In 2006, successful F1 driver Juan Pablo Montoya suddenly announced his intention to compete in NASCAR.
This news shocked the world, and there was just as much skepticism as there was expectation. However, Montoya brushed aside their doubts and quickly adapted to the NASCAR world. From his stunning victory on the road course of Infineon in his first year, his driving continued to evolve quickly, and he was particularly successful on the difficult short oval tracks that are less than a mile long; even taking pole position at times.
Just before the opening of the 2009 season, Chip Ganassi Racing, for whom Montoya raced for from his debut, merged with the Chevrolet Team Dale Earnhardt Inc. to become Earnhardt Ganassi Racing. Now in a Chevrolet Impala, his driving changed dramatically once more, coming close and vying for the lead with the king of Chevrolet teams, Hendrick Motorsports. In 2009, he entered the "Chase for the Sprint Cup" for the first time, to join the ranks of the top drivers in NASCAR.
For the 2009 season, his ranking dropped to 8th due to mishaps late in the season, but he firmly established his position as a top driver in stock car racing.