Juan Pablo Montoya’s plans for 2014 have yet to be determined, but they won’t include an IZOD IndyCar Series drive with Andretti Autosport.
Montoya, who has been a free agent since being told by Earnhardt Ganassi Racing that he would not return to their Sprint Cup team next season, had been linked to a possible return to open-wheel racing with Michael Andretti’s team. However, per Marshall Pruett of RACER Magazine, the 1999 CART champion and 2000 Indianapolis 500 winner has informed AA that he will not be joining them.
With Ryan Newman set to jump to Richard Childress Racing next season, the No. 78 Chevrolet of Furniture Row Racing remains in play this “Silly Season,” as Kurt Busch, its current driver, will be off to Stewart-Haas Racing at that time.
FRR and Montoya have held discussions about joining forces, and last weekend at Richmond International Raceway, FRR general manager Joe Garone seemed to indicate that a decision from their camp was near.
“It’s just a process,” he explained at the time to Bob Pockrass of the Sporting News. “Part of it is you just identify where you want to go – do you want to stay with a veteran or do you want to go with a younger rookie and bring a kid up?
“We’re just trying to get through that decision. You’ve got to take Juan seriously. He’s been around a while and obviously can win races.”
Montoya has turned up the wick performance-wise since he learned of EGR’s decision to cut him loose at season’s end. He’s netted a pair of Top-10s in the last three races and will start on the inside of Row 2 for Sunday’s Chase-opening GEICO 400 at Chicagoland Speedway.
Kyle Larson will be replacing Montoya in Earnhardt Ganassi’s No. 42 machine next season.