The Norman Transcript

Sports

September 17, 2013

Montoya changing gears

(Continued)

CHARLOTTE, N.C. —

He won on the road course at Watkins Glen in 2010, but Pattie was let go before Indianapolis in 2011 for Montoya’s fourth crew chief change. The Ganassi team began another overhaul that winter and Chris Heroy was hired as Montoya’s fifth crew chief before 2012. That entire season was spent trying to get the Ganassi cars up to speed.

With the hiring, Montoya is now stuck in the middle of a spat between Penske and Ganassi drivers over in IndyCar.

Ganassi driver Dixon was penalized in Sonoma when his car made contact with a crew member for Power, Castroneves’ teammate, on the final pit stop. IndyCar race director Beaux Barfield said Dixon had driven into the Penske Racing work space, but Dixon alleged the crew member walked into his car.

The penalty cost Dixon a chance to race for the win, and opinion was split through the paddock as to who was at fault and if race control perhaps should not have penalized anyone.

Dixon and Power collided at the next race at Baltimore, and the contact ended Dixon’s day when IndyCar officials did not tow his car back to pit lane for repairs. He then said Barfield should be fired, comments that earned him a $30,000 fine from IndyCar.

Montoya said he’ll try to stay out of the fray.

“I think I’m going to have a little white flag, I’m going to be very neutral there,” Montoya said. “For one side, I’m still committed with Chip and the NASCAR program for the next nine races. But I think it’s going to be fun. It’s going to be like mixed emotions watching the last few IndyCar races.”

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