large, and seemed to be frustrated disbelief more than an attempt at persuasion. Furthermore, based on tweets and interviews, he seems to be a man who is devoted to his wife and children, and he has said that one of the reasons he enjoys NASCAR racing so much is that he is able to have his family with him more often.

Oh, one last thing. I like that JPM lets his children climb all over him, even before a race. I am sure many of the drivers with children do this, but we seem to see JPM and Jeff Gordon interacting with their children more often.
12/11/2009 7:57 pm (9)
Okay, okay... I fixed the 14 hours. I was just making sure y'all were paying attention. :-)

12/13/2009 4:38 am (10)
Juan is a loser. He has been featured time after time after the past couple of years and never much given faith to Connie and his children. So now he is a hero in Carol's eyes?
12/13/2009 2:05 pm (11)

I hate to say it, but I'm thinking you're one of the people that diversity initiatives are aimed at. You're not making any allowance for Juan's latin heritage. The phrasing he uses is typical casual speech amoung latinos, not the serious oath you seem to take it as.

12/18/2009 12:14 am (12)
@ possum:
I'm okay with diversity, as our Country was founded on it. Blessings!
Yet I heard what JPM said in ENGLISH. He swore on our home language, his wife and children. He is Latino yet he chose to make the United States his and famliy home.
Emphasis on HOME. And having deep Southern Roots and a father that did some moonshine drivin, the true NASCAR roots of racin, one tenet always stays the same: no matter how you are on the track, honor thy mother and thy father and the wife. Ahd the sponsor. JPM does much of neither.
Just sayin...........

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