Montoya Will Race in IndyCar for Team Penske | Edmunds

Montoya Will Race in IndyCar for Team Penske

Just the Facts:
  • Juan Pablo Montoya will drive in the Izod IndyCar Series for Roger Penske in 2014, in one of the biggest personnel moves in racing this year.
  • Montoya will leave the Earnhardt Ganassi Racing NASCAR ride at the end of this season.
  • His present boss, Chip Ganassi, is a long-time rival of Penske.

MOORESVILLE, North Carolina — Juan Pablo Montoya, who will leave NASCAR after this season, will return to the Izod IndyCar Series with one of racing's most successful operations, Team Penske, in 2014. It marks one of the biggest personnel moves in racing this year.

Montoya signed on Monday with Penske Racing and will drive the No. 2 Team Penske IndyCar as a teammate to Will Power and Helio Castroneves.

"Juan is a proven winner at all levels of motorsport," said Roger Penske in a statement posted on the Team Penske Web site. "He has won a lot of races and championships and he has an extremely passionate fan base."

Montoya, 37, is the only driver to produce victories in the Indianapolis 500, the 24 Hours of Daytona and the Monaco Grand Prix. Montoya earned 11 IndyCar wins over two seasons as he captured the CART Series title in his rookie season of 1999, followed by a victory in the Indy 500 in 2000.

Team Penske is one of the most successful teams in the history of professional sports. The team has earned 15 Indianapolis 500 victories and is the arch-rival of Montoya's present boss, Chip Ganassi, who got his first Indy 500 win with Montoya as the driver in 2000.

"I am really excited to join this legendary team beginning next year," said Montoya in a statement. "I have had the opportunity to drive for some of the best racing teams in the world and I have always admired Roger Penske and his organization."

As part of the new deal, Montoya may also get to compete in some stock-car events as well.

Ganassi announced last month Montoya would not be retained as driver of the No. 42 Chevrolet next season. Rumors linking Montoya to a return to IndyCar were stirred when Michael Andretti, owner of the Andretti Autosport team, said he had talked with Montoya.

The rivalry between Penske and Ganassi has been a sharp one, never more so than this year, with the two teams locked in a championship battle that has produced considerable drama. But Ganassi, whose IndyCar team features drivers Scott Dixon and Dario Franchitti, wished Montoya well.

"He's a great driver and deserves a great drive," Ganassi said, according to media reports. "He will have that there at Penske Racing."

Edmunds says: Montoya is not only a talented, proven commodity as a driver, he has considerable name recognition and will provide a boost to the series.

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