Juan Pablo Montoya, Earnhardt-Ganassi Racing

by KFFL Staff on January 19, 2011 @ 18:05:00 PDT


Juan Pablo Montoya | No. 42 Target Chevrolet | Earnhardt-Ganassi Racing

Juan Pablo Montoya

After having a breakout season in 2009, Montoya struggled during an inconsistent 2010 campaign. He finished 17th in the final standings one year after making the Chase, and his average finish dipped from 14.2 in 2009 to 18.0 last season. On the surface, the numbers looks bad, but a closer look reveals that there are plenty of reasons to expect a rebound from Montoya in 2011.

Montoya's didn't have trouble putting together strong runs in 2010, but he struggled avoiding major trouble. He picked up a win and 14 top-10s last year, but he also finished outside the top 25 in 14 races, including eight DNFs. Although some of the bad runs stemmed from his aggressive driving style, many were just plain bad luck. In many of the major loop data categories, Montoya was a top-10 driver, including driver rating, average running position and fastest laps run.

When his car was in one piece, Montoya was a force to be reckoned with. Even with his struggles, he still offered plenty of fantasy value. He had a 5.5 average finish at the road course events, he had three top-10s in four superspeedway races, and he finished in the top 10 in half of his short track starts. Inconsistency aside, Montoya was actually one of the better all-around options in the series.

Montoya has all the makings of a fantasy owner's dream in Draft and Play leagues. He is an elite road course option, a solid short track and superspeedway driver, and he has shown in the past he can be a top-15 driver at the intermediate ovals. He may require a little more maintenance in some fantasy formats, but Montoya will be around in the second round of most drafts, and he has the potential to produce like a first-round pick.

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