Juan Pablo Montoya Scores Victory In Indianapolis 500 Thriller

(Press Release from Indianapolis Motor Speedway Public Relations)

Juan Pablo Montoya celebrates his second Indianapolis 500 victory Sunday (Photo: Courtesy Indianapolis Motor Speedway)

Juan Pablo Montoya celebrates his second Indianapolis 500 victory Sunday (Photo: Courtesy Indianapolis Motor Speedway)

INDIANAPOLIS, Sunday, May 24, 2015 – Fifteen years after his first Indianapolis 500 triumph, Juan Pablo Montoya became a champion again on Sunday at the 99th Running of the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race.

The Colombian outlasted fellow Team Penske teammate Will Power and Chip Ganassi Racing drivers Scott Dixon and Charlie Kimball in a thrilling battle over the closing laps, putting his No. 2 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet in Victory Circle to give Roger Penske a record-extending 16th “500” win as an owner.

Montoya took the lead on Lap 197 from Power and held on by 0.1046 of a second over the No. 1 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet in the fourth-closest finish in race history. Kimball finished third and Dixon, the polesitter, finished fourth in a 15-lap sprint to the finish that featured five lead changes among the Verizon IndyCar Series stars.

“I don’t know what to say — this is too much!” Montoya said after the victor’s swig of milk. “This is what racing in IndyCar is all about, awesome racing all the way down to the wire.”

Montoya won as a rookie for Ganassi in 2000 and did not race again in the “500” until last year, finishing fifth; during the years in between he drove at IMS on the road course in Formula One and on the oval in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. With Sunday’s victory, he set a record for most years between two “500” wins, Gordon Johncock previously held the mark with nine years between wins in 1973 and 1982. He also became the 19th driver with multiple Indianapolis 500 victories.

Montoya qualified 15th for Sunday’s race, well behind his three Team Penske mates, and had problems at the start of the race. On Lap 7, Simona de Silvestro ran into Montoya’s rear under yellow, forcing Montoya to pit for new rear wheel guards. He fell back to 30th in the running order. On Lap 41, Montoya slid through his pit box on a stop and had to be pulled back by his crew.

But the 39-year-old was clean from that point on and worked his way into a position to win at the end.

“Our guys stayed in there, and Montoya coming from all the way back … I’ll tell you, you give that guy the bit and put it in his mouth, as you know, he doesn’t give up,” said Penske, who ended a six-year drought at Indy following Helio Castroneves’ win in 2009. “I’m just so thrilled for everyone who works for us, all the people who support us and all these race fans – what a great day.”

For five consecutive years, the “500” has had a winning pass for the lead in the last four laps of the race. Sunday’s race also tied last year’s record with 20 cars finishing on the lead lap.

Gordon’s day: Pittsboro, Indiana’s Jeff Gordon led the 33 drivers to the green flag in the Chevrolet Corvette Z06 and enjoyed what he called a “huge thrill and a huge honor.”

The four-time NASCAR Cup champion and five-time Brickyard champion spent a few minutes in the morning with childhood hero and four-time “500” champion Rick Mears and talked to a few drivers in the field before embarking on the first half of his Memorial Day weekend “double.”

“To come down that front straightaway the first time and hear that crowd cheering for the cars, the drivers and this amazing event … to be able to hear that from inside the pace car with the windows down is just amazing,” said Gordon, who shortly after his driving duties left for NASCAR’s Coca-Cola 600 in Charlotte, North Carolina.

He also relished the chance to have his wife and two children on hand for the start of the race.

“I want to see them see how fast these cars go through the corner,” Gordon said.

Gordon will be back at IMS in July for his final drive in the Crown Royal Presents the “Your Hero’s Name Here” 400 at the Brickyard, where he will try for a record-extending sixth win on the oval.

Street work: The three members of the Indianapolis 500’s most exclusive club are newly honored on streets inside the Indianapolis Motor Speedway oval.

Drive around the infield now and you might find yourself on Foyt Drive, Unser Lane or Mears Way, named, of course, for four-time “500” winners A.J. Foyt, Al Unser and Rick Mears.

Foyt Drive runs north-south just west of the “N” Lot and connects Sixth and Seventh streets. Unser Lane is off of Tunnel 7 and Seventh Street in front of spectator mounds for the IMS road course. Mears Way is off Tunnel 10 on the north end and connects to Shaw Drive just west of the Turn 3 infield parking lot.

Each street is marked with new signage. To see the legends photographed with their new street signs, click here.

One year ’til the 100th: The historic 100th Running of the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race will be May 29, 2016. Merchandise featuring the 100th logo went on sale immediately after Sunday’s race at retail outlets at IMS, the Indianapolis International Airport and shop.IMS.com.


  1. What an entertaining race it was!

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