Juan Pablo Montoya has confirmed that he will remain with Team Penske in 2017. The Colombian, who was replaced in the No.2 Chevrolet by Josef Newgarden at the end of 2016 will compete in the 101st running of the Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil.
Montoya who attended the Mexican Grand Prix at the weekend confirmed the news to Motorsport.com saying that remaining with Penske was the best opportunity to win the Indianapolis 500.
Montoya had been linked with several teams in recent weeks including a return to Chip Ganassi Racing, moving to Ed Carpenter Racing, going to AJ Foyt Racing or even Andretti Autosport. Montoya, who won the season opening Firestone Grand Prix of St Petersburg and went on to finish the 2016 Verizon IndyCar Series season in eighth place on 433 points tied with Charlie Kimball.
Montoya stated over the weekend that by doing the schedule he has planned with Penske it will allow him to focus on his son Sebastian’s karting career.
Team Penske president Tim Cindric confirmed that they had offered Juan the Indy 500 drive when they confirmed Josef Newgarden and that they time frame for a decision on that was the end of October.
The deal will see Montoya race in a fifth Team Penske Chevrolet alongside his team mate’s reigning Verizon IndyCar Series champion Simon Pagenaud, Will Power, Helio Castroneves and Josef Newgarden for the month of May.
The news is a shot in the arm for Newgarden who will now be able to drawn on the experience of multiple Indianapolis 500 winners next season.
Cindric has also revealed that Montoya is in line for Penske’s sports car programme if the organisation go down that route.