Note: This was originally posted on March 4, 2007.
The above photo has as much to do with what I'm about to talk about as motorcycles have with race cars. Which, basically isn't much. I like this bike though. It was built by Orange County Choppers in Orange County (strangely enough) New York. I love the OCC guys and watch all the American Chopper shows which is now featured on The Learning Channel. (NO, they're NOT paying me to say that.)
I read a lot of message boards every day. Some of you know me on the one that I sometimes post on. But I read a lot of them, every day, especially on race day. I like to do that because I want to know what the average Nascar thinks, if there is such a thing as an average fan.
Juan Pablo Montoya won the Busch Series Race in Mexico City today. In the process, he got into his team mate Scott Pruett and basically knocked him out of the race. If not that, then at least contention for a win. It was JPM's first win in Nascar, in stock cars, in other words.
On one message board, I read a diatribe about how Hispanics, and Juan Pablo Montoya in particular, are stealing all our jobs, and that if you are a REAL AMERICAN, then this is basically bad for the sport.
I also read on another board how this just shows that guys racing for the lead hitting other cars constitutes proof, I say PROOF, that Nascar fixes races. The race happened in Mexico, for cripes sakes, and of COURSE Nascar wanted a Mexican to win! (Montoya is Colombian, by the way.)
On yet another board, I read how Montoya was in this country illegally, and that he should be deported.
While it's entirely possibly to take all of these comments seriously, and some did, I find it all completely laughable. Juan Pablo came here to race stock cars, and to be good at it. He succeeded, at least in the Busch series, and at a road course at that. I have my doubts about JPM's ability on the circle tracks. Road courses are his bread and butter, and most Nascar stock car races are not run on road courses.
For the time being, I see Juan Pablo as being formidable on the road courses, but no more than that. I may be wrong, but I think there is a certain art to driving circle tracks. JPM is learning, and will most likely win his share of races in time on these tracks.
2007 will see probably more JPM failures than successes, but I wish him well all the same.
On a side note, thanks for over 1,500 page views. I hope you all continue to check out this site and that I'll eventually be able to entertain you! Thanks again!