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Last Updated: Monday, 19 November 2007, 17:58 GMT
Montoya wins Nascar rookie prize
Juna Pablo Montoya
Montoya has helped raised Nascar's profile outside of North America
Former F1 star Juan Pablo Montoya has been named Nascar's Rookie of the Year after an impressive debut campaign.

The Colombian finished 15th in Sunday's season-ending Ford 400 to secure 20th place in the drivers' standings.

Montoya became the first Hispanic driver to win a top-level Nascar race when he won a road course event in Sonoma, California, in June.

In total, the 32-year-old had three top-five and six top-10 finishes. "I learned a lot," Montoya said.

"I think we are going to start (next season) a lot better. There is still a way to go, but we're really getting the hang of it."

Montoya joined the Chip Ganassi Racing team after the 2006 F1 season.

He won seven F1 Grands Prix in six years, having previously won 11 races in two US open-wheel seasons, including the 2000 Indianapolis 500, and the 1999 Champ Car title.

"Being a rookie with the experience I had, it's very different," added Montoya.

"I had no stock car experience, but I think from my open-wheel background I raced pretty much about everything you can race."

SEE ALSO
Johnson crowned Nascar champion
19 Nov 07 |  Motorsport
Montoya starts new Nascar career
25 Sep 06 |  Motorsport


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