Former Indianapolis 500 and CART champion Juan Pablo Montoya has switched back to open-wheel racing, but before the Verizon IndyCar Series season started, it was indicated repeatedly that his NASCAR career may not be over.
During Montoya’s IndyCar test at Sebring last November, Penske Racing president Tim Cindric said that the Colombian had “unfinished business” in a stock car and that Penske might put him in a stock car “at the right time.”
Then, during this February’s Daytona Speedweeks, Montoya himself said that he thought running in the Brickyard 400 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway “would be a good thing.”
Now it appears that we may be close to knowing what stock car plans, if any, Montoya has in the near-future.
Earlier this morning, Jenna Fryer of the Associated Press tweeted the following:
Later on this afternoon, Lee Spencer of Motorsport.com reported that, in addition to an expected Brickyard announcement for Montoya, he could also drive a third car for Team Penske when the Sprint Cup Series makes their road course stops at Sonoma in June and Watkins Glen in August.
Sonoma is where Montoya earned his first Cup win in 2007, and three years later, he got his second Cup win at the Glen.
But as he talked about in February, Montoya especially wants to win the Brickyard after coming close twice in his seven-year Cup run with Chip Ganassi Racing.
Montoya finished second in the ’07 Brickyard to Tony Stewart, but led 116 laps in the ’09 edition only to have his bid for victory foiled by a late pit road speeding penalty; he finished 11th that day.
Last year, he almost got his first Cup win on an oval in the Richmond spring race until a caution came out with five laps to go. Subsequent pit stops left him sixth for the Green-White-Checkered restart, and he could only rise up to fourth by the end.