Juan Pablo Montoya is batting a thousand in attempts to win the Indianapolis 500. He won the race in his only career start, way back in 2000 and never thought he would have another chance to win it again -- much less for Roger Penske.
The former Indy winner and 1999 CART champion signed with Team Penske in September after spending seven largely fruitless seasons in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. During that time span, he continued to compete at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in the Brickyard 400 but the former open-wheel ace says it wasn't the same.
"Every year you came here and you're not in an Indy car, it's cool, but you want to come to the Museum to see the Indy cars," Montoya said on Monday at the IMS Hall of Fame. "It's not the same. The Brickyard is a big deal, but it's not the Indy 500.
"I never thought I'd be back here to try to get another win. I'm excited and to race here for Team Penske is a hell of a chance."
Montoya hasn't let the emotion of returning to IndyCar overwhelm him. Instead he's taking the process literally day-to-day and from one test session and media event to the other.
"It's pretty exciting. I really haven't thought about it too much," Montoya said. "I'm more of a guy who goes, 'What's next? Are we testing? Are we doing this or are we doing that? I try not to think about it too much. Once we need to come to Indy, I'll worry about Indy and not before."
Despite the even-keeled approach, Montoya is dutifully aware of his perfect record in the Greatest Spectacle in Racing and hopes to make it two-for-two by the end of this upcoming May.
"Still it's exciting," he added. "If you think about it, I'm 1-for-1 here and it would be cool to be 2-for-2."