Montoya made second ARCA start at Iowa in 2006

Montoya made second ARCA start at Iowa in 2006

(TOLEDO, Ohio – July 16, 2015) – The ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards has long been a training ground for drivers hoping to make the jump from one stock car racing series to another. In the fall of 2006, however, a world championship driver named Juan Pablo Montoya made the jump from open wheel racing to stock car racing – and the ARCA Racing Series was one of the stepping stones.

Montoya made his stock car racing debut in the ARCA Racing Series, first testing, and then racing at Talladega Superspeedway in October, 2006.

The Colombian native drove the No. 4 Texaco/Havoline Dodge in the ARCA race after gaining clearance from former employer McLaren to begin his stock car initiation. He finished third in the ARCA race won by Frank Kimmel. Montoya also raced in the first ARCA Racing Series event at Iowa, finishing 24th, on Oct. 15, 2006. Steve Wallace won the Prairie Meadows 250.

Montoya, driving for Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates, eventually made the transition from Formula 1 to NASCAR. His run in NASCAR is over for now and he’s back driving open wheel cars. This week, at Iowa Speedway, Montoya and ARCA will reunite, so to speak, when Montoya drives in the Verizon IndyCar Series at the Newton, Iowa track. The ARCA Racing Series will practice, qualify and race on Friday, July 17. Montoya will practice in the IndyCar Series Friday and race Saturday, July 18.

Montoya won the Indy 500 in May and leads the Verizon IndyCar championship point standings heading into the race at Iowa.

It was announced earlier this week that AutoZone would serve as an associate sponsor on Montoya’s IndyCar this weekend. AutoZone is also the primary sponsor of the ARCA car to be driven by 16-year-old Austin Cindric.

(Photo: Juan Pablo Montoya pictured in his ARCA Racing Series uniform in 2006)