Texas II: Montoya post qualifying interview

JUAN PABLO MONTOYA (No. 42 Texaco/Havoline Dodge Charger - Qualified 3rd) "I'll tell ya, I think it's a little surprising. In practice we were sixth fastest and the car wasn't that great. It was really tight and you look at my teammates and...

JUAN PABLO MONTOYA (No. 42 Texaco/Havoline Dodge Charger - Qualified 3rd)

"I'll tell ya, I think it's a little surprising. In practice we were sixth fastest and the car wasn't that great. It was really tight and you look at my teammates and my lap, I was pretty surprised, and my teammates really didn't pick up much. I was expecting about a .20 and went out and the grip was pretty good for us. The balance was a little better and we run a little faster. It's been four times that it's good but it's not enough but we're getting there."

COMMENT ON HOW THIS PERFORMANCE MAY GET YOU CLOSER TO WINNING A RACE ON THIS TYPE TRACK.

"It helps. Starting up front always helps because you're running in a lot cleaner air than in the back. To be honest, we only made two runs this morning in race trim and we really stunk. We were actually in the way of everybody so actually to have this performance in qualifying is very encouraging. I think from here we can actually make some changes and get a little better."

YOU'VE HAD A LOT OF RUNS RUINED THIS YEAR BY TIRE PROBLEMS. IS THERE ANYTHING PART OF YOUR ADJUSTMENT THAT YOU CAN DO ABOUT THAT?

"You can feel them. You start picking a little bit of vibration and you radio the team that there seems to be some vibration in the tire and you just hope for a yellow. You come into the pits and you've probably got a lap or two down so the risk is so big that like last week, we knew that we had such a great car that we said 'Let's pit this lap' and I came out of Turn 4 and it just blew out. I was already out of Turn 2 going to the pits, that lap I was going to pit and it blows out. I guess it's part of racing. It happens to everybody here and we've been pretty lucky with that. I don't think it's anything you can adjust to. You're running the same pace as everybody. If you're lapping a second quicker than anybody and pulling away and you blow tires then it's your fault but if you're running everybody else's pace, I don't see how it was my fault."

DID YOU DODGE A BULLET WITH JEFF GORDON?

"I didn't really dodge a bullet. He actually got me. I ended up third. When I came out of the car, I told 'em it's not enough. It's going to be close but it's not enough. Jeff beat me by one-thousandth of a second but it's been pretty much like this all year long. It's close but not close enough."

HOW DO YOU LIKE THE SPEEDS HERE AT TEXAS?

"I think this is a good racetrack, this an Atlanta are probably the two nicest mile-and-a-half racetracks that we go to, at least for me. You can run pretty much anywhere and the track really gives you good feedback and it's fun. It's a fun racetrack and it's a great place. I like coming here."

YOU HAVE STRUGGLED LATELY ON THESE TYPE TRACKS. IS THERE ANY PARTICULAR REASON?

"If you look at Lowe's I got hit by a guy coming out of four and put him in the wall, the 4 car. We had a fast racecar and we made the wrong changes in the pits and we were just falling back a little bit. The guy got inside of me I gave him the room and he still hit me coming out of four. I guess he got tight or something and damaged the car.

"At Atlanta last week we had a really fast car again and blew two tires and destroyed the whole car when we blew the first tire. A lot of it come down to luck. If you don't qualify well then you put yourself in an awkward position because when you run in dirty air it's really hard to get to the front. I think starting up here is really going to help us. Last week we had the same car at Atlanta that we had before and it was as fast and this is the car we run the first Charlotte and this is the same car we ran at Indy. We're been running pretty much these two cars the whole year back and forwards between them.

"These are like my two best racecars we've got and really haven't changed anything. It's just sometime you don't really get a good balance in qualifying or you do a poor job in qualifying and you put yourself in an awkward position. Like here, it's funny because knowing we were really good in race trim and we're not too good in qualifying. Here in race trim we were kind of bad and to be actually be the opposite here we'll see. We've got to work a lot tomorrow to make a competitive racecar but having the track position is going to be big."

-credit: dodge motorsports

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Series Monster Energy NASCAR Cup