Montoya expects to re-sign with Earnhardt-Ganassi

Jay Hart
Yahoo! SportsJune 24, 2011

Juan Pablo Montoya expects to re-sign with Earnhardt-Ganassi Racing in the very near future.

"We're pretty close," Montoya said Friday at Infineon Raceway. "I think we're pretty close, yeah."

Prior to the season, Montoya said he hoped to stick with EGR and particularly team owner Chip Ganassi, the man who helped bring him to the Sprint Cup Series in 2007. There was talk that Red Bull Racing was courting Montoya, but that's no longer an option after Monday's announcement that RBR is leaving the sport at the end of the 2011 season.

In 4½ seasons at the Cup level, Montoya has two wins – both on road courses – and qualified for the Chase once – in 2009.

Coming into this season, expectations were high that he would finally get a win on an oval and make the Chase for a second time. While he's shown the ability to lead laps on an oval track, he's still yet to win, and he faces an uphill battle in his effort to make the Chase. He's currently 15th in the standings, 46 points out of 10th place.

Qualifying via the wild card is still a possibility, especially with both road-course races, including Sunday's Toyota/Save Mart 350, still to come.

"[Infineon] is a place I think we are in a really good position to either get a win or run up front at least and get a lot of points," Montoya said. "I think we can still make the Chase by being in the top 10. We have a car that is capable of doing that."

Montoya added that he thinks one win will be enough to grab the final wild-card spot.

"I think if you are in the top 15 or 16 in points and you get a win, you are going to be in the Chase," he said. "I think the guys that got more wins are outside looking in – they are going to keep running better and push some people out of the points."