What a strange turn of events in NASCAR

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And speaking of jobs, there’s really only one seat open right now _ the Furniture Row vacancy that Montoya turned down.

Sometime after Richmond, Penske Racing picked up the phone and lured Montoya back to IndyCar. Maybe they wanted the former Indianapolis 500 winner to complement their open-wheel organization, or maybe the Penske folks wanted to clear the path to Colorado for longtime company man Sam Hornish Jr.

Currently leading the Nationwide championship race, Hornish is at another crossroads in his career. Penske is full at the Cup level with Keselowski and Logano, and it appears the team wants Hornish’s Nationwide seat for 19-year-old Ryan Blaney, who grabbed his first career victory Saturday night at Kentucky.

Whatever Penske’s motives were for hiring Montoya, Furniture Row didn’t seem to have an overwhelming interest in Hornish and headed back to the drawing board last week with designs on hiring a young driver. It’s the same path Harry Scott, the new owner of Phoenix Racing, and Brandon Davis, owner of Swan Racing, want to go with their teams.

That doesn’t leave much hope for 46-year-old Jeff Burton, a 21-race winner, or former Cup champion Bobby Labonte, who turned 49 this year.

Both are looking for jobs. They may soon be joined by Truex and Hornish _ and everyone is left speculating how this will all shake out.

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