Juan Pablo Montoya is a Columbian racecar driver who was born on September 20, 1975, in Bogota, Columbia.
Juan learned how to race karts at an early age from his father, Pablo, who was an architect and motorsports enthusiast. In 1992, Montoya joined the Columbia Formula Renault series and won eight races. That same year, he went to the U.S. Skip Barber Driving School and was hailed as being one of the best drivers that the school has ever seen. In 1993, he joined the Swift GTI championship and dominated by winning seven out of eight races. The next year, he competed in three separate series and won two of the titles.
In 1997, Montoya upped his game and entered the Formula 3000 circuit. In just one year of racing with the F3000 series, he had won the championship and knew that it was time to move on. The next year, due to the car company Renault leaving the series, Montoya became a CART series driver. In his first season as a driver in the CART series, he took home the championship and was crowned as the youngest ever CART series champion; he was 24 years old.
At the turn of the century, Montoya became a Formula One driver. The first time he ever raced in Formula One, he won. For the 2001 season, he finished sixth in points, even though he only finished six races that whole year. In 2002 and 2003, he finished third in points. In 2004 luck wouldn’t be on Montoya’s side as he finished 5th in points, two places down than he was the year prior. In 2005, he would move up a position in the points rankings, and would come home 4th. In 2006, Montoya had his worst F1 season, with an 8th place finish for the points standings. It was at this time that he knew he had to find something else.
In 2006, Montoya announced that he would be going to NASCAR, and the next season he was there. Although he finished 20th in the points standings, he won the 2007 Rookie of the Year award. The next year, Montoya would have some great finished, but would place five spots lower than he was before. In 2009, Montoya had a great season. He finished 26 races and was 8th place in points, which meant that he was officially the first foreign-born driver to qualify for the championship race. In 2010, Montoya would win a few races, and would also break another barrier by becoming the first foreign-born driver to have more than one win.
In 2011, Montoya came 5th in points, and in 2012 he had a terrible season, coming in 22nd. The next season was so bad that his team decided to not renew his contract with him, and instead gave it to the new and upcoming racecar driver, Kyle Larson.
Once his NASCAR career was over, he took up IndyCar Racing. In 2014, Montoya set a record at Pocono Raceway for the “Fastest 500 Mile Race In Motorsports History.” His average speed was 202.4 miles an hour.
After this, Montoya began to do what he wanted, and even raced last year. Even though he’s a legend, he still has his good and bad moments. Just know that even if you’re famous, it doesn’t mean you can’t have a bad day.