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Gordon, Montoya trade paint again

- jutter@charlotteobserver.com
Sunday, Oct. 25, 2009

MARTINSVILLE, Va. - Jeff Gordon hopes the dust-up with Juan Pablo Montoya is over.

But he still doesn't know why it started.

For the second straight race, Montoya complained about Gordon's actions and on the track and early in Sunday's Tums 500 at Martinsville Speedway, the two drivers traded paint and Montoya spent several laps riding the bumper of Gordon's No. 24 Chevrolet.

"Beats the heck out of me," Gordon said when asked what was going on between him and Montoya. "Please ask him because I have no clue. That came out nowhere.

"He's aggressive and always been aggressive. He just started driving into my door and then I got in front of him and he just ran me all the way down the straightaway trying to pick up my back bumper up or toss me into the corner."

Late in the race, the two didn't appear to have a problem racing side-by-side as Montoya finished third and Gordon fifth.

Last weekend at Charlotte, Montoya complained about Gordon's restarts, claiming he causes drivers behind him to bunch up. "I don't know what he does, but it's always the same thing," Montoya said then.

When told after Sunday's race Gordon wanted to know why he was so mad, Montoya replied, "It's just every time we get around racing, he runs the hell out of me. He was starting to do the same here today.

"I would run on the outside of him and he would keep getting wider and wider (on the track). It got to a point like, 'Hey, I'm here and you're not going to push me around.'

"If you give me room, I'll give you room but he wasn't giving any."

Gordon said he realized Montoya's No. 42 Chevrolet was faster at the time.

"I wasn't really trying to battle him at the time. I was just trying to get position and go," said Gordon, who spoke briefly to Montoya on pit road.

"I really don't know what the deal is," he said. "I said congratulations to him and said I hope whatever I did to make him mad was done."

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