Juan Pablo Montoya Roldán (born September 20, 1975) is a Colombian race car driver known internationally for participating and winning in Formula One and CART race competitions. He has enjoyed great success. Currently, he competes in NASCAR, driving the #42 Target Chevrolet Impala for Earnhardt Ganassi Racing in the Sprint Cup Series. Married to wife, Connie, and together they have three children: son Sebastian and daughters Paulina and Manuela.
The highlights of his career include winning the International F3000 championship in 1998, and the CART Championship Series in 1999, as well as victories in some of the most prestigious races in the world. He is the only driver to have won the premier North American open-wheel CART title, the Indianapolis 500 and the 24 Hours of Daytona, all at the first attempt. Montoya is one of two drivers to have won the CART title in his rookie year, the first being Formula One World Champion Nigel Mansell in 1993. He has also equalled Graham Hill’s feat of being a Monaco Grand Prix and Indianapolis 500 race winner; Montoya is currently one of only two active drivers (along with Jacques Villeneuve) who has won two legs of the Triple Crown of Motorsport.
Montoya has also become a crossover race winner by winning races (starting in each case in his rookie year) in Formula One, IndyCar, Grand-Am and NASCAR equaling in that respect Mario Andretti’s caliber of success (except for the F1 World Championship); and shares honors as well with Dan Gurney in being a race winner in IndyCar, F1 and NASCAR.
Other Facts on Juan Pablo Montoya
- Began racing go-karts at the age of 5, eventually winning Kart Junior World Championships in 1990 and 1991.
- Took the checkered flag (and the ceremonial drink of milk) in his very first start in the Indianapolis 500 in 2000; was the first rookie driver to do so since 1966.
- Drove to his first NASCAR Sprint Cup win after starting from a record 32nd position at Infineon Raceway (Cal.) in 2007. Became just the third foreign-born winner of a Cup race.
- Joins Mario Andretti and Dan Gurney as the only drivers to win at least one race in Formula One, U.S. open-wheel racing (Champ Car, Indy Car) and NASCAR.
- Became the only driver to compete in all three major races at Indianapolis Motor Speedway (Indy 500, U.S. Grand Prix, Brickyard 400).
- Founded the Formula Smiles Foundation to raise awareness for children’s needs and other issues in his native Colombia.
- Wears Colombia’s colors (red, yellow, blue) on his racing helmet.