Did You Notice? That in the closing laps of the race in Mexico City, with Scott Pruett’s bumper hanging by a thread, NASCAR refused to throw the black flag on the No. 40? Is it just me, or wasn’t that pretty dangerous? Sure, it’s not Pruett’s fault the bumper got loose; it was because someone else laid the chrome horn. But in virtually any other situation – say, at Bristol – that car would have been on pit road within five laps. As far as I’m concerned, that thing could have fallen off, someone else could have run it over, and that person’s day would have been ruined through no fault of their own. It sucked for Pruett, but he should have been forced to pit.
The stage was set for Scott Pruett to avenge his crushing loss in this race last year. With Brad Parrott on the pit box and driving Juan Pablo Montoya’s race-winning car from 2007, Pruett was the class of the field. Pruett and the No. 40 team built a commanding lead and were in position to win the race. A late-race caution, however, erased Pruett’s lead and put Kyle Busch and the No. 20 on his tail. Pruett held off Busch for a while, but used up his tires in the process, leaving Busch to score his third consecutive Nationwide Series win and first ever NASCAR win on a road course.
It was Juan Pablo, Juan Pablo, Juan Pablo… all the time South of the Border. Montoya may have felt the pressure to live up to the hype this weekend, as his face graced posters all over Mexico City to promote the race… in the end, he certainly pulled through. Things didn’t start off well, though, as Montoya locked up the brakes in qualifying and cost himself just enough precious time to lose the pole position he was favored to capture. No matter… come Sunday, he asserted himself in the race and stationed his No. 42 Dodge up front early and often.