Juan Pablo Montoya is moving from one racing royal family to (the) another.

The 1999 CART Champion, at the time driving a Chip Ganassi Racing prepared machine has done it all. He has won races on the NASCAR circuit, albeit road course races. He has an Indy 500 championship under his belt and even 7 wins in Formula One.

Arguable, he is one of the most experienced drivers in all of motorsports, and this move helps prove that fact.

Montoya was linked to a potential move to the Furniture Row Racing team, which would have kept him in the stock cars ranks, and out of victory lane.

No doubt he had interest from sports car teams, and I bet some scouts for ailing F1 teams gave a chuckle when his name was mentioned, but the well planned and surprise move he did make was by the far the best option around.

Roger Penske
Roger Penske

Photo by: Richard Sloop

The move is almost unprecedented in the modern era if it weren’t for Ryan Briscoe coming off injuries sustained while driving an IndyCar for Chip Ganassi moving to Penske’s ALMS and IndyCar team up on his return, but what could go wrong with joining one of the few powerhouse teams in racing?

Penske Racing offers him a car that can win, in a series we all know he is passionate about. He has two of the most valuable team mates in all of American open wheel racing.

The only thing that is not going for Montoya in this move is the departure from Chip Ganassi’s racing empire. I would assume that the bridge is smoldering. I think the organization has enough respect for Montoya that it is not an ugly break, but going to the chief rival for Ganassi in IndyCar must sting just a little bit.

It would be nice to see Montoya run the final IndyCar race at Fontana in Oct., just to get folks excited about the move, and maybe spur on some sponsorship for the car he is getting in without corporate dollars. Doubt that will happen as he must be committed to the 42 for the remainder of the year.

Good move Montoya.