Juan Pablo Montoya admits that his job doesn’t really feel like a job most days.
Thursday served as another reminder when the IndyCar driver got behind the controls of “Robosaurus,” a 40-foot tall transformer that weighs more than 30 tons, and destroyed a car during a promotional stop in Dallas.
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“Wow, it’s pretty cool,” Montoya said. “If they want me to play with it, I mean, I’m in.”
Robosaurus will be featured in the pre-race show before Saturday’s Firestone 600 at Texas Motor Speedway.
I’ve won at everything I’ve done and I know I can win in anything I do. And it got to the point in NASCAR where they were looking at me like I was an average driver and I know I’m not.
Juan Pablo Montoya
Montoya has a passion for things of this nature. He’s flies model aircrafts and windsurfs in his free time, and gets paid to drive cars hundreds of miles an hour.
Montoya, in other words, has no complaints with the hand he’s been dealt.
But he wouldn’t mind a visit to Victory Lane following the Firestone 600 on Saturday.
Juan Pablo Montoya has won four times since returning to IndyCar in 2014, including this season’s opening race at St. Petersburg.
Montoya hasn’t had the best run of luck in his racing career at Texas. As a NASCAR Sprint Cup driver, he finished in the top 10 only twice in 14 starts. In three Xfinity Series races, he finished 15th or worse.
But Montoya returned to his open-wheel racing roots and has shown he’s a better driver than his NASCAR days suggest. He has finished third and fourth in the past two IndyCar races at Texas, and feels he’s closer to taking the checkered flag.
“I really want to win here,” Montoya said. “I was really close a couple times in NASCAR and in IndyCar I’ve been close. So, yeah, I think I’ve got the equipment to win with.”
And winning, Montoya said, is the reason he left NASCAR.
“I’ve won at everything I’ve done and I know I can win in anything I do,” Montoya said. “And it got to the point in NASCAR where they were looking at me like I was an average driver and I know I’m not.
“I got the chance to be with Team Penske and I’ve showed people I’m not.”
Helio Castroneves has been the best IndyCar driver in TMS history with four career victories.
He’s also led a track-high 499 laps, and is almost a sure bet to get to at least 500 on Saturday. Castroneves has led at least one lap in 12 of 18 races at Texas.
Castroneves explained the key to his success last month, saying drivers must find a balance between down force and how the weather may impact the cars.
499 Career laps led at Texas Motor Speedway by Helio Castroneves, the most at the track. He also has four career victories at TMS.
“Our cars are very sensitive to weather, so the key to finding the right combination to get the car as most consistent as possible,” he said. “But this place is great. Always love coming to Texas Motor Speedway.”