Juan Pablo Montoya has a long list of racing accomplishments. He’s a two-time Indianapolis 500 Mile Race winner, 1999 Indy car champion, won seven Formula One races, two in NASCAR Cup and has a Rolex 24 At Daytona title to his credit.
You’d think, with that impressive of a resume, Montoya certainly has visited the ESPN campus in Bristol, Conn., before to talk about his achievements. You’d be wrong.
Montoya is making the rounds today at the “Worldwide leader in sports” to promote the 2016 Verizon IndyCar Series season opening March 11-13 with the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg. Montoya, the defending St. Pete and Indy 500 champion, was a guest this morning on “SportsCenter” and will make appearances on several other ESPN and ESPN Deportes entities throughout the day.
Surprisingly, this marks the 40-year-old Colombian’s first trip there.
“Guess I’ve just been able to avoid it until now,” he said this morning with a laugh. “It’s a lot bigger place than I thought, a lot bigger than people probably realize. It’s pretty amazing.”
Montoya’s schedule also includes visits on “Face to Face with Hannah Storm,” “ESPN Front Row,” a taping for a later “SportsCenter” broadcast, the ESPN Deportes show “#Redes” and an interview with espn.com. A full day, indeed.
“It’s exciting with the start of the season,” Montoya said. “This is a great way to promote the season and get the noise out about it. The timing is very good.”
It’s also the perfect time, Montoya added, to talk about the Verizon INDYCAR Mobile App that makes its 2016 premiere this week. The app – available on all U.S. carriers – brings fans closer to the action with live timing and scoring and video capabilities, as well as exclusive content.
“The mobile app brings really good things like video to the fans,” said Montoya, who will drive the No. 2 Team Penske Chevrolet again this season, “especially if you’re a Verizon customer. Being a Verizon (sponsored) driver in the Verizon IndyCar Series, this is a big year for us. It’s the 50th anniversary of Team Penske, the 100th Running of the Indy 500, so we want to have a hell of a year.”
Dixon to visit ‘TODAY’ for ‘Guys Tell All’
Meanwhile, Scott Dixon – the driver Montoya lost the 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series championship to on a tiebreaker – will be in New York City on March 8 as a guest of Hoda Kotb and Kathie Lee Gifford on NBC’s “TODAY” for a segment titled “Guys Tell All.”
Dixon, driver of the No. 9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet, will join comedians Chuck Nice and Jared Fried and former “Bachelor” contestant Bob Guiney in the segment that airs at 10:22 a.m. ET.