Last month, it was revealed that Juan Pablo Montoya would be relieved of driving duties with Earnhardt Ganassi Racing’s No. 42 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series team in favor of current Nationwide Series rookie Kyle Larson come season’s end. Soon after the announcement speculation ran rampant regarding not only for whom Montoya would be driving in 2014, but in what racing series.
Speculation had Montoya possibly returning to IndyCar, while word also got out that he talked to Furniture Row Racing about remaining in NASCAR to drive the No. 78 that Kurt Busch will vacate at the end of the year.
Earlier this week, though, an announcement came that Montoya would, indeed, be making a return to the IZOD IndyCar Series to drive for Roger Penske, a car owner in both IndyCar and NASCAR.
Montoya will be a teammate to Helio Castroneves and Will Power next year with Team Penske. His deal with the organization may also include a limited number of NASCAR races.
“My number one choice was going to be in a winning car,” Montoya said, according to the Associated Press. “I really wanted to be in a winning car. It came down to I wanted to race for Roger. In a way, it’s always been one of my dreams to be able to be part of his organization.”
Team Penske has 15 Indianapolis 500 wins, and currently, Castroneves is battling Ganassi driver Scott Dixon for the 2014 IndyCar championship.
Montoya is the 1999 CART champion and the 2000 winner of the Indianapolis 500, driving for Ganassi. While in a Chip Ganassi-owned open-wheel car, Montoya won 11 races before making the move to Formula One. He has competed in NASCAR in Ganassi equipment since 2006. In NASCAR, Montoya has two wins, both coming on road courses.
– Photo courtesy of Getty Images for NASCAR