Juan Pablo Montoya turns down Andretti Autosport IndyCar offer

Chris Trotman

The 1999 CART Champion and 2000 Indianapolis 500 winner will not compete in the IndyCar Series next season and has turned his full attention towards securing a ride in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.

Juan Pablo Montoya has notified Andretti Autosport that he will not compete for the team in the IZOD IndyCar Series next season, according to Marshall Pruett of RACER Magazine.

Montoya had been a free agent since it was announced that he would not return to Earnhardt Ganassi Racing at the end of the season in the Sprint Cup Series and had been looking at numerous options across several different tours.

Andretti had made significant gains in trying to find a sponsorship package for the 1999 CART Champion and 2000 Indianapolis 500 winner and had received commitments for over 50 percent of the funding required to run the veteran racer according to an earlier report on RACER.

With Kurt Busch set to leave Furniture Row Racing and Ryan Newman joining Richard Childress Racing, Silly Season has now left open the possibility that Montoya could remain in NASCAR, joining the Denver Based Furniture Row operation next season.

A report first published by Autoweek reported that Montoya and Furniture Row had discussed a deal last weekend at Richmond. The team's general manager has even said that a decision could be announced as early as next weekend at the Sprint Cup event at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.

Montoya has made himself a valuable option for interested Sprint Cup teams over the past several weeks, scoring two top-10s over his last three races and qualifying third for Sunday's GEICO 400 Sprint Cup race at the Chicagoland Speedway.

Andretti can now proceed with trying to finalize a contract extension with Go Daddy for driver James Hinchcliffe or find a sponsorship package for Carlos Munoz who has impressed in the Indy Lights Series this year while also finishing second in the Indianapolis 500 in a one-off for the team.

Nationwide Series rookie Kyle Larson has been announced as Montoya's replacement at Earnhardt Ganassi.

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