“It’s true,” said Sabates in an exclusive interview on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio’s SiriusXM Speedway. ”We have decided not to renew his contract. It was a difficult decision, but (Montoya) understands the profession, and that you’ve got to move on in life sometimes.
“It’s frustrating for everybody when you know you’ve got good equipment, (but) you can’t seem to put everything together,” he said. “You can’t point a finger at one person. We win as a team and we lose as a team. We’ve had a lot of things happen to us -- last year and this year -- that weren’t anybody’s fault. But sometimes you have to make a change, hoping that maybe your bad luck will go away.
“The 42 team will be here next year, the year after and the year after. That car is not going anywhere.”
|Montoya out at season's end|
Sabates said the No. 42 Chevy will compete with a new driver in 2014. While youngster Kyle Larson has been competing on the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series for Turner Scott Motorsports under a Ganassi developmental contract, he insisted no decision has been made on a replacement for Montoya.
“There are a lot of options out there,” said Sabates. “It’s not just one person, and we’re going to keep all our options open. We don’t know what we’re going to do yet. We don’t know which drivers are going to be available at the end of the season. A good driver could be available that (would be) a good fit for our organization.
“Kyle Larson is one of the prospects, but he’s one of several.”
Sabates hinted that Montoya’s ouster from Ganassi’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series lineup does not necessarily mean an end to his association with the team.
“We are still hoping to get some things worked out with Juan,” said Sabates. While declining to comment specifically on whether Montoya might compete for the team in the GRAND AM Rolex Sports Car Series or even return to the IZOD Indy Car ranks, he said, “we hope he will still be in the picture.”
Montoya joined Ganassi Racing for a second stint in 2006 after leaving the Formula One circuit. He previously won both the 1999 CART championship and 2000 Indianapolis 500 with Ganassi. He has just two wins in 239 career Sprint Cup Series starts, with one victory in 23 Nationwide Series events.
He finished eighth in the 2009 Sprint Cup championship chase – his third full season in Cup – but has not finish better than 17th since then. He was 21st in championship points in 2011, 22nd last season and currently ranks 22nd in points with four races remaining until the 2013 Chase. His teammate, Jamie McMurray, is currently 15th.