Step outta the car, son

Posted by Iannucci | 6/25/2007 | 7 comments »
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I bet those NAPCAR “Drive for Diversity” folks are feeling really proud today.

First, congratulations to former Indy 500 winner Juan Pablo Montoya, who recorded his first Cup victory yesterday at Sonoma. Yes, I know, a former Formula One driver won on a road course – shocker! But being just about the only “ferriner” in the series and the only one who is not pigmentally challenged (unless of course Bill Lester happens to get a ride), Pablo is likely to get a whole lot of play out of this. LOOK – the tin tops have DI-VER-SI-TY! Soon they may have (gasp!) women driving as well. Not.

Wait, it gets better. The poster boy for “Drive for Diversity” has become Aric Almirola, a 23-year-old from Tampa of Cuban descent. Almirola has several Top 10 finishes in about 10 races this year in the Busch Series, and this weekend he was given a chance to compete at a race at THE Milwaukee Mile when teammate Denny Hamlin was delayed because he couldn’t find a helipad to land near the track. I hate when that happens.

So Almirola goes out, won the pole, and led 43 of 57 laps...until the team told Aric to pull over and let the tardy Hamlin drive the car. It’s true – the sponsor (Rockwell Automation) apparently wanted Hamlin in the car. So Hamlin went on to win, but he received no credit or cash for the victory. He also didn’t receive congratulations from Almirola, who left the track in a huff and hasn’t spoken to team officials since.

And they wonder why that series has such a redneck image.

7 comments

  1. The American Mutt // June 25, 2007 10:01 AM  

    You forgot to mention that despite Montoyas win, the big story from Infineon is how good Jeff Gordon did finishing seventh. Sure he started in forty something, but Montoya started in thirty something and WON. Rednecks indeed.

  2. The American Mutt // June 25, 2007 10:48 AM  

    My mistake. Apparently the big deal wasn't where Gordon finished, but that he may face sanctions because his car wasn't blahblahblah the same enough for the race. I wonder if this is the seasonal equivilant of a competition caution. Nice way to bring your points leader back closer to everyone else.

  3. Johnny // June 25, 2007 11:35 AM  

    What's hilarious is the fact that 90% of the irate idiots hating on Montoya call boo him for being "Mexikuhn" when in fact he's Columbian. He pretty much won the race on a fuel mileage fluke, but hey, anything to hork that crowd off and keep Montoya's antics from spoiling F1 is quite alright with me.

  4. Sarah B // June 25, 2007 12:02 PM  

    I'm just glad Montoya won because I had him picked this week in fantasy NASCAR. He's been doing more wrecking than winning of late, but I still gave him a chance. I won't be picking him again until Watkins Glen, though!

  5. Anonymous // June 25, 2007 1:51 PM  

    Those NA$CAR fans better hope Montoya doesn't start winning more races and taking home bigger checks. The next thing you know every F1 wanna-be who can't get a ride "over there" will be streaming into NA$CAR taking up all the good seats and leaving OUR good American drivers on the sidelines! I can only HOPE Sebastian Bordais can't get a ride in F1 and goes to NA$CAR. If a block of NA$CAR fans hate Montoya because he's "Mexican", wait until a Frenchman shows up! Talladega Nights here we come! ;^)

  6. Jeff Iannucci // June 25, 2007 2:06 PM  

    I can only HOPE Sebastian Bordais can't get a ride in F1 and goes to NA$CAR. If a block of NA$CAR fans hate Montoya because he's "Mexican", wait until a Frenchman shows up! Talladega Nights here we come! ;^)

    You think SeaBass could get Perrier as a sponsor? Just askin'

  7. Johnny // June 25, 2007 3:14 PM  

    As delicious as it may be to consider SeaBass in a tin top, most reliable sources are already saying he's signed with the Scuderia Toro Rosso F1 team likely displacing sole American F1 driver Scott Speed. I'm sure some NASCAR team will be able to find him some kind of sweet development deal though.