"It’s great that I’m a Latino. It’s great that people are paying attention to what I’m doing. It’s great I come here and set an example for children. I have a foundation with my wife and we give to charity. We try to keep the kids in school and off the streets and give them things. All of those things are great, and I do that in my time off, but when I’m racing it’s all about me. It’s whatever it takes to get the job done. When I’m racing hard and I’ve got a chance to win, I’m not thinking, 'Oh, the Latinos are going to be so happy when I win this race.' I’m going to be happy when I win this race. It’s great that I can bring the Colombian name out and the Latinos out and show people it doesn’t matter where you’re from if you can get the job done, whatever you want to do. But it doesn’t mean I live by them."
Photo courtesy NASCAR
Thursday, October 1, 2009
Montoya: 'when I’m racing it’s all about me'
Colombian Juan Pablo Montoya still contends with the notion that everything he does in NASCAR either reflects upon or promotes the cause of Latin Americans in NASCAR, American culture, the universe beyond. Danica Patrick faced much the same scrutiny when she became just the fifth woman to enter the Indianapolis 500. Certainly, their presence in regimens traditionally dominated by white males is a novelty, a curiosity, and possibly an exploitable resource for marketers and promoters.
Sure, Canadians and Californians have fielded questions about how their success could generate interest in NASCAR back home, but the continued line of reasoning seems just a little obtuse in the cases of Montoya and Patrick.
But they've handled it the same. It's about them. All the rest is a bonus. And they're right.
Said Montoya recently: