BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) — Juan Pablo Montoya’s contentment with just finishing in the top five won’t likely last long.
Montoya didn’t get too aggressive trying to move up from fourth at Long Beach. It was just his second race back in IndyCar after five seasons in Formula One and seven in NASCAR.
The 2000 Indianapolis 500 champion now moves on to a new challenge in Sunday’s Indy Grand Prix of Alabama at a mostly unfamiliar Barber Motorsports Park. Penske Performance President Tim Cindric says fourth place will be considered a disappointment for Montoya and Team Penske later in the season.
Cindric says Montoya’s “mind-set might be a bit different” at that point.
Montoya had the eighth-fastest lap in practice Friday, at 1:09.1484. He won his first pole position in NASCAR some 40 miles down Interstate 20 at Talladega Superspeedway.