BROOKLYN, Mich. — No matter what kind of car he’s in next year, Juan Pablo Montoya is eager to start winning again.
That was the message the 37-year-old driver repeated throughout a brief session with reporters Friday at Michigan International Speedway. Montoya won’t be back with longtime team owner Chip Ganassi for an eighth NASCAR season, and the Colombian driver’s future is very much up in the air.
Montoya wasn’t tipping his hand Friday.
“I’ve talked to a lot of people – put it that way,” he said. “I don’t want to be specific about anybody. I know some people are interested.”
Montoya’s goal is pretty simple.
“The only thing I said already is, I want to be in a winning car,” he said. “Don’t know what I’m going to do, but I want to make sure I’m in a winning car.”
Montoya is one of the world’s most decorated drivers, with an Indianapolis 500 victory and wins in Formula One, NASCAR and the Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona. But his results in NASCAR have been underwhelming. He has two wins in 239 career starts and his best season finish was eighth in 2009.
Montoya’s latest stint with Ganassi began in 2006, when he left Formula One for NASCAR. They also teamed up to win the 1999 CART championship and 2000 Indianapolis 500 before Montoya moved to F1.
RECOVERY TIME: Stewart-Haas Racing’s competition director doesn’t expect Tony Stewart back for at least another month.
Stewart continues to recover from a broken right leg from a sprint car crash Aug. 5 at Southern Iowa Speedway. He was released from the hospital last weekend.
Austin Dillon is racing in Stewart’s No. 14 Chevrolet in the Sprint Cup Series at Michigan International Speedway this week. Greg Zipadelli, competition director at SHR, said Friday he’s working under the assumption that Stewart is out for the next month – or longer.
Zipadelli says he’s looking at two drivers he would probably use going forward, with Dillon as one of those options.