Penske snags Montoya for IndyCar (Update)UPDATE “I would say that's probably the best way of putting it,” Penske confirmed. “With his background and capabilities, we have a couple of people that are interested in coming onboard. Based on his background in South America, and that market being important to some of the sponsors we have, we haven't gotten any firm commitments yet, but we feel there's a good possibility it will happen.
“This thing has come together so fast, we haven't had the chance to put everything in place right up front as we'd normally try to do, but there's a lot of opportunities there with Juan, and if we didn't think there were sponsors there to support this, we wouldn't have taken this chance. But no risk, no reward.”
Penske also clarified that he only signed Montoya after ensuring there were no conflicts with his friend and rival Chip Ganassi.
“If Chip had wanted him for something outside of Sprint Cup, I wouldn't have touched him – but he looked like a free agent so we put something together,” he said. “We know Juan, he knows us, Tim met with him and it was a pretty easy process to then get everything buttoned up. It was up to them to conclude something.
“The question for Juan was did he want to run 38 [Sprint Cup] weekends or 18 [in IndyCar]? He decided he wanted to go open-wheel. For us, we knew if we concluded something it would be a real asset to the team so here we are today.”
The IndyCar Series has two weekends left to run this season, and both happen to conflict with Montoya's Sprint Cup obligations. Seeing Montoya back in an open-wheel car will likely have to wait until the NASCAR's Chase concludes on Nov. 17, according to Penske.
“We'll get him testing as soon as we can, and he'll be a fast learner,” he noted. “He's an excellent driver, especially with his previous experience, but he needs to finish out his current obligations first and we don't want to interfere with that in any way. I think he's going to be good for us – another Indy 500 winner – and I think it will be good for the sport. Job 1 right now is for Helio to win this championship and then we'll worry about getting Juan up to speed.” Racer.com
Team Penske announced today that Juan Pablo Montoya will join the team in 2014. Montoya will drive the No. 2 Team Penske IndyCar for the full season as he will join Will Power and three-time Indianapolis 500 winner Helio Castroneves in the team’s IZOD IndyCar Series lineup beginning next season.
Montoya, 37, is a native of Colombia and he is one of the most accomplished drivers in the world. His career highlights include race wins in Formula One, NASCAR and the CART Indy Car Series. He 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.
“I am really excited to join this legendary team beginning next year,” said Montoya. “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. I consider it an honor to be offered the opportunity to drive for Team Penske.”
“Juan is a proven winner at all levels of motorsport,” said Roger Penske. “He has won a lot of races and championships and he has an extremely passionate fan base. We look forward to building on his successes together and we believe he will be a great addition to Team Penske.”
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