Juan Montoya Voted the All-Time Greatest Chip Ganassi Racing Driver

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Juan Montoya's last win came in 2010 at Watkins Glen, beating Marcos Ambrose (Photo Credit: John Harrelson/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Juan Montoya's last win came in 2010 at Watkins Glen, beating Marcos Ambrose (Photo Credit: John Harrelson/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Juan Pablo Montoya may not have won a race since Watkins Glen 2010, but was this week crowned the All-Time Greatest Chip Ganassi Racing driver by fans.  The competition was launched over social media, with almost 12,000 fans submitting their votes, and with around 7,000 votes, the Colombian eased to victory.  After winning the F3000 crown in 1998, Montoya came to prominence with Ganassi in 1999 when he won the CART title in his rookie season, and backed this up the following year by becoming the first Ganassi driver to win theIndianapolis 500. After a stint in Formula 1, Montoya returned to the fold in 2006, taking back-to-back 24 Hours of Daytona victories in 2007 and 2008, winning twice for Ganassi in NASCAR and making it into the Chase in 2009, becoming the first non-American to do so.

The competition runner-up was the Scottish Indycar star Dario Franchitti, who will be looking to add to his two Indy 500 victories of 2007 and 2010 this afternoon. Other candidates were Kiwi Scott Dixon, who won the Indycar title and the '500 in 2008, and NASCAR star Jamie McMurray, who memorably won both the Daytona 500 and the Brickyard 400 in the same year in 2010.  The late Dan Wheldon drove for Ganassi between 2006 and 2008, winning the 24 Hours of Daytona on his first appearance with the team and also defeating Helio Castroneves in the first Indycar race of the season by a scant 0.0147 seconds.  The heroic Alex Zanardi also was nominated, the Italian scoring back-to-back Indycar titles in 1997 and 1998.  But Zanardi's defining legacy was his implementation of one of the most audacious overtaking manoeuvres of all time; his move on Bryan Herta on the last lap at Laguna Seca at the Corkscrew is the stuff of legends.

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James joined The TCF team in January 2012 as the sites NASCAR news and features writer. Follow him on Twitter @james_newbold
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