JUAN PABLO MONTOYA, NO. 42 TARGET CHEVROLET, met with members of the media at Martinsville Speedway and discussed his season so far, racing at Martinsville, NASCAR verses other series and more.
TALK ABOUT THE TYPE OF SEASON SO FAR THAT YOU HAVE HAD: “It’s been a pretty good season. Our car, it’s been okay. We’ve been a couple of races pretty good, couple of races average and a really bad one. I think we make the most out of it. We learn lots here that you can’t really DNF. We had so many DNF’s and so many wrecks and so many things go wrong but this year I think we’re racing a lot smarter. I think our cars are pretty good. We’ve been close in some. Last week we were surprised to be qualified on the pole. We knew for the race it was going to be harder, but we got a top 10 out of it. I was pretty happy with that.”
THROUGH FIVE RACES CAN YOU SEE THE POSITIVES AND NEGATIVES OF THE NEW POINTS SYSTEM AND DO YOU LIKE THE NEW SETUP? “It really doesn’t make that much difference. I think it makes it a little bit closer. It’s a little bit closer on the top. I don’t know how much more gap there is between what it is now and what it used to be but you look at the points and it’s just so much more simple to understand. You look at the points and you’re like 150 points and you think about 150 points and it’s like wow you’re dead. It wasn’t even a race. Now you’re like I finished 20 points ahead of these guys, I’m there. I think it’s a lot better.”
CAN YOU EXPLAIN WHAT ITS LIKE TO RACE MARTINSVILLE TO SOMEBODY THAT’S NEVER BEEN IN A RACE CAR AND IS WATCHING THIS RACE? “It’s fun. It’s really hard on the brakes, it’s really hard on the car. Track position is always important, you can pass here. I think the hardest thing is the corner speeds are so slow it’s like you feel I could roll it a little faster but you can’t, you really can’t. You’ve got to be very patient and learn how far you can go with the car. We always seem to have good cars here. Last year our biggest issue was the brakes. We made some adjustments for this year. We’ve done some testing so we’re hoping that it pays off and we’ll be looking a little better.”
KIMI RAIKKONEN IS GOING TO MAKE THE JUMP OVER TO NASCAR, WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT HIS PATH THAT HE’S LAID OUT WITH STARTING IN THE TRUCK SERIES AND WHAT IS HE IN FOR? “The only thing that I heard is that he was being approved for Charlotte. I don’t know if he’s even confirmed he’s doing it. I think it would be cool if he comes here. He’s a cool guy and I think he would fit right in. My first choice wouldn’t be Charlotte to start my first race.”
SPEAKING OF THAT YOU HEAR OF A LOT OF GUYS COMING FROM OTHER SERIES TO NASCAR BUT YOU DON’T HEAR OF NASCAR GUYS GOING TO OTHER SERIES, DOES THAT SHOW WHERE THIS SPORT IS COMPARED TO EVERYTHING ELSE NOW? “I don’t know. There were rumors a couple of years ago that Kyle could have gone to Toyota in Formula One and this and that, I don’t know. The series is a lot higher than people think it is. I think people here are underrated at our level against worldwide. I think maybe if you would get the numbers of how many people internationally are watching these races not only in America but in Europe and Asia, I think you would shock yourself. I think they are pretty amazing.”
FIRST RACE BY YOURSELF WITH SEBASTIAN (HIS SON)? “I always come with friends when I bring him. This time it’s just him and myself. I’ve got Mark looking after him, my bus driver. It’s cool. Now it was like 6:30 in the morning and he goes I want the iPad. I’m like okay. It’s pretty cool. In a way it’s nice because lately you can tell when I’m away and I get home he’s gets really excited and when I go away you can see a little difference. That’s why I brought him here. He’s been pretty cool.”
YOU WERE SAYING HOW PEOPLE UNDERRATE NASCAR VERSES WORLDWIDE, WERE YOU AWARE OF THAT WHEN YOU WERE IN FORMULA ONE, DID PEOPLE TALK ABOUT WHAT THEY’VE GOT GOING ON THERE IS PRETTY COOL? “People in Formula One are very selfish. They think there is nothing better out there. You look from technology wise, there’s not. But the actual racing, this is exciting. It’s exciting to watch, it’s exciting to be here. When you hear about ovals and sometimes you watch them, the first time you watch it by yourself, oh yeah it’s a circle. But if you come and actually see how fast we’re going in real life, they go oh yeah that’s a lot faster than people think it is.”
SO DO F1 DRIVERS WATCH THOSE RACES ON TV? “People are watching. Over the last few years when I came over people started paying attention to how I ran and I think a lot of people got hooked on it. I still receive emails from people from Formula One, good luck in the race, great qualifying. It’s like oh, you’re paying attention. That is surprising.”
We’ve done some testing so we’re hoping that it pays off and we’ll be looking a little better.
COULD YOU KIND OF EXPLAIN TO A RACE FAN WHAT IT IS LIKE TO BE FOUR-WIDE, 20 DEEP AT A PLACE LIKE TALLADEGA? “It’s pretty relaxing (laughing). Honestly, Talladega and Daytona, now with the two-car draft that thing is going to be a little bit different but normally it was a place where you could actually ride and take your time, fall behind and things. You kind of know how many laps you need to make sure you get to the front before the craziness starts and that it. You go from there.”
ARE YOU HAPPY THAT YOU CAME OVER HERE LATE IN YOUR CAREER? DON’T YOU NEED A LITTLE BIT OF MATURITY TO BE OVER HERE? WILL KENNY BE ABLE TO PARTY AT THE LEVEL HE’S USED TO AND COMPETE AND COMPETE AT THE LEVEL HE NEEDS TO? “I never partied with him so I don’t know. You hear the rumors, probably the same things you heard. You hear people here party and have fun as well. I’m not even going to mention names or anything.
“When you’re young you take every lap like it’s the last lap. When you go out and try to do that here you’re not going to blend in and you’re not going to do well. When you learn to take care of the car, be smart and make moves when you have to make moves, or learn to give up a place or two when you have to, it’s part of learning to be in NASCAR. When you understand the system it works really well.”
ARE YOU HAPPY YOU CAME OVER WHEN YOU DID? “I’m happy and wouldn’t change it for anything.”
YOU’RE MORE MATURE TO HANDLE IT. “I don’t think I’m that mature, but yeah I guess. Thank you. (laughter) Thanks for the compliment. I don’t think there’s a certain age. You look at Joey Logano and he’s like what 15? He’s as mature as they come. He does a good job on the race track.”
-source: team chevy