MONTOYA BEATS FRANCHITTI: Dario Franchitti didn’t win everything Sunday.
Chip Ganassi Racing announced that driver Juan Pablo Montoya claimed the All-Time Greatest Chip Ganassi Racing Driver title after fans participated in four rounds of voting. Montoya beat Franchitti, who won his third Indianapolis 500 title Sunday, in the final round of the voting to decide the overall winner in the social media promotion.
With both the IndyCar Series and NASCAR Sprint Cup Series holding two of their largest events of the season Sunday, Ganassi Racing launched its first greatest-driver bracket to encourage fans to vote for the best driver.
Nearly 12,000 votes were submitted.
“It’s great to see the fans get so involved with the contest and for them to pick me makes it that much better,” Montoya said. “I was up against some tough competition but my fans and Twitter followers pulled through for me.”
THE DANICA IMPACT: Danica Patrick has drawn plenty of attention since she began participating in the Sprint Cup series this year.
That doesn’t surprise five-time Cup series champion Jimmie Johnson.
“In watching the television broadcast, they obviously pay a lot of attention to where she is on the track,” Johnson said. “What I have learned through the years in the sport is those cameras focus where everybody wants to see, where the majority wants to see, where the eyeballs are paying attention and focused. There is a reason for it. I don’t have any feeling one way or the other. I mean it’s all marketing; all part of our sport.”
But Johnson’s glad Patrick has joined NASCAR. “I think she brings a huge fan base and hopefully a brand new fan base for our sport,” Johnson said.
DO PRACTICE LAPS MATTER?: Coca-Cola 600 pole sitter Aric Almirola, like a lot of drivers this weekend at Charlotte Motor Speedway, didn’t spend a whole lot of time on practice runs leading up to the 600-mile race.
“It was pretty hot (on Saturday) and I don’t know that we learn a whole lot, so we worked on some things trying to maximize getting on and off pit road and getting ready,” Almirola said. “I don’t see how you can work on your car to get it good right now when the track temp is 120 to 125 degrees and it’s going to be 90 degrees Sunday night.”
Teammate Marcos Ambrose, second in qualifying, felt the same way.