Unser warns Montoya over safety

Al Unser Jr. issued a strong warning to defending CART champion Juan Montoya that he better "watch it"; Unser was concerned about the Colombian's aggressive racing style, and the threat it could pose

Unser warns Montoya over safety

"Sure, I have concerns," Unser said. "I wasn't talking through my you-know-what when I was saying those words. Juan is very, very aggressive and the words I have for him is he better respect Indianapolis because Indianapolis will bite you hard and you don't walk away from those.

"Will I race him any different? The answer is no. I won't race him any different than I race anybody else out there. A word of advice to him is they carry people out of here on stretchers. If you don't respect it, it will bite you."

Montoya is a rookie in the Indianapolis 500 and will start in the middle of the front row next to pole winner Greg Ray and IRL regular Eliseo Salazar.

Unser will start on the outside of the sixth row as he competes in the
Indianapolis 500 for the first time since he won it in 1994.

He is confident the IRL has addressed the dangers of blocking in Sunday's race.

"I think Brian Barnhart (IRL director of race operations) put it real blunt this morning in the driver's meeting that anybody who moves anybody else rolling down the straightaways are going to get black flagged," Unser said.

"That is called defensive driving, it's driving with your mirrors and that is not allowed in the Indy Racing Northern Light Series, period.

"In CART, you are allowed one move. That one move can kill you. Ask Jeff Krosnoff if you could. That one move killed him in Canada. I talked my face blue to Wally Dallenbach (CART chief steward at the time) and they said that one move is legal. I'd like to ask Jeff if he thought that move was all right. They answered it this morning and said it is not allowed in this series and I'm all for it."

Unser was referring to Jeff Krosnoff, a CART driver who was killed in the 1996 Molson Indy Toronto. A corner worker was also killed in that incident.

While Unser expressed concerns with Montoya's driving style, he admits that he is a threat to win Sunday's race, along with his teammate, Jimmy Vasser.

"I see Target/Chip Ganassi Racing as one of the tough competitors that you have to go out and pass in order to win the race. They are equal in everything that Greg Ray is doing and the Kelley Racing team is doing. These are top teams in the business and what Target has done has come in and done a great job and we have expected that.

"Will they walk away with it on race day? I don't know. That is something we will have to wait and see. But if they do, they have earned it and they have bragging rights for a whole year. That's the way it goes and that is what this place was built to do."

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