, who won the Formula 1 drivers' championship in 1997, will return to NASCAR with Penske Racing for two races in 2012.
Shocked? Well, you should be.
Villeneuve wound up with the best time at the NAPA Auto Parts 200 in Montreal last summer after a solid performance during the qualifying session. He got off to a good start and stayed in first place for a while, but when the race was interrupted, he reacted too late to the green flag and got schooled like a rookie.
Moments later, Villeneuve didn't slow down enough to complete the first turn and went off the track. And instead of safely heading straight, he abruptly steered left and slammed into Marcos Ambrose. Day over.
''I hit the snooze,'' he confessed.
|Photo: Sébastien D'Amour
How could he be so distracted behind the wheel of the best car from the best team? What exactly was going through his mind? That was inexcusable.
Naturally, I assumed that Villeneuve had burned his bridges with Penske. Yet here he is again. But why?
It looks like Penske has forgotten all about that awful day and wants him to drive their #22 Dodge Challenger not once but twice – at Road America in June and at Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve in August.
The organizers of the Montreal race must be thrilled. Villeneuve will sell tons of tickets.
Despite his foolishness and quirky character, JV remains a big fan favourite. You should have heard the crowd going wild when he earned the pole position last year.
Let's just hope he will stay focused and won't ''hit the snooze'' again!