Montoya looking forward to Sebring test run tomorrow (VIDEO)

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Earlier today, Juan Pablo Montoya tweeted the following in advance of his official return to IndyCar tomorrow in a test session for Team Penske:

And we can’t wait to see if the Colombian can return to greatness in his second open-wheel go-round. With his stock car career over for now, the former Indianapolis 500 winner, CART champion, and Formula One standout is preparing for a return to the top.

One of his new teammates, three-time “500” winner and 2013 IndyCar championship runner-up Helio Castroneves, feels that Montoya’s addition to the Penske stable will make for a “dynamic” atmosphere between the two of them and Aussie driver Will Power.

“I think [Montoya will] fit in well,” Castroneves said this week. “People talk about the way Team Penske works, but we try to get everybody involved and in sync because getting a rhythm will benefit the team, which is the goal.

“He’s a talent, no question about it. We’ll be competitive, but it will be a healthy competition. But the most important thing is to help Team Penske.”

Montoya hasn’t been able to spend too much time with his new teammates, but they have been giving him valuable information on the DW-12 when they’ve been able to meet up.

“We haven’t really talked too much because I was finishing the NASCAR deal,” Montoya said in an IndyCar.com video interview (which you can see above). “When we made the announcement, I went to the [Penske] shop and Will was there, and I spent quite a bit of time with Will talking about the car and everything.”

It may take some time before Montoya fully grasps what the DW-12 can do and adapts to being back in an open-wheel car again. But he’s been looking forward to this opportunity for some time now, and he believes the flip from stock cars to IndyCars will be a good one to have made.

“I’m excited,” he said to the Associated Press last weekend at Homestead-Miami Speedway before his final run in a Cup machine. “I haven’t been in a [IndyCar] since 2000, but I think it’s going to be like riding a bike and I think change is going to be good.

“Working with other people is going to be good. I think this is going to be good for everybody.”

Carb Day: Tony Kanaan is fastest in final practice for Sunday’s Indy 500

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Tony Kanaan wants to put legendary driver and team owner A.J. Foyt back into Victory Lane at the Indianapolis 500.

Kanaan took a big step toward achieving that goal in Friday’s final practice for Sunday’s 102nd running of the Greatest Spectacle In Racing.

Kanaan was fastest of the 33-driver field, with a best lap around the 2.5-mile Indianapolis Motor Speedway oval at 227.791 mph, more than 2 mph faster than the second-fastest driver, Kanaan’s former teammate, Scott Dixon (225.684 mph).

Foyt won a record-tying four Indy 500’s as a driver. It’s been nearly 20 years since he also won as a team owner in 1999 with Kenny Brack behind the wheel.

Marco Andretti was third-fastest (225.200 mph), followed by Sebastien Bourdais (224.815), Charlie Kimball (224.712), 2017 Indy 500 winner Takuma Sato (224.083), Will Power (223.942), Danica Patrick (223.653), Spencer Pigot (223.584) and Ed Jones (223.556).

Other notable driver speeds included:

* Pole sitter Ed Carpenter was 14th fastest (223.219 mph).

* Reigning Verizon IndyCar Series champ Josef Newgarden was 15th (223.186 mph).

* Helio Castroneves, hoping to earn a record-tying fourth 500 win, was 17th (222.913 mph).

* Graham Rahal was 21st (222.526).

* Former 500 winner Ryan Hunter-Reay was 26th (221.916 mph), followed by rookie Robert Wickens (221.821 mph), carrying the mantle for Schmidt Peterson Motorsports with James Hinchcliffe having failed to qualify for the race.

* The biggest surprise was 2016 Indy 500 winner Alexander Rossi, who was 32nd fastest (221.374 mph).

We’ll have the full speed grid, as well as full driver quotes, shortly. Please check back soon.

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