Juan Pablo Montoya has decided to take his racing career in a different direction, heading back to some of his early roots.
On Monday Penske Racing announced that they and Montoya have reached a deal where Montoya would join the Team Penske driver line up in the IndyCar racing series for 2014. Now go behind the wheel of the No.2, Montoya will have Will Power and Helio Castroneves as his teammates.
After racing for Chip Ganassi and Earnhardt-Gannassi Racing in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series for several years, Ganassi and Montoya decided to part ways once the 2013 NASCAR season ends. Becoming one of the many drivers looking for a ride for 2014, Montoya had several options to choose from.
Once his status with Ganassi for 2014 became known Montoya had offers Furniture Row Racing to become Kurt Busch’s replacement once he moves to Stewart-Haas Racing. Other offers include the return to IndyCar but with Michael Andretti. Once a free agent, Montoya didn’t rule out any offers but wanted to be part of a team that can compete for wins.
Now adding a return to IndyCar to his racing resume, Montoya has a chance to continue adding more features to all the success he has had in his career. Over the years he has a 1999 CART title, a win in the 2000 Indianapolis 500, and 11 open-wheel races for Ganassi. In Formula One he had seven wins and 30 podium finishes. In NASCAR he has two wins in the Cup Series at both road courses on the schedule. Montoya also made the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup in 2009.
Now with a return to IndyCar Montoya has a shot at a fresh start to his racing career. Becoming a part of the Penske team doesn’t rule him out for a return to NASCAR either, regardless of the priorities in IndyCar. Montoya may be heading to his Ganassi’s biggest competition in IndyCar, Penske Racing, but it won’t him slow down.
The new deal with Penske is a win-win situation for everyone involved. It gives Montoya a fresh start with the chance to be competitive once again and Penske another championship potential driver. IndyCar is also a winner in the deal considering Montoya’s fan base, which seem to follow him wherever he goes.