Think of motor racing in the U.S. and you’re likely to think of NASCAR. But while the race track may still be the ultimate celebration of high-power, high-octane internal combustion engined glory , it turns out that NASCAR isn’t the antithesis of electric cars that you might expect.
At least, not when it comes to the drivers.
Enter Columbian-born Juan Pablo Montoya. Former Formula One World Champion and current NASCAR driver of the #42 Target Chevrolet Impala, Montoya has a dirty secret:
Shock: Juan Pablo Montoya going to NASCAREnlarge Photo
He’s just got a 2011 Chevrolet Volt and he likes it.
According to an interview he gave with USAToday, Montoya’s life off-track is almost the exact opposite from the hard-racer bad-boy image he’s cultivated on track. Instead, it turns out he’s a little bit of a geek, with a love of gadgets, model airplanes and his recently delivered 2011 Chevrolet Volt.
“It’s really cool. You think electric and think ‘Boring’. This has so many integrated features.” enthused Montoya. “It’s not a Ferrari. It’s a very different concept. It’s an amazing looking car for what it is.”
Of course, this isn’t the first time Chevrolet’s Plug-in range-extended electric car has crossed paths with NASCAR celebrities.
Remember Job 2, the second ever 2011 Chevrolet Volt to roll off General Motors’ Detroit Hamtramck facility and which was purchased for $225,000 in a public charity auction?
2011 Chevrolet Volt drive test, March 2011Enlarge Photo
The car, which sold for twice the price of a loaded 2011 Tesla Roadster was purchased by non other than confirmed gas-junkie and NASCAR team owner Rick Hendrick, better known for his love of large engines rather than electric motors.
Given that Chevrolet is highly involved in the world of NASCAR it doesn’t really come as a surprise that at least two of its stars are now owners of 2011 Chevrolet Volts, but we have to still offer praise to both Montoya and Hendrick for standing behind a technology most NASCAR fans would dismiss at the mere lack of a throbbing V8.
Maybe it’s best to leave the final say to Montoya. “It’s actually entertaining to drive. I like it. Am I going to be a Greenpeace guy? No, I’m a fuel junkie. But if you can help a little bit, why not? And have fun in the meanwhile.”