NASCAR & Auto Racing

Montoya to turn exclusively to Cup

This weekend's NASCAR Busch Series race at Watkins Glen (N.Y.) International will mark both the resumption of a rivalry and its completion.

In March at the road course race at Mexico City, Juan Pablo Montoya became the first Hispanic driver to win in any of NASCAR's national series.

On his way to the win, he moved his Chip Ganassi Racing teammate, Scott Pruett, out of the way on Lap 73 to take the lead.

They race against each other for the first time since March in Saturday's Zippo 200 (3:30 p.m., ESPN2). It also will mark the last series appearance for Montoya this season. He will devote the remainder of the season to the Nextel Cup Series.

He said the decision to concentrate on the Cup season was made by Ganassi.

"He thought it maybe was better to take part of that program and invest more into the car of tomorrow to make ourselves more competitive," Montoya said.

"I think the move that people have made to the car of tomorrow, there was a lot that went into it. (Ganassi) made the decision and I said, `It's your team, I'll drive whatever you tell me to drive.' "

In 20 Busch races, Montoya has one win, one top-five and three top-10 finishes.


 Several series crew chiefs were penalized this week by NASCAR. Charles Barraclough, crew chief of the No. 90 Ford driven by Stephen Leicht, was fined $10,000 for unapproved front shock absorbers. Leicht and team owner Robert Yates were each penalized 25 points.

Paul Wolfe, crew chief of the No. 22 Dodge driven by Patrick Carpentier, was fined $5,000 for an unapproved front spring. Carpentier and team owner Armando Fitz were both penalized 25 points.

Also, Chris Wright, crew chief for the No. 35 Ford driven by Bobby Hamilton Jr.,was fined $2,000 for having two hollow jacking bolts; and Jeff Spraker, crew chief of the No. 63 Chevrolet, was fined $2,000 for having pit crew members enter the pit area without proper safety equipment.

 Three of the four rookies entered in last week's inaugural race at Montreal finished in the top 10. Kyle Krisiloff was sixth, Marcos Ambrose was seventh and Brad Coleman was eighth. Rookie standings leader David Ragan was 19th.