Indy 500 qualifying: Plastic bag caused "awful" Montoya run

Defending Indianapolis 500 winner Juan Pablo Montoya was perplexed that he was in a position to hit a plastic bag during a qualifying run on Sunday

Indy 500 qualifying: Plastic bag caused "awful" Montoya run

Penske driver Montoya had already rued a "weird" first qualifying session on Saturday, in which he wound up 12th.

During another run on Sunday, he was set to improve to at least 10th, but hit a plastic bag that he believes should have received more careful attention from spotters.

"I'm surprised whoever is spotting in Turn 3 is not paying attention and should put his phone down or something," Montoya said.

"On my outlap I saw it in the grass and thought that was odd.

"It stayed in the grass every lap [that followed] and when I came to Turn 3 it was in the groove, I hit it, [the car] lost all the front air and went straight.

"I got on the brakes not trying to hit the wall."

Due to the unique circumstances, Montoya was granted another qualifying run, but the team was not allowed to check the car or replace any parts.

He wound up 17th, two spots behind where he started in 2015 when he claimed his second Indy 500 victory.

"Luckily, we got to make another run but a mount went out on the wing and we lost the front end," he said.

"It was awful. We all cool down the engines for more power and now we have a hot engine.

"We had a bent wing mount from the bag and lost all the aero balance. The first run was perfect.

"It's a 500-mile race so it's not a big deal but you wish you had a better start."

Another winner of IndyCar's showpiece race, Scott Dixon will start 13th, after Chip Ganassi Racing was forced to change his Chevrolet engine between qualifying attempts.

"There were really only two outcomes - you were either going to get to qualify or you weren't," Dixon said.

"It was nerve-wracking for the team. I couldn't do much but I'm excited for them and their extreme hard work they put in so quickly.

"When you get new engines they take about 150 miles to get tuned in.

"The other engine felt like it started losing power than we saw a bit of smoke."

shares
comments
Indy 500 polesitter Hinchcliffe wishes he had turned off dashboard
Previous article

Indy 500 polesitter Hinchcliffe wishes he had turned off dashboard

Next article

Indy 500 front-row starter Josef Newgarden leads Monday practice

Indy 500 front-row starter Josef Newgarden leads Monday practice
Load comments
Ranking the top 10 IndyCar drivers of 2021 Plus

Ranking the top 10 IndyCar drivers of 2021

In an enthralling 2021 IndyCar campaign, the series bounced back from its COVID-19 truncated year prior and Alex Palou defeated both the established order and his fellow young guns to clinch a maiden title. It capped a remarkable season with plenty of standout performers

IndyCar
Nov 21, 2021
How F1's other IndyCar exile finally unlocked his potential Plus

How F1's other IndyCar exile finally unlocked his potential

Romain Grosjean's swashbuckling rookie year in IndyCar captured the imagination of many in 2021. But another ex-Formula 1 driver whose potential was masked by five years of toil in, at best, middling machinery also enjoyed a breakout year in 2021 - winning twice and finishing sixth in points. Here's how Marcus Ericsson finally delivered on his promise

IndyCar
Nov 16, 2021
How Ganassi's relentless new champion outfoxed IndyCar's best Plus

How Ganassi's relentless new champion outfoxed IndyCar's best

IndyCar sophomore Alex Palou stunned by overcoming team-mate Scott Dixon and the rest of a white-hot field in 2021. He was consistently fast and crucially showed a level head, rebounding well from setbacks to put himself in a near unassailable position entering the final round

IndyCar
Nov 4, 2021
Have Harvey and RLL formed IndyCar’s next winning match-up? Plus

Have Harvey and RLL formed IndyCar’s next winning match-up?

Despite appearing to have an IndyCar job for life with Meyer Shank Racing, Jack Harvey’s departure and move to Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing sparked plenty of debate. However, Harvey's and RLL's combined strengths could prove to be a winning combination - if they get the balance right

IndyCar
Oct 17, 2021
Remembering Dan Wheldon and his last and most amazing IndyCar win Plus

Remembering Dan Wheldon and his last and most amazing IndyCar win

Saturday 16 October marks the 10th anniversary of Dan Wheldon’s death. David Malsher-Lopez pays tribute, then asks Wheldon’s race engineer from 2011, Todd Malloy, to recall that magical second victory at the Indianapolis 500

IndyCar
Oct 16, 2021
Why Kyle Kirkwood is America's new IndyCar ace-in-waiting Plus

Why Kyle Kirkwood is America's new IndyCar ace-in-waiting

Kyle Kirkwood, the record-setting junior formula driver, sealed the Indy Lights championship last weekend. But despite an absurdly strong junior career and scholarship money, his next move is far from clear

IndyCar
Oct 6, 2021
Why IndyCar title glory is just the start for Ganassi's new star Plus

Why IndyCar title glory is just the start for Ganassi's new star

Newly-crowned IndyCar champion Alex Palou has been lauded as a complete driver and veteran-like in only his second season. The 24-year-old is still in the early days of his career, but the parallels are there for all to see with his six-time champion Chip Ganassi Racing team-mate who has been CGR's team leader since 2014

IndyCar
Sep 28, 2021
Why Grosjean's oval commitment shows he's serious about IndyCar Plus

Why Grosjean's oval commitment shows he's serious about IndyCar

One of motorsport’s worst-kept secrets is now out in the open, and Romain Grosjean has been confirmed as an Andretti Autosport IndyCar driver in 2022. It marks a remarkable turnaround after the abrupt end to his Formula 1 career, and is a firm indication of his commitment to challenge for the IndyCar Series title  

IndyCar
Sep 24, 2021