Cindric on Montoya’s Penske future: “The ball’s in his court”

Penske Racing president Tim Cindric has confirmed that Juan Pablo Montoya still has an offer to remain with the team but that the Colombian is seeking a full-time ride elsewhere.

Cindric on Montoya’s Penske future: “The ball’s in his court”
Tim Cindric
Juan Pablo Montoya, Team Penske Chevrolet
Bodywork for Juan Pablo Montoya, Team Penske Chevrolet
2015 Indy 500 winning owner Roger Penske and Winning Driver Juan Pablo Montoya with the Borg-Warner Trophy

In a media teleconference with Montoya’s replacement in the #2 Penske-Chevrolet, Josef Newgarden, Cindric said of Montoya’s future prospects with the team: “It’s still something we’re working through. We sat down with Juan in Toronto [mid-July] and said we wouldn’t make any decisions moving forward until the end of the season, and we wanted to understand what our options were.

“We were very upfront about that whole situation, and all along we’ve said that we would like him to be part of our team in the future. That doesn’t necessarily mean driving our #2 car full-time. We talked to him about the fact we’ve got a seat for him at Indy if he wants one, and if we do a sportscar program, we want him to be involved in it.

“At that point in time, he said ‘I at least want to drive another season in IndyCar. I don’t want this to be my last season. If it had been last year [when Montoya won the Indy 500 and finished runner-up in the championship] it would have been a little easier to take. But I feel like I have some unfinished business.’

“So we agreed to explore different options. So what he’s trying to do now is explore if there’s a full-season ride available. We’ve said our offer is open to him, and we’d love for him to continue with our team. It’s just something we needed to decide – whether we were going to position ourselves to [run Montoya] for another year and miss our opportunity to have Josef as part of our team for the future.

“It was a real difficult decision for us because Juan’s really been a big part of our success. Despite where he finished this year [eighth in the championship with one win], he really pushed our guys very hard, he’s been a great guy to work with, and we’d love to continue working with him in the future.

“So really the ball’s in his court. It’s not the first choice for him, but we’d like to continue some association if it makes sense for him.”

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