Two former open-wheel rivals, Michael Andretti and Juan Pablo Montoya, may join forces in the IZOD IndyCar Series if sponsorship can be found for the latter.
Montoya (pictured), the 1999 CART champion and 2000 Indianapolis 500 winner, was recently told by Earnhardt Ganassi Racing that he would not be back in their No. 42 Sprint Cup drive in 2014 after a seven-year run in stock cars.
With the Colombian now on the hunt for a new gig, everything’s on the table – including a return to IndyCar. And according to The Associated Press, Andretti has reached out to him about just that.
“I have talked to Juan about IndyCar and told him ‘Hell yeah, let’s find a way to put something together,'” Andretti told the AP’s Jenna Fryer on Monday. “I’ve driven against him and I think he’s one of the best drivers I’ve ever driven against.
“It just comes down to sponsorship. So we’re looking, and if it’s a possibility, we want to do something with him.”
Andretti’s discussions with Montoya will add even more attention to the future plans of four-time IndyCar champs Andretti Autosport.
James Hinchcliffe is in the final year of his contract with the team, and it’s defintely possible that the Canadian fan favorite – who has won three times in 2013 – could head off to another squad.
Fryer reports that AA is also trying to create a deal for Carlos Munoz, who made a name for himself after finishing runner-up in this past May’s Indianapolis 500.
Needless to say, there’s a lot of work ahead for the team to get everything sorted out.
The NTT IndyCar Series will be sharing Indianapolis Motor Speedway with the NASCAR Cup Series in a race weekend doubleheader for the second consecutive season, but both series will be on the road course in August 2021.
IMS announced Wednesday that IndyCar will hold an Aug. 14, 2021 race on its 14-turn, 2.439-mile road course. It’ll be a day before NASCAR’s premier series runs the same layout for the first time after the Brickyard 400 was contested on the 2.5-mile oval for the first time in 27 years.
This season’s rescheduling of the IndyCar GMR Grand Prix to July 4, 2019 (a day before the Brickyard 400) led to the first NASCAR-IndyCar doubleheader weekend. The Xfinity Series also raced on the IMS road course for the first time July 4 after the IndyCar race ended.
INDYCAR AT IMS THIS WEEKEND: Harvest GP schedule, entry lists
IndyCar will be holding its second race weekend this year at the IMS road course Friday and Saturday with the Harvest GP.
“Our first NASCAR-INDYCAR weekend was a big success last July, with positive feedback from
our loyal fans who watched the races on NBC and from the drivers, teams and participants
involved,” IMS president Douglas Boles said in a statement. “The Xfinity Series’ debut on the IMS road course provided exactly the kind of thrilling action from the green to checkered flags that we anticipated, so we know the teams and drivers of the Cup Series will put on a great show as they turn left and right for the first time at IMS.
“We can’t wait to welcome back fans to see NASCAR and INDYCAR together during this
exciting weekend as we add another memorable chapter in the long, storied history of the
Indianapolis Motor Speedway.”
It also will mark the first NASCAR Cup-IndyCar doubleheader with a crowd as fans weren’t permitted at IMS in July because of the novel coronvavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Over the course of Wednesday, NASCAR is releasing its 36-race slate for next season. IndyCar has yet to release its full 2021 schedule.