Montoya Wants More

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Juan Pablo Montoya may have scored a NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series career best finish at Atlanta Motor Speedway on Sunday, but the former open wheel star isn't satisfied.

Montoya brought home his No. 42 Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates Texaco Havoline Dodge fifth in the Kobalt Tools 500.

He thought he should have finished better.

"It’s a shame," he said. "I was hoping for a top three today. But I hit the wall on the last restart and it cost me a little bit,"

While Montoya was being hard on himself, others in the NEXTEL Cup garage took noticed, including 2003 champ and Sunday's third place finisher Matt Kenseth.

"When I was running fifth or whatever and he blew my doors off and he was running the high side, I said, ‘He’s going to win the race if he doesn’t hit the wall,’ " said Kenseth. "I thought he was going to (win) because he was flying up there."

Montoya has already shown his prowess on a road course, scoring a Busch Series win in Mexico City earlier this month.

But the Colombian native has proven to be a force on oval tracks as well, as evident by his day at Atlanta on Sunday when he ran with the leaders most of the day and notched the top five finish.

But things will get a bit tougher for Montoya the next couple weeks when the series shifts to the short tracks of Bristol and Martinsville.

While mid-sized track oval racing is one thing, man-handling a NEXTEL Cup car on a grueling short track will be a challenge.

"I think the next ones are going to be pretty hard," Montoya said. "Bristol is going to be a nightmare. Martinsville will probably be another tough one. And, Darlington? Let’s not even talk about that one."

"We’re going to have ups and downs, but when the car is good and I’m comfortable we’re going to get momentum."

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