No NASCAR drivers for $5M IndyCar Vegas prize When 2000 Indianapolis 500 winner Juan Pablo Montoya was at Indianapolis Motor Speedway last week for NASCAR testing, he gave a more thorough explanation for why he sees no way a Sprint Cup Series driver could participate in Randy Bernard's $5 million challenge in the season-ending Izod IndyCar Series race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
The race is Oct. 16, the night after the Cup race at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Google estimates the distance at 2,200 miles. That's a flight of at least three hours.
"Of course I've given it thought; I'm a human being," Montoya said. "But you've got to understand that time-wise it's nearly impossible. We're running Saturday in Charlotte, which means no qualifying (for the Indy car).
"Think about how much time and money I've got to spend on flights to come here for seat fitting, to go to (Las Vegas) to test, back to Charlotte, go (to Vegas) to race and then back again."
But he likely wouldn't have to spend his own money to do so.
"Are you sure?" he said with a laugh, an obvious reference to team owner Chip Ganassi's frugality.
"Look, I've run the numbers a little bit, and by the end of the race if you don't win, it's going to cost you a lot of money," Montoya said. "It makes no sense, you know what I mean?
"The other thing is, all this (preparation) must come in the middle of the week because we race every week (in Cup). I have one more weekend off between now and that (Las Vegas) race."
Montoya doesn't think any driver, including himself, could jump from a stock car to an Indy car that easily without being accustomed to doing so.
"You wouldn't have any momentum," he said. "Usually you're in a car Thursday or Friday, you've been in the car a long time, and you can do it. But to go from being in a Cup car the night before, you're tired, you take a red-eye flight to Vegas. I mean, for an IndyCar race?
"If you think like I'm thinking, you're crazy to do it." Indy Star