Juan Pablo Montoya bullish over IndyCar title as Graham Rahal gains

Juan Pablo Montoya believes he is "in good shape" for the IndyCar title run-in despite having his lead cut to nine points with just two races remaining

Juan Pablo Montoya bullish over IndyCar title as Graham Rahal gains

The Colombian has led the championship all season, but he has been outscored by Graham Rahal in each of the last four events to tighten up the points race.

However, with just races at Pocono and Sonoma remaining over the next two weekends, Montoya believes he will finish the year strongly.

"We're in good shape," he said. "We won at Pocono last year, and we should run pretty good going to these next races.

"You can't really know what's going to happen, but I think we'll be fine. Honestly I do feel we're going to be OK.

"We've done a really good job all year, like everybody else, had ups and downs, and we'll see what it brings."

With the Sonoma finale offering double points Montoya's team boss Roger Penske is prepared for a championship showdown, but he believes his team has the right man for the job.

"It's going right down to the wire," said Penske, who also has Helio Castroneves and Will Power still in contention.

"[Scott] Dixon is very good out there, and Rahal is on a bit of a roll right now.

"We just have to keep our head on, and Montoya is the kind of guy you want on your team when it comes down to a fight."

WHAT HIS RIVALS SAID

GRAHAM RAHAL (2nd, 9 points behind)

"I feel like my job is to stay close to Juan in Pocono, and if we can do that, we'll be in a pretty good spot come Sonoma. The double-points throws a huge curveball into the mix.

"The championship is right there, we're close, we feel like we're capable, and we're ready to capitalise on it."

SCOTT DIXON (3rd, 34 points behind)

"Obviously we'd like to be ahead going into Sonoma, but those chances are slim. For us, you're going to hope for a little bit of bad luck or a mechanical issue with Juan, but those are generally not seen too many times.

"We've been in this situation before, we've won a lot of races together, so you don't want to change things up too much."

HELIO CASTRONEVES (4th, 58 points behind)

"I'm excited. We've got to do something different, we've got to take chances if it's a strategy or a risk out there on the track.

"We've got to do something, and be aggressive to win the championship. I don't have much to lose."

WILL POWER (5th, 59 points behind)

"If you're in the position Montoya is in, you definitely feel the pressure, because sometimes it's unclear what you have to do to win the championship.

"If you're in the position I'm in now it's very clear: you have to win two races. Juan has won a championship before, so he knows how it goes."

Follow the IndyCar title run-in on AUTOSPORT Live - with commentary from the Pocono race from 7.30pm UK time on Sunday

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