Indianapolis, IN- Yesterday, Team Penske made the most shocking news of the 2014 Izod IndyCar Series silly season.
Most people thought Columbian Juan Pablo Montoya would stay in NASCAR after turning down the Andretti Autosport ride this past weekend.
It was widely speculated that Montoya would join Furniture Row Racing replacing Kurt Busch as the 2004 NASCAR Sprint Cup champion is joining Stewart/Haas Racing next year.
But Penske swooped in and stole him away from Andretti and Chip Ganassi Racing as it was rumored he could return to a fourth IndyCar team with Ganassi next year. No one even spoke of him landing at Penske.
That is a great move for both sides as this could be a potential Indy 500 winning and championship caliber team. Montoya will pilot the No. 2 Chevrolet previously driven by A.J. Allmendinger this year. Allmendinger qualified fifth and finished seventh in his rookie start in this past May’s Indy 500.
This move was to get Penske back in victory lane at Indy again. They’ve been shut out since 2009 and only have two 500 victories since 2006. Montoya is 1-for-1 at Indy in IndyCar competition and has been dominant at the track for in the Brickyard 400 despite not winning.
“I’ve had the opportunity to drive for some of the best racing teams in the world, and I’ve always admired Roger Penske and his organization,” Montoya said in a statement issued by Penske Racing. “I consider it an honor to be offered the opportunity to drive for Team Penske.”
Penske is equally excited.
“Juan is a proven winner at all levels of motor sport,” Roger Penske said. ”He’s 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.”
This is a huge win for IndyCar as it’s another proven champion added to the series.
Eric Smith is the Lead Motorsports Writer for Race Review Online. Follow him on Twitter @Ericsportsguru
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