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Defending Indy 500 champ Montoya makes early exit

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INDIANAPOLIS (AP) Juan Pablo Montoya will not defend his Indianapolis 500 championship.

Montoya got sideways and hit the outside wall coming out of Turn 2, sliding back across the track before coming to rest on the grass. The Colombian was fortunate nobody else collided with him.

Montoya, the 2000 Indy 500 champion, climbed out of his car and waved to fans that he was OK before climbing into an ambulance.

''I just got loose and I lost the car,'' Montoya said. ''The thing just snapped. It's just difficult.''

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Montoya crashed for the first time in an Indianapolis 500 and had never finished worse than fifth in his three other starts. His win last season gave team owner Roger Penske his 16th Indianapolis 500 win and the 15 years between Indy 500 victories are a record for a driver.