|Sep, 20, 1975||5'7"||TBA|
|Bogota, Colombia||175 lbs||Dallara/Chevrolet|
|Miami, FL||Ron Ruzewski|
Juan Pablo Montoya jumped at the opportunity to return to open-wheel racing in 2014 as the driver of the No. 2 Dallara/Chevrolet for Team Penske the IndyCar Series. After all, driving for Roger Penske had been Montoya's dream since he began racing go-karts as a child in Bogota, Columbia.
If Montoya's return to his IndyCar roots goes as planned, however, the real winners in the new partnership could be Team Penske and racing fans around the world.
Few drivers in motorsports history can match the credentials of Montoya. He is the only driver to win a CART Series title, the Indianapolis 500 and the 24 Hours of Daytona, all in his first attempt. He is also a former winner of one of the most prestigious races in the world: the Monaco Grand Prix.
Legendary racers Mario Andretti and Dan Gurney are the only other drivers besides Montoya that can boast wins in Formula One (F1), CART/IndyCar and NASCAR. As the 38-year-old Montoya re-acclimates himself back to IndyCar racing in 2014, he has an opportunity to add to his impressive racing resume and to Team Penske's long legacy of success.
Montoya was taught the art of motorsports at an early age by his father, Pablo. He quickly began to show promise as he captured four consecutive Colombian National Carting Championships from 1981-1984. After several successful seasons in the Columbia Formula Renault series, Montoya moved to Europe to pursue his dream of competing in F1. In 1997 he finished second in the Formula 3000 series and was signed to a contract as a test driver for the Williams F1 team.
After capturing the Formula 3000 title in 1998, Montoya made the move to CART for the 1999 season. In a remarkable rookie season, Montoya became the youngest champion in the history of CART at the age of 24. He edged out Dario Franchitti for the title after the two racers posted the same number of championship points but Montoya had the advantage producing seven victories on the year to Franchitti's three. In addition to the CART title, he was also named series Rookie of the Year. Montoya elected to remain in the United States to compete in CART again during the 2000 season. In the only IndyCar Series start of his career, the 2000 Indianapolis 500, Montoya again wowed the motorsports world by winning the "Greatest Spectacle in Racing"? in his first attempt. He closed that chapter of his American open-wheel racing career with 11 wins and 14 podium finishes in 41 career starts.
Determined to fulfill his dream of competing in F1, Montoya joined the Williams BMW team in 2001. He earned a win at Monza in his rookie season as he continued to hone his skills. In 2003, Montoya had a stellar season as he won the Monaco Grand Prix, one of the world's crown jewel races, as he produced with two victories and a third-place finish in the series standing. He continued his drive with Williams BMW through 2004 before moving over to the McLaren-Mercedes team for the 2005 and 2006 seasons. During his F1 career, Montoya amassed seven victories and 30 podium finishes in 94 starts.
It was announced late in the 2006 season that Montoya would compete in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series beginning in 2007. During his first year back racing in the U.S., Montoya produced wins in the Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona in the GRAND-AM Sports Car Series, the NASCAR Nationwide Series and the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) on his way to Rookie of the Year Honors in NSCS competition. In 2008 he again visited Victory Lane in the 24 Hours of Daytona to become the first driver to win the prestigious race in his first two starts.
The 2009 season proved to be Montoya's most successful NSCS campaign. After becoming the first foreign-born driver, the first Indianapolis 500 champion and the first former F1 driver to qualify for NASCAR's Chase for the Championship, Montoya finished the season in a respectable eight-place in the series standings. Montoya earned two Cup Series victories in his career (Sonoma Raceway in 2007 and Watkins Glen in 2010), with 24 top-five finishes, 59 top-10 results and nine pole positions in 253 starts over seven season. He remains the only foreign-born driver to win multiple races in NASCAR's premiere series.
Toward the end of the 2013 NASCAR season, the opportunity to join the most successful team in the history of North American open-wheel racing presented itself to Montoya and he wasted no time in deciding to return to IndyCar. Team Penske announced in September that Montoya would join its ranks in 2014 and work with established stars Helio Castroneves and Will Power to form a powerful three-car combination.
As the latest chapter in Montoya's illustrious career is set to begin, he is full of the drive and determination that's helped him rise to the top of his profession.
"I came to Team Penske to race for Roger Penske and to drive race-winning cars," said Montoya. "The chance to work with Will Power and Helio Castroneves, two of the quickest drivers in the sport, made it a 'no-brainer.' The possibilities for this team are tremendous. I'm excited to be a part of it."
2013 - Raced final season of NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) competition. Finished the season with four top-five finishes and eight top-10 results for Earnhardt Ganassi Racing. Finished 21st in the series standings. Won third Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona in the NASCAR GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series (NGRSCS) at Daytona International Speedway.
2012 - Scored back-to-back pole positions at Pocono Raceway and Watkins Glen International (WGI) in August. Finished 22nd in the NSCS standings. Competed in two GRAND-AM Series races – the Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona and the Brickyard Grand Prix at Indianapolis Motor Speedway – as he finished fourth in both events.
2011 - Produced two top-five finishes and eight top-10 results in NSCS competition. Won pole positions at Auto Club Speedway in March and Richmond International Raceway in April. Finished 21st in the series standings. Scored a second-place finish in the Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona GRAND-AM Series race.
2010 - Led 74 of 90 laps at Watkins Glen International in August to score his second-career Cup Series victory, becoming the first foreign-born driver to win multiple NSCS races. Won pole positions at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in June, Indianapolis Motor Speedway in July and Talladega Superspeedway in October. Finished the season 17th in the series standings with six top-five finishes and 14 top-10 results.
2009 - Became the first foreign-born driver, first former Formula One (F1) driver and first Indianapolis 500 champion to qualify for NASCAR’s Chase for the Championship. Won first career Cup Series pole position at Talladega in April. Finished eighth in the series standings with seven top-five and 18 top-10 finishes.
2008 - Became the first driver in history to win the Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona in his first two starts. Amassed two top-five finishes and three top-10 finishes in NSCS competition.
2007 - Visited Victory Lane in three different series. Scored his first NSCS win at Sonoma Raceway in June. Won his first Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona in his first start in the prestigious sports car endurance race. Won his first NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez in Mexico City in his seventh career start in the series. Won NSCS Rookie of the Year honors and finished 20th in points with one win, three top-five finishes and six top-10 results.
2006 - Competed for the McLaren Mercedes team in his final season of Formula One (F1) competition. Finished the season with two podium results. Announced his move to NASCAR with Ganassi Racing at U.S. Grand Prix weekend on July 9. Made two Automobile Racing Club of America (ARCA) starts at Talladega Superspeedway and Iowa Speedway in October, finishing second and 24th, respectively.
2005 - Joined the McLaren Mercedes in F1. Earned his first win for McLaren in the British Grand Prix at Silverstone Circuit. Went on to pick up wins in the Italian Grand Prix at Monza and the Grand Prix of Brazil at Interlagos.
2004 - Raced his final season with Williams BMW team. Scored a victory in the final race of the season in the Grand Prix of Brazil at Interlagos before moving over to the McLaren team.
2003 - Helped design the 2003 Williams F1 chassis to better suit his driving style. He recorded victories at the Monaco Grand Prix – one of the races in the Triple Crown of Motorsports – and the German Grand Prix. Finished the year with nine podiums and a third-place finish in the final series standings.
2002 - Raced second full season in F1 for the Williams team. Won seven pole positions and posted the fastest qualifying lap in F1 history, which he turned during qualifying for the Italian Grand Prix at Monza.
2001 - Made F1 debut at the Australian Grand Prix as he qualified 11th and finished fifth. Won first F1 race on September 16 in the Italian Grand Prix at Monza. Finished the season with three pole positions and four podium finishes.
2000 - Competed in his final season in the CART Series before moving to F1. Won the Indianapolis 500 in his first IndyCar Series start. Became the first driver in 34 years to win the Indy 500 in their first career start in the legendary race. Also produced wins at the Milwaukee Mile, Michigan International Speedway and Gateway International Raceway in CART competition.
1999 - Made his American motorsports series debut with first season in CART. Earned seven wins for Ganassi Racing on his way to becoming the youngest champion in CART history at the age of 24. Also won Rookie of the Year honors.
1997 - 1998 - Raced in the Formula 3000 series while also becoming an F1 test driver for the Williams BMW team. Won the 1998 Formula 3000 championship after a close battle with Nick Heidfeld. Became the first Formula 3000 driver to lap the entire field in the Pau Grand Prix in 1998.
Early Career - Four-time Columbian National Karting Champion from 1981-84. Raced in Junior World Cup Go-Karting Championship in 1990, alongside current Team Penske teammate Helio Castroneves. Hailed as one of the best pupils ever to complete the U.S. Skip Barber Driving School in 1992. Graduated from Colegio San Tarsicio in Bogota in 1994. Competed in the 1995 British Formula Vauxhall Championship where he finished third in the standings. Finished fifth in the 1996 British Formula 3 Series.
Fan Cam - Carrera de Estrellas - Highlights from the Carrera de Estrellas karting event in Medellín, Colombia. Helio Castroneves and GP2 Series racer Julian Leal won, with Joey Logano also participating. Event proceeds went to the Montoya’s Formula Smiles Foundation which helps thousands of underprivileged children in Colombia by improving their quality of life through education and sports.