DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Before Juan Pablo Montoya goes driving on the new racing surface of Daytona International Speedway, the driver of the No. 42 Earnhardt Ganassi Racing Chevrolet did a different type of driving on Monday.
Montoya, along with PGA pro Nicholas Thompson, participated in a drive, pitch and putt contest with South Florida media at the Doral Golf Resort and Spa promoting the 53rd running of the Daytona 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race on Sunday, Feb. 20.
Golf is one of Montoya’s favorite hobbies away from the race track and it showed when he sank a nice 20-foot putt on Monday morning during the putting contest.
“I do play a lot of golf,” said Montoya, who resides in the Miami area but is a native of Colombia. “I can hit it pretty far and I can actually hit it pretty straight as well. I don’t spend enough time on it for it to be as good as it needs to be.”
Next month, Montoya will look to add the Daytona 500 to the list of prestigious races that he has won, which includes the Rolex 24 At Daytona, Indianapolis 500 and the Monaco Grand Prix.
“It would be pretty cool,” Montoya said about the potential of winning the Daytona 500. “I’ve won all the big races except that one. I’m pretty good on restrictor plates and our cars are pretty good. Jamie (McMurray) won last year, and at Talladega, I’ve had so many chances at winning those races. It’s matter of giving yourself a chance. That’s all I ask for.”
Tickets for Speedweeks 2011 and the 53rd annual Daytona 500 are available online at www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com or by calling 1-800-PITSHOP.