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

shares
comments
Andretti Autosport settles lawsuit from Andretti Sports Marketing

Previous article

Andretti Autosport settles lawsuit from Andretti Sports Marketing

Next article

Pocono IndyCar: Charlie Kimball leads Ganassi one-two in practice

Pocono IndyCar: Charlie Kimball leads Ganassi one-two in practice
Load comments
Why IndyCar’s longest silly-season is still far from over Plus

Why IndyCar’s longest silly-season is still far from over

OPINION: The 2021 IndyCar silly season has been one of the silliest for many years, as many talented drivers remain in play – with new pieces to the puzzle being added all the time. Here's what we know so far about who will end up where in 2022

IndyCar
Sep 15, 2021
Why IndyCar's generational shift isn't as stark as it appears Plus

Why IndyCar's generational shift isn't as stark as it appears

OPINION: The rise of two drivers racing only their second full-season IndyCar campaigns to head the points with four races to go has led to some observers doubting the credentials of the old guard. But they haven't faded away, there's merely a deeper talent pool that is helping to make this season one of the best in recent years

IndyCar
Aug 20, 2021
The F1 champion who became an Indy king in his second career Plus

The F1 champion who became an Indy king in his second career

Emerson Fittipaldi’s decision to go racing with his brother led to him falling out of F1, but he bloomed again on the IndyCar scene. NIGEL ROEBUCK considers a career of two halves

Formula 1
Jul 31, 2021
The lasting legacy of a fallen Indycar rookie Plus

The lasting legacy of a fallen Indycar rookie

Jeff Krosnoff was plucked out of obscurity to become a respected and highly popular professional in Japan, and then got his big break in Indycar for 1996. But a tragic accident at Toronto 25 years ago cut short a promising career and curtailed his regular team-mate Mauro Martini's passion for racing

IndyCar
Jul 14, 2021
The two key areas where Dixon needs to re-assert his authority Plus

The two key areas where Dixon needs to re-assert his authority

OPINION: Having been Chip Ganassi Racing's IndyCar focal point for the best part of a decade, Scott Dixon has been so far outgunned by new team-mate Alex Palou in 2021. After finishing behind the Spaniard at his traditional happy hunting ground at Mid-Ohio, Dixon has work to do to assume his traditional position in the team and the standings

IndyCar
Jul 6, 2021
The winners and losers of IndyCar 2021 so far Plus

The winners and losers of IndyCar 2021 so far

At the halfway point in the 2021 IndyCar Series season, we've had seven winners in eight races, spread between five teams – none of them Team Penske. In this unusual season, even by IndyCar standards, who’s excelling and who’s dragging their heels?

IndyCar
Jun 18, 2021
Castroneves: How I kept it under control to make Indy 500 history Plus

Castroneves: How I kept it under control to make Indy 500 history

Helio Castroneves’ overwhelming vivaciousness outside the cockpit belies a hardcore racer who knows how to plot his moves – and then recall it all. A day after his fourth Indy 500 win, he explained his tactics

IndyCar
Jun 2, 2021
How 'chess master' Castroneves cemented his Indy legend status Plus

How 'chess master' Castroneves cemented his Indy legend status

Helio Castroneves joined AJ Foyt, Al Unser and Rick Mears with the most Indianapolis 500 wins after edging past Alex Palou on the penultimate lap of a thrilling race that validated Michael Shank's faith in the veteran Brazilian - who is discovering that there is life after Penske after all

IndyCar
Jun 1, 2021