(WOMR file photo)
Juan Pablo Montoya’s NASCAR days are, it seems, far from over, or so it seems.
Team Penske announced Wednesday, that Montoya, who left NASCAR following the 2013 season and is now driving full time for the Penske IndyCar program, will drive one of its cars in two Sprint Cup races in 2014.
And no, those races will not be on road courses. Surprise, surprise!
JPM will drive the #12 SKF Penske Ford at Michigan International Speedway on June 15. He will also compete for Penske in the #12 car in the Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on July 27.
His crew chief will be NASCAR veteran Greg Erwin. The #12 car will join the full-time Penske Cup entries of Brad Keselowski and Joey Logano.
“Juan is a proven winner in multiple racing disciplines and he is one of the most versatile race car drivers competing today,” said team owner Roger Penske. “Michigan and Indianapolis are two important races for Team Penske. We know Juan has the ability to race for wins in both of those events while still focusing on his full-time program in the Verizon IndyCar Series.”
As a point of interest, he owns career-best finishes of sixth at MIS and a top result of second at IMS.
Montoya appeared to be heading to victory at the Brickyard in 2009 but a late, and controversial, pit-road speeding penalty cost him his shot at winning the race. The following year, 2010, he came back to win the pole at Indy.
JPM won the 2000 Indianapolis 500 for Ganassi. That race was Montoya’s lone IndyCar Series start until he was hired by Penske to drive for him this season.
The Colombian driver also won multiple races in Formula One, including the prestigious Grand Prix of Monaco, and was part of the Chip Ganassi Racing team that won the 2013 Rolex 24 at Daytona.
So just when you thought that Juan Pablo Montoya had ridden off into the NASCAR sunset, he returns for a two race deal with his present employer, “The Captain”, Roger Penske. It will be interesting to see if JPM could pull off winning both, The Indy 500 and The Brickyard 400 in 2014!
TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!