As the 2013 NASCAR season heads into Homestead-Miami Speedway to close out the season, it will also be the site the close of the NASCAR career of some drivers.
For Juan Pablo Montoya and Travis Pastrana, their journey in NASCAR will come to an end with the Nationwide and Cup Series finales. After giving it a go around in the NASCAR circuit, both drivers have decided to move on.
Coming over from the racing career that included Formula 1, Indy Car and many other racing series, Montoya made his way into NASCAR in 2006. Since his move into stock car racing, Montoya had been with Chip Ganassi and Earnhardt-Gannassi Racing. In just eight seasons, Montoya has accomplished wins within the Nationwide and Cup Series but expectations were set high for him at the beginning.
With a racing resume that included wins in the Indy 500, the Grand Prix of Monaco and the 24 hours of Daytona, expectations for Montoya to capture wins in the NASCAR circuit were set high. Throughout those eight seasons, Montoya has only won races when the series make their way into the road courses, Watkins Glen and Sonoma.
When Pastrana decided to give NASCAR a try, he was making his way over from being an extreme sports star. He initially made his way over starting out in the K&N Series and eventually work his way over into the Nationwide Series. After an injury at the X-Games in the summer of 2011, Pastrana’s nationwide debut had to be postponed.
A year later, Pastrana made his Nationwide debut and raced a partial schedule. In between, he even raced in a Truck Series race and made a start with Roush Fenway Racing. The 2013 season saw Pastrana make his full-time move over to NASCAR with RFR.
Now that the 2013 season comes to a close, this upcoming weekend at Homestead, so will the NASCAR careers of Pastrana and Montoya. After expectations were set on both drivers, not all of those expectations were met.
Montoya never managed to capture a win at an oval track despite coming close on several occasions. In just the 2013 season, he came close at Richmond and Dover in the spring.
With Pastrana, he didn’t get to capture he results he was probably looking for. He did capture a pole in the 2013 season at Talladega but has yet to capture a win. When he made his move to NASCAR, it was expected that some of Pastrana’s fan base would make the crossover move with him as well, but that didn’t seem to occur in the big number that may have been expected.
Heading into the offseason Pastrana mentioned in a statement that he would dedicate his time off the NASCAR tracks to be with his daughter and family. Meanwhile Montoya will head back into the IndyCar Series and compete for the IndyCar with Penkse Racing, having another opportunity at a racing career.