Montoya became a free agent in August when last month when his Sprint Cup team owner Chip Ganassi hired t 21-year-old Kyle Larson to pilot the No. 42 Target Chevrolet in 2014. And while there were a number of people who believed Montoya would remain y in NASCAR and “sign with Furniture Row Racing, which qualified for its first Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup with driver Kurt Busch,” in the end he decided he would have a better chance of of winning with Penske’s Formula 1 team.
“If you really dream of an ideal position for a driver, and say you can race for Penske, that would be number one,’’ Montoya, 37, told reporters Monday. “When it was announced I wouldn’t be in the Racing 42 Sprint Cup car, my number one choice was to be in a winning car. I didn’t even have to think about it.’’
In fact, Tim Cindric, Penske Racing President stated the deal to sign Montoya was completed so fast the team doesn’t even have a single sponsor lined up yet for Montoya’s No. 2 Chevrolet.
Note: Born September 20, 1975 in Bogata, Columbia, Juan Pablo Montoya was introduced to the wotld of racing by his (architect) father, Pablo, who taught him the techniques of karting from an early age. At 17 he moved on to the Colombian Formula Renault, where he won 4 of 8 races and had five poles. The same year he also participated in the U.S. Skip Barber driving school, and was considered to be “one of the best pupils to ever come through their school,” according to his instructors.
1993 then found him competing in the Swift GTI Championship,where he won 8 poles, losing only once during those same races.
In addition to his feats driving in bioth NASCAR and Formula 1, Montoya also competed in thee 1995 British Formula Vauxhall Championship, winning three races and finishing third in the championship, as well as winning two 1996 races in the British Formula 3 with Fortec Motorsport.