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article imageINDYCAR: Montoya beats teammate in exciting Indy 500

By John Duarte     May 25, 2015 in Sports
Indianapolis - After racing 500 miles in one of better Indianapolis 500s in recent years, one-tenth of a second is all that separated Penske teammates Juan Pablo Montoya and Will Power as Montoya drove under the checkered flag to win his second 500 in three attempts.
“This is what racing in IndyCar us all about — racing down to the wire,” said the race winner after taking the traditional drink of milk. “It was awesone.”
It was 15 years between wearing the wreath, tasting the milk and kissing the yard of bricks marking the start-finish line at Indianapolis Motor Speedway signifying the winner of the Indianapolis 500 for Montoya. He had won the Greatest Spectacle in Racing in 2000, while racing in CART (Championship Auto Racing Teams), the precursor to the IndyCar Series. Montoya placed fifth at last year's Indianapolis 500.
The raceday started slowly for the eventual winner. Montoya started in the fifth row and was tagged from behind when the 500 was getting ready to go to green-flag racing after the first 11 laps under caution. He dropped to the back of the field after making a pit stop for repairs to his car. By the halfway point of the race he was in the Top 5, where he stayed for the final 100 laps.
Montoya actually only led nine laps during the race, including four of the last five and the final two.
“I had the feeling that I had a really good car,” he said. “But that fight at the end was really, really hard. All the way down to the wire.”
Montoya's closest rival on the day was his own Team Penske teammate. Power had hoped to hold off Montoya during the final laps, but didn't have enough for the eventual winner in the end.
“I had to lift (off the throttle) on that last lap. I just had too much push when he got by,” Power said, showing a bit of emotion. “Anywhere else I'd be happy with second. But here...”
Charlie Kimball finished the 2015 Indianapolis 500 in third place.
Montoya pronounced the IndyCar series as the “most exciting” form of racing. The Colombian returned to IndyCar last year after stints in Formula 1 and NASCAR. He previously raced in Indy car racing for two years, before heading to F1 for six seasons and returning to North America and spending eight years on the NASCAR circuit.
“I think what we saw here today is all the proof people should need that IndyCar racing is the most exciting racing in the world,” Montoya said. “I know because I have done all the other types of racing too.”
The race, one of the best the last few years was marred by a serious pit lane incident which saw a car clip two members of another team. One of the crewmen walked away, while another had to be transported to hospital with an ankle injury.
Plans are already underway for the 2016 Indianapolis 500, which will mark the race's centenary running next May.
Montoya solidifies his grip on the Verizon IndyCar Series standings. He leads teammate Power by 25 points, while Scott Dixon sits third, 36 points further back.
The only doubleheader on this year's Verizon IndyCar Series calendar goes next weekend in Detroit. Race 1 of the Chevrolet Dual in Detroit goes May 30, 2015, and Race 2 the following day on the Belle Isle Park circuit, on the Detroit waterfront.
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