The Indy 500 wouldn’t be the Indy 500 without a big presence from Penske. The team has, after all, scored the famous Borg-Warner Trophy more than any other. But next year it will field its biggest lineup yet with five cars – and one of them will be driven by Juan Pablo Montoya.
One of the most versatile and accomplished racing drivers in all of motorsport, Montoya won seven F1 races (including the Monaco Grand Prix), two NASCAR Sprint Cup races, ten Champ Car and five IndyCar Series races – including two wins in the Indianapolis 500.
That record didn’t stop Team Penske from dropping the 41-year-old Colombian from its full time roster for next year in favor of Josef Newgarden. But it kept the door open for Montoya to return for a one-off drive in the headline event, which the driver has now reportedly accepted.
“He told me if he were in our shoes he would have looked at Newgarden too,” team principal Tim Chindric told Autosport. “He didn’t have to like it or agree but he understood.” They’ll be joined by Helio Castroneves, Will Power, and Simon Pagenaud.
That may not be all that Montoya does for Team Penske in the coming years, though. The team already competes in IndyCars, the NASCAR Sprint Cup and Xfinity Series, and Australia’s V8 Supercars. But it’s reportedly considering a return to sports car racing, having most notably run Porsche RS Spyders in the LMP2 class of the American Le Mans Series, winning the class title three years running.
Now it could return to the reconfigured prototype class in the IMSA’s United SportsCar Championship. And while details are still up in the air, Montoya is tipped to play a big part in that effort. He did, after all, win the 24 Hours of Daytona three times, adding to his enviable list of on-track accomplishments.