Juan Pablo Montoya is returning to NASCAR.
No, he's not bailing on his full-time ride in the IndyCar Series, but the former Sprint Cup Series driver is returning for two races with Team Penske in 2014. Montoya will drive a third Penske car as a teammate to Brad Keselowski and Joey Logano at Michigan and Indianapolis.
“It will be fun to get back behind the wheel of the Cup car,” Montoya said in a statement. “It’s hard to believe, but Roger Penske has never won the Brickyard 400. I think that Brad, Joey and I will give Roger (Penske) and Team Penske a great opportunity to check that off the list and we should be strong at Michigan as well.”
Penske has won the Indianapolis 500 15 times.
Montoya has had success in the Cup Series at Indianapolis before. He was strong at the 2009 and 2010 Brickyard 400s, but saw his chances for a win slip away both times. In 2009 he led 116 laps before speeding on pit road and finishing 11th. In 2010 he started on the pole and led 86 laps but crashed and finished 32nd.
Both of those starts were with Chip Ganassi, the owner he drove for when he won the 2000 Indianapolis 500. After a stint in Formula 1, Montoya returned to the U.S. and made his first foray into NASCAR with Ganassi in 2006. He drove for Ganassi until the end of last season, when the team announced that Kyle Larson would take over the No. 42 car.
Montoya then moved to Team Penske, Ganassi's main rival in the IndyCar Series. Through three IndyCar races, Montoya has shown speed. He was running fourth in Sunday's race at Barber Motorsports Park before spinning on a damp track and finishing 21st. He's currently 11th in the points standings.
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