By Luis Torres, Staff Writer
Two-time Indianapolis 500 winner Juan Pablo Montoya will return with Arrow McLaren SP for the Month of May. The team announced Tuesday morning that Montoya will pilot the Mission Foods Chevrolet in both the GMR Grand Prix and 106th Indy 500.
Last year, Montoya made two NTT IndyCar Series starts with the team, both taking place during the Month of May at Indianapolis. Although he finished 21st, a lap behind winner Rinus VeeKay in the grand prix, Montoya had a strong turnaround in the 500 where he crossed the line in ninth.
Outside of a last-place finish in 2016, Montoya has finished in the top-10 in each of his Indy 500 starts. He’ll look to join the three-time winners club and bring the team its biggest triumph.
“I’m excited to return to Indianapolis with Arrow McLaren SP and Mission, to once again compete in a race that holds a special place in my heart – the Indianapolis 500,” said Montoya. “I had a great experience with the team last year and look forward to building on the progress we made in 2021. I think we have a real shot at competing at the front of the field and challenging for the win.”
McLaren Racing CEO Zak Brown is delighted to have Montoya back with the team as he’ll again be teammates with both Pato O’Ward and Felix Rosenqvist.
“Juan Pablo is an institution in motorsport, with two Indianapolis 500 victories and an impressive Formula 1 career with multiple wins for McLaren,” said Brown. “He adds experience that really benefits our team, giving us another driver with the potential to win anytime he steps into the car.”
As for the car number, Montoya’s entry will bear the No. 6, a number with significance to the organization. When the Month of May arrives, it’ll mark the first time since 2018 the number will appear in a car that’s co-owned by Sam Schmidt.
That year, it was driven by Robert Wickens until he was injured at Pocono. After withdrawing the car at Gateway, Carlos Munoz ended up driving the No. 6 machine for the final two races at Portland and Sonoma.
Live coverage of the GMR Grand Prix begins Saturday, May 14 at 3:00 p.m. ET on NBC. The 106th Indianapolis 500 will air Sunday, May 29 at 11:00 a.m. ET, also on NBC. Montoya will look to become the first driver since Al Unser to win for three different teams (Parnelli Jones, Chaparral Racing and Team Penske) in the Indy 500.