JUAN PABLO MONTOYA, NO. 42 TARGET CHEVROLET met with media and discussed racing at Bristol, the season to-date, F-1 on-track issues compared to NASCAR, the difference between Martinsville and Bristol, and more. HOW IS YOUR CAR? "I think we've...
JUAN PABLO MONTOYA, NO. 42 TARGET CHEVROLET met with media and discussed racing at Bristol, the season to-date, F-1 on-track issues compared to NASCAR, the difference between Martinsville and Bristol, and more.
HOW IS YOUR CAR? "I think we've got a pretty good car. In qualifying I was a little disappointed. We're sixth. That it great, but I think there was more in the car. I got a little too high in (turns) 3 and 4 but it's okay. I think our Target Chevy is pretty good. We've had two good finishes and should have four, but we only got two. That is good. It is what it is. I'm just going to come here and finish and take some points and move on."
DO YOU NOTICE THE WALL BEING NARROWER WITH THE SAFER BARRIER? IS THAT A PROBLEM? "I'll tell you the truth, the race line I run, not really. I don't know. I'm never that that close to the wall. You know when you notice is when you get sideways you have a lot less room. Before, you would get sideways and you could stay with it and drift all the way up. But now if you do that you're going to hit the fence. So it's a little different. You still drive it as far as you can."
AFTER THE POINTS DAY YOU HAD IN ATLANTA, DO YOU FEEL BETTER ABOUT WHERE YOU ARE NOW? YOU HAVE RUN WELL BUT HAVEN'T HAD THE FINISHES. FINALLY IN ATLANTA YOU GOT THE FINISH "Yeah, it's kind of crazy. You look at California where we led for a while. We had a car for a top 5 (finish) easily and I think at Vegas we had a top 10 car. And neither of those; you know, we blow up and we got caught up with Jamie (McMurray) in a wreck. And that's it. It's part of racing and if you knew what was going to happen then you wouldn't come. It's part of racing. It's what happens and you just deal with it when it comes."
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN BRISTOL AND MARTINSVILLE? "It's hard. There is no comparison. Both are short tracks but this is really fast. You've got to carry a lot of speed through the corners, where at the other one (Martinsville) you've really got to break. You're looking for completely different things out of the car."
YOU RUN WELL AT TEXAS. WHAT ARE YOUR FEELINGS ABOUT GOING THERE NOW HAVING RUN THERE A FEW TIMES? "It's going to be interesting. It's going to be the first 1.5-mile on a spoiler. That is going to make it quite challenging for everybody to see how the car changes. I don't think it will be that different, but it will be fun I think."
WILL THE TEST AT CHARLOTTE THIS WEEK GET EVERYBODY READY FOR THE SPOILER? "It depends. The team that has done the homework, you're going to go out and the car should be pretty well balanced and you're just going to fine-tune. But you might go out there and be horrible and now you've got to work a lot on it. Somebody is going to figure it out better than another team, you know? Like when we came to the CoT cars and Roush initially figured it out with the cars being in yaw and all that and then everybody caught up with it."
WITH ALL THE STUFF THAT'S BEEN GOING ON WITH THE WRECK IN ATLANTA AND EVERYTHING, DO YOU FEEL LIKE YOU KNOW WHERE THAT LINE IS NOW AFTER THE WHOLE 'HAVE AT IT' BOY'S THING? "Yeah, for me it's pretty clear. It is what it is. If you wreck somebody you've got to expect that they're going to get you back. It's always been like that. It's a little more open for the public, but when somebody wrecks you, you're going to wreck them back. You don't want to wreck somebody on purpose. But I think if you do, you've got to expect that they're going to get you back."
DID THAT WORK FOR YOU IN INDY CAR AND FORMULA I WHEN YOU HAD YOUR ISSUES WITH ANDRETTI AND SCHUMACHER? DID THEY RESPECT YOU MORE AFTERWARDS? "Yeah, you know what I mean? It's very different because in open wheel, cars are very fragile. So you can be a complete ass and get away with it (smile). There's guys that don't want to wreck and guys that don't care wrecking. And I just don't care wrecking. And there it was the same thing and people knew that."
AFTER WHAT HAPPENED WITH YOU AND ANDRETTI AT JAPAN AND THEN YOU GUYS RACED WHEEL-TO-WHEEL AT MICHIGAN A YEAR LATER WITH NO PROBLEM AT ALL, RIGHT? "Yeah, because I know he's not going to move. And he knows I'm not going to move. So you've got to give each other room. And it makes racing a lot better for the fans."
WHAT HAPPENED BETWEEN YOU AND TONY STEWART LAST YEAR AT HOMESTEAD, IS THAT THE SAME THING? "It's the same thing. He came up on me when I had a hell of a run and I push him down the straight and he didn't like it. And then he hit me and ran me up into the fence and I just got him back, you know? He knew it was coming. When you do that to somebody and you expect that they don't get you back, you're dreaming; especially when you've got a bumper."
DID YOU HEAR WHAT BRAD KESELOWSKI SAID ABOUT YOU LAST WEEK? "I was windsurfing."
HE SAID THAT YOU SAID SOMETHING ABOUT HIS DRIVING STYLE AND THAT YOU SAY THINGS LIKE THAT TO CALL ATTENTION TO YOURSELF "Of course I do! I want to be on TV every day and it's good for the sponsors and it keeps everybody happy (smile)."
JIMMIE JOHNSON SAID THAT KESELOWSKI HAS MADE A LOT OF ENEMIES IN THE GARAGE AND THAT HE NEEDS TO MEND SOME FENCES. HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT THAT? "Well, everybody watched Nationwide last year and you could see it. I think he'll learn. He's going to say he's going to race the same way but I'm sure he won't. And if he does, somebody else will wreck him again. I think he'll learn. It's hard. You want to show you can do it and you can get the job done. But with the races being so long, I think you've got to learn to respect everybody. I struggled with it. I didn't wreck anybody at the beginning but I was an ass to get past because I was used to that. I was used to racing the hell out of everybody and you don't have to."
DO YOU HAVE ANY PROBLEMS WITH KESELOWSKI? "No, he's been good with me. He's been really good with me and I always give him a lot of room and he gives me room. As long as you do that and you respect each other, it's fine. I never really saw the incident where he wrecked Carl (Edwards); whether he did it on purpose or just made a mistake. So it's hard to know what happened the first time."
IS MAKING THE CHASE STILL A POSSIBILITY FOR YOU? "We are ahead of where we were last year, and we've got faster cars so we should be okay. But anything can happen. We can come here and wreck and go next week and wreck, and blow up. So you can have so many DNF's and everything. This year we should have had four top 5's so far, or four top 10's so far. And we don't. We have two; and two pretty much DNF's and that really sucks because we had cars for a much better result. But even like that, with two DNF's, we are ahead of where we were last year."
LAST YEAR YOU KEPT SAYING OVER AND OVER AGAIN THAT YOU WANTED TO STICK TO THE PLAN AND GET THE GOOD FINISHES AND BE THERE AT THE END. DO YOU FEEL A LITTLE MORE WIDE-OPEN THIS YEAR? "No, no, no. It's different because we're not running 12th every week; we run fifth, fourth, third, or we can lead and we can fight for wins now. It's a little bit different. But you've still got to bring the car home."
-source: gm racing