JUAN PABLO MONTOYA (No. 42 Texaco/Havoline Dodge Charger) NOTE: Montoya teamed with Scott Pruett and Salvador Duran to win the Rolex 24 on Sunday for car owner Chip Ganassi at Daytona International Speedway. Montoya, a 31-yeard-old Colombia ...
JUAN PABLO MONTOYA (No. 42 Texaco/Havoline Dodge Charger)
NOTE: Montoya teamed with Scott Pruett and Salvador Duran to win the Rolex 24 on Sunday for car owner Chip Ganassi at Daytona International Speedway. Montoya, a 31-yeard-old Colombia native, didn't get long to celebrate the victory. He was at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on Monday morning ready to test at the newly resurfaced 1.5-mile track.
COMMENT ON WINNING THE ROLEX 24? "I think it's a hard event. It's long. In 24 hours I probably had two hours of sleep. I went to bed in the morning and probably about 6:30 I was sleeping. I woke up at 7:30. You need to make sure you're awake, so you're up and down in the bed. They knocked on the door of my motorhome about 8 o'clock and said hurry up. I was in boxers in my bed. I dressed and got to the pits and they were in the safety car and I thought I was too late. They told me to put on my helmet and then they told me I had to wait. I was in the helmet 25 minutes before I got in the car. You sit in there with your helmet on, half asleep. You've got to race as hard as you've ever done. I'd already driven the car for about six hours. Man, it's hard work."
DOES ADRENALINE TAKE OVER WHEN YOU'RE BEHIND THE WHEEL? "It's actually kind of fun. When I left the pits I was yawning. Once you give it the gas it will wake you up. We were in the lead and now we're behind and needed to make up ground, so you start pushing. All the adrenaline takes over and you don't feel anything."
WHAT'S THE SPEED LIKE HERE AT LVMS? "I was just doing a program and they asked me how I liked going through puddles at 180 mph in the Daytona prototype. I said I'd rather do that than drive around here. It's a quick place. You're hauling (the mail) all the way around."
DID YOU GET A CHANCE TO CELEBRATE AT ALL AFTER YESTERDAY'S WIN? "The race was over. I celebrated for about 20 minutes. I went and had a shower, got changed, ate something and got in my plane and came here. I slept about an hour and a half in the plane. You don't want to sleep too much because you get here and you want to sleep and it's even worse. I'm tired today."
DID YOU EVER RACE ON THE OLD LVMS? "I did a lot. I did a half day of testing before I went to Indy in the IRL, the first time I drove the IRL. The wind was blowing about 35 knots and it was pretty scary, but this place in these cars is like WOW! It's so different because when you drive a Daytona prototype, everything has so much grip. You're pretty hooked up to the ground. With this, you're not. With this the car is moving around and you're bouncing. The front bounces and the rear bounces. It drives straight up the racetrack. You've got to be on your toes the whole time waiting to see when the car is going to step out."
DID WINNING AT DAYTONA DO ANYTHING FOR YOUR CONFIDENCE IN NASCAR? "It was nice. It was my first win with Chip since I came back and it was a good one. I got a free watch. I like those Daytona watches. I've got about four of them, and this makes it five. I'm the fastest of the Ganassi cars here right now, but that doesn't make me any more comfortable or more cocky. I want to do good. I want to work on the car. It doesn't matter if I'm quick or quicker than my teammates. It's where is everybody else, and we're a little bit behind right now. We're just getting started. I'm not 100 percent confident with all the words and how to relate to everything."
CAN YOU COMPARE THE VEGAS TEST TO TESTING IN DAYTONA? "At Daytona anybody can do it by themselves. Drafting at Daytona is pretty interesting. This place gets your attention. It's the toughest place I've been so far."
-credit: dodge motorsports