Montoya? Why not Hinch? Bourdais? Kanaan?

Why Montoya? I wouldn't bet my money on him...not over the rest of the IndyCar field...

IndyCar always seems to be in some sort of state of flux.

But with the recent news of Penske Racing signing Juan Pablo Montoya to it’s 2 car, with no sponsorship at the moment it makes me think of the great drivers who are looking for a ride within the IndyCar ranks.

Three notable drivers, James Hinchcliffe, who has taken home three wins on the season, former Champ Car dominator Sebastien Bourdais and this years Indy 500 winner Tony Kanaan are currently sitting without plans for next season.

Juan Pablo Montoya
Juan Pablo Montoya

Photo by: Motorsport.com / ASP Inc.

What does Montoya bring to the table that current IndyCar drivers Hinchcliffe and Bourdais don’t?

Hinchcliffe’s contract with GoDaddy, one of the most visual sponsors in American motorsports today, ends at the end of this season. During the Toronto Indy weekend GoDaddy CEO Blake Irving hinted that the company really likes ‘Hinch as a spokesperson.

“First of all, James is a guy who personifies small business: Somebody who had an idea, knew what they wanted to do and put their heart and soul into it and then built a career out of a passion and that’s exactly the same thing small businesses do,” Irving told the Globe and Mail.

James Hinchcliffe, Andretti Autosport Chevrolet
James Hinchcliffe, Andretti Autosport Chevrolet

Photo by: Covy Moore

“From my perspective he personifies everything that our customers identify with and the guy is a wonderful spokesman, he very human, has got a great sense of humor, represents our company the way that we like to be represented which is funny, irreverent, we get things done quickly and we have a lot of passion for what we do.”

With that in mind, one can only think that if GoDaddy and Hinchcliffe are able to sign again, that not only would he be a prime driver for be back in an Andretti Autosport car.

Kanaan just won the biggest race of his career, taking home the milk at Indy. But his KV Racing contract is up this year, and he has made it public that he is a free agent, looking in every discipline of racing.

Race winner Tony Kanaan celebrates
Race winner Tony Kanaan celebrates

Photo by: Jay Alley

It’s a sad state when the defending Indy 500 champion can’t secure a spot for next season this late in the season.

Bourdais on the other hand is holding out for that competitive ride, or we hope he is. Bourdais has shown what he can do with a car that is a little bit behind in pace this year.

With a past like Bourdais’, I find it odd that even he can’t find a ride that he is happy with.

Sebastien Bourdais, Dragon Racing Chevrolet
Sebastien Bourdais, Dragon Racing Chevrolet

Photo by: Rebecca McKay

This brings us full circle to Montoya. With three prime drivers looking for a seat in IndyCar, what does Montoya actually bring to the table?

Montoya will undoubtably spend at least half, if not more of next season just getting up to speed. No amount of testing can prepare you for driving under race conditions. Montoya is good, and the equipment is great, but IndyCar is a completely different beast than when he raced American open-wheel eons ago.

Hinchcliffe will bring superior sponsor dollars. Kanaan brings years of experience and an Indy 500 ring and tons of television coverage in that role. Bourdais is super quick and just needs the team to field him a car that can win.

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series INDYCAR
Drivers Juan Pablo Montoya , Tony Kanaan , Sébastien Bourdais , James Hinchcliffe
Teams Andretti Autosport , Dragon Racing , Team Penske
Article type Commentary
Tags bourdais, dragon racing, hinchcliffe, montoya, penske, tony kanaan