July 29, 2012; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Earnhardt Ganassi co-owner Chip Ganassi watches during the Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Mandatory credit: Michael Hickey-USA TODAY Sports

Who will replace Juan Pablo Montoya at Earnhardt-Ganassi Racing?

Earlier this week, it was reported that highly opinionated (and some might say slightly reckless) driver Juan Pablo Montoya will be let go from Earnhardt-Ganassi Racing.

Per ESPN:

The decision not to re-sign Juan Pablo Montoya for the 2014 Sprint Cup season basically came down to two things for Earnhardt Ganassi Racing owner Chip Ganassi.

Results.

The future.

The results, or lack of results, speak volumes. Since making the Chase in 2009, Montoya has won once — in 2010 at Watkins Glen — and finished no better than 17th in points.

While Montoya will finish out the season under the guidance of EGR, his seventh in Nascar, he’ll be looking for employment elsewhere next season.

So will Earnhardt-Ganassi who reportedly has interest in a handful of drivers they’d like to bring on-board to take Montoya’s place. Who exactly will jump ship though?

Atop the list might be Ryan Newman, who already is aware his days with Stewart-Haas racing are numbered. Unfortunately for EGR, Newman also has interest from Richard Childress Racing and they may be offering a longer, more financially stable deal to Newman.

From a pure talent standpoint, Kurt Busch also makes sense, though the volatile other Busch has been doing well with Furniture Row – though he may decide the brighter lights of Earnhardt-Ganassi are more welcoming than the shadow ridden Furniture Row Racing.

Another possible (and maybe best) option would be to bring up Kyle Larson, who already has a long term deal with Ganassi. He might not (read: most likely isn’t) ready at this point, but youth in Nascar has won out before and it could be something EGR would consider.

Of course, if they want to go with Lawson but don’t feel he’s ready and needs a season or two of experience, there’s always the reliable Mark Martin who will be on his way out at Michael Waldtrip Racing. Of course, Martin isn’t somebody who races a full schedule, but he is a name driver who’ll bring in sponsorships and would bridge the gap they need to bring in Lawson for 2015 and beyond.

Tags: Juan Pablo Montoya Kurt Busch Kyle Larson Mark Martin NASCAR Ryan Newman

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