Former Nascar driver Juan Pablo Montoya has been “let go” by NASCAR team Earnhardt Ganassi, NASCAR said Wednesday.
He was informed on Monday that his contract with Earnhardt Ganassi Racing (EGR) would not be renewed at the end of the season. So far neither the racing team nor Montoya have issued any comments or statements regarding the decision.
The Bogota born Montoya left Formula One racing in 2007 to start a career in NASCAR. He had recently posted on twitter saying that he was pleased with his performance after finishing a race in fifth place. However, it seems that after only collecting two big wins in six years his team has decided it is time for a change.
Montoya started his career in Formula One in 2003, racing for BMW Williams, before going on to drive for McLaren in 2005. He won a string of Grand Prix events, including the Monaco and Brazilian races. In his first year with McLaren he finished fourth in the overall standings.
The initial announcement in 2006 that he would be racing in NASCAR was met with some surprise but Montoya went on to become the first F1 driver to join the NASCAR ranks, driving the no. 42 Dodge for team Chip Ganassi.
After some initial success however, Montoya’s racing fortunes have ebbed away. In the last two seasons he has finished 21st and 22nd respectively and is currently ranked 22nd in points, despite a fifth place finish on Sunday.
According to NASCAR a minority share holder in EGR, Felix Sabates, confirmed the move on Tuesday. He told reporters that “it’s frustrating for everybody […] you can’t ever point a finger at one person, two persons or three persons, because we win as a team and lose as a team. And we’ve had a lot of things happen to us this year and last year that wasn’t anybody’s fault, but it happens, and sometimes you have to make a change and hopefully you have that bad luck go away.”
Montoya will continue to be a part of the team until 2014 when the season ends; it is as yet unknown as to where his career will now take him.
- Juan Pablo Montoya (official site)
- Juan Pablo Montoya no seguirá con el equipo Ganassi el próximo año (Radio Caracol)
- MONTOYA OUT OF NO. 42 CAR AT SEASON’S END (NASCAR website)