Talladega II: Pole winner interview

JUAN PABLO MONTOYA, NO. 42 TARGET CHEVROLET -- POLE WINNER CONGRATULATIONS ON SITTING ON THE POLE FOR TOMORROW'S RACE. THERE IS ONE SPECIAL PERSON WHO WOULD BE VERY PROUD OF YOU TODAY. TALK ABOUT YOUR RUN OUT THERE TODAY. "It was a good lap.

JUAN PABLO MONTOYA, NO. 42 TARGET CHEVROLET -- POLE WINNER

CONGRATULATIONS ON SITTING ON THE POLE FOR TOMORROW'S RACE. THERE IS ONE SPECIAL PERSON WHO WOULD BE VERY PROUD OF YOU TODAY. TALK ABOUT YOUR RUN OUT THERE TODAY.

"It was a good lap. It's been a weird day with the loss of Jim (Hunter) and I think everybody was a good friend of him and everybody is going to really miss him; I'm going to really miss him. It really sucks. But the team did an amazing. Brian always comes with really good parts here. We always have really good restrictor plate cars. It's nice to get the pole here in his memory."

HOW HELPFUL IS THE RUN THAT YOU HAD TODAY CAME EARLY BEFORE THE WINDS PICKED UP? DID YOU NOTICE ANYTHING DIFFERENT WITH CONDITIONS OUT THERE? QUALIYFING WAS RAINED OUT THE LAST TWO TIMES HERE AND YOU WERE THE LAST GUY TO WIN THE POLE THEN

"Oh, yeah; somebody told me that. Yeah, I don't know. We don't really think about it. I think if track position at the end if there is going to be a pit stop there and it's under caution we're going to have a bit of an advantage and pit out, probably we're going to pick that I would assume. Apart from that as I said, restrictor plate races, I'll be honest with you; always the Ganassi cars are really strong. Last time we ran here we finished second and third and we're looking forward to a good day tomorrow. We've got to be there at the end and always there are big wrecks and big thing happens there and hopefully you're not in it. But it's what happens. It's Talladega, I guess."

YOU ONCE PLAYED A ROUND OF GOLF WITH JIM HUNTER THAT WASN'T ABOUT THE SCORING, IT WAS ABOUT HOW MANY TIMES EITHER ONE OF YOU COULD SAY SOMETHING THE MOST TIMES. DO YOU REMEMBER THAT AND WHO WON?

"With Jim, it was always interesting playing golf with him. I used to joke around with him a lot because he'd never hit the ball that far; I mean not that far, not at all far, to be honest (laughed). But he always was very proud of trying. If you knew Jim with golf I'd say once a month we'll have a new driver and he was always trying new irons and things and he used to joke around (and say) oh, I found five yards and I found ten yards and this and that and then we would go and play together again and he would get really mad. I could play really good golf. He had no distance but would play really good golf. I'm not joking but no distance is like no distance. But it was fun. It used to really piss him off."

HOW LONG DID IT TAKE YOU TO GET USED TO DRIVING A RACE CAR COMPETITIVELY HERE?

"I think here was, I don't know if, but whatever it is, I was more comfortable here than anywhere else. From day one I've always been comfortable on restrictor plates. Nevermind the shoving and the pushing and the going; it's always interesting. I think the harder thing with it is when the front of the pack starts checking up and like everybody is careful and start lifting and in the back, people are still trying to push and that's when the big wreck happens. I've been involved in a couple of those. You're on the brakes trying not to hit the guy in front too hard and the guy in the back is wide-open and he'll push you out of the line. It happens but it's fun."

AS A GUY WHO IS NOT IN THE CHASE, DO YOU RESENT THE IDEA THAT ONLY THOSE 12 GUYS ARE GETTING THE ATTENTION?

"No, we get paid to do this and win races and make the Chase. Last year we made the Chase; this year we had a lot of wrecks. I think we had the speed to make the Chase, but we didn't and it's a bit of a shame. I think both cars have the capabilities of making it. But it's racing. I don't know. It is what it is right now. It's worse. If you're in the Chase and you're not in the top three today, nobody even cares. And you made the Chase. It is what it is. It's racing."

GIVEN THE SUCCESS YOU'VE HAD WITH ECR POWER OVER THE PAST COUPLE OF YEARS, WHAT IS YOUR REACTION ABOUT THE DISCUSSIONS WITH FORD?

"You've got to ask Chip (Ganassi) that, to tell you the truth. I drive the race car. I don't get involved. Chip came by the bus today and I didn't even ask him about it. I don't ask at all, you know what I mean? It is what it is. If we're staying, we're staying. If we're leaving, we're leaving. I'm really happy right now with Chevy. They do an amazing job for us. And I think it's whatever is going on, you probably know more than me. People ask me and I'm like what do I know? I just drive the car."

-source: gm racing

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Series NASCAR Sprint Cup