K1 Speed Carlsbad located in North San Diego was visited by Team Chip Ganassi NASCAR Sprint Cup driver Juan Pablo Montoya earlier this week. Juan was in town after just finishing up at Michigan International Speedway last weekend, and is on his way to Sonoma Raceway this coming weekend. JPM’s professional racing career began back in 1999 when he was driving for the Target Chip Ganassi CART team where he was crowned as the youngest-ever CART Champion. He would then go on to compete in Formula One, driving for the BMW-Williams Team in 2001 starting the season in the Australian Grand Prix. He would grab his first ever F1 Win at the Italian Grand Prix in Monza the same year. In 2005 he made the switch the McLaren where he captured 3 victories in the season, which gave him a 4th place standing in the series over-all. In 2006 Juan made the announcement that he would be returning to Chip Ganassi but to drive the number 42 Dodge in the NASCAR Series. Juan has become the only driver to make the switch from Formula one to NASCAR. One his most notable moments, before he made the switch to driving in the well known series, was in 2002 when he and Jeff Gordon swapped cars at Indianapolis. Gordon drove JPM’s BMW-Williams Formula 1 car and Juan drove Jeff Gordon’s known Rainbow-Warriors #24 car.
Juan and his group of friends came in to race K1 Speeds electric indoor racing karts, and he definitely made an impact – setting the best qualifying time with a single lap time of 26.1 seconds. He certainly showed he is a very capable driver as he pulled away from the back 2 laps into the main event. Per the groups request, half way through the race we swapped the running order which ultimately put JPM in the back of the pack and he had to work his way back up through the field. He made quick work of the other drivers he was competing with, as he caught a majority of everyone and passed them with his smooth driving skills.
K1 Speed would like to wish Juan Pablo Montoya good luck for the rest of this season and we look forward to seeing his smiling face back in house again soon the next time he is in town.
If you would like to stay on top of the rest of JPM’s season and the Chip Ganassi NASCA race team you can follow him on his website at