Earnhardt Ganassi Racing co-owner Felix Sabates confirmed a report earlier this morning that Juan Pablo Montoya will not be back at EGR in the #42 Target Chevrolet for the 2014 season.
Sabates, who spoke to Sirius XM about the situation, said that the team is still working with Montoya in order to try and find him another driving role within the organization, but from the looks of it Montoya’s Cup run may be in jeopardy.
The 2000 Indianapolis 500 winner had a modest amount of success driving the #42 car, recording 2 wins with 22 top fives in almost eight seasons of action. Unfortunately, Montoya struggled to ever piece together a solid season, shown by his lone Chase for the Cup appearance back in 2009 (he finished 8th). Montoya currently sits in 22nd in the points with just three top fives on the season.
With Montoya out of the picture, the question is who Earnhardt Ganassi Racing, who have a good deal of success in the past, will turn to now. Although it is not very clear who the team is planning on targeting, three viable options to drive the Target Chevy in 2013 are:
Kyle Larson – A development driver for EGR, the twenty one year old has received rave reviews this year from some of the biggest names in NASCAR (including two time Cup champ Tony Stewart). Although he is still a very young driver and has yet to make a Cup start, it is highly possible that the team decides to greenlight the Cup Series’ “Next Big Thing” and silently hope he lives up to it.
Kurt Busch – Arguably the most coveted driver available, Busch has had a fantastic season running for single team Furniture Row Racing, as the Las Vegas native currently sits eleventh in points and has been in the hunt for a win in the majority of races this year. Rumored to be a candidate at Richard Childress Racing with Kevin Harvick’s departure, it appears that Busch is in the driver’s seat in regards to deciding which team he will be a part of in the upcoming season.
Ryan Newman – The overlooked driver at Stewart-Haas, the “Rocketman” has put up a solid 2013 campaign, recording one victory at the Brickyard and sitting 14th in points with a great opportunity to sneak into the Chase. Now thirty-five years old, Newman is no longer one of the young guns in the sport, but he is still highly capable of competing with the best of the best each Sunday.
Who do you think should replace Montoyta in the #42? Leave a comment and share your opinion