JUAN PABLO MONTOYA, NO. 42 TARGET CHEVROLET met with members of the media at Richmond International Raceway and discussed the challenges or racing at Richmond, Darlington and other topics. DO YOU LIKE RACING AT RICHMOND INTERNATIONAL RACEWAY?...
JUAN PABLO MONTOYA, NO. 42 TARGET CHEVROLET met with members of the media at Richmond International Raceway and discussed the challenges or racing at Richmond, Darlington and other topics.
DO YOU LIKE RACING AT RICHMOND INTERNATIONAL RACEWAY? "To be honest with you, I don't like this place. I don't know why. It's hard because it's not like anything else we do. We practice and qualify the same day and it's an impound race. I don't know, it just makes it really hard. You practice during the day and you get no practice at all at night. Then you race at night so that makes it always really tough. It's what it is."
DO YOU ENJOY SATURDAY NIGHT SHORT TRACK RACING EVEN THOUGH IT'S NOT YOU'RE RACING ROOTS? "I don't have the history behind it or anything behind it. If it's a Saturday night then its Saturday night, if it's Sunday then it's Sunday. We still have to come here and we still have to run. It's weird when it's a two-day weekend. It's just different."
IS DARLINGTON RACEWAY STILL MAGICAL TO THE SPORT? "That's the problem, we go back to the same thing. When you don't have the history behind the place, it's very hard to say, 'Oh my god, this place is magical.' I don't want to sound like an arse about it, but it's hard. Let's be honest, it's a very cool race track and they repaved it and changed it a lot. It's always been a really tough place to run, but it's in the middle of nowhere. I don't think about it. I go there, I get in the car, drive the car and whether we go to Indy or Daytona or Talladega or Darlington or Richmond -- you get in the car, you do the best you can and you go home."
IS DARLINGTON ONE OF THE MORE DIFFICULT TRACKS WE RACE AT? "It used to be really difficult because the tire wear was really high. It's always very tricky to get into the pits because the pit lane is like 100 yards below the race track. It's always really, really hard to get up to speed and all that. It's always really dirty. Very easy to hit the wall. It's always very tricky, but it's fun. You just don't think about it. I always hit the wall in qualifying. Honestly, I've been there three times and hit it three times. Hopefully this time I can avoid that."
DO YOU HAVE AN ADVANTAGE OVER OTHER DRIVERS BECAUSE YOU LOOK AT THESE RACE TRACKS DIFFERENTLY? "Maybe it does. Indy for me, for example, I knew about Indy, but when I grew up then I really grew up watching Formula 1. I knew how big the Indy 500 was, but you could say that I wasn't a believer. So when I went to Indy it was cool, but when you hear the guys that have been there for many years, talk about it then you go, 'Oh my gawd, you know.' For some people it is hallowed ground. It's a cool place and now that I've been in the U.S. and I've raced there enough, you start understanding why people say that. I haven't found that in Darlington yet, but if you ask Tony Glover (team manager) he'll think that's the Holy Grail of NASCAR."
WHAT TRACK IS THE MOST PHYSICALLY DEMANDING? "Road course. Sonoma. You're shifting; you're going left and moving right. It's really hot in the car and you have to really work for it."
WHAT TRACK IS THE LEAST PHYSICALLY DEMANDING? "Talladega. You ride half of the race."
WHAT TRACK HAS THE SINGLE BIGGEST BUMP? "The biggest dip is probably Dover, getting into the corner in turn one. The biggest jump is probably Texas in (turns) one and two. Middle of the corner, three and four a little bit too and the tunnel. Most of the tracks have the bumps where the tunnel is."
WHAT KIND OF CONFIDENCE HAVE YOUR FINISHES GIVEN YOU RECENTLY? "We've been good every week. It's crazy, we haven't been off the pace yet anywhere. When we're running really bad, we're running 10th or 12th. That is really good. It's hard to put all of it together. We're behind and we're trying to make up ground and hopefully we can make up enough ground. That's all we can do."
DO YOU THINK ABOUT RACING TO PUT YOUR NAME IN RECORD BOOKS? "I want to win every week and I get in the car to do the best job I can and try to drive the wheels off the race car and go home, play golf, wind surf. Hang with the kids or go go-karting."
DO YOU WANT TO BE A HALL OF FAME DRIVERS? "I think anybody that is in the Hall of Fame never really thought about making it into the Hall of Fame. I think if you're doing it for the wrong reasons then you shouldn't even be here."
HOW TOUGH IS IT TO SET UP THE CAR FOR THE CHANGE IN TEMPERATURES AT RICHMOND? "I think it's pretty hard because we always suck here. We can qualify okay, but we've never been that good in the race here."
DO YOU FEEL LIKE YOU ARE IN A RHYTHM? "We've been pretty good all year. We've been very good every race, we've had very good race cars and just rough luck. We've been involved in wrecks and all of them have happened and been completely out of our hands. It's not like I made a mistake and caused the wreck, you know what I mean. That's been really tough for us in the points. It is what it is."
WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT RICHMOND? "Not a big fan."
WHAT MAKES DARLINGTON THE MOST DIFFICULT TRACK TO RACE ON? "Who said it is? I don't think it is. I think it's a cool place. I think it is the hardest race track to get onto the pit lane. Leaving is not so bad, but I think it's the hardest place to get into the pit lane. I think that's where people learn the give and take because if you try to go side by side into turn one then the guy on the outside is usually going to hit the fence."
WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO RACE THE TRACK AT DARLINGTON? "I think that used to be the case before they changed the asphalt. It was so hard on tires that you really had to pace yourself and look after the equipment and it paid off. Now, I think it's a little different."
WHAT DO YOU HAVE TO DO TO WIN AT DARLINGTON? "Have the fastest car and a great pit crew."
DO YOU LIKE DARLINGTON? "I don't really care too much about it, to be honest. It's a race track."
HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT NASCAR PENALIZING POINTS, BUT NOT TAKING A RACE WIN AWAY FROM AN ILLEGAL PART? "You get in the sport and it is part of the sport. I don't think about it. The first time that it happened, for me, it was outrageous when they didn't take the win away and then they gave me a good explanation. People that watch it on TV saw the winner and it's not good for the news the next day for it to be somebody else. That is what they told me. I think it's weird when somebody wins the race and fails inspection -- they make 190 points and they take 50 points. I think they should take 190 points away. It's hard to say, did he fail because something broke or did he fail because they were plain and simple cheating? I think every case is different and I think NASCAR does do a very good job of handling every case different."
HAVE YOU PAID ANY ATTENTION TO THE IMMIGRATION LAWS IN ARIZONA? "No, I live in Florida. I don't get with politics, I don't answer politics. None of my business -- politics. Don't even know what you're talking about, to be honest with you. I'm a NASCAR driver, I race for the Target team, we drive a Chevy and that's all I know. I live in Miami and I have a very happy family."
WOULD YOU EVER CONSIDER BOYCOTTING A RACE FOR POLITICAL ISSUES? "Hell no. If my boss told me I'm not racing then I'm not racing. If my boss tells me I'm racing then I'm racing."
-source: gm racing