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Juan Pablo Montoya may be on the pole at Loudon...but he's also now on the hot seat with a major TV station

  Juan Pablo Montoya did the sport of NASCAR no favors when he rudely blew off a planned TV interview with a top California Fox affiliate (Photo: Getty Images for NASCAR)

   By Mike Mulhern

   Juan Pablo Montoya may be in trouble with NASCAR – certainly with its PR operations -- after an incident in which he blew off a pre-planned satellite interview with a major California Fox affiliate, Sacramento's KTXL.
   Montoya and NASCAR both are now on that station's D-list.
   And Sacramento is, of course, the state capital, where governor Arnold Schwarzenegger holds forth. Schwarzenegger typically attends NASCAR events in that state, and will likely be at Southern California's Auto Club Speedway in a few weeks for the California 500 chase race.
   Montoya was doing a routine round of Sprint Cup championship chase interviews in advance for the first race of the chase, but when 5 o'clock rolled around, he took off his mike and walked off the NASCAR set.
    Much to the chagrin of the KTXL reporters who had been patiently awaiting their NASCAR-scheduled spot in the interview line.
   The station's coverage of this incident looks like this: http://bit.ly/uRHWW


Mike, I'm not sure what point


I'm not sure what point you were trying to make about Ahhhnald. As with politicians in most states right now, their opinions on sports/entertainment matters don't matter much to the rest of us. To be more specific, there are few people in Northern California who care/pay attention to Ahhhnald by this point anyway.

What NASCAR should be upset about is this:

Sacramento is less than an hour and a half drive from Infineon Raceway. If you take a look at the websites of the 5 major news outlets in this market (sacbee.com, cbs13.com, news10.net, kcra.com, and of course fox40.com which this article refers to), you will see that only one of those outlets makes any attempt to really cover NASCAR. That's right, the station that Juan Pablo blew off was the one news outlet that provides coverage that could possibly generate new fans for NASCAR as well as Infineon Raceway.

Northern California isn't North Carolina. There are plenty of racing fans here, but there are also a lot of potential fans who have not been exposed to it. As a long time fan, I may be saavy about finding my news on the internet, but the internet isn't going to bring an untouched fan base to the sport, mainstream media is.

Good Job Juan!

One last thing. As a long time fan, I'm pretty willing to ignore these types of antics. I understand the demands put on these guys, and the pressure they're under. But I have to tell you, as a fan who's been unemployed for 8 months, I can't tell you how happy I would be to work past 5pm at ANY job, let alone a dream job like the one Juan's got. I think someone needs to remind him how good he's got it.

Don't blame Montoya ... where

Don't blame Montoya ... where was his PR handler? Or better yet, where was the NASCAR PR handler who set up the TV interviews? Lord knows that they have enough of them working in that department now ...

I do blame Montoya... Did you

I do blame Montoya... Did you not hear on the video, the person behind the scenes on Montoya's end basically begging him to do one more? And not just once, but multiple times.

At some point, a driver has to take responsibility for his behavior.

Well, NASCAR ditched the

Well, NASCAR ditched the Fontana truck race. I don't think NASCAR believes that anymore fans can be gained from California. That market has been tapped as much as it can be tapped.

But I think that JPM pr person screwed up on this.

Comparing the "L.A." market,

Comparing the "L.A." market, and the Bay Area/Sacramento Markets are like comparing apples to oranges. May as well be another state.

I live in the Sacramento

I live in the Sacramento area, nobody watches channel 40 anyway. The reason none of the other channels cover NASCAR is because there is no demand. Sure, Infineon draws a decent crowd, but it has more to do with wine country, vs NASCAR interest.

This is typical JPM, not surprised. Was it rude, well that depends on what the agreement was. Who really knows what was going on behind the scene. Whatever happened, I guess time was up at 5p.m. JPM is running strong, so I doubt there will be any backlash. Whatever happens, don't try and refer to channel 40 as a "major TV station", it's just not.

As a fox station, channel 40

As a fox station, channel 40 is still considered a major media outlet for the Sacramento market. You may not watch it, but if you take a gander at the ratings, obviously some people do.

Regardless, I think this just shows how "on board" JPM is with the "give back to the fans", and the "help grow the sport" edicts of NASCAR. Like you, I'm not surprised by it, it seems to be typical of JPM. I do however, think NASCAR should take notice of it if nothing else since it actually hurts them, and not JPM.

Kudos to JPM * what part of

Kudos to JPM * what part of 5PM doesn't anyone understand? SMOKE has blown off press after the race - big deal!!!

but smoke did eventually come

but smoke did eventually come to understand the facts of nascar life...and maybe kyle busch will soon too.....

Get a grip. These guys are

Get a grip. These guys are very busy. Between sponsor, team, and Nascar commitments. Usually these guys do all they can. If you want to know what's on their mind, watch a race when the TV crews shove a microphone in their face right after a race. You could also watach a pre race show.

montoya is not Richard

montoya is not Richard Petty!

If you were in line at Target

If you were in line at Target buying something and the cashier walked away because it was exactly quitting time and you had to come back the next day, would you be pissed? Well, it was quitting time, but we're talking two extra minutes. JPM was within his rights just like the cashier, but it's still rude and selfish. There is a reason that JPM is disliked by the fans and garage in NASCAR and it has nothing to do with his nationality.

Juan is a person, just like

Juan is a person, just like you and I, that has family, friends and the like just like the rest of us. He is paid to do what he is obligated to, just as you and I. Remember, he comes from racing series' (plural) that don't require all of this ego rubbing of the media hubbub. Good for him. Who does this loser sportscaster think he is and he's entitled to. He looks like the major baby in all of this. A star struck fan that was stifled by the reality of what Juan probably agreed to. This guy is your typical sports journalist that never played sports and just wants to be able to occasionally hobnob with "someone". What a jerk.

Well, yes....but Juan Pablo

Well, yes....but Juan Pablo does make over $6 million a year...and Richard Petty has made a career statement by hanging around for photos and autographs well after closing time.....

what a jerk. this ain't f1.

what a jerk. this ain't f1. nascar is going down. hard. good.

Maybe he just doesn't like

Maybe he just doesn't like Fox. I'm always very happy when their portion of the season is over so I don't have to tune them in on my TV. Besides... JPM doing or not doing the interview isn't going to matter out there, one way or the other. NASCAR is just plain being stupid if they think they are going to gain any more fans in CA. Was stupid to build that track out there. The race is always boring and the stands are never full. Duh.

Have none of you NASCAR

Have none of you NASCAR critics ever seen the reaction that actors have when they are required to do similar satellite interviews? It's ridiculous how many times they have to answer the EXACT same inane questions. It's NASCAR and it's SACRAMENTO (I grew up down the street from KTXL and live in the area). I would not have even known about this "issue" if it were not for the internet. The Sacramento viewers do NOT care if Juan Pablo Montoya bailed on Channel 40. They do not know who J.P.M. is. But, if it was "Vallejo native Jeff Gordon" they would care, but since it was the "first foreign born make the chase," they don't care. It's FOX and they are trying to get any negative publicity they can in California.

certainly, certainly...and if

certainly, certainly...and if i were a driver, i'd be screaming about the time somebody asked the same question for the umpteenth time...i can't believe these guys can keep their cool...particularly in these times where even major newspapers are sending, ah, less than their top-of-the-line reporters to the races, if they're sending anybody at all. Inane questions, yes.....i cringe half the time when these guys stand up to ask one....but the nascar 'model' is built on drivers spending a lot of time doing all this stuff and with a cool head. they get paid not for what they do on sundays but what they do on monday-friday. Sacramento viewers themselves might not care about the bailout, but via the internet the rest of the country got to see it all. Re: Fox....hmmm, that's curious you would say that. can you amplify? why would fox sports want to diss california, when it carries fontana and vegas (and used to carry sonoma/infineon)....

It's amazing to me that half

It's amazing to me that half of you here have kept your jobs, if you even have them! We're not talking about an hourly worker here, we're talking about a man that is paid millions of dollars by sponsors to race and promote their product. If I were Target or any of his other sponsors, I would be fuming! Sacramento is a top 20 market. Spending two more minutes reaching a new demographic would be like 30 seconds of commercial airtime for both his sponsors and NASCAR. He has an obligation to his sponsor and the NASCAR to promote the sport. If he is such a wuss and can't handle an extra 5 minutes talking to another reporter, then maybe he needs to go back to F1 where they tolerate this kind of crap. Don't be a wuss, stop complaining, do your interview, stop being a baby.

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