With Montoya leaving EGR after this season, speculation for the replacement has swirled
Juan Pablo Montoya’s future in NASCAR may be in limbo, but the status of the team he’s departing will be known soon enough.
Earnhardt Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates has scheduled a news conference Friday afternoon at Atlanta Motor Speedway to announce the driver of the No. 42 Target Chevrolet in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in 2014. Online users can watch the news conference live starting at 2:35 p.m. ET at NASCAR.com/presspass.
EGR announced Aug. 13 that Montoya, a former Indianapolis 500 winner and Formula One driver, would be leaving the No. 42 team at year’s end. The 37-year-old Colombian driver is currently in his seventh full season with team owner Chip Ganassi, netting two Sprint Cup victories -- both on road courses -- over that span.
Montoya currently ranks 21st in the Sprint Cup standings with four top-five finishes. Twice this season, Montoya has been leading with 10 laps remaining only to come up short. He pitted out of the lead in April at Richmond during a late caution with four laps left in regulation, and was passed by Tony Stewart at Dover in June with three laps remaining.
Speculation has swirled around possible replacement drivers for the Earnhardt Ganassi seat. Candidates include Ryan Newman, out at the end of the season at Stewart-Haas Racing, and 21-year-old prodigy Kyle Larson, currently under contract to EGR as a developmental driver full time for Turner Scott Motorsports in the NASCAR Nationwide Series.
Sabates, the team’s founder and now a minority partner, said Aug. 13 when the move was announced that it was time to make a change. He also told SiriusXM NASCAR Radio that several potential replacements were in the mix.
"There's a lot of options out there," Sabates told the satellite radio station. "There's just not one person, and we're going to keep all our options open. That's the truth. We don't know ourselves what we're going to do. You've got several drivers out there, good drivers, that (will) be available that would fit our organization. Kyle Larson is one of the prospects, but he's one of several."
You can watch a live stream of Earnhardt Ganassi Racing's announcement at Atlanta Motor Speedway on Friday at 2:35 p.m. ET.